Cut & Run: Ball & Chain

Ball & Chain

Ball & Chain

Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed–even the man he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbot join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

I just want to start this review, or possibly rant, with the following: this is entirely my opinion. And if you haven’t read Ball & Chain yet, you should steer clear. There will be spoilers.

Right, so we basically start off six months or so after the heart wrenching end of Touch & Geaux. Zane and Kelly are waiting for their boys to get home. We have an emotional reunion between Ty and Zane, and the rest of the Sidewinder guys. It’s great. Everyone skips home and everything is dandy. Life goes on, until one day Deuce phones Ty asking him to be the best man at Deuce’s wedding, which is going to be held in Scotland. Also, would Ty mind bringing one of his Recon buddies to double up as security, too? This person can even bring a date. Enter Nick and Kelly. They head on over to Scotland, and there things start to go pear shaped as they inevitably tend to when the boys embark on the dreaded V-word.

I’m not going to go into a whole lot of detail, but that’s the gist of it. When I finished this book, I was confused. I didn’t really know how to feel about it. But the more I think about it, the more let down I feel. This book, for me, was indisputably the weakest book in the series. I don’t know what the effing hell happened. I really need to vent here, so I’m just going to go ahead and spill my guts. First thing that pissed me off? The reunion sex, or rather the glaring lack thereof. I know that sounds terribly superficial, but I felt cheated. Ty and Zane haven’t seen each other for months, and there’s no reunion sex??? And then, when we did get some sexy time, it was intruded upon by Nick and Kelly shouting through the walls. I’ll talk about those two in a minute. Secondly, when the shit started to fly, it did so in such a way that I just found myself shaking my head. I know that in most of the Cut & Run books, the guys run into situations that are a little out there. And that’s totally fine. But this time went a step too far. It was just so far-fetched. And chaotic. People were running around all over the place, but it didn’t really feel like anything was really happening. Now, on to Nick and Kelly. I just want it to be known that I like Nick and Kelly. I’m really looking forward to more of their story. In their books. Honest to God, it felt like I was reading a Sidewinder novel. I mean, this is Ty and Zane’s second last book. I needed them to have more page time than they did. As someone I was talking to on Twitter pointed out, it felt like they were supporting characters in their own bloody book. The huge issues that caused so much friggin’ angst in the last book were barely touched on. I mean, Ty asked Zane to marry him, for Pete’s sake. Surely before you take that much anticipated leap, you should talk some stuff out? And get to know each other again? You haven’t seen one another for nearly half a year! Related to those NOLA issues, and I swear to God I’ll stop after this, was Nick’s beef with Ty. I didn’t get it. It felt… a little forced. I understand why Nick was upset, but there didn’t seem to be any build up to it. One minute Nick was chilled, and the next Nick was all pissy.

I’m sorry that this turned into a rant. But I just needed to get it out there. This isn’t to say that there weren’t any good points because there were. I just probably won’t remember them in the long run…

Hell or High Water: Long Time Gone

Long Time Gone

Long Time Gone

Soldier of fortune, Prophet Andrews always worked alone–until Tom Boudreaux became his partner. But when Tom walked away three months ago, ostensibly to keep Prophet safe, Prophet learnt the true meaning of being alone. Everyone knows that Prophet, a Navy SEAL turned CIA spook turned mercenary, can look after himself. Which means he must’ve driven his lover away.

Even with half a world between them, Prophet can’t get the man out of his head. Maybe that’s why he’s in New Orleans in the middle of a hurricane, protecting Tom’s aunt. But the only looter around is Tom, bursting back into Prophet’s life. It turns out that Prophet has been stuck in Tom’s head–and heart–too.

Their explosive reunion gets even hotter when Tom is arrested for murder. As they fight to clear his name, they delve deep into his past, finding enemies among everyone they meet. Staying alive in such a dangerous world is enough, but they soon discover that fighting to stay together is the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. 

I read this book ages ago, pretty much when it first came out, and for some reason I’m only talking about it now. I’m telling you this because I might be a little fuzzy on the details, so I apologise in advance.

When we last saw our boys, Tommy had pulled that whole I’m-staying-away-from-you-for-your-own-good thing. And it is only because I adore Tommy that I didn’t want to punch him in the mouth.Unfortunately for Tommy, though, Prophet didn’t really share my sentiments and he went off the radar. No one has any idea where he is, or what he’s doing. And Tommy’s a little worried. Every night he sends Prophet an email. And every morning he wakes up, hoping for a response. Except… Prophet never replies. Undeterred, Tommy keeps on. And one day, Tommy mentions in one of his innumerable messages, Tommy mentions his concerns for his aunt living in New Orleans, a city once again on the verge of another hurricane.

Prophet has been having a bit of a rough time. He didn’t expect getting kicked to the curb to hurt so much. He didn’t expect it to be so difficult to move on. He’s on the brink of going so deep undercover that no one will find him. And then something makes him check his email. And then he starts to read. And against his better judgement, he then heads down to New Orleans. And this is where our two boys reunite.

This book made me happy. It was serious, but not so angsty that I wanted to jump in my pool and then forget how to swim. Tommy and Prophet had their issues–honesty being a big one–but they managed to work through a lot of it. And let me tell you one thing: I do not mind them fighting if SE Jakes keeps writing those steamy make up scenes. My God, those things are hotBut beyond the make up sex and the reunion sex and the angry sex was the fact that we got to know Tommy and Prophet a little better. Prophet opened up a little more to Tommy. He spent a lot less time hiding his feelings from both himself and his partner. Tommy was the star of this book, for me. We learnt more about his past and why he’s not so keen on his family. Lets just say, the guy has some daddy issues, and who can blame him? I loved how Prophet stood up for him. It was really sweet and it made me happy and wish for tender sex. What? I can’t help it, Jakes writes some insane love scenes. One other thing I want to mention is Cillian. God, that guy worked on my nerves. Not because he’s a bad character or whatever, but because he wouldn’t stop flirting with Prophet. It’s the crazy fangirl in me, but I get oddly territorial on behalf of fictional characters when other people hit on them. I kinda wanna be like this:

I really think I love this series. It has it’s emotionally traumatising moments, but they don’t last too long. And, happily, Long Time Gone didn’t end with a huge honking cliffhanger. Thank God for small mercies. The last one almost did me in.

In Death: Glory in Death

Glory in Death

Glory in Death

The dead were her business. She lived with them, she worked with them, studied them. She dreamed of them. Murder no longer shocked, but it continued to repel.

The first victim is found lying on a sidewalk in the rain. The second is found murdered in her own apartment building. Both have had their throats slashed.

New York City homicide lieutenant Eve Dallas has no problem finding connections between the two crimes. Both women were beautiful and successful; their glamorous lives and loves the talk of the city. And their intimate relations with powerful men provide Eve with a long list of suspects–including her own lover, Roarke.

As a woman, Eve is compelled to trust the man who shares her bed. But as a cop, it’s her job to follow every lead, to explore every secret passion, no matter how dark. Or how dangerous.

There are some authors who just have that something. You know, that thing, that quality, to their writing that makes it almost impossible to put their books down. J.D Robb has that thing. With every chapter that I finished, I became more and more glad that I’d started this series. It really is something else.

Eve Dallas’s life hasn’t changed all that much since the end of Naked in Death. She still investigates murders, she still works too hard, she still has nightmares. The only aspect in her life that’s undergone any sort of shift is her love life. As in, now she actually has one and she’s not entirely sure how to handle it. Thankfully, but also unfortunately, Eve has plenty to distract herself from her growing attachment to Roarke. A high profile lawyer has been found murdered in a really dodgy part of town. Said lawyer had a close relationship with Eve’s boss, who’s given Eve strict instructions to find whoever did this at whatever cost. So no pressure. But then the body of another high profile lady is found, murdered in the exact same way, and Eve finds herself in the midst of a shit storm. Not only does she have to deal with one truly obnoxious journalist, she also has to face the fact that both victims were linked to Roarke. So, once again, Eve has to turn her eye onto Roarke in her professional capacity. This obviously doesn’t go down too well with Roarke, leaving Eve to deal with issues in both her personal and professional life.

This book was really incredible. I wasn’t only captivated by the who-dunnit element of the story, but also how the characters are starting to evolve. We see Eve gradually becoming more open and vulnerable with Roarke. She spends a lot of time fighting her feelings, and we see how justifiably frustrated Roarke gets. I didn’t really blame him for getting huffy. He really puts himself out there, and still Eve holds back. I think my favourite part of this book was actually getting to know Roarke better. In the first book, he came off as this hot, aloof millionaire who’s suddenly taken an interest in Eve. With this book, we saw Roarke as a person, not the badboy rich guy. He was actually–dare I say it–sweet. Not a word I would have associated with Roarke, but there you go.

Now, I just need to share this with you. This little snippet, after Roarke swoops in to rescue her, is exactly why I love Eve as much as I do. She’s awesome sauce…

“It’s his blood,” Roarke said calmly, “not mine.”
“His blood.” She nearly wobbled again, forced her knees to lock. “You’re not hurt?”
“Nothinh major.” Concerned, he angled her head back to examine the shallow slice along her collarbone, the rapidly swelling eye. “You need a medic, Lieutenant.”
“In a minute. Let me ask you something.”
“Ask away.” Having nothing else, he tore part of his ripped sleeve to dab at the blood on her shoulder.
“Do I come charging into one of your board rooms when your having trouble with a business deal?”
His eyes flicked to hers. Some of the fierceness died out of them into what was almost a smile. “No, Eve, you don’t. I don’t know what got into me.” 

I really recommend giving this series a try. Robb’s descriptions and the way she seems to weave these mysteries so effortlessly is awe inspiring. And the characters are just so interesting. I know that I’m dying to find out more about both Eve and Roarke. They’re both very enigmatic characters, despite being our leads.

In Death: Naked In Death

Naked In Death

Naked In Death

She woke in the dark. For a moment she simply lay there, shuddering, imprisoned, while the dream faded. After ten years on the force, Eve still had dreams.

Named by the social worker who rescued her as a child, Eve Dallas is now a New York City cop who lives for the job. 

While recovering from her latest case, Eve is sent to investigate the brutal execution of Sharon DeGlass. A high-class escort and senator’s granddaughter, Sharon has been shot three times with an illegal gun and left naked and posed on her own bed.

All the evidence points Eve towards Irish billionaire Roarke. With an instant sexual attraction between them, Eve and Roarke must work together to find a sadistic killer–but can Eve really trust a man whose past is as damaged as her own?

I had heard of J.D Robb, or Nora Roberts, for a long time and for some reason, I never tried any of her stuff. Let me let you in on a little secret: that was dumb. I was dumb. Because this book was brilliant. Robb is an incredible writer. Her descriptions are so vivid, her characters are so complex and layered, and I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. This book was, in a word, phenomenal.

Our story is set in the year 2058, and a lot has changed. Prostitution is now legal, guns are–for the most part–illegal, and genetic testing is done to ensure that the worst of humanity’s violent tendencies are weeded out. Despite many of the advancements that have been made, murder is still a fact of life. This is where out leading lady, Eve Dallas, comes in. She’s a cop, and she’s been called in to investigate the murder of a prostitute. This particular case has made headlines, not only because of the way in which the victim was killed but also because of the woman’s social status. Her grandfather is a high-ranking member of a conservative political party calling for a return to a more “moral” way of life, where prostitutes are arrested and the American public has the right to bear arms. Also of note is the fact that this woman wasn’t strangled or stabbed; she was shot. So there is a lot of public interest in this case and a great deal of pressure on Eve to catch the person responsible. And the pressure continues to mount when more prostitutes are found dead, all killed in the exact same way. As Eve investigates, she finds a lot of evidence pointing in the direction of Roarke, the gorgeous, mysterious billionaire. Eve pursues the investigation wherever it takes her, but things are made a little complicated by the sexual tension between her and Roarke.

I need a minute to talk about Eve. She was such a complete and utter badass. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a heroine this much. She didn’t put up with anybody’s shit. Her utter focus on finding the truth, on catching the bad guy, was awesome. She was tough, but she never came across as hard. Eve has suffered through some major trauma in her life, but she’s overcome it to become on of the best cops in New York. She’s just the kind of heroine that you have to root for. Given her damage, you just want her to be happy. This leads me nicely to Roarke. He is Mr Megabucks, the guy who has everything and wants for nothing. Well, there is one thing he wants: Eve. For the first time since he made his first million, it looks like Roarke is actually going to have to really work at getting what he wants because Eve is wary of him from the get-go. Not only because he’s a suspect but because he threatens her on a level that no one else ever has.

This is normally the kind of book I would avoid since I don’t really like being kept in any real kind of suspense. But I loved everything about this book. I honestly had no clue who the murderer was, even until the end. I know there are a crap load of books in this series and, while some may find that intimidating, I find that I can’t wait to delve even deeper into it.

You can buy Naked in Death over at Sony‘s ebook store.

In the Company of Shadows: Evenfall

Evenfall

Evenfall

Years after the bombs of WWIII have changed the physical and political landscape, the Agency ruthlessly works behind the scenes to take down rebel groups that threaten the current government. Their goals justify all means. Hsin Liu Vega (Sin) is their most efficient and deadly assassin ever. However, he tends to go off on unauthorized killing sprees and somehow his assigned partners all end up dead under suspicious circumstances. That is why the Agency has had him locked up in a box on the fourth floor for years. But now they think it is time to put the psychopath back in the field. With a new partner.

Boyd’s mother, a high ranking Agency official, volunteers her teenage son for the position. Boyd is not afraid of death. In fact, his life has been such an endless cycle of apathy and despair for the last few years that he’d welcome it. 

Can these two broken men form an efficient partnership? Can they learn to trust anyone, let alone each other? Sin doesn’t give a fuck about the Agency, or the androgynous boy who holds the remote to the shock collar that is supposed to control him.

On the other hand, Boyd is strangely unafraid of the man everyone calls “monster” and Sin seems reluctant to let his keeper get himself killed on any mission. Yet.

Have you ever read a book where, a couple of chapters in, you question the wisdom of having started it at all? Not because it’s bad but because it is so good. Almost too good. Like your brain has just been kicked in the metaphorical face, solar plexus and nuts all at the same time. Ever had that feeling? Because I was assaulted by that feeling every time I picked up my Kindle and started reading.

Sin and Boyd are the most interesting characters I’ve read in a long time. Individually and as a team, these two were riveting. They’re both so damaged and so sad and they just completely broke my heart. Boyd is just… completely apathetic. His traumatic past has made it so that he honestly doesn’t care if he lives or dies. When he’s given the gig at the Agency, it’s just a means of passing the time until he croaks. He has this huge wall between him and the people surrounding him; very little can inspire any sort of reaction from him. And that is what makes him perfect for the recently opened position at the Agency: the position of being Hsin Liu Vega’s new partner. Sin makes me want to cry. Like, ugly snot-en-trane cry. He has had such a horrible life, with the people who were meant to protect him doing him the most damage. Sin had been trained from an early–and I mean, ridiculously early–age to be an assassin, despite showing signs of mental instability. After his father died, Sin went to the Agency and picked up where his father left off. Instead of showing empathy, Sin’s new colleges treated him like shit and cemented Sin’s decision to never trust anyone. And now he and Boyd are thrown together and expected to work as a team. Needless to say, the beginning was rough. But then things get better. Boyd doesn’t treat Sin like a monster; he treats him like any other guy, albeit someone seriously lacking in the people skills department. Seeing Sin gradually let his guard down, in even the teeniest ways, was just so sweet and so sad. And seeing Boyd let something filter through the barriers he’d put up between himself and the rest of the world just put a lump in my throat. There were parts where I was pretty much wanted to get inside the book and be, like:

  

I’m not going to go into too much detail as to the actual story line. I could spend the whole day telling you about it and still not manage to do it justice. From here on, I’m just going to tell you how this book made me feel. I have always been one of those people who has the tendency to shout at my books. It doesn’t always happen; it’s only when I’m really into what’s happening on the pages. I spent so much time yelling at my Kindle that I honestly think that I was starting to freak my family out a little bit. Seriously, I was rowdy. Shouting in anger because someone was being hateful, or Sin and Boyd’s massive communication issues reared their ugly heads; just about sobbing when something awful happened to Sin or Boyd (which was fucking often, I’ll have you know); giggling when Sin got snarky; and heaving dreamy sighs whenever my boys had a moment where they seemed to get each other. This book was honestly an emotional roller coaster. There were times when I was miserable. Like, how could these evil authors do such horrible things to these two characters I had so quickly come to adore? But, at the same time, I have never been happier to be miserable because of a book.

I think that by now you can tell that I loved this book. A lot. That being said, I do want to warn you of a few things. Firstly, you will not like me if you decide to take my advice and give this book a go. I currently sort of, but not really, loathe the people who recommended this book to me because I had not planned on spending my December holiday as an emotional wreck. Next, you can probably tell that this book is not what you’d call “light and fluffy”. If you are looking for candy floss, you might want to keep on looking. I’m not saying that this book won’t totally grab you if you start, but it is a little on the heavy side. Thirdly, it might take you a while to finish reading. Not as long as it’s taken me (two bloody weeks!) but at 1400 pages, it’ll probably consume quite a bit of your time. So do yourself a favour and wait until you’ve finished up with any deadlines or whatever.

However, even with all these warnings in place, I can honestly not think of a better way for anyone to spend their time. Evenfall was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever been so invested in characters and their development before. And I realise I’m droning on so I’m going to go now before I make you gag. 

You can download the entire series for free right here.

Cut & Run: Touch & Geaux

Touch & Geaux

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 one place Ty’s face could get him killed. Surrounded by trouble as soon as they land, Ty and Zane are swiftly confronted by a past 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.

I was on Abigail Roux’s website a long while ago, just before Touch & Geaux was released. I don’t remember what the situation was exactly, but it had come out that a fan had sent Abi a message saying that she loved the series so much she was going to stop at Stars & Stripes. Or something to that effect. And I thought, what an odd duck. As it turns out, this person was actually a smart duck. A very smart duck, indeed. I cannot remember the last time a book made me so miserable! In all fairness, we’d been warned that Touch & Geaux was going to be rough but nothing, and I mean nothing, could have prepared me for the anguish I experienced at the hands of this book.

ust a quick warning: there will be spoilers from here on out. Not little spoilers; big ones. If you haven’t gotten to Touch & Geaux yet and want to remain blissfully ignorant, you need to look away now. 

The story starts off well, with Ty and Zane still in their happy place. They’re boss is making their lives uncomfortable (he’s the boss, so why not?) but besides that the boys have nothing to worry about. And then Nick O’-fucking-Flaherty calls Ty. He tells Ty that he’s in New Orleans and that he’s been arrested for murder. Ty, being the loyal guy that he is, hops on the earliest plane, with Zane in tow, to go help his friend, even though he knows that being seen in New Orleans could spell big trouble for him. Ty and Zane arrive in New Orleans being all, “Where’s the fire?” and it turns out that it was just a hoax. It was the Sidewinder boys’ way of getting Ty to travel to New Orleans so that they could celebrate the fallen Elias Sanchez’s birthday. I’m still irrationally angry with Nick about this. Obviously, there’s no way he could have predicted what was going to happen, but still. Ty’s a little annoyed but he gets over it pretty quickly, and it looks like things are going to be fine. Ha! All that is is Abi lulling you into a false sense of security before she kicks you in the face. We get introduced to a new character, Liam Bell, who a lot of people seemed to find charming. I was not one of those people. The shit starts hitting the fan as soon as that smarmy fucker (excuse my language, but I feel strongly about this) shows up on the scene. In all fairness, it’s not entirely his fault but I found his… glee at the turmoil between Ty and Zane infuriating, to say the least.

Anyhow, things rapidly go from bad to worse, and then they get even freaking worse. Ty had to go to hospital, then his cover in New Orleans was just about blown, Liam was threatening Zane, the Miami drug cartel from Zane’s days undercover were after him, and then all these secrets-the ones Ty never wanted to tell-were being force out of him, and it was just awful.

Turns out, Ty was keeping two humongous secrets. The first secret was bad, the second one was worse and the consequences were soul destroying. No, I’m not exaggerating. This book bloody well made me cry, and I’m not a crier. I didn’t know who I felt worse for: Zane, for being lied to about so much for so long, or Ty, for being forced to watch everything he cared about start to crumble. And, all the while, Liam fucking Bell was sitting around smirking. It was just… too much. My parents were genuinely worried and then genuinely annoyed when I told them I was getting this worked up over a bloody book. And, as you can see, nearly five months after Touch & Geaux’s release, I’m still a tad upset.

And, because misery loves company, I’m going to share with you the most gut-wrenching quotes from this book.

Zane gritted his teeth and slammed his palm against the wall. “Tell me the truth or I walk!”
Ty swallowed hard, but it was obvious he was weighing whether or not he should speak.
“You really have to think about it?” Zane shoved away from Ty, unable to tear his eyes away even as the pain twisted in his heart like a knife. “I guess we finally found the one thing more important to you than I am.”
Ty’s face hardened. “You know that’s not true.”
“Fuck you, Ty! I feel like I don’t know a goddamned thing right now!” Zane jabbed his finger toward Ty. “I tell you I’m going to walk and you have to fucking think about it? Just fuck you!”

………………………….

Ty’s grip tightened and he lowered his head. He was holding onto Zane as if he’d fall if he let go. Zane recalled the last time they’d both fallen; Ty’d begged him to trust him, and then thrown him off a building. Literally. And Zane had trusted him, with his life, with his happiness, and finally with his heart.
During all that, though, Ty hadn’t trusted Zane with one simple secret. 

………………………….

“Well forgive me if I don’t believe a goddamn word you say. The only way I hear the truth from you is when someone has a gun to your fucking head. Or mine!”
“Someone did have a gun to your head!” Zane started to get up, but Ty reached out to grab him. He didn’t dare let him turn away, afraid Zane wouldn’t ever turn back again. “After everything we’ve been through, why the hell can’t you believe me?”
“Because you lie.”

………………………….

“Grady, come back,” Zane said quietly.
Ty tore his eyes away from the shimmer and met Zane’s gaze.
“That stuff must have a hell of a punch.”
“Easy to get lost in,” Ty murmured.
“Yes,” Zane said under his breath. His facade cracked, and suddenly he looked devastated. Like he’d given up. “You are.”

………………………….

“I’m sorry, Zane,” he gasped, trying to hold on tight.
Zane pressed his face into Ty’s neck, fighting back a sob. His entire body was trembling.
Ty dug his fingers into Zane’s back, holding him close. He put his lips to Zane’s ear. “I’m so sorry.”
Zane’s shoulders tightened under Ty’s hands. “I would have chosen you over anything,” Zane hissed. He pulled back, breaking Ty’s hold, bunched the front of Ty’s shirt in both hands, and jerked Ty forward until they were nose-to-nose, until Ty’s feet weren’t solidly on the floor. “My job, my family, my
 wife. I would have given my life for you! But you! You can’t even give me the truth!”

………………………….  

I’m done. If anybody needs me, I’m that chick huddled in the corner in a fetal position, crying.

Hell or High Water: Catch a Ghost

Catch a Ghost

Catch a Ghost

Everyone knows that Prophet-former Navy SEAL, former CIA spook, full-time pain in the ass-works alone. But his boss at Extreme Escapes, Ltd. has just assigned Proph a new partner and a case haunted by ghosts from Prophet’s past. Suddenly, he has to confront both head-on.

Tom Boudreaux-failed FBI agent, failed sheriff, full-time believer in bad luck-is wondering why the head of a private contracting firm has hunted him down to offer him a job. Still, he’s determined to succeed, despite being partnered with Prophet, EE’s most successful. lethal, and annoying operative, on a case that resurrects his own painful past.

Together, Prophet and Tom must find a way to take down killers in a dangerous world of underground cage matches while fighting their own dangerous attraction. When they find themselves caught in the crossfire, these two loners must trust each other and work together to escape their ghosts… or pay the price.

I just finished Catch a Ghost by SE Jakes, and I’m not sure what to say about it other than that it was perfection. I am actually a little shell-shocked. This is book one in the Hell or High Water series, and it was just… riveting. Since words are failing me and because I also don’t want to spoil anything, I will sum up my reactions to this book like this:

  1. Upon receiving my email from Riptide saying that I could download my book (I pre-ordered, bitches):  
  2. 1339605827_excited_fanThen just before I started reading:tumblr_m7xtgqguPp1ryfrfko1_500
  3. When I started reading I swung between this:typing-omgto this:tumblr_mqnmzmnxfG1sryr89o1_500to this: cry
  4. By the time I was done, I pretty much looked a little like this:cosby_omg
  5. And by the time 28 October rolls around, I imagine that I’ll look like this:tumblr_ma5lhzX7Oy1rv558io1_400

I know this isn’t much of a review, but I really don’t want to spoil anything. In short, it was amazing. Prophet and Tommy were such interesting, complex, damaged characters and I just wanted to hug them. The story was fast-paced, action-packed and full of humour. The sex scenes were out-of-this-world hot and Prophet and Tommy’s chemistry just leaped off the page.

If you’re a fan of the Cut & Run series, you will devour this series. If you’re into action, romance, and badass guys with tattoos and piercings in interesting places, this book is most definitely for you. You can order Catch a Ghost here and then, after you’ve read it, you can order Long Time Gone over here. I promise, you will not regret it!

Cut & Run: Armed & Dangerous

Armed & Dangerous

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 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.
Love you.

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…

Cut & Run: Divide & Conquer

Divide & Conquer

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 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.

If there was ever, God forbid, a fire in my house I do believe that off all the books on my shelf, I’d save the Cut & Run series first. I have become so emotionally attached to Ty and Zane that it’s not even funny. They’re not just fictional characters any more; they’re actual people. But before my imminent trip to the loony bin, let me tell you about this installment in what has become my most favouritist series ever.

Ty and Zane are in a pretty good place right now. Despite Ty dropping the L-Bomb, there’s been minimal awkwardness and their relationship has reached the stage where they’re comfortable with each other. But this being Ty and Zane, this happy phase in their lives can’t last. True to form, something goes horribly wrong; in this case a spate of bombings and bank robberies.  Law enforcement is being accused of not doing enough to keep the city safe, and the subsequent PR nightmare is giving the authorities grey hair. Ty and Zane find themselves in the middle of the chaos when there’s a bomb scare at the local aquarium. Instead of the romantic evening in the boys had planned, they find themselves  responding to the call. After arriving in a fairly dramatic fashion, Ty and Zane become the centre of the media’s attention. Needless to say, this is the last thing Ty and Zane want or need. They just want to be able to do their jobs and be together. Alas, the fates (aka Roux and Urban) seem to take some sadistic pleasure in making the boys’ lives difficult. Becoming the media’s darlings has meant added responsibilities for both Ty and Zane, which also means less time for them to be together. Then things get worse. So much worse. The ringleader of the bombers/bank robbers becomes fixated with Ty, making him a target. While dealing with yet another bomb, Zane gets caught in an exploding building and subsequently loses his vision. Then, and then, as if all this weren’t bad enough, Team Sidewinder shows up for a visit.

I loved this book so much. There were so many ups and downs and tugs at your heartstrings and kicks in the stomach and fires lit in your pants… there was just so much. I love how Ty and Zane’s relationship keeps on developing. They’ve yet to reach a point where I felt that things were dragging or that their relationship is stagnant. But, even though I love Zane, I did want to kick him. Hard. The issues Zane had with telling Ty that he loves him frustrated me. I know this hesitancy was true to Zane’s character and his tendency to overanalyse things is a part of who Zane is. But it still annoyed me. Another thing that totally got my goat was Nick O’Flaherty. I forgave him for it-eventually-but at the time I was furious. There was much shouting and swearing on my part, fueling my family’s insistence that I need to get out more.

In all, this book was pretty much just like the previous three: it was funny, heart wrenching, hot as hell, action-packed, and just plain awesome. And now I will share some more awesomeness with you.

Zane let the momentary annoyance fade into the background. They could bitch about work later. “Sure you still want dessert before dinner?”
“You’re not dessert, Zane. You’re the main course,” Ty informed him in a husky drawl. And you have about five seconds to take your pick of flat surface before I do it for you.”
………………..

Ty reached out and patted Zane’s knee, letting his hand rest there as he finally forced himself to look up and meet Zane’s eyes. “Thank you for believing me today,” he said roughly. “No one else did.”
“I trust you,” Zane said simply.

This is one of my favourite scenes in this book. It involves a slighly jealous, possessive Ty. Makes the knees a little weak.

Zane’s gut clenched; hearing and feeling Ty this worked up was a hell of a turn-on. And the fact that it was because Ty was feeling possessive…Zane’s head spun with delight, and he tried to give as good as he got. Ty pulled back from him just long enough to shuck his suit jacket and yank his shirt and undershirt over his head. Zane could feel the bare skin under his fingertips, soft and warm, shifting over muscles he could trace with his eyes closed. Then Ty was on him again, hands all over him as he tugged and yanked at Zane’s clothing, biting at his lips and his chin and his neck, sucking on his earlobe and growling, “You’re mine. Jersey Shore can get his own.” 

Cut & Run: Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips

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 that is their assignment. As it begins to affect how they treat each other in private, they 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, he and Zane will have to navigate seas of white lies and stormy secrets, including some of their own.

Ty and Zane have become it for me. The couple I will compare all other couples to in terms of what emotions they’re able to wring out of you. I cannot remember the last time I read a series where I had so many feelings. I’m not the type to just cry at the drop of a hat, but Roux and Urban have had me on the brink a dozen times throughout the series, with seemingly little effort.

At the start of Fish & Chips, Ty and Zane are in a relatively stable place in their relationship. They’re back on the field and they’re only struck with the urge to strangle one another every once in a while. Things are going pretty well. Sure, Ty is trying his best not to reveal how deep his feelings for his partner go, but beyond that everything’s just peachy. And then they get their next assignment: to impersonate happily married couple Del and Corbin Porter. I know some people found this bit of the story line to be a little on the cheesy side, but I honestly didn’t mind. I liked that Ty and Zane were given an opportunity to act like a couple-a real couple-without fear of the consequences or what other people would think. Anyway, Ty and Zane reluctantly accept the assignment and realise that along with some cosmetic changes, they’re each going to have to undergo a little bit of a personality transplant. Del, the man Ty will be impersonating, is a little on the submissive side while Corbin is an aggressive creep. When I first read this, I wasn’t convinced. Ty the submissive? Not going to happen. But not only did it happen, Ty’s submissive act was explosively hot.

This case has an affect on more than just Ty and Zane’s sex life. It changes how they treat each other. Slowly but surely, they’re getting more comfortable with the little things that before now they had avoided. Casual touching, being able to watch each other without it being thought of as weird, holding hands in public… All the things most couples would take for granted. In addition to the physical aspects, Ty and Zane also begin opening up to one another a little bit more. I think that aspect of it was my favourite part of this book. In Cut & Run and Sticks & Stones, Ty and Zane have proved that they are utterly at ease with the physical aspect of their relationship; it’s the emotional side that they struggle with. In Fish & Chips you see them taking little baby steps towards being honest with each other about how they feel.

This is my favourite scene from Fish & Chips. Every time I read it, I die a little.

He licked his lips as his thumb grazed the ring. “I love you” was not something he had ever really planned on telling Zane, especially in a situation when neither of them could hide from the other. But it had come out so naturally up there on that railing he hadn’t been able to stop himself. Now, he could either lie right to Zane’s face and let Zane believe it had been a mere ploy to get him to jump, or he could tell him the truth. Again.

Ty was tired of hiding it.

“I have a problem, Zane,” he admitted, sounding slightly surprised that he was saying it out loud, especially now, when everything seemed to be going well for their odd relationship.

Zane raised on brow. “Besides sitting soaking wet in a jail cell in the middle of the Caribbean?”

“I have to say, it’s not a first for me,” Ty muttered. He smiled and looked up at the ceiling. almost talking himself out of saying it. He waited a moment to make sure he really wanted to say it, and when he spoke he had finally dropped the fake accent. “No, this is a different kind of problem.”

Despite the expressed surprise from a moment ago, this time Zane’s voice was more serious, with a shade of audible concern. “What is it?”

Ty bit the inside of his lip as he looked down at his hands and turned them over. They had begun to shake slightly. He could feel the nerves coursing through his body. If he told Zane, nothing would be the same. Their entire partnership would change, for better or for worse. And he knew he would get nothing out of it except the relief of coming clean.

Falling in love or just plain falling: they were both terrifying at any speed. 

He sighed heavily and lifted his chin stubbornly, meeting Zane’s eyes without flinching. “I didn’t say it just to get you to jump. I’m in love with you, Zane,” he admitted in a calm, clear voice. “I have been for a while.”

God, these two idiots just hurt my heart. Every. Single. Time.

Cut & Run: Sticks & Stones

Sticks & Stones

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.

Every time I talk about this series, I will say the same thing: I love, Love, LOVE Ty and Zane. They are just it in terms of what you want in a character. They’re real in a way that is sometimes missing from lead characters. These guys are far from perfect and that makes them easy to relate to. They niggle with each other over stupid shit; they’re not always as honest as they should be; and they have a shit load of personal issues to wade through. And lets not even talk about the idea of commitment. Even the faintest whiff of the C-word is enough to send these boys running in opposite directions. And yet, despite all this, they just work. 

In this installment of the series, Ty and Zane are drifting a little bit. They’re stuck doing desk work and if you know Ty at all, you’ll know that doing nothing is the fastest way to drive Ty bonkers. Zane has been struggling to put the events of New York behind him, but it isn’t working too well. Ty’s getting frustrated with being stuck doing paperwork and Zane’s inability to live in the moment. He also has no idea how to help Zane deal, and it’s starting to put strain on their relationship, both personal and professional. Things are really starting to wear on them, until Richard Burns, their boss, gives them strict instructions to take some time off and return to work with their heads out of their asses. Ty plans on going home to see his family, but Zane finds himself at a bit of a loose end. What the hell is he going to do for three weeks? Ty knows his partner is just going to end up sitting around, moping. So, he invites Zane to come home with his to West Virginia. This is where the fun and games start.

In Sticks & Stones, we meet Ty’s family. What an awesome, odd lot they were. Ty and his brother Deuce are thick as thieves, and Deuce knows that Ty and Zane are… involved. Mara, Ty’s mother, is awesome. Seriously, I decided that I loved that woman the minute she gave Zane a hug upon their first meeting, treating him like he was one of her boys. Then we have Chester Grady, Ty’s grandfather. This crazy old coot carries a shovel with him wherever he goes and uses it to kill the hosepipe (his eyesight isn’t too good; he thinks they’re snakes). My least favourite member of Ty’s family is Earl Grady, Ty’s dad. I didn’t mind Earl in the beginning, but then he said something completely and utterly unforgivable to Ty which made me want to smack him in the mouth. He felt really awful afterward (as he should), but it was too late. The words were said, the damage is done and Earl will be on my shit list forever. The only good thing that came out of Earl acting like a prick was Zane’s reaction. Man, I thought Zane was going to rip his head off.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. A day or two after Ty gets home, the boys decided to go on a nice relaxing hike. Again, if you know Ty and Zane, you will know that the day things go according to plan… you know what, things will never go according to plan. They stumble across some nutty treasure hunters who have no problem killing anyone who may threaten their “investments”. Things quickly escalate and Ty and Zane’s “relaxing” holiday quickly turns into a trip from hell. Between the crazies trying to kill them, Earl being a douche, and wondering around in the freaking woods, Ty and Zane are bordering on a mental break down. And just when you think things cannot possibly get worse-BOOM!-things go further downhill. 

I loved pretty much everything about Sticks & Stones, but what I especially loved was the perspectives from Ty’s family, particularly Deuce’s point of view. Deuce is the only member of Ty’s family who knows that Ty and Zane are more than just partners. Deuce is also a psychiatrist, and he finds himself fascinated by Ty and Zane’s tumultuous relationship. While we see how Ty and Zane’s feelings for one another are changing and developing, having an outsider’s perspective was refreshing. Sticks & Stones also started introducing some serious emotional angst. Not to the point where you’re writhing in agony, but where you’re heart kinda hurts a little bit. Most of those moments were from Ty’s perspective, and I just found myself getting a little choked up. This big, tough idiot has this gentle heart and, God, I just wanted to reach into the book to give him a hug.

Here are a few examples of the emotional trauma inflicted on the reader by Ms Roux and Ms Urban:

Exhibit A: Deuce asks Ty if he’s in love with Zane.
“I don’t know,” Ty said. “I don’t know if I love him or not. I think… I think I could if he let me,” he said, admitting more to Deuce than he’d even been willing to admit to himself.

Exhibit B: Ty gets attacked by a bloody mountain lion.
“You’re okay,” Zane said quietly but clearly. “Just focus on me for a few minutes. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?” While talking, he was gently wiping away the blood.
Ty blinked at him, opening his mouth as he thought the very first thing that came to mind when Zane prompted him. I love you. He snapped his mouth closed and stared at Zane, unable and unwilling to answer.

Exhibit C: Zane is checking Ty’s wounds.
At least he now knew the truth about himself and Zane. Looking raptly into Zane’s dark eyes, Ty wondered why he hadn’t realized he loved the man earlier.
“How bad is it? Really,” Zane asked, looking up to meet Ty’s eyes.
Ty swallowed hard. “Hurts worse than I thought it would,” he answered in a barely audible voice. Whether he was talking about his hand or something more, he really couldn’t have said.

Exhibit D: Zane and the Grady’s have made it off the mountain more or less intact. Ty and Zane are having a quiet moment.
What he was afraid of, he’d come to realize, was not of dark spaces or falling from great heights or being buried alive. His greatest fears, in the end, were letting down those he loved and saying the words “I love you” without any hope of hearing them in return.
He knew, deep down somewhere, that if he fell for Zane Garrett, he’d be falling alone.

Sherlock FeelingsGod in heaven, didn’t that last bit break your heart a little? In conclusion, Sticks & Stones was even better than Cut & Run, if you’ll believe it. And for this series, it’s pretty much a continuing pattern. Each book is better than the last.

Fox Mysteries: To Catch A Fox

To Catch A Fox

To Catch A Fox

Sex. Murder. Blackmail. Revenge. Life in the Big Easy can be a real bitch.

Meet Jon Fox, a sexy New Orleans private detective with more family secrets than even he knows about. But his latest case is about to bring more to the swampy surface than Fox himself could ever have guessed-

A polite old lady with a plot to murder a stranger;
A mother whose secret sent her insane;
An uncle with complete control over the family empire;
A father whose suicide might once again tear his family apart;
And a hot, handsome clueless blond with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yes, meet Jon Fox. A New Orleans private detective whose complicated life… just got a little more complex.

Read that blurb and tell me you aren’t dying to read it. I dare you. This book was… incredible. Take all the synonyms for the word “good”, add them together and multiply that by a hundred, and that’s what this book is. I loved every second of it. Even the end where Knight and Day ripped my heart out, stomped on it, then poured petrol all over it and set it on fire. I’m not even exaggerating. Cliffhangers and I do not mix well. Clearly, there will be some fangirling here. It cannot be helped. So if gasps and squeals of fangirl delight are not your thing, avert your gaze right about now. 

To Catch A Fox is the first book in the Fox Mysteries series by Ethan Day and Geoffrey Knight. The first chapter hits the ground running, with the opening scene involving Fox and a crazy lady with a gun. I knew a couple of pages in that if the book carried on like this, it would be epic. And it totally delivered. So much happened and the characters were so much fun. You either loved them to pieces or you wanted them to be mauled by an alligator. Which did happen a time or two. I don’t want to ruin any surprises, so I’m not going to talk too much about the actual story. I’m going to tell you about my favourite characters, and I’m going to work backwards and deal with Fox and the “hot, handsome clueless blond” last.

First we have Virgil, my favourite secondary character. He was Fox’s dad’s best friend and he is the grumpiest son of a bitch you ever met. He had me laughing more times than I can count. I have a little bit of a soft spot for grumpy old guys. They remind me of my dad. Next is Fox’s mother, Miss Savannah. She’s a little bit Loony Tunes and sometimes confuses Fox with his dad. My heart just breaks for Fox when this happens. I can’t even begin to imagine how much it must hurt not to have your own mom recognise you. Then we have Eva. This woman is Fox’s receptionist, and she has a potty mouth and absolutely no problem giving Fox the what-for. Detective Ford is Fox’s… contact on the New Orleans police force. This guy is so deep in the closet, it’s not even funny. See, he and Fox have a mutually beneficial relationship. He feeds Fox any information that might be useful, and Fox gives Ford something Ford isn’t willing to admit that he needs. I’ll let you use your imagination as to what that might be. Then we have Mrs Betty Black. She was probably the most interesting secondary character. We don’t learn about her agenda until right at the end. She comes to Fox wanting to learn from him so that she can kill someone and get away with it. Fox is feeling like he’s dropped into the twilight zone, but he agrees to help her in the hopes of talking her out of it. While she added a lot to the overall mystery of the book, I did not like her.

Last but not least, Fox and Tucker. As I read this book, they each moved beyond being characters in a book and became people-my people-and I now consider them almost… friends. Fox is a rock star. Honestly, I put him right up there with Ty and Zane, and that is the highest compliment I can give anyone. I mean, the guy owns an albino alligator named Snowflake. How cool is that? I knew the second Snowy came onto the scene that Jon Fox was going to be my hero. Despite him being a bit… free with his affections. Fox doesn’t really see himself as “relationship material”, so he sticks to the casual sex thing.  As such, he’s got a couple of guys around New Orleans who he visits every now and again for a booty call. Not only does he enjoy the sex, but these gentlemen are also useful to him in terms of his job. I know this makes Fox sound like a bit of a skank, but he really does epitomise that whole “tortured hero” thing. I spent most of this book wanting to give him a hug. Until, right at the end, when I wanted to smack him. He has so much that he’s responsible for, and he deals with it as best he can, which sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. With all the stuff he has to deal with, the last thing he needs is any additional complications. But complications he gets in the form of the carefree, happy-go-lucky, gorgeous Tucker Wilder. Tucker was so flippin’ funny, there were times where I nearly fell off my bed laughing. Tucker is a writer, and he is determined to make it big in Hollywood. But after a fallout with some bigwig, he’s come home to New Orleans to regroup. He’s looking to write something big that will get him in the good books with the uber-snobs in LA. He and Fox could not be more different or, seemingly, less compatible. Tucker is an optimistic smart ass, and Fox is hard and jaded. Fox comes across Tucker while doing some research on the enigmatic Betty Black, and things progress from there. I don’t want to spoil the hows and whys of their getting together, but their “courtship” has so many damn bumps, it could be compared to a road in Limpopo. But still, I loved these two. By midway through the book, I pretty much looked like this:

tumblr_mi1kiqwUrR1rn0rzko2_400 (1)

***ENTERING SPOILER ZONE***

Read at your own risk: Just to give you a heads up, because I know I would’ve liked to have had one. There is a big honking cliffhanger. There is no happily ever after for Fox and Tucker, or even a happy for now at the end of this book. It’s more like Fox deciding that he needs to find the resolve to resolve to resolve the issue, if you know what I mean? The ending of this book nearly gave me heart failure. Honestly, I finished this book days ago and I’m still the mutters about the ending. I appreciate that it stayed true to both who Tucker and Fox are as characters, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t some serious emotional trauma suffered. Fox’s judgement was a little clouded by rage at the time that the L-bomb was dropped and, given his own emotional baggage, he wasn’t fully equipped to deal with it. Tucker is just so… I can’t even think of a word. He’s the stuff awesome is made of. Even after Fox pulled his head out of his ass, the damage was done. Tucker wasn’t going to take whatever scraps Fox can give him. Tucker knows he needs more from Fox, and he’s smart enough to know that Fox can’t give  it to him right now. So he walks away and continues to pursue his goals. Yes, he’s sad but he keeps on going. I love Tucker this <———————————————————————————————————————————————-> much.

***EXITING SPOILER ZONE***

I just want to share a few of my favourite quotes with you before I go. If these don’t convince you to read this book… I will keep trying to convince you.

This from Virgil after that crazy lady tries to kill Fox:
Why the hell you got enraged females chasing you around in the dark tryin’ to kill you?” Virgil struck a match and fired up his smoke.  “What the hell kinda homosexual are you anyway?”

Fox being a smart ass after the crazy lady tries to kill him:
How the hell was he going to explain away the dead wife of a Louisiana state senator to the police? But on the bright side, he thought, “Apparently I’m a real lady killer after all.”
Seriously. I impersonated a hyena after reading that.

Tucker’s aunt tells Tucker to be grateful for what the Lord has given him. Tucker thinks to himself:
Unfortunately, I’m not the type to sit around waiting on any man, not even the good Lord.

Okay, this is me being a bit of a sap. This book was so full of action that the sweet moments between Fox and Tucker were few and far between. So when they did have a gentle moment between them, it was made even more “awww…”-inspiring:
“I won’t be able to find you soon,” Tucker commented, referring to the fog that had now swept in off the river, covering the night in a silky veil.
“Here,” Fox said, reaching through the mist. “Take my hand.”
Tucker did so, feeling Fox’s warm, strong fingers entwine with his, and suddenly he didn’t feel quite so frightened anymore.

This after the boys had just barely escaped an explosion:
“Are you okay?”
“What?” Tucker shouted back, trying to wring out his ear with one finger.
“I said, are you okay?” Fox shouted back.
“Of course I’m gay!” Tucker yelled. “For a detective you pick the strangest times to ask the most idiotic questions.”

If you’re looking for a book with an interesting (to put it mildly) plot, awesome characters and hot sex, you will want to read this book. It lacked nothing. I am already waiting impatiently for the next book in the series, Fox In The Hole. I have reason to believe that it will be coming out towards the end of the year. Here’s hoping!