Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1) by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

As this series is closing to an end - the last book will be published on the end of March 2015, I decided to re-listen to it and remind myself of the great time I had with this series. As I've already wrote a review on this one, I'm leaving it in the end of this post. It was actually the first book I've EVER reviewed. feeling a bit nostalgic :) 
It's not that I didn't read before I just didn't know GoodReads or any other book websites. 

This one was also my first "real" M/M romance book/series. The first M/M Romance book I've read was "Lover at Last" the 11th book in the Paranormal series "The Black Dagger Brotherhood" by J.R. Ward. For me, the fact that Bailey and Quinn were gay was a "side note" and not a very important one. I loved the series, loved both of them in the previous books and couldn't wait for their "happily ever after". But as a friend suggested this series to me - gay men - no paranormal aspect to it - I had my doubts.. back then I rarely read ANY "realistic" romance novels if they didn't have a paranormal element to them.. so surprise surprise - I LOVED this series to pieces! I read all the book that were published back then one after another barely lifting my head from my kindle. I feel kinda sad to soon say goodbye to this series yet it will always have an honorary place in my mind. 

Meet FBI agents Ty and Zane. The most improbable partners. Yeah, a lot of books start this way, yet I always say it's never about the originality of the book, it's about how it's written and brought to us. It was impossible to not get fully engaged in Ty and Zane's banter and fall in love with them as they slowly slowly get close to one another. As this book is a part of a series telling us of the build up of their relationship there isn't a real Happily Ever After feel to this one but we ARE getting the beginning of an amazing relationship. A genuine one. Not an "instant-love", but a relationship that was building slowly on respect, trust, attraction (naturally!), devotion and later on - yeah, on love. There IS a Happily Ever After for them, yet you have to be patient till you get there. I should say that though we are still in the beginning this one ends on a very sweet note. 

In this novel, Ty and Zane are brought together to solve a case of a serial killer. The reason THEY are taking this case - both of them worked under cover and Ty being an ex Marine - it feel too much of an inside job. Yet how can they solve the case if there is no damn logic to the killings. No common ground to the people getting killed or the way they were placed after death. Simply NOTHING yet the killer seems to be always at least two steps ahead of them and as they feel they are getting closes the killer starts aiming for them as well. 

There's a lot of back and forth in this case, them working together, being separated due to injuries, being teamed up again. The first time I read it I was kind of puzzled over the whole thing. Yet when you think about it, it does make sense the way things played. When I read it the first time I had a feeling I knew who the killer was even if I wasn't really sure as things got too mixed up. Second time around I didn't know how I guessed it back then since it wasn't obvious to me now even though I KNEW who the killer was. Strange. 

While I think Ty is suppose to be more "lovable" than Zane, somehow Zane is my favorite of the two of them (though I do love Ty as well :)). I can't really explain why Zane is my favorite, it's hard to explain and also any explanation would spoiler the hell out of you through the details of Zane's past are revealed. Ty is more of a mystery. I think it's part of his appeal actually. What I CAN say is that I loved the changes both of them went through in this book and loved especially the way their relationship was building. They were putting each other at arms length most of the time but when they started to "slip" it was, well, adorable! (I think they would have shoot me if they heard me call them ADORABLE but well, they aren't real so I feel totally safe ;)).

This book is such a fun read, romantic in a masculine sort of way. Loved the relationship build up (how many times have I said that already?!) and very engaging plot wise. Can't wait to start listening to the second one. 

Since this is an audio version I should mention that I enjoyed the narration by Sawyer Allerde. He did a great job with both Ty and Zane, each having a little difference in intonation so it's easy to distinguish one from the other, and the other minor characters were also done really well.  

Additional Details: Audiobook, 13:18 Hours, 18-27 January 2015 / On GoodReads

Originally reviewed 21/05/2013:

I got really good recommendation about this series. I usually read Fantasy books with supernatural beings (vampires etc) or read "heavy duty" books like "Every man dies alone" (well that WAS a heavy one, even for me :D), not so much "in between", not so much romance for the romance of it. 

And well, up until the last book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (Lover at last) I've never read a MM book before. I loved that book, really did, and was waiting for a while for this book to be published.

So basically, thinking about this series - didn't know "what to expect" but didn't think I would be "bothered" by the context. I thought it would probably be different in a way, wasn't sure how. maybe I'd be embarrassed? well, I'll be embarrassed at home all by myself :P (usually I embarrass myself in public! :D that would be a change!) 

So started reading it. FBI agents? as in this world? no vampires? no magic? a regular killer on the loose? that IS weird.. most defiantly! :D I loved the interaction between Ty and Zane from the beginning, they are both very interesting characters, really wanted to "get to know them" and see how who they are "really". 

I didn't feel there was a "real" mystery here about the murders. I felt I might know or guess some of the things though I wasn't sure. I loved that their relationship was realistic in which that their relationship advanced slowly. Even if as a reading I wanted the "happy ending" as-soon-as-possible when they are there for each other till the end, well, guys like them - its not that easy, or quickly..

I really enjoyed the fluency of the book. felt like an action book not a slow romantic slug. which was good! these guys are so funny! together or alone! so it didn't feel as "just" a mystery book but as a romantic comedy (in which the romance takes its time :))

And how did I feel about the sexual MM parts? well, in the beginning it was strange in a way thinking about "how it technically works".. :] but beside from that it all felt the most "natural" thing (I do feel rude writing this as if its not natural... I mean its not something I'm familiar with..). 

I didn't feel it was THAT different from any romance book I've read in the past. different positions I guess ;)

I found it funny that they are such "guys" as in "manly men" they don't "talk about their feelings" they "deal" in their emotionally crippled way which I absolutely loved! (speaking from experience on this one! haha!) They don't rush words, promises or definitions (which most women look for). they just live it. see how it goes. 

This book swept me of my feet. really. I really enjoyed it! started the next ones sure after and simply can't get enough!

Another thing I have to add is that these books made me think or re-think about gay relationships and how difficult it can be. but also how much its totally worth it. Being with the RIGHT person for you is worth it - primitive society rules be damned.

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 376 pages, 21-22 May 2013 / On GoodReads
Cut & Run is a GREAT MM Romance series written in the beginning by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban and continued from the 5th book with Abigail Roux solo. I really enjoy Ty Grady and Zane Garrett's relationship and since it's quite slow going on the built - the way the relationship was formed and established between them felt very genuine.

Ty and Zane are both FBI agents. Ty being former Marine and Zane having a lot of experience in the Under Cover field as well. They are put together against each others will (doesn't it all start this way? :)). It doesn't take more than 2 seconds for the both of them to realize they are the absolute opposite of the other and it doesn't take a genius to realize it's going to crash and burn between them... and yet they somehow do find themselves attracted to each other and moreover start to trust each other as partners. It takes them a few books to build a "real" relationship, takes them time to "come out" in front of family and friends, and yet they have to keep their romance to themselves when it comes to their work if they want to work together since the FBI doesn't partner couples (it doesn't have to do with them being gay).

I think it's a really good suspense romance as well, though the mystery part isn't the strong part of the books but the building of their relationship with every book that follows. Each book has it's own issue that needs to be resolved but there is also somehow a bigger picture with both Ty and Zane's past slowly unraveling and coming to bite them in the ass with the last three installment rapping up all the major troubles they were dealing with right from the beginning.   

We also get to meet Ty's teammates from his time as a marine. Once a Marine, always a marine, right? and there's also a spin off series of two of Ty's teammates - Nick and Kelly called Sidewinder. I've read and reviewed the first one - Shock and Awe. But sadly I don't feel the connection to the characters as I do with Ty and Zane so I won't continue reading more in the spin off.

Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban published one more book together - "Warrior's Cross". Though it was published in 2009 the "right placement" of the book in relation to the Cut & Run series is before the 5th installment since it gives a better understanding of the couple who appears in "Armed & Dangerous". Julian and Cameron's story is VERY different than the Cut & Run series. It's a sweet love story.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! (Though I admit in my opinion the last two books were the weaker link, I expected more of them and got a bit too much of the new and shiny couple - Nick & Kelly).

This was and will be one of my absolute favorite MM Romance / Suspense Series. Ty and Zane, yeah, mostly Zane, are a couple I'll always carry with me. The road we went through together made them almost real in my mind and I'm really sad to say goodbye to them now that the series is over. Goodbye my friends.

1. Cut & Run (published 1 September 2008) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
2. Sticks & Stones (published 25 January 2010) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
3. Fish & Chips (published 6 December 2010) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
4. Divide & Conquer (published 14 October 2011) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
5. Armed & Dangerous (published 18 May 2012) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
5.5 Dine & Dash [ free bonus scene ] (published 8 July 2012) ★ ★ ★ ★
6. Stars & Stripes (published 13 August 2012) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
7. Touch & Geaux (published 8 April 2013) ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
8. Ball & Chain (published 17 March 2014) ★ ★ ★
9. Crash & Burn (published 30 March 2015) ★ ★ ★ ¾

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