A story of struggle and heart... The Crossing at Cypress Creek by Pam Hillman (Review)

The Crossing at Cypress Creek
(Natchez Trace #3)
By Pam Hillman
Christian Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 432 Pages
June 4th 2019 by Tyndale House Publishers


Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.

Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.

Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.

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My Review

THE CROSSING AT CYPRESS CREEK is one of those stories that is tough in spots to read because of the terrible choices men make and those who suffer due to those choices. Countered against this grit and darkness are these good men and families who are honorable, and those who trust in their faith in God and the love of their families. It's a faith-based story with complex characters and a tough situation, with danger at every turn, but with hope towards a better end. 

I really liked these characters! Caleb and Alanah were both well drawn characters with flaws, fears, strengths, and hopes. They both have struggled with their faith and with finding their place—or at least finding home and being able to settle instead of fighting for survival each day. I loved how Caleb was never fooled by Alanah and how they both learned to trust in each other. Love crept up on them slowly and without their say so, which made it fun to watch when they tried to deny their growing feelings for each other.

There were also other characters from prior books in this series. I think reading the other books would have enhanced this story, but wasn't necessary to follow or enjoy it. I read the first book and enjoyed it quite a bit, so it was fun to see those characters appear here.

I do have to say that the covers for this series are so lovely, including the one for this book. I did feel they were a little misleading, because this story is full of grit, some pretty brutal violence, and a really rough road for both characters. Of course, there is also family, forgiveness, redemption, and love. Just don't be fooled thinking this will be a lighter read. It's full of complex characters, struggle, and triumph.

I did have a few issues with the story. I felt some of the violence was overly brutal. I didn't quite need the visuals to understand the depravity of the villains or the historical setting. I also felt the religious element was really strong, almost radical in Alanah's uncle. Then there was the ending that was tied off a little too perfectly. These were just a few things that rubbed me wrong as I read.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, I liked this story. The parts with Caleb, his brothers, Alanah and her sister and Lydia, as well as some of the other relationships were joyful and sweet. I especially loved the romance. Other parts were fairly brutal, but definitely played counter to the sweet moments making them even sweeter.

Content: Some gritty settings, references to rape and murder, drinking, and some brutal violence.
Source: I received a complimentary ARC from the publisher, which did not require a positive review nor affect my review in any way.

Check out a guest post from the author here and my review of the first book in this series, The Promise of Breeze Hill, here.

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