For Sierra Jones, Sullivan’s Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She’s put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn’t yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.
Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she’s always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it’s a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan’s Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.
I wasn’t sure whether I should continue reviewing the Sullivan’s Crossing series, given that I wasn’t a massive fan of What We Find and that I already have far too many books on my to-read list for 2017. Still, I’ve loved many of Robyn Carr’s other books, and I was pretty intrigued by the glimpses we got of Cal’s family in the first book, so I decided to take my chance on Any Day Now.
My main issue with What We Find was that I found Maggie and Cal a little bland, and I was relieved to find that Sierra was entirely the opposite. She’s a recovering alcoholic who had a secluded, hippy upbringing with a schizophrenic father, and is now on the run from a pyschotic ex—so, basically the opposite of bland. Even if Sierra didn’t have the bizarre family and terrifying ex-boyfriend, her journey out of alcoholism made her interesting enough. It isn’t just mentioned in passing—we see Sierra attending AA meetings, meeting with her sponsor, journalling her experience, even having to change her living situation when it puts her in close contact with people who are drinking heavily. This is part of her life, and her desire to stay sober impacts a lot of her decisions. I love flawed heroines who have imperfect backstories, and when details about the reasons why Sierra fled her ex began to trickle into the story, I was intrigued to see how she’d deal with this conflict when it finally came to ahead, and how this would impact the life she’d just settled into and her fledgling relationship with her brother.
I love flawed heroines who have imperfect backstories, and when details about the reasons why Sierra fled her ex began to trickle into the story, I was intrigued to see how she’d deal with this conflict when it finally came to ahead, and how this would impact the life she’d just settled into and her fledgling relationship with her brother.
Sierra’s relationship, though? I was slightly less invested in that. Her love interest, Connie, was sweet. And that’s about all I can really say about him, unfortunately. I did have high hopes for him when the details about his failed engagement and his cheating ex came tumbling out pretty early in the story, but aside from a few confrontations with this ex—that really didn’t create any drama—he never seemed to grow or develop. His failed engagement doesn’t hold him back from getting involved with Sierra, and he doesn’t seem to have anything else going on in his life besides rock-climbing and his job as a firefighter. We never really got inside Connie’s head enough to care about him. He was just a hot firefighter who gave cheesy speeches about how much he wanted to have sex with Sierra. I think he was supposed to seem sexy and heroic and kind of perfect, but my general impression of Connie was just…meh. He didn’t really do much for me.
I did appreciate how understanding Connie was of Sierra’s baggage, even when he could tell she was still holding back some details. He waited until she was ready to share them, and didn’t take it personally when she divulged some things with her brother first. I’ll give him credit for not going all alpha male and shouting and punching stuff because Sierra took a while to open up parts of herself to him. But as much as I appreciated all of his awesome supportiveness, there was pretty much zero conflict in their relationship. I never had any doubt that Sierra and Connie were going to stay together. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a Big Misunderstanding that keeps the protagonists apart for half the book, or ridiculous arguments that could be solved if the characters just talked to each other, but really, just a little bit of conflict to get me invested in the relationship would have been nice. Between Connie’s lack of character development and general boring perfectness and the absence of any conflict, I struggled to root for them. I had the same issue with Maggie and Cal in What We Find. I just need a tiny, little bit of conflict to make me care, that’s all.
Between Connie’s lack of character development and general boring perfectness and the absence of any conflict, I struggled to root for them.
Thankfully, there was a lot of conflict when it came to the situation with Sierra’s ex, and this kind of made me forget how unexciting Sierra and Connie’s relationship was. Like What We Find, there’s a big, dramatic blow-up towards the end of the book, but at least in Any Day Now, we’ve been expecting this conflict to explode for some time. Information about the conflict is slowly imparted as the story develops, and Sierra finally opens up to her brother and tells him the real reason she moved to Colorado, and what she’s on the run from. There are some interesting moral and ethical issues here, and Sierra isn’t painted as being entirely in the right. She acknowledges that she acted out of fear and may not have made the best decisions, and is willing to attempt to help the authorities, even if it puts her back in danger. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have agreed to do what Sierra did. I might just have ran again. Her situation is pretty terrifying.
I appreciated that the book acknowledged how toxic relationships, like the one Sierra was on, can appear entirely normal on the outside, and that ending a relationship isn’t as simple as telling the abusive partner to leave. Sierra tried to get help from the police and was refused because her ex hadn’t left any physical evidence of abuse, which I know is pretty standard procedure. The plot also delved into the issue of rape and very clearly painted rape as a violent act of exerting power and control over the other person, rather than simply “he couldn’t stop himself”, which I seriously appreciated. This is one of the few books that I’ve read where the rapist was someone the heroine knew, trusted and even dated, rather than some mysterious stranger. Although Sierra’s ex is more than your standard date rapist, her story is still pretty common. Yet in spite of all she’s been through, Sierra is determined not to let what happened to her define her, or her future relationships. She’s open about how horrific her rape was, but it hasn’t permanently damaged her.
Yet in spite of all she’s been through, Sierra is determined not to let what happened to her define her, or her future relationships.
Even if this book wasn’t perfect and I wasn’t totally invested in Sierra’s relationship with Connie, I loved the way Sierra’s backstory was explored, and how she was painted as a strong character who could overcome her toxic past and still have a functional relationship and take steps towards living the life she wanted. The more I think about it, the more I love Sierra’s character. I’d love to read more books about imperfect women like her, who don’t have neat, pretty backstories, but also aren’t broken by what has happened to them. Sierra is a beautiful reminder that you don’t have to have a perfect, unblemished past in order to find love and happiness.
Disclaimer: This is a mainstream novel and contains scenes of a sexual nature and language that some readers may find offensive.