Book Review: Cross My Heart by Emma Browne

cross my heart emma browne book review

The synopsis on the back of the book

Julia comes home to her flat in Edinburgh, Scotland, to find her brother's annoying friend Nick is living in her flat. Nick won't go away, and soon their frenemy relationship turns into friendship, and attraction turns into... love. But Julia's guilty conscience and Nick's broken background put up hurdles for their relationship, and they soon find themselves questioning the beliefs they've held as true for as long as they can remember. 

  • Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
  • Published: 3/2018
  • Pages: 327
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars
cross my heart emma browne book review
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
— Matthew 7:7-8

Why I Chose This Book

Emma reached out to me to review her book. When I read that the book took place in Scotland - I jumped at the chance! You all know how much I love Scotland! 

First Initial Thoughts

Julia is a woman in her early 30s. She just came back from Kenya on a year-long volunteer mission. She struggles with coming back at first because of the vast differences between Kenya and Scotland. When she comes back Nick, her brother's friend Nick is inhabiting her flat. She is not pleased. And not only is he back - he has torn up her kitchen. I would also feel personally invaded! Julia is very passionate and driven in helping women in Africa have access to better healthcare. However, she struggles with saying NO and we find out why later on in the novel. 

Julia and her friends, Sophia and Miranda form a social enterprise business to bring period cups to the young girls in Africa. Many girls in Africa miss school for lengthy time periods because of their menstrual cycle. Then they fall behind and decide to not come back. Which we all know education is most important for children. 

Nick, I found to be laid back and easy going. In the beginning, we didn't get much time with his character but as the story progressed we learn more about him and his struggles. 

I loved Nick and Julia's banter. It was almost like they were flirting with each other but denying any feelings for one another. But in all truth, you could tell there was a spark there. 

Setting

This book had all the feels. Emma brought Edinburgh to life in a beautiful way. It was easier for me to imagine all the places in the book because I have been there - but for people who have never been to Scotland could easily imagine what it would have looked like as well. 

An image I took of Edinburgh while I was there in December '16: 

   Copyright © Heidi Erickson, All Rights Reserved

Copyright © Heidi Erickson, All Rights Reserved

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
— Revelation 3:20

Final Thoughts

This book reminded me of my trip over there multiple times. All the places she mentioned in the book I have been to - Edinburgh, Loch Lomond, Arthur's Seat, The Christmas Market. Speaking of the Christmas Market. That was one of my favorite things that I saw! I love Christmas Markets and Edinburgh does it perfectly. It was just a book that made me smile from ear to ear. 

The relationship between Nick and Julia grow as the story progresses. I enjoyed reading their journey and how their stories were actually quite similar. They both lost a lot growing up and never really got over what happened. Their romance was sweet and I appreciated that they respected each other and didn't let things get out of hand. I think them having a friendship before, definitely helped. 

Without spoiling anything, Julia learned a lot. She learned that her past doesn't define her. And that forgiveness is what she needed the most. 

Personally, I think Nick grew the most. He is angry at God for circumstances that happened earlier in his life. He finds that God is not this angry man sitting up there punishing us. He loves us and wants the best for us. Sometimes, it's hard to understand why God puts us through such tough times but over time we start to realize why he did that - to learn and grow from those tough circumstances. 

This book was a delight to read. I couldn't believe that this was her debut book! 

Would I Recommend?

Yes! I think this is a great story to read over a rainy weekend when you need some cheering up! 

 

You can purchase the book ---> HERE

I hope you get to see Edinburgh one day! It is such a beautiful and lively city. 

the caffeinated bibliophile