Left alone in Baltimore after his unpredictable lover bails, Special Agent Zane Garrett takes his frustration out on everything in his path until he is ordered to Chicago to back up an undercover operative. When he gets there, though, he finds himself face to face with his wayward partner, Special Agent Ty Grady. They have to deal with the uncertainty lingering between them while they work to retrieve their intended mark, a retired hit man and CIA wet-works operative named Julian Cross.
Ty, once a Marine and now an FBI hotshot, has a penchant for being unpredictable, a trait Zane can vouch for. Zane is a man who once lived for his job but has come to realize his heartbreaking past doesn't have to overshadow his future. They're partners, friends, lovers, and the go-to team for unusual cases.
With Cross and his innocuous boyfriend, Cameron Jacobs, in tow, Ty and Zane must navigate the obstacles of a cross-country trek, including TSA pat-downs, blizzards, their uncooperative prisoners, CIA kill teams, a desperate lack of sleep and caffeine, and each other. Ty and Zane are determined to get Julian Cross to DC in one piece, but it's starting to look like it might be the last thing they do.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS OF EARLIER BOOKS IN THE CUT & RUN SERIES.
Another wonderful installment of one of my favorite male/male series! Everytime I think I can't love Ty and Zane anymore, the next book comes out and my adoration increases tenfold. There is just something about these two guys that makes me smile and hug my e-reader after reading about their adventures. And this book is no exception!
Armed & Dangerous is the fifth book in the series and continues almost immediately after the end of Divide & Conquer. The last time we saw our guys they were recovering from a harrowing mission and trying to settle into their version of domestic bliss. Unfortunately, this is thwarted when Ty disappears in the middle of the night and leaves Zane a cryptic note. Now, readers find out that Ty has been sent on a a secret mission to find a mysterious man named Julian Cross and bring him to Washington, D.C. for unknown reasons. A request for back-up sends Zane to assist Ty in his mission and starts them on one heck of an adventure.
The plot of this book basically covers the road trip that Ty and Zane and two uncooperative captives take from Chicago and Washington. Besides their mystery man, the guys also have to deal with his boyfriend, Cameron who is determined to keep Julian safe at all costs. The mission forces these four men to travel and live together for an extended period of time which causes some very interesting situations such as being stuck in a blizzard, side trips throughout the Midwest, and some creative use of handcuffs and shower heads.
As I mentioned earlier in the review, I adore Ty and Zane as a couple and it is always a joy to watch their relationship grow over the course of a story. Their emotional and physical relationship is full of drama, but shows definite resilence and occasional tenderness. This particular mission forces them to deal with their interactions on a professional level since they need to keep their distance while traveling with Julian and Cameron. The sexual tension is through the roof in this book and kept me turning the pages late into the night. I liked how this book showed their growth as a couple and how perfect they are for each other even if they aren't always perfect people.
Besides Ty and Zane, readers also get a bit of a secondary romance with Julian and Cameron. They first appear in the Roux/Urban collaboration, Warrior's Cross, which provides great background on their relationship and what they have had to go through to get their happiness. Both of these guys are great characters especially Julian. The dark, mysterious man with weapon skills and a complex past is always fun to read about. I will say that I hadn't read WC during my first read of A&Dand I did feel a bit out of the loop with this couple. But, after reading WC, I re-read this book and found myself enjoying Julian and Cameron's scenes that much more. I especially found the parallels between J/C and T/Z to be intriguing and thought-provoking.
There is alot of mystery involved in this book. Readers constantly wonder who Julian really is and why he is needed in D.C. so quickly? As the plot progresses, the questions even shift to whether Ty and Zane are helping Julian or leading him to his demise? There is a twist in the suspense storyline that I did see coming, but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book since I was too heavily invested in the other threads.
Once again, Ty and Zane manage to provide me with a highly entertaining and sexy romance that made me laugh and cry at various times. I can't wait to see more of this stubborn and sweet couple and maybe even some more of Julian and Cameron.
THANKS TO DREAMSPINNER PRESS AND NETGALLEY FOR PROVIDING ME WITH A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.
**"I love you" Ty said, the quiet words devoid of any self-consciousness of his usual bravado. "And I've never been able to say that before with such conviction. I can't remember a time when you weren't the first thing I thought of, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don't care what stands in our way."
**Deuce glanced at him before turning his attention back to Zane and Julian. "Dare I ask what you’ve done to deserve protective custody?" he asked Julian. "I deal antiques," Julian answered in a soft voice. Deuce nodded, looking Julian up and down. He turned his head to look at Ty speculatively. "That’s a euphemism for ‘I kill things’, isn’t it?"
Cut & Run
1. Cut & Run
2. Sticks & Stones
3. Fish & Chips
4. Divide & Conquer
5. Armed & Dangerous
5.5. Dine & Dash
6. Stars & Stripes
1. Warrior's Cross