Crossing the Line
By Chrissy Dionne
Sep 1, 2005 - 6:44:00 AM

Jamie MacPherson owns a popular mechanic shop in Orange County that caters to exotic car owners. Money is no problem for Jamie. He has more than enough. Unfortunately, his money attracts the money-hungry men and because Jamie craves love, he basically buys their affections with gifts. Until he meets Ryan, suddenly he's found a man that's not interested in his monetary possessions and excites him in ways he's never experienced.

Ryan Van Alstyn waits tables in a restaurant in Newport Beach. He's still fairly young and the schedule suits him. Having lost his lover, Mark, two years prior to meeting Jamie, Ryan's lonely but doesn't do casual relationships and everything else seems like he's being unfaithful to Mark so instead of moving on with life, he returns home from work each day to his vengeful cat.

Listening to a self-important client drone on about the work he wanted done on his car is tedious but watching the gorgeous waiter kept Jamie from falling asleep as he pretended interest in the client's monologue. Ryan is aware of Jamie's interested looks in his direction and even spends his own fair share of time checking out Jamie. However, once Ryan's taken their orders he realizes how busy the restaurant got while he was distracted and is then too busy to dwell on Jamie and the interest he'd felt just from being in his presence. It isn't until later that evening while counting tips that Jamie discovered Jamie's business card with his name and phone number written on the back. A few nights later, Jamie is again seated at one of Ryan's tables and since Ryan hadn't called, Jamie inquired if he'd gotten his card and why he hadn't used it. Ryan's answer, even though he knows what Jamie is alluding to is that there isn't anything wrong with his car, it's under warranty. Jamie finally asks Ryan to meet him at the coffee ship across the street when he gets off work to which Ryan agrees because he's rushed to get back to another of the tables. However, once he's off work and about to meet Jamie he begins to get nervous and more like he's betraying Mark, he's considering backing out of meeting Jamie until he realizes he's been spotted and decides to go forward with the 'date.' Jamie becomes agitated with Ryan's explanation that he can't stay long. Immediately, he thinks that Ryan has somebody at home that he needs to answer to. Ryan's explanation of his vengeful and controlling cat lightens the mood until Jamie asked him out to a club or back to his place. Ryan's not ready to get back into the dating scene regardless of how enticing Jamie is to him. Convincing his body that he's not ready to get back into the dating scene may prove to be a big challenge, especially once Jamie kisses him.

Stephanie Vaughn has written a powerfully engaging tale with CROSSING THE LINE. Both Ryan and Jamie have been hurt by their previous relationships and neither of them think they're ready for any real commitment. Jamie doesn't even think he has anything to offer a partner except for his money and Ryan has his good looks but he's not for sale. Ms. Vaughn describes the emotions of the characters so well that you can almost feel the power of them. CROSSING THE LINE allows the reader to see a loving nontraditional relationship is just as precious and worthwhile as any male/female relationship. This is a story I highly recommend. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing the world and people around me.

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