Sticks & Stones By
Madeleine Urban & Abigail Roux
So, Ty and Zane are officially FBI partners (which is where we ended Cut & Run) but things are a little more problematic on the personal front. Neither of them is quite managing to handle the evals 100%, so Richard Burns has given them one more shot to get their heads on straight, and given them a vacation (where he has indicated quite insistently that Ty returns home to West Virginia).
This book was quite enjoyable for me because we get to meet Ty’s family. His father, Earl; His mother, Mara; His brother Deacon (better known as Deuce); His grandfather, Chester. They are all present and accounted for, and they all have their own personalities. We spend the most time with Earl and Deuce (due to the plot of an unfortunate hiking trip which ends in disaster, which is typical for anything these boys can get up to when they to their own devices). Despite some unpleasantness with some ill-thought words from Earl, I did like Ty’s father. I especially liked Deuce, and I do hope we seem him again. I am a bit concerned about Deuce’s continued warnings about Earl not finding out about Ty and Zane’s personal relationship, but I’m not sure if the caution is because at this point Ty and Zane are operating on a ‘casual’ or Partners-with-Benefits type of situation, and Deuce believe Earl wouldn’t approve of that, or if it is the whole same-sex, relationship-with-Zane thing, in general, he would approve of. I guess we’ll have to wait and see about that.
This book reiterated how complex and layered these men are, and how they each have their own issues that they have to deal with, separate from whatever exciting adventure is going on (which in this case was some murderous treasure hunters up in the mountains and a hungry Cougar).
By the end of the book Ty has admitted (to himself, at least) that he is in love with Zane. However, he knows (or believes at least) that love cannot be returned.
I believe that Zane does love Ty (regardless of what he tells Deuce in chapter 7) he just doesn’t recognize it in himself. I’m not sure if it’s a case of severe denial (he’s denying it because of what he felt for his Becky and he’s afraid to feel that way for anyone again), or if what he feels for Ty is fundamentally different than what he felt for Becky that he doesn’t recognize that they can both be love, just different. Zane has a bit to go still before he reaches his own epiphany in this matter, and that’s okay.
Like I mentioned before, I liked this book a lot (more for the family and relationship stuff than the action/case stuff) but I look forward to book three.
Dreamspinner Press – Sticks & Stones
ARe – Sticks & Stones
Amazon – Sticks & Stones
Audible – Sticks & Stones