Shocked, aren't you? Hahaha! Yes, this review is about a book that has no Ty Brady or Zane Garrett in it BUT it is part of the Cut & Run universe. It was released the year after Cut & Run was so I'm not sure if there was a plan all along for the lead characters in Warrior's Cross to make an appearance in one of the future Cut & Run books. Anyway, I went ahead and read Warrior's Cross after seeing the preview at the end of Divide & Conquer, wanting to learn the story of Julian Cross and Cameron Jacobs...
...and thank God I did! ^.^ There was something about this book that had me from the the start and held on 'til the very end. Maybe it had to do with Julian Cross being this very mysterious character who had a bottomless pit of secrets that he kept hidden away and how he started to see his life differently after meeting Cameron Jacobs. You may wonder what it is about Cameron that has Julian so fascinated but I think it's just how real Cameron is and how he's able to ground Julian, especially since Julian's secret life brings a great deal of stress and pressure.
Julian and Cameron are two very different people but they're drawn to each other in an almost inexplicable manner. Julian is secretive, aloof, and quiet while Cameron is more outgoing, amiable, and chatty. Julian has two rather large and very anti-social cats named Smith and Wesson while Cameron has four overly hyper puppies named Scarlet, Snowflake, Saffron, and Cobalt. However, they're both able to provide what the other needs, especially Cameron, who is able to care for and love Julian in spite of the darkness that surrounds him.
Cameron is a head waiter in Tuesdays, a four-star restaurant in Chicago. Every Tuesday, Julian shows up and sits in Cameron's section, ordering the very same things each time but never conversing with Cameron or anyone else on the staff. This goes on for months, until Julian begins to talk to Cameron, who later realizes that Julian is very close to the restaurant's owner, Blake Nichols. Julian and Cameron then begin to spend time together and things between them progress seemingly quickly, but then maybe you can consider all those months of just being in each other's presence as foreplay. Hehe.
Julian shares certain tidbits about his life with Cameron but doesn't tell him the whole truth in the beginning. Cameron, of course, wonders what Julian's hiding. Those secrets threaten their relationship but it is the arrival of a someone from Julian's past that threatens much more than their status as a couple. Admittedly, I found myself tearing up at particular points in the story, especially with everything standing in the way of Julian and Cameron's happily ever after.
Even when you think you have everything figured out, the book surprises you with its revelations and keeps you interested. No, let me amend that. It keeps you invested in what's happening to both Julian and Cameron. The lead characters have a great supporting cast, with a special mention to Blake and Preston, who were my favorites. The story is gripping and, if you're like me, you won't be able to put it down until you finish it.
I'm giving Warrior's Cross five-plus stars simply because this book is packed with things I hope to get in everything I read: unforgettable and well-developed characters that you can't help but fall in love with and a story that's written quite well and is paced just right to make you want to keep reading even in the wee hours of the morning. I highly recommend it to my fellow bookaholics, M/M romance fans or not. ♥ Definitely one of my favorite reads ever.
Date read: 21 August 2014