Review: Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux

Posted August 21, 2012 by B. in 5 stars, Gay Romance, LGBTQ, Military or Suspense Romance, Rating A, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Stars & Stripes
Author: Abigail Roux 
Release Date: Aug. 13, 2012
Publisher: Riptide
Cut & Run #6
ISBN: #978-1937551582
Genre: Romantic Suspense, GLBT – m/m
Format(s): Paperback (292 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds

About the book:

      Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they’re living together conflict-free, their work is going smoothly, and they’re both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last. 
      When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out. 
      From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world.

What B is talking about:

      For several months of relative calm and stability, Ty and Zane have finally been able to enjoy being together. Aside from the constant need to hide their relationship from their coworkers and families, things are going better than ever. But, as living magnets for chaos, it’s a sure bet that such bliss couldn’t last for long.
      Stars & Stripes covers a lot of ground, both figuratively as well as geographically. From the mountains of West Virginia to the Hill Country of Texas, Ms. Roux puts her heroes to the test, and proves once again that she is adept at multitasking; writing not only an endearing romance, but a compelling whodunit, as well. Subtle where it counts, and funny in the most unexpected places, this story expands on the solid foundation that’s been built by the previous novels in the series, while giving the two main characters a chance to evolve along with the relationship they’ve been working for.
      I was very happy to see Ty’s family again, even though I have serious issues with Ty’s father, as was certainly intended. Every family is different, and things turned out well, but I couldn’t help feeling a strong connection to Zane and his desire for retribution during one particular scene. However, meeting Zane’s family was a real eye-opener, too, his mother being of the most fascinatingly abhorrent characters I’ve read in a while. She defies every idea I have of what a mother should be, and I absolutely hated her. Zane’s father, Harrison, on the other hand, has garnered a solid place in my heart, right alongside Chester, whose reappearance thrilled me through and through.
      Both Ty and Zane are more overtly affectionate in this book, which I very much enjoyed. They’ve been together for nearly a year at this point, and have fought hard to make it this far. Combine what would have to be a substantial fatigue over having to hide their relationship from the rest of the world with the relief of giving in and letting themselves love simply and honestly, and it makes their increasingly demonstrative interactions quite lovely, indeed. They’ve travelled a long road together already, and they’ve earned it. Not that being able to love openly should be a thing to be earned in the first place, but they have, regardless.
      Part of what made Stars & Stripes so interesting, was that I was truly surprised by the conclusion to the mystery Ty and Zane were trying to solve. While the villains were obvious and even fairly predictable on the surface, there was a deeper level of betrayal that I never saw coming, leaving me with the grudging satisfaction that can only come from being outwitted by a book.
      The Cut & Run series continues to be an incredibly enjoyable one to read, and Ty and Zane are two of my favorite characters ever. The determined self-sacrifice each displayed earlier in the series has been transformed into the heartfelt unwillingness to live a life without each other in it. These two men are perfect together, and the more explicit depiction of the sex between them was undeniably scorching. Suspenseful and funny, Stars & Stripes is one story I know I’ll read again and again as I wait impatiently for the next novel in the series.

Bs Rating:

Personal favorite – a must read (A+)
Purchase Info:
Reviews in the Series

14 responses to “Review: Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux

  1. B.

    The book covers are great! They highlight one aspect (object/scene/setting) of the novel and depict it in a single object. This one also comes from a specific scene, but it’s hilarious to me because of one of the main characters’ reflections on his experiences with big cats.

  2. I LOVE Ty and Zane and can’t wait to read this book! I got it on pre-order but I haven’t had the time to read it yet. As soon as I finish all the ARCs I was given at AAD I will definitely read Stars & Stripes!!!

  3. B.

    Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that others have enjoyed Stars & Stripes as much as I did, and if you haven’t had the chance to do so yet, I hope you’ll love it, too. (And I’m extremely envious of everyone who got to go to AAD!! I’m going to start planning for Savannah NOW! :D) I know I’ll reread it more than once while waiting for the next novel, and probably do another series reread when the release date gets close. It’s a fantastic series!

  4. I have spent the week reading 1-5 and Warrior’s Cross. I am dying to start this one (the physical book is ordered, but won’t be here til Monday) and the Kindle version was taking down by Amazon for some odd reason. *sob* I’m dying here, but your review made the wait a little better.

  5. B.

    I’m so glad it helped! I’m sorry about the cancellation, though, and I can’t resist them, either!

  6. […] Posted by B. on Apr 8, 2013 in 5 stars, GLBT, m/m romance, military/suspense romance, reviews | 1 comment Touch & Geaux Author: Abigail Roux  Release Date: April 8, 2013 Publisher: Riptide Publishing, LLC Cut & Run Book 7 ISBN: #978-1937551872 Genre: Romantic Suspense, GLBT, m/m romance Format(s): Paperback (288 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       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 the one place Ty’s face could get him killed. Surrounded by trouble as soon as they land, Ty and Zane are swiftly confronted with a past from which 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.  What B is talking about:       It takes a very special series to engender true loyalty, never mind complete dedication, among its readers, but the Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux has done just that. Following the lives and relationship of FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett, two characters that become more endearing, frustrating, and challenging with every novel, it is a series that consistently hits nearly every note just right. With the newest addition to the series, Touch & Geaux, this is more undeniably true than ever before.       In many ways that the previous novels only hinted at, Touch & Geaux is a kind of reckoning for Ty and Zane and presents them with what is certainly the most difficult test they have faced together thus far. Ty’s past, in particular, and the repercussions of his actions, makes the journey they set out on an especially brutal one. While we’ve had glimpses into Zane’s history, and how it’s shaped the man he’s become, Ty’s adult life has largely been a mystery until now. The entire story is a lesson in truth as well as faith, and serves as a reminder that anyone who’s set on too high a pedestal is bound to fall sometime. Even those we love the most.       One thing that makes Touch & Geaux such an important step in the series is that a sort of balance of errors is achieved between Ty and Zane. Whereas before, Zane’s mistakes heavily influenced the evolution of their relationship, this time it’s Ty’s past that threatens to destroy everything they’ve fought for. With a terrible truth he’d never allowed himself to consider suddenly staring him in the face, Zane’s faith in the one person he’s ever given himself to completely is shattered, leaving him scrambling for equal footing on unfamiliar ground. Confronted with his own heartbreak and the unmovable force of Ty’s convictions, Zane falls back into old habits, eventually wanting nothing so much as for Ty to hurt as much as he does.       Although the romantic moments between Ty and Zane are some of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, they are primarily a reward for the torture Ms. Roux gleefully casts on her characters and readers alike. As with the other stories in the series, Touch & Geaux is a race against time, forcing both men to use every bit of their knowledge, skill, and determination to survive. While every time Ty and Zane find themselves in danger is a nail-biting experience, Touch & Geaux takes that fear and desperation to an entirely new level, pushing them well past any reasonable breaking point.       Now about those romantic moments…       Aside from being some of the hottest, sexiest, most amazing scenes I’ve ever read, these moments show just how incredible Ty and Zane are together. What began with awkward expressions of attraction mixed with full on, want-it-right-this-instant sex has evolved into a physical need for one another that has more to do with their hearts than it does anything sexual. In Touch & Geaux, their encounters take a painful, dark turn that left me speechless, but makes it clear that vengeance and sex should never be engaged in simultaneously. Fortunately, from there the journey back to each other begins again, albeit with shaky steps and more loss, and is colored by a hard-won sweetness and devotion that made my heart absolutely ache for them both.       Ms. Roux has a real talent for bringing her characters to life, and writes the disillusioned hero to perfection, never shying away from their flaws and shortcomings, but rather showing that even heroes build lives they can’t always be proud of. Dashing in and saving the day is a fine and romantic notion, but it doesn’t address the fact that sometimes those same heroes are the only ones who remember that they’re human, and being deserving of the trust that’s placed in them is a burden in and of itself. While their actions may lead to more than a few restless nights, occasionally the ends do justify the means, and the cold, hard truth is that that’s as good as they’re ever going to get.       The Cut & Run series is one of the best I’ve ever read, in any genre, and Touch & Geaux is my favorite yet. Ms. Roux has crafted a story that pulled me in from the first page, and refused to let go until long after I’d finished reading, making the real world feel a little less true for a time while the story continued to play itself out in my imagination. Ty and Zane are among those rare characters that stay with me long after the cover has been closed, their missteps, cleverness, humor, and passion giving them life beyond the page. With only two more books planned for the series, I am both nervous and excited to know what else Ms. Roux could possibly have in store for Ty and Zane, given how far they’ve already come. Regardless, I’ll gladly see the series through to the end. It’s been one hell of a ride so far. B’s Rating: Personal favorite – a must read (A+)     Purchase Info: Touch & Geaux (Book 7) Reviews in the Series: Cut & Run Series Books 1–5 Stars & Stripes (Book 6) […]