Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Cross & Crown
Author: Abigail Roux
Narrator: Brock Thompson
Series: Sidewinder #2
Heroes: Nick O’Flaherty/Kelly Abbott
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 6 Hours, 50 Minutes
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: November 18, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Audible
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
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.
Review – Book: I just don’t think I will ever NOT love a book about the Sidewinder guys. I have always been a huge Ty Grady fan, and I love Nick, but Kelly just makes my heart happy, he makes me smile. He is such an amazing character, and the stuff that comes out of his mouth simply cracks me up.
When Nick gets all pissy and I expect them to start an argument, it doesn’t happen. Instead we get Kelly smirking and asking if this is their first spat and can they now have angry make-up sex. He is exactly what Nick needs to keep him grounded. Just a touch or a one-liner, from Kelly puts Nick right back in the here & now, back on solid ground. In a nutshell, I love these guys and I already know that they will be giving my love affair for Ty and Zane a run for the money…and that makes me so happy.
Being a fan of Julian Cross, I was thrilled to have him play such a prominent role in this installment. I love his mysterious ways and fearlessness, but here we see the man troubled, afraid for his husband, Cameron, who was kidnapped. Seeing Julian as a normal man, one who got his ass handed to him by Kelly (even though Julian did not fight back so I am not sure how a real fight would end), a man who was frantic enough to come out in the open and come to Nick for help…that took brass balls and desperation, and it made me want to reread his book all over again.
But the main storyline was Nick and Kelly working together in Boston. A mystery surrounding a John Doe (JD) who survives a shot to the head and now has amnesia, but isn’t sure if he is a good guy or a bad guy. Plus, a mystery/treasure hunt that turns on the history lesson and brings Julian Cross out of hiding. The plot was solid, but history is not my favorite subject so at times it felt a little off and like I was in the middle of the Da Vinci Code. It didn’t ruin anything for me; it’s just not my favorite trope.
What I love is the dialogue. Amazing dialogue will win me over every single time. I love that these guys are so comfortable together, they know each other inside and out, and they don’t allow stupid stuff to hurt their feelings or cause dissension.
EXCEPT, for Nick and Ty!!! I am really very sad that Nick is still up in arms over the lies that Ty told. Yes, he was wrong, but Ty didn’t lie to be malicious or deceptive. He lied as he was ordered and to protect his team. Nick, of all people, should be able to get past that. I finished this story loving nearly every single minute, but my heart was hurting that Nick is still avoiding Ty. I need these two to get over this and move on because it’s very painful for me to think of Ty suffering and worrying over his best friend and wondering how he could have done things differently.
So all in all, another great story by Abigail Roux, but one that definitely requires you to read the Cut & Run series first, otherwise you will be completely lost. Both series are highly recommended and I can’t wait for the next book in both of these series.
Review – Audio: I was a little better prepared for this audio book, as I had already listened to the narrator, Brock Thompson, in Shock & Awe. I still love his Nick accent, Kelly still bothers me with his breathlessness, and I still wish he would perform the scenes more than just read from the book. I think performing might be something knew in audio, as most narrators do tend to just read along, but I personally want more emotion and feeling to completely understand the gist of the situation. Too many times an angry or aroused voice is flat. I was, however, impressed with his Irish accent, he nailed it.
Overall Impression: I loved it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*