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Literature / Cut and Run

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Cut and Run is a nine book romance/thriller series by Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban following FBI Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett. After a series of murders in New York, cocky and abrasive Ty Grady is partnered with Zane Garrett, a serious model agent, and it's hate at first sight. While they seem like the typical odd couple, they soon find they make surprisingly good partners. In more ways than one.

There is also a spin-off series focusing on members of Ty's old Force Recon team, Sidewinder.

Note: After Divide & Conquer, all subsequent books were solo written by Abigail Roux.

Warning: Many Late Arrival Spoilers ahead.

Contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Nick's dad. His mother isn't much better.
  • Agents Dating: The general setup for the later books.
  • The Alcoholic: Zane is a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.
  • Badass Crew: Team Sidewinder (and later Sidewinder + Zane).
    • When everyone calls in the cavalry in the last book.
  • Badass Family: The Gradys certainly qualify. Ty is an FBI agent and Force Recon Marine, Earl is a veteran and stated to be in great shape for his age, Chester is a veteran and deadly with his shovel, and while Mara and Deuce are the more docile of the bunch they can certainly hold their own.
  • Band of Brothers: Team Sidewinder. They even frequently call each other "brother."
  • Battle Couple: Ty and Zane, and later Kelly and Nick.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Ty and Zane spend a good chunk of the first book dealing with this. After learning about some of Ty's exes, Zane starts to think that this might be a requirement for his relationships.
  • Beta Couple: Julian Cross and Cameron Jacobs become this in Armed & Dangerous.
    • Nick and Kelly act as this later on.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kelly Abbott is a sweetheart. He's the least physically imposing of the group, he works with at risk kids, he's a medic, he's very friendly and open, and he's The Heart of the team. But the rest of Sidewinder agrees that if there's any one of them you don't want to piss off, it's Kelly.
    • Kelly is also the one who's the most bizarrely okay with immoral behavior. When he finds out Brian O'Flaherty wants Nick to donate a piece of his liver, he suggests taking one from one of the murder victims in the freezer and even offers to remove it himself. Granted the victims were plotting to kill other people on the island, but that's not the point.
      • Similarly, in Part & Parcel when he finds out Nick's father is actually an Irish Mob boss and not Brian O'Flaherty he is initially upset because Nick was hiding it from him. Later, his only real reaction to the news is to wonder what the protocol is for inviting a mob boss to your wedding. Owen is presented as the most Slytherin of the group, but Kelly may be the most morally questionable, at least when it comes to his loved ones.
    • Mara Grady may be one of the sweetest, most loving ladies you will ever meet, but she has proven on more than one occasion that you do not want to mess with her or her family.
  • The Big Easy: Book 7 is set in New Orleans, hence the pun in the title.
  • Bond One-Liner: A few. One of the most notable occurs in Crash & Burn after Zane curb stomps a guy who tried to kill him. After delivering a finishing move: "My husband taught me that one."
    • Nick gets a great one in Ball & Chain: "That's Force fucking Recon to you, bitch."
  • Cast Full of Gay: By the Sidewinder books Owen and Deuce are basically the Token Straights. Everyone else is gay, bi, and/or grayscale.
  • Closet Key: They actually have a discussion about this in Touch & Geaux. While in NOLA Zane talks about the last time he was there being the first time he remembers being attracted to a man. Which actually turns out to be Ty.
    • Ty and his high school boyfriend were this for each other.
    • Nick was kind of this for Kelly. Kelly finds he isn't attracted to any other men after realizing his attraction, just Nick. This leads to some self-reflection and research in regards to labels and Kelly eventually figures out he's demisexual.
  • Coming-Out Story: Ty and Zane spend a few books coming out to various people at their own pace. Particularly in books 4 and 6.
    • Nick also has a bit of a Coming Out Story, but most of his coming out happens off screen, even if we do see the fallout.
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Zane does this with Ty at the end of Sticks & Stones and again, to an extent, in the middle of Stars & Stripes. Ty does this with Zane in Divide & Conquer and at the end of Crash & Burn.
  • Cool Old Guy: Grandpa Chester shows on one or two occasions that the Grady boys take after him.
    • Earl Grady later becomes one as well.
  • Cowboy Cop: Both Ty and Zane, though Zane at least tries to be more by-the-book, especially in the first book. He actually likes filling out their paper work and makes Ty get his done as well.
    • A more literal example in Stars & Stripes when they visit the Garrett family ranch.
  • Crossover: Armed & Dangerous is a crossover with the authors' previous book, Warrior's Cross.
  • Dad the Veteran: Earl Grady.
  • Dead Man Writing: Sets off the plot of Part & Parcel when Nick finds a letter addressed to him from Eli Sanchez.
  • Dead Partner: One of the reasons Ty is so reluctant to work with Zane in book 1.
  • Death by Origin Story: The main reason Ty gets brought on to the Tri-State Killer case in Cut & Run is because his friend and former Recon teammate, Elias Sanchez, is murdered while investigating the case. Because of this, he feels a deep need to catch the killer. Eli's death is brought up several times throughout the series, mostly after the rest of Sidewinder is introduced, and even plays a significant role in their lives (and the plot) later on.
  • Demolitions Expert: Digger. He has a reputation for blowing things up and has been called a "Cajun firebug."
  • Double Meaning: Zane and Ty's partnership. This is brought up in the first book when an EMT is examining Zane after a car accident and asks a worried Ty if he's his partner. Ty of course answers yes, but didn't realize the EMT had no idea they were FBI and has to clarify. Well, she wasn't exactly wrong.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Ty has hated his first name since he was 4. His mother thinks this is why he insists on giving everyone nicknames.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Digger got one when he was drunk. He remarks that he's the only brother in Louisiana with a Celtic knot on his ass.
  • Evil Former Friend: Liam Bell. Though he's not so much evil as he is a somewhat unstable Jerkass with wavering loyalty and loose morality.
    • He may cross the Moral Event Horizon when he blackmails Nick into helping him by threatening to murder Kelly in gory detail, but YMMV.
  • Family Theme Naming: The Gradys have a very specific tradition for baby naming (for sons at least). The first son is given the maternal grandmother's maiden name, the second son the paternal grandmother's, and according to Ty, after that it just gets too complicated to go into.
    • This method of Theme Naming can lead to some pretty odd first names. They range from fairly normal names like Chester and Deacon to Beaumont and Antrim. There's a reason Ty and his dad go by their middle names.
  • Fate Drives Us Together: Discussed in book 7. Ty believes in fate and thinks it could be related to how he and Zane met. Zane, on the other hand, is skeptical.
  • Finger in the Mail: Nick has to talk Liam Bell out of doing this in Crash & Burn.
  • Flirting Under Fire: Both major couples have done this at least once.
  • Friendly Fire: Happened to Ty. We find out that this is the reason he can't have kids.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Liam becomes one out of necessity in Crash & Burn.
  • Fun T-Shirt: Ty has a whole collection of these courtesy of his Force Recon team sending him one every few months. Most of them have a pun of some sort and/or revolve around jokes about his profession.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Kelly Abbott. Leads to some confusion when Ty invites him and Nick along to a wedding and the bride, assuming he's Nick's date, assigns them a room with only one bed. Good for her she was actually right.
  • Happily Married: Earl and Mara Grady. Deuce and Livi and Ty and Zane also marry during the series (books 8 and 9, respectively) and seem pretty happy.
  • The Heart: Nick has flat out stated that Kelly is The Heart of Sidewinder.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Zane at the beginning of the series, as he's still getting over the death of his wife, Becky.
    • Happens with Zane again in Touch & Geaux when he finds out he's been Ty's assignment the whole time.
    • Ty gets a turn in the last book when he thinks Zane is dead.
  • Honorary Uncle: Richard Burns is this to Ty and Deuce. They even call him "Uncle Dick" and Ty gets away with calling him Dick while on the job.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Ty blames himself for Sanchez's death. He didn't answer the phone when Sanchez called for help on his case and was killed before Ty got back to him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each of the book titles follow the pattern of a two word phrase connected by "and."
    • In order: Cut & Run, Sticks & Stones, Fish & Chips, Divide & Conquer, Armed & Dangerous, Stars & Stripes, Touch & Geaux, Ball & Chain, and Crash & Burn.
    • Sidewinder follows the same pattern. So far they have Shock & Awe, Cross & Crown, Part & Parcel, and Tried & True.
  • It Doesn't Mean Anything: Ty and Zane spend a good amount of the first two books doing this until they get over their issues enough to admit they're lying to themselves.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In the last book, as much as everyone hates to admit it, Liam has a lot of evidence stacked up against Richard Burns.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Zane and Ty tend to do this. They especially come off this way at work (though their coworkers don't know they're actually an Official Couple).
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Zane with pretty much everyone on "Ty's side of the family." Ty himself, the Gradys (except Earl), and Sidewinder generally have this effect on him over time.
  • Mama Bear: Mara Grady.
  • The Medic: Kelly was this for Sidewinder.
  • Meet the In-Laws: While they aren't married, this is essentially the plot to book 6. Also happens in book 2, but to a lesser extent.
    • Happens again in Crash & Burn when they actually are in-laws. The Gradys are relocated to Texas for safety reasons and stay at the Carter-Garrett ranch. This is where the two families meet for the first time, which is probably for the best as both Ty and Zane had expressed anxiety over it while wedding planning.
    • Arguably happens when Zane is introduced to the other members of Sidewinder for the first time.
  • Near-Death Experience: Happens way too often to a good number of the characters, but most notably at the end of Cut & Run when Zane purposely overdoses in an effort to gain energy to find a walled-in Ty, Sticks & Stones when Ty is minutes away from dying of infection after a cougar attack, and with Nick O'Flaherty at the end of Crash & Burn, who suffers injuries so severe he ends up in a temporary coma.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Part of why Sidewinder has trouble getting over Sanchez's death.
    • Also, Zane with his wife's death, which became the catalyst for his alcohol and drug abuse.
  • The Nicknamer: Ty gives most people nicknames and almost every contact in his phone is under a nickname instead of a real name. He often has multiple nicknames for the same person, especially when it comes to Nick and Zane.
  • Papa Wolf: Earl Grady may be strict, but you mess with his boys and he will not hesitate to come after you, no matter who you are.
    • Deuce becomes this after his daughter is born.
  • Photographic Memory: Zane has this.
  • Posthumous Character: Eli Sanchez. He doesn't really get much in the way of character development until Part & Parcel where he's frequently shown in flashbacks.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Used in book 5 when Zane is pissed off, giving us this exchange:
    Zane: Beaumont. Tyler. Grady.
    Ty: Wait, whoa, full names? What the hell, Garrett?
  • Queer Establishing Moment: There's a rather heartwarming moment in the third Sidewinder book, Part & Parcel, where Digger figures out he's asexual. Kelly brings up this possibility when Digger confesses he doesn't like sex and Digger admits he hadn't known there was a word for it before. In that same scene Kelly himself confesses that he thinks he's demisexual. After a couple books of wondering what his attraction to Nick means and being unsure of labels it seems he's done some research.
  • Rich Bitch: Beverly Carter Garrett.
  • Running Gag: After Ty gets attacked by a cougar in the second book, there are frequent cat jokes at his expense. At least until he makes peace with big cats after befriending a tiger.
    • Ty's collection of Fun T-Shirts.
    • Zane's fondness—to Ty's dismay—for bad puns.
    • In Ball & Chain: "I'm going to die in Scotland."
    • Nick's boat still floats.
    • Digger really likes to blow things up.
    • Occasionally, Ty's habit of always answering his phone. No matter what.
    Deuce: Oh God. You're either having sex or being shot at, aren't you?
  • Semper Fi: Every member of Sidewinder, and they take great pride in it. Especially badass in that Sidewinder was a Force Recon team.
    • Several supporting characters as well, including Ty's father and grandfather, Richard Burns, and Zane's brother-in-law.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: A good number of Ty and Zane's conversations.
  • Team Mom: Nick is very much this for Sidewinder.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Nick's BondOneLiner in Ball & Chain.
  • Those Two Guys: Digger and Owen occasionally fill this role.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Beverly in the last book. Apparently Mara got through to her.
  • True Companions: Team Sidewinder. They all consider each other family and frequently call each other "brother."
  • Undercover as Lovers: The plot of Fish & Chips.
  • The Unpronounceable: Digger's full name is Duruand Garrigou. They never call him by his real name because none of them can pronounce it to his satisfaction.
  • The Vietnam Vet: Ty's father and Richard Burns. They met during the war and developed a similar relationship as Ty and Nick. We see that Earl has some PTSD in Sticks & Stones. His time in the war made him never want his sons to join the military, leading to some emotional issues in the family when Ty joined the Marines.
  • Wham Episode: Touch & Geaux has a lot of drama and reveals.
  • Wham Line: A huge one in book 8: "Richard Burns is dead."