I actually rated this book 4.5 stars.
Let me start with saying that I need a new series to fall in love with like I need a hole in the head. And yet, I allowed friends to convince me that I should really read this book. And I did in the full knowledge that if I did like “Cut & Run” there would be at least another six books I want to read. And - since I have friends with good taste - I find myself loving the story and the characters in it and frantically looking for ways I can convince myself that buying the sequels is actually a necessity rather than a luxury and therefore not only allowed but required.
And boy did I love this book. From the moment I picked it up I was hooked. Ty Grady and Zane Garrett had my attention from the moment they appeared on the page. Even while they were hating each other and exchanging one rude remark for another the chemistry between Ty and Zane is palpable while at the same time they made me smile and at times laugh out loud. Once the hate turns into something else – something neither of them is willing to name or fully acknowledge – the story really kicks off. And that is just the romantic part of this story. The suspense part is equally fascinating and addictive. The combination of the reluctant attraction between these two men and the constant threat they’re facing makes this an adrenaline filled read, near impossible to put down.
Usually when I read “Romantic Suspense” I get impatient with either the romantic or the suspenseful part of the story because I just want to know how the other part is going to conclude. Not so in this book. I was just as eager to find out who is trying to kill Zane and Ty as I was to see their volatile relationship develop.
What I really admired in this book is that the authors didn’t go for miracle solutions for either the relationship or the mystery. This relationship between two men who each have enough issues to break a person down completely, was never going to be smooth or easy and, thankfully, the authors didn’t give the story some unconvincing twist to facilitate an unrealistic happily ever after. And the same can be said for the mystery Ty and Zane are trying to solve. While they did stumble on part of the solution by accident, it happened in a convincing way and didn’t come with a sudden transformation from “completely clueless” to “full insight”.
I loved that we get this story from both Ty and Zane’s point of view. We can see both men struggle with each other and with themselves. I liked that while both men had heterosexual relationships in their pasts, there was no belly-aching over this attraction to each other. While both of them had great difficulty sharing their feelings with the other, or even acknowledging them to themselves, they just went with their attraction and turned it into something beautiful and very erotic. And, I can’t help feeling that the dynamics between these two men will only get more intriguing and a lot hotter as the stories continue.
So, it may be clear from what I wrote above that I loved this book. Then why, I hear you ask, did I “only” grade it 4.5? There are a few reasons.
First of all I had the killer pegged from the moment he entered the story. I was hoping it would turn out to be somebody else but I turned out to be right. And while you might think I’d relish the fact that I got it right in one go, I am in fact always a bit disappointed when the big reveal doesn’t surprise me.
Secondly, I wasn’t entirely convinced by the sudden change in character Ty and Zane went through in the middle of the book. It certainly was intriguing but really didn’t make a whole lot of sense even if more or less plausible reasons were provided.
My last and main reason though is that I have been reliably informed that the books in this series only get better. Rating this book 4.5 rather than 5 means that I will be able to raise the score if it turns out that I indeed end up loving these books and these characters more with every subsequent title.
Of course, falling in love with a series of books this much leaves me in a bit of a quandary. As much as I would love to read the next six books back to back I’ve committed to too many reviews to give in to that urge. While I fully expect to read these books in rather quick succession in the near future, those prior commitments force me to take it slow. That is not altogether bad though; I know myself well enough to realize that I’m going to be heartbroken when I finish reading the last available title. So maybe I should be grateful that I don’t have a choice but to take it slowly. After all, every successful relationship requires patience.