Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cross My Heart by Abigail Strom

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥♥♥

Ex-girl band rock star digs on nice guy-next-door doctor. The stuff of Reality Show legend.

What is this romance that authors have with Small Town America? Is it the same romance that politicians have? Because it's like everyone is living in a Norman Rockwell painting, mom's baking a casserole and dad's pouring a scotch and everyone is awash in the glow cast by their superior morals and Good Family Values. 

And whenever there is an issue where one of the characters is from the Big City and one is from a Small Town, the Big City person always moves to the Small Town as part of the HEA package. I mean, they want to, it's not like they're being forced, but I feel like Small Town always wins this battle. I worry what will happen to the labor market now with this mass influx of folks migrating back to Small Towns, because last I checked employment stats for small towns are not awesome.

She: Ex-girl band rock star who's temporarily back in her home town between gigs.

He: Straight-laced doctor who's apparently never had a shot of tequila in his life and has to be taught by the h how the salt-shot-lime thing works.

Conflict: There's an attraction between them, he's happy to take things further but she doesn't want to lose her edge and be tied down to some small town in Iowa. Since he's a doctor and single father of a teenage daughter, he represents all that is staid and small-towny (because let's face it, no doctor from a small town has ever moved to a bigger town or even a city with a rocking music scene, so yeah - obviously they can never be together...)

It's always fun to pick apart the conflict in these things that are keeping H and h apart. It's all rather obvious to an outsider what can instantly solve a lot of their problems i.e. moving to a medium-sized town or city where they value both musicians AND doctors. But while I may have been snarky in the summary above, AS handles this issue really nicely. Also, I am being facetious when I say that the good doctor could simply move to a bigger city so that h could keep up with song writing and performing. I know it was more than that, obvi.  She's trying not to become soft and settling down with a nice man who represents stability and order is the definition of soft.  

Both characters are really...nice. Sweet and mature and they have chemistry and still manage to retain adult composure. The writing, while not quite as snappy as Kristan Higgans or Rachel Gibson (both of whom I am entirely unable to be impartial about), is solid and smooth. 

Not sure that it is a re-read, but I am definitely going to look up other books by AS. 

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