Thursday, May 16, 2024

2 Bloggers 1 Series - Hope's Crossing

 Stormi and I are on a never-ending quest to find a series to replace our Virgin River readalongs.  We've come close and actually read a Haven Point book at the end of last year.  Realizing then that we probably needed to read the original series first, we committed to giving Hope's Crossing a go.  I'm glad we did.  Read on for my thoughts in the first installment and then hop over to Stormi's for hers.


TITLE: Blackberry Summer (Hope's Crossing #1)
AUTHOR: RaeAnne Thayne
PAGES: 377   
SOURCE: Library

FROM GOODREADS: Claire Bradford needed a wake-up call. What she didn’t need was a tragic car accident. As a single mom and the owner of a successful bead shop, Claire leads a predictable life in Hope’s Crossing, Colorado. So what if she has no time for romance? At least, that’s what she tells herself, especially when her best friend’s sexy younger brother comes back to town as the new chief of police. 
But when the accident forces Claire to slow down and lean on others—especially Riley McKnight—she realizes, for the first time, that things need to change. And not just in her own life. The accident—and the string of robberies committed by teenagers that led up to it—is a message to the people of Hope’s Crossing. The sense of community and togetherness had been lost during those tough years. But with a mysterious “Angel of Hope” working to inspire the town, Riley and Claire will find themselves opening up to love and other possibilities by the end of an extraordinary summer…

MY THOUGHTS: Claire Bradford lives in Hope's Cross with her ex-husband and his new, younger wife, running her bead shop and trying to coexist for the sake of her two children.  She has a strong group of friends and support which add some great side stories and I'm sure who will appear in books to come.  Riley McKnight has moved back to town after working as a detective undercover for several years.  He happens to be the younger brother of one of Hope's best friends and the two basically grew up tormenting each other.  When Hope's shop is burgled and Riley has to start figure out who is breaking into several local shops, their paths cross and sparks fly.  And it doesn't hurt that Claire is injured during a incident where Riley is chasing a suspect, meaning she has to depend on him and others in her life more than usual.

I really liked all of the characters in this book.  It really does have that small-town, close-knit community vibe I loved so much with the Virgin River books.  Claire is extremely likable, and Riley is a pretty much a playboy.  I enjoyed the slow burn of the two which was juxtaposed into a book that also focuses on day-to-day happening and tragedies in the Colorado town of Hope's Crossing.  In addition, Claire also has the cutest dog which you know in my book, never hurts.  My only complaint is that because of Riley's baggage, he does and says some things while fighting his attraction to Clair that seemed like too much.  I mean, I could understand it, but it happened more than once, and I don't know how Claire could overlook some of it.

If you like small town romances which also have a strong plot featuring other stories beside it, then I would suggest you check out this book.  Thayne's writing was extremely well-done and I flew through this novel.  Bring on the second one!



  1. I haven't read this series. My favorite small-town series when I was reading more romance was Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  2. I love the sound of this, and since I'm 100% invested in the Virgin River TV series, I'll have to consider it😁

  3. Small town romances can be so heartwarming and fun. :D