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Stars & Stripes - Abigail Roux Most romance books have an epilogue. It's that bit at the end where it shows the couple a few days, weeks or years later all happy and solid in their relationship, usually with a few cute references to quirky, couple-y things that happened to them in the process of getting together. Things to make the couple (and the reader) chuckle at their previous antics, now happily in the past. Epilogues are like the icing on the cake, the cherry on top: enjoyable, reassuring, but of little substance.

This book is like one big, endless, epilogue. Ty and Zane are together. They are totally committed. They are rock solid. Nothing shakes the foundation of their relationship. They reaffirm their love every couple of hours or so. Excellent. Wonderful. Good for them.

So what this book is, besides one mighty long-winded affirmation of mutual love and desire, is a unending collection of quirky couple-y things that are all different flavors of CUTE. Designed to make the fangirls sqeee and go 'Aaaaaawwwww' and do the Snoopy-dance.


All the reveling in being able to indulge in PDA now that they're out. With every touch and every look we have to realize how speshul this is.

The dancing and the singing. Ty initiating/watching dancing with Zane. Zane prodding Ty to sing. So sexay when he dances/sings!

Cowboy hats are sexay too. All 1700 times they are mentioned. Even though they must be as common as ballcaps in Texas.

Eccentric Chester is eccentric. And endearingly violent. No hoses die this time, but domestic violence is still normal. (Amazing, btw, how virtually all the people from extremely conservative rural bible belt regions in this book are just so happy that the boys are gay. And that the token homophobes-in-a-bar are involved in the crime. Shocking!).

Ty's family still treats him like he's 15. This doesn't bother him. Or us, apparently.

Look there is a cute 3 year old girl who wants a pink pony and who falls for uncle Ty like all other living creatures! Let's have children!

Ty gets hurt. A lot. Ty has weird reactions to medications. Ty hates hospitals. A lot.

Ty and the big cats. First he's scared, then he's not. Cats love Ty. Ty loves cats. He denies this, but Zane sees right through him, of course, chuckle chuckle. Cats! Cute! Many times!

Horses love Ty too! But Ty hates horses. But he manages to do it cutely.

Harrison gives Ty a classic car that's been stashed in a barn for 3 decades because Ty 'enjoys bringing things back to life' (he does? I think we're making up cute, quirky things now, just like his hidden passion for history). Srsly, what was the effing point of this particular scene? Besides giving Harrison the opportunity to spout the cloying line: “You brought my son back and turned him into a beautiful thing. I expect you'll take the same care with that ol' Hoss.”

As you can see, the book is wonderfully successful at the cute and quirky. So, yay, well done. But OMFG it's like drowning in syrup for close to 300 pages!

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