Stars & Stripes - Abigail Roux “I love you,” Ty said out of the blue, his voice almost sing-song. Zane laughed. “You’re drunk.” “I loved you before I was drunk.”Better and better. With each book of the Cut & Run series we get more in depth with the boys as Ty and Zane learn to navigate their relationship, their love, their trust and their secrets through any storm that is tossed their way. From serial killers, mountain lions, cruise ships, kids with way too much anger against authority, cross country trips with an Irishman and now…..they simply do not disappoint me.We get so much in this book that I will keep this short and simple with what I love about this…I say that now, only 100 words into the review, not sure I can keep that promise.With a hysterical phone call from Mara, Ty and Zane are headed to West Virginia to help out The Grady Bunch. What is supposed to be a simple weekend of helping out Ty’s family, turns into the boys being outed in a surprising, sweet and funny way. It was so perfect for these boys, we know now that nothing is ever smooth, simple or conventional for Ty & Zane, and it was better than I could have ever imagined. The response they get from Ty’s family is beautiful. I have seen a few people mention their coming out was TOO easy. I don’t think it was easy, I think the reaction the Grady Bunch gave was typical for them it was par for the course. Getting to know them from Sticks & Stones we know what is important to them and it is family above and beyond all. It was and it is the way they function. All’s I’m saying is love’s a blessing, no matter all the same. It don’t matter who you love. As long as you do it well.Riding high on the acceptance of Ty’s family, Zane gets a call that will send him back home to Texas, but without Ty who can’t get out of work. Ugh. My boys apart I do not like BUT I was waiting for this, I am Team Zane after all and couldn’t wait to see my boy in his element and that…um…Stetson. Save a horse, ride an FBI Agent? Riding? Did I say riding? Backwards, wearing nothing but that…what was I saying? "Goddamn, Zane. How is Texas making you so freaking hot?" Oh yes, Zane back home. Zane’s family has an emergency and he needs to run back to good ‘ol Texas and help out. Now, what killed me with this is I cannot stand these two apart, ever. Even if it’s for a few days in Divide & Conquer while they unfuck their shit or the small separation at the end of Divide & Conquer to Armed & Dangerous; my boys need to be together. The only perk about them being apart can be summed up in two words; phone sex. “Talk to me, darlin’” Zane smiled, “I love the way you say that.”So why Zane is deep in the heart of Texas dealing with his injured father, hellish mother and fabulous sister; he gets the backup he needs to solve the latest mystery and catch the asshat that shot his Pa! What? Yes, I went there. Did I show forget to my Team Zane badge that allows me to use bad puns? I have it; it goes along with my secret decoder ring… He got to the door and nudged the dog out of the way so he could open it. What he saw left him speechless. Ty grinned. “What, it’s the butler’s day off?” Zane just stared, taking in the face that had filled his dreams for nearly a week. “How are you here?” Ty’s smile softened into something more intimate and he shrugged. “You sounded like you needed me.”Sigh…reunited and it feels so good. The boys are back together and ready to get wrangling to figure out what the hell is going on. Along the way they begin to find themselves, more of themselves and it was just what I wanted. My heart aches for these two each time they want to be out, want to be able to show the world that they are in love and found that one person who they can be themselves with. It’s a good thing Zane’s sister Annie wants to spend time with her brother and his boyfriend. Yeah, they are out in Texas and as the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas and the boys love just grows to fill out all pints of the Lone Star state.I loved seeing their relationship grow; from the simplest thing as a night out at the local bar to them talking more about the future and what they want. They aren’t just these boys who love boys; they are a couple, two people who are in love living their lives together daily and planning on what they want for their tomorrows. I just love seeing this. Yes, again the coming out to Zane’s family was easier than most could have endured, aside from Zane’s bitch of a mother, but they are coming out to family and long time friends. People that know Zane and have seen him at his worst. How could they not look at him, how he is now and not accept that having Ty in his life has made him a better man? I know as a mother of boys, that is all I want for them to be happy, healthy and to one day to find love. Annie called out from behind him. “You have yourself away you know. To everyone in the bar.” Zane stopped in place and turned to stare at her. “What? How?” Annie grinned and nodded toward Ty. “He’s wearing your Stetson. “ “Zane,” Annie said with a hand on his shoulder. “Go find a state that allows it, and marry that man.” Stars & Stripes was a great way to simply just enjoy these two together. It reminds me of Fish & Chips in the way we had the tension from Cut & Run, followed Sticks & Stones and with this; the boys are out, in love and having a a great time amongst the chaos, guns, fires, bad guys etc. that seem to follow them no matter where they go. Are they more settled and romantic with each other. Good Lord, YES! Are they still hot, passionate and take my breath away with their intimate moments? Can someone get me a fan, please? Am I anxious to move on to the next book? Yes and No. I know there will be tough times ahead and I honestly don’t know if I can take it. These two are becoming more open with their pasts, trusting even more…hello Zane with that phone call to you know who to ask for help…“Why? Because it’s Canada Day! Come on, Garrett.” my poor romantic boy loving heart cannot take the angst between these two. I love where they are at right now, they have fought long and hard to be here. They deserve to be happy… There are…so many paths in life. Some we chose and some are chosen for us. We walk our paths without looking down and that’s the life we lead. The only things you’ll get from guessing where another path would have gone are questions you can’t answer and heartache you can’t ever soothe.