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book coverShannon C‘s review of Crux (Southern Arcana, Book 1) by Moira Rogers
Urban fantasy/paranormal romance released by Samhain Publishing 3 Mar 09

This is yet another of those reviews about which I cannot be objective, because if I were to be trapped on a desert island with only a cabana full of nekkid mens and one erotic romance author for company, that author would be the Bree half of Moira Rogers. Not that Crux is all that erotic, really. What it is, though, is a very strong urban fantasy that introduces us to a world that is a lot of fun to visit, and yet surprisingly dark.

Mackenzie has been on the run for a month now, and finally has landed in New Orleans. She’s being chased by a crazy man bent on destroying her life because he says they have a destiny together. Of course, her life is only going to get more complicated when her boss sends Jackson Holt to ferret out her secrets. Jackson is sexy and as charming a good old Southern boy as anyone could want, and Mackenzie is attracted to him. But before they can consummate their feelings for each other, they must first deal with the complications of Mackenzie’s past.

Not to repeat myself, but I think the strength of this writing duo is their ability to make their characters exist in a fully realized world. Not only are we introduced to Mackenzie and Jackson, but we’ve also got their friends and associates and enemies. This lent the book a definite sense of verisimilitude without feeling like the authors were trying for sequel-baiting.

I also really liked the politics of the shapeshifters in this world. Their society is fucked up in some ways, but it definitely makes sense, and feels very original and organic, not merely like they borrowed tropes from other books. I also like that bad things happen to secondary characters. I know not everybody does, but I felt it made the danger the characters faced quite authentic.

While this book does have a romantic storyline which is central to the plot, I would definitely call it urban fantasy, if only for the darker tone and the fact that the conflicts keeping Mackenzie and Jackson apart are more external than anything else. I’m not sure it’s a book I plan to read over and over again, but it is a strong start to a series, and I am eager to see where else the authors want to take me.

ShannonCGrade: B+

Read other reviews by following the series tag.

To find her destiny, she must trust him with her life…and her heart.

Jackson Holt makes a decent living as a private investigator in New Orleans, home of one of the largest underground supernatural populations in the United States. He and his partners have never met a case they couldn’t crack…until a local bar owner asks him to do a little digging on her newest hire.

New Orleans is the fourth destination in as many months for Mackenzie Brooks, a woman on the run from a deranged stalker. After all, any man who shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her destined lover has more than a few screws loose. But crazy doesn’t explain why he always finds her no matter how far she runs.

When her well-meaning boss puts a PI on her case, Mackenzie comes face to face with the incredible truth: magic is real, and whatever spell has kept her hidden and separate from the paranormal world is rapidly deteriorating.

With time running out, she has no choice but to trust Jackson as he struggles to uncover the truth of her past—and her destiny.

Warning: This book contains devious schemes, epic battles, forbidden love between a shapeshifter and a spellcaster, nosy secondary characters, furniture-endangering sex and a woman fighting to choose her own destiny.

Read an excerpt.