In Third Degree by Julie Cross, Isabel Jenkins struggles during her surgical internship, not because she is inept, or because she is sleeping with and at odds with another intern. It is because she is too much of a genious, lacks interpersonal relationship skills, and oh yeah, she is only eighteen. As a prodigy, she was on the fast track to success until she is totally derailed by failing her psychologic evaluation. Attempting to find some semblance of normalcy for a teenager, she re-enrolls in a different college and meets Marshall.
Marshall is the totally hot RA who has taken an immediate interest in Izzy. Izzy is initially put off that Marshall knows her history but she cannot deny her attraction to him. Marshall wants to help Izzy assimilate into college life and Izzy decides to go for it. We learn along the way that Marshall has his own secrets, but that is partly what helps solidify their relationship. Unfortunately, when as Lizzy starts to care more for Marshall she also learns that there is more to dealing with patients then just figuring out their disease. The revelation rocks Izzy and she gets confused by what she wants. A life in Medicine? A life with Marshall? Does she have to sacrifice one for the other?
Daylight by Julie Cross, is the first story I have read from the Fifty First Times anthology and while I liked that it worked as a short, it could have easily been stretched out into a full length novel. It packed quite a punch emotionally.
We meet a newlywed couple on their wedding night with flashbacks of how they met, and other important moments in their relationship. How Julie was able to provide that much background and development on characters in about 50 pages, I don’t know but it worked. I felt a connection to both of them and wanted more.
The intimacy between the two of them is typical of a first time on a honeymoon night. Unsure of yourself and what is going to happen, yet total trust and love. It was all done very nicely. If the other stories in the series are written this well, I can’t wait to read the other stories in this anthology!
The third installment of Julie Cross’s Letters To Nowhere series titled Return To You is just as engaging as the first two. As with the other two books, Julie’s writing is so emotionally charged that you feel everything the characters feel. Their pain. Their joy. Their confusion. Their loneliness.
Julie does a fantastic job with each of these short stories (Return To Sender and Return To You). There is enough mini-story in each of these to keep you interested, while continuing the overall storyline. I really enjoy each of them so much and while I really want more once I am done with each short, I am okay with where they leave off. I don’t feel as though I am completely left high and dry. There is some closure to things or at least the hint of it.
Return to Sender by Julie Cross is a follow up story to Letters to Nowhere. I am told that Julie will be publishing shorter stories for this series rather than additional full length novels. That is great for readers that want more of Jackson and Karen but don’t want to wait.
In Return to Sender, we catch up with Jackson and Karen in the summer. Jackson has graduated high school and is preparing for college in the fall. Karen just won an international competition and is moving further along in her gymnastics career. Karen is making a lot of strides towards dealing with her parents death. Life continues to move on and we get to watch that happen for the characters.
You know those books that stick with you after you read them? Where the characters take up some of your thought and you wonder how they are doing? The ones where you can’t wait to get back to only to realize the story is over? Well, Letters To Nowhere by Julie Cross is one of those books. When the ARC of Letters To Nowhere was available for review, I was intrigued. I have been a huge fan of gymnastics and followed elite gymnastics since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. However, I was a little hesitant because the overall tone of the book sounded quite emotional. I generally like to read books to take me away from reality and the “sad” things that happen in real life, however, once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down.
Julie Cross writes a very emotional and hopeful story about Karen, an older teen who loses her parents in a car accident. She moves in with her gymnastics coach “Coach Bentley” and his son, Jordan. From there we watch her cope with her parents death and handle the extreme pressures of elite gymnastics. She finds a friend in Jordan, who has gone through a loss of his own. They turn to one another when they can’t turn to anyone else. I fell in love with Jordan and his father pretty quickly. Karen has shaken up their world in a way that forces them to face things they did not want to before. She brings them closer together.