Wednesday, November 20, 2013

REVIEW: "Shock & Awe" by Abigail Roux

Shock & Awe (Sidewinder, #1)
Shock and Awe by Abigail Roux
(Sidewinder #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+
Male/Male Romance -- Contemporary
Riptide Publishing -- November 9, 2013
Ebook, 97 pages
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Romantic Suspense, Military  

SUMMARY
After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address. Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

FIRST LINE
"Kelly had to lean against the railing of his front porch while Nick dealt with the lock and the alarm to his cabin."

MY THOUGHTS

Introduction
I absolutely adore Abigail Roux's Cut & Run series with Ty and Zane so I was excited to see this spin-off novella featuring Ty's friends Nick and Kelly.  The most recent installment of that series (Touch & Geaux) had medic Kelly getting seriously wounded and now he is having to deal with a lengthy recovery.  His colleague Nick takes control of the situation and vows to not leave Kelly until he is completely healed.  This leads to a short, but emotional story that forces these two friends to look beyond their normal relationship in the hopes of finding something new.  I do not recommend reading this unless you are familiar with the C&R world because I don't think the characters are appropriately developed without being caught up on all the drama in that series.

What I Liked
1. I have had a bit of a fangirl crush on Nick O'Flaherty since we were first introduced to him.  His unrequited love for Ty always made me a little sad for him so I am ecstatic that he gets his own happy ending (maybe).  I love how Roux provided new information about Nick that really helps me understand him as a character.  The fact that he is constantly taking care of others just melts my heart and it was nice to see someone recognize that.

2. Kelly is a character that never got the top side character job that Nick did, but I was still intrigued by him.  I have this thing about medics and their unique view on the world.  He is so frustrated by his injury and that he is having to be reliant on someone else.  I thought Abigail Roux had a tricky situation with him due to the fact that Nick is the first guy he is willing to experiment with.  But, by emphasizing Kelly's impulsive nature, I quickly understood why he would want to try something like this and that it is more than just a physical thing.

3. Kelly and Nick have the advantage of being great friends, and military colleagues, for years.  There is a lot of mention of the fact that they have lived in such close proximity for so long that they know everything that could be known about a person.  I think this helps me believe, for the most part, that their relationship could change quickly and that it wouldn't be awkward.  Plus I have to mention that the love scenes between these two are some of the hottest I've read this year!

4. In addition to this book, readers will also get a bonus mini-novella (Bait & Switch) that shows Nick and Kelly's relationship a little farther down the road.  It was a great ending for those boys, but the main part that excited me was the Ty and Zane cameos!  After the end of Touch & Geaux, I had been impatient to see what happens to them next and, while I'm not fully satisfied, I did my fix until next year.

What I Didn't Like
1. The only thing that I did not care for with Shock & Awe was the fact that it was so short.  Abigail Roux is a talented writer and she successfully packs a lot into less than a hundred pages.  I just felt like I wanted more of Nick and Kelly's relationship away from the cabin.  I am just going to be hopeful for more Sidewinder books in the future.

My Conclusions 
I found Shock & Awe to be an entertaining and seductive novella that lets readers into the minds of some side characters in the C&R world.  Just makes me more anxious for Ball & Chain (the next Ty/Zane novel) to be published!

4 STARS

FAVORITE QUOTE
"You're dirty, Kels."
"That's like Satan calling me a bad boy."

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