Fiction Vixen was lucky enough to get an ARC of Stars and Stripes by Abigail Roux for a joint review, and Angela and Samantha tore through it in a fury. A Ty and Zane fury. Samantha may *cough cough* be on her 4th read through at this point.
Samantha: Stars and Stripes is the 6th book in Abigail Roux’s Cut and Run series. I would say this series has developed an almost cult like following in the M/M genre, and Stars and Stripes is only going to add to the feverish love for the series and more than anything its two heroes Ty Grady and Zane Garrett.
Stars and Stripes treats us to more of Ty’s family, introduces us to Zane’s family, offers some huge revelations, and what I felt was most important, this book felt like a giant positive leap forward in the relationship between Ty and Zane. Angela, what are your initial thoughts?
Angela: I started reading this series just this year on a recommendation. I literally read the first four books straight through and finished them about a month before Armed & Dangerous was released. I agree that this series has a cult like following in this genre. I think it’s because of the way the characters of Zane Garrett and Ty Grady are allowed to grow with each other and individually with every book. Their progression with each other just seems so well written and natural.
Stars and Stripes, I think, gives us a glimpse of what Abigail Roux has in store for this couple in the future. I was initially surprised at how big of a leap forward this book was for them. They didn’t just take baby steps from the ending of the last book but seem to be completely dedicated to moving forward. We finally get to see Zane’s family! I loved Zane’s dad! It was a huge insight into Zane’s personality. And to see him realize some of those things about himself and how they affect his relationship with Ty was awesome.
Samantha: OMG, Zane’s dad is “epic” just as Ty said. I am totally enamored with Zane’s dad and that really caught me off guard – I wasn’t expecting that all. You touched on something that I too felt was really pivotal in this book and Ty and Zane’s relationship – the moment Zane’s mother did something to him that he has done to Ty in the past many times and how it made Zane feel. I think I gasped in the book when this happened, and I also felt really happy as I could see the light turning on in Zane’s brain. And how about Ty’s grandfather Chester Grady? What a sly old dog he is – neither blind or deaf, ol’ Chester. I feel the character development of other characters besides Ty and Zane is a real testament to Abigail Roux’s strong writing. She packs a lot into the pages with character development and especially the plot. I loved the plot of this book – it was interesting but also downright funny at times. There were so many things in this book that really worked for me and the cowboy hat sex didn’t hurt matters.
Angela: Cowboy hat sex and cowboy in the bar broom closet sex… Yowza! Um, I’m thinking Ty in a cowboy hat might be one of the best things about this book actually. I was waiting for hot haystack sex but alas… Maybe next time when they take a trip back to Texas.
You’re absolutely correct though, the character development of ALL the characters in this installment was excellent. I love that we now have a more complete picture of what Ty and Zane as a couple are dealing with as far as the people who are in their lives. I will admit to being a little afraid of how Abigail Roux would handle their relationship after the I love you’s were exchanged. I wanted them to succeed so badly and already knew what they faced as a couple and I just couldn’t take any added angst to their story. The dedication they have for each other is one of my favorite parts of them together. Two big, strong macho men who love each other and are getting to where they just don’t care what other people think. I think every book is better than the last because Abi is letting their story flow naturally and as a reader I appreciate that.
Zane’s dad was epic but, I thought Ty’s grandad was pretty epic too. I did not see that coming in a million years. Not kidding, I had to read that scene twice. How about that sweet talk Ty’s mom had with Zane at the ending of the book? Ahhhh, I got this warm feeling in my chest when she did that. It was very touching.
Samantha: Oh man, I can cry if I start thinking about it too much.
Angela: I know, right. I DO like that even though they have people who are against them, they have people who are for them too. People who want them to succeed.
Samantha: I don’t think anyone wants to see them succeed more than us readers! Was there anything in the book that didn’t work for you? Or where do you hope the series goes next? I just want them to be happy. And honestly when I read the final chapter of this book and put it down, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more satisfied with a book in this series then I did when finishing Stars and Stripes. I closed my eyes and said a big “Thank You” to Abigail Roux at the end. She seriously continues to impress me with her writing, plotting, and the way she develops Ty and Zane not only as individual characters but as partners on the job and in love.
Angela: I agree! Even if Abigail doesn’t put out another book in this series I can be satisfied with that ending. Of course, I want to see more of my Ty and Zane, but if for some reason I didn’t I would be happy with the ending of Stars & Stripes. I pretty much loved the whole thing. Everything about this book grabbed me from the first word.
Samantha: Here we go…give me some of your favorite quotes! I feel like I could fill up a whole page with them from this book.
Angela’s Favorite Quotes:
“It’s funny, you know?” Ty said. “How much things have changed.”
“What do you mean?”
“A couple of years ago, at this point in the night, I’d be back in the bar with someone in the supply closet.”
Zane snorted and shook his head. “And now you just have to go home with me.”
“No,” Ty said, serious as he stopped and turned to look at Zane. “I don’t have to go home with you.”
Zane raised and eyebrow and cocked his head.
“I can’t wait to get home with you. Even if it’s just to crawl in bed and watch that stupid-ass show you like so much, I don’t care. Whatever I do,
I’m glad I’m with you.”
For the first time, they were actually discussing their future in concrete terms. They’d both known, on some level, that they intended to spend the rest of their lives together. If felt like a solid force now, though, something as real as the hands that pressed into his back or the lips that met his over and over as they made love.
Samantha’s Favorite Quotes:
For over two months now, he’d been waking to Ty’s arms wrapped around him every morning, and sometimes wondered if he deserved it. Other times he pondered how many tranquilizers it would take to bring Ty down, and whether he could do it before Ty killed him, but those moments passed quickly.
Ty: “So, all this green on the map here is the second circle of hell?”
Ty: “Fur and … stripes and …teeth?”
“Don’t matter who you love son,” he said. “As long as you do it well.”
Samantha: Angela, are you a Ty girl or a Zane girl???
Angela: I can’t choose! I need a t-shirt that says “Team TYZANE”. I just like them both for different reasons. How about you? Team Ty or Team Zane?
Samantha: Well Ty is my man. He’s my favorite book character – he’s officially tied the #1 spot with Vishous from Black Dagger Brotherhood. But! I am Team TYZANE all the way. One is no longer complete without the other at this point.
Stop back later today for Samantha and Angela’s interview with Abigail Roux. We’ll also be giving away some cool stuff!