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Cross & Crown (Sidewinder #2) by Abigail Roux
Title ~ Cross & Crown (Sidewinder #2)
Author ~ Abigail Roux
Publisher ~ Riptide Publishing
Published ~ 9th June 2014
Genre ~ M/M Contemporary Romance
When Nick O'Flaherty arrives at the scene of a double homicide to find he has a witness to the crime, he thinks it’s his lucky day. But when he realizes his witness is suffering from amnesia and can’t even remember his own name, Nick wishes he’d gone with his gut and put in for vacation time.
Then Nick’s boyfriend and former Recon teammate, Kelly Abbott, joins him in Boston, and Nick finds his hands a little too full as the case and his personal life collide. The witness he’s dubbed “JD” is being tailed by Julian Cross, a retired CIA hitman. To complicate matters further, JD forms an attachment to Nick that Nick struggles not to respond to as they search for the key to JD’s identity.
Trying to determine whether JD is friend or foe as they investigate the crime puts them on the trail of a much older mystery. When multiple attempts are made on their lives, Nick is forced to turn to old enemies and new allies to solve a centuries-old crime before he and Kelly get added to the history books.
There is a reason I love Abigail Roux so much as a writer, she is excellent at bringing us three dimensional characters with huge personalities, unforgettable men that imprint themselves on your heart and soul, leaving a lasting impression that will have you smiling at their antics… time and time again.
In this spin off Sidewinder Series, Abigail Roux focuses on two characters Nick and Kelly who you will already know and love if you have read the Cut & Run series. In Shock & Awe, the first book, we had a delicious teaser into their relationship, which saw them move from best friends to lovers.
Cross & Crown is the first novel in this series and after a month apart, the boys are looking forward to two weeks of blissful debauchery… as in they had lots of catching up to do in the sex department. But not only that, with living apart, it’s time for the talk… because clearly these two need to be together. Only Nick has just picked up a case, a robbery homicide investigation which demands Nicks attention, especially JD (John Doe) the witness/suspect suffering from amnesia and the supposedly retired CIA hit man, Julian Cross re-emerging on the scene.
Unlike Ty and Zane, Nick and Kelly have a relationship that does not involve copious amounts of angst and uncertainty. These two men already know each other inside and out, they have been friends for years and their complete honesty is a refreshing change, making it comfortable to read. It also wouldn’t be Abigail Roux if we didn’t get plenty of anecdotes and banter which as always had me laughing out loud… Not forgetting the sex, because there is a shit load of sexual chemistry between these two… Nicks raw desire and Kelly’s insatiable passion was more than a tummy tingling turn on for sure. Combine that with their tender moments, sentimentality and need for affection and it’s obvious that Nick and Kelly are in love.
For me personally, Cross and Crown is a book of two halves, the first half I loved. Establishing the plot, getting to know JD, a character who I immediate liked and pulled at my heart strings with his own uncertainty as to whether he was a bad guy or a good guy. I do however think the blurb is slightly misleading with the attachment between Nick and JD, yes JD was attracted to Nick and Nick had an affection for him as a victim but his love for Kelly was never in doubt. I liked the return of Julian Cross, I felt his part was a little watered down and I would have enjoyed more intensity from him and the reason he was there in the first place.
What really let this down for me was when it turned from an investigation into a treasure hunt. I wasn’t feeling the mystery and intrigue of a Dan Brown type novel. It was all too easy for my liking, the facts and clues surrounding it convenient. When you read a book like that, you want to work for it along with the characters, and when the plot started to get convoluted and confusing, I lost the plot! Especially for someone like me that has no interest in history, and being British the American history went right over my head. Don’t get me wrong, I love those novels and have devoured them. But to really get to grips with them they need to be interesting and fascinating and for that you need a lot of pages dedicated to the explanation of facts, and time for the reader to work on their own theories. Otherwise it gets too complicated and rushed with not enough page time to get to grips with a novel that has so much going on. Perhaps it is because my former book obsession was mysteries and thrillers and I have read so many over the years that I may need more to keep me engrossed… I don’t know!?! But in all honesty, I really wanted to spend more time with Nick and Kelly, getting to know them and watching their developing relationship. We had a glimpse at Nick’s past and his Irish background, giving us a clue to the reasons behind his strength and commitment, both to his friends and his job, and I would have loved this story line to have been elaborated on… so I will be keeping my fingers crossed for more on that in the future.
Overall, I loved my Nick and Kelly fix and look forward to more from these boys!
Series Reading Order
Cross & Crown
About Abigail Roux
Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year. Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of 'Call of Duty' throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.
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Abigail Roux Is gifting a $100 gift card for Riptide Publishing, all you need to do is enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win this fabulous prize.