Warrior's Cross by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
Published by Dreamspinner Press, 2009
Cameron Jacobs in an open book. He considers himself a common waiter with normal friends, boring hobbies, harmless dogs, and nothing even resembling a secret...except a crush on the tall, dark, devastatingly handsome man who dines alone at his restaurant on Tuesday nights. All it takes is one passionate night with Julian Cross to turn Cameron's world on its head.
Julian's love and devotion are all Cameron could have hoped for and more. But when his ordinary life meets and clashes with Julian's extraordinary lifestyle, Cameron discovers that trust and fear can go hand in hand, and love is just a step away from danger.
(Summary from Goodreads)
Wow...I have had a free sample of this book on my Kindle for awhile and when I finally got to it, I immediately had to download the ebook. It was so good!! I really loved the first two-thirds to three-fourths of this book and then some events occur at the end that slightly tarnished my pure love for this book. I'll explain why (as much as I can without spoiling anything) in a bit.
Cameron Jacobs is such a sweet, kind, loving man. I want to be his best friend (and I would always be up to puppy-sitting his sweet little doggies, too!) Cameron is a waiter at a restaurant named Tuesdays. He really enjoys his job, but looks forward to Tuesday nights when a mysterious patron, named Julian Cross, sits in his section. He always orders the special and a glass of wine and Cameron wonders what his life is like outside of Tuesday nights as Julian is mysterious. Slowly Julian opens up a little bit more to Cameron and they end up heading back to Cameron's apartment one evening after the restaurant closes.
This slow build-up, where we only know as much about Julian as Cameron does, is very skillfully written. We feel Cameron's fascination (and at times frustration) with Julian and I couldn't help joining Cameron in trying to dissect every action and word spoken by Julian in an attempt to learn more. When Julian and Cameron finally get together, it is hot. And this is the second place that this book shines--as we begin to see the different sides of Julian and he opens up (to some extent) to Cameron. We also get to experience some things through Julian's eyes but these scenes didn't always clarify issues, they sometimes served to raise more questions. Julian is definitely intriguing but I never doubted his feelings for Cameron (although some characters in the book certainly felt it was their right to question them...) although I did wonder if they would be able to have their HEA.
This leads to my main issue with the book, and I might have to dance around with my words a little bit to avoid spoilers, so fair warning. Julian is involved in a dangerous job which he worries could lead Cameron into harm's way. Cameron's boss, Blake, knows about Julian and has been friends with him for a long time and is able to fill Cameron in on some things but not much...mostly he helps to alleviate some of Cameron's worries and/or tries to help him see things from a different perspective. Julian, meanwhile, falls into that trap of wondering if Cameron would be better off without him (granted, there is some real evidence to suggest that Cam might indeed be safer without Julian in his life, but come on...this is a romance!) and this leads to some waffling that looks to Cameron to be more of a trust or lack of caring issue as there is still a lot about Julian that he doesn't know.
Cameron and Julian go through a lot to be together and since most of the book is from Cam's point of view, I felt his pain the strongest when things were not going well--although we are given just enough about Julian to know that he feels deeply as well. When I finished the book, I was left feeling satisfied and believing that these two would make it considering all the obstacles they had already overcome. I have heard that these two play a role in at least one of the Cut and Run series books which I have never read...I will definitely have to look into them soon.
This book rates a 4.5/5.
II purchased with book for my Kindle with my own funds.