Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Crash & Burn (Cut & Run #9) by Abigail Roux

I can't believe I'm here, writing these words, preparing to sum up a series that left a HUGE impression on me, have been my first venture into the MM Romance genre which soon became one of my favorite genres. Ty and Zane (Especially Zane ;)) leaving you behind. God, I can't even.. 

Yet here I am. 

I want to say I loved this book, that it was everything I wanted it to be, sadly, that was not the case in this one. I feel as though we witnessed a change in the series after the 6th installment "Stars & Stripes" which in my opinion was the best of the bunch. From "Touch & Geaux" the angst became much more pronounced and even the things Ty and Zane were facing were somehow "bigger" and I suppose lead us to the final installment where they finally deal with their 3 major problems - The Vega Cartel, Richard Burns' legacy and the mole in their office. Maybe except for the mole, Richard Burns' dangerous black ops and the Vega Cartel with the troubles they were causing is something we knew almost from the first book. Yet in this one we find the connection between them all which was quite shocking and frankly felt OTT in a way I didn't appreciate. I have a problem with villains I don't get, since I don't really see or understand their reasoning. That was the case here, as well as the people Ty and Zane trusted over the years that weren't who they excepted them to be... (enough said..) 

To deal with everything that was going down, which was A LOT (and a bit too much..) they brought as much backup as they can! So naturally the Sidewinders were there - Nick, Kelly. Owen and Digger but also Liam Bell who appeared in the previous installment promising Nick he will come collection on a certain favor (which was surprisingly connected to the troubles Ty and Zane were caught in). Zane finally feels close enough to also ask help from their friends at the office - Perrimore, Clancy, Alston and Lassiter and even Julian Cross and Preston offer their help. They truly needed all the help they could get and I can tell you now that not everyone in this list survived. Yet I think that mostly it was quite obvious to guess which of them it was.. 

Ty and Zane's romance, as usual, was absolutely beautiful. The beginning and what they decide to do for themselves was utterly heart clenching in the best possible way. I so wanted them to finally get their Happily Ever After I was willing to take everything Abi was offering even though I knew that soon shit would start hit all over the place. The ending, as well, when it was just the two of them, I just can't even express how much it made me feel, how much I'm touched by each gesture they make to one another. They are so real to me the both of them. I feel them as if they were standing right next to me. 

So why was I disappointed with this book you're asking? well, first like in the previous installment we had TOO MUCH of Kelly and Nick. I don't care about the two of them, alone or together. To say it mildly, I dislike Nick and don't find anything of real interest in Kelly (though he has his funny moments I'll give him that..). I'm also not interested in the over emotional relationship they have. GOD! The both of them, such drama queens! I think it's mostly Nick because when you see what's happening (again!) between him and Ty with all the over reacting on both sides it was just annoying as hell. I like angst in the books I'm reading but the angst we had up until the 6th installment was enough for me. I didn't need the over developed drama that mostly was brought through Sidewinder. I think Abi made a choice somewhere around the 7th book that Nick and Kelly were going to be the next "thing" so she made sure to put everything she can in the last installments making them a couple that people would want to read about after Ty and Zane's story is done but for me it made the opposite effect. I don't want to hear about a new couple when I'm still struggling to have the last remnants of a couple I'm in love with! I want Ty and Zane and ONLY them. I don't want to read about any other couple struggling to build their own relationship especially when they have a whole series for themselves. The 5th installment gave us Julian Cross and Cameron was beautifully written and if we wanted more of those two there was a side book with their personal tale. Here Nick and Kelly were STEALING the stage from my previous Zane and Ty. I couldn't stand that! 

So that's my rant. I'm disappointed AGAIN with the series. In my personal opinion the three last books were the weaker link. They tried delivering something that felt too big and the main couple wasn't present enough in those books, they were side tracked by Sidewinder as a group and as I wrote above - the new couple. Also there was too much drama that was simply not necessary, if we're talking angst wise and if we're talking about the OTT operation they were stuck inside without even realizing it up until the end (meaning this book).

Oh! and do yourselves a favor, unlike me DON'T (!) miss the Epilogue at the very end of the book (After the author's notes and acknowledgments), it's short but it's so so sweet. God! I miss them already!

This series is still highly recommended. Ty and especially Zane would ALWAYS be cherished in my heart. They have their place and I'm not letting it go because of the things that weren't to my liking near the end. When I finished this book, hell, even before I even started reading it, my heart ached to say goodbye to these wonderful, amazing men whom I came to care for as if they were real. 

Zane and Ty, you are always with me. Goodbye my friends. 

Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 354 pages, 7-8 April 2015 / 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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