As the fiercest defense agent at the THIRDS, Destructive Delta's Ash Keeler is foul mouthed and foul tempered. But his hard-lined approach always yields results, evident by his recent infiltration of the Coalition. Thanks to Ash's skills and the help of his team, they finally put an end to the murdering extremist group for good, though not before Ash takes a bullet to save teammate Cael Maddock. As a result, Ash's secrets start to surface, and he can no longer ignore what's in his heart.
Cael Maddock is no stranger to heartache. As a recon agent for Destructive Delta, he has successfully maneuvered through the urban jungle that is New York City, picking up his own scars along the way. Yet nothing he's ever faced has been more of a challenge than the heart of Ash Keeler, his supposedly straight teammate. Being in love isn't the only danger he and Ash face as wounds reopen and new secrets emerge, forcing them to question old loyalties.
©2015 Charlie Cochet (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press
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"Best one in the series yet!"
I've enjoyed the whole Thirds series so far but this one has been my favorite. This book centers on the relationship between Ash and Cael. Ash has been one of my favorite characters of the series and his history comes out in this book and there is a lot of character growth. At the start of the series he comes across as a musclebound goon, but in this book he develops into a sincere loving partner to Cael. He has to come to terms with the fact that he loves another Man although he has been straight all of his life. Throughout the other books he goes back-and-forth with this issue and the history of why he has such a struggle with this comes out in this book with his back history. There was also a lot of character development with Cael as he goes from being Dex's little brother to a character with his own backstory. We hear about a previous relationship he had that went sour and how it affects his behavior. In this book he learns how to cope with his own issues as well as taking a stand in his relationship with Ash. Dex and Sloan are also prominent in this book but take a backstage to Ash and Cael's story. Lieutenant Sparks also plays a major role in this story and she becomes a fully developed character also. Mark Westfield does a great job narrating as usual also adding his special effects which adds a nice touch. A solid five stars in all categories!
"Would like to see more shape shifting action"
I like this series and love the cast of characters but I would really like to see more therian action. We hear that half of each team are shape shifters but don't actually get to see them utilize that half of the team much and really how that effects their love lives. We see it a little more in this book. I'm loving the family interaction of Dex and Cael they are touching and funny as heck. Ash is the right amount of strong and soft when it comes to his Cael.
"Love Ash and Cael"
Taking a slightly different turn, this book is about Ash and Cael (yay!) centrally and Dex and Sloane only peripherally. We get to learn a lot more of the back story about Ash and why he acts like he does as well as some of Cael’s (sad) romantic history.
Though the two have already admitted they love one another, Ash continues to balk at the intimacy he so clearly craves. Poor (sappy) Cael puts up with it over and over because he just loves Ash so much.
There is a little drama with Austen and the team’s boss and some strange Therian drug making the rounds and somehow Shultzon is involved (of course!).
Most of this was fairly low angst and low drama, relationship building and watching Ash work through his personal demons.
I love this series and find it hilarious! Charlie has a gift of creating this alternate world you totally want to live in and then giving us fully formed three dimensional characters with flaws and eccentricities who are lovable at the same time you want to strangle them!
I don’t think this was the strongest book in the series – possibly because both Ash and Cael made me crazy. I never quite understood Ash’s motivation for avoiding intimacy. He seemed to flip flop from admitting his interest in men from an early age – then having that bad experience – then finding Cael – so the “gay” part shouldn’t have been the issue – but allowing himself to act on it should have been. But he seemed relatively fine acting on it in private just not public and since when does Ash care what the public thinks of him? I didn’t get it… I might have missed a nuance, but it bugged me that I couldn’t figure it out.
Cael – who I love – I definitely wanted to strangle and then tell him to get a back bone. I would have at least shoved Ash out the door once if not a hundred times until he could prove that he wasn’t a dick! But Cael just kept accepting it and it made me frustrated!
I loved the back stories – especially the baby stories! I also can’t wait until we get to see more about Calvin and Hobbs’ love affair – Woot!
The other great part of this book was seeing the fully developed relationship between Sloane and Dex. It’s so NICE to see them happy for a change.
Overall I still loved this book very, very much and was psyched to read it but I didn’t love Cael and Ash as much as I love Dex and Sloane.
Mark Westfield has done all the narrations for this series. What I love about his narrations is his ability to modulate his voice to demonstrate different settings – ie a phone, the hallway, muffled, etc. He also handles female voices really well. His voice is easy to listen to and he absolutely adds to the overall enjoyment of the book/audio.
I highly recommend this book, author, and narration!
"Just keeps getting better and better!"
How does Charlie do it?! Such talent should be illegal! Can't wait for the next installment with the promise of not only the stepping up of 'the boys' training and secret missions-to-come...but the mystery of what 'the first power couple' could achieve! And Mark...please never stop 'performing' this series. You and Charlie are also a formidable power couple! *sighs*
Since I no longer read as much as I used to, I depend upon the audiobook for my entertainment/relaxation and therefore appreciate you guys turning Charlie's written masterpieces into audio 5-star performances relatively quickly. And Mark, I love the extra experience you provide with the realistic special effects! Thanks again! Looking forward to March 2016, spring weather or not!
Okay, I need to get this part out here first. I've adored Mark Westfield's narration of the rest of this series, including how he inflected Cael and Ash, and his voices haven't changed for them in this book. BUT that was when they were they were side characters in the other stories. There are a LOT of male voices to this series and Mark Westfield does an AMAZING job making them all sound completely different. My issue with this book is personal. Both Cael and Ash have softer, more...not really feminine...but ultra sweet, maybe even a little more swishy voices. And before this book, they totally fit the sweet moments between these guys. Having them as the leads in their own book though, that over the top sweet pitch to their voices just got to be too much, especially since these are hard-core soldiers. There were even times that the tone of the narration made the dialogue seem WAY too sappy and I don't think I would have felt that way if I'd been reading the book myself rather than listening to it.
But this book is so much more than just its audio (and again...if you like audio, give this one a chance. The narrator is GREAT. My personal taste just didn't like his voices for these characters...but that is probably just me).
I'm so happy that Charlie Cochet chose to write Ash and Cael's story and it's an action-packed story filled with SO MANY twists and turns. I was honestly shocked at how it all worked out in the end as I did not see so much of that coming...but YIPPEE...I love what she did there at the end. This book is also fantastic for this time of the year because Ash is thrown into the whole family dynamic during the holidays. Something that kept me laughing through so much of the story because Dex and Ash in the same space, there are going to be fireworks!
It was a fun book with a great addition to the story. I love getting to see the whole team and am really hoping that someday Charlie Cochet will write a Calvin and Hobbes story. I want to know so much more about these two. The entire series is filled with an amazing cast of characters and honestly, I'd be good with reading about all of them forever. Love the Thirds and am so happy for Cael and Ash!!
"Loving this series!"
We really loved getting to know Ash a little better! Can't wait for the next books!
"Nothing Against This Book"
I've got nothing to say against this book. Cochet has created a unique and dangerously sexy world with men who protect and serve, and love with ferocity. This book moves some story lines forward that I'd hoped to see evolve. These books are like a TV show you want to binge! Believe me, once you start the series, you won't want to stop. But definitely start with book one
"Nail-biting Suspense with a twist"
Didn't expect that!
This time I choose Ash. Not only because it was in his view for the most part, but we saw another side of him. the gentler side of the Lion.
I think his performance grows with each new story. I still especially like the sound effects when they are using phones, coms, bullhorns or talking in echoey buildings. It's really cool!
Against the Grain is book five in the Thirds series. You might be able to read/listen as standalone, but I think it's best you go in order.
Against the Grain is Ash and Kales story, mostly Ash. We still get a lot of Sloane and Dex and the other guys as well, but it's more about Ash, his past, his relationship with Kale and how he deals with it.
I found myself falling a bit for Ash in the story. Once we see why he is like he is and understand him it's hard not to.
There is a mystery and suspense, as usual, this time with quite a twist. I was totally n shock by it all.
If you like mystery/suspense, unusual shifters, cat shifters, a touch of science fiction, special ops, romance, and some hot man-sex, this is for you!
"Great narration makes a difference."
Good story, likable characters, deep emotion. Narrator who conveys emotion well and isn't embarrassed to narrate sex scenes.
The guys, Ash, Sloane, and Hobbs breaking out of the cages/restraints.
Ash and Cael getting together at last.
Few moments where the guys were a bit girly, but the rest was great.
Charlie Cochet and Mark Westfield are a superb combination! You can't go wrong with this book.
"Why have seconds when you can have 'Thirds'"
This has to be one of my favourite M/M series and Charlie never fails to deliver a fantastic book each time.
I love the fact that this book puts the spot-light on my new to favourite characters and the relationship that is slowly kindled into something beautiful.
And I think Mark Westfield really pours his soul into each character to deliver a fantastic representation.
(plus his voice is really sexy, mweheheeh)
"Basically a rambling fanfic"
Probably unfair to fanfic, actually as I've read much better ones. It needed a good editor to tighten it up, pick up the clumsy phrasing and stop it meandering into melodrama. It's a good idea, and the characters are OK. The reader is good though
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