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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Crossing Borders" by Z.A. Maxfield
Tristan's got issues; he knows he does. So when his most recent girlfriend dumps him but he's preoccupied with the fact that he can't stop staring at, and lusting after her brother, Tristan figures it's about time he make some changes and take the plunge into something he's been wanting to do for a while - have sex with a man. Tristan's got a plan. He sets up shop at his...
Published on 4 Jun 2009 by Indie Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Don't expect great literature. It's a simple tale of two men who fall in love told in very simple words. There is not a great deal in terms of plot, but I found it absorbing nonetheless. And the sex is good. Really good.
Published on 21 Jun 2011 by Martin


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Crossing Borders" by Z.A. Maxfield, 4 Jun 2009
This review is from: Crossing Borders (Paperback)
Tristan's got issues; he knows he does. So when his most recent girlfriend dumps him but he's preoccupied with the fact that he can't stop staring at, and lusting after her brother, Tristan figures it's about time he make some changes and take the plunge into something he's been wanting to do for a while - have sex with a man. Tristan's got a plan. He sets up shop at his local Borders bookstore, collects a pile of gay lit. titles as bait, sits himself down in the bookstore's coffee bar and waits for a hook-up, someone who can show him what he's been missing. Until who should crash his little stake-out but none other than Officer Michael Truax, a.k.a. "Officer Helmet" the man who's been a persistent pain in his skate boarding butt, dogging him with expensive tickets for not wearing a helmet.

Michael has been trying to catch Tristan for years...to give him a second ticket, or so that's what he tells himself. Suddenly he's faced with his 'Sparky', all grown up -- and looking to get laid. The habit of protecting him isn't gone completely, but the opportunity is too much to resist. He figures the kid must know what he's getting into, so he takes him home. There, they carry on a cautious affair, only to find out that neither is what the other expected at all.

I know a story is really working for me when I start reading at say about 9:00 pm and wild horses couldn't drag me from the book. Well it was about 1:00 am in the morning when I finished "Crossing Borders" - in one sitting. What can I say, I devoured this read and absolutely loved it.

Maxfield's writing is clean, crisp, urbane and sophisticated with an equal strength in her characters and their dialogue. In Tristan she has created an incredibly intelligent, articulate, bold and witty character that practically steals the story. Tristan is one of those characters that you do not easily forget. He is younger than Michael by about ten years, yet he holds his own and then some. In Michael we get a very sympathetic, easy-going and confident character that on the surface appears to be uncomplicated. But, as the story progresses we discover that there is much more to Michael than meets the eye. I think the best part of the story for me was the dynamic between Tristan and Michael throughout the book. The very first scene in the Borders bookstore where Michael crashes Tristan's "get-laid" party has to be one of the most intelligent, incredibly clever, thoroughly entertaining, funny and verbally sexually charged exchanges between two characters that I have read in a long, long time. The scene is one of my favourites in the book.

Tristan and Michael do get together and when they do - look out! The sex in this book sizzles and scorches. Maxfield carries this urbane sophistication into the bedroom. What I found to be a breath of fresh air was Tristan's outright ownership of his sexuality. Even though he has no previous experience in being with a man and essentially comes out to, and with, the first man he sleeps with - Michael, we don't get this angst-ridden, hand-wringing that one usually has come to expect of these circumstances in gay romance. What we do get is an incredible level of maturity in Tristan's character self-exploration and self-acceptance of his sexuality. Equally, Maxfield does not succumb to the usual M/M stereotypes of tops and bottoms, alphas, betas or twinks, or the fall-back of the oft used pederastic relationship scenario of the older man and the younger boy-man. There are no labels, borders or fences imposed upon Michael and Tristan's sexual, and indeed overall relationship in this respect. Sometimes Tristan takes the lead in aspects of the relationship and sometimes it's Michael.

There is angst though and it comes in the form of Tristan's turmoil surrounding: Am I too young to be this in love? Can I handle loving a cop and all the while worry that he's going to get hurt or killed in the line of duty? Do I even want to be in a relationship where this can happen? Is this it? Is Michael the only man I will ever be with, will ever love? Am I ready for this? It also comes in the form of Michael's: I am so much in love and I'm terrified that I'm going to get burned. The metal in Tristan's and Michael's relationship is tested in this story and yes, through some not so happy and even scary events, but in the end there is an HEA.

I wouldn't characterize "Crossing Borders" as a coming of age story because frankly speaking Tristan is an old soul. What I would call it is a thoroughly refreshing and delightful read that sets the bar high and left me with a huge smile on my face and really good feeling inside.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this book does not disappoint!, 1 Nov 2010
This review is from: Crossing Borders (Paperback)
To be honest, I wasn't expecting a whole lot from this book, and bought it relying only on the positive reviews it has received. But I was pleasantly surprised at just how good this book is. I could not put it down - I read it in about four hours. The story and the characters drew me in almost immediately, and I finished it with a smile on my face. It was nice to read a book without the customary angst at being gay; Tristan just got on with it, and I think that is one part of what makes his character so likeable. There are quite a lot of sex scenes as well, and while relatively graphic, it's nothing you wouldn't have read before, and they were surprisingly loving. The two characters love each other with an intensity that you can almost see, let alone feel, and that really comes across here. All in all, an amazing book, that exceeded my expectations and will definately be read again and again.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, sexy and fun! What more can you ask from a good read?, 11 Nov 2008
By 
Clare London (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Crossing Borders (Paperback)
There's double the pleasure here - ZA Maxfield's prose is a delight to read, very witty and sharp, but never cutting. The main theme of the story is the maturing love affair between Michael and Tristan, but her style has you following them all the way, the pace just right for the reader to enjoy the characters and still find a plot. And the other delight is the characterisation, the guys are such fun! I like especially the way she writes dialogue, one minute they're bantering with each other, next minute they're almost incoherent with emotion. Devotion might sound like a sappy word, but I don't mean that here, it describes the respect they have for each other, and there's no unnecessary angst for the sake of it - they *like* being with each other! That's refreshing in a romance book sometimes. I thought it was well balanced, too, I felt as sympathetic to each of them and their families and work situation. Tristan is cheeky and bold and outspoken, Michael is more mature, confident, protective and downright cute. Oh and the love scenes are...hot and sensitive and even more fun! :)
Now I have to go and re-read it! Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fell in love with this book., 5 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Crossing Borders (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. I'd heard a lot of praise for Z. A. Maxfield and read The Long Way Home first. I didn't hate it but didn't fall in love with it, there were a lot of editing mistakes that kept pulling me out the story. I did really like her characterisation though - always a big one for me. So I prevaricated over whether to give another book of hers a try. I was so glad I did!

This book is simply gorgeous. Don't let the cover put you off - it's not about a much older man a very young boy. The book is about a cop in his twenties- 'officer Helmet' and a young man at college - 'sparky'.

This is not the most serious book I've ever read or the best written book I've ever read but it's one of my favourite reads of this past year. The author creates wonderful characters who you fall for easily and in this book she literally revels in those characters falling in love.

I don't think I've ever read a book with such a wonderful, headlong rush into falling in love before. It does get more angsty and serious later on but the first half of the book is glorious in the way it shows these two falling for one another.

For that reason I have to give it five stars. Just because I enjoyed it so damned much and because I really loved Sparky and 'officer helmet'. The author also avoided a lot of cliches. She could easily have made the older, more muscular cop a dominating sexual partner and she didn't. These guys explored their relationship and their sexuality and in a way that wasn't cliched.

There were some things that didn't ring true, I thought sparky accepted his sexuality incredibly easily - and quickly! But I didn't care. You don't always read for scorching realism and this book called out to the romantic in me. It's a love letter to love itself, and that's why I enjoyed it so much and why I give it five stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful romantic tale with a tentative Happy Ever After...., 26 Sep 2012
By 
BevS (East Anglia, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crossing Borders (Kindle Edition)
I felt this story was on a par with 'The Long Way Home' - absolutely delightful! Michael was the 'adult' in this partnership (at the start maybe), but Tris had had to grow up fast in lots of ways (as anyone who has lost their dad early on will tell you). He didn't want to have to go through losing someone close to him again, and was really afraid for Michael and his job as a policeman even though there didn't appear to be a lot of major crime in Fullerton. Michael could have come across as a bit of a stalker, hanging around waiting for Tristan until he was old enough to be in an adult relationship but he didn't - he was a very caring guy who felt it was his life's mission to help people, he even loved his mum! I thought the Thanksgiving scene around the dinner table was really funny, and the actual love story was handled very sensitively by the author who certainly seems to know her stuff. Well done Ms Maxfield.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic romance novel! Loved it!, 3 April 2012
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This review is from: Crossing Borders (Paperback)
Crossing Borders by Z. A. Maxfield was one of the best romance novels I have ever read! It was sweet, romantic and very hot. ;) The story made me laugh and cry, which usually does not happen when I'm reading books. It really was a book I couldn't put down. I can't wait to read other novels by the author. And then return to Michael and Tristan's story. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 21 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Crossing Borders (Kindle Edition)
Don't expect great literature. It's a simple tale of two men who fall in love told in very simple words. There is not a great deal in terms of plot, but I found it absorbing nonetheless. And the sex is good. Really good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic!, 12 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Crossing Borders (Kindle Edition)
The other reviewers have pretty much nailed it - this book is just fantastic. As my first official purchase for my kindle, I couldn't ask for a better maiden voyage. I read it from start to finish, unable to put it down because I was completely drawn into Michael and Tristan's world. I cried through the pain they both went through, and I couldn't choose a side - I totally understood Tristan's concerns and Michael's feelings - love me, love who I am.

Really excellent story, and the sex scenes were incredibly intense. A well rounded book and heartily recommended! I'm online to download a few more of her stories!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly absorbing read, 3 Jun 2010
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EBR45 (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I really enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting as I just couldn't put it down.

I would thoroughly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gay fiction that actually has a plot too!, 11 May 2010
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Crossing Borders (Paperback)
After being dumped by his latest girlfriend, eighteen-year-old college student Tristan realises he should be a little bit concerned that he was actually more interested in checking out her brother. Unsure of how to hook up with a guy, he heads to his local Borders books (as you do) and ensconces himself at a table with a stack of gay literature and a cup of coffee... and waits. Who should stop by his table but Michael (or `Officer Helmet' as Tristan has dubbed him), the local cop who once ticketed him for skating without any head protection- and so their tryst begins in earnest.

This is genuinely a terrific read. It's not all just saucy sex scenes, though of course there's plenty of those too! The author has managed to create likeable characters and a plot that really works. I liked this story a lot- Michael's overprotective cop nature is nicely balanced out with Tristan's enthusiasm and his earnest willingness to learn just what it takes to be in a gay relationship. The guy's two families are funny too and provide some light relief when the plot tends to get a bit heavy in places. I'm definitely going to be on the look out for more books by this writer.
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Crossing Borders
Crossing Borders by Z. A. Maxfield (Paperback - 8 Sep 2008)
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