Touch & Geaux

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** THIS REVIEW CONTAINS WHAT SOME MAY CONSIDER TO BE SPOILERS **

Touch&Geaux_500x750Title and Link: Touch & Geaux (Cut & Run book 7)
Author: Abigail Roux
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher URL: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Action Adventure, Murder Mystery
Amazon buy link (print only)
Publisher buy link
Length:  Novel/349 PDF pages
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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Review Summary: A rip-roaring adventure worthy of Ty & Zane, but their romance will break your heart as Zane realizes that their entire relationship was built on a lie. Secrets and new revelations could destroy something precious: trust.

The Blurb

After having their faces plastered across the news during a high-profile case, FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have become more useful to the Bureau posing for photo ops than working undercover. Just as Zane is beginning to consider retirement a viable option, Ty receives a distress call from a friend, leading them to a city rife with echoes from the past.

New Orleans wears its history on its streets, and it’s the one place Ty’s face could get him killed. Surrounded by trouble as soon as they land, Ty and Zane are swiftly confronted with a past from which Ty can’t hide—one with a surprising connection to Zane’s.

As threats close in from all directions, both men must come to terms with the lives they’ve led and the lies they’ve told. They soon discover that not all their secrets are out yet, and nothing lasts forever.

The Review

When I opened this book I was hoping that our heroes might return to the non-stop action, as with some other instalments, that would leave readers breathless. I got my wish as Ty and Zane moved from one heart-stopping adventure to the next, although not quite seamlessly. This is actually two stories in one – an adrenaline-laced action-adventure which will rock your socks and keep you perched on the edge of your seat, and a romance that seems to be imploding, as emotions, lack of trust, brinkmanship and ultimatums become the name of the game.

As indicated in the blurb, because of overexposure in the press from being used as poster boys for the department, Ty and Zane were now becoming unsuitable for undercover assignments as well as being sick of photo ops. Just as they were about to look at options for moving on, especially Zane who had been with the FBI for 20 years, Ty received a call for help from one of his Recon buddies, Nick, who had been arrested on a murder rap. The sticking point was that Nick was in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) a place where Ty could be killed or imprisoned on any number of trumped-up charges if he returned, as he had not left New Orleans years ago of his own volition. It was kill or be killed if he went back and his chances of leaving the city alive were slim and none, and slim has just left town. However this was a cry for help from someone that he couldn’t refuse. When he and Zane arrived they found that instead of being in jail, Nick and the rest of his pals were having a party for a deceased member of the team. Once Ty got over his snit he decided to enjoy his short stay, but unfortunately reality is a bitch and she bit him on the ass, starting with a gris-gris or voodoo bag.

This is my 7th review in this series, so I won’t go over old ground, including detailing Ty’s relationship with his Recon buddies. Obviously Ty’s and Zane’s relationship has changed since they met and became FBI partners, then lovers 2 years ago, and now share a home. They seem to be solid as a couple, but not everything is what it appears to be on the surface and the first sign of trouble shows the cracks that come from keeping secrets. The guys’ feelings have evolved from the all-consuming heat of first love to an emotion that is much more intense and deeper. In fact they are looking for something permanent together, but before they could do anything about it old misunderstandings and hidden truths rear their ugly heads, and Zane and Ty reach a breaking point when Zane realizes that his entire relationship with Ty has been based on a lie. The hurt that he feels when he finds out how tenuous those bonds of love really are and that trust is ephemeral – here one minute and gone the next – breaks his heart. Ty abused his trust and their relationship fractures to the point that Zane says the unforgivable right after telling Ty that he had intended to propose marriage to him.

The scenes between Zane and Ty when Zane finds out how he has been played and lied to, as well as his hurt and justifiable anger got to me on a gut level, not only because of his emotions, self-destructive behaviour and emotional and physical breakdown, but I felt for him as the trust between him and Ty was shattered. Zane’s reaction to Ty’s betrayal might appear to be over the top to some readers, but to me it was a human reaction. He had given up a lot to be with Ty, had basically invested all of his life in him since they became lovers. When the lies blew up in his face he couldn’t control his reaction to being betrayed, even though he knew the type of person Ty was. Ty’s dishonesty upset him the most, especially when he said he would do it all over again. Zane knew that Ty would do anything for his job but he didn’t think it would involve screwing him over: other people, yes, but not him.

As usual, this story is told from both Ty’s and Zane’s POV so everything is laid bare – every emotion, every hurt – but I suspect there are other secrets still to be revealed because there were a few dangling threads at the end of Touch & Geaux including why would his friends lure Ty back to NOLA knowing his past and the danger he would be placed in if he returned. While I didn’t find them distracting, there were many flashbacks that played a part in the story: Zane and Becky 10 years ago in New Orleans; Zane’s first meeting with Ty; Ty’s relationships with various exes; etc.

In case you thought that this story was very serious with no humour, there were many funny interludes and one of them came almost at the end. As everyone who is a fan of this series knows, Ty is obsessive- compulsive and loves order, so this scene was hilarious:

Ty laughed, a carefree, boyish sound, and glanced to his
side, distracted by what he saw. “You moved the rug.”
“I kitty-cornered it.”
“Why would you do that?” Ty asked, aghast.
“To see you lose your shit when you got home.” Zane
leaned closer, grinning evilly. “There are other things out
of order too. Books not alphabetized. Coffee mug handles
facing different directions.” He lowered his voice to a whisper
as Ty’s eyes widened in horror. “The closet isn’t color coded.”
“You’re just watching the world burn, huh?”
Zane laughed.
“God I missed you,” Ty said in a rush of breath.”Okay, so I am assuming you’re finished by now.”  :)

Zane grabbed a handful of Ty’s hair and tugged, and
when Ty’s head tipped back, Zane kissed him hungrily, not
letting go of him. Ty’s laugh turned into a growl, and suddenly
there was no space between them. No tears or lonely days, no
secrets and no lies. Just Ty and Zane. On the floor of their row
house. On a crooked rug.

If I had a criticism about this book it was that I thought there was too much plot and too many characters for one 350 page novel. There was the backstory with Liam Bell, a former member of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Ty’s one-time lover and teammate who everyone thought was dead because they saw Ty shoot him years ago, but he was very much alive and seemed to be calling the shots. To complicate matters, Ty appeared to be afraid of Liam who was like a chameleon – changeable – as well as destructive, outsmarting Ty at every turn – and no one could figure out whether he was friend or foe. Then there was the voodoo curse Ty was convinced was on his head by way of a gris-gris bag; the unsolved murder of a woman that was tied to another voodoo bag, a complication as Ty and the other members of the Recon team were on the scene where she was murdered but Ty couldn’t show his face in New Orleans because he could be arrested for the murder; there was the crooked Chief of Police who wanted Ty dead and would do everything in his power to make it happen; Ty’s ex girlfriend from a decade ago who happens to be the Police Chief’s daughter, begging the question of her loyalties. Then there were Zane’s former associates when he was undercover with a drug cartel; also, Ty’s connection to the murder of the head of the same cartel; and on and on. This all seemed to be too contrived, especially the location of the story in New Orleans where so much had happened to them in the past. Yet the redeeming feature of the book was the wonderful writing of Abigail Roux who did an incredible job of tying up most of the loose ends. I also have to credit the editing that made reading Touch & Geaux such a pleasure.

A few final things: the story ended on what could be considered a cliffhanger and some of you may hate this as it could conceivably change the direction of this series. Last, the sex was erotic and just so emotional I couldn’t help but be touched as I felt Ty’s and Zane’s love for each other. The passion, love, disappointment, anger and a host of other emotions expressed so well through her characters makes Abi Roux one of the best writers in this or any genre, and despite my criticism above, she rocks!

Highly recommended.

This book has already been released to those readers who pre-ordered it, but for the rest of you the release date is April 8.

39 thoughts on “Touch & Geaux

  1. Majken

    My reaction was something like EEEEP, SQUEEEE, YIKES, more EEEEP, SQUEEEEE, HOLY FUCKING SHIT :D
    That was one heck of a ride

    1. Wave Post author

      Great review Majken. :) Did you get an advance copy? I think Abi did a wonderful job with her characters.

      1. Majken

        I preordered it and got a download link 2 nights ago -just before going to bed, very EVIL, spent all yesterday afternoon/evening on a rollercoaster with Ty & Zane

        1. Wave Post author

          Loved your review. Maybe you should be a reviewer on this site. :lol: When I heard that those who pre-ordered were being given a link on April 1 I thought it might be an April Fool’s joke. :)

          1. Majken

            I thougt so too when I saw the link, but it worked :)

            I think SQUEES & EEEEPS will get a bit boring in the long run, I’m a 1-2 line review kind of girl ;)
            But if it changes and I start writing more, I’ll be happy to send you a test review, just don’t hold your breath

  2. Dianne T.

    Wave!! Was this book ever an emotional ride!! INTENSE! :shock: The UPS man put the print copy of this in my hand last Thursday afternoon and I stood there gaping at it with a shocked look on my face. It was torture not being able to read it til 10pm and once I started I read all the way through til nearly 3am. Read it again a few days later. Love your review – definitely a 5 star for me too. As you said, there was a lot going on and attention needed to be paid to every single word, but it was oh so worth it. Through all the secrets, lies, reactions and actions – Ty and Zane remained true to character. Zane was understandably emotionally wounded by what Ty revealed – the ones you love the most can hurt you the most, right? He worked through it all fairly quickly though,and despite all the reactions he went through, his love for Ty was always clearly there. Abi’s writing skill really shone (and yes, the editors did an amazing job too with so much going on in the story). I loved everything about the ending. What Ty did spoke volumes and the two twists leave a whole lot of unexpected possibilities for the next book in the series. Ahh, such good stuff……this series is such a fine example of why I read. :smile:

    1. Wave Post author

      Hi Dianne

      Wasn’t this book a rush? These characters are SO wonderfully crafted and whenever I open one of the books it makes me feel as if I’ve come home.

      As you said, Abi’s skill as a writer definitely shines in this series. I think the books are a great source of joy for her. I, too, loved the ending because she almost always has a cliffhanger but some readers may not like what seems to be the new direction of the series. We’ll have to wait and see – I understand she’s going to give a preview of the upcoming book within a few days and I can’t wait.

      1. Dianne T.

        Reading any of the books in this series IS like coming home Wave. I like the possibilities that are there with the ending she wrote. Ty going off to lord knows what dangers, Zane being left back home alone with a mole in the office and presumably a contract still on his head (and also to face any repercussions from the grand “coming out” kiss). Not sure I want a glimpse of the next book yet…Abi’s glimpses can be hell to interpret!! :???: :grin:

        1. Aunt Lynn

          Hi Dianne. Just so you know, I made your comments that were pretty big spoilers white since we’re trying to avoid them. If folks want to see them, they can highlight the words.

          1. Dianne T.

            Thank you for catching that – and I’m sorry. I did email Wave but then had to leave and couldn’t respond to her. Was talking on FB to some peeps who had finished the book on FB and was not watching what I posted where. :wallbash:

  3. Kim W

    I finished it the first night. I think it might be the best yet. It had a completely different tone from Stars and Stripes (which was my least favorite in the series).

    1. Wave Post author

      Like you, Stars & Stripes was my least favourite C & R book and I believe it had the lowest rating from me – still good, but I missed Ty’s spark. T & G on the other hand is definitely up there in terms of series favourites although I did have a problem with the number of characters and sub plots. I think the story was well done and I wasn’t taken out of it once because of poor editing. :grin:

  4. Jaime

    Great review WAVE!

    This was one wild ride, Abi really out did herself in this one.

    My emotions are still running high and I finished it yesterday.

    1. Wave

      A wild ride is one way of putting it. :) What I loved best abut the story was the return to the “old” Ty and how his relationship with Zane evolved. I also loved the fact that Zane was given so much profile in this book. What a character!!! :cool:

      1. Jaime

        Zane was freakin amazing in this book! I’m a Ty girl but yeah Zane was DA BOMB :grin:

        Can we talk spoilers in here Wave?

        1. Wave

          Spoilers might be difficult for those readers who haven’t read this book as yet. It doesn’t release until April 8 except for those readers who pre-ordered it. So could you hold off on the spoilers until after the book is in general release? Thanks.

  5. Andrea

    Ever review I’ve seen so far has said that this one is terrific. It’s killing me to know that I’ve got it and can’t start it yet. I’m still working my way through Lover at Last. :eek:

    1. Wave

      I would go for T & G.

      If you’re still reading Lover at Last maybe you shouldn’t read Larissa’s review tomorrow, as she kicks the lid of JR Ward’s latest. :lol:

      1. Andrea

        I’ll be done today, I only have 150 pages to go. I can’t wait to see the review tomorrow.

  6. Natasha

    I got my print copy last week and devoured it. I agree it is a 5* read. My only complaint, love does fix most things but what Ty was doing, well Zane is a better person than me for forgiving him so quickly. I don’t know how trusting I’d be.(also, I really wanted Ty to suffer so a Zane and Liam romp would have been brilliant and hot. LOL!) As for the ending cliff hanger….. Well it wasn’t so much of a surprise, she had set it up earlier in the book, still, can anybody say NIA? With Zane as handler :-)

    1. Wave

      I did see the foreshadowing about half way into the book when Ty had to confess his status and figured out that Abi had something up her sleeve. I’ll wait to see how it plays out.

      As for Zane – in this book he was THE MAN and I think he got back at Ty in a way only he could, although I do admit he should have made him grovel a bit more before forgiving him. Can’t wait to see the blurb for the upcoming book. :)

  7. Aunt Lynn

    Hey folks, if we can hold off on major spoilers until April 8, that would be great. Thanks.

  8. Ellie

    This book is coming out on my b-day. Whoo hoo! :bravo: :bravo:
    I wasn’t planning to spend the day with my nose in a book but, oh, it will be a pleasure to read this book. I’m already experiencing a little anxiety about the “tension”. Might have to bring out the wine with morning coffee just to settle my nerves. Can’t wait! :bananadancer:

    1. Wave

      Hi Allie

      Gird your loins for a wild ride, and then some. Ty is usually my man in this series but in T & G Zane is THE MAN!!! :cool: :lol:

    1. Wave

      Hi Joanne

      I’m so glad you enjoyed T & G. Wasn’t it great? I have already read it three times – twice for review and once more just for fun. :cool: :grin:

  9. Madonna196

    I’ve been on pins and needles looking forward to reading this latest installment in the lives of two of my favourite characters. However, I need to know if this novel ends on a depressing cliffhanger?? If so, I’ll wait until the next one is out and read them both together.

    1. Wave

      I don’t think it’s a depressing cliffhanger Madonna. For me it’s a logical progression of the story. I wasn’t surprised actually at the way the story ended. If you want to you could email me.

  10. Aunt Lynn

    Excellent review, Wave. I, too, liked this one better than Stars & Stripes, which may be my least favorite of the series so far. I gobbled it up two days ago — while I should have been working, no less! — and what a ride indeed. Because I had some mixed feelings about it, I just finished a re-read to see if I would think differently with a second helping…and I admit that I absolutely do. I would also give it 5 stars overall, which is up at least a half-star from where I began.

    First, I loved many things about it: the return of the action; the obvious, heart-breaking love and emotion between them; the incredible personal conflict and the growth of their relationship from it; the interaction of Sidewinder; the fact that it is in many ways Zane’s book; majorly-flawed heroes; the themes of trust, loyalty, secrets, personal identity and the roads one takes to get there. I feel like perhaps I am getting to know the real Ty and Zane, laid bare after cutting each other to shreds.

    However, I do have some lingering niggles. As you mention, there is a contrived, convenient feel about it, from having it set in NOLA, to how they ended up in that city, to Zane’s NOLA flashback of seven years prior and the “who” that was (and there is an inconsistency here with what were were told in Armed & Dangerous regarding when Zane was first attracted to guys), to bringing in Liam, to the connections between all of players (goodies and baddies), to the ending.

    Like you, I felt there was just too much going on in the story, and while Abi was able to pull it all together in the end, I had some trouble keeping up with who did what to whom when and the connections, plus Ty and Zane’s not-so-little personal crisis in the middle. I felt like she could have picked one or the other conflict/group and still would have had a full story.

    I’m another one who felt like Zane forgave Ty a little too quickly for the character we know him to be. He crunches the numbers, as Ty calls it, meaning it takes him a while to process. It took him several months to realize and admit to himself that he loved Ty, yet here it took him, what, a day to come to terms with what Ty did? While I understood his thought process here, I thought it was a bit too quick. And I agree that there should have been more groveling. :)

    Last, I can be included as one of the readers who disliked the ending in some ways and aspects of the cliffhanger, and, if I think I can guess where she’ll take the next book, will need to think very hard about whether or not I pick it up. I wasn’t surprised as it was foreshadowed, and I think under other circumstances I could get behind the overall outcome and eagerly await seeing how Abi would deal with it, but as you said, the reasons mean perhaps shifting into a sub-genre I don’t care for at all. To say more would be spoiler-y, but I guess I’ll reserve judgement until the next release.

    But, despite these issues, I still really, really liked it.

    1. Wave

      Hi Lynn

      Thanks for your editing help on this one Lynn. It was late and I was very tired and your input was very valuable..

      We agree on most aspects of your mini review. More grovelling should have been in order, considering the severity of what Ty did to Zane. Ty has always been my favourite character in this series but in this book I thought he seriously wronged Zane. I do think however that Zane did get him back in a way that brought him a bit of personal satisfaction and proved that he was a lot tougher than I gave him credit for. Sort of who’s the man now. I can’t say anymore obviously because of spoilers, but if you remember the scene after he went back upstairs from the bar, that should give you a clue.

      If this is going where we both think it is for the next book, that could have been the plan all along. I believe Abi and Madeleine said initially when they decided to make Cut & Run into a series that they were looking at writing 9 books altogether (I could be horribly wrong but somehow that number sticks in my mind). If this is the case it means that there will be 2 more books, meaning that the setting of the next story is important for Ty because of unfinished business if you understand where I’m going with this. I know you don’t like what we both think is the direction of the next story but it makes sense. We’ll both have to wait and see if we’re right.

      In any event I guess Zane will have some tough decisions to make very soon from both a personal and career perspective and we think we know where he’s headed. Again, we’ll have to wait and see if we’re right.

      We both have issues with the number of sub plots and characters in this book but authors of series books always try to make the next one bigger and badder than the previous books – sort of upping the ante . :lol: Whatever the thrust of book #8 it will be one big blowout in more ways than one. :)

      Now I’m going to re-read one of the older books tonight.

      Thanks again Lynn.

      1. Lasha

        I know you don’t like what we both think is the direction of the next story but it makes sense. We’ll both have to wait and see if we’re right.

        Can you email me in which direction you think it’s going? I hope they turn into werewolves, but that’s just me! *g* I haven’t read this one yet, a little too angst ridden for me right now.

            1. Wave Post author

              I just sent you an email. Of course this is all supposition on my part but I believe Abi is making some sort of an announcement in a few days – could be a blurb – but I’m really not sure what form it will take.

        1. Madonna196

          Wave, I’m curious as to where readers think the direction is going. Please copy me your response to Lasha. I love spoilers!

  11. Natasha

    Having only read the series recently, I have to say, Ty is made out to be this capable, highly trained assasin, so how come its always Zane going in to save his arse? Every book! :-)

    I loved all the books so much, I even went and adopted a bloody tiger :-) (yes his name is Barnum)

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