5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: A Mountain Divides Us by Allie Winters

– Kristen –
Eli Andrews wasn’t supposed to be anything other than a temporary roommate.
On paper, it all makes sense. I rent out a room to him to earn some much-needed cash when my work hours get cut. I’ll stay on my side of the house and he’ll stay on his. Away from me and my kids.
But he wasn’t supposed to be tall and gorgeous and make butterflies flutter in my stomach. He wasn’t supposed to be helpful and charming and supportive in a way I didn’t know I needed. He wasn’t supposed to waken that part of me that’s laid dormant for so long, an attraction building between us the longer he stays. I wasn’t supposed to fall under his spell.
Or into his bed.
For years, I’ve made sensible choices. Ones that are best for me and my kids. Ones that don’t involve sexy blue-eyed strangers who are only in town for a month.
Eli Andrews isn’t staying in Crescent Pass. But tell that to my heart.

– Eli –
Kristen Taylor wasn’t supposed to be the woman of my dreams.
On paper, it doesn’t make sense. She’s a widow with two kids, while I’m the guy who avoids relationships. Only, when plans fall through and I’m stuck on a job with nowhere to stay, she’s the one who comes through for me.
But she wasn’t supposed to be so easy to get along with. She wasn’t supposed to show me what a family could really be like. She wasn’t supposed to make my heart pound.
Or tempt me beyond belief.
For years, I’ve kept to myself. It’s safer that way. No one to disappoint or hurt you in return. Besides, I’m not staying in Crescent Pass.
So why can’t I get her out of my head… or my heart?

Title:A Mountain Divides Us
Author:Allie Winters
Series:Crescent Pass (Book 2)
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Trope(s):Small Town Romance
Close Proximity
Single Parent Romance
Point of View:First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)
Location:Crescent Pass, Oregon, US
Release Date:23rd March, 2023
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Oh so delicious

I have loved near everything that Allie Winters has written but this book carved a special place in my heart – I just adored it. It tells the story of single mum, Kristen, and her temporary lodger, Eli. While it’s the second book in the Crescent Pass series – and Owen and Harper from the first book (A Forest Between Us) do appear, it completely stands alone and has its own HEA.

Kristen is a harried single parent of two rambunctious 6 year olds who needs to make some extra money by renting out a room in her house. But instead of the woman she was expecting to become her roommate, she instead gets sexy, sweet and tempting Eli.

While I may not have much in common with Kristen, I liked her from the first. She always felt like she was on the back foot but man did she hustle for her kids. She had a fair amount of insecurities, frustrations and hang-ups but she never came across as anything other than the sweet, determined, kind and spirited woman she was. I imagine that other mums will totally connect with her about the mum guilt – but even non-parents will love her like I did.

Eli was, well, I don’t really know how to describe him other than to say that if it wasn’t for Kristen, I’d want him for my very own. Growing up, Eli was a certified geek but as an adult, he’s a geek with the body of a god! But there was just something so sweet about him that I just adored. He was kind, caring and also a little bit broken. Seeing his heart swell as he becomes part of this little family was everything. He, like Kristen, had his hang-ups making him vulnerable, too, which was nice to see and made him feel real to me. But the cherry on the top was the kind of take charge, dirty talker he was in the bedroom. Be still my hot but geeky, dirty talking hero heart!

“Be still my hot but geeky, dirty talking hero loving heart!”

While I loved Kristen and Eli separately, together is where they shine. Allie Winters writing made the attraction between our pair both subtle and stark right from the get go. Watching them dance around each other as their friendship, feelings and attraction grew was just so wonderful – my feels were tingling the whole time. And while it takes time to build up to the sex, there’s plenty of shenanigans before the big event and it is hot enough on its own to keep me more than happy. I’m not sure if Allie Winters has always written sex this well or if I just loved Eli and Kristen so much that it resonated with me. Either way – yum!

On paper, I admit that this is a book that has a few tropes I usually steer clear of: single parent, children, widow. But in the end, absolutely none of those things bothered me. In fact, I loved Kirsten, I loved those kids and the widow thing played out exactly the way that I would want it to. What I’m trying to say is that if you, too, have reservations about those things, ignore them and read this book!

I also loved that there was no unnecessary drama. There was a nice layer of angst as we wonder how and if our couple are going to make it work – which played into both of their fears wonderfully. Not that I want my characters to be emotionally tortured but in this case, it really brought forth the feelings between our pair and so in me, too! There was some talk about the short time of the relationship between Eli and Kristen before they fell in love – but in all honesty, if the author hadn’t mentioned the time frame, I wouldn’t have noticed it and I certainly didn’t feel it was a short time frame while I was reading.

I have to say, I think this is my favourite book from Allie Winters and the best book she’s written to date. I can’t wait to read the next book in the Crescent Pass series, not only to read about the next couple from this adorable small town, but also to catch back up with Kristen and Elie, Jamie and Jenny. If you’re looking for a fun, emotional and heart-warming romance then I will happily recommend this book to you – go grab it now!

* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *

Allie lives in sunny Florida with her husband, daughter, and two cats. A librarian by day, she spends her nights writing happily ever afters. She enjoys reading, playing video games, and all things Disney.

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