Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they’re living together conflict-free, work is going smoothly, and they’re both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last.
When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out.
From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
This book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2012, so you can imagine how excited I was to get it a week early. Ty and Zane are two of my favorite fictional characters, and probably one of my favorite series of all times, and this installment was AMAZING.
Ty and Zane have had a few months of leisure, but a phone call from Texas and Zane’s family throws off their balance. After a pit stop in West Virginia, Ty and Zane both head down to Texas to see what they can do to help Zane’s dad after he’d been shot and find out what is going on at the ranch. With the shooting, multiple trespassing violations, and missing exotic animals, Ty and Zane are quickly plunged into a case that hits way too close to home.
I don’t want to give too much away, although I’m sure most die-hard fans have already read this book, but I am going to try and keep this one as spoiler free as possible.
Let me start with the one thing that was somewhat of a letdown for me, and that was the overall ‘case’ of the book. I liked how the big-cat sanctuary came into play, and we got to see Ty face his fears of big exotic cats (literally). However, for me it really felt as if the case took a bit of a back seat to the rest of the story, which has a different feel than the other books in this series. So much of the first five books is solely focused on the mystery aspect, and the lives and romance of Ty and Zane usually take a more back-seat role. In this installment, that is flip-flopped and the case takes more of a back-seat to the romance. Not that I didn’t like it, it just set a very different tone to this book, and I like the high-stakes, lots of action of previous books. I even kind of missed the intensity of the previous books.
That being said, the romance and peek at Ty and Zane’s day-to-day life was so incredible. We got to spend a small amount of time in West Virginia with Ty’s family, and I forgot just how hilarious they are. Between Chester and Ty’s parents, I spent most of that trip home with them in stitches. MOST. Again, without giving too much away, something big happens between Ty and his father and for a few seconds, I hated Earl. I’ve always been with Zane in that I didn’t have a good understanding of the relationship between Ty and his dad, but I’ve never outright hated the guy until that one moment.
The highlight of this book for me was finally getting to meet Zane’s family. His sister Anne was so sweet and funny, and she has probably the second best line in the whole book. She was so supportive of Zane, and was willing to stand up to their horrible mother at every turn. Zane’s dad was probably one of the best secondary characters ever written. He had the all time best line of the book, and from the first moment we met him, I fell in love with him. He truly loved Zane, was glad to see that Ty was helping Zane get his life back together, and did everything he could to help run interference between Zane and his mom. Speaking of Zane’s mom, she was a piece of work. The woman was cold and rude and nasty and an all around bitch. She wasn’t supportive of Zane’s career choice or anything in his life for that matter. I could see a lot of Zane in her, but was also so glad to see all the ways that Ty was helping him break those bad habits and become a better person.
A lot of stuff happens in this book that help Ty and Zane really move forward with their relationship. Again, without giving away any spoilers, I can’t give specifics here, but there tons of conversations and small (and big) decisions that really helped propel their relationship forward and onto the next level of commitment and intensity. These two together are one of my all time favorite couples.
All in all I can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. I absolutely loved the relationship progression for Ty and Zane. So many spoiler-ish things happened that made me laugh and giggle and cry and scream. Getting to see an inside look at Zane’s family was so special and explained so much, and I can’t wait to see more of them.
I give Stars & Stripes an A-