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 backup 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 uncertainly lingering between them while they work to retrieve their intended mark, a retired hit man and a 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 the last thing they do.
I was so very extremely glad that by the time I discovered the Cut & Run series, Armed & Dangerous was already out. Because the way Divide & Conquer ended damn near sent me into a panic. To those of you who followed the series earlier on and had to wait for Armed & Dangerous, I have the utmost respect for you. I would have had a breakdown. I mean, seriously, how can you end a book like this?
I’m sorry. Walls are closing in and I need to go.
Really? I ran-and let me tell you, there isn’t much that will inspire me to run- to the computer so I could download this book. And it was so totally worth it. I know some people may be a little worried to see that Roux was writing this one on her own but, in all honesty, I couldn’t really tell. The series carries on in pretty much the same way as it has in the previous four books.
Armed & Dangerous picks up right where Divide & Conquer ended. Zane has just found Ty’s note and we’re all just sitting there like, “Noooooooooooooo!” Thankfully, Ty calls and clarifies that this isn’t a note to say things are over. Cue the sighs of relief. Despite the huge weight off of Zane’s chest he’s still pretty pissed, and he continues to be pissed in days after finding Ty’s note and hearing his explanation. Until he gets a phone call from FBI top boss, Richard Burns, telling him that he’s needed in Chicago to provide backup for an unknown undercover agent. Turns out… that agent is none other than the flighty, irresistible Ty Grady. Kinda saw that coming, but whatever. Their mission? To find a former CIA hit man and deliver him to the FBI’s DC headquarters. Cross apparently has some information that can put some very high ranking CIA officials in jail for using agency assets to carry out private hits. Seems like a simple enough assignment except… Julian Cross has no intention of going anywhere near that particular shit storm and wants the FBI and CIA to leave him the hell alone. Ty and Zane’s job is made even more difficult when they’re forced to drag Julian’s clueless boyfriend, Cameron Jacobs, along. The trip from Chicago back to DC can only be described as harrowing. From Julian and Cameron’s repeated attempts at escape to unfortunate encounters with the TSA, from running away from CIA agents determined to keep Cross out of DC to having to contend with spectacularly shitty weather, Ty and Zane must have been beginning to suspect that God hates them, And then, there are the issues between them. Granted, Zane finally pulled his head out of his ass and admitted to Ty that he loved him, but now they’re on a case where they can’t really explore what that means. They’ve gotten pretty good at hiding their relationship from the world, but now it’s starting to wear on them.
Julian and Cameron are characters from an earlier book by Roux and Urban called Warrior’s Cross and, to be honest, I haven’t read it yet. It’s sitting in my Kindle and I just haven’t gotten there. But I mostly enjoyed their characters, although maybe I would have connected with them more had I read their book. I found Cameron a little… preachy, but I really liked Julian. As for Ty and Zane? Well, they pretty much broke my heart which is par for the course for this series. Their reunion after Ty left was just so sweet. And how, after keeping their emotions all bottled up for the past few weeks, they can finally admit that they love each other without worrying that the other’s head will explode. Every time they did, I just sort of broke out in this big happy smile.
Here are a few of my favourite bits and pieces:
“What the hell does Burns want now? You’re supposed to be on wellness leave.”
Ty didn’t answer for a long time, long enough that Zane checked the display on his phone to make sure the call was still connected. Then he heard Ty huff. “God, I love it when you’re cranky like this. Promise to still be pissed when I get home, okay?”
“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”
“Ty,” Zane said between kisses, his hands firm on Ty’s body. “Be mine, just for now. There’s time.”
Ty reached for Zane’s face, meeting his eyes. “I was always yours,” he said with difficulty.
Zane pressed his fingertips to Ty’s lips. “Why?”
Ty shook his head, searching for the answer. His chest tightened and breathing became difficult, but he landed on the words he needed. He met Zane’s dark eyes and realized he was feeling light-headed as he answered. “Because… you make me the kind of person I’ve always wished I was.”
Zane was silent, his gaze tracing over Ty’s face. Ty held his breath until Zane spoke. “I’ve always wanted you just like you are. As much as you infuriate me, you’re who I want.”
“I thought you were going to kill him back there.”
Ty turned to face him. “Next time I will,” he said, his voice cold and determined.
A shiver ran down Zane’s spine, and he had to admit, a part of him liked it. “What is it about him that gets you so riled?”
“It’s not him, Zane. It’s you.”
“Me? What’d I do?”
“He is a threat to both of us. You’ve seen what he’s capable of, and I have to tell you, I don’t think he’s trying yet. I think he’s just a fucking raptor testing the fences. When I look at him, I see him hurting you.”
Actually, I’m going to stop right here or I’ll end up quoting the whole damn book. In short, Armed & Dangerous was amazing. Pretty much like the rest of the series and I don’t foresee that changing any time soon…