This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide
Released on March 29, 2015
As I started reading this one, I was already in a state of mourning as were most readers I have no doubt. So many books later and I never once soured on this series or lost my sense of anticipation. I honestly had no idea what to expect and I wanted it that way. This is a strong romantic suspense series that cannot be read out of order particularly the latter half of the series that is one huge story arc. It began with the sparkle that is particular to these two guys and their circle of friends, dazzled and choked me up in the middle and left me in a golden glow of pleasure when I hit the end (which by the way, read all the way even past the acknowledgements and stuff b/c there’s a little treat).
I will not be summarizing the book in my usual way as the twists began pretty much from the beginning. Honestly, I was at a loss as to exactly what I could say without spoiling the expectation of others. Hence, let’s try something different. Here’s my quick thoughts and reactions as I read:
Ty retired; Zane did not, bugs, who is the mole?, angry sex (or is it?), building renovations, marriage (or marriage on hold), Nick did what!?!, oh the pain of betrayal, Sidewinder on faulty ground, Liam’s on the NIA burn list(kill on sight), Ty and Zane- everyone’s most wanted, heal and forgive or break up and die, de Vega Cartel strikes back, family ties, more betrayal, Ty sells his soul, the cavalry arrives, defense becomes offense, revenge glorious revenge, loss, more loss, true love means sacrifice, and who made it through the fire?
Alright, so a little bizarre of me to do, but this was too big and fabulous to spoil for other’s reading pleasure (or maybe I should say torture the way a lot of this went). It was so big and I was reading feverishly and fast for the end. I will have to go back later and do a re-read when I can be calmer and relish certain things better. I know for a fact that I couldn’t appreciate the valleys because I was too busy hopping from peak to peak if that analogy makes sense. One of the things that really was great was that this was well balanced both with the cunning suspense plot as the guys raced to clear themselves and stay alive, but also with the strength of the romance and the issues they face as they moved into the established couple faze who must figure out what life after the Marines, the FBI and missions means.
This is Ty and Zane’s last stand, but they do not stand alone. I was reminded of some of my favorite big western stories when the good guys go up against a much bigger enemy (or more than one enemy in this case) who has all the advantages and things look really bad and get pretty dark without much hope before the final showdown. I was impressed by the way the author rounded up so many threads that were dangling- some I didn’t even notice before. I learned to question everyone and was rattled to the core a few times by the reveals.
As dark as things got, there wasn’t a lack for humor and passion. Ty and Zane were as hot and incredible as only they can be. Their relationship went from armed hostility (literally) to this mellower version of themselves. I say mellow, but that’s relative. Mellow for Ty and Zane is that they only tried to murder each other only once in the book and had uncountable near-death experiences while ending up on more hit lists than I have fingers. They were true partners and lovers without the doubts, lies and secrets and I found this added maturity a welcome change that didn’t mean a loss of the sizzle. When their world and what they thought they knew is falling apart around them, they had each other- the anchor and the compass.
A goodly portion of the book brings in Sidewinder (Ty’s old Force Recon unit) and other familiar faces. The added cast of characters was just more of a good thing. I mean who would say no to a dozen hard, skilled, passionate spec ops guys. Nick is a key player in this story both in his fractured relationship with Ty, but also his unsteady relationship with Kelly. Last book, Nick was leaking at the seams with his emotions, but in this one, the emotions were more balanced though no less tense. I am so glad that there will be more coming with the spin-off series. Liam Bell has me so intrigued especially after this one. I am so ambivalent toward him. His moral compass doesn’t point to true north, but yet he has his moments of heroism. He’s like the Snape of the Cut & Run world. Is he friend or foe? I don’t know, but I do know that I want to see more of him.
Oh and let’s not forget the family ties. Chester Grady brings it with his deadly shovel when someone had the bright idea to storm the Grady’s mountain. People, it was a breathless moment to see the Gradys and Garretts finally meet. You want to know what happens when two such formidable women as Ty and Zane’s mothers are in the same room? So did I. These were scenes that I didn’t even realize I wanted until they were happening.
Alright, so all good things must come to an end and this one ended well and good. I envy those who have this whole series ahead of them. Those who want a fantastic m/m Romantic Suspense series need look no further.
My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.