Reviewed by JenYou know what I love about this series? Everything. Really.
The writing is so good. The main characters are incredibly well defined. And their relationship... I feel like I have truly traveled the path along with Ty and Zane through the evolution of their completely captivating love story. What started out as this totally frakked up joining of two thoroughly damaged and scarred people has really turned into something, well, just... beautiful. I feel like every book shows growth for these men, both as individuals and as a couple.
As this installment begins, Ty and Zane are finally in a really good place. If you've been following the series, you know this is no small thing. They are HAPPY. But their new found tranquility is short lived as emergencies pop up, first with Ty's family, then Zane's. The men travel to the Grady home, then the Garrett's. The problems with Zane's dad in Texas are more substantial. Someone shot him and the mystery arc of the book is figuring out who did it and why.
The thing is, while Ty and Zane deal with danger and ensuing family drama, their relationship is the anchor of the story. Yes, I liked the humor and the fabulous quips and dialogue. I enjoyed learning more of Ty's backstory and seeing where Zane comes from (especially his dad --who is just great, by the way.) And God knows, I loved the sexual dynamic and dirty closet quickies. But where Abigail Roux really knocks my socks off is that after six books, I am nowhere close to being bored with this couple. On the contrary, I am more invested in them than ever. I believe in their love and in their future together.
As much as this is a mystery/action book --and a romance-- it's also a coming out story. This is the next step in their path, and it's not altogether an easy one. The hurdles they face and struggle to overcome them show us how committed they are to making it work. It just made me happy. Happy and totally hot, because the way these two want each other is smoking hot. Cowboy hats. Humping in the truck. Ty "earning a ride" in the back of the bar. (*fans self*) Wow.
The overall tone is a bit different than the previous books. It's less explosive and crazy. Not as "big," if that makes any sense. I felt like Roux reigned this one in, to give us a more tender and intimate look at the men, at who they have become, and how they have changed. It's like the chaos that surrounded them in the early books was equal to the chaos and screwed up nature of their psyches, but now, as they have become more grounded and stable, the story reflects that.
Simply put, this is my all time favorite m/m series. If Ty and Zane aren't part of your world, you are truly missing out.
*ARC Provided by Riptide
Click to purchase: Amazon
Stars and Stripesby Abigail RouxRelease Date: August 10, 2012Publisher: Riptide Publishing