Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux - 3.5 Stars

Cross & Crown
by Abigail Roux
3.5 Stars

eBook ISBN: 
eBook release: 
Jun 9, 2014
eBook Formats: 
pdf, mobi, html, epub
Print ISBN: 

The Blurb:

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.

Print release: 
Jun 9, 2014
Word count: 
Page count: 
Cover by: 

This title is #2 of the Sidewinder series.
This title is part of the Cut & Run universe.
- See more at: Riptide Publishing

Available for purchase at:

My Review:

This is something of a split decision. I recommend the read, but it started stronger than it ended, for me. I think you'll identify this one as  a cross between the movies National Treasure and Da Vinci Code. I suspect that was intentional (National Treasure is referenced in the narrative) and it makes for a good bit of fun. The treasure seeking adventure plotted out well enough, but it's some of the characters emotional reactions that didn't make sense at times.

He joked about being the bad cop and how everyone here considered him a hard-ass, but Kelly knew better. Nick had the purest heart of anyone he'd ever known.
Nick O'Flaherty - I'm a sucker for a big, redheaded, alpha. Add to that his honor, intelligence and undeniable love for Kelly and you can't help but love him.
"It's me, babe," Kelly whispered against Nick's chest. "It's Doc, you're safe."
Kelly Abbott - Kelly really can keep his cool under pressure. He has much to contend with in this book, but he keeps it together, always with a smile and good humor.
Fuck, he was kind of Nick's type.
JD (John Doe) - I really liked JD. I have no idea if Roux has plans for him in the future though. I was sort of hoping that she had plans to "use" him a bit more here (i.e., MMM) but alas, that didn't materialize. 

Julian Cross - Julian's, all too brief, appearances and castrated, cut-off-at-the-knees weakness Okay, maybe he's one of my book boyfriends, and I can't help it, but most of his actions were not in his nature. Compromised or not.


Kelly and Nick's vacation plans are usurped by a case that Nick has to see through. What seems to be a run-of-the-mill robbery turns out to be much more. Adventures, shoot outs and cemetery scenes ensue. That's okay, we like that stuff. We also like the hot, passionate love scenes Roux writes.
"Soft spot?" "Please," Kelly said with weak laugh. "If we weren't a thing, you'd be all over him." Nick opened his mouth to protest, then shut it with a snap of his teeth. "You're probably right," he admitted.
There's also JD, a witness who's memory loss keeps us from knowing if he's the good guy or the bad guy. Not to mention his attraction to Nick, and visa-versa, also keeps us from knowing if he's a good guy or not. (I was hoping for not, as I mentioned above, in the MMM sense, but that's just me.)
The state of Nick and Ty's fracturing friendship was a topic only the bravest of men would touch on. Zane had balls of brass to do it.
There are brief, very brief, appearances by Ty, Zane, Julien Cross and Cameron. That's probably where my frustration started. Lesson learned? Keep the story solidly about the MC's, sure? But in this case, it was too clipped. Sorry, maybe some of us just can't be pleased.


The tell-tale marks of Roux's writing are all here. The good and the not-so-good. Snappy, interactive banter, quick, smart comebacks, and deeply romantic, soul-touching confessions wrap you up in the characters. Adventure, wrapped in mystery surrounds you in an entertaining getaway. But, missed opportunities, misplaced sentiment, continuity errors and frustrating, incomplete character appearances just leave me wanting something more.

Again, I recommend the read, particularly for fans, you'll like what's here. You'll just miss what's not.

Join me back here on June 19th for the:

I would like to thank Riptide Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

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