Armed & Dangerous by Abigail Roux (Cut & Run #5)
M/M Romantic Suspense
May 18, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: Glock, paper, scissors. I win.
Before I get into this review, let me first say it might not be the most objective review ever. I love this series. Ty and Zane are two of my favorite characters ever. I could read about them sitting on the couch and probably love the book. Of course that being said, there is something about the writing in these books that just draws me in. Ty and Zane are both so well done. They are never predictable and that really intrigues me. I’m addicted and they are my crack. I adored this book. Here is why.
Ty and Zane are finally in a good spot in their relationship. They have both said ‘I love you’ and really mean it. Both working in the FBI’s Baltimore office, their boss, Richard Burns finds himself in some trouble. Burns’s good friend Jonas Randall who works for the CIA, comes to him with some upsetting news. Jonas says someone is setting him up to take the fall for ordering private hits. There is only one guy alive who might know who is setting him up, and his name is Julian Cross. Problem is that Julian wants nothing to do with the CIA anymore and is refusing to cooperate. An extremely dangerous man, Burns agrees to put his two best men on the case. Which means Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are off to Chicago to bring Julian Cross back to Baltimore. Of course, nothing goes as planned. Julian is extremely tough to bring in, and they end up on a road trip of sorts back to Baltimore with Julian trying to escape the entire time. And then the CIA starts shooting at them. Just another day for Ty and Zane.
That sets up the conflict part of this book, but let’s face it. I read this series more of the interactions between Ty and Zane than the suspense. First let me say, Julian Cross (and his boyfriend Cameron) star in the book Warrior’s Cross. You might want to read that book first (as well as this series in order) to get the full effect of all of these characters. I love Julian Cross, and he has some great moments with Ty and Zane. He is extremely smart and dangerous and tries to out with Ty and Zane at every turn. They hate each other, but it starts to turn into respect by the end of their journey and I loved it. I think because Julian was involved, this was my favorite suspense plot of the series.
As I mentioned above, Ty and Zane are finally together and in love and in this book we get to see them explore this. There is no major drama between them. There are still issues they have to work out, and many things they have to learn about each other. But they are both willing to take that jump into a full-time, exclusive relationship. They are more in awe in this book about what they truly have together.
At the beginning of the book, Zane is still really angry for Ty up and leaving after the ‘I love you’ was muttered at the end of the previous book.
“Does it make you feel better to know I missed the hell out of you?” Ty whispered, lips moving against Zane’s. “And I hope you’re still just a little angry when we get to my hotel room.”
Zane let out a shuddering breath. “It’ll be more than just a little.”
Ty hummed, the sound deep and anticipatory. It was almost a purr. “Promise?”
Zane gripped Ty’s upper arms tight. “Absolutely.”
I’m so glad this conflict didn’t drag much into this book. As we’ve gotten to know Ty, we know that he is high strung. That when massive stress comes down on him, he needs his space. He can take down the deadliest of bad guys without batting an eyelash, but dealing with his true love, is something totally different. We get a lot of answers about Ty’s past, and how it has shaped who he is today. The dark days of him being in the elite force of the marines, and what really happened to him with his best friend Nick.
Zane has a little quieter role in this book, but still makes an impact. I love that he is the quieter one, yet Julian knows, if push came to shove, Zane would be the first one to shoot him. This series sets these characters in extreme circumstances both in their professional and personal life which is why I love it so much. Ty and Zane are always a breath away from getting killed. And obviously that won’t happen, but it still puts you on edge. And then you have these two extremely alpha men – both who have been with women in the past and really discover a homosexual relationship for the first time with each other. Their sex is so intense and hardcore, that it really makes the scenes memorable. They went from hating each other and having sex to now in book five, loving each other so much that they can barely can take it …and still having sex. It is emotional overkill and I can’t get enough of it.
I feel like this book flowed better. Sometimes in previous books the scenes seemed to last too long, or it was too jerky with scene changes. No idea if it is because this is the first book written by Abigail Roux and not Madeline Urban, but I’ll take it either way. I adored what we got with Ty and Zane, and Julian thrown in there as well. I highly recommend this series be read in order (stating with Cut & Run). The books just get better and better as the series progresses. This is my favorite of the series and I can’t wait to see what Abigail Roux has in store for us next time.
The Book Pushers – A
The Novel Approach – 5/5
Author’s Website l Series Listing
Kindle l Nook l Dreamspinner Press
Note: Per this post, the next Ty and Zane book will be called Stars & Stripes and will be releasing with Riptide publishing on August 13.
Great review, Mandi. I really enjoyed this. I did feel as if the plot flowed much more smoothly in A&D compared to other books in the series. My only complaint is that sometimes it felt like it went too long without a narrative change; I did miss how quickly the narrative voice would switch between the two of them, because it added to some of the urgency I felt between the two. I can’t wait to read book 6 (out this summer!)
I’ve always had probs with scenes feeling too long…or as you said, narrative changes. For me, I didn’t notice that so much in this one. But it also could be because I felt more absorbed in this book. I’m interested to see how it plays out in the next one.
LOVE!!! I need to catch up on this series so I can read this one.
Yes! Catch up so we can talk :)
Mandi, really great review. I finished this one late Saturday night. I agree, I’m not very objective either when it comes to the Cut & Run series. I think I would love any Ty & Zane book. This is by far my favorite m/m series. It had plenty of laugh out loud moments and the romance parts were great too. Can’t wait to read the next one in August and to find out what happens with those cats, Smith & Wesson.
Oh yes..the cats. *giggles* And didn’t Ty put something in his trench coat pocket for Zane and then never give it to him? At least the necklace finally made it to him :)
Definitely my favorite m/m series. Can’t wait for August
Color me intrigued.
Oh Ryan…go buy Cut & Run right now! :)
Lege Artis says
My favorite from series! I was little afraid after Ty’s note at the end of Divide & Conquer that relationship will be two steps back, but no. Our boys are in love more than ever and they know it! That was the best thing for me. And this book wasn’t just Ty’s book (as Fish & Chips was) or just Zane’s book (as Divide & Conquer was ). This book truly was Ty&Zane’s book.
I have to congratulate Abigail Roux for what she did with this one. The pressure was there: this was the first book she wrote herself and this huge fan base behind this wonderful series was counting on her. And she did it masterly!
Mandi, Ty and Zane are my favorite couple,too (yeah, I have T-shirts and all:)), so this was one of my most anticipated books this year and I feel sure enough to say that it will be one of my favorite reads at the end of this year.
It’s great and deserved A review, Mandi!
I really liked that we weren’t tormented with the two of them breaking up or having major issues. With book 5 in a series, I am SO ready for there to be happy times, and she gave that to us. I expect them to still have issues, as they ARE dysfunctional..LOL. But I was expecting to be frustrated (Because of the note in previous book) and I wasn’t. It worked out SO well. :)
Lege Artis says
Exactly. Roux had opening there-she could have made this new-old mess (’cause we have seen Ty leaving and Zane grieving already), but she didn’t.:)
What do you think of Nick?
I’m glad Nick and Zane had that talk. I love that Zane was totally jealous – that felt right. I mean, it was only the last book that they kissed. While I didn’t like that kiss, I understand it and I really like the aftermath. Ty was totally honest, and Zane’s reaction felt right.
I also love Ty’s brother in this one :)
Lege Artis says
Oh, yes! One of things I noticed in m/m books is that women are quite often presented to be bad or evil. I don’t like that so much, I don’t understand it. But Yoga girl rocked! Great!
Nick’s stocks are much higher after this book.:)
I can’t say enough good things about this book (and series), I was sick as a dog on friday, but I was happy to be home reading it. T & Z fell so real to me, it’s crazy. Great review Mandi!
She does such a great job with them. I hope they made you feel better ;)
Perfect review! I just loved it! I so enjoyed Ty and Zane being in such a good place with their relationship. And Julian…this interaction/crossover definitely took the story to another level. Genius to pit Julian and Ty against each other. Loved Cam too and getting the deets from Nick…there were some tears! And yes, finally Zane gives Ty the necklace. How long will we have to wait for Ty’s airport purchase???
Does Ty even have that trench coat anymore?? LOL.
Julian was FAB in this book.
I’m thinking yes-but I do recall a passage where they dump everything. And doesn’t he “take” a jacket or something from someone or some place at one point? I really tried to read slowly and absorb, but you know how it is!
And the cats…OMG, I forgot about the cats! I hope that means that we’ll get to see more of Julian. He’s gotta come and get them at some point, right?
He’ll probably make Preston pick them up :)
Carolyn @ Book Chick City says
Just bought book #1 :)
This makes me smile. You’ll have to let me know how you like it.
“Sometimes in previous books the scenes seemed to last too long, or it was too jerky with scene changes.”
This is indeed one of the issues I have when O read Cut And Run. The flow was off so I’m glad to read this is changing :) I kinda skimmed your review a bit here and there since I just read the first book but I agree Ty and Zane are cracktastic! ;)
Yeah – the first two are a little rough – but the series gets better and better. Stick with it!
I loved this book so hard core! I am such a fangirl, I can’t even tell you. Thank you a million times over for making me read these books!!
I love talking with and waiting for each one with you!
Le sigh…so glad they are getting to enjoy being in love with each other! My tummy is fluttering just thinking about it . I just started D&C and can’t wait to get to this one. I loved Warriors Cross and want to see Julian again, thanks for the review.
You’ll have to let me know how you like this one! You will love Julian in it!
Didn’t read review above as have only read the first book in series and loved it.
The reason I read Cut & Run was that a couple of weeks ago in either your top ten or weekly round up (really like these posts each week). It was mentioned that you couldn’t wait for book 5 so I decided to go and check out book 1.
I really loved it and am now moving onto book 2. So thank you for introducing me to this series and the great characters of Ty and Zane.
I’m so happy you enjoyed C&R!! It was fellow blogger Kris (from Kris n Good book) who hooked me. I love finding a series like this. I hope you enjoy them all :)
Lege Artis says
OMG! I had no idea new book will come out so soon! I’m super excited we’re gonna meet Zane’s family!
That’s certainly love and praise :D
I liked it just a bit, huh? ;)
I’ve already re-read this twice and it gets better every time! I am so happy for Abigail Roux and how fantastic this book is. Having read her book According to Hoyle, I knew she would do a great job with Ty, Zane, Julian, and Cameron all together, but I was blown away by the love between Ty and Zane.
I’m such a geek for these books and Warrior’s Cross that I’m even excited to see more Smith and Wesson in the future. :-)
Totally blown away. I need more!!
Mandi – do you think I should read Warrior’s Cross first?
Yes..I think you should. You will get the most out of this book if you do.
You won’t be lost though if you don’t.
I was in Yellowstone Friday and the book was having trouble downloading & I was about to explode, as this is 1 of my favorite series. I read it on Saturday (stayed up way too late) and I have to say it was even better then the others in the series and I cannot wait to see where Abigail Roux takes the guys next. Your original recommendation for Cut and run got me started on this series and since then I take your opinions as a great indicator of whether I will like a series or not. Keep up the good reviews Mandi!
Thanks Phyllis! So glad you got started on this series. I agree – best so far. So excited to see what happens next. Don’t be in Yellowstone in August! LOL
Phyllis V says
Yeah I am done with our natural wonders for the year & already chomping at the bit for August. If you don’t follow Abi Roux on tumblr I highly recommend it, she puts quite a few Ty & Zane tid bits on there
Oh cool..I don’t! Off to find it right now.
Nick Stark says
I’m a big fan of the series, and agree this was the best one. The comfort level that Ty and Zane have in their relationship, as well as keeping an eye on Julian and the other forces trying to intercept them, kept it moving and unpredictable. One of the things that kept it arousing for me was the number of close calls with Julian escaping or the CIA agents intervening. The thought of either Ty or Zane being taken down / incapacitated / held hostage, and possibly used to force the surrender of the other or of Julian, was a major turn on for me. Being strip searched at the airport; the near escape in the car; the CIA agents busting into the hotel; and being in CIA custody at the end all got me going. I had a similar reaction in Sticks & Stones when the bad guys forced Ty to surrender himself, and in Cut & Run when Ty was chloroformed. Sounds like it’s Zane’s turn to be at the mercy of the bad guys. It would have been hot if Julian had turned on Zane and offered him up to the CIA agents when the burst in the hotel room. Then if Zane had been cuffed with his own cuffs and left for Ty to discover, struggling and pissed off. I would also have enjoyed delving deeper into what exactly happened after the chopper was shot down as the Afghan forces too Ty and Nick as prisoners; it goes from chopper shot down to waking up in a cell, and I think there was some missed opportunity there. Finally, while in CIA custody we got the details of Ty’s being strip searched, chained and interrogated, but nothing on Zane. All of these are minor and play to my particular fetishes, and I must say that the book is still a must read for any fan of the series. Nick
Nick Stark says
I’m a big fan of the series, and agree this was the best one. The comfort level that Ty and Zane have in their relationship, as well as keeping an eye on Julian and the other forces trying to intercept them, kept it moving and unpredictable. One of the things that kept it arousing for me was the number of close calls with Julian escaping or the CIA agents intervening. The thought of either Ty or Zane being taken down / incapacitated / held hostage, and possibly used to force the surrender of the other or of Julian, was a major turn on for me. Being strip searched at the airport; the near escape in the car; the CIA agents bursting into the hotel; and being in CIA custody at the end all got me going. I had a similar reaction in Sticks & Stones when the bad guys forced Ty to surrender himself, and in Cut & Run when Ty was chloroformed. Sounds like it’s Zane’s turn to be at the mercy of the bad guys. It would have been hot if Julian had turned on Zane and offered him up to the CIA agents when they burst in the hotel room. Then if Zane had been cuffed with his own cuffs and left for Ty to discover, struggling and pissed off. I would also have enjoyed delving deeper into what exactly happened after the chopper was shot down as the Afghan forces took Ty and Nick as prisoners; it goes from chopper shot down to waking up in a cell, and I think there was some missed opportunity there. Finally, while in CIA custody we got the details of Ty’s being strip searched, chained and interrogated, but nothing on Zane. All of these are minor and play to my particular fetishes, and I must say that the book is still a must read for any fan of the series. Nick
I love this series! I found it here while looking for another m/m to read after reading Grey’s Awakening by Cameron Dane(which I found through Tori’s post on Heroes and Heartbreakers).I started the first one last weekend and couldn’t stop, before I finished I was already buying 2-5 on my Nook to have them waiting for me.
I was also happy the whole thing with Ty leaving didn’t take half the book to resolve, I don’t think it would have fit the characters and where they were in their relationship at this point no matter how much I wanted Zane to stay angry a little longer just to have Ty grovel more. J
The case was great and had me wondering how they were going to make it to D.C. with everyone unharmed. The airport was hilarious but when Zane had to shoot at Julian when he tried to escape I knew it was going to be fun ride. I was always wondering how Julian was going to try escape next and would that be the time somebody got hurt or Ty loses it. I thought the relationship between Julian and Cameron was great and I now have to get Warrior’s Cross to get their story.
The conversation between Nick and Zane was perfect and not only did I fall in love with Zane even more but Nick gained some points for how they handled the conversation. I liked that despite the and anger and jealousy they were able to talk without coming to blows no matter how fun that would have been to read.
I can’t wait for the next book and now I’m on the hunt for more books like these.