Title ~ Against the Grain (THIRDS Book 5)
Author ~ Charlie Cochet
Publisher ~ Dreamspinner Press
Published ~ 3rd August 2015
Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance, Action
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.
There's no doubt, Charlie has this entertaining series in the bag! As a means of escapism, when you just want to shut real life 'off' for a few hours, time spent with these guys and their action packed, fun, but still dangerous and exciting, escapades is the perfect diversion. What I love, is that having followed the series from the beginning, each time a new novel comes out, it feels like catching up with old friends. I know it's only fiction but Charlie has breathed life into this familiar, lovable cast by giving them all the type of warm, vibrant personalities that makes me really like them as 'people' and not just characters in a book.
Yeah, I love the sexy romance and the non stop action, but I also look forward to the interactions and banter in between the "OMG! WTF! KABOOM" moments, that show how close they are, not just as a crack team but also as a 'family'. Having grown to love every quirky, memorable personality when each new book arrives, I feel like I've really missed them being around.
So at last, alongside the rest of the madness, mayhem and (literally) explosive escapades that never fail to find ways to fuck with these guys attempts to get romantically paired off, the two stubborn Felid Therians who have been circling each other from the start of the series finally manage to get their act together and we get our long awaited Ash and Cael fix!
I think we've all been dying for Ash and Cael's story to arrive, as it's been one of those mouth watering, on-going will they/won't they style relationships that's had us all dying to see the big gruff, bad tempered, straight Lion Therian finally get his head out of his butt and realise that true love in the form of his smaller but feisty, adorable Cheetah colleague...who so obviously adores the pants off him...has been staring him in the face all along.
So did the wait live up to my own anticipation? Well, yes...and no...
There are definitely some adorable sexy moments between the two of them, the rest of the guys are just as lovable; the requisite laughs present, some emotionally charged revelations about Cael's past are introduced that give more insight into his character and relationship with Ash, and there’s a new threat to the Therians, and team in general, that put some of their close work colleagues in a bit of a shady light…Intrigue afoot!!!
All good stuff.
But, without taking anything away from this fabulous couple...who I really do love... because they'd actually declared their feelings for each at the end of Rise & Fall, I sort of missed the more intense, dancing around each other aspect of their relationship that feels slightly muted now in this. I think because their relationship has been running concurrent with the timeline of the series, some of the intense, push/pull sexual tension and emotional foreplay that we did see unfold for Dex and Sloan as the primary couple over the course of the previous four books, has been lost a wee bit throughout the series for Ash and Cael and I was hoping for more of that in Against the Grain. This was definitely their book, but for me, not as much as I hoped it would be. But that's just my impression...
However, the book motors along, with teasing, hints of what's in store for the other couples, and intriguing side plots slotted in that definitely peak your interest. And then Charlie does what she's sooo good at with this series. Brings out the big guns with something really exciting, leading to a thrilling finale that grabs you by the goolies; leaves you all of a dither and once again desperate for the next installment to arrive.
And that's exactly what happened in this. At around 80% the book really kicked into high gear and I was utterly glued to my kindle, not wanting it to end and totally loving the new direction Charlie is now pushing the plot. So despite my one little grump this time, I'm still a THIRDS girl, in awe of the way Charlie never fails to meticulously and cleverly pitch the whole of this brilliantly constructed world of the THIRDS. I do love these guys!
Series Reading Order
Book 7: TBC
(Primary romance: Dex & Sloane)
Book 8: TBC
(Primary romance: Dex & Sloane)
Stop by THIRDS HQ for more information and updates on this fabulous series.
Meet Charlie Cochet
M/M Romance author by day, artist by night, Charlie Cochet is quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From hardboiled detectives and society gentleman, to angels and elves, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!