Sunday, November 24, 2013

SERIES SPOTLIGHT (5): Cut and Run series by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

This is a feature where I "spotlight" a certain series that I love and recommend to other readers, inspired by Anna's Book Blog.

For this Series Spotlight, I am going to feature one of my favorite ongoing series that helped seal my obsession with the male/male romance genre: Abigail Roux's Cut & Run books featuring Ty Grady and Zane Garrett.

Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1)
BOOK ONE -- Cut & Run

A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.

Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliche: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.

Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.

Excerpt from my review
"Both of these guys slowly grew on me as they did each other. I was fascinated by their growing relationship as professional partners and the slow transition to being romantic lovers. I know that this is just the beginning for these two and I can't wait to learn more about them."


Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run, #2)
BOOK TWO -- Sticks & Stones

Six months after nearly losing their lives to a serial killer in New York City, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are suffering through something almost as frightening: the monotony of desk duty. When they're ordered to take a vacation for the good of everyone's sanity, Ty bites the bullet and takes Zane home with him to West Virginia, hoping the peace and quiet of the mountains will give them the chance to explore the explosive attraction they've so far been unable to reconcile with their professional partnership. 

Ty and Zane, along with Ty's father and brother, head up into the Appalachian mountains for a nice, relaxing hike deep into the woods... where no one will hear them scream. They find themselves facing danger from all directions: unpredictable weather, the unrelenting mountains, wild animals, fellow hikers with nothing to lose, and the most terrifying challenge of all. Each other.

Excerpt from my review
"In terms of the romance, I don't feel like Ty and Zane's relationship took a huge step forward in this book. I felt like it was pretty stationary, mostly due to the fact that they were dealing with more external issues than internal. But, despite this lack of growth, I still found them to hilarious and sweet at the same time. The chemistry between them is amazing and every scene is written to perfectly suit that tension."


Fish & Chips (Cut & Run, #3)
BOOK THREE -- Fish & Chips

Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are back on the job, settled into a personal and professional relationship built on fierce protectiveness and blistering passion. Now they're assigned to impersonate two members of an international smuggling ring-an out-and-proud married couple-on a Christmas cruise in the Caribbean. As their boss says, surely they'd rather kiss each other than be shot at, and he has no idea how right he is.

Portraying the wealthy criminals requires a particular change in attitude from Ty and Zane while dealing with the frustrating waiting game of their assignment. As it begins to affect how they treat each other in private, Ty and Zane realize there's more to being partners than watching each other's backs, and when the case takes an unexpected turn and threatens Ty's life, Ty and Zane will have to navigate seas of white lies and stormy secrets, including some of their own.

Excerpt from my review: 
"Of course, what really makes this series stand out is Ty and Zane and their relationship with each other. Each book provides readers with more insight into the guys' characters which helps us appreciate them more and more. By making the guys portay a married couple, the authors allowed them to develop an intimacy that hadn't been evident before. On this mission they didn't need to hide their relationship and it felt a little freeing despite the fact that they had to pretend to be someone else the entire time. "


Divide & Conquer (Cut & Run, #4)
BOOK FOUR -- Divide & Conquer

Baltimore, Maryland, is a city in alarming distress. Rising violence is fanning the flames of public outrage, and all law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, are catching blame. Thus the FBI’s latest ideas to improve public relations: a municipal softball league and workshops for community leaders. But the new commitments just mean more time Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have to spend apart when they’re happily exploring how to be more than by-the-book partners.

Then the latest spate of crime explodes in their faces—literally—throwing the city, the Bureau, and Ty and Zane’s volatile partnership both in and out of the office into chaos. They’re hip-deep in trouble, trying to track down bombers and bank robbers in the dark with very few clues, and the only way to reach the light at the end of the tunnel together requires Ty and Zane to close their eyes and trust each other to the fiery end.

Excerpt from my review
"As a couple, these two provide some of the most emotional scenes even during the most mundane situations. They are a true rollercoaster of emotions with both of them being stubborn and tortured in their own way. Ty and Zane, as characters, are written so well that they feel like they could jump off the page and walk around in your everyday life. This causes readers to get heavily invested in almost every moment of their lives. I'm telling you, even the most seemingly boring details are exciting with this couple. "

Armed & Dangerous (Cut & Run, #5)
BOOK FIVE -- Armed & Dangerous

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.

Excerpt from my 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."
Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run, #6)
BOOK SIX -- Stars & Stripes

Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they're living together conflict-free, work is going smoothly, and they're both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last.

When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out.

From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world.

Excerpt from my review
"I found this book to be another entertaining installment of a great series. I think Ty and Zane are so enjoyable that I was able to overlook the bizarre plot and just hang on for the ride. The way that Roux depicts these two guys is unmatched and I find myself deeply caring about whether they get their ultimate happily ever after. Plus there is some hot cowboy sex in this one! Can't wait to read the next one!"
Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run, #7)
BOOK SEVEN -- Touch & Geaux

After having their faces plastered across the news during a high-profile case, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have become more useful to the Bureau posing for photo ops than working undercover. Just as Zane is beginning to consider retirement a viable option, Ty receives a distress call from a friend, leading them to a city rife with echoes from the past.

New Orleans wears its history on its streets, and it’s the one place Ty’s face could get him killed. Surrounded by trouble as soon as they land, Ty and Zane are swiftly confronted with a past from which Ty can’t hide—one with a surprising connection to Zane’s.

As threats close in from all directions, both men must come to terms with the lives they’ve led and the lies they’ve told. They soon discover that not all their secrets are out yet, and nothing lasts forever.

Excerpt from my review
"I don't want to say much more about the book in order to avoid major spoilers, but I do have to mention the ending. It took me by complete surprise and really packed an emotional punch. I can tell I am going to be very impatient waiting for the next book which isn't going to be released until 2014!"

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