Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sticks & Stone by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Title:  Sticks and Stones
Author: Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: Cut & Run #2
Main Characters: Zane & Ty
Release Date: January 2010
Publisher: Dreamspinner

Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

Six months after nearly losing their lives to a serial killer in New York City, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are suffering through something almost as frightening: the monotony of desk duty. When they're ordered to take a vacation for the good of everyone's sanity, Ty bites the bullet and takes Zane home with him to West Virginia, hoping the peace and quiet of the mountains will give them the chance to explore the explosive attraction they've so far been unable to reconcile with their professional partnership.
Ty and Zane, along with Ty's father and brother, head up into the Appalachian mountains for a nice, relaxing hike deep into the woods... where no one will hear them scream. They find themselves facing danger from all directions: unpredictable weather, the unrelenting mountains, wild animals, fellow hikers with nothing to lose, and the most terrifying challenge of all. Each other.

My Review:
Book #2 in this series. I adored book #1 in this series, Cut & Run, and because of that, I haven't read this book, knowing that it would be so easy to get completely sucked into these books when I didn't have the time to devote to them. Over the weekend, I picked up and re-read book #1 and LOVED it even more than the first and second time I read it (I really need to up that rating to an A+.) So I couldn't resist the pull of the others in this series any longer. I immediately set to devouring the rest of the series. 

Book #2 has a very different feel from book #1 in the series. In this book, Ty and Zane are still dealing with all the stress from their mission in Book #1. They aren't passing their psych evals and the stress is affecting their relationship too. As a result, they are ordered to take a vacation. Ty is headed home to West Virginia and he drags Zane along with him. He has ulterior motives. Ty's brother, Deuce, is a psychologist and he knows that Zane needs some help. He's hoping that by all of them taking an extended backpacking trip, that Zane will open up to Deuce.

But you know, this is Ty and Zane....nothing about this trip goes as planned and of course, that means that their lives are hanging in the balance. What gave this book a different feel was that we got to see Ty with his family...his father and brother are out in the woods with them. It creates a very different dynamic especially since Ty stands back and lets his dad take charge...not a normal thing for Ty to let someone else take charge of their safety. There are some incredible moments in this book. It's a great balance between the sweetness of the developing feelings between the guys and the gut-wrenching danger of the situation. It was just a great book and it really pushed the story between these two forward to some really great places!!!

I love these characters. Neither one of them are used to caring so much and that has them both reeling. It makes for some great emotion and great tension to the circumstances they find themselves in. I love that neither one of them ever consider the danger to themselves when the other is in danger. They may not realize it, but they love each other completely and it's such a gorgeous thing to develop. One of my favorite things about this book was Deuce's professional opinion about where they are mentally. He agrees that they are completely messed up in the head, but they make it and their relationship work...and it works so incredibly well. 

Did I mention?? I LOVE THIS SERIES!!!

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