Review: Part & Parcel by Abigail Roux

part and parcelReviewed by Jen

Though Crash & Burn did a really good job providing closure for Ty and Zane, it definitely left Nick and Kelly hanging. The events of that book are heavily spoiled in this one –and they will be in this review too– so if you haven’t read it (and intend to) you may want to stop here and remedy that.

Still with me? OK. Last time we saw Kelly, he was on death’s door, bleeding out from the wounds he got trying to save Ty and Zane. As this book begins, he’s alive, but in bad shape. His body is broken, and it takes a long time for it to start mending. That is what sets off the ripple effects that are the foundation of the book. It puts Kelly in the role of Doc again, pushing his romance with Nick on the back-burner and putting off some much-needed confrontation over all the lies that came to light in Crash & Burn. [Read more…]

Review: Crash & Burn by Abigail Roux

crash burnReviewed by Jen

It’s hard to say goodbye to Ty and Zane, but it’s time. Maybe even a little past time. Things started changing after Stars & Stripes. The Sidewinder team started taking on a bigger and bigger role in the books, to the point where sometimes it became frustrating. Nick, especially, has become a third main character. And while I like him fine, I’d rather read more about him in his own series. All that being said, I’m such a fan. Ty and Zane, well, I love them. It’s been a wild ride, but I can walk away from this book, satisfied with their HEA, and that is no small thing. [Read more…]

Review: Cross & Crown by Abigail Roux

cross crownReviewed by Jen

I really enjoy the world and cast of characters Abigail Roux has constructed in her Cut & Run series.  And I love the way it intermingles with the Sidewinder spinoffs and the men of Warrior’s Cross.  With the common characters, though, it’s all too easy to expect the books to be similar –and they really aren’t.  For me, Cut & Run is a romantic suspense series.  Stuff is happening with a mystery and danger, but the books are romances.  At the center is the relationship between Ty and Zane. Here, not so much.  Yes, the stories center on Nick (and to a lesser extent, Kelly) –but romance? I think not. [Read more…]

Review: Ball & Chain by Abigail Roux

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image4206965Reviewed by Jen

I love the Cut & Run series, but I’ve heard some readers were disappointed in this installment, which made me a little worried about how it would play out.  I actually enjoyed it, but I understand why those fans were dissatisfied.  The series is almost over.  And with just one installment left, this book focused as much on Nick O’Flaherty as it did on Ty and Zane.  For readers looking for more payoff on the core romance, there are only pieces of that here and there.  Instead, the story focuses on a murder-mystery plot with all the relationships in the background. [Read more…]

Review: Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

SHOCK AWEReviewed by Jen

I am such a fan of Abigail Roux’s Cut & Run series, which is now drawing to a close.  When I found out she was branching out into a spinoff featuring two of Ty’s Sidewinder buddies, I hoped the magic of Ty and Zane would live on in Nick and Kelly.  I have to say that I got at least some of what I was looking for here, but not quite all of it. [Read more…]

Interview & Giveaway: Abigail Roux

Ball&Chain_TourBannerBy Abigail Roux

Welcome to the Ball & Chain virtual tour! If you’re following along, you’ll  be able to win yourself some goodies that might just save your life!  I’ve got five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can, perfect for traveling and hiking or taking with you to remote island weddings where people might be dying. And I’ve got five sets of trading cards with original artwork and character work-ups for the less adventurous readers!
 
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing to win one of five Survival Kits in a Sardine Can or one of five sets of trading cards with original artwork. Entries close at midnight, Eastern Time, on April 1, and winners will be announced on April 3rd. Contest is valid worldwide.

Screenshot 2014-02-18 14.09.31

Jen’s Q&A with Abigail Roux

Jen: Hi Abi! Thanks so much for visiting the blog. I’m such a fan of the Cut and Run series, and I am often struck by how hard core the support is for these books. What is it about them, do you think, that has inspired such a devoted following?

Abigail: I wish I knew and I could repeat it over and over for the rest of my career. I know it’s about the characters, that people have latched onto them and love them.

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image4206965Jen: The series is nearing its end.  Have you ever been tempted to extend it?

Abigail: Never. I had a specific plan for Ty and Zane’s story arc, and to extend the books would just draw out their torture. I suppose the Sidewinder Series is a sort of extension for the characters, but Ty and Zane will be more like supporting characters there.Readers seem to be excited for any stories from this world.

Jen: What can you tell us about Cross & Crown?

Abigail: Cross & Crown is book 2 in the Sidewinder Series. It will follow Nick and Kelly, but it’s a different formula from he Cut & Run books. Sidewinder will be less about the relationship arc and more of an episodic adventure series. They’re a lot of fun.

Jen: Do you plan on giving any other secondary characters their own stories? Any deets?

Abigail: Frankly, I never planned on giving Nick and Kelly their own stories! I’ve learned that plans never work anyway, so I stopped making them.

Jen: What else are you working on right now?

Abigail: Right now I’m working on the third book of the Sidewinder Series, Lost & Found. It’s sort of a Christmas Special for the universe, more of a feel good thing than any of the other books.

Jen: Do you have plans to attend any cons this year? Do you enjoy them?

Abigail: I have GRL on my calendar. I do enjoy them quite a bit, even if they can be exhausting. The Q&A sessions always end up being fun.

Jen: I love following you on Tumblr. Is that the best way for fans to keep up with you online?

Abigail: It depends on what aspect fans want to follow. My Tumblr is very unprofessional! I have a Facebook fan page that’s good for book updates. I sporadically mumble on Twitter. My personal Facebook is just that, it’s personal. People who want that are welcome to follow. I try to divide things up, because different readers want different things from authors. Some don’t want to hear me talk about my daughter, or see my burgeoning obsession with the new BBC Musketeers show.

A big thanks to Abigail Roux for visiting the blog today! Be sure to check out Ball & Chain… It’s out this week!

Review: Touch & Geaux

Reviewed by Jen

If you have ever taken my advice about anything, trust me when I tell you this is one of the very best romance series out there.  Not just the best m/m.  The best. Period.  If you are not reading this series, you are missing out on what romance is all about.  Two people who are taking a journey together; people who you have invested in.  They change; they grow; they screw up; they regress; they love each other in epic fashion. And as a reader, you leave the books with a piece of them still in your heart.  Or in the case of this installment… with a piece of your heart missing.

If Stars & Stripes was the book that made you see how far Ty and Zane have come, Touch & Geaux is the one that shows you have far they still have to go.  As the story begins, the guys are so happy –things are so good– there’s only one way they can possibly go: down.  The fuse is lit when Ty’s Marine buddies trick our heroes into a trip to New Orleans.

New Orleans holds memories for both men: Zane for his anniversary trip there with his wife; Ty, for his time there undercover.  It takes only hours for their past to jump up and bite them and it comes from all sides: Ty’s former almost-father-in-law, dirty New Orleans cops, an ex-boyfriend with a questionable agenda; and even killers from the drug cartel where Zane was once undercover.  We’re talking Danger (with a capital D.)

Yet as powerful as the external conflict is, the real draw here is the internal one. The events of the book prompt the revelation of some very serious secrets.  The kind that destroy a relationship. The kind that eradicate months and years of growth.

I remember reading the original Cut & Run and being struck by how damaged the Ty and Zane of that book were.   Touch & Geaux shows us that those men we first met are still within our heroes.   Take away the foundation of their evolution and you’re back to a big fat mess.  Only now, it breaks your heart.  Now you know Ty and Zane (or at least you think you do.)  You love them.  So their self-destruction isn’t only devastating to them, it’s devastating to… me.  The lies –the betrayal– feels so personal. Yet all this love is still there, so then what?

I’ll tell you.  Then, after all emotional upheaval and story development, Abigail Roux leaves you with one last parting shot, a kick to the gut that left me with tears in my eyes and pain in my chest.

Maybe all this downer talk makes you question whether you want to read the book.  But that would be the wrong question. What you need to ask yourself is, why I haven’t I read this already?

Abigail Roux should be the benchmark by which all books are measured.

Rating: A

P.S. All that and I didn’t even talk about the sex! (*fans self*) It really says something that as hot as the sex was, it was almost an afterthought.

*ARC Provided by Riptide

Click to purchase: Amazon or Enter to Win
Touch & Geaux
by Abigail Roux
Release Date: April 1, 2013
Publisher: Riptide

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2013

It’s never too early to start keeping up with the amazing books of the New Year! I am sticking with the tradition I started last year of running “Best of” post, so no great book slips through the cracks.

January
by Kim Harrison

Guys. This is the best installment in the Hollows series to date.  It’s not a book for new readers to jump into Rachel Morgan’s world.  But for established fans, it’s like hitting the jackpot.  The story is more of a continuation of Pale Demon than A Perfect Blood was.  It follows Rachel as she tries to repair the damage her ley line made in the ever after a couple of books back.  Ku’Sox is trying to get her killed.  Ivy is out of town!! It’s heavy on Trent and Al –and delivers the emotional kick to the gut that this series should be known for.  Sexy, funny, heartbreaking, and action packed… this one is a can’t miss read.

Click to purchase: Ever After

March
Night Blade
by JC Daniels
There is a difference, I guess, between saying, “this was one of my favorite books of the year,” as opposed to saying, “this was one of the best books I have read this year.” I can’t really call Night Blade a favorite, as it left me gutted and hunched over, rocking in the corner of the room. But what I can say is that it will be one of the most unforgettable books of the year for me. It affected me. It made me reach out to the book community to talk about it. I couldn’t put it down, and I now look at Shiloh Walker with a combined sense of awe and horror. You don’t want to read this second installment in the series without reading Blade Song first. You’ll probably find that first book a bit Kate Daniels-ish. But this second book takes us where Kate has never been. If you’re not afraid of some angst, I definitely recommend it.

Click to purchase: Night Blade

by Anne Bishop

This is the most unique feeling Urban Fantasy book I have read in ages.  The tone is so dark.  The monsters aren’t just sexy humans with super-powers… they are beasts.  They are killers.  And humans are little more than a food source.  The heroine, Meg, is woman of beautiful spirit.  She shows the “others” the best of what it means to be human.  With her simple kindness and goodwill, she begins to change how they view her kind.  I loved how Bishop portrays the supernaturals in this world; how they are so alien and she doesn’t try to humanize them.  I picked this book up and was glued to the pages until I was done.  Very cool.

Click to purchase: Written in Red

 

by Delilah Marvelle

You may have noticed that historicals don’t feature on my favorites lists quite as often as some other genres. But I really, really enjoyed this third installment in the School of Gallantry series.  (Don’t worry; it works great as a standalone.)  This book has one of my favorite romance tropes: a tortured hero who thinks he is not good enough for his heroine.  Caldwell and Caroline have been friends since she was only 13, but now she is all grown up.  Despite his best intentions, Caldwell can’t help the attraction he feels for her, but he doesn’t want to ruin the one good relationship he has ever had by bringing sex into the picture. There is great sexual tension; characters I felt I knew and I loved; and a romance that I could really root for. Plus, a delicious dollop of angst.  Good stuff.

Click to purchase: Lady of Pleasure

April
Touch & Geauxhttp://www.dreamstime.com/-image4206965
by Abigail Roux

Just when I think I can’t get any more emotionally invested in Ty and Zane, Abigail Roux writes another book and I only fall deeper.  I should have known that this book would take me through the wringer. After all, the last installment ended with everyone so happy. I was feeling so good, I should have known it couldn’t last.  This book takes our men to New Orleans to hook up with Ty’s Sidewinder team. There is big trouble with an old nemesis of Grady’s and it leads to danger and… Who am I kidding? The heart of this book is the giant wedge that slams down the center of our beloved couple.  It’s dirty and painful and I was a sniveling mass of raw nerves when it was over. And the ending. Killed me.  If you are not reading this series, you should be.  One of my favorite romance series of any subgenre.

Click to purchase: Touch & Geaux

June
Heart of Obsidian
By Nalini Singh

heart of obsidianIt’s so rare for a book to live up to the hype.  But this one did and then some.  For a year, Psy Changeling fans made their best guesses and predictions about who this book would be about and whether we would finally discover the identity of the elusive Ghost.  It turns out that this is Kaleb’s story –and he is everything we wanted in a hero and more.  It’s a book full of passion and deep emotion, with amazingly hot sex and a romance that grabs onto your heart and doesn’t let go.  It was absolutely worth the wait and satisfying in every way. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this one.  –And if you’ve never read the series, you could still enjoy it, though you are better off starting the series from the beginning.

Click to purchase: Heart of Obsidian

July
magic risesMagic Rises
By Ilona Andrews

There has yet to be an installment in this series that I didn’t enjoy, so I hesitate to call this a “comeback” book.  But I can say that this book really reinvigorated my devotion to this series.  Kate and Curran are as engaging as ever, maybe even more so, as the future of their relationship is put on the line.  What’s so awesome about it, is that I really had no idea how the conflict would be resolved –or if it even could be. That’s a tall order for a series with such an established couple.  The book is a road trip for the gang, but most of the core characters are still there.  And it continues to advance the overall arc concerning Kate and her father.  I am so excited to see where the series goes from here.

Click to purchase: Magic Rises

Rise of the Gryphon
by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Dianna Love

rise of the gryphonI know these books don’t have the same kind of following as Sherrilyn Keyon’s other series.  They are not PNR.  But this series is really good Urban Fantasy. It may not be for everybody. It’s complicated and you have to pay attention to the wide palate of characters, races, alliances, and feuds.  It’s totally worth it, though. This fourth installment is easily the best in the series to date.  Our heroine, Evalle, is finally learning the truth about what she is. She is moving forward in her fragile relationship with Storm.  The plot moves fast.  There is great action and ass kicking.  There is emotional resonance… good sex… and huge arc advancement. I was riveted from beginning to end. Evalle is growing so much.  And the ending left me begging for book 5.  Really good!

Click to purchase: Rise of the Gryphon

August
Guardian Demonguardian demon
by Meljean Brook

This book left me feeling so emotional. It was the perfect ending to the Guardian series.  The romance is exceptional.  Michael’s worship of Taylor is so lovely.  Meanwhile, her wariness and fear slowly morph into a tentative love, and it’s such an amazing journey to watch.  This story broke my heart and made it whole again, while keeping me on the edge of my seat with action and a fabulous master plan.  I loved it.

Click to purchase: Guardian Demon

archangels legionOctober
Archangel’s Legion
by Nalini Singh

This book got me excited for the Guild Hunter series all over again. Raphael and Elena still have so much fire.  But what I really loved about this book is the great pacing. The story just builds and builds until it explodes all over the page.

Click to purchase: Archangel’s Legion

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (historical romance)
Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (paranormal romance)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (YA urban fantasy)
Never a Hero by Marie Sexton (m/m contemporary romance)
How Beauty Loved the Beast
by Jax Garren (steampunk? sci-fi? romance)
Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare (historical romance)
The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan (historical romance)
Romancing Lady Stone by Delilah Marvelle (historical romance)
Secret Unleashed by Sierra Dean (urban fantasy)
The Last Hour of Gann by R Lee Smith (sci-fi with strong romantic elements)
The Sum of All Kisses by Julia Quinn (historical romance)
Long Time Gone by SE Jakes (m/m romantic suspense)

Check out Carrie’s, Shelly’s, Jaimie’s and Janell’s top picks of 2013.

Review: Gravedigger’s Brawl

Reviewed by Jen

Well, this book was… different than I expected.  I am a huge, huge Abigail Roux fan. Her Cut & Run series is one of my favorites in any genre. I guess that my expectations were for something like that, and this most definitely is not like Cut & Run.

The story centers on an unlikely couple.  Wyatt is a museum curator whose job is in jeopardy. Ash is a fringe gaslight bartender, with a pierced tongue and a penchant for bottle tossing floor shows a la Tom Cruise in Cocktail.  The two meet when Wyatt’s friend sets them up and they end up in bed the same night. Wyatt kind of freaks, though, and sneaks out before Ash wakes up.  The connection between them remains, despite his boneheaded move, and the two strike up a tentative relationship.

Strange things have been happening in the bar where Ash works. Could it be haunted, or is it a string of coincidences and hallucinations?  That’s the big question in the book. And I’ll be honest with you, despite the frequency in which I read paranormal romance and urban fantasy, I had a very hard time accepting that real ghosts were a possible culprit.  Maybe that goes back to my expectations.

Anyway, I was more interested in the budding romance between Wyatt and Ash than the haunting storyline.  It was a little up and down for me.  I found they complimented each other at times: Ash with his quirky tongue rings and Wyatt with his stuffy historical facts.  They were also hot in the bedroom (though not as hot as in some of Abi’s other work… she sets her own bar pretty high.)  But the relationship was uneven in some points… and way too fast in others.  I believed in the sexual attraction, but the deeper feelings didn’t entirely resonate.

It was definitely creepy.  If you like your paranormal with a disturbing vibe, this delivers that in spades.  It’s full of ghastly, violent history and shudder inducing imagery.  It was cool, but not my favorite from this author.

Rating: B-

*ARC Provided by Riptide via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Gravedigger’s Brawl
by Abigail Roux
Release Date: October 15, 2012
Publisher: Riptide

Guest Post & Giveaway: Abigail Roux

Thanks for joining us on the Riptide Publishing First Anniversary Blog Hop Bash! All month long, we’re bringing you guest posts and interviews from your favorite authors, artists, and Riptide staff. As a thank you for helping us celebrate, we’re also giving away $10 in Riptide store credit to one lucky commenter at every stop! Simply leave a comment below by 11:59pm on Sunday, November 4th to enter. Be sure to check out our complete tour schedule to find out where else you can enter to win—one Grand Prize winner drawn from commenters at all the stops will also win a Kindle that we’ll load with every book we publish in 2013!

 Plus, check out our anniversary sale—All October long, backlist titles are 15%-50% off! Today, we have a special Halloween post from Abigail Roux, author of The Gravedigger’s Brawl and the Cut & Run series.

Going All Out for Halloween 
by Abigail Roux

October has always been my favorite time of year. The encroaching chill in the air, the changing colors, the creepiness of Halloween looming at the end of the month. My daughter’s birthday. The World Series and high school State playoffs, but we’ll not talk about either here.

But I’ll be honest, the spooky Halloween vibe of October is my favorite thing ever. I love people that love Halloween. I love to drive by a house that has gone all out to decorate. Graveyard by the driveway, cobwebs in the windows (mine are legit because I’m not touching those spider nests), flashing eyeball lights in the bushes. I remember trick-or-treating as a child and walking past a scarecrow on a porch that reached out and grabbed me, and it was awesome! That guy sat there all night with straw stuck up in his collar, all because he loved the spirit of the season. That’s dedication.

I love people who will dress up and don’t care if others think they’re idiots. Come to my daughter’s birthday party in a cow suit? I’ll love you forever. Have a very large dog that likes to jump the fence and chase people? Put him in a superman cape. Itty bitty baby born in October? Bring her home in a pumpkin suit!

I always swore I’d be that house when I got older. I’d be that kickass adult who dressed up just to make Halloween a little more magical for a neighborhood of kids. My American Bulldog really did wear a superman cape one year, and my baby girl did come home from the hospital in a pumpkin outfit. But my house is in the middle of nowhere, so I don’t get trick-or-treaters. My knee and shoulders have gone haywire, so I can’t dress up and be the life of any party.

For the last few years, the only way for me to get into the spirit of my most favorite time of year was to sit and watch Ghost Hunters in the middle of the night, or to write. I chose to write. I tried to capture that undefinable essence that hangs in the air as Fall descends, the mixture of vintage for the past and unknown for the future. I wrote a ghost story called Seeing Is Believing. It was short, barely long enough to put in an anthology, and I wrote it all in one day.

It was my version of trick-or-treat, and the next year I wanted to do it again. Only this time, the story was longer. It was deeper, and it managed to catch that eerie mixture of vintage and creepy. It was fun like someone sitting in a scarecrow costume, but it was also scary like the feeling you get when that scarecrow grabs you. It took about five years for me to work The Gravedigger’s Brawl into something worth publishing, but I’m glad it made itself into a Halloween treat. I’m finally able to share that mixture of anticipation, fear, and utter unholy glee the month of October always manages to instill in me.

Dr. Wyatt Case is never happier than when he’s walking the halls of his history museum. Playing wingman for his best friend at Gravedigger’s Tavern throws him way out of his comfort zone, but not as much as the eccentric man behind the bar, Ash Lucroix. Ash is everything Wyatt doesn’t understand: exuberant, quirky, and elbow deep in a Gaslight lifestyle that weaves history into everyday life. He coordinates his suspenders with his tongue rings. Within hours, Wyatt and Ash are hooked.

But strange things are afoot at Gravedigger’s, and after a knock to the head, Ash starts seeing things that can’t be explained by old appliances or faulty wiring. Soon everyone at Gravedigger’s is wondering if they’re seeing ghosts, or just going crazy. The answer to that question could end more than just Wyatt and Ash’s fragile relationship—it might also end their lives.

Buy link: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/gravedigger’s-brawl

Bio: Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year. Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of Call of Duty throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head. To learn more about Abigail, please visit http://www.abigailroux.com