Title: Cut & Run
Series: Cut & Run, #1
Author: Abigail Roux & Madeleine Urban
Genre: M/M Romance, Romantic Suspense
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy from publisher
Published: September 2008 by Dreamspinner Press
A series of murders in New York City has stymied the police and FBI alike, and they suspect the culprit is a single killer sending an indecipherable message. But when the two federal agents assigned to the investigation are taken out, the FBI takes a more personal interest in the case.
Special Agent Ty Grady is pulled out of undercover work after his case blows up in his face. He's cocky, abrasive, and indisputably the best at what he does. But when he's paired with Special Agent Zane Garrett, it's hate at first sight. Garrett is the perfect image of an agent: serious, sober, and focused, which makes their partnership a classic cliché: total opposites, good cop-bad cop, the odd couple. They both know immediately that their partnership will pose more of an obstacle than the lack of evidence left by the murderer.
Practically before their special assignment starts, the murderer strikes again — this time at them. Now on the run, trying to track down a man who has focused on killing his pursuers, Grady and Garrett will have to figure out how to work together before they become two more notches in the murderer's knife.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Holy expletive-deleted is Cut & Run an amazing book! Couldn’t believe how much I loved this unconventional romance and suspenseful plot.
The Set Up: Rogue FBI Agent Ty Grady is assigned a new partner in Agent Zane Garrett, an uptight straight-laced opposite of Ty. The men are on special assignment to expose a serial killer in New York City but find themselves involved in the killer’s sick game. This good-cop/bad-cop odd couple have to stay alive long enough to explore the passion between them.
Why I Read this Book: This series has a big buzz in the Goodreads MM romance group. Plus, a lot of JR Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood fangirls who love the non-existent Butch/Vishous pairing (Vutch for you newbies) say these characters and romance mirror what they want in Vutch. Since I’m a BDB fan I had to try this out, even though it’s nearly 400 pages on my Nook and a mystery, which I don’t normally read.
What I Liked: This romance is one of kind and the characters are some of the most complicated I’ve ever read in the genre. Zane and Ty are most definitely not your stock MM romance heroes. Zane is battling addiction in a realistic way I’ve never read in romance. Both men are on a path of total self-destruction and not sure they want to be saved. These aren’t just misunderstood bad-boys! They’re deeply flawed and scarred men with hidden frailties they don’t want uncovered. The love of a good man isn’t going to redeem either Ty or Zane and it’s certainly not going to fix their lives!
Even more surprising than these characters is their romance. From the moment these two men meet, their romance is more a prowling of predators than a courtship dance. Their relationship is full of jabbing and slashing at each other’s emotional cores in clumsy attempts at intimacy and sometimes simply to hurt each other. This push and pull of emotional intimacy provides realism in their relationship that keeps the integrity of the characters and this is one of the reasons I adore this book. Being gay isn’t the drama here; loving someone is.
What I Also Liked: I admit I am a mystery spoilsport. I like being the omniscient reader so I very rarely read mysteries but this sinister plot captured my attention. Ty and Zane play roles in the serial killer’s game and watching the men’s dogged determination to catch the killer was chilling in intensity. The authors successfully made me believe that only the totally screwed up duo of Ty and Zane could have caught this killer and lived to tell about it.
As much as I like the plot, I like the integration of the romance and plot best. When I started reading and learned this was a mystery I worried the romance would be lost to progress the plot. But that isn’t the case AT ALL. The romance is allowed time and energy as the men engage in a macabre game with the serial killer. I also like that this book covers about a year of time which gives weight to the men’s intense romance and the killer’s sick desire to include Ty and Zane in his murders.
What I Didn’t Like: This isn’t a romance or mystery for the weak. The plot is that of a serial killer so you can imagine the gore. But the romance isn’t for the weak either. These men circle and fight each other, even when they know they mean something to each other. All the ‘musts’ that I typically have in romance don’t apply to these two because the unconventional makes sense for their characters. Still some readers may have issues with the less than perfect way these two treat each other.
IMO: I thought about these characters and their romance long after I finished this book. I now have books two and three and won’t be answering email or cooking for my family until I’m done reading those.