Blog Tour & Giveaway: Cross & Crown (Sidewinder Book 2) by Abigail Roux

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.

Cut Scene from Cross & Crown:
Nick was silent as he looked out on the moonlit fields. They were peaceful now, but it seemed there were echoes of gunfire and cannon blasting, bayonets clashing, men and horses screaming in fear and pain.
“It doesn’t really matter why, or how history writes it down,” Nick said. “The only thing that matters is that every man out there believed in what he was doing. He was standing on this ground, willing to take a bullet fired by his brother, to protect something he thought was worth dying for. That country. That king. That ideal. That land back home. That flag. That man leading him. That man standing beside him.” Nick’s voice filled with emotion and he lowered his head. “The burden of death and bravery in places like this is heavy. I’ve always been able to feel it. Someone should feel it.”
Even if Kelly hadn’t already felt the power of this place, it came through clearly in Nick’s voice. It was holy ground, in its own way, bearing the gravity of the past up in what were now wild green pastures dotted with stone and tourists. The agony of it. The struggle. And Nick believed the same as those men, felt it down to his bones. Call it patriotism. Heroism. Integrity. Honor. That indefinable something that had driven so many men to die for something they felt more important than life also lived inside Nick. It had lived inside their team. And if what he believed in was threatened, he’d do the same as they had done; die defending it.
Kelly’s chest constricted as he looked at Nick’s profile in the moonlight. He had never believed that men like this still existed, not until he’d met Sidewinder.
Nick’s breath billowed in front of him in the cold. His eyes were taking in the battlefield, seeing things Kelly couldn’t see, remembering things Kelly had lived with him. Kelly swallowed hard and set one hand lightly on Nick’s shoulder. He couldn’t think of anything to say, so he didn’t speak at all.

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Book Review: Cut and Run by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

5199022Okay, so I am super late to the party but thank God I finally showed up!!! I received this book as a gift from my book-dealer to get me a new addiction, and now I’m hooked to the series. I finished the book in two days, and I’m totally jonesing for the next book!

The story starts out with a serial killer loose in New York City, who is doing rather extravagant murders. It’s a difficult case because there is no discerning pattern amongst the killings. The guy has no MO. No preference on who he kills. Nothing. The only way they know he’s a serial killer is because he leaves behind weird tokens, well that, and the fact two FBI agents were killed who were investigating the case. But in all honesty, you’ll most likely figure out who the killer is or at least have a really good guess after a couple chapters.

Figuring out who done it doesn’t detract from the story, at least not for me. The real charm of the book comes from the deliciously complicated relationship of the two main characters: Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. Special agents of the FBI, who take on a whole new meaning to opposites attract.

Ty is cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But Zane is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple.

And though this type of romance has been done a thousand times, Cut and Run kept it entertaining. The bickering, fighting, playful banter, and sexual tension between the agents were intoxicating. They were continuously at odds, making it extremely difficult for them to work together. There’s even an all-out brawl between them in an alley.  But even then you could sense the want they had for each other.  I found myself constantly wanting them to just kiss and make-up throughout the whole book. Could they put their differences and sexual desires aside and figure out the case? I mean, you did…but could they?

Should I go back to my room tonight?” Ty asked out of the blue. “Or will we be able to work together and fuck each other senseless at the same time?

My only criticism is that Ty and Zane have their fair share of close calls. I mean the killer is after them, resulting in explosions, car wrecks, gunshots, and other dangerous situations. And let me remind you of them beating the shit out of each other in the alley. There are a lot of injuries that occur from these events and although they were both tough, I really thought they should be in hospitals during parts of the story.

Overall, the book was a great read and I will be following the series closely. I highly recommend this series. Ty and Zane are like crack and you should give them a try. Come on, all the cool kids are doing it!

I’ve never made fun of you. Making fun of you would imply that something about you is fun.

5/5 stars

~Eddie

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Book Review: Shock & Awe (A Sidewinder Story) by Abigail Roux

Nick O’Flaherty is helping Kelly Abbot recover from injuries incurred in Touch & Geaux. They are not only comrades-in-arms but best buds. They know everything about each other.

While Kelly is high on his medication, he asks for a kiss from Nick. Kelly is curious. Nick reluctantly agrees. The kiss surprises them both with its intensity. Eventually this leads to more exploration and almost-sex.

The next day, they have to deal with the awkwardness of what happened. Can it all be blamed on the prescription medication?

Nick tries to avoid but Kelly doesn’t put up with that for long. They are best friends. They can talk this through and try to figure out what to do.

“I just learned the secret to the O’Flaherty charm.” Kelly said, beginning to grin. “You just…stun the other person with honesty.”

So they talk and talk and talk some more and flirt.

“See, every time I think about you now, I get these butterflies,” Kelly explained, fluttering his fingers at his chest. “And it’s weird because it’s you and you’re you. But I like it too. And…I like that’s it’s you. So I’m not sure what to do with that.”

Kelly has never been interested in men before until Nick. He’s confused about what this means. But he knows he wants more with Nick, who is cautious. Nick doesn’t want to ruin their friendship. So they talk some more.

“Look, I love you.” Kelly told him. “You love me. We’ve bled for each other. Why can’t that turn into more?”
“Kels…”
“Stop. Before you argue with me, just think about it objectively, without adding in who we are.”
“Who we are is kind of a big deal.”

Yes, who they are is a big deal. But Kelly is so earnest and honest with his feelings that he eventually breaks through Nick’s barriers.

Nick gripped the railing with both hands. “Part of the excitement of attraction is knowing it’s reciprocated, right?”
Kelly nodded. “We found out last night that we um…”
“Reciprocate.” Nick provided.

Before they can consummate this reciprocation. Nick is called back to military service. At the airport, their relationship almost ends before it can began due to some machinations by Nick. I was relieved when that was quickly resolved. How? By Nick and Kelly talking it out as best buds do.

“Bait & Switch” is a short follow-up story that has Nick on a short leave. You learn a little of what is happening with Sidewinder. You see some of Zane. Most important, you see Nick and Kelly re-connect. Kelly is healed from his injuries so they can consummate their relationship. Let me just tell you, Kelly losing is other virginity is a HOT sex scene.

This is the best type of friends-to-lovers story. Through everything, heedful Nick and care-free Kelly communicate well and it helps them develop their romantic relationship as well as maintain their friendship. Their banter is flirty and sweet with the added element of a sizzling attraction. I smiled all through reading this book. It is a quick read at 93 pages. But, wow, there is a lot of emotion packed into those pages, most of it is angst-free. Nick and Kelly are a nice balance to Ty and Zane in that regard. I highly recommend this book.

This can be read as a standalone. You will understand the background better if you have read the Cut & Run series, especially the last book, Touch & Geaux.

You can order it directly from Riptide Publishing and have it NOW! Or you can wait to purchase this from Amazon and Barnes & Noble on November 11.

4/5 stars

~Vi

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