The Almost Proposal: In Which Abi Roux Trolls Her Minions

The Cut & Run minions were anxiously awaiting August 11, 2012.  The  moment Stars & Stripes released, so many of us descended upon Riptide Publishing's website to download the eagerly awaited 6th book in the Cut & Run series that the site crashed about 10 minutes after the book was released.

The fandom went radio silent while we read.

The minions who read quickly were quiet, waiting for the others to catch up (we are a respectful lot).

But it didn't take long for one particular scene in Stars & Stripes to start getting attention.  And questions.  And angst-filled pulling of hair and gnashing of teeth.

Warning: Spoilers after the jump.

The scene. You know the one I'm talking about. We were warned. "Remember the tree," Abi said. Well, I didn't remember the tree. The tree snuck up on me.

There were many opportunities for Zane to propose marriage to Ty during their evening on the Riverwalk. Ty could even tell Zane was working up to something, but would “then chicken out and back down” (loc 4205). But I didn't honestly think Zane was going to propose. No way. Not so soon after he had even considered marriage a possibility!  A proposal from Zane was a non-starter.  I thought.

“You sneaky bastard,” Ty said as Zane laughed.
“If you tip high enough, the concierge will do just about anything for you. I figured we could watch the fireworks from here.” (loc 4225)

I read to about there and thought, *gasp* he's going to do it . . .  Zane is really going to propose to Ty right here, right now.  Without analyzing it to death first.

My breath hitched.  My pulse quickened.  My adrenaline started pumping and my face flushed.  I stopped reading and went back a few paragraphs.  I read each sentence twice because I wanted to savor this moment.

“Will you tell me something if I ask?”
Ty frowned at the odd way the question was posed. He had a feeling he knew where Zane was going, and though it made him uncomfortable and tense, he nodded.
“What happened to you in the Marines?” (loc 4246)

And that's when I realized the moment was gone.

Damn you, Zane Garrett!  Damn you, Abi Roux!

At first I thought Abi Roux was just screwing with us, or blatantly foreshadowing the real proposal that was to come in a later book.  But Abi has,  in so many words, let us know that Zane was going to propose but changed his mind at the last minute.

Abi has a lot of fun with her minions, and enjoys messing with us.  And she's certainly hinted that the scene could be a bit of trolling on her part. However, I don't think the scene is only about trolling her minions.  Let's examine this a bit further.

Many things about this scene surprised me; which is what made it so delicious. I was most surprised that Zane was going to propose so soon after he realized that he wanted to marry Ty.  On the one hand, Zane is much too methodical and analytical to decide he wants to marry Ty and actually propose a few chapters later.  In fact, Zane doesn't even utter the “m” word to himself or anyone else until 66% of the way through the book, when he comes out to his mother; the almost-proposal came at the 78% mark. It took how many books for him to 1--figure out he loved Ty, 2--admit it to himself, and 3--be able to say it out loud?  On the other hand, I think Zane has known for some time that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Ty. Zane has made several references from the beginning of Stars & Stripes, if not previous books, to spending his life with Ty.  He just hadn't used the "m" word until recently.  So perhaps Zane did all his analyzing off-page, over the course of the past couple books.


On the other hand, a main theme of Stars & Stripes was Zane's growth; we saw Zane recognize that he had been going down the path of becoming like his mother and consciously choose a different path. Had Zane taken a leap of faith and gone through with the proposal before he over-analyzed it, that would have been a demonstration of his growth.  A "hit you over the head" demonstration of his growth.  A bit too obvious, perhaps.  Zane "almost" going through with the proposal shows that while he is not his mother's son, he's still got a ways to go yet.  I prefer this explanation.  

This series is a lot of things, but it has primarily been about the growth of these two incredible characters, Zane & Ty.  Zane coming thisclose to proposing so quickly after realizing he wants to marry Ty is, in fact, a pretty huge step for him.  I might be frustrated that he didn't go through with it.  But I'm proud of him for having the guts to get as far as he did.  Because I really do think he intended to propose.

What I really want to know is, what did Ty think was going on under that tree?  Did he see all the little red proposal flags we did? If so, was he caught off guard just as much as we were?  Was he just as confused when it didn't happen?  Or did he know that the time wasn't quite right and trust that Zane would ask when he is ready?  If Ty did know Zane was working up to a proposal, was he just as proud of Zane as I am? Or was he more irritated/frustrated? Tell us what you think below.


  1. Excellant post! I don't have a moment to discuss my two favorite characters right now, but I just want to say this:

    "Maybe spend a night in Beaumont." *snickering like 2 overgrown schoolboys*

    1. *snorts* I LOVE that scene.

      Actually I really love all the scenes that illustrate just how much Ty has helped Zane. Especially where Harrison or other family members are thinking/talking about the change in Zane and how much better he looks and how different he acts from before. Like when Harrison gives Ty the mustang... Gah, I need to stop! I'm making myself want to re-read now!

  2. Loved your post Veronica Vishous. Any excuse to talk about Ty and Zane. I would like to think that Ty suspected, as he usually "reads" Zane really well. But I think it was too early. I'm sure we will see a proposal at some stage, however knowing how Abi likes to mess with us, it will probably come from Zane. Anything to do the unexpected. Abi is wonderful like that.

    This book didn't have alot of Ty's point of view, so it is hard to pinpoint what Ty was thinking. I so agree with you that it was all about Zane's growth and I love that. But I want more Ty perspective in the next book please and to discover if he thought Zane was going to propose.

    Can I just say how excited I am that we have so many Ty and Zane blog posts. Yay spreading the love.

  3. I agree with you, Angela! I am LOVING all the Ty & Zane blog posts! My inner Ty & Zane slut is jumping for joy!

    Veronica, perfect post is perfect! :D

    You described the night of August 11th perfectly. I can't believe we crashed a website! :D And I can't believe that I was one of the lucky minions that got my book downloaded BEFORE the crash, lol. I'm not usually that lucky...of course, it may go beyond luck because I was obsessively refreshing my email AND the Riptide page every few seconds until the link to download became available.

    Minions are the best. Every single minion that I've met has been so friendly and just absolutely fabulous. I love this fandom and have several new wonderful friends thanks to it!

    I reacted to the SCENE just the same way as you did. I NEVER expected a proposal in this book. Not ever. And then reading that scene...I was posting in the Ty & Zane FB group as I read and I clearly remember having to post, "OMG!!!! Is Zane going to pop the question now!?" I couldn't believe it. But I was thrilled at the prospect of it. I eagerly went back to my book, reading furiously, and then it didn't happen.

    I felt..and still feel...that scene was equal parts Zane chickening out and Abi Roux trolling us. Our evil overlord loves to troll her minions. And I really suspect that she was cackling after she wrote that scene, just expecting what our outrageous reactions to it would be...cause Abi's awesome like that.

    I do think that Zane was thinking about asking THE QUESTION to Ty that day though, but his over-analyzing brain got in the way, as it so often does for Zane. I don't think he'll have to crunch the numbers over this as much as he did over figuring out/deciding if/telling Ty that he loves him though. I feel like asking Ty to marry him is an easier decision for Zane than realizing he had fallen for Ty and telling Ty that he had fallen for him. Plus there is also the fact that their relationship is so much different now..much more open..than it was in earlier books. And Zane is much different now. Ty really has changed him for the better and I feel Zane 2.0 would have a much easier time of proposing than Zane 1.0.

    I don't think Ty realized that Zane was thisclose to a proposal. But I do think that he'll realize it later on. It will be a delayed thing for him. Like once Zane finally does propose (or Ty beats him to it and proposes to Zane) and they talk a little bit and Zane mentions that he first seriously though about marriage back when they were at his parents for the first time and then Ty will have a lightbulb moment and KNOW that Zane set that scene up under the tree to propose and then chickened out.

    He did know something was going on though. Been a while since I read but that part where Ty's breath caught and then he felt like an important moment had slipped by them..that something should have happened but didn't..still sticks out in my mind.

    1. I agree that Zane's decision to marry will come much easier than his figuring out he loves Ty. Him figuring out/admitting/telling/whatever he loved Ty was the hard part. THAT was the big jump off the cliff.

      I think for Zane, "love" is a big deal and not something he takes lightly. Marriage, or a commitment of some type, would be a natural extension of that.

      We'll see what happens in NOLA. I have a feeling we won't be seeing any rings or hearing any wedding bells in T&G.

  4. Great post Ms. Vishous :D
    Of course I expected Zane to propose. Who didn't? Okay, I know who. Abi didn't. I bet Ty knew what Zane was up to. He always seems to know even before Zane does. But he's patient. He'll wait. There's no going back after all.

    1. *raises hand* I didn't think Zane would propose. C'mon, this is Zane! He doesn't do spontaneous, and for him, half a book of pondering marriage and then proposing is totally spontaneous. I'm glad he didn't propose yet simply because I would've felt is was OOC. However, when the time is right, if anyone is doing the proposing, it'll have to be Zane. AND.I.CAN'T.WAIT.

    2. Yeah, I guess you're right. It would've felt so OOC. So not Zane-esque.

    3. Agree the whole proposal will have to be analysed to death before Zane asks. If he asks. Whistles. It might be Ty. :).

    4. ^Either way, I will be joyful crying. :-)

    5. I totally agree. I didn't expect Zane to propose either. Mainly because I am the female Zane in that regard. I don't do spontaneous.


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