Cut & Run by Abigail Roux, Narrated by J.F. Harding #DelightedbytheSeries

Posted January 20, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews, Delighted by the Series / 17 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Cut & Run by Abigail Roux, Narrated by J.F. Harding #DelightedbytheSeries
Cut & Run #6-#9
Narrated by J.F. Harding

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Published by Riptide
Released on December 15, 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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I had the pleasure of discovering this series on my own a few years back.  I had no idea that it was THE series for fans of M/M Romantic Suspense with huge followings for Ty, Zane, and Ty & Zane together.  But not far into the first book, Cut & Run, I was personally hooked.  Never had I encountered such antagonistic, lethal, witty, passionate men and cunning twisting plots to match.

This particular review will focus on the latter half of the series and was entirely a re-read experience for me.  I was offered the opportunity when Riptide Publishing released these four books in audio and done by an all new narrator, JF Harding.

I was enjoying the experience with a new to me narrator moderately well until the moment I heard the accents of the Gradys of West Virginia and the Garretts of Texas.  That is when I was mesmerized and hooked.  Harding brought the story into vivid life.  He was intuitive about humor, timing, emotion, pace, and overall storytelling.  I was now completely immersed in Ty and Zane’s world and I stayed there through all four books.  From the lightness of Stars & Stripes to the gothic sensualness of Touch & Geaux to the shivers and twists of Ball & Chain and finally to the explosiveness of Crash & Burn.  Harding nailed it.

As this is a summation of four books, particularly the four at the end of a series, I’m going to be extra careful and brief after getting folks up to speed if they are unfamiliar with the series.  This is a series that MUST be read in order.  It is one long running story of a pair that work together, spar, spat, love and hate, but they do it together over a long story arc.  There are foreshadowings to what is to come even as each book presents a new case for Ty & Zane to solve.  These latter stories also bring in Ty’s old Marine Force Recon unit as strong secondary leads and side characters.

So, here we go…

Ty & Zane meet in an epic moment of total opposites forced to partner as FBI Special Agents on a serial killer case.  Ty comes from the world of dark ops military work and as a top operator and leader of his Marine Force Recon unit.  When he leaves that world, he is recruited into the FBI.  Ty is a West Virginia mountain boy with deep roots and deeper secrets.  Zane has been in the FBI for years as a deep undercover operative who had recently been dumped into the cyber crimes department kicking his heels and looking for a second chance after his addictions and smoldering devil may care temperament got him into trouble.  Now he is by the book and determined not to let the guy flaunting his disregard for authority and his rogue attitude mess up Zane’s big chance to get back into active field work and Ty sees this pencil pushing suit guy as a slow form of torture.  Ty and Zane circle each other warily like junkyard dogs when they are paired as an FBI team sent in to solve a case that baffles everyone.  From there, the tempestuous relationship goes from near enemies forced together like two negative ends of a magnet to armed neutrality and finally to something so deep that love doesn’t even quite cover it.  Zane is Ty’s anchor and Ty is Zane’s compass and this is tested time and again through deadly missions, life, family, and their own natures.

In Stars & Stripes book six of the series, Ty & Zane come out as a couple to the relations.  They start out with Ty’s family in West Virginia and then, for the first time, Ty and the reader get to finally meet Zane’s Texas family and discover his background while figuring out what is going on at the Carter-Garrett Ranch where Zane’s dad was shot and odd things are happening including tigers loose and Fourth of July shooting contests and betrayal close to home.  It was not as twisty or intense as others in the series and there was tons of humor, but it does explode into action and passion right when the reader is starting to get comfortable.

Next, Ty & Zane heed a call for help from Nick and the guys taking them to New Orleans in Touch & Geaux book seven of the series.  New Orleans is a dark, sensual place where the shadows of the past are close and oh so very heartbreakingly personal.  New Orleans is a hunting ground for those who would turn Zane, Ty, and the Sidewinder guys into prey.  Zane finally learns all of Ty’s deep secrets and it destroys every truth he thought about their relationship.  Or does it?  Zane must ponder this even as they are running for their lives.  Not easy and definitely the hardest, darkest place these two guys have ever reached in an already tough relationship.  Unputdownable!

And after the shocking cliffhanger that ended the previous book that took things into Ball & Chain

Book eight.  Surely, after what this pair has been through, we have arrived at the moment when Zane says ‘yes’ and we have a wedding.  Well that is half-right.  Ty and Zane are called by Ty’s brother, Deuce, to join Deuce and Livy in Scotland for their wedding.  Livy’s family is rich and own their own island in the Hebrides.  Someone has threatened to kidnap their little girl so Ty contacts Nick to join the party.  Nick brings Kelly and things are interesting to say the least when Ty and Zane figure out that they are a couple, that the wedding party is stuck with no immediate escape on an island with a murderer, and death is stalking the halls and secret passages of an old castle.  There was much to love about this one, but I wasn’t as impressed with the mystery in this one as I have been with others.  It was good, but not as sparkling.  I was a fan of the secondary storyline with Nick even if it now had equal time with Ty & Zane.  Things are escalating toward a grand finale and I was glad and dreading seeing that.

And for the grand finale, Crash & Burn, book nine, does not disappoint.  It jumped right in to an earth shattering betrayal that will split Ty and Sidewinder wide open even while the truths will send Ty & Zane running for their lives as they become the focus of a drug cartel and several governmental agencies.  Death, ruin, more betrayal, shadows from the past, loss, and the real truth push them with backs to the wall and looking for a miracle.  But they have gotten out of tight spots before, do they have one more in them?  Ah yes, this is how the end is supposed to be.  Break my heart and put it back together and do it again.

In summary, this is a series deserving of its following.  It’s not for the faint of heart or those looking for easy.  There is passion and fire, broken and flawed characters and relationships, intriguing twists and breath-stealing action.  It’s addicting and worth every gasp, tear, laugh, and loss of sleep.

If you wish to read my extended thoughts on the individual books, you may go to GoodReads and read my reviews posted there.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to these books in exchange for an honest review.

About Abigail Roux

Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year. Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of ‘Call of Duty’ throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Love your reviews! This seems to be one of your go-to authors.

    • She is. But usually I space her books out more. Riptide offered two different series in audio for back books and then the latest in ebook version so I ended up on a huge binge last month.

  • I really need to go back and listen to this series. I miss Ty and Zane.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • It’s funny. I guess there were 2 earlier narrators to the series, but this is the only one I’ve heard. Now I’m not sure I want to go back for the other five in case I’m disappointed after this splendid performance.

      • The guy who does the first two isn’t very good in my opinion. The guy who does the next ones is great. I loved him. I’ve yet to try this new guy or the guy who does Sidewinder.

        • See, that is what worried me. But yet, love the series so I’ll probably take the chance. I thought the guy who does Sidewinder was good. Not as good as Mr. Harding here, but not bad. The Sidewinder guy struggles a bit with the Irish accents, but his storytelling makes up for it a little.

  • Sounds like a really great narrator! I know a few that love this series to bits but I think you’re the first I’ve seen that listened. Glad you enjoyed!

    • *rolls eyes in pleasure* Yummo. I was offered these books for audio review and nearly hurt myself saying yes, yes, yes.

      • ::snort:: I so know how that goes. Then trying to pull yourself together so you don’t sound too squealy in the emails. Yup.

        • Haha, you are so right. I had to get a grip and then type out my perfectly calm. “Why yes, I would love to review the audios. Thank you for the opportunity.”

    • *rolls eyes in pleasure* Yummo. I was offered these books for audio review and nearly hurt myself saying yes, yes, yes.

  • lol that cover looks pretty cute and not at all what I would expect for a M/M romantic suspense. Sounds like the narrator did a great job with narrating these books. Those long running series with a long story arc can be a lot of fun. Great review Sophia! It sounds like a great romantic suspense series.

    • These covers are interesting. With this series, each cover has something to do with the plot and it’s fun to find the connection. In the case of this cover, there is a tiger and there is a party where balloon animals are made. I love finding out what the cover has to do with the series..

      This series got nine books and I loved each one. Now, I’m on book three of the sub-series. The covers on these are different, but I’m glad they still have a little to do with the story.

      • That’s so fun the cover connect to the story in a way like that, I was wondering about that. The covers did seem significant somehow.

        • They always are which made all the cover reveals exciting. The cover gave clues to what the book would involve and yet it wasn’t obvious how it would fit as you can tell.

  • I’ve bveen hearing so much about this series and maybe one of these days I will give it a go. It sounds all exciting and intense and who wouldn’t enjoy that? 😉 Great review!

    • Exactly. I know m/m isn’t for everyone, but this series is probably one of the best. Thanks, Sharonda!