Author: Z.A. Maxfield
Released: August 4th 2015
Length: 271 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Two dudes walk into a bookstore…Tristan knows he’s got issues. His latest ex-girlfriend knows it too. He can’t blame her for dumping him—even though she gets her brother to do it for her. Since he can’t stop staring at said brother’s package, he figures it’s about time to put a label on those issues. He likes guys.He heads to a local bookstore with what he’s sure is a foolproof plan to find someone to show him what he’s been missing. But who should crash his little adventure? Officer Michael Truax, who gave him a really expensive ticket back in high school for skateboarding without a helmet.Michael has been trying to catch Tristan for years...to give him a second ticket. Suddenly faced with “Sparky”, all grown up and looking to get laid, Michael’s protective instinct kicks in—and presents him with an opportunity that’s hard to resist. After all, the kid must know what he’s getting into, so why not?But when a man with a plan connects with a man with a hunger, the result is nothing short of explosive.
Product Warnings: Contains high-octane hair, a clawfoot bathtub, and a story that will make you believe in love at first sight. Okay, second sight, but who’s counting?
Crossing Borders was first published in 2007, with a different publisher and a very different cover. As ZA Maxfield pointed out in the Author’s note, the world was a much different place 8 years ago. People could still meet and fall in love in Borders and being gay often meant living without things like marriage and children. What’s more, being gay and a police officer was far more dangerous, although it still isn’t something to be taken lightly.
Crossing Borders was one of my first M/M reads (which I suspect holds true for many readers) and as such, it holds a very special place in my heart. It tells the story of Tristan, a college student barely discovering that he’s gay, and Michael, a slightly older police officer who’s had his eye on the young man for ages, and for several different reasons. It also offers glimpses into their very different family lives, their different backgrounds and interests, and in the process, these two men slowly find common ground and build a strong, loving life together.
Their romance is filled with both painful moments and humor, and Maxfield is one of those rare authors who can balance the two perfectly. Caring for these characters is never a problem - their preoccupations, lifestyle, values and fears soon become just as important to us as they are to them. I’ve read several novels by ZA Maxfield, and they all have superb characterization in common. What’s more, I love that the struggles of this couple were always very realistic and down to earth. There is some drama and the painful moments are truly heart-wrenching, but they always rang true to me, and each problem Tristan and Michael faced was something I could easily see happening in real life. Maxfield offered no easy fixes; sacrifices had to be made on both sides, but they all lead to a sweet and reasonable ending.
If there’s such a thing as a classic in a genre as new as M/M lit, Crossing Border definitely fits the bill. The details may be a bit outdated, but the love story within its pages is timeless. This was my third time reading it, but I think I have a few more rereads left in me somewhere down the road.
A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No consideration, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.