Cross & Crown

Abigail Roux
Cross & Crown
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Riptide Publishing
Release Date
June 2014
Book 2 of Sidewinder
Action/Adventure Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, LGBTQ, Romantic Suspense/Mystery

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.

Book Review by BookAddict (reviewer)
Aug 21, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
192 people found the following review helpful
Battered up White Knight Nick is back in the game! Ms. Roux brings an excellent new installment in her new Sidewinder series. In this second book, it's action-packed fun mixed in with erotic exhibition. Hot tamales is the phrase applied to Nick and Kelly when they get it on!

Nick is back in the game. Kelly convinced him to go back to his job as a Boston cop. It's to give Nick a chance and see if he really wants to give up his job to be with Kelly. Before he knows it, he's tangled up in a homicide where the only witness has amnesia due to a bullet gazing his skull. Just what Nick needs, a crazy case when his hot boyfriend Kelly is visiting from Colorado.

This book is action-packed history. If the history in here is accurate, Ms. Roux is a phenomenal storyteller because the historical parts really intrigued me. History was my worst subject in school. I couldn't remember any of the dates. I couldn't remember the battles, who fought and why they fought. History taught in American public schools is so bloody dry. The textbooks about history are terrible. I learn more about history through romance writers who incorporate history into their tale. Ms. Roux's history lesson riveted me. The attention to detail she writes into this treasure hunting story is fabulous. I'm sure she takes some artistic license with some of the clues, but still, it's fascinating. It piqued my curiosity. The way Ms. Roux connects it all together is brilliant and entertaining. Plus, we learn about the Recon Jack and the Rosicrucian, not to mention pigpen cipher. This is the truly fascinating bit and now I want to create my own pigpen cipher.

This story is about the same pace and vein of Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. If you enjoyed that story, you'll enjoy this one, too, though it's a lighter adventure yet sexually heavier tale. Ms. Roux's trademark humour during serious settings is still spot on. Below are a few examples which must be mentioned. Nick's been working non-stop to figure out this case. His partner, Hagan walks in.

"Oh my God," Hagan said as he saw Nick's face. "You look like a feral cat in an alleyway. What have you done to yourself?"

"Found a case of energy drinks in the break room," Nick answered, his words clipped and precise (pg. 54)

Another fun scene is when Nick and Kelly discuss the seriousness of Julian Cross appearing. Kelly turns Nick on with just a little sexy suggestion.

"Julian Cross." Nick leaned forward, his hand squeezing Kelly's knee. "He's out there for a reason, showing himself; we just need to bring him in. How do you feel about a little bait and switch?"

Kelly licked his lips, then grinned slowly. "Sounds about as fun as you bending me over one of those interrogation desks."

Nick groaned and pushed his chair back so they were no longer in contact. "Don't fucking tempt me, okay? Those rooms have video feeds."

"Really? Do they record?"

Nick had to get up and walk away as Kelly laughed merrily at his desk. "You're killing me, Kels," he called over his shoulder. "Killing me!" (pg. 81)

Learning more about Nick in this book has me falling in love with him. He's an amazing man whose greatest strength is also his weakness. He is a man who keeps his promises. He's a man who loves fiercely and isn't afraid to tell people who he is in love with. Amazingly, he's not dysfunctional like his best friend Ty. He's pretty well balanced for someone who's gone through what he's gone through.

Between the dreamy characters, excellent world building and the great plot, Ms. Roux covers it all. She also sets up for the next book in this series at the conclusion of this book. I can hardly wait to see what Ms. Roux brings on next. She's creating a sexier and smarter Indiana Jones. This book is highly recommended to m/m lovers who enjoy suspense with a side of Hot Tamale sex.
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