There are times that too much anticipation can spoil a book’s potential. Believe me, I anticipated the hell out of this book — ever since I finished the last page of Divide & Conquer… knocked out of my blissful stupor by Ty ditching Zane with only a note left behind on the pillow. I stewed over their future, then stumbled across the news that Madeleine Urban was leaving the longtime writing team behind the amazing series. What would this mean for Ty and Zane? Would the series change? Would it become something less than the action packed, steamy hot, love /sex/ angst fest that I loved so much?
Let’s get right to it, then. This book was fantastic. It was different, but not in a way that any fan has to worry about. It’s different because Ty and Zane have grown into their love for one another. The fear, the hiding –the denial– they’re all gone. Left in their place is something tender and stirring. Still hot, but also very sweet. The awesomeness is only compounded by the crossover of characters from Warrior’s Cross. It really took it all to another level.
I should back up.
The story begins just a week after Ty bolted on Zane. He only planned to be gone a short time, but his boss has activated him for an off-book mission to bring informant Julian Cross into custody. An old friend of Ty’s boss says he is being framed for a series of hit jobs and only Cross can clear his name. Zane is tapped to join Ty on the mission to find the illusive Irishman and bring him in.
When Ty and Zane first reunite, it’s like nothing I’ve seen from them before. The I Love You‘s were flowing like water. They commit themselves fully to one another. And that’s a good thing, because they need to have each other’s backs for this mission. Cross knows that the CIA wants him dead and he’ll do everything in his power to keep Ty and Zane from getting him to Washington. Between his attempts to get away and the assassins who keep showing up, there is not a moment of peace to be had.
For me Julian stole the show, with his dry wit and bad-assness. Scratch that. I loved Julian, Cameron, Ty and Zane. They all played off each other’s strengths and weaknesses in this spectacular dance. I loved watching Ty and Julian face off. I loved seeing their respect grow for one another. I loved the fact that I had absolutely no idea who the villain was until the last possible moment. I was tense and excited and happy and nervous… all at the same time.
The characters felt as clearly defined as they ever did. No one lost their “voice.” The sex was still scorching hot and even with their new level of commitment, Ty and Zane are still… well, Ty and Zane. They are dysfunctional people, but they are growing. They are still learning each other, and trying to get past their issues long enough to make it work. In the process, we are treated to some great backstory that sheds a lot of light on what makes Ty Grady the man he is.
It was so good. Everything I hoped it would be. Now someone needs to tell me what Ty had hidden in that trench coat.
Armed & Dangerousby Abigail RouxRelease Date: May 18, 2012Publisher: Dreamspinner Press