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.
Quick & Dirty: In a world of politics and tradition, can love survive the test?
Opening Sentence: "If you don't get off your ass, someone's going to snake that woman right out from under you."
I don't know about you but a book cover can seal the deal as to whether a book will be added to my ever growing pile of "to be read" books or never even picked up off the book shelf. This is a book that screamed "Read Me". The overall impression was one of a strong woman facing the world on her own with a protector waiting in the wings. This book lives up to its cover.
Nicole "Nick" Peyton is heir apparent to the Conclave that governs the shapeshifters in North America. However, Nick has done everything to distance herself from that world including moving to New Orleans, opening a bar and refusing to marry for tradition. This no nonsense woman understands politics but refuses to play the game and for that I respect her.
Derek Gabriel was turned into a shifter two years ago and is still coming to grips with his new place in society. Unfortunately for him, the fact that he wasn't born a shifter labels him a mutt to the true bloods. Derek has cared for Nick from the moment he met her as a human but once he was changed he struggled to gain control of the wolf within and feared even being around her. However, he is drawn to Nick like a moth to a flame and returns to the bar often just to be near her.
The love story between Nick and Derek was a true delight. The character's chemistry and interactions were the highlight of this book.
But there were numerous times that the story seems to jump or leap ahead in time with no rhyme or reason for the time lost. One minute we are sitting in a cabin with our characters and next a week has gone by which added to my sense of discontinuity. I think that this is what can happen when you have two authors on a story and the thread that had been created is lost.
Even with the leaps in the story, I did enjoy the book and would definitely read something written by these two writers in the future because it is apparent that they are just getting into the groove.
FTC Advisory: Samhain provided me with a copy of Crossroads. No goody bags, sponsorships, "material connections," or bribes were exchanged for my review.
In Crossroads we get to watch Nick and Derek fight for their HEA and we get to know more about politics and just about how far those shifters can go their manipulative and calculating power games.
It all starts when Michel (Nick's twin sister) arrives in New Orleans with Aaron (her bodyguard and forbidden lover) and announces that she is pregnant and Aaron is accused of treason! Nick is willing to risk and sacrifice everything for her sister and her sister's happiness.
I got a feeling while reading this book that we are going to have a HEA for every Payton sister, sadly though it wasn't true. Nick is the lucky one and Michel gets a conventional marriage to insure her and her baby's safety ( I'm sure there is a lot of ground for exploration, I don't think Luciano is going to settle this easy).
All the other characters we were introduced in Crux make an appearance and I might say I'm completely intrigued by Alec and i totally anticipate Kat and Andrew's story.
Overal it is a good story with heartbreak and pain, with smut and smexy and undying tender love!
" Part of Derek was missing, the mate he'd stalked and cornered, the one he'd taken and let claim him in return. Pain tore through him, and his howl held loss and loneliness and the agony his life had become."
Note: The only frustrating thing about these books is that they use short versions of the characters names mostly in every name but they use different ones, for example Mackenzie is Mac for her friends and Kenzie for Jackson, same as Michel is Micky for her sister and Shellie for Aaron, it's totally confusing until you get who is who.
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.