Review: Shock & Awe by Abigail Roux

After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet—after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his moment of curiosity and kisses him. Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part . . . or so he thought. But what should’ve been a simple moment unleashes a flood of confusing emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address. Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other—friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?—before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

Mmm... delicious.  I enjoyed this introduction to Sidewinder, a spin-off series from the popular Cut & Run books.  The chemistry between Nick and Kelly was off the charts, and the sex scenes were intense, raw and gritty, just the way I like them.   I also liked how the good times continued outside the bedroom.  Their dialogue and private reflections revealed a deep friendship filled with loyalty, trust and humor. It was great how they knew each other so well and could call each other on their BS. 

Why not 5 stars?
It felt rushed; I would have liked a slower build, with a little more tension before they got together.   The transition from Kelly considering Nick a good friend to wanting him sexually happened too suddenly for me.  The process also felt a little too analytical, almost as if he was evaluating the idea without emotion, just checking things off a list:
Kelly likes Nick, check
Kelly likes sex, check
Nick is hot in bed, check
Maybe Kelly would like sex with Nick, let's try it, check
Sex with Nick is amazing, check

His conclusion?  Nick and Kelly should be together because the sex is hot and the relationship would be easy. 

And that amazing sex? Happened while he was recovering from a bullet wound and could barely move.  That distracted me because I kept thinking, wait, doesn't that hurt?

As the story progressed, though, you could see Kelly getting more emotionally involved, which I appreciated.  I also appreciated Nick's reactions to Kelly's questions, propositions and enthusiastic responses ;)

For all that I enjoyed this story, though, I think it’s important to note that it is an introduction to a series, and a lot is left hanging.   So consider it a hearty appetizer, not a main course.

Side Notes:
The dirty talk...oh the dirty talk...*shivers* so good.

The ending shouldn't be a surprise if you've read Touch & Geaux. 

A bonus Sidewinder short story, Bait & Switch, was included with Shock & Awe.  Just a quick peek, really, but it gave us an update on Sidewinder and it included a very steamy scene that complimented the first story nicely.  


  1. I always have trouble getting into the sex scenes when they are heavily injured also because I can't stop second guessing the pain or pulling stiches or how sedated they are like I can't think when I am on Nyquil but you are choreographing major bed gymnastics...

    Loved your review Sunny I can't wait to read the series.

  2. Thank you, Jo! If you can get past that, those scenes were incredibly steamy and very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to stories with more of a plot, though.