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.

My Thoughts: I have enjoyed the two previous books in the Sullivan’s Crossing series, so The Family Gathering was a lovely reunion of characters from the past. Each book focuses on a primary character, and the supporting characters are there to fill out the story. The characters feel like old friends at this point, and their issues are very real, ranging from bad relationships to mental illness.

Dakota Jones is an interesting guy who has stayed away from family due to the traumas of their childhood. But some things happened to bring him to Colorado, where two of his siblings reside, and there he begins to feel the warmth of family connections. Especially when some strange events happen that seem to threaten his newfound stability.

I liked Sid, the young bartender who has her own intriguing backstory, and when Dakota and Sid begin to overcome their negative relationships of the past and trust again, I could see good things ahead for them. If the crazy women who are stalking Dakota can be stopped!

How will Dakota’s efforts to help his sister Sedona make him feel more connected? What will happen to further cement the relationship between him and Sid? A delightful 5 star read.