Online friends have been harassing me for weeks now, insisting that I need to read these books and hurry up already. I hate it when my friends are right. Not because I have a problem with discovering new to me fabulous books with addictive characters and a wonderful and angsty storyline. No, all of those are things I love. I hate my friends being right about me needing to read these books because I really do not have the time to fall in love with a series that consists of seven and a half books. Don’t my friends know I have books I need to review, ideally close to the release date?
It’s hard to stay angry with said friends if they recommend books this good though. Because of course they are right. I’m loving these books and do need to read them in quick succession because I need to know how this story, these characters and especially their relationship is going to develop. It really doesn’t matter that I still wish those friends had been wrong about these books about me needing to read them. Books up for review or not, it seems that I’ll be spending a considerable amount of my (reading) time with Ty and Zane over the next week or so.
Ty and Zane – sigh – what can I say. I’m only on the second book of this series and I’ve already completely fallen in love with these two men. It is impossible to not smile every time they start on one of their frequent and completely obnoxious arguments. And while the characters themselves may be completely unaware of it – or trying to deny it to themselves, as the case may be – it is so clear that the feelings these two men have for each other go deeper than those of colleagues or even friends. Still, Ty and Zane hadn’t been working together all that long and had been intimate for even less time when they both nearly lost their lives in Cut & Run. And although they are now back working together, even if it is doing boring and mind-numbing desk work, it is clear that neither has come to terms with everything that happened to them in that first book, never mind the attraction between them.
When Zane fails his psychological evaluation they are both forced into taking a holiday from their jobs as FBI special agents, with their future to be determined after they return. When Ty invites Zane to join him on a journey home to visit his family in West Virginia it comes as a bit of a surprise to both of them because they had both noticed how they had started to drift apart. The trip should have been a relaxing opportunity to find out where they stand with each other; do they want to continue with their fragile and undefined relationship, do they even want to continue being partners in the FBI?
This wouldn’t have been a Ty and Zane story though if this trip had indeed turned into a relaxing holiday. While hiking in the Appalachian Mountains with his father, Earl, and brother, Deuce, Ty and his partner Zane run into far more problems that they could ever have imagined. Worsening weather conditions and wild animals are the least of their problems. When they run into a deliberately set booby-trap on the mountains they know they are about to run into a situation they aren’t equipped to deal with. Turning around to gather reinforcements would be the sensible thing to do. One insensitive and hurtful remark from Earl sets them on a course towards conflict and violence – a course they may not survive.
This is one of those books that puts the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions ranging from laughing out loud to reading with tears in their eyes and every emotion imaginable in between. There were so many times I wanted to take Ty and Zane by the shoulders and shake them while telling them to just go with it, give in to the feelings, be honest with themselves and each other. And yet it makes so much sense in the story that they don’t. I loved following these two as they slowly come to realisations about themselves, each other and the way they are together.
“As partners, it seemed like they could read each other’s minds. But as lovers – or even friends – they barely knew each other at all.”
“Zane slept much better with Ty alongside him than he did when he was alone, and they both knew it.”
I could have happily killed Earl when he asks Ty the question that nearly breaks him and had tears in my eyes while reading about the devastating effect this had on the man who seems so strong and self-reliant in every possible way. Deuce on the other hand was a ray of sunshine in this story. I loved the way he managed to get both Ty and Zane to at least start thinking about their feelings and what they wanted and needed.
It may be that my reading of the story up to here was wrong, but to me Ty had always come across as the strong and independent one and Zane as the partner who needed their closeness most. So it was interesting to read that it is Ty who reluctantly admits to himself that he may be in love with Zane - even if he doesn’t know what being in love actually feels like – and Zane who is convinced that his feelings for Ty have nothing to do with love.
There is more, so much more, I could write about this book and these characters, but I won’t. This is supposed to be a review and not a book in its own right. All I want to say before I stop raving about this book is that the last few pages of this story were beautiful and heart-warming – resulting in a huge grin on my face. I’m so glad I already own Fish & Chips, the next book in this series. I give myself a few hours at most before I start reading that story.