cross & crownStory Rating: 4.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4.75 stars

Narrator: Brock Thompson
Length: 6 hours, 50 minutes

Audiobook Buy Links: Audible
Book Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance

Called to the scene of a double homicide, Nick O’Flaherty is surprised to learn one victim, a man who was shot in the head, survived. The problem is this man doesn’t remember anything. Skeptical because their only witness is likely a suspect, Nick settles in to deal with a new case, even though his boyfriend Kelly is scheduled to fly in that day. Luckily, his boss gives him the weekend. But when Kelly arrives, nothing goes as planned, namely Nick having a weekend alone for just the two of them.

Kelly is simply happy to be with Nick and worried at the same time, since Nick hasn’t been the same since returning home from their deployment. When Nick pulls Kelly into his case as a consultant, Kelly complies, seeing as it’s more time he gets to spend with Nick. But as time passes, worries and doubts creep into Kelly’s head—can he and Nick really work? Where would they live? Do they really belong together?

When the case of a burglary gone wrong turns into a treasure hunt involving an ancient order pre-dating the Masons, Nick and Kelly find themselves in a mystery of Revolutionary and international proportions. Putting themselves in danger at more than one turn and trusting the untrusting, they follow the clues that may or may not lead them to the answers they seek.

Cross & Crown is the second book in the Sidewinder series and a continuation of the Kelly Abbott and Nick O’Flaherty love story. Like I said with the last book, this series (to date) should be read in conjunction with the Cut & Run series. This book falls chronologically after Ball & Chain.

I’m certain that I’ve mentioned my love for Kelly and Nick before. I love them. I love this series and I love this book. Whereas, the first book in the Sidewinder series was pure, full-on romance, this story reverts back to the mystery/action/adventure of the series it’s spun from. This is not a bad thing. In fact, I loved every moment of this story, even the appearance of Julian and Cameron.

What I love most about this book is that we still have interaction with Ty and Zane, but the tension and bad feelings between Nick and Ty are still there. And I like the development of friendship between Zane and Nick in the midst of the conflict between Nick and Ty. Still, and thankfully again, this does not overshadow Kelly and Nick’s story, which is rich and abundant in the romance, sexiness, and action list. I love that even though these guys are part of Sidewinder and were introduced in Ty and Zane’s storyline, they have literally split apart and created a life of their own.

This is yet another step towards the happily ever after I want so desperately for Kelly and Nick. They’re relationship is still struggling, as is noted by their living in different states and their up and down, should-we-be-together thoughts. Mostly I love Nick’s growth from the beginning as a commitment-phobe into the man who cannot see his life without Kelly. They still have secrets. They still disagree and have things to work on, obviously. But that’s what makes this relationship real to me. They are far from perfect, yet they’re perfect for each other.

Same as with the last audiobook, I like this narrator. Bork Thompson’s voice is great, as is his pacing. Again, he still had those few times where the voices would get mixed up—Kelly in place of Nick and Nick in place of Kelly—that had me going back to try and figure out who really said what. But overall, I like Thompson’s storytelling ability.

I was not surprised to fall head over heels for this story and for Nick and Kelly all over again. The narrator took me on a journey I loved the first time I read this book, and this time it seemed to be through the eyes of another. I highly recommend Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux in ebook, print, and audiobook.

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