Title: The Cut & Run Series
Author: Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Ty Grady, Zane Garrett
POV: 3rd person
Setting: New York, W. Virginia, the Caribbean
Cover Ratings: 3
Kisses: 5 Overall
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 cliché: 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.
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.
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.
The road to love isn’t always direct, made even more difficult to maneuver by a past that has left it riddled with potholes and obstacles, left the drifters emotionally crippled, incapable of trusting in themselves, let alone in anyone else, left them incapable of communicating any emotion other than anger, or worse, indifference.
Ty Grady is an ex-Marine, now a Special Agent with the FBI. Ty’s scars aren’t all visible on the outside. In fact, most of them remain buried deeply within Ty’s mind, scars that he hides behind an armor of sarcasm, apathy, anger, arrogance, and meaningless sex. After the death of his Bureau partner, Ty resolves to work alone rather than take the chance of losing another.
Zane Garrett is an agent on his last chance with the Feds. An expert in statistics, Zane is a man whose shattered past haunts him, a past that the wedding ring on his finger serves as a constant reminder of, taking its toll in the form of alcoholism and drug addiction to mask the torment. Given a final chance at exoneration, Zane’s been assigned to a new field partner, one who wants nothing to do with him and his weaknesses.
At the moment the two men are introduced to each other, the fireworks begin. And oh, what a spectacular show it is!
From tracking a serial killer within their own ranks in Cut & Run, to escaping treasure hunting killers in the mountains of West Virginia in Sticks & Stones, to going undercover on a cruise ship in the Caribbean that sees the two men masquerading as a married couple in Fish & Chips, Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux have created a series packed with action, danger, humor, and more angst than my poor little ticker could manage to handle at times.
Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are two of the most frustratingly lovable characters I believe I’ve ever run across in the pages of a book—complicated, petulant, angry, then aloof one moment; fully prepared to take a bullet for each other the next—the relationship between the two men is a full-blown evolution, transforming their partnership from duty to desire as they slowly learn to trust in each other and in themselves.
As each book plots the course of Ty and Zane’s bond through murders, explosions, car chases, a hail of bullets, and near death experiences, the men learn to relate with and read each other as much with words as with looks and actions. Even as their intense physical attraction communicates the extreme awareness they’re too confused and frightened by to speak of, the relationship comes to an emotionally satisfying arc as the two dynamic, dysfunctional, and off-the-charts sexy men learn that not only can they trust each other but they can also trust their feelings for each other. It’s an arduous journey for the reader as we’re tugged along, playing witness to the deepening love between the men that they themselves have so much trouble recognizing.
The turning point in their relationship in Fish & Chips is a full-scale onslaught of passion and growing recognition of what their bond has come to mean. It is incredibly satisfying to witness after following these two characters through the danger and upheavals they’ve faced and the connection that has evolved from mere want to near palpable necessity.
Now that I’m up to speed on the Cut & Run Series, the only thing I can say is that I’m incredibly sorry to have arrived so late at the Ty and Zane love-fest. But boy am I glad I’m finally here!
Divide & Conquer – Cut & Run Book 4—the title alone is causing me no small amount of anxiety and it can’t be delivered quickly enough. Bring it, Madeleine and Abigail: I’m ready!
Reviewed By: Lisa