Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux

Title: Ball & Chain
Author: Abigail Roux
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m) 
Series: Cut & Run #8
Main Characters: Zane & Ty
Release Date: March 2014
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase
Amazon  
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
Home from their unexpected deployment, the former members of Marine Force Recon team Sidewinder rejoin their loved ones and try to pick up the pieces of the lives they were forced to leave behind. Ty Grady comes home to Zane Garrett, only to find that everything around him has changed—even the men he went to war with. He barely has time to adjust before his brother, Deuce, asks Ty to be his best man. But that isn’t all Deuce asks Ty to do, and Ty must call for backup to deal with the business issues of Deuce’s future father-in-law.

Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott join Ty and Zane at the wedding on an island in Scotland, thinking they’re there to assuage Deuce’s paranoia. But when bodies start dropping and boats start sinking, the four men get more involved with the festivities than they’d ever planned to.

With the clock ticking and the killer just as stuck on the isolated island as they are, Ty and Zane must navigate a veritable minefield of family, friends, and foes to stop the whole island from being destroyed.

My Review:

I'll admit, I've had this book in my print tbr pile ever since it came out, but the early buzz was so mixed on it, I was a bit afraid to pick it up. While I understand the complaints (I'll talk about the issues in my review in a moment), this book is still Ty and Zane and I still absolutely ADORE them. I don't think there will ever be another m/m couple that I love as much as these two. 

But this book... It takes place right after the 6 month deployment by the guys of Sidewinder. They've been gone for 6 months...6 months where Ty and Zane were only ever able to communicate once. And all the guys have returned much more haunted...and a whole heck of a lot more PTSD. What happened during that deployment? NO idea...that's never answered in this book...only that whatever it was, it changed all these guys...and not necessarily for the better. But they all have come back with what seems to be a better sense of their own mortality and a few have said that they are through with violence. All of that shows up subtly through Ty and Zane's relationship, but I'm not going to get into the specifics because I don't want to spoil anything.

For this book, the guys are in Scotland, attending Deuce (Ty's brother) very rushed wedding. It's rushed because his fiancee is the daughter of some huge defense contractor and there have been threats against their daughter at the wedding. As a result, they've also brought Nick and Kelly with them to help with security. I loved Nick & Kelly when they got together in Shock & Awe so I was thrilled that they got quite a bit of story time in this book too. (I love them almost as much as I love Ty and Zane.)

What didn't work for me though was the whole suspense line. This book read like a story that took place inside a Clue game or an old Agatha Christie novel...it was odd and just didn't work for me. But I will admit though that's not why I read these books. I don't think that Abigail Roux's strength has ever been in her suspense side of her stories. But I'm okay with that because her characters do it for me enough to carry the book. And overall, they did it again in this one. It definitely wasn't the best in the series, but it was Ty & Zane with a side dish of Nick & Kelly so I was happy with it. 

But I will say...the ending...PERFECTION. OMG, I am SO EXCITED about how this book ended and a new future on the horizon for these guys. Seriously...perfect, especially after all the "no's" throughout the book. I loved it and re-read that final page 3 times just because I liked it so much!!


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