I’m a little bit late with this month’s top pick… sorry about that. I’ve been having a few technical glitches. July has been a pretty good month for me with regards to my reading. I’ve read some pretty epic books this month, and it’s been pretty difficult to choose between them. Or at least, it would have been if it weren’t for Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban. These two ladies have both completely ruined my life, and provided me with an unforgettable reading experience. Given how I’ve been going on about the Cut & Run series, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that it’s this month’s top pick.
I couldn’t really choose between Cut & Run and Sticks & Stones, so I decided that they’d share this month’s spot as Book of the Month.
In this scene, from Cut & Run, Ty and Zane meet for the first time. To say things go badly would be an understatement.
Ty pressed his lips tightly together and looked down at the shiny desktop sedately. Zane shifted his eyes between the man and Burns before narrowing them. He wondered why he had been asked to sit in on this meeting when the guy was obviously being fired. It seemed overly cruel. He clamped down hard on any further reaction and waited to see what would happen.
Ty licked his lips and looked up again to meet his superior’s eyes almost defiantly.
“Fortunately for you, Grady, you have more lives than a cat,” the man said to him with a small frown. “And you’re getting another chance to prove to us that you can do this job without blowing shit up. I won’t say one more, because God knows I’ll just keep giving you more until you get yourself killed. Meet your new partner, Special Agent Zane Z. Garrett.”
Zane couldn’t be more appalled, and it showed clearly in his reaction. This wreck of an agent was his new partner? “Director Burns,” he started impulsively, but he caught his tongue and tightened his grip on the chair. What kind of reward was this?
“The hell he is!” Ty interrupted as he sat up straight. “I can’t do my job with a… a… poster-boy partner” he practically stuttered angrily as he flopped his hand toward the squeaky-clean man next to him.
“And you can’t do it without a partner, either, Special Agent Grady,” Burns responded with a hard glare.
“Sir, it seems obvious,” Zane said, not bothering to keep any edge of disapproval out of his voice, “that this agent needs more than I can possibly provide to help him. Frankly, it will take a miracle to make him even remotely professional. No one will take him seriously.”
“Take me seriously?” Ty echoed in disbelief. “Christ, have those shoes ever even seen pavement? Shit,” he exclaimed in a sudden panic as he gripped the arms of his chair and leaned forward. “Are you sending me to Cyber,” he asked Burns, who was sitting behind the desk and grinning like a small child at Christmas.
“Your tone of voice implies investigating technological crime and terrorism might be below you,” Zane said to him coldly as he leveled an even gaze on the other agent. “Perhaps you should consider requesting a transfer to professional staff. Or submitting your resignation all together.”
“Hey, fuck you, candy ass,” Ty snarled without looking over at him.
“Quiet, both of you!” Burns barked suddenly. “Grady, you’re staying in Criminal until you get your ass killed or do something so illegal even I can’t cover for you, understand? Garrett, you’re to make certain he doesn’t do either of those things. Is that clear? And you will both like it.”
Cut & Run: Kindle location 212 of 10273
Being Ty and Zane, they can’t stay out of trouble for long and they once again find themselves in Burns’ office at the beginning of Sticks & Stones. The guys’ attitudes towards one another has improved somewhat, although they still give each other hell.
“… Sit down.” [Burns] ordered.
Ty hesitated stubbornly for a moment and then reluctantly moved to obey, flopping into the seat beside Zane. He glared at his partner, as if his being there were somehow Zane’s fault. Zane rolled his eyes and turned his chin so he was looking back out the window.
“Why are we here?” Ty asked impatiently.
“To embarrass me for jackassing my eval,” Zane muttered.
“You’re here to amuse me,” Burns corrected in a sarcastically sweet tone. “But now that you mention the tests…”
Ty glanced over at Zane and frowned slightly. “What’s going on?” he asked, the annoyance draining away, replaced by growing concern.
“Why would you think anything’s going on?” Burns asked curiously. “Smell something in the wind, do you?”
“Uh huh,” Ty responded warily as he looked between them, either oblivious to Burns’ sarcasm or ignoring it.
“Garrett is going on a little vacation,” “Burns answered as he leaned back in his chair.
“What? How long?” Ty demanded.
“What?” Ty repeated, slightly more panicked. “But who will I get to do my paperwork?”
“Jesus Christ,” Zane swore quietly. Burns was practically kicking his ass to the curb, and all Ty could think about was the paperwork. Classy.
Sticks & Stones: Kindle location 436 of 4857
God, I love these idiots…