Part & Parcel by Abigail Roux #Review

Part & Parcel by Abigail Roux #ReviewPart & Parcel by Abigail Roux

Series: #3 Sidewinder
Genres: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Riptide on March 21, 2016
Length: 8 hours 55 min
Format: Audiobook
Buy: Amazon | Publisher
four-stars
four-half-flames

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So, here’s the thing…

I read and reviewed this one in ebook format back in December.  And then around mid-March, I was offered the audio version for review.  Not sure what I was thinking other than ‘woohoo Ty, Zane, Nick, Kelly, Sidewinder’.  Yeah, you know how it is with those book boyfriends.  But ahem, my point is that I don’t really have any new insights, impressions or feelings about this book than I did in December so I went through that review and had little to add other than my thoughts on the audio narrator.  Oh, and I shuffled and tweaked a bit when I saw I had been even more murky than usual.  There you go, full disclosure so you won’t feel a déjà vu thing if you happened to have read this just about four months ago.

After the ending of the final Cut & Run series story, Crash & Burn, that falls chronologically right before this one, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about another segment of the Sidewinder story. They burned up the world and survived devastating secrets revealed so how can that be followed up on?

I was concerned that the author would try to top that story with more of the same or produce a mild toss away story that would have demeaned it, but thankfully, this one did neither.

It went a very different direction.

On the surface, it seems an odd choice, but once I started reading, I realized that this was exactly what was needed. This wasn’t a story; it was a journey- and a palpable, gut-wrenching healing one at that. If I hadn’t worked it out before that the author has a close affinity to her characters, this is the one that showed just how very much the author knows her characters inside and out.

I mentioned this one chronologically follows the final Cut & Run series’ book, Crash & Burn. This is true. The Sidewinder series is a spin-off of sorts. It’s not a true spin-off in that it breaks away to go a new direction. It really is a series that weaves in between and around the older series both because of the shared characters, the time line, and- well, everything. So that being said, this one is directly connected to Crash & Burn and really can’t be read out of order or as a standalone.

The story opens with Nick still recovering from his near fatal injuries incurred from Sidewinder’s part in the showdown in Miami and beyond. The dust has settled from all that and everyone on the team are trying to get on with their lives.

Nick is frustrated with the slowness of his recovery and the tentative nature of the relationship he shares with Kelly. He knows Kelly has a right to feel betrayed and angry over Nick’s secrets and what went down and then there is the fact that Kelly seems to only see him as his patient and not his boyfriend.

Into this situation, Nick has to deal with his dad’s death and how he hated the man and for the first time in years, he pulls out the box of things that his friend and fellow Sidewinder, Elias Sanchez, left him on his death.

Kelly observes with growing concern as Nick struggles to recover his health, but is changed after all he has been through of late. There is a gulf growing between them. Partly, he realizes it is because he has been treating Nick only like his patient and partly it is because he is very angry with Nick for all he hid from Kelly knowing that Kelly trusted him. Nick almost died and Kelly is still recovering from that scare.  However, it is the fear of something worse-that what they had between them has died.

Nick is determined to bring together Sidewinder to fulfill the final mission that their old buddy, Sanchez, left them through a series of letters.

So, Sidewinder is brought together to follow the directions of a ghost that has been haunting them all and somewhere along the way, the last of the secrets and a whole lot of healing, restoration, and forgiveness needs to take place.

Alright, as I noted earlier, the author didn’t try to ‘top that’ with thrills and action and she didn’t go for a simple and mellow follow up story. No, this was something different- something other. This one wasn’t full of intrigue and danger of the active and physical sort; it chose to go internal for this mission- head down the path of danger within their hearts and minds.

These guys have been through so much and yet, there is more to come before they can fulfill Elias Sanchez’s last wish of healing the Sidewinder brotherhood.

Along the way, Nick and Kelly’s relationship will either break or finally become something deeper and meaningful.

I loved this ‘last ride’ of Sidewinder scenario. All the guys are brought together and must follow the actions set out before them. But being the guys, there are incidents, new memories, laughter, old memories, snarling, and yes, they get the job done. Some of the final secrets are some real lulus.

While this was a group gathering, including Ty and Zane, and shared narration, this does have Nick and Kelly at the center. I love that the author isn’t afraid to take her characters into raw and darker, grittier places and nothing is easy or simple. I didn’t realize this was needed until I was reading and realized that, yes, there was actually a lot of unresolved stuff that needed dealing with.

And there was a mystical quality to this story when it came to Elias’ ghost adding mild magical realism to the story.

Amidst all the great camaraderie, there are the steamy moments. I loved how all their lives including Owen and Digger were brought into the spotlight. And of course, more Ty and Zane was like a delicious dessert. But to see Nick and Kelly come into their own was definitely the piece de resistance (though trust me, they don’t take the easy path.

And, woohoo, there was an additional short story to follow up on Brick & Mortar with Ty and Zane. Too fun to be missed.

As to the narrator, Brock Thompson did a decent job.  He had several separate voices and accents, but he has a good storytelling voice, pace, and tone.  He’s been the consistent narrator for the Sidewinder Series and I was curious how he would do with all of Sidewinder voices.  Not bad at all.

So, this was a bit of something different and felt like one big epilogue. I can hope there might be more peek-ins and particularly a couple of little dangling threads left there like the commission Owen takes on or a bit more about Nick and his revealed connections. But if not, this was vastly satisfying. This is a ‘can’t miss’ for fans and let me put the plug in here that for folks who haven’t read the books from the Sidewinder world that this is a fantastic M/M Romantic Suspense series.

My thanks to Riptide Publishing for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #133 LGBT
Audio #16

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.
  • I am afraid I have not tried the books

  • I haven’t read Abigail Roux’s work but this sounds like something I might like. I actually really enjoy re-reading books via audio but maybe after more than only 4 months have passed 🙂 Great review!

    Carole @ Carole’s Random Life

    • I know, I know! LOL I started listening and a few chapters in, I realized that it was too soon for a new review. Loved it anyway.

  • LOL sometimes you just get too excited seeing those favorite characters and have to grab them up again 😉

    • Like this little puppy wagging my tail and dying for the visit to the park. 🙂

  • Glad you liked it the second time too.

    • Yes, that was definitely the best part. I do love the characters.

  • I love going back and revisiting a book a second time, especially when I listen to it. I’ve done that a lot and used to do it even more. I feel like you pick up on many things you missed the first time around. I’ve yet to read this most recent novel in the Sidewinders story. I might just pick it up on audio, since it is available.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • I do enjoy repeats on favorites and like you say, switching to the audio format makes stuff come out that weren’t as obvious in the other version. This series is one that I have no trouble enjoying this second time through since it keeps me from going nuts waiting for each new release. 🙂

  • Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

    I’ve been waiting for this one to come to audio so I could try it. I read the other two. I now have this one and the last Cut & Run audio to listen to. I plan on listening to them back to back. Can’t wait to see how both series are wrapped up.

    • Yes, that’s a good idea, Jennifer. This one definitely needs to come after the last Cut & Run. It will have a different narrator and they tell a story differently so it’s an interesting adjustment between them.
      Yes, this one is full of surprises so I hope you enjoy it.