Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.
Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.
Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.
So the Sidewinder series is definitely something that “could be read alone” but I don’t really believe it 😉
These books are all best read in order and Part & Parcel falls in the timeline after Crash & Burn, the last of the Cut & Run series books. I think that Nick and Kelly’s story is far too woven in to really appreciate without reading the entire series.
Kelly & Nick have been best friends for years and only recently been lovers. In Shock & Awe the two cross from friends to lover and in Cross & Crown they “cement” their relationship more, but as you find out in Part & Parcel they are definitely not as fully entrenched in the relationship as you’d think. In Crash & Burn, Nick almost dies and we are left at the end of that book with Kelly and Nick post-stabbing.
Kelly is helping Nick to recover and this is something he’s done for his team forever, but now that Nick is his lover, things have changed. But it’s way more than just that. Nick held a lot back from Kelly over the last year or more and Kelly has to decide if he can forgive Nick for that. So, in addition to changing their relationship from friend, to nurse, to lover – they also have to navigate both Kelly’s feelings and Nick’s regarding the lies.
But that isn’t all… Nick has even more “truths” in store for Kelly – and vice versa, Kelly has some stuff he’s keeping from Nick. The two don’t know how to breach the chasm that seems to have formed between them. They know they love one another but there’s all this – stuff – between them. Using a letter and scavenger hunt left by their buddy Eli Sanchez, Nick, Kelly and the rest of the Sidewinder team end up going on a days long road trip together down memory lane. It’s an amazingly healing and painful trip and along the way – we hope – these guys finally begin to find some peace.
This was such an unexpected book! All of the other books in this series have had some mystery or crime or puzzle to solve and a lot of violence. I guess Eli’s game is a little puzzling – but it is in no way similar to the crimes and blood-shed, fires, weaponry, etcetera that we’ve seen in the other books in the series. Instead, a lot of really deep and sometimes funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes awkward backstory is told about the members of the team.
Nick is a surprisingly multi-faceted guy and we learn so much about him and Kelly (as well as the other guys on the team) that I’m really excited about the direction the series is headed.
Abigail Roux gave us Ty and Zane who are very deep and complex characters and up until now, I really didn’t see Nick and Kelly as very “deep”. They seemed like lunatics who loved sex and had wild fun times together, but who are not nearly as complicated as Ty and Zane (as far as character development).
So, for me at least, this book really got me re-reading the other books looking at Nick and Kelly with different eyes and with a different appreciation.
I loved that Abi took so much time with the emotions in this book. I loved that she made Digger’s character unique – and Kelly’s too – in a final confessional near the end. It gives the entire gang more solidity to them and makes their stories that much more intriguing. We get a break from the explosions to really look at the underpinnings of the team and it was really, really well done.
I know that fans of the series will love this and if you aren’t a fan of the series – you should really skip this 😉
Highly recommended. 5 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by NetGalley for and Honest Review