Crescent Pass, #2
Heat Factor: There’s initial pining and tenderness and then some decent heat.
Character Chemistry: This is a single parent romance, so the chemistry has to be just right between the main characters and the kids involved, and it definitely hits on all counts.
Plot: Kristen is a single mom raising twins in a small town in the mountains. After having her hours cut back, she resorts to renting out a room in her home—and after a plot twist, that renter ends up being Eli, a geological engineer who needs a place to stay.
Overall: This really had me stressed about the kids, but ultimately it’s a very sweet story.
Single-parent stories are really tough. For starters, the relationship isn’t just between the two main characters—it’s between the parent and the children, the children and the romantic interest, and the main characters themselves. All of these relationships have to work, or it starts to feel kind of unsafe for the kids.
In this case, it’s a whirlwind. And that really walks the line in terms of the relationship between the children and Kristen. In an ideal world, Kristen and Eli would have quite a bit of time between meeting and introducing the kids to Eli—but since Eli is living with them, there’s really no way of creating that space once it’s been removed. Fortunately, Kristen is portrayed as a very consistent, firm parent with steadfast and healthy boundaries (except with her mother, but let’s be honest, that one’s tough).
It also helps that the tension in this relationship comes from very relatable and healthy issues—Eli is a geological engineer and lives pretty far away from Crescent Pass. There aren’t exactly a multitude of opportunities for his career path in such a tiny town. And Kristen also struggles with the lack of opportunities in her hometown—as a copy editor, she’s struggling to find freelance opportunities or she clearly wouldn’t have opened her home to a tenant.
The only thing more obvious than their tension and chemistry is Eli’s immediate connection to Kristen’s children. Now…I will say that in real life, if I were Kristen’s friend, I would not be encouraging the sudden cohabitation that occurs here, and I did grimace when Kristen’s son had a bad dream that Eli left and he was left fatherless. The solution to this is simply not rushing into a permanent relationship. It’s not breaking up, either! But it’s not “well we’d better make this permanent”.
On the whole, I saw that Eli didn’t know that he was just treading water until he met Kristen and her kids, and that Kristen was so tightly wound trying to keep it together that having a responsible, kind man swoop into her life and remind her that her life as a person is also incredibly precious, and I have to say that it worked for me. I wanted more in a few areas, but did I go back and check to see if the first Crescent Pass book looked interesting? I absolutely did. Will I be reading it? I absolutely will. And just generally, I like the way Allie Winters unfolds tension in relationships, and this was no exception.
I imagine that some of this story will continue to unfold in the next book, and I’ll be happy to see where the author takes this next.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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