Derek Gabriel was born human in family of psychics, aware of the supernatural world but never a part of it…until a rogue shape-shifter took humanity from him in a vicious attack. He’s spent two years struggling to adjust, not just to a change that’s driven many insane, but also to the prejudices of a culture where transformed wolves are considered inferior. A serious struggle, indeed, when the woman who attracts the man and the wolf inside him is the daughter of the most powerful wolf in the country.
For Nicole Peyton, nothing is more important than escaping the stifling confines of elite shape-shifter 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 she cares for, and a smoldering, unspoken tension with an unsuitable but incredibly attractive man.
Neither could predict how quickly forbidden longing would erupt into burning need, but Nick and Derek have more than themselves to think about when Nick’s sister arrives in the city with a shape-shifter strike team hard on her heels. The only way Nick can save her sister may be to play by the Conclave’s rules–but it will mean giving up the man she’s falling in love with, unless he’s willing to risk everything in a challenge that will shake the foundations of their world.
Crossroads by Moira Rogers (Southern Arcana #2)
February 9, 2010
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. This is a “Smexy Must Read.”
Moira Rogers’ Website.