Reviewed: December 31, 2009
Genre: LGBT-M/M Romantic Suspense
Series: Cut & Run, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars
Length: 376 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Disclosure: This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
With deeply flawed characters and a race to stop a serial killer, Cut & Run rockets to the top of my list of romantic thrillers with a breakneck pace and intensity to rival the masters of the genre. Urban & Roux have knocked this one out of the park and vaulted into my "absolute must read" category. I was very pleased with Warrior's Cross, but Cut & Run is even better.
The writing duo of Urban & Roux have penned realistic and tragic characters, characters who aren't always nice (occasionally downright nasty), damaged characters who have drinking problems, drug problems, sex problems, job problems, and issues with their sexuality - and they're written in such a way that they are remarkably believable as less-than-virtuous even while maintaining a level of sympathy that was rather surprising, given their flaws. This feat is accomplished while the authors blend together a plot of danger and death that is both taut and intense, and much like life, sometimes too much for the protagonists to handle. Brilliantly executed and legitimately thought provoking, this is not m/m erotica. This is a deep, thorough thriller with a developing relationship between the two male leads, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett, that is at times uncomfortable, at times tense, sexy, tender, snarky, and loving...while Ty and Zane run the emotional gamut between hard assed and broken, at times stronger and bigger than life, at times hurt and lost and afraid.
There's no traditional HEA here, and I was left feeling that Ty and Zane's story is really just beginning by the end. In truth, the baggage they carry is still heavy on their shoulders (though lighter than when they started), but there's promise and progress and hope. There's even a little bit of redemption and absolution.
Between this book and Warrior's Cross, I get the impression that Urban & Roux don't like to tie up all the threads of their characters into a neat little rose-colored-glasses bow, and while I do enjoy those bows in most cases, their books are better and more realistic for the lack, and in the end, Cut and Run reverberates with a sense of truism and rightness that other novels with a strong romance theme included just don't manage to pull off. This makes their books stand out in my mind and secures them as books I'll read again and again.
I cannot say enough how much I loved this book, or how quickly I'm going to snatch up everything else these authors do together. Fantastic.
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