Book Review: Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

Shock & Awe by Abigail RouxTitle: Shock & Awe
Series: Sidewinder, Book 1
Author: Abigail Roux
Genre: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided by publisher
Published: November 11, 2013 by Riptide Publishing

After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address.

Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

Reviewed By: J9

In a Nutshell: Hells Yeah!

The Set Up: Nick and Kelley have been fellow soldiers, confidantes, and best friends for years. When Kelley takes a bullet meant for Nick, Nick follows Kelley home to care for him. Kelley is reeling from Nick’s announcement that he’s bisexual and admits to Nick that he’s curious about sex with Nick. Both agree their friendship is too precious to lose but they want to see if they can deepen it.

Why I Read this Book: Huge fan of the Cut & Run series that this is a spun off from.

What I Liked: This novella is a highly enjoyable blend of humor, erotic and emotional. Nick and Kelley’s best friend status sets up a stellar tension as they figure out if they can add a sexual component to their relationship without damaging the friendship that means so much to both of them. It’s delicious to watch the men laugh together, kiss and then try to figure out what it means—all in one scene. This is a read where I relished every scene as they were laden with emotional intimacy of one kind or another. Kelley and Nick’s personalities from the Cut & Run series are just the same here and I loved spending time with the two men as they tentatively add a sexual intimacy to their intense friendship.

What I Also Liked: It would be cruel to spoil this read for series’ fans so this will be very vague. The novella is set up in two parts where three-quarters of the read is Nick and Kelley being together in Kelley’s cabin and exploring the changes in their relationship. Then something big happens which coincides with the last Cut & Run book. Nick and Kelley’s relationship is far from resolved at this point and I would have been pissed had the novella ended there—but it doesn’t! The last quarter of the novella is entitled a different name than Shock & Awe and it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to give me the resolution between Nick and Kelley that I needed. The beauty of this for series’ fans is that it doesn’t give too much away in the Cut & Run series but enough of a taste to see where Ty and Zane are going as well as Nick and Kelley.

What I Didn’t Like: This novella is a like a delicious hors d’oeuvres that ends too quickly. It’s listed as Sidewinder book 1 (the name of Kelley and Nick’s elite military unit) so I suspect it’ll be book one of their relationship and that makes me very happy since I could gorge on these guys!

IMO: No one needs me to say read this but…READ THIS!


J9’s Rating:
4 1/2 Frogs

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About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.


  1. yep, yep, yep. VERY well-written! LOVED this novella! smiles...

  2. I was counting down the days for the release of this novella. I always liked Nick and I couldn't wait for his and Kelly's story. It was perfect. Little short though. Oh, the huge sex scene... holy ****!!! I'm obsessed with Cut & Run series (no, I'm not kidding, it is obsession) and it looks like I've just picked another one, it's called Sidewinder series. Abi's books are THE shit!

    1. I know! This is one series that totally lives up to its hype and the Sidewinder series will likely do the same.

  3. I'm not up to date on the Cut & Run series yet. I have 2 books left. Could I read this one before those or should I wait?

    1. You really should wait. The almost end part intersects with the end of the last C&R book so if you read this you'll know what happens to Ty & Zane at the end of that book. The second part of this book takes place shortly after the end the last C&R book and briefly touches on Ty & Zane.


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