SPOILERS AHEAD. WE WILL NOT SPOIL THE BAD GUY BUT OTHER MINOR SPOILERS WILL BE TALKED ABOUT
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
Crash & Burn, as we now know the title, is book nine in the Cut & Run series. It is also the final book in Ty and Zane’s love story. Just typing that line out makes me want to cry. (Jen here) These boys were my first foray into m/m romance so they are incredibly beloved to me. I understand their story cannot be dragged on but it hurts to think of them not getting a book each year.
I’ve loved this couple from the first page of the first book. (Angela here) Something about these two have always kept me coming back for more and rereading over and over again my favorites of the series (Hello reverse cowboy in Stars & Stripes and that bar room rip your heart out scene in Touch & Geaux). As much as this book scared me going in, because it just had to be perfect, after reading I do think Abby Roux got it just right. So now I’m sad to see it end, but incredibly happy with the HEA this couple received.
Ty and Zane (SPOILER)
Jen: After Ball & Chain, I’ll admit I was nervous. There was so much Nick and Kelly in that book, Ty and Zane were almost lost. I really wanted a HEA for these boys that I had no complaints about. Starting with Chapter 1, I read with a big, goofy grin on my face. And then this happened!!
“Screw the big ceremony,” Ty said with a snarl of his lip. “Screw what our families and friends want or think. For once let’s just . . . do it for us. They just legalized it in Maryland, we could go down in the morning and apply for a license. It’s only a forty-eight-hour wait; that’d give us time to wrangle up two witnesses to get here, and by Monday morning we’d be hitched. And it’s not like we don’t have some federal connections we can abuse. There’s a way you can get the wait waived by a judge, and I talked to Hank Freeman, you remember him?”
The entire time they were saying their vows I was waiting for someone to burst in and shoot them. Thankfully that didn’t happen. Their vows made me cry. They absolutely did.
Angela: After Ball & Chain I was a wreck. I was nervous that Ty and Zane wouldn’t get the send off they deserved, and I desperately needed them to get the send off they deserved. I’ve never hidden the fact that they are one of my favorite couples in romance. The secrecy surrounding the final book had me even more worried, I mean we didn’t even get a title until the book hit our kindles. But then….
Right off the bat good stuff happens and I was so very, very happy.
Angela: I was smiling the entire time. Because YES! My boys finally made it happen! And then there were vows from the heart and kissing and permanent proof of their love tatted right there on their ring fingers and honeymoon sex.
“Ty,” Zane whispered against Ty’s ear. “Have you gotten distracted by something?”
“Yeah,” Ty murmured, then grinned. “My husband.”
So sweet. These two just get me in the feels every single time. Happy sigh.
Jen: We so needed this and it was perfect. Ty was nervous and Zane wasn’t. I think I read these pages 20 times with a big dumb grin on my face.
Ty must have felt Zane grinning, because he took a deep, shaky breath and said, “Go ahead and laugh. I feel a little like I’m going to yark all over you, though, so you’ll get what you deserve.”[/spoiler]
Jen: Um, holy crap? Is that a valid reaction? Lol To name names would be the biggest spoiler of nine books so we won’t do that but I NEVER saw it coming. NEVER.
Angela: Uh, yeah. I’m still a little shocked, and wondering if I missed some foreshadowing throughout the previous eight books. I mean who in the world would have even thought this person was the bad guy? And who in the world would even think this other person was so involved behind the scenes and had to take care of business to keep Ty and Zane safe? Did we miss something Jen? I feel like we missed something. Total WTF just happened moment. And it comes at 20%, so the rest of the book is an unraveling of everything readers thought they knew.
I don’t even know what else to say without giving away the biggest shock of the series so I’ll leave it at this … There were a lot of loose threads, more than I anticipated apparently, but rest assured they are all wrapped up tight by the end.
Jen: I’m sure we missed a ton of clues. Look how many clues there were about Ty and then everything can out in T&G. This was epic though. The fallout from the bad guy had an effect on everyone in this series whether main character or secondary character.
Kelly and Nick
Jen: Oh boy. What to say? I thought Nick and Kelly were supposed to be our happy go lucky couple? That isn’t turning out to be the case. Nick is fairly tortured and complicated. His protective streak is a mile wide in this book and almost the reason everything played out like it did. Whether it was Ty or Kelly he was protecting, he made some interesting decisions.
“You’re not a thing in the dark,” Kelly said under his breath.
“No.” Nick clutched his fingers tighter. “But I can be.”
Kelly stared at him for a long time, nodding, blue-gray eyes turning to quartz granite. “Then we’ll be things in the dark together.”
Angela: Nick and Kelly kind of surprised me in Crash & Burn. You’re right, I’ve always assumed they were less angsty. I mean they did have relatively zero drama as they moved from friends and teammates to lovers. There was even the proposal that Nick has pretended he doesn’t remember at the end of Ball & Chain. Remember how surprised we were, and then kind of disgruntled that they might be getting to the altar before Ty & Zane? So color me shocked when I was more worried about them getting through this book intact than anyone else.
“Just… will you give me back the man I know? Come back to me?” Kelly asked.
Nick nodded, moving his hands to Kelly’s face. “I never left.”
Kelly shook his head.
“I love you,” Nick said. “You can’t lose me. Not to him. Not to this.”
So much emotion surrounding them this time around. Nick makes choices, and has been making them for some time apparently, that has everyone in an uproar. I totally understood Kelly’s anger and hurt. Even I wondered what was going on in Nick’s mind, and why he made the choices he did. It seems that going forward they might be just as up and down as Ty & Zane has been for the last nine books. Honestly, I’m kind of looking forward to it.
Jen: Well we all knew Abi couldn’t write them drama free, right? But I wasn’t expecting quite the amount of drama we saw. I felt Kelly’s sense of betrayal more times than I would have liked in this book. I think Nick has some ‘splaining to do.
Sidewinder and Others
Angela: One thing you can always count on with this series is Sidewinder to show up for support and comic relief when everything is going to shit.
“We should be able to hear them coming,” Owen said. “There’s enough frozen meat in here to use as weapons. If we stay limber enough, we may be able to rush them.”
“You want us to attach the NIA agents with frozen meat?” Digger asked, his voice trembling and his teeth chattering. He snickered. “Literally hit them over the head with our big meatsacks?”
“Oh my God,” Owen grumbled.
These guys are more than friends and teammates, they are Ty’s family. His chosen family who never fail to stick with him to the end when the shit hits the fan and is being splattered all over the place. Liam Bell, Preston and Julian are also a big, big part of the end to this story arc. Without giving anything away, let me just say something happens at the end that sucked big hairy, donkey balls and almost had me crying again. I can’t even believe it happened, and it still makes me sad. Brutal.
The Grady’s and Garrett’s make appearances and it was sweet to see them finally all come together as a family.
Jen: I had two quotes where the Sidewinders involvement is summed up perfectly.
“You shot me, Zane.”
“Baby, if I’d shot you, you wouldn’t be alive complaining about it,” Zane said, then leaned sideways to check the backyard.
“Well, someone shot me. It’s upsetting.”
Zane glared at him before rolling his eyes. “Kelly had the beanbags, you can talk to him about it later.”
“It’s very upsetting,” Ty repeated, pressing his hand to his chest.”
“And you can’t call your mama and tell her you got hitched?” Mara shouted at Ty.
“She gon’ beat his ass,” Digger observed from the kitchen.”
This book wouldn’t have been the same without The Sidewinders and all the secondary characters. There are some very poignant moments with Zane’s mother which were a long time coming. I guess Mara got her hands on Beverly and they had a talk!
Like Angela said, something happens at the end of the book that I wanted to not be real. It isn’t cool and I can see it having a ripple effect on some of Abi’s future books.
Angela: I had a lot of apprehension going in to Crash & Burn. A lot. That happens when you fall so deeply in love with characters that you hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they find their happy place. I so badly wanted them to ride off into the sunset in style, with their hearts full of each other and with a strong, secure happily ever after. I believe Ms. Roux gave them that ending. I think she wrapped everything up exactly as she should have. I am going to miss this couple so much. Ty with his crazy t-shirts and Zane with his puns, how do you not be sad to see their journey end? I’m thankful that I have the Sidewinder series to look forward to, Nick and Kelly look like they might be a crazy ride. But for now, farewell Ty & Zane. Thank you for all the ups and downs and emotion and fun times. You will be missed. Final Grade- A
“You going to tell me how you found me?” Zane asked for perhaps the twentieth time.
Ty stole a languid kiss, then whispered. ‘I’ll always find you, Zane.”
Jen: I was nervous too. I was nervous Abi had forgotten about Ty and Zane and moved on to Nick and Kelly. I had no need to worry though. For me, this book was perfect. I got exactly what I wanted and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. What a series, what a journey, what an amazing couple. I will miss them greatly. Hopefully we can see them in Nick and Kelly’s books. Final Grade- A
“I want you with me. ‘Til the end. That may be selfish, too, but I don’t care.”
“The world out there is burning, Ty.”
Ty ran his finger down Zane’s cheek, nodding. “But we were born in a kiln.”
Zane grinned. “I’m game.”
“I think the word you’re looking for there is prey,” Ty growled before smashing their mouths together.