Review of Sierra City by Gerri Hill, Audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
I’m slowly going through Gerri Hill’s back catalogue released in audiobook. Sierra City was originally released in 2004 and even though it’s not one of my favourites by this author, the promise of Abby Craden as a narrator made it worth a try.
Chris Mackenna moves to the small town of Sierra City, close to Lake Tahoe, as the new Search and Rescue. Jessie Stone is a successful writer who left Sierra City sixteen years ago after a family tragedy. Estranged from her mother, she decides to come back to finally leave the past to rest. But in Sierra City she meets Chris who might hold a key to her future…
To say that this book is angsty is possibly the understatement of the year. There are some trigger warnings I should mention but I prefer to keep them vague as not to spoil anything. However, the triggers in question happen off-screen and they are only mentioned as events in the past so they aren’t too disturbing.
I admit that angst and drama aren’t my favourite attributes in a book and Sierra City has them in spades. For me personally, it was too much to take in, too much angst, too many dramatic twists and turns. Some parts felt unrealistic and contrived with a simplistic resolution. I’m not convinced about the effectiveness of the “love heals everything” trope and how come after some really dramatic events, a person can recover with relative ease.
Regarding the romance itself, I wasn’t completely sure that the characters were meant for each other and didn’t find their chemistry nor their first intimate encounter convincing either. I feel that this story could have been more suitable for literary fiction than contemporary romance. The love factor felt shoehorned into it.
Abby Craden was a great choice for this audiobook, but even her outstanding talent couldn’t make this story much better. Ms. Craden did a very good job as usual but I’m afraid I can only give the final result an overall 3.5 stars. With so many other great audiobooks available by the Hill/Craden artistic partnership, I suggest trying others before this one.
Length: 7 hours, 14 minutes