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Fish & Chips by Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux

Genre: LGBT - M/M Romantic Suspense
Series: Cut & Run, Book 3
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 314 Pages
Formats: Paperback, Kindle
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Dreamspinner Press via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?

FBI Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are going undercover on the high seas. Impersonating an out-and-proud married couple suspected of being involved in an international smuggling ring, they are boarding a cruise ship with shaky intel and limited backup, but Ty and Zane are used to making the best of the murkiest of cases. Well...between being shot, bit, stabbed, crashed, and crunched, anyway.

Okay, so it hasn't been the easiest of partnerships.

In more ways that one, really, as the lovers are dealing with more than just a dangerous case and their ever-present personal demons. The longer they're together, the more their relationship evolves, and the emotions they feel for each other have long-since grown beyond the physical. Not that either of them have come clean about that. Going undercover as a happily married and publicly affectionate couple, Zane as the controlling alpha-male and Ty his submissive arm candy, will stretch their acting abilities, their wardrobe, their sex life, and definitely their hearts.

~*~

It's been two years to the month since I first met Ty and Zane in their series debut, Cut & Run, and I love them even more than I did then - which is saying something. I remember how blown away I was by these two very damaged, flawed, rough-around-the-edges characters and the fiction magic that Urban and Roux created with them. I wasn't new to the M/M romance genre, but I was definitely new to this sort of M/M fiction, the sort that transcends the sexuality of the characters to provide gritty, believable characters in a three dimensional, story-rich, character-driven, well-written format.

Ty and Zane are my favorite couple in M/M fiction, period. Irascible, irrepressible, there is just something about them that has always felt so very real and true and honest...even when it's ugly and painful and scary, even when it's uncomfortable and furtive, or vulnerable and hopeful....especially when it's naked and sweaty and sexy...always. That's what I love about them. They touch me. Make me laugh. Hurt my heart. Give me hope. Definitely make me sweat.

Love. Them.

They remind me so much of the iconic Riggs and Murtough of Lethal Weapon fame. Well...if Murtough was a white, thirty-something widower and he and Riggs had incredibly hot sex. So...uh...not very much alike at all, actually. Still.

I have to admit, though, for all that I absolutely adore Ty and Zane and love their ongoing interpersonal journey, I can't say I liked the external plot thread either in concept or execution. The undercover operation seemed a bit contrived and manufactured specifically to put the guys into that situation more than it seemed realistic or plausible as an FBI undercover operation. I could be totally off base, but there seemed to be too many unknowns, and the setup was too haphazard for me to believe the FBI would send two agents in - then keep them under when things started to go very wrong.

That was, though, the only negative for me throughout the book, and it merely dimmed the bulb a bit, didn't turn the light off entirely. I adore Ty and Zane. The tentative tip toeing two-step they do around each and every deep and dangerous emotion they have is a more entertaining dance routine than anything seen on Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance combined. Pair that up with their job as two kick-ass FBI agents who face death head on with gritted teeth and loaded weapons and you have a book - and a series - with fabulous layers, a quagmire of complications, depth, and dimension.

I can't get enough.

The Cut & Run Series:

4 comments:

Mariana said...

Ty and Zane are my loves :) I stayed up pretty late reading this one... and that ending!!! The plot was a bit hinky, but I just love reading about these guys, so I'll take it :) I love to see how the relationship between them grows and how honest they are with each other; how they make each other better.

Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux are fantastic authors and this series only gets more intense! I was sad to read Madeleine Urban is not going to continue to write any longer... although Ms. Roux said she will continue the series herself.

If you haven't already you should read Caught Running... another great pair of men.

There's a teaser chapter for 5th book in Divide and Conquer... cannot wait for that book! D&C was pretty rocking.

Tracy said...

Hey, Mariana!
I'm right with you about the news that Urban has decided to quit writing. She'll be sorely missed. I'm looking forward, though, to seeing how the series evolves with the singular voice of Roux manning the ship.

I haven't read Caught Running yet. I keep meaning to. The Urban and Roux team truly is hard to beat. I have D&C but I've heard that the end is hard to take so I was pondering holding off reading it until the next book is out...but that was before I heard about Urban quitting partway through the book. Roux doesn't know yet when she'll have it finished.

Now I'm waffling on my plan.

It's great to hear from you, Mariana. I hope the holiday season, whichever you celebrate...if you do so (that's about as PC as I get)...is full of the warmth of family and friends.

Mariana said...

Hi Tracy! Happy Holidays to you too :) In this family we celebrate them all, so you can just pick one, lol. Hope your holidays are full of love, joy and peace.

I was literally in tears when I read about MU...isn't that psycho?! I think it was all the other crap going on in my life and that was the final straw. The end to D&C is a bit rough, but the teaser chapter sort of put my mind at ease. I'm really hoping the next book isn't delayed too much, although I imagine AR is feeling overwhelmed.

I don't always comment, but I read your blog all the time. I have quite a list going from your reviews :)

Tracy said...

Not psycho at all! And I heard that about the teaser chapter, too, that it helped ease the sting of whatever happened at the end of D&C.

I've always believed that Ty and Zane will eventually triumph over all their demons and end up with a final, perfect HEA, and I've been willing to deal with the rocky times because of that. That being said...I just don't know that I could handle one more book this year that had a major betrayal, a truly horrendous turn for the worse, or a bunch of heart-wrenching angst. There's been too much of that for me this year.

I don't know definite details, and I don't want to spoil myself, but you've convinced me to wait for the next book to come out before tackling D&C, even with the teaser for book 5.

And thanks for reading the blog!! I love hearing that I've given people book ideas!

I hope you have a safe, warm holiday full of the love and joy of family and friends, Mariana!

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Ratings Guide

Here is a rundown of what the star ratings mean to me! It's not a perfect system, so you may see me add in a .5 star here and there if my impression of the book falls somewhere between these:

5 Stars - Loved it
4 Stars - Liked it
3 Stars - It's okay
2 Stars - Didn't like it
1 Star - Hated it

2014 Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Tracy has read 22 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Zero at the BoneHead Over HeelsLord of the WolfynIn Total SurrenderA Win-Win PropositionNorth of Need

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