Rating: 4.25 stars
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Ty Grady and Zane Garrett are moving forward in their lives together. They are engaged to be married, Zane is now in charge of the FBI Baltimore field office, and they are building a bookstore together. However, trouble is still hanging over their heads in the form of some old enemies. The Vega cartel is still after them and there is clearly still a mole somewhere who is feeding information to the bad guys. They are also learning more secrets behind Richard Burns, who killed him, and what he was really up to. Finding out that Burns was not the good guy they always believed is devastating to Ty in particular.
The guys have no hope for a real future together until they tie up all the loose ends of their past. They must figure out who is after them and how to stop it, which may require taking the Vega cartel down for good. With the help of their friends on the Sidewinder team, as well as some old enemies, Ty and Zane must risk their lives yet again if they are going to be able to put their past behind them and move on to the happily ever after they both want together.
Crash & Burn is the final book in the fabulous Cut & Run series and one I have been anticipating with a mixture of excitement and sadness. It is always hard to see a well loved series come to an end, but I think overall Roux has done a great job tying up the story arc and giving us a worthy end for Ty and Zane.
First off, I think the story nicely wraps up things on the romantic end for these guys. Here in the 9th and final book, I think readers just want to see these guys happy together, and we get a sweet and romantic ending for them. Roux thankfully doesn’t try to shake things up on the relationship end, and we see how much these men have grown to love one another and depend on each other. We get the wedding we have waited for and a happily ever after for the couple. Most of the mushy, sexy stuff comes early on and then gets kind of moved aside to make room for the suspense end of things, but I do think overall it comes together nicely.
Roux also does a nice job of giving a shoutout to many of the characters that have been part of the series along the way, giving us a chance to visit with and say goodbye to them. We reconnect with the Gradys and the Garretts, though Deuce sadly only has the briefest of cameos. We check in with Julian Cross and even Preston (though no Cam), as well as several of Ty and Zane’s FBI buddies. We also get significant time with Liam Bell and the Sidewider team, as they all play a major part in the investigative end of things. I particularly liked seeing the Sidewinders because I love that they are tough guys mixed with goofball with a side of banter thrown in. Plus I think it is a nice connection to the spinoff series featuring these characters.
The only place where things could have worked better for me is in the suspense plot. Crash & Burn picks up the plot that started largely in Touch & Geaux with the Vega Cartel and the traitor and Liam Bell. I will admit that I had a hard time with that book just following the complexities of the plot and much of it went past me as I was reading it. So almost two years later, trying to follow some of those threads as they were revisited here was kind of tough. I am not sure I fully understood just what they were up against and why. In addition, this is a long story and there is an awful lot of running from place to place, investigating, having things go bad, near escapes, coming back together, etc. This happens over and over, and I realized at about the 80% mark that virtually no progress had been actually made in the investigation (with the exception of one area that turned out not to be a factor). So there was a bunch of running around and nearly dying, but almost nothing to show for it until the last quarter of the book. At that point things definitely picked up and the case begins to move forward and get really exciting.Also, much is made of a mole and rooting that out, and yet this becomes almost a non issue after all that buildup. Things come together well in the end, I just wished for more consistency in pacing and clarity in the mission and investigation.
The reality here is that if you are fan of this series, you are going to want to read this book. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. After enjoying the series and having Ty and Zane a part of my reading life for so long, I was both happy to see them settled and sad to see things end. Overall I think Roux does a nice job wrapping up the series and giving us a nice ending for Ty and Zane. So an enjoyable end to a great series.