- June’s Theme is “Love is Love”
- This book has been on my TBR since at least 2014, and I purchased it from Audible in November 2015.
- Why I selected it: Gay Romance
Audiobook review: Cut & Run by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Early in my blogging years, the Cut & Run series was all the buzz, and I bought the first book, Cut & Run with an audible credit, fully intending to listen to the entire series. Fast forward eight years, I’m finally listening, and I’m glad I did. I can see why this series was the “IT” gay romance series for a while. It’s got all the makings for a great series: sexy, older men who are messed up and need one another to calm their demons, action and adventure, and hot sex scenes.
Now I’m a more seasoned reader, and while I still enjoyed the story, I can step away from the buzz and look at the whole picture rather than get caught up in the hype. Ty and Zane are FBI agents who are put together to work a horrifying set of murders in the greater New York City area. Ty is rough around the edges with an “I don’t give a f*ck” attitude, but he’s one of the best. Zane is shiny on the outside, hiding his flaws deep while trying to be the perfect agent. The pair are oil and water; however, there is something between them.
One thing very different about Cut & Run is the story is shared via an omnipotent POV. Without indication, the story jumps inside the thoughts of different characters, with Zane and Ty being most frequent. It took me a while to adjust to the whiplash effect of the constantly changing POV, and sometimes it caused confusion. By the end of the story, I grew used to the voice, but I’m still on the fence if I like it or not. I think a more traditional alternating POV narration would have worked better for me.
Readers learn early on that both characters are bisexual, with Zane partnering with men since his wife’s death. Zane senses the unexplainable attraction first, but doesn’t dare act on it. As they work the case, the men become targets of the killer, and both experience severe injuries, with one episode taking them off the investigation for a few months. Because Ty is paranoid, the agents avoid hospitals and treat each other off the grid. This means a lot of down time and intimate moments as the tend to one another and recover. And this is where the romance blossoms as the pair flirts and then takes action. I would guess that there is nearly double the amount of time spent on their developing relationship than solving the murders, but that could be my own perception. For a couple of men who have the emotional depth of a shallow pond, they spend a lot of time talking it out. Well that, and screwing one another.
Narration: As previously mentioned, the story is shared with an omnipotent narrator who has access to every characters’ inner most thoughts. After a bit, I didn’t mind it, but at times I would get confused over who is doing/feeling what. S. Allende uses a very matter-of-fact neutral male voice, altering dialogue for each character based on age, gender, and background. Most male characters are unique and identifiable by voice alone. I enjoyed his performance of both Ty and Zane. Allende uses a higher pitched voice for females, but it’s not overly feminine, and some sounded cartoonish. There isn’t much emotion added to the performance, but it isn’t needed to effectively share the story.
In the end, I’m glad I finally got to Cut & Run. It’s a bit longer than average, clocking in at nearly 14 hours, and it could have been edited. There is a lot of time spent hashing and rehashing actions and emotions, which got repetitive after a while. That said, I liked that the authors spend time with the emotional content, rather than making it all about the investigation.
About the Book:
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He’s cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he’s paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it’s hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again – this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer’s knife.
Authors: Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
Narrator: Sawyer Allerde
Series: Cut and Run #1
Genre: Suspense/Action, Romance, LGBTQ, m/m
Audiobook Release Date: June 7, 2010
Publisher: Hudson Audio Publishing
Length: 13 hours 50 mins
Audio Speed: 1.5x
Book is out of print and unavailable for purchase as new.