Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Crossroads by Moira Rogers

TITLE: Crossroads
AUTHOR: Moira Rogers
LENGTH: Novel (roughly 82k)
GENRE: Paranormal romance
COST: $5.50

As the heir to the Alpha, Nicole Peyton has never been happy with her lot in life, running away to New Orleans to run a bar instead of facing responsibilities back in New York. Her smoldering attraction to fellow wolf Derek Gabriel – turned only two years earlier rather than born a wolf – is yet another complication in her already difficult life. When her twin sister shows up on her doorstep, pregnant and with the Conclave after her and her lover, everything Nick had been running from suddenly is determined to come to her…

This is the second book in the Southern Arcana series, one I picked up after enjoying the first. I had certain issues in the first, but not enough to hold me back. However, after reading this one, I’m not certain I’ll continue.

To explain this isn’t easy, and new readers to the series are likely to be lost without reading the first book. Nick owns a bar in New Orleans, but she’s the daughter of the Alpha and is meant to inherit someday. She’s had the hots for Derek for years, but neither has ever acted on it. Derek is held back by the fact that as a turned wolf, he’s considered a mutt, and after he was turned, he didn’t trust himself around her. Nick’s twin sister Michelle is a Seer, both feared and respected, but there’s a problem. Seers aren’t supposed to have sex, because it’s supposed to screw with their magic. They especially aren’t supposed to have babies, so Michelle falling in love with – and then getting impregnated by – her bodyguard Aaron is a big problem. She runs straight to her sister for protection, and thus starts the dizzying action.

And there is a lot of action. A lot. It rarely stops. Yet, for as nonstop as it is, I found it hard to really care. Why? Because most of the danger doesn’t actually involve Nick and Derek. It’s aimed at the people around them. Nick and Derek simply react to the danger, and I spent a good part of the story watching them either race back and forth between the people who are in danger, or waiting for more danger to happen…to everybody else. Nick makes it clear very early that she doesn’t really have to worry too much: Then the first thing you should know is that I'm not in danger. It sounds ridiculous, since we're having to hide my twin sister away, but it's true. I'm the Alpha's heir. No one is going to touch me. Which raises the question…why should I care, then? Because Derek isn’t in danger for most of the story, either. All the interesting stuff is happening to everybody around them. Since the two come together early in the story, that leaves nothing else to really hook me into the story.

The writing is incredibly solid, the world building far more intricate in this than its predecessor. It gets slowed down by an overwhelming cast of secondary characters, but it treats readers with intelligence, expecting them to keep up. These strengths help the story, but not enough for me. I just couldn’t bring myself to get wrapped up in the plot, knowing – or being told repeatedly for the first half – there was no real danger to the two primary leads. Nick makes noises that maybe she and Derek aren’t going to be able to be together, but it’s very half-hearted and never inspired me to believe it. At least Derek had a modicum of conflict, with his attempts to come to grips with being thrust into a brave new world.

But again, it’s just not enough.


8/10 – An overabundance of characters and pack politics slows this drastically down


7/10 – Likeable in his anxiety, and a lot more interesting than the hero


6/10 – I liked her in the first book, but it was hard to really get invested in her in this one

Entertainment value

6/10 – Action happening all around the two leads kept me at a distance

World building

9/10 – Very intricate, sometimes too intricate



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