Monday, January 23, 2012

Sharon’s Review: Sticks & Stones by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux
Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run #2)
Dreamspinner Press, January 25, 2010

Links: Abigail Roux’s website | Madeleine Urban’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here

Six months after nearly losing their lives to a serial killer in New York City, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are suffering through something almost as frightening: the monotony of desk duty. When they're ordered to take a vacation for the good of everyone's sanity, Ty bites the bullet and takes Zane home with him to West Virginia, hoping the peace and quiet of the mountains will give them the chance to explore the explosive attraction they've so far been unable to reconcile with their professional partnership.
Ty and Zane, along with Ty's father and brother, head up into the Appalachian mountains for a nice, relaxing hike deep into the woods... where no one will hear them scream. They find themselves facing danger from all directions: unpredictable weather, the unrelenting mountains, wild animals, fellow hikers with nothing to lose, and the most terrifying challenge of all. Each other.

Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Agents, FBI, Action, West Virginia, Mountains

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3

Reviewed by SharonS.:

Sticks & Stones has been out for a while and there are 968 ratings and 130 reviews of it on Goodreads. There isn’t much I can say about it that hasn’t been said already, but I am working my way through this fabulous series and maybe I can convince you to check it out if you haven’t read it yet.

This book picks up right after the traumatic events of book #1: Cut & Run. The first book was all about the action and suspense of the clever story line as well as the fiery passion that flares between Zane Garrett and Ty Grady. We learned a little about both men’s pasts, but the focus was on who they are now and the case they had to solve.

In book #2 Zane is still recovering emotionally from the last case and is forced to take a vacation. Ty invites him to tag along on his visit to his parents in the mountains. They are both struggling with the unfamiliar and somewhat unwanted feelings that are developing between them. Their relationship has been more of a physical one up to this point, but things are beginning to change. Though, Ty seems to be dealing with it better than Zane. What I loved most about this book is we got to learn about Ty’s past and how it made him into who he is today. We meet his strong and loving mother, his hard to please father and his funny and caring brother. Of course their relaxing camping trip turns into more of a bad horror movie when they run across some treasure hunters willing to kill to protect their secret.

Ty and Zane are forced to confront some of their fears and feelings for each other and there were some truly tender moments for these emotionally guarded men. My heart goes out to Ty as we learn he has never been in love before and is scared. He thinks Zane will never be able to return those feelings because he still loves his late wife. Lucky for Ty, his brother helps him deal with things. Zane on the other hand doesn’t have someone to confide in, even though he does start to open up to Ty’s brother too. Zane is just flat out terrified to love again after losing his wife. He has turned that part of himself off and I just hope he can find the courage to open himself up to what Ty is offering. I have a feeling I will be needing some hankies before this series is over.

The story ends with a happy for now ending as Ty cautiously reaches out to Zane. I can’t get enough of these two men! I am waiting for the first “I love you”. I have a feeling it will be Ty saying it and I can’t even imagine Zane’s reaction. I already have the next book Fish & Chips and can’t wait to find out!

If you haven’t read this series yet, you are missing out on a fabulous love story that will capture your heart as you watch it slowly develop. I can’t wait to read the next book(s) in the series.

The series so far:
#1 Cut & Run
#2 Sticks & Stones
#3 Fish & Chips
#4 Divide & Conquer


  1. I have to confess the first was a DNF for me. No particular reason why, just didn't click for me. I sometimes feel like I'm the lone voice crying out in the wilderness on this one. LOL However I suppose with the legion of fans Ty and Zane will survive without me. ;-)

    Word veri: recooken - is that when I'm preparing leftovers for dinner?

  2. Oh these two - le sigh. My favorites.

    I will say I liked this book the least though. 3 and 4 blew me away.

  3. I liked #3 much more than this one. I'm still hoarding #4 and haven't read it.

  4. I am half way through Fish and Chips and I am dying! These boys are breaking my heart.

  5. Have you guys seen that book #5 is scheduled for release in May? It's called Armed & Dangerous. I hope Roux can keep Ty and Zane as sigh-worthy on her own as she did together with Urban.

  6. what is the story behind the split? I just heard about this!

  7. @Sharon: I don't know. All I know is that Madeleine Urban wrote on her blog a while ago that she wouldn't continue with the series any longer. I'm just glad that Abigail Roux will finish the series, and that we aren't left hanging.

  8. not tying this story up would be the worst thing these authors could do to fans. There are so many people invested in it. I am glad Roux will finish. I wonder if she will stick to the 9 books that were mentioned at one point. I would be happy if things ended sooner than that. I think 5 is the perfect number of books for most series. Fingers crossed!

  9. I'm a big fan of this series. I was very surprised when I heard that Madeleine Urban would no longer be a part of it. In fact, she stated that she was giving up writing completely. I hope Abigail Roux will be able to keep up the good work.

  10. oh, then it wasn't just this series she was quitting. What a shame...


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