Recently I was asked to read and do a review on The Crossroads by Annie Rose Welch, the 4th book in the Saving Angels series. ￼After reading about the books in the series and the author I decided that this looked like a series that I would enjoy. I began with book one, Marigny Street, expecting a regular, formulaic romance book. Boy was I in for a surprise and a wild, but entertaining ride, around the world and back reading all these books.
This review is specific to the 4th book in the series, The Crossroads. You will want to read the first 3 before reading The Crossroads. They are heavily interconnected by this book.
I received copies of all four books in the Saving Angels series by Annie Rose Welch in exchange for my review on The Crossroads book. All views in this reviews are my honest, personal opinion.
Annie Rose Welch has a lovely, almost poetic way of describing the places in her books. It is one of the aspects of her books that I most enjoyed. I could feel the rain on my face, taste the chicory coffee and beignets, and hear the soul filled music walking through New Orleans. In Ireland I could hear the waves crashing on the rocky shores and feel the coolness of the air seep into my skin. In Italy the saltiness of the air, the passion of the people, and the warmth of the italian sun came shining through. And there was so much more. Whether someone’s house, the land, the food, drink and merriment- all of it comes to life through all of her books. They are a treat for the senses! In The Crossroads what stood forth most prevalently for me was the italian village that Catalina is from, Paris while Catalina and Raphael are visiting, and the french winery. They all come to life dancing through the pages.
Looking past the openings in the trees, I watch the sun flow golden, honey-like through the leaves. It glazes me in warmth, and the cold I was feeling melts away, just as it does with the thought of her.
Although I have never been I feel as if I have visited all of them. And lived the stories myself. It is a remarkable writer who can paint into life the essence of places and people using only words. Annie Rose Welch does this expertly in her descriptions throughout.
I have also enjoyed the minor characters that she brings to life in all of these books. Many like Maloney, Madam Catalina, Camille, and Rose make another appearance in The Crossroads much to my delight. They had captured my heart and imaginations making it fun to visit with them once again in another unfolding of this long tale of Fate and Choice. I was especially giddy to find that Madam Catalina’s story was told in full finally. I was intrigued by her the first time we met. Fascinating woman.
The Crossroads tells the stories of Raphael, Catalina, and Eva and Gabriel whose initial story we hear in Marigny Street. This book also expertly weaves together the lives of all of the characters that were encountered in all of the first three books of this series. I was actually quite surprised how well she intertwined and brought them all together. It was an unexpected treat! I thought I was going to be most excited about Eva and Gabriel’s story line in this book because I enjoyed Marigny Street so much. I was not expecting to be swept away by Raphael’s and then Madam Catalina’s story so completely. Their’s were stories full of passion, love, commitment, sacrifice, and lose beyond what I anticipated feeling.
When I read romance type novels the ones that appeal to me most have strong, independent, intelligent women. The Crossroads was filled with women like this. From Eva who just totally tells it like it is, Madam who has survived more than any one should ever have to, Camille who is strong willed and knows how to pull everyone together when chaos is in the air, to Layla who has a small but strong role in this book. They are all women to be reckoned with, to respect, and that I’d personally want to know in real life! I actually found most of the women throughout this series to be significantly more level headed and intelligent then the men. And the men, to be clear, were fairly impressive! Well done, Annie Rose Welch, for writing strong, capable, inspiring women.
The Crossroads was a romance novel, but so much more. What I was most taken with was the concepts of Fate and Choice and what roles they play in our lives. This book is liberally sprinkled with snippets about the interconnectedness of lives, choices, and fate. By the last page we are able to very clearly see how all of these stories and people unfolded to be where they were on that specific day and time, through decades and generations of friends and family. We see what can only be detected when all is said and done.
Fred and Maloney look at each for a moment and then laugh. “We don’t believe in accidents, Ralph. Everything happens for a reason. One life direction leads you to another, until eventually you end up where you’re supposed to be. Years from now, when you’re a hundred years old, you’ll remember this day and you’ll realize, where you are now is exactly where you were meant to be.”
My one complaint of this book, along with the others in the Saving Angels series, is that I would have liked to have seen the organization of the Saving Angels in action more. To really see what they did and experience some of their adventures and battles. I love the idea of them, but felt it was a bit vague and glossed over throughout all the books. I wanted more details, more action, more adventure with them. The love stories were epic, but could have been enhanced with more details of the Saving Angels and who they really were.
All in all I enjoyed Raphael and Madam’s stories in The Crossroads and thought it was a good read. Annie Rose Welch is a skilled writer who brings solid characters to life in settings worth exploring.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.
When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. She currently (still) resides in the big shake (although her southern roots are calling her home) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).
For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website: www.annierosewelch.com
She can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnieRoseWelch
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Annie-Rose-Welch/e/B00DQSYDTM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1