by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
Summary: Due to heavy subject matter, Crossing is recommended for readers 17+.
He stole her lipstick…and her heart.
Twenty-year-old Dani Walker can’t believe her luck when she’s paired up with the gorgeous Liam Garrett as her Acting I scene partner – or when he ends up in her bed. Being a Plain Jane with a mouth on her hasn’t exactly served Dani well in the guy department. In fact, she’s had nothing but one night stands. Still, she lets go of her insecurities and falls for Liam, despite feeling like he’s holding something back.
When Dani finally discovers Liam’s secret, she must learn the true meaning of accepting the ones we love for who they are, or risk losing the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 8, 2013
Where to Buy: Amazon
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Source: I received a copy of the book from the blog tour host and author in exchange for an honest review and participation in a blog tour.
Crossing was nothing at all like I expected. I expected a light, fluffy contemporary romance, but I ended up with a funny, entertaining novel that dealt with an important, yet rarely encountered issue. I say that books are unique a lot because I frequently find unique elements of most stories. However, Crossing really takes that word and runs with it because I can honestly say I’ve never read a book dealing with the main issue that Crossing deals with. Ever.
Dani was an incredible character. Her personality and humor jumped out almost immediately. I held the book in my hands expecting a heroine much like those I’ve seen before and I got a loud, happy, charismatic girl with a raunchy and odd sense of humor who surprised me! I think most people will find her to be original and refreshing. In many ways, she was everything I’ve ever wanted in a heroine. She wasn’t afraid to be herself.
Liam kept up with her and had a similar sense of humor. The two of them hit it off immediately. Their relationship was more of a friendship at first, which I loved, before it blossomed into something more. Liam was always there for Dani, always building her up, and I thought they worked well as a team. Other people couldn’t always figure out why on earth a gorgeous guy like Liam was with a plain, chubby girl like Dani, but Liam wasn’t afraid to defend Dani’s honor and stand up for their relationship. He was an easy guy to fall for, a good match for Dani, and the kind of person who never wanted her to feel like she was mediocre.
Despite how much I absolutely loved Dani, I also disliked her a little bit. I hated the way she let her insecurities get the best of her. She was such an unforgettable heroine everyone could root for and relatable. She wasn’t skinny or timid or reserved, but for all of her outward joy and confidence, she was horribly insecure about herself. She put herself down and it was somehow worse because she wrapped up her body image into an entire cynical world view. She put down skinny girls frequently, which I hated to see, put down herself most of all, which I hated to see even more, and measured herself against every other woman based on body type alone. She assumed every man wanted the skinny girls she compared herself to and she ended up selling herself short constantly. Her humor was great, but sometimes it was such a defense mechanism that it just wasn’t funny at all. In her defense, I don’t think her issues were unrealistic and they did improve as the story progressed, it just took quite awhile.
The relationship between Liam and Dani was not without conflicts. Liam was hiding something. For all of his amazing qualities, it was obvious that something was going on or Dani was so insanely insecure she was making things up. I wasn’t sure what direction the story would take while reading it, but I never imagined it would go where it went. I might have originally wanted to give the book a 3 star rating overall because I felt like I was waiting for Dani to FINALLY love herself, but the fact that the story had the guts to go where it did, deal with the issues it dealt with, and somehow remain the kind of romance I want to work and I want to root for made me decide to give it 4 stars. It was such a courageous move to write a story like Crossing. And somehow, an idea that might have made me go WTF? before became something I felt like the characters could deal with and make normal. And I felt like I learned something, too. Through the conflict, both Dani and Liam ended up being stronger than average people or couples and I thought both of them really needed that.
Crossing was totally unique, quirky, fun, and deep. The characters were as unforgettable as the shocking plot. I admire the author so much for writing a romance that should have been too weird/crazy/unrelatable for anyone to get into, but was instead a romance I rooted for the entire time. I recommend the book, but it is not for the easily offended. The characters are open minded, humorous, occasionally vulgar and the plot had mature themes and scenes. I wouldn’t spoil the plot for anything and I think the cover and synopsis do a great job of being accurate and representative of the story without giving anything away.
“Stop making excuses for why you can’t let yourself have this. It’s not conventional but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. What’s more important? Loving the man that loves you, or trying to achieve this bullshit idea you have of what a perfect relationship is supposed to be?”
“His short brown hair has a wave to it, but he’s got it cut conservatively. None of that weirdness that looks like the guy’s had all of his hair sucked forward in a vacuum.”
“I was a choice. This beautiful, kind, funny boy chose me.”
“‘Can I be super lame and ask you to take my picture with—’
Liam’s phone makes a clicking sound. ‘On it. Now smile for this one, ‘cause you were talking during that one.’”
“‘How’re you doing?’
The question hangs there in the air until I give in to the need to give my blanket answer. ‘Fine.’
‘Fine as in satisfied and spent or fine as in freaking out and thinking I’m going to sneak out in the middle of the night?’
I clear my throat. ‘Second choice.’”
“‘Dani?’ he says softly.
I nod. ‘I’m fine.’
About the Author:
Stacey Wallace Benefiel is the author of the Zellie Wells trilogy, FOUND, the Day of Sacrifice series, The Toilet Business - a collection of essays, CROSSING, and multiple short stories. She sometimes goes by S.W. Benefiel or Reina Stowe, but knows she's not foolin' anybody. Stacey lives in an orange house in Beaverton, OR with her two young children.
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Labels: Blog Tour, Giveaway, New Adult, Review