ARC-review: Crossroads – Moira Rogers

Release date: February 9th, 2010

Back Cover:
He’s the last man she should ever want. She’s the last woman he can ever have.

Coming from a family with psychic gifts, Derek Gabriel was aware of but separate from the dangers of the supernatural world, until a rogue wolf shifter stripped away his humanity. The change he barely survived didn’t drive him insane, but the cultural bias against him as an inferior transformed wolf might. And it doesn’t help that he’s fallen for the daughter of the most powerful wolf in the country.

Almost from the moment she was born, Nicole Peyton started planning her escape from the strict confines of elite shapeshifter society, an old-fashioned world where women are valued only for their bloodlines and bank accounts. In New Orleans she has a bar she loves, friends in decidedly low places, and a smoldering sensual tension with an incredibly attractive and deliciously unsuitable man.

Their forbidden longing erupts into unbridled need—until Nick’s sister burns into town with a strike team hard on her heels. Saving her means Nick has to play by the Conclave’s rules…and give up the man she is growing to love.
Unless Derek does something completely crazy—issue a challenge that could shake the foundations of their world.

Warning: This book contains forbidden lust, strip poker, instinct-driven sex in odd places, devious shapeshifters, and love and loss in a world of paranormal politics and supernatural schemes.

Derek Gabriel has been a werewolf shapeshifter for 2 years now. He wasn’t born into it, like most shifters surrounding him, but he was turned in a vicious attack that nearly cost his life. He is still fighting to get in control of it and he’s insecure about being a second rate werewolf. His crush on Nicole Peyton isn’t a big help as she is considered the elite among the werewolves, being the daughter of the big kahuna who is part of the Conclave that runs the werewolf community in New York.

Nicole “Nick” Peyton is also a werewolf shifter. She’s next in line for the leadership of one of the biggest and most powerful shifter communities. However, she doesn’t want that responsibility and runs from it. She settles in New Orleans, happy running a bar and being surrounded by a group of loyal and tight friends. Until her sister is in danger and she needs to man up, stop running and help her sister. But she also needs to deal with the situation with Derek and her love life. Ultimately she has to choose between her sister’s life and her love for Derek. And that’s a very tough choice to make.

When I read CRUX I already knew CROSSROADS was waiting for me to read too, as I was one of the lucky ones to receive an e-ARC of it to review. After finishing CRUX I was very happy to be able to dive straight into CROSSROADS because it was clear that Nick and Derek had something going on between them that they needed and I wanted to explore further.

I really like that Moira Rogers’ writing is fast-paced and free of any unnecessary information or embellishments. The humor is great and carries the book through the action and the romance. I also loved the getting-straight-to-business vibe of the start of the book, it continued in that crisp and clean writing style I loved in CRUX, leaving out any elaborate or distracting back-story. Just what was needed to keep the plot going was explained, and for those who aren’t as obsessed with reading in order as I am, I must say that CROSSROADS would read very well as a stand-alone. That being said, I loved revisiting the group of friends in New Orleans and liked that the knowledge on the group I got to know in CRUX was expanded in CROSSROADS.

The dialogues, between any of the characters, are such fun. All the characters together, and there are quite a lot, form a witty bunch of friends and relatives. There are quite some secondary characters but all are connected to each other or the plot in some way. They all play their part and none of them are written in just to fill the book. Of course I have favorite ones, ones I’d love to see more of in the future and I’m happy that they will have their own stories. I’m talking about Alec and Andrew. I’m dying to see which female is going to rock Alec’s world and blow his steady, brooding and succinct demeanor to smithereens and I’m also especially looking forward to reading Andrew’s story because if there was any secondary character in the paranormal romances I’ve read so far who has made a stunning first impression, it’s definitely Andrew!

One thing that kept me glued to the pages was the chemistry between Derek and Nick. Even if I was less enamored with Derek than I was with Jackson (Bree knows why LOL), he and Nick still knew how to set the pages ablaze with some scorching hot scenes. Another thing I enjoyed was the big amount of Conclave stuff, which is what I wanted after CRUX. I do have to say that my curiosity and fascination with the Conclave didn’t last long when I learned how they work and how archaic, ruthless and power-hungry they are. But still before long I was immersed in pack politics, assassin squads, empaths and seers gone wild. I was engrossed in the story and couldn’t stop reading because there was a lot going on and a lot of stuff to be figured out. I did miss Marcus though, granted he was mentioned in a passing kind of way but would have loved to see how he was doing after CRUX, or could it be that there might be a book for MARCUS in the future and that’s why it was a little hush-hush around him? Enough speculating, on with the review…

To me CRUX is still the favorite of the two books because in the middle part of CROSSROADS I did miss the romance as the focus went almost entirely to the plot and action. People, who know me, know I am not a UF lover and to me this middle part did feel a bit UF-like. However, the exhilarating and climactic end definitely made up for the middle part I struggled a little with. It was also very emotional, not only between Derek and Nick but also the stuff with Luciano and the situation with Michelle. And I suspect I have a lot to look forward to in the next part of the Southern Arcana series, which will be Alec’s story; it will be coming out early 2011 and is titled DEADLOCK.

CROSSROADS is a book that will entice both new and already established readers of this series and when you leave out personal character preferences it’s right up there with CRUX, offering an emotional, thrilling and action-packed read that will have you rooting for the main characters from start to finish and waiting in desperate yearning for the next book in the series!

Quotes:
“Not a damn thing,” Nick muttered darkly. “My love life is officially a barren wasteland, where sexual satisfaction is entirely reliant on a fresh supply of C-cell batteries.” To say nothing of the loneliness

This time it only rang twice before he heard Alec’s gruff voice. “You’d better not have called me by mistake during some drunken sex.”

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

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