Cut & Run is my second best series of any genre (next only to IAD by Kresley Cole) and so, along with Madeleine Urban's retirement from writing, it was with great trepidation anticipation that I waited for this release. I'm glad to say I was not let down! Even if Armed & Dangerous has a slightly different feel from the previous books, it's still an emotional and highly captivating romantic suspense between two of my favorite romance heroes ever.
After leaving Zane with only a brief note and disappearing completely, Ty and Zane are again brought together in order to handle a new case from Richard Burns. Their assignment is to bring in to DC, an armed & dangerous hitman who used to handle jobs for CIA, namely Julian Cross. Cross who believes those two are taking him to his death, won't go along willingly, but insists on taking his boyfriend Cameron with him anyway, in order to protect him. Cameron & Cross have their own story told in Warrior's Cross for those interested, but be warned that their dynamics are much different than Ty and Zane's as Cameron is a most effeminate and naive/innocent hero next to Julian's machoness
. And so their trip from Chicago to DC begins, but things don't go as planned (what else did you expect?) as CIA agents are on their trail, trying to take Cross from their hands.
What follows is an exciting, adventurous road trip that gives our main heroes some time together, away from their job's daily routine. Ty and Zane are closer than ever after both admitting to their feelings, and neither of them wants to keep secrets anymore. That leads to some important revelations about Ty's past, his relationship with Nick, each one's first time with a man and the significant relationships in their lives. I felt that this book gave us at last the opportunity to know Ty in particular, see the man behind the snarky, witty, easy-going facade and understand a few more things about him. In fact, while I have always been a Zane girl, this book may be reason enough for me to switch sides:)
As a standalone book, Armed & Dangerous satisfied me completely and I was enjoyed every page of it. Comparisons though to the previous books are inevitable and here are my notes:
-The book was much more sappy than the previous ones, with the two heroes saying 'I love you' in every chance they got. I'm not a fan of such openly demonstrative gestures of love in general and even less when they come from two macho men like Ty and Zane, so I was not very fond of that, but it's a matter of taste after all.
-Even the love scenes had a different feel than the previous books. Not better or worse, just different. Perhaps they were more sweet than hot, but still good.
-Zane was a tiny bit different as well: gone was the uncertainly, lack of self-assurance and inner deamons. Zane of A&D was strong, calm and steady; the perfect man to deal with Ty's edginess and mood swings.
-Less angst than the previous books. I guess the admission of feelings lead to both of them feeling secure in their relationship, which is I admit the natural progression of every healthy relationship. But
, being a fan of angsty romances, I can't help feeling a little disappointed that things are so smooth between them; I missed the turmoil of their previous encounters that caused my own heart to constrict.
-The dialogues, which were one of my favorite features in previous books, lack the trademark wit and humor. Gone are the many puns, the memorable lines, the laugh-out-loud answers that stood out. That was perhaps the thing I missed most of all in this book.
All in all, my fear in the turn the Cut & Run series will take after the retirement of Mrs Urban, has been almost
eradicated. I still need a bit more reassurance that our heroes will keep their trademark edginess and masculinity, which I sincerely hope the next book will provide, but at least I think that the train's still moving right on track:)ARC provided by NetGalley