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Monday, August 16, 2010

'Crux' Southern Arcana #1 by Moira ROGERS


From the BLURB:

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.

I was pretty indifferent towards this book. Over the past few months I had noticed a lot of blogger-hype around Moira Rogers and her ‘Arcana’ series, so maybe I was expecting too much, but this first book didn’t really blow me away.

For one thing, I was pretty confused by the inundation of characters at the start. The story is told from both Mackenzie and Jackson’s perspective. Jackson has quite a few friends and associates – Kat, Nick, Alec, Mahalia, Derek – all of them introduced or at least mentioned within the first 2 chapters of ‘Crux’. Alec is Jackson’s partner in his P.I. business. Kat is their psychic secretary. Nick owns the bar where Mackenzie works, and is a werewolf. Derek is a ‘mutt’ (bitten werewolf) who has an epic and forbidden crush on Nick. Mahalia is a witch who used to own the bar.
It was a lot to take in – even with Mackenzie filtering the story and acting as our sort of ‘guide’ to this new world. There were times when I confused characters, and I spent a few chapters thinking that Kat and Nick were the same person or forgetting who was psychic and who was a werewolf.
There was just a lot of characterization to take in so early on. And it was made even more confusing by Moira Rogers’s insistence to not only introduce characters early on, but mention their romantic histories. Like Nick and Derek’s forbidden crush, for example.

I didn’t really believe the heat between Mackenzie and Jackson. A lot of their lust and romance was based on their individual musings about each other – Jackson thinking how beautiful and graceful Mackenzie was, and Mackenzie thinking on Jackson’s gorgeous eyes and buff body. Individually they thought a lot about the other – but when it came to their actual interactions, I didn’t read much heat between them.
His hands crept under the fabric, smoothing over her skin, and she moaned her satisfaction when his fingers teased over her painfully tight nipples. “I think I’m losing it,” she whispered as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “I just want.”
“Shh.” He pushed her pants down, kneeling as he guided the heavy fleece down her legs. “You don’t have to explain it. Just show me what you need.” He drew his tongue slowly over the swell of her hip. “Show me.”
One of the reasons I was looking forward to this book was because it’s set in New Orleans. There’s just something a little bit magical about that old city, and I've developed an appreciation for stories set in the Big Easy after it played an interesting setting in Jeaniene Frosts’s ‘Destined for an Early Grave’. I really hoped that the city would play a vital location to this book. But I was disappointed. Aside from character’s stating their locality, I wouldn’t have known that ‘Crux’ was in New Orleans. No action takes place in the swamps or bayou’s, and there’s no mention made of voodoo priestesses, or any of the expectations I had of an urban fantasy set in New Orleans.

What did keep me reading was all the interesting tidbits about other characters and their possible future storylines. Like Nick and Derek and their romantic complications because Nick is a werewolf princess (daughter to the Alpha) and Derek a bitten werewolf (and therefore not ‘pure’). Or the forbidden romance between Michelle (Nick’s twin and a psychic werewolf) and her werewolf bodyguard, Aaron. All their back-stories and motivations were tough to take in, but once I got a grip on them I found myself wanting more. And I was more interested in reading those stories than Mackenzie and Jackson’s.

I wasn’t overly thrilled with ‘Crux’, but I want to read those other character’s storylines, and I've heard great things about the ‘Red Rock Pass’ series. So I will give Moira Rogers a fighting chance, but not based on ‘Crux’ alone.

2.5/5

3 comments:

  1. awww such a shame you didnt like this one =/

    I did really enjoyed Crossroads and the Red Rock Pass series is cool! =)))

    btw... the pack hasnt arrived yet, will let you know when it does =)

    did mine get there yet??

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  2. I enjoy the Southern Arcana series, but I did mention in one of my reviws that I do tend to get the characters confused too. I liked Derek and Nick's story in Crossroads and am looking forward to book 3.

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  3. Hi! I saw the same hype on the Moira books on the blogosphere :) She always is included on lists where Ive read most of the other authors, so today I got the first book. Im in chapter 2 now, and I can see what you mean about the characters. Hopefully I catch on soon - the writing style is good!
    http://www.readseverything.blogspot.com/

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