“Crossing the line” is the first novel written by J.J. Arias which I read.
I found it really beautifully penned.
It is an age-gap / office / boss/intern / opposites attract lesbian romance involving two very special characters, newly appointed judge Jordan Blake and law student Sierra Fuentes, two amazing women, both brilliant & beautiful, meet at the Cherry Bomb night club and have a torrid one-night stand affair, without knowing about their professional lives and how those will be entwined.
The title suggests the problematic boss / employee professional relationship that could be caused by their steamy love affair.
The cover depicts an attractive, yet a troubled Sierra, in an open white shirt horizontally leaning on a crisp white bed linen, suggesting perhaps she was thinking / dreaming about Jordan or on how to convince her, their connection is real and worth exploring.
“Endlessly amused, the young woman ran her fingers through her glossy dark hair, her smile unwavering. “What’s your name?”
Jordan smirked as she shook her head. The girl’s confidence was unshakable. “Why do you want to know my name?”
As if a wave of the devastating effect it would have, the woman licked her lips before leaning in. Her face gazed Jordan’s cheek as she got so close that her warm breath tickled the shell of Jordan’s ear.
“So I know what to scream later,” she whispered, her voice husky from having to shout over the music.”
Jordan Blake has just been appointed a judge at 44 years old after a long career in criminal defense at the PD’s office. Professionally, her life goes pretty well and she can’t wait to start her new job, an update to her career.
Personally, Jordan has a baggage: her failed 18 years old relationship with a verbally abusive & cheating wife, her lack of self-esteem when it comes to romantic relationships even after two years after her divorce.
She is also still missing her mom, even after five years after her death.
Her mom was really supportive and Jordan came out as a lesbian really early in her life during the ‘90s. Her mom even went to LGBT prides with her.
She has a couple of good friends in Maggie and Olga who encourage her to go out and date again, but Jordan’s trust in women faded.
Until one fateful night, when Maggie asked Jordan to come to the Cherry bomb nightclub for a reunion with old friends, so Jordan obliges only to find a club full of youngsters and feeling really old. This is the night when she meets Sierra, this beautiful young woman that hits on Jordan at the bar and follows her up, even after Jordan mentions she could be her mother and denies her drink and won’t tell Sierra her name. Somehow, they end up on the roof kissing and can’t get their hands of each other and walking towards a steamy hot one night stand at the beach hotel from the beach across the street from the club.
I really liked that their attraction is hot from the beginning and that the steamy one night stand comes at the beginning of the story, leaving me craving for more.
Yet, Sierra walks away in the morning leaving Jordan to have breakfast on her own, just like this was just a one night stand.
Sierra Fuentes is a 24 year old law student who also happens to work as a bartender at Cherry Bomb night club to increase her income. She wants to make a difference when she graduates to work in criminal defense for the PD’s office, defending the poor ones who don’t have a chance to hire expensive lawyers when in custody.
Personally, Sierra isn’t dating, she has never had a real relationship previously, because she wants to focus on her degree. She has a couple of great friends and roommates: Devon & Lo. She also knows she loves older women from a young age when she had crushes on one of her teachers. Sierra needs to grow up, she needs to get a grip and stop taking for granted all the ladies that are attracted to her and end up in an one night stand with her and she loves them and leave them attitude doesn’t work indefinitely.
When she meets Jordan who refuses her, at first, but afterwards they end up having a steaming-hot one night stand, she leaves in the morning without asking her who she was and what she was doing for a living, but she can’t keep her mind of Jordan.
Fate is helpful and Jordan has a new judicial intern which happens to be Sierra, so their lives are intertwined now, also professionally.
Jordan is scared to death to lose her job because of the conflict between Sierra being her law intern and their personal relationship. She has rules and she will follow them, no matter how much her attraction to Sierra defies her. It is realistic and believable, a woman like Jordan to do that to preserve her career.
Sierra on the other hand has nothing to lose and she is surprised to find herself still attracted to Jordan and wanting to go on with their hot affair against all odds.
She never expects Jordan to say no, so she is confused, yet she works hard to impress Jordan with her brain and her hard work at her office.
I found it quite real, the fact that their sexual relationship continues only after Sierra’s stage at Jordan’s office ends and Sierra’s last semester ends and she graduates and she works in criminal defense at the PD’s office and even has her own flat (in few words, after Sierra grows up).
Sierra and Jordan meet again in the courtroom and Jordan is impressed and longs for more.
After being chased by Sierra for so many times, Jordan chases her now. She goes at Cherry Bomb to find Sierra, yet Sierra is not there, but her friends are, yet Jordan chickens out and runs off.
But fate brings them back together and this time: Sierra has grown up and she is ready for a long term relationship, her love for Jordan has changed into a deeper sense of reality, passion and love, just as Jordan understands she has fallen in love with Sierra and opens her heart to her, with the only plea of not getting hurt.
I enjoyed their love making and their role play games are really sexy.
I liked the realistic situations the characters have been put through and how they’ve reacted.
The multitude of themes contained in the plot surely show that: the office affair / the boss/employee conflict / the 20 year old age gap issue was debated very serious especially by Jordan who explained Sierra the implications of it after ten or more years together or the judgmental matter created by Jordan’s boss, a closeted lesbian herself, who wants to dissuade her to speak at the Lambda Law Conference (LGBT conference).
I totally recommend this awesome book (it also has a sequel) and I will definitely read more books by J.J. Arias.