Southern Arcana Read Along: Crossroads Chat and Giveaway

Welcome to the Crossroads Chat! Are you ready to talk about the second book in the Southern Arcana series? Grab a cuppa’ whatever makes you happy and let’s get to it!

Since this is a book discussion, please assume that there will be spoilers.

Derek Gabriel: Derek is a newly turned wolf-shifter. He was attacked by a rogue werewolf two years ago and his life was changed forever. He has spent the last two years adjusting to his change and getting control of his newly acquired instincts. He’s always been attracted to Nick Peyton but after his change, even more so. Much to her dismay, Derek avoids getting romantically involved with Nick, because his feelings for her are so strong and he is not sure he is in full control of his instincts yet.

Nicole (Nick) Peyton: Nicole Peyton is a werewolf and the eldest daughter of the pack alpha. She is the reluctant heir to her father’s position in the Conclave, the governing body for the shape-shifter society. Nick is independent and has made her own way in life. She prefers her simple life as a bar owner in New Orleans where she has a close knit circle of supernatural friends. She’s been carrying a torch for Derek since before his change and she is ready to take their friendship to the next level.

The Conflict:  Michelle is Nick’s twin sister. She is a very powerful seer and lives under very restrictive rules set by the Conclave because of her powerful magic. Michelle and her bodyguard/lover Aaron have arrived in New Orleans seeking Nick’s help because they are in big trouble with the Conclave. There is a death warrant on Aaron’s head for violating pack law by becoming romantically involved with Michelle and getting her pregnant. Michelle fears for Aaron and is afraid the Conclave will take her baby. As they rally to protect Michelle from the acquainted laws and the power hungry society that enforces them, Nick and Derek must decide just how far they will go to protect the ones they love and just how much they are willing to sacrifice. 

Thoughts:  We get a good look into Southern Arcana politics in Crossroads. We see a world steeped in traditions that have become outdated to the point where the rules and laws may actually harm those they were originally meant to protect. Although there are indications that change is imminent, I liked that the problems within the shifter government are not resolved and tied up in a tidy bow. It will be a long road to governmental reform.

I loved the theme of love, loyalty and self sacrifice in this story. Derek and Nick both make some very hard choices and always in the interest of protecting those they love. I think both characters were incredibly emotionally strong and after my re-read, they remain my favorite couple in the series.  This book stayed with me for a long time after I read it the first time, and had the very same effect the second time around. This is one of my favorite romances.

Time to discuss: Below are some discussion questions to use a guide, but please feel free to discuss any aspect of this book. What did you like? What didn’t work for you? Anything having to do with Crossroads is open for discussion.

1. At two books into the series, who is your favorite character? Has it changed from when you read Crux?

2. For those that are re-reading the series, have your impressions and feelings about the characters and relationships changed at all the second time around? If so, how?

3. We delve more deeply into shifter politics in Crossroads. What are your thoughts about the world and how it’s developing so far?

4. Nick and Derek come together as a couple early on in the story and realize that they are destined to be together. Was there enough romantic tension between them to keep their relationship engaging throughout the book? Do you like that they got together early on?

5. How did you feel about Aaron’s ultimate fate? Did you expect what happened or did it catch you by surprise?

6. What do you think of Michelle and how her character is being portrayed so far? Do you feel she is a strong character or weaker and in need of protection?

7. Sexy, surly Alec has a cage in his basement. Discuss.

8. What story developments and future romances are you most looking forward to in future books in the series?

Southern Arcana Readalong
Each person who participates in the discussion will be entered to win a refurbished Kindle! The giveaway will be open through August 20th.

Please note: This giveaway is open internationally – international winners will have the option of a $115 gift certificate, rather than the Kindle prize. This can be determined after the winner is chosen.

Comments

  1. says

    1. Alec all the way baby!!

    2. I don’t know if my impressions have changed – but since I know what is going to happen, it is definitely a different feeling with how you experience the characters. I want to redirect some of their actions *ahem* Aaron *ahem*

    3. Love these politics – one of my favorite things about this series. There are so many ways the authors can take the storyline. Not only is there the big Conclave that is complex in itself, but each character kind of has his/her own political struggle with their background etc.

    4. Actually – for this couple I think it works great. I didn’t miss that on/off again status that is in most books. But – I also think there are so many other things happening in this book, that their relationship didn’t need the messy part.

    5. SOBBING – CRYING – Totally caught me off guard the first time I read it. But I will say – I love how it plays out and who Michelle now is with. I think. LOL. I want more from her. Lots more.

    6. I feel her as strong – no complaints with how she is being portrayed. She is extremely powerful, yet a pawn, and I love seeing her struggle with this.

    7. I want to meet him in his cage and let him have his dirty way with me. That scruffy, sexy man. (what?)

    8. Alec! *ahem* Oh who else – Andrew/Kat have something going on ;) Annnnnd….I think John Peyton needs love.

    • says

      Nick and Derek are still my favs but Alec is a close second. Surly bastard. LOL

      but since I know what is going to happen, it is definitely a different feeling with how you experience the characters.

      Yes, this is true. Although, I did like Jackson even more the second time around in Crux. And, I’ve found that reading this for a second time I’m paying more attention to characters like Michelle.

    • says

      Yea, I think in this one Andrew and Kat really came through as my favorite characters, besides Nick and Derek. I just LOVE them together!!

      And the whole Aaron thing… *sob* I so was not expecting that and it totally had me balling. :( I do hope that Michelle gets her HEA though….

    • says

      Re #6…

      I agree entirely! I see her as a nice balance of strong and tired (not weak). Tired of the struggle, tired of the rules/restrictions. But ultimately she end up where she does without some KILLER inner strength!

  2. says

    1. Right now it is Alec, it’s just something about him and I want more :D

    3. I like the world, but I think I want to learn more about everything else too, and not just shifter politics

    5. I was surprised, …very

    7. *giggles* Oh I love a man with a cage in the basement o_O Ok perhaps not, but Alec is allowed

    8. Alec’s story :D

  3. Nicole Hicks says

    1. At two books into the series, who is your favorite character? Has it changed from when you read Crux? Fave character? At that point its actually Kat. I love her spunk and troubles

    2. For those that are re-reading the series, have your impressions and feelings about the characters and relationships changed at all the second time around? If so, how? I have to say ummm NO. Its just as awesome now as before!

    3. We delve more deeply into shifter politics in Crossroads. What are your thoughts about the world and how it’s developing so far? The politics are wonderful. Its not too much, which can be a danger when bringing them into a series. I think it enhances it, but that’s just imo

    4. Nick and Derek come together as a couple early on in the story and realize that they are destined to be together. Was there enough romantic tension between them to keep their relationship engaging throughout the book? Do you like that they got together early on? Do I like it? Yes! There was tension prior to this and it allowed for the struggles that they had to go thru to be together have plenty of time/room to develop

    5. How did you feel about Aaron’s ultimate fate? Did you expect what happened or did it catch you by surprise? OMG I cried! CRIED! That was soooo unfair! I understand (I think) but it was a tear fest for me. :((

    6. What do you think of Michelle and how her character is being portrayed so far? Do you feel she is a strong character or weaker and in need of protection? I initially thought of her as weak but as the books continue we begin to see her inner strength. I like how she’s developing

    7. Sexy, surly Alec has a cage in his basement. Discuss.oh the possibilities! Are you sure you want us to discuss that?!?!? *wink*

    8. What story developments and future romances are you most looking forward to in future books in the series? Kat! I’m waiting with bated breath for hers. I’ve liked her since book 1 and so want to see where they lead her!

    Nicole

    • says

      I love Kat too…and poor Andrew – he has a lot happen to him in this book.

      Alec and cage – I agree – oh the possibilities!! LOL

    • says

      I love Andrew and Kat. At this point in the series they have so much tension and history and possibilities! Love that!! I balled like a baby with the whole Aaron thing too.

    • says

      I’m really excited to see Kat’s story too. I hope it’s great! I was totally devastated about Aaron as well. I am still verra, verra angry about it.

  4. says

    3. The politics are wonderful. Its not too much, which can be a danger when bringing them into a series. I think it enhances it, but that’s just imo

    I agree, how the author has balanced world building (politics) and romance in this series, particularly in this book.

    4. Yes! There was tension prior to this and it allowed for the struggles that they had to go thru to be together have plenty of time/room to develop

    I liked not having to wait for them to get together too. Their passion was intense and I think putting them together early on worked well.

    5. OMG I cried! CRIED! That was soooo unfair! I understand (I think) but it was a tear fest for me.

    I was caught totally by surprise and even the second read made me sad. :(

    6. I initially thought of her as weak but as the books continue we begin to see her inner strength. I like how she’s developing

    Me too, she really stood out for me during the re-read. So glad I’m doing the series again since she didn’t really stand out the first time.

    7. Are you sure you want us to discuss that?!?!? *wink*

    YES, I think about Alec and his cage often LOL

  5. Riva L. says

    I love this series, and the politics is a large part of what makes it so interesting. It’s an issue that isn’t usually explored in romance novels, but political conflict can add as much to a story as physical conflict. In fact, it’s why Nick and Derek coming together early in this book works – you still have the political conflict to explore.

    • says

      The political conflict really beefed up this series for me. The romance was so intense and I think the pressures of the political conflict really added to it. Nick and Derek made hard decisions.

  6. Susan W. says

    1. Alec has to be my fav character. There’s just something about him! But I’m thinking Andrew could give him a run for his money in the rest of the series. Gotta love the tough Alpha guys!

    3. For me, the series so far has had the right amount of politics in the story line. Too many books focus somuch on the conflict’s cause that you loose the relationship of the characters. They have the right amount of both!

    4. I feel there was enough info given about the conflict keeping them from getting together in the first book that it didn’t need to be continued all the way through theirs. Yeah, they still had issues but they were not enough to cause them to fight/separate for periods of time through out the book. I love the give and take the authors put into their relationship.

    5. I half expected what happened to Aaron. Not that I didn’t cry! But they gave enough indications that he wouldn’t be in the series very long. He always just seemed to be in the background. They never really brought him forward and made him as important except the times he would say that he wasn’t going to survive the conflict with the Conclave. I made me kinda sad each time he did that.

    6. I wouldn’t say Michelle was a weak character but that she was restrained. She had never been allowed to live a real life. That’s something she’s going to have to learn. And once she does I feel that she could end up being one of the strongest characters in the series.

    7. Alec with a cage!!! Yes, Please!!! LOL!!!

    8. I’m in a toss up between Alec’s story and Andrew’s story. It’s going to take a strong female to stand beside Alec. But Andrew and Kat….. Can’t wait!!!

  7. says

    1. Alec has to be my fav character. There’s just something about him! But I’m thinking Andrew could give him a run for his money in the rest of the series. Gotta love the tough Alpha guys!

    He’s a little scary…I like it!

  8. says

    1. My favorite is a toss up between Alec and Andrew. LOVE those Alpha men!!

    2. I don’t think my reaction to the characters changed at all really, I loved it as much the second time around, that’s for sure!

    3. I have mixed feelings about the politics. I like it, but don’t want that to be what the series ends up being about ALL the time…

    4. Them getting together quickly was okay for me, because the tension between them in the last book and their history makes it feel like they have been together longer before moving to the next stage.

    5. I cried at work during my re-read. BALLED.

    6. I love Michelle! I can’t wait to get more from her. She has been kicked and put down so many times, and yet when stuff gets even harder, she takes control of her life, her destiny and fights for herself.

    7. Alec – please lock me in the cage with Derek. No Andrew. No yourself.

    8. At this point I’m most looking forward to Kat and Andrew. Holy relationship developments in this one!!! :)

  9. says

    1. I don’t really have a favorite character, since I like something different about each person. But I am intrigued by Alec and hope to get more on him.

    3. I spent the book pretty pissed off, and right about now my only thought is that I would much rather be a witch than a shifter. To be regarded as little more than a baby factory and to be subject to death just for being too powerful gives me the heebie-jeebies. The lack of control over their own fate made me very, very angry. There were no good choices, and I hate that feeling of helpless anger.

    4. I was surprised to see them get together so early and wasn’t sure I liked it, but when everything went to hell around them I knew it was necessarily. They had to be solidified as a couple before the author could have thrown all that at them or they never would have made it. If their relationship had to be setup while Nick was forced to sacrifice herself, I probably wouldn’t have been convinced of their connection.

    5. I was pretty angry about it. It left me with a very, very bad taste in my mouth regarding the whole shifter council and I don’t want to spend anymore time there. I know Michelle has no choice, but I’m pissed she is stuck being monitored for the rest of her life. And the fact that they can change their mind and do anything they want if the baby turns out to have magic? Not cool. Doesn’t anyone get to be happy in that world? :\

    6. I think she’s weak. She’ll have to become stronger now that she can’t lean on Aaron, but because she has been trapped and stifled her whole life she hasn’t had to learn how to stand on her own. She spent most of the time crying and waiting for her sister to save her, no matter how much she protested that she didn’t actually want her to do it. No one else with the shifters is as strong as her, so why was she so passive? I know she couldn’t access her magic at that moment, but I would have been more concerned with coming up with a plan to win then crying and saying woe is me.

    7. Sounds kinky. ;)

    8. I’m very interested in Kat’s romance. I read a little bit of the next book, though, and I think I’m going to end up wanting to stab the guy as he gets his crap together. I really hope the author doesn’t write her as the type to wait in the wings and mope until he stops dating other people and turns his interest back to her.

    • says

      I spent the book pretty pissed off, and right about now my only thought is that I would much rather be a witch than a shifter. To be regarded as little more than a baby factory and to be subject to death just for being too powerful gives me the heebie-jeebies. The lack of control over their own fate made me very, very angry. There were no good choices, and I hate that feeling of helpless anger.

      I agree, no good choices which is what I loved about this story. No easy way out. I like that the Conclave as a whole is the villain rather than a singular villain that threatens the whole society. Nick, Alec and the rest are making their own way and standing up to the man so to speak.

      • says

        Yes, I liked that it was the whole, rather than just an individual that was the enemy. I also liked that even though only one rogue council member did the killing, they all weren’t too sorry about it in the long run, beyond having to save face.

        • says

          It sort of feels like a chess gave where they (conclave) are all plotting for power. It seems like Nick’s father is the only one to be trusted at this point. And maybe Michelle’s new hubby…I forgot his name darn it. It’s on the tip of my tongue.

          • says

            Luke, maybe? I think he can be trusted only so far, though. Just like Alec said, he, like the other kids, is just a pawn. He knows it and doesn’t fight it when push comes to shove. Nick is the only one that stands on her own.

    • says

      I was pretty angry about it. It left me with a very, very bad taste in my mouth regarding the whole shifter council and I don’t want to spend anymore time there. I know Michelle has no choice, but I’m pissed she is stuck being monitored for the rest of her life. And the fact that they can change their mind and do anything they want if the baby turns out to have magic? Not cool. Doesn’t anyone get to be happy in that world? :\

      This is part of why this book felt like more UF to me. Nick and Derek end up together but nothing about this world is wrapped up in a nice tidy bow. It’s a dangerous oppressive government and although there may be changes coming up, it doesn’t look like it will come easy or suddenly.

      It was very sad about Aaron and I didn’t expect it.

      • says

        Yes, I don’t think it will be easy or quick. I liked that Nick’s dad eventually came to the realization that he couldn’t continue to sacrifice his daughter and play the game, but I was not impressed that it took going that far to make him see (or finally accept) that his daughters should be worth more than that.

        I get bummed out when it seems like the whole world is against the character and there’s really no way out. I mean, there’s against the odds and there’s just flat out no way you can win. I get like that in historicals too. When certain ones are too historically accurate and show how easily women can become trapped and have no rights to get free, I get really mad. I hate that impotent feeling and the sick knowledge that no one can help you, because that’s the way their society is. I try not to read too many books like that.

        I stayed up late finishing this book (bad me!) and then couldn’t fall asleep because I was still so mad. Ridiculous. lol.

        • says

          LOL this one affected you differently that it did me. I was really touched by the loyalty and sacrifice theme throughout the story. I don’t think that would have been as effective without the big bad society hanging over their heads.

          I like that Nick and her friends are the underdogs.

          • says

            Maybe I’ve just read to many books like this lately. I like the underdogs a lot–I love Harry Dresden, after all–but some of the situations I’ve read lately feel so helpless. Or maybe I’m just not in a hopeful mood right now and am depressed instead of uplifted by what happened to them. This didn’t feel like a win for me. I was still sad when I closed it. Or clicked to the last page, I should say, since I was reading it on my Kindle. :D

            • says

              I may have had a few tears while reading this book and not just for Aaron. This book was emotional for me for many reasons. That’s part of why I count this as one of my favorites. When a book can move me and make me feel, it’s usually a winner.

              But you right, if you’re looking for feel good, happy times Crossroads might not be the book to read. Several of the characters go through some heavy stuff.

              • says

                Did I give the impression I didn’t like the book? I guess that’s what happens when I whine about all the stuff that bugged me and don’t talk about the good. ;)

                I really liked the book! I was surprised how much emotion and intensity was crammed in this book. Based around all the stuff I railed about, of course. The emotions in the romance itself were simple and sweet, but that was so needed to act as a rock for the tough times when they had to deal with the council stuff.

                This book really sucked me in and made me feel. Sure, I ended the book still pissed off, but I also immediately started the next book, even though it was so late. What can I say? I’m a glommer. I did force myself to stop after that first encounter between Andrew and Kat, though.

                I was surprised to see how complicated and heavy parts of this book were, though, because even though Crux dealt with the baby making scare, it felt a lot lighter. I thought it was just one wack job, not a whole society of wack jobs who were obsessed with bloodlines. This book really expanded upon the details we had seen about the wolf culture.

                • Susan W. says

                  Catherine, I loved reading about your emotional reaction to the book!!!! Only someone who really liked a book could have had such a strong reaction. Hearing that someone reacted such a way to a book makes me want to read the book and find out what it’s all about for myself!

                  • says

                    You definitely should. I’m really enjoying the series so far. :) I really love when a book sucks me in enough to engage my emotions like that. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, but mostly it’s good.

              • Susan W. says

                Yeah, I agree. When a book can make you feel then it’s a winner. I love when I put down a book but I can’t get it out of my head. Sometimes it’s because a character or more has just pissed me off big time or I’m upset because something bad happened to my favorite character. I spend time rewriting a scene in my head to get the out come I wish had happened only to find when I pick the book back up that what I thought I wanted to happen wouldn’t have worked at all and the author wrote it the best way.

                There were times thru this book when I just wanted to jump in there and knock heads! That just made me love the book more!

                • says

                  LOL. I’ve been known to wish I had the ability to reach through a book and strangle someone, too. ;) Sometimes a book just plain pisses me off and makes me hate it, but a lot of the time the stuff that makes me angry is balanced by the good, so I can’t help but love it. Especially because it’s not the plot or the characters I was railing against here, it was just the unfair society that made me see red.

                  • Susan W. says

                    If only we could reach in a book! There is many a time I have to remind myself “they are not real, they are not rea!” LOL!!!

                    My cousin and I have our own little group (2 of us,lol) called PRA, otherwise know as Perverted Readers Annonymous, and “They are not real” is our mantra! LOL!!! I had to use that a few times in during the reading of Crossroads!

    • says

      Yea, the whole shifter council parts suck, and every time Nick and Ronnie sat down together I just wanted to kidnap them and send them to a desert island where they could be free to do and be whatever and whoever they wanted!!

      • Susan W. says

        I hope Ronnie gets her own book. I loved the parts where Nick and Ronnie spent time together.

  10. says

    I think Michelle has grown up never having to assert herself – or at least with the mind set that if she asserts herself, she can injure others – so she is a passive person. She hasn’t had the opportunity to do anything on her own.

    I think the council brings in conflict without necessarily being the “bad guys” – I mean, they rule the shifters, yet there is much gray area. We still have much to discover with them and Michelle’s eventual role.

  11. Denise Z says

    I loved Crossroads and even though I did not read Crux first – it was still a very enjoyable read and makes me want to go back and start with Crux. I loved Derek. I enjoyed his in your face attitude that said back off she’s mine – sigh :) Thanks for sharing about this awesome series. I have had fun reading all the comments today – what a treat! I cannot wait to see what happens next.

  12. says

    This was the first series I read by Mora Rogers and I quickly fell in love with the characters and the world. She has done a great job of really letting us know how the society works and sadly what happens when you break their rules.
    I think my favorite character at this point has to be Alex I love a complicated alpha male :) Michelle is a quick second for me though she seems like she will be a handful. I am really looking forward to see where this series goes.

  13. says

    1. Nick is my favorite but Kat and Andrew moved up the list in Crossroads.

    3. Seers have a bad rap. Not fair! Unless your name is Charles than its deserved.

    4. I am half way through and I think it is just enough tension. They are both learning their new roles to eachother. I love the strip poker game.

    5. I haven’t finished yet so I didn’t read my one elses answer.

    6. I think she seems stronger than she did in Crux and she stands up for herself more. She tells Nick not to lie to her about how about the situation is. That takes guts.

    8. I want more of Kat and Andrew. They were my favorite non-couple before now I just want more,

  14. Karen C says

    1. Alec is still the favorite.
    2. This is my first time reading the series and I am loving it!!
    3. I think knowing the politics is critical to the story; it explains why the characters are the way they are and why they react the way they do. I’m ready for more, though.
    4. I did like that Nicole and Derek got together quickly in Crossroad. There was quite a bit of sexual tension beteween them in Crux, so I was glad to see them get together. Frankly, Derek was driving me nuts-thought he was whining too much.
    5. I was very surprised by what happened to Aaron and I cried, like a number of others. I never saw it coming at all.
    6. I thnk Michelle is basically a strong person who has moments where she needs protection and support. Adn, given how she’s had to live, she’s entitled.
    7. As long as that cage is used to help newly turned shifters, I’m okay with it. Don’t want to go anywhere else with it.
    8.Would like to see more about Kat and Andrew. Alec and ?

    I’m so looking forward to Deadlock!!

  15. Shari J says

    1. At two books into the series, who is your favorite character? Has it changed from when you read Crux?
    Alec…hasn’t changed…love a man who still aches for his dead wife

    2. For those that are re-reading the series, have your impressions and feelings about the characters and relationships changed at all the second time around? If so, how?
    Sorry, this is a first time read for me.

    3. We delve more deeply into shifter politics in Crossroads. What are your thoughts about the world and how it’s developing so far?
    I don’t like the politics. Too old world for my kind of taste. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the story, just get a little bit on my feminist nerves. Also, the entire seer thing grates at me. I know there is a history there, but it doesn’t always mean bad things.

    4. Nick and Derek come together as a couple early on in the story and realize that they are destined to be together. Was there enough romantic tension between them to keep their relationship engaging throughout the book? Do you like that they got together early on?
    I didn’t mind that they got together early in the book. They had somewhat of a history before the book, which is where I felt the book lacked some. There was a lot of back story I felt may have helped to understand the relationship. I know we get the info, it just didn’t feel right.And they had to get together early because they get separated about the time most stories get to the get together part.

    5. How did you feel about Aaron’s ultimate fate? Did you expect what happened or did it catch you by surprise?
    Aaron’s fate was tragic, but even he knew he wasn’t going to make it. I expected him to die. It would have been to easy if he got to live with Nick and move on. Not that I didn’t want him too, just that it would have been to easy after all the set up of the story. I cried. I didn’t want him to leave. I still don’t want to believe he is dead. *reminds myself this is a story*

    6. What do you think of Michelle and how her character is being portrayed so far? Do you feel she is a strong character or weaker and in need of protection?
    A strong character set up in bad circumstances faced with hardships only we can imagine.

    7. Sexy, surly Alec has a cage in his basement. Discuss.
    Wow! *growls*

    8. What story developments and future romances are you most looking forward to in future books in the series?
    Alec and Carmen, but very much Kat and Andrew

    • says

      I thought for some reason Aaron would be able to pull through. Not so much for himself, but for Michelle. She has seriously been through SOOO much, I thought for sure the death of Aaron would be the straw that broke her back.

  16. says

    Alec…hasn’t changed…love a man who still aches for his dead wife

    He’s up next :)

    Aaron’s fate was tragic, but even he knew he wasn’t going to make it. I expected him to die

    I just didn’t expect it. I know even Aaron gave clues to his fate but I guess my brain didn’t allow it.

  17. Jen B. says

    1. I still love Nick. But now I am really rooting for Michelle and Luciano.

    2. N/A

    3. I thought the politics was very complicated. I still don’t complete see how Michelle marrying Luciano worked to release Michelle from constant supervision. And, the Conclave is very complicated. How would Derek have been able to be the Southeastern representative if he isn’t a born wolf? I thought it was established in book 1 that non-borns are considered less than acceptable. I am looking forward to learning more.

    4. I like that they got together early on. When Nick decided to return to New York it was so much more poignant. I love that Alec pushed the issue by sending Derek to NY!

    5. I totally expected Aaron’s fate. I did get choked up, though. I will admit to being a little in love with Aaron because of how he was with Michelle.

    6. I think Michelle is developing into a very strong character. What Michelle needs is a chance to grow into herself.

    7. I LOVE ALEC! When does all hell break loose for Alec. I want more Alec. I want Alec to get all large and in charge. What’s wrong with a cage in the basement?!

    8. What story developments and future romances are you most looking forward to in future books in the series? Alec. Alec. Alec…. And Michelle and Luciano. I really want Nick’s dad to have a HEA.

    • Susan W. says

      I think the Conclave considers Michelle under supervision being married to Luke. They look at him as no more than a pawn to do as his mother, council member, tells him to. I think he puts on a good front and will let Michelle have freedom the council doesn’t want her to.

      As for the Southeastern representation, Derek did fight to the death and win. They had no option to let him have the position. I just glad he didn’t take it!

    • says

      I feel in love with Aaron for the same reason. He was big and burly and alpha to the extreme. And yet when it came to little petite Michelle with the magic punch, he was putty. *melt*

      • says

        He was big and burly and alpha to the extreme. And yet when it came to little petite Michelle with the magic punch, he was putty. *melt*

        *swoon*

        • Jen B. says

          So funny that everyone picked up on my cage in the basement question! This is why I love the reader communtiy! Anywho, I’m glad to hear that others felt the same about Aaron. For having such a small part in the books, he had a huge impact.

          I guess I see the Luke and Michelle thing as the Conclave figuring they are pawns. But Michelle would have been put to death as a baby if not for her father. I can’t imagine the Conclave giving up control over all that power. I mean, she is seriously scary! Perhaps there will be more to come in future books.

          I am going to have to reread about Derek and him taking a seat as the Southeastern rep. I thought that he couldn’t be in a position of power because he is a mutt. That’s one of the key objections that the non-pure bloods have with the wolf political structure. I will confess, sometimes my brain adds some convoluted stuff to the books I am reading. Maybe that was my imagination at work.

          • Susan W. says

            What else could they do since Derek fought the Southeastern Alpha and won? I just made an assumption based on rules of engagement where the last man standing wins it all. Even if he took the position they would have found a way to get rid of him.

            I with you! My brain adds convoluted stuff to what I’m reading too! That’s why I have to keep telling myself they are not real! LOL!

  18. Maria says

    1. It’s still Nick, though I’ve developed a soft spot for Michelle too.

    3. I love how complex the world is; how this is more than just some kind of romance novel. World-building is my favourite aspect of fantasy and I think it’s handled really well. I usually have a problem with politics in these kind of books, but it’s done really well.

    4. I don’t think the fact that they come togeter early in the story undoes anything of the relationship building; I mean, we knew from Crux that they would get together, even before Crossroads. I actually think it made the rest of the book more intense; I kept rooting for them to get back together, even though I had no idea how Nick could reconcile her life with Michelle and her life with Derek.

    5. I admit; I cried. I really strated to like Aaron and his willingness to sacrifice his life for Michele actually made me think that he wouldn’t die. I don’t know how she will ever get over it.

    6. As I said, I really love Michelle. I think she’s incredibly strong; she has to live with these abilities she is raised to fear and has never had any freedom at all. The fact that she’s still not driven to insanity/suicide amazes me. The fact that she’s willing to keep living and has even made a plan to make sure Nick can go on with her life too, even after losing Aaron? She is definitely strong.

    7. Heh. No comment!

    8. I want to know more about Kat! Both about her personally and about the way her abilities work. Empathy has always fascinated me.

    • says

      I love Michelle too! I think despite the instability of her powers while preggers, and the sheer volume of her power, she is a little kitten. She reminds me of someone who just needs a little love and attention because she has been so sheltered and feared for so long. I can’t wait for more on her!!

      • Maria says

        she is a little kitten

        She really is! She’s only ever been feared in her life; Aaron was the first one to really give her love. That’s why it’s going to be so hard for her to deal with losing him.

  19. Na says

    Crossroads has my favourite cover of the whole series and I can say that Derek and Nick are my favourite couple. It’s hard to choice a favourite because usually the characters I am currently reading end up being my favourite. Although from the sounds of it, I woudn’t be surprised if they remained my favourite. I found myself connecting emotionally to them both and I like that their attraction wasn’t instant but the something that grew over time. This makes more sense since Derek is struggling with understanding himself. Although characters are very important in stories (most important for me) so is the back story. It’s nice to see a familiar story line that is sort of parallel to the couple’s developing relationship. As the characters themselves struggle with change, the goverment is also going through their own changes.

    • says

      Gorgeous cover. I love them all but this one is really pretty :)

      And I agree – their romance is also wrapped up in the world they live in. Their struggle to be together makes sense due to the outside forces that weigh on them. I also love how this world just keeps evolving and changing as the characters grow.

  20. says

    Alec Alec Alec!!!! He’s my favorite and I’m so dying for his story. Sigh. And that cage in his basement is SO for me! ;)

  21. Debbie S says

    Well I guess I got my days backwards, I thought today was the chat, but at least I made it.

    No change for me I still like Alec.
    I think the politics are moving along fine, maybe even too slow for me, I’m a pushy thing and need to know everything!! Cryptic is what comes to mind.

    Nick and Derek have great romantic tension. The fact that they got together early is kind of a new concept in the romance book, usually they spend most of the book getting together. So I would say that getting together early on left room for more of the story to be told. I liked it.
    I’m sad for Michelle that Aaron dies, just seems wrong somehow. He was all a woman could want. I certainly didn’t expect it, maybe I should have because of Luciano hanging out in the wings. But I can maybe see romance for both of them in the future. Michelle has to find love and happiness.

    I like Michelle’s character, but feel like she is just growing into herself. I think she likes to blend in. In the books everyone keeps talking about how powerful she is and I just don’t see it, Yet. I do realize she helped in the first book but don’t think it really showed what she could do. Why is everyone so afraid of her??? I don’t think we have seen all that Michelle can do.

    Sexy, surly Alec has a cage in his basement. Mmmmmm….have an address?

    I think I would like to see more on Michelle and Luciano and I want to read Kat’s story.

    Great book!

    • Susan W. says

      I agree we haven’t seen all that Michelle can do. Just think about Charles (is that his name?) from the Crux and what he did. The difference between them is that Michelle has new father and sister fighting for her. And she had Aaron’s strength behind her for the time they had together. She has a moral base, he didn’t. I think when Michelle show’s her stuff she have control over what she doing. It’s gonna be awesome!

    • says

      I guess we haven’t SEEN Michelle’s power, because they have her locked up so tight. There is much to explore with her. Giving her enough time to grieve, I would love to see what happens with her.

  22. Casey H says

    1. Omg I can’t get enough of Alec!
    2. First time reading, and my impressions aren’t really changing
    3. I really love it! It’s more intense/complex than I thought it would be.
    4. For them it worked. They did have enough chemistry to keep it hot for the entire story, which really helped keep it interesting.
    5. I cried. A lot.
    6. I loved Michelle. I saw her as strong, yet she was being used as a pawn, which may have made her seem weak to others.
    7. It’s for when we get tired of the bed ;)
    8. Do you even have to ask – Alec!!!

    • says

      They had amazing chemistry..love them :)

      Alec and his cage is seriously become the most amusing thing on this thread!

      Just wait for his book *cough* hot sexy cage scene *cough*

  23. says

    I just stumbled in on this post all wide smiles and surprise. What a wonderful idea to have a read-along! I only did this kind of reading club discussions with classic novels, never with contemporary PNR/UF novels :-D Love the initiative!

  24. Harris says

    Honestly, Crossroads was one of those books that I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread! I loved everything about it.

  25. keatonkat says

    What happened to Aaron was SO unfair but I can see how it moved the story to pointing out how strong a character Michelle is capable of being. I would like to see her and Liciano become more of a couple but that’s going to be HARD.

    Definitely looking forward to Kat and Andrew getting things straightened out!

    kk

  26. Mech says

    A Couple of things!…lol
    The whole Aaron thing…wasn’t expecting it. Really hated it! But this is because I thought the whole thing with Michelle was unfair to start with- she should have been allowed to be with whoever she was most comfortable with and who could keep her calm and stable. But I have hopes that she will be able to overcome her powers in a way that makes her Supreme Ruler of the Universe!!..nah- at least deliciously happy.

    I love the fact that Derek has the option of showing up the “purebreds”..lol.. being a mix-blood myself I love it when something like that happens.
    I really like the strong-powerful woman that Nick is without losing her maternal instinct (which we see when she deals with Michelle and being protective over her). Nick makes smart decisions while still being carefully sentimental….how often does that work? It’s great!

    Alec with his cage…ya’ll really- who said that a cage can’t be fun? He never said that he stayed there alone all the time did he?..lol

    Still staying tuned in!..lol

Trackbacks