Sep 13

Review: Sticks & Stones by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Sticks and Stones by Madeleine Urban and Abigail Roux

Like I said when I read Cut & Run, I’m always looking for a new good series.  And I thought I had found one.



And honey was I wrong.

So, I know the series is hugely popular as an m/m romance series.  I can get behind that (I obviously can get behind that).  But since they’re both kind-of bad asses and in the FBI and whatnot and the first book centered around solving a serial killer murder spree and there was a lot of action…I just assumed that that is what the whole series would be like.  But that was not to be.


Okay, so this book takes place like three months after the events of Cut & Run.  The boys are still a little psychologically scarred from the events in New York, but they’re being tough about it.  They’ve been assigned to desk work, but Zayn has failed his psych evaluations, so they go on enforced vacation for a month.  Ty invites him to go see his family who lives up in the mountains of West Virginia.  The family is described (repeatedly) as being so weird and zany, but they just seem typical Southern: homebody mom, military distant dad, and black sheep brother who’s a therapist.  Anywho, they decide not to just hang out at home but to go hiking in the woods.

You remember how everyone’s favorite part of the Harry Potter series was the extended camping sequence in book 7?  Yeah, me either, and that’s the problem with this book.  Camping isn’t exciting.  It’s not exciting to go camping, and it certainly isn’t exciting to read about camping.  Even if it is camping with a lot of emotional issues to work through (and oh my we have issues to work through).

Yes, there is conflict up on the mountain.  They run into a snake.  They run into treasure hunters that have booby trapped the mountain and who kidnap them.  They run into a cougar.  But it’s all very “so what?”  The snake is flung away to no effect.  All of the treasure hunters die in very quick, non-spectacular fashion.  The cougar attacks Ty but he gets med-evaced out just before dying.  There’s never any fear for the main characters because we can’t harm them because they’re special.  George R. R. Martin would spit.

I know this is just supposed to be light reading, and I was really into the first half.  But, then, I was waiting for the awesome mystery to start.  Awesome mystery and sexy time…is that really too much to ask?  Apparently.  And I was let down.


The only saving grace is that the nice characters are all likable enough.  Ty and Zane still spend way too much energy dancing around saying I love you, but I guess that’s drama for another day.  Falling in love just isn’t this hard, boys.

I seriously had this entire series on my list, but if it’s going to be more plots with the dramatic art of a dead man’s pulse, then I’ll skip it for something else.

JMF Rating: 5/10

‘Til next time,


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