Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run Series)

Sticks & Stones - Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban You didn't bring fists to a gun fight. No such thing as a sophomore slump with this series. It just keeps getting better! This is Special Agent Ty Grady, who was raised by wolves, and this is Special Agent Zane Garrett, who was apparently raised by Kevlar. Sticks & Stones begins six months after we left the boys in Cut & Run were they have been assigned to the DC office for five weeks, after they’d been reunited following five miserable months apart. Sigh. We join Ty and Zane who are both having trouble adjusting to their desk jobs after their ordeal with The Tri-State Serial case. Upon a strong suggestion from Director Burns to take time off to get their heads straight; Ty invites Zane to come with him to spend time with his family in West Virginia for a “vacation.”West Virginia was appealing in a way. If things went south, Ty could throw Zane in front of his parents, use him as sort of a human sacrifice. And then there was the added benefit of having Zane close every night. He’d come to enjoy that. I was ready to get the boys out of the office and out of those suits (ahem) to finally get some alone time. Both Ty and Zane are dealing with issues and things they need to talk about but as it goes with these two; their best communication isn’t of the oral variety, well not THAT oral! (Get your mind out of the gutter, or just come down here and join me for a while.) All the bottling of emotion provides for some great angst and while I am self proclaimed angst whore…these boys just kill me. As soon as we meet Ty’s family I was in love! Deacon “Deuce” was amazingly supportive of his brother no matter the circumstance and so insightful of how he feels about his partner. I adored Ty’s mother Mara, she had to be one loving but tough woman to handle a house full of Grady men and Grandpa? Just stay clear of his shovel and it will all be fine. Now for Earl? I seriously wanted to smack him a few times throughout this book. Goodness Sir, can you give your son and his partner some credit already? Earl stared after them. He couldn’t quite figure Ty and Zane out. He wouldn’t call them friends, exactly. But when the situation became tense, their relationship changed. The closest thing he could compare them to was him and Mara. The vacation for the boys was supposed to include a simple hike through the mountains for a few days but we ARE dealing with Ty and Zane here, nothing goes as planned. With evil chipmunks, through-hikers who moonlight as story tellers and a group of treasure hunters the boys along with Deuce and Earl embark on a mission that will challenge their strength and make them question who they are and who they love. The few moments the boys get together were fantastic. Having to hide their affection from one another broke my heart but the smallest smile; the quickest touch along with that scene on the mountain, yeah that one! Phew…it had my heart racing in that special way that only the boys can. It was obvious the way he let Zane pull him closer now that he’d been missing the contact as much as Zane had.With all the sweet moments as their relationship changes and grows you still get the great banter between these two. It is non-stop and who they are. I think Ty may be the biggest smart ass I have ever read yet Zane gives it right back. I just love how they tease and annoy the hell out of each other. I don’t want to know that you keep your Maxims under your mattress, and you don’t want to know that I cry when I watch Bambi. Sticks & Stones is another stellar hit in the Cut & Run series. I once again have the biggest grin on my face after reading it and just melt at the tender moments between Ty and Zane. They are quickly becoming my favorite couple ever. They have it all and they keep me right with them page after page, waiting for the next moment to laugh and swoon. You’re okay. Just focus on me for a few minutes. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? *side note* I am not one to post soundtracks etc. but Hard Day by George Michael is perfect for Ty and Zane. I listened to it while writing this review and it fits them. “How much - do I have to sayWhat more - do you have to seeWhat will it take to make you love meWell you're not the firstYou're not the lastYou're not even the one who loves me the bestBut all I think about is youSo take me where their eyes can't find usWithout you I may as well just...” ~Hard Day, George Michael