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: To start off with, Cross & Crown is the second book in this series (which crosses over with Roux’s Cut & Run series) but you don’t need to have read the first book. Cross & Crown, while referring to events and characters in both series, stands neatly on its own.
I absolutely loved the characters, both the leads and the secondaries. Nick and Kelly are perfect together but I feel I have to go back to see how that relationship developed. I love me a good geek and Nick fills that need with his seemingly endless knowledge of American history. The fact that he’s also a former Marine and has several scars and tattoos doesn’t hurt either. There’s something special about a tough-guy nerd.
Kelly was a little harder to pigeonhole. Another former Marine, he seemed the more romantic of the two. He’s supportive of Nick and Nick’s career but at the same time he’s a realist who knows that Nick can’t be pushed into anything and he’ll wait for Nick to make his own decisions. I loved that Kelly believes wholeheartedly and unfalteringly in Nick.
Having started with book two, I plan on going back to read Shock & Awe, the first Nick and Kelly book. I also need to pick up the Cut & Run series as I have fallen in love with Roux’s writing. Aside from the wonderful character development, the storyline and descriptive text exceeded my expectations. I particularly loved the re-enactment scene and got chills when JD found himself between Nick and Julian.
Favorite Word: Nerdgasm