Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

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'Flahtery 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 on his part . . . or so he thought.  But what should have 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.

First off, I want to say that I didn't give it a full 5 Star rating simply because I knew the outcome ahead because I had read Ball & Chain (Cut & Run #8) before this.  That being said, this was an amazing look into the lives of Nick O'Flahtery and Kelly Abbott, how they went from Sidewinder team members, best friends, kindred spirits, to lovers as only Abigail Roux can tell it.  And boy does she tell it.  The story may be short in pages but certainly not lacking in story, love, fear, passion, and curiosity fueled desire.  This is a sweet, funny, hot, and emotionally charged bridge between books 7 & 8 in the author's Cut & Run series that doesn't have to be read prior to Ball & Chain.

Rating:  4 & 1/2 Stars

Check Previous posts for Author Bio & Links:  Author Info

Don't Trust the Cut by Kade Boehme

Tucker Gray is a Baltimore, MD waiter, hailing from the deep south, whose mental health issues and past relationships have made it hard to trust more than the cut.  After he hits what he thought was rock bottom Tucker decides to keep close to the ones who stood by him and keep his head down, until he finds something to prove it can get better.

Jesse Bauer is unsure what his future holds after an injury forces him to retire from the marines.  With all of the decisions he has to make in his civilian life with all of its freedoms and possibilities, he feels staying closeted and keeping the people in his life happy will keep down the chaos.

Until the night he met Tucker Gray at a party he though that'd be possible, but both of them are instantly and strongly in lust.  As their relationship grows Jesse has to prove himself and Tucker has to learn to trust more than the cut.

I won't lie there were some moments in this book that I could see coming.  That being said, I still found myself hungering for every turn of the page, even in those few scenes that I was expecting.  I say this a lot but for me it's the ultimate compliment and there are only so many ways you can put it into words.  Tucker and Jesse sucked me in from page one and even now that it's been nearly a day since I read the last page, they still haven't let go of me.
Yes, ultimately most of the drama comes from serious misunderstandings and lack of communication but at the same time, the real heart breaking moments come from what's behind the lack of communication.  On one hand you just want to grab hold of their hair and bang their heads together and scream "wake up and talk to each other!" but the reader is let in on the inner monologues of both Tucker and Jesse, so we know what's keeping them from opening up.  Knowing doesn't always make it less frustrating for the readers but the author does an amazing job at helping us understand it.
There were so many roads the author could have taken with the subject matter, and any one of those roads would have made an interesting story but the author took us down a road that not only made it interesting, but also dramatic, funny, loving, sexy, but most importantly, emotionally satisfying.

Rating:  4 & 1/2 Stars

Check previous post for author bio & links:  Author Info