Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

Title: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr
Sullivan’s Crossing Series Book Three
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.


The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr is a sweet, family-centric romance. This third installment in the marvelous Sullivan’s Crossing series can stand on its own, but I highly encourage readers to read the previous books for important backstory.

Dakota Jones shocks his brother Cal and his sister Sierra with his unexpected arrival in Colorado. The former Army Ranger has not exactly kept in touch on a regular basis so no one in the family is aware of what has been going on with their brother recently. Since he rarely stays in one place for very long, Dakota surprises himself by renting a cabin and finding a job soon after coming to town. Even more astonishing, he strikes up a friendship with romance potential but their relationship is complicated by her trust issues and interference from hairstylist Alyssa and overly aggressive Neely Benedict.  An additional and very unanticipated complication arises when the siblings’ sister Sedona comes to town sans family and they discover she, too, has not emerged from their tumultuous childhood unscathed.  Will this unforeseen drama send Dakota running? Or will it be the impetus he needs to finally put down roots?

Dakota joined the Army as soon he graduated from high school and rarely looked back. His sporadic visits to the family farm have gradually tapered off but he always kept in touch with his siblings. Following his surprising exodus from the Army, Dakota is ready to spend some quality time with his siblings but he is not quite ready to make a commitment to remain permanently in Colorado.  However, as he becomes more enmeshed in his siblings’ day to day lives and their extended families, Dakota discovers walking away won’t be as easy as it proved to be in the past.

Although he is not looking for a permanent relationship, Dakota is not averse to a no strings fling. The first woman who briefly catches his eye is Alyssa but she comes across as a little too desperate to hold his attention. Dakota next meets Neely whose hot and cold attitude is not exactly his thing and he quickly falls victim to her penchant for wreaking havoc once she realizes his interest lies elsewhere.

Dakota is quickly smitten by a very unexpected woman but she is not at all ready for a romance. His patience with her finally pays off when their easygoing friendship gradually tips into a physical relationship but she is wary of committing to anything other than a temporary fling.  Dakota is initially fine with the status quo but when his feelings for her deepen into something that looks a lot like love, will he convince her to take a chance on taking their relationship to the next level?

On the family front, the only sibling whose life is without complications is Cal. Sierra and her firefighter boyfriend are contemplating the next step in their relationship but are they ready for an even bigger change in their lives? Always considered the “normal” one, Sedona’s life is nowhere near as perfect or untroubled as everyone else (including Sedona) assumed and she is finally forced to face her worse fears. Instead of running away from these  obstacles, Dakota surprises himself and his siblings by eagerly stepping into the fray.

The Family Gathering is an emotionally-charged, engrossing novel with a thought-provoking storyline and a lovely cast of colorful characters. Dakota is a wonderful lead protagonist and watching him make peace with his past while discovering what he wants for the future is incredibly gratifying. Robyn Carr keeps the story moving at a brisk pace as she wraps up a few dangling storylines from earlier works. With a great cast of characters, a hint of suspense and a delightful love story, old and new fans will find themselves charmed by this newest addition to the heartwarming Sullivan’s Crossing series.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Mira, Rated B, Review, Robyn Carr, Romance, Sullivans Crossing Series, The Family Gathering, Women's Fiction

One Response to Review: The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy