Monday, April 29

Sticks & Stones by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban

After a rocky serial murder case in New York City, Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are put on mandatory vacation leave. To Zane’s surprise, Ty invites him to his parents’ home in West Virginia, where without work the two men are forced to examine the non-professional side of their relationship.

What should be a straight-forward camping trip with Ty’s father and younger brother turns out to be disastrous, when the four men come up against ruthless treasure hunters, on the trail of an urban legend. Will Ty and Zane have time to figure out their feelings for one another when they’re busy vying for their lives?

If you’re expecting another serial case romp like in 'Cut & Run,' you’ll be a bit thrown. This book has a slightly different feel to the first, but is more than satisfactory. I will admit my main draw for this series is the characters. The development and the dynamic between the two of them is just too enticing to neglect. The introduced factor of Ty’s family propels the two men’s relationship out of its ambiguous state.

Apart from Ty and Zane, the two most prominent characters in the story are Deuce, Ty’s younger brother, and Earl, his father. While Ty is very close with his brother – who analyses his and Zane’s relationship – he respects and adheres to his father. This made for quite the delicious conflict as Earl’s words have a huge emotional impact on Ty and Zane is a rather critical outsider observing the family situation.

The trip to the mountains, of course, turns out to be hazardous and the four men are faced against reckless and ruthless opponents – both man and beast. I was never quite sure what was going to happen next and it made for a riveting read. Or rather, listen, as I purchased the book on audio, narrated by Sawyer Allerde.

The relationship between Ty and Zane continues to complicate and strengthen simultaneously. The insight into Ty’s character in particular is magnificent and not only digs into his weaknesses but shows how he acts when he is emotionally jeopardised.

I am hooked on this series and was quick to purchase the third installment, ‘Fish & Chips.’
In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Dreamspinner Press and is used solely as an aide to the review.