Crossroads Paperback – Nov 2 2010
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- "I am hereby declaring Moira Rogers my favorite discovery of 2009." ~ Kindle Vixen
- "I give Crossroads 4.5/5 stars - it was an enjoyable read and I'm hoping there will be more books in this series; several of the secondary characters have stories I'd love to read about." ~ Book Addict
- "This book is full of action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. ...I recommend this series to everyone with at least a bit interest in urban fantasy. You will not regret this! Moira Rogers is definitely one of my best discoveries so far!" ~ The Geeky Book Worm
Shapeshifter princess Nicole Peyton never planned to fall in love with a wolf from the wrong side of the tracks. Not when her sister's in danger, and only a proper marriage to a suitable man can save her. What she doesn't know is how far Derek Gabriel will go to protect her family, even if it means challenging the prejudices of their entire world.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Nicole Peyton is a werewolf. She also happens to be heir to the very rich and powerful Alpha of the United States pack of werewolves. We first meet Nicole in book 1 of the series, Crux. What makes Nicole so endearing is that she doesn't want the wealth and power that she has every right to. Instead she leaves the world of werewolf politics and runs a bar in New Orleans. She is trying desperately to live a life of normalcy, constantly turning away from her father's goals of making her into a powerful female Alpha.
Derek Gabriel is a sexy beast. Derek was turned a werewolf, instead of being born one. As he tries to adjust to his new life he pushes Nicole away, even tho its obvious to all around them there is a connection between them. Thankfully the wolf comes to his senses not too far into the book and tries to claim what his inner wolf is telling him is HIS. Unluckily, on the verge of Nicole and Derek finding out what the future holds for them, Nicole's twin sister shows up with danger following her.
I went into this story fully expecting Derek and Nick to fight their attraction for half the book, it seemed obvious considering how stubborn they seemed to be! I mean they had already ignored it for 2 years, what was a little more time?!? I was overjoyed to find out I was wrong. The chemistry between the two was sweltering and just too much to ignore. The next thing I knew we had werewolves having sex on the kitchen floor amongst a flurry of waffle batter. This book contains an intimate scene in the forest after a run, which has to be the hottest scene I have read in a very long time.... I had to read it twice. Then I noticed I had a big grin on my face and was blushing furiously. Derek and Nick are just so needy, so intense, so passionate - it is perfection.
One hand dropped to her ankle, and his large fingers encircled it easily. "Tell me to stop."
She couldn't. She wouldn't. "No."
Derek dragged her ankles apart and dropped to his knees between her legs. He tickled his fingers up her calves as he jerked his gaze to hers again. "Put your hands over your head."
Sheer primal instinct drove her to obey.
Where Jackson's southern charm in book 1, Crux, made my heart go pitter patter, Derek's protective and passionate alpha manhood makes my toes curl.
I should probably point out there is much more to this book than just hot forest sex, lest I get sidetracked and find myself rereading all my bookmarked scenes, again. Crossroads has a complicated and engrossing plot that takes us deeper into werewolf politics. We learn so much more about the life Nicole and her sister have been subjected to along with the bond between them. Crossroads drags you into the characters lives and forces you to experience their passion, their happiness, but also their sadness and pain.
As if all of the above isn't good enough for a 5 star review, Moira Rogers manages to add a little bit more to the story. Jackson and Mackenzie from Crux are still in the mix and have small parts in the book. We get glimpses of the brooding and sarcastic Alec, at least once in nothing but a pair of jeans (hopefully low slung ones). We are also given a new development in regards to Kat and Andrew, side characters from book 1. They step a bit closer to the front of the stage in Crossroads and I hear that Andrew will be getting his own book after Alec's. Based on the events in this book, I am going to go ahead and lay claim to Andrew right now. He is mine and you can't have him.
If you have not read Crux, I encourage you to do so immediately so that you can pick up Crossroads on the day it releases, February 9th. Trust me, you will not be sorry
Nicole Peyton is a shape-shifter and eldest daughter of the Alpha wolf. She was born a shifter and is the reluctant heir to her father's position in the Conclave, the governing body for the shape-shifting society. Instead Nicole prefers her simple life as a bar owner in New Orleans where she has a close knit circle of supernatural friends. One friend in particular has had her special attention for quite some time.
Derek is a shape-shifter wolf but was not born as one. He was turned as a result of a vicious attack two years previous. In traditional shape-shifter society, he is considered a second class citizen, not worthy of the attentions of an heiress. However Nicole doesn't see things that way and she wants Derek. Sensing Derek is attracted to her as well, she has spent the last two years flirting and waiting for Derek to make his move.
After two years of struggling to get his wild instincts under control, Derek decides it's time to let Nicole know how he feels about her, so he plans to make his move at a birthday party Nicole is hosting at her bar. Derek's intentions of taking things slowly shatter as soon as the two are finally alone together and instinct overtakes them both. They end up in a very hot after hours make-out session. A knock at the door quickly brings the make out session to a halt though. Michelle, Nicole's twin sister, and her bodyguard/lover Aaron have arrived and they are in big trouble with the Conclave. There is a death warrant on Aaron's head and Michelle, who is pregnant by Aaron is in danger. Nicole and Derek discover just how deep their feelings for each other go as they and their friends rally together to protect Michelle and Aaron.
Moira Rogers takes us even further into the world of shape-shifter politics in Crossroads and gives the reader a sense of just how complicated and dangerous the world is without bogging down the story or slowing the action. We see a world steeped in traditions that have become outdated to the point where the rules and laws may harm those they were originally meant to protect.
Crossroads is a story of love and self sacrifice leaving the characters to decide just how far they will go for love, loyalty and tradition. Despite their different backgrounds and social standings Derek and Nick are perfect for each other. Their relationship gives new meaning to the words love and loyalty. I was truly touched by their devotion to each other as I watched them make selfless choices even at the cost of their own happiness. Their personal strength both as a couple and imageas individuals made me love and cheer for them from the very beginning. While their choices were difficult, every decision they made either together or separate were made in love and support of those they hold close to their hearts.
Nick and Derek's physical chemistry was so intense from their first kiss after hours in Nick's bar, to a sultry love making session after a run in the forest. These two burn up the pages with their passion and need for each other.
The Southern Arcana world is built well from the ground up and paves the way for what I hope are many more installments in this fabulous Romantic Urban Fantasy. As always Moira Rogers' secondary characters hold strong and support the plot well. Alec, a dark and broody wolf shifter is sexy and mysterious and so far he is one of my favorite secondary characters. We get a hint in Crossroads that his past is one of sadness and loss and I look forward to reading his story in the hope for his happily ever after.
Just when they had finally decided to stop tiptoeing around one another and give in to all their worst - and best impulses, Nicky's twin sister and very powerful Seer shows up on Nick's doorstep. Michelle is pregnant, her magic is out of control, and Aaron, the father of her child, as well as her bodyguard and mate, has been labeled a traitor for giving in to his heart and now has a bounty on his head.
Nicky may be the daughter of the Alpha and she's at home in a world of insidious politics that makes Derek's head swim. Derek doesn't care. He knows only that Nick is his. HIS! But to save her sister, her twin...and to save the lives of her unborn child and the man that Michelle loves...requires a sacrifice that only Nicky is able to make. Nick has to give up everything that matters to her - her independence, her livelihood, her freedom...and especially her mate.
Credit is due Moira Rogers. She writes a heck of an action-packed, intense story full of impossible choices and difficult decisions. The politics of the conclave is just as destructively convoluted as it is in any nation's capitol and just as couched in bigotry and fear and history and bad habit. Crossroads truly is a study on how positively uncivilized the most civilized behavior can be. In that regard, Crossroads is a success.
Unfortunately, Rogers' writing style is so aggressive and intense, that it doesn't leave a lot of room for the more subtler skills of story telling. Everything that happens, happens big time, every scene is snapped into focus with brutal clarity. There is an almost manic quality to the grim reality of these characters lives. Michelle and Aaron are on the run...then they're being protected...then Derek's best friend and cousin are attacked...then Nick goes to New York to bargain for her sister's life...it all happens fast and furious, like being on a roller coaster with nothing but huge peaks and valleys and nothing in between...
And that's the problem I have with Crossroads, and too the first book in the series, Crux: Southern Arcana, Book 1. Any transition from one bad thing to the next, or one good thing, actually, as the plot barrels up and down the track is virtually non existent. There's not much exposition...because there's not enough time. Not a whole lot of world building, either, or character development. In fact, if you weren't already familiar with the characters going into this book, you're probably going to feel a little lost. I'd suggest starting with Crux, though admittedly, the writing style is consistent in that book as well so there isn't a significant amount of definition, character description, and exposition there, either.
Regardless of that, it's not a bad story. It's more tightly plotted and more evenly paced than the first book, and the threat and danger is definitely threatening and dangerous. There is a lot that happens, the plot is really packed in tight between the covers of the book. Not everything was necessary to the plot, and honestly, I wish some of the scenes had been cut to allow for more development between Derek and Nicky, because with everything that went on around them, their relationship was very cut and dried and very abrupt. They weren't together at all, but wanted to be...then they were together and it was intense and perfect...then they weren't together and it was hell...and so on... Like every other aspect of this story, it is all peaks and valleys - and those peaks and valleys are fine...some are even great, but for me, a book has to have more than just the highs and lows to feel like a complete story. There has to be some development of the world, some explanation of the culture, some exposition and narrative that doesn't just thrill as you soar or make you scream as you drop.
I also want to say, on a strictly personal level, that I can't think of a single shapeshifter culture in any of the many, many books I've read that include them that I would want to be a part of LESS than I'd want to be a part of the one in this book. Power struggles and political machinations I understand, but this is the second book in the Southern Arcana series and I'm still wondering what the hell good the Alpha is and what's the point of holding that position. It certainly doesn't seem to come with any perks, and in fact can't even secure the safety of the Alpha's own children without turning one into a political prostitute and the other a sacrificial lamb. There is nothing at all endearing about the elitist group of slavering sycophants and backstabbing monsters. I agree with Nicky...it would be better if they still ripped people's arms off and ate their enemies...at least it would be more representative of what's beneath the nice suits and platitudes. Creepy world.
One particular high point that I wanted to mention was how Rogers differentiated between a born shifter and a made one. There were a lot of really good moments between Derek and Nicky - some they discussed openly, some just for the reader's benefit - that allowed for a very detailed picture to form of the scope of the differences inherent with brutally going from human to shifter that made a lot of sense and provided some of the nicest touches in the narrative through the whole book. I very much enjoyed those moments. Still, I would have felt the book more complete if it hadn't been quite so action packed and instead spent a bit more time defining the world, the developing the characters, and easing into and through the relationship. And a smooth transition between scenes or plot threads or just different intensity levels wouldn't be amiss, either. 3.5 Stars.
In Crux the tension between these too build up and I was so curious about them both.
Nicole is the daughter of the alpha but she tries to stay out of all the political stuff that goes on in the supernatural world. She likes her life the way it is. Being a bar owner suits her and Nicole likes to decide for herself what to do and who to love. She is independent but also caring for the ones she loves. Nick finally has enough of all these back and fourth between herself and Derek. She decides to take the initiative and pursuits him. But as always in life nothing is as easy as it seems. Her sister is in deep trouble and Nick has to save her, no matter what!
Derek is a turned werewolf. He struggled for years to get control over his new urges and his strength. His life wasn't easy before the attack. He fosters his cousin, an empath alone and always knew about the supernatural world. But being young and alone with a girl in her teens is not easy at all, count in the attack and you can imagine that his whole life got chaotic. Even worse is that he now is one of the unaccepted made-ones. The turned werewolves aren't worth anything in the eyes of the most other wolves. He has to stand his own to survive and with each time he gets challenged he gets stronger. His attraction for Nicole is nothing he can ignore for a long time. He is fascinated by her and can't keep his eyes from roaming her body. He knows that for Nick having a made werewolf partner could become a great problem. She's one of the most watched and most powerful woman in the wolf society and in the eyes of the majority she should only consider a high-standing full-blood for this role. That so not good for the male ego.
These 2 have serious chemistry going on since the first day they met. That hasn't changed after Derek's turning into a werewolf, okay perhaps the attraction got even more unbearable. It was such a salvation to see these two finally getting together and it was exceptional hot! After this long waiting they really knew how to sate their desires. *wink* It was even more sad for me that all this happened at a so inconvenient time.
I really loved Crux but I have to say Crossroads blew me away. This book is full of action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Love, family and obligations play a big role and they seem so real that I just couldn't put this book down. The plot is heartbreaking but never too hard to stomach and the mix with funny witty conversations makes it into one of the best urban fantasies I ever read.
I recommend this series to everyone with at least a bit interest in urban fantasy. You will not regret this! Moira Rogers is definitely one of my best discoveries so far!
Derek and Nicole, or "Nick" Peyton have been attracted to each other for a long time but life always seems to get in the way. Two years ago, Derek was attacked by a rogue werewolf and now he is also a shifter. Dealing with his extreme heightened senses, snarls that haphazardly escape and his overwhelming instinctual need to protect those that matter to him has taken some adjustment. He is afraid to get too close to Nick, because his feelings for her are so extreme. Nick, who is the daughter of the head werewolf, but much prefers life as a bartender in New Orleans wants Derek something fierce, but doesn't want to push him too far, too fast.
However, they both realize the time has come. The fear that the other will become involved with someone else has become to overwhelming. Everyone knows they have feelings for each other and they have both come to the point that they have to be together. After a fun birthday party for their good friend Kat, who also happens to be Derek's cousin, Derek makes his move. And the kiss is everything they both have wanted and more. But things are quickly interrupted when Michelle, Nick's sister knocks at the door. Michelle is in big time trouble - she is a seer, with extremely powerful magic and she has gotten herself pregnant - by her bodyguard, Aaron. Although they are in love, she is forbidden to get pregnant and now the Conclave wants Aaron executed. Nick will do anything to keep her sister safe, and Derek is going to learn first hand the kind of politics and violence the Conclave is capable of.
Crossroads is the second book in Moira Roger's Southern Arcana series and the writing in this series continues to impress me. It is a paranormal romance, but with a great urban fantasy feel, this book building on the events that happened in Crux. For as many paranormal romances I have read, there is something so special about this series. It is rare, but there are certain books I read that cause me to have a high level of connection with the characters. I have to make myself put the book down and take a deep breath. Why did it happen with Crossroads? I don't think there is one specific answer. We not only get an amazing love story, but awesome supporting characters that make you want to know more about them. They do an amazing job writing an intense, romantic love story between Nick and Derek, all the while advancing the storyline of all the supporting characters and giving us heart stopping, gut wrenching action. All aspects are written wonderfully and nothing is ignored. And the sexual tension, AHHHH the tension. The chemistry between Nick and Derek is so explosive.
A drop of water fell from her hair and rolled down her throat, tracing over the mark of his teeth. Blood pounded in his ears and he told himself to look away.
Begged himself to look away.
Derek considers himself a second class citizen because he was not born a werewolf and now he finds himself attracted to the heir of the werewolf clan. Although he has been a shifter for two years, he is still learning the ropes and often doesn't feel worthy around those that are pure bred. Nick wants nothing to do with society rules and politics and would rather spend the next month locked in a bedroom with Derek. But, she can't escape her family and when Michelle comes to her in danger, Nick goes into alpha mode. Her honor, and loyalty to her sister, Derek and her friends is what makes Nick an amazing heroine.
I also love that from the beginning of the book, Nick and Derek are together. We don't get the "will they be together or not" tension, but we still get a book full of intense passion as these two battle their feelings for each other, all the while trying battling their feelings to protect their families - but that is something they have in common. As Derek's friend, Jackson tell him,
"She needs someone like you, Derek. Somebody she doesn't have to fight all the time. Someone who can share responsibility with her instead of always trying to take it all."
Besides Nick and Derek's love story, we get to watch a painstaking relationship with Michelle and Aaron. We see glimpses of their love in Crux, but we see the true deep love they have for each other in this book. Alec, whose book comes out next is around being his alpha, quiet self. I'm dying for his book and will probably enter full out stalker mode when the release of his book comes near.
I will leave you with one of my favorite moments between Derek and Nick.
"Whenever I saw you, I thought of this. Of making love to you."
One of Derek's hands skated up her back and wrapped in her hair, pulling her head back. "Is this making love?" he panted, the words low and feral. "Too hard, too fast..."
His voice was gentle despite the harsh tone of his words and she sighed. "It's you."
Start with Crux, go straight onto Crossroads. You will not be disappointed.