1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Two years ago, Derek Gabriel was attacked and stripped of his humanity. Nicky Peyton was born that way. Derek comes from a family of psychics who, besides his cousin, are all dead. Nick is the daughter of the Alpha wolf of the country and leader of his people. Derek's considered a mutt among the elitist snobs in Nicky's culture - and Nick's considered a princess more valuable for her womb than her personality. There love is primal, instinctual...and doomed to failure.
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I have to start with my favorite quote - "That was making love, dirty style." Is there any other way?
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.