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.
When I was given this book to review before release date, I freaked out a little. I mean I would have read it either way, but as we all know I gush a lot when Charlie Cochet is even in the room, much less when I get to read her books. So, I received the book, and then didn’t read it for a day or two…needed a few moments to calm down. 🙂
And then…well, I wasn’t sure what was happening! I started the book and, I’ll be honest, there was a moment where I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. I say that without taking a thing away from Charlie as a writer. I wasn’t sure merely because it was different, different than the previous four books, and I didn’t know if that would work from me. Then I read from a pure reader standpoint and realized I should never have doubted Charlie in the least. She did exactly what was right for these characters at this time.
Ash and Cael’s book should not have been like Dex and Sloane’s books. They are different characters, with different backgrounds, and different ways of thinking. So, having their book be similar to Dex and Sloane’s would have been a disservice to Ash and Cael, who the readers have been wanting to get together since book 1.
Charlie did an amazing job drawing me into Ash and Cael’s story. Yes, it is one book for their love story, but we know we will see much more of their relationship as we continue to move through the series. There was still action to be had in this story, the cover tells a tail (he he) that the reader might expect to be one way, but is quite another.
At the heart of it all is a love story. Cael patiently waiting for Ash to come around and realize that he has loved him all along, and to stop fighting the inevitable. Interestingly, even with Cael patiently waiting, there is a scene in there, that had me laughing out loud, as Cael explains how he was “prepping” for Ash. Imagining the shock on Ash’s face was enough to make me , and going back to re-read the entire scene again.
My sincere apologies to Charlie for doubting her for even a second, and I promise to never do it again. 😉 (And if you can question my love for this book, know that I preordered it, even though I received an arc for an honest review). Cannot wait to see what Charlie has ahead for Calvin and Ethan.
I have to throw a few of my favorite quotes in:
“My Cheesy Doodles!” Dex dropped to his hands and knees. “Noooooo! They were so young. So delicious.”
“You sure you don’t want to maybe date a cactus? Less prickly.”
“This is payback for every time he called me Simba, for that fucking puppet, for every smartass remark.”
Another brilliant book, Charlie. Thank you for continuing to share the THIRDS men with all of us. This could be nothing but a five pieces of eye candy review for me.
With this newest installment to the THIRDS from the adorable Charlie Cochet, It’s time for Ash and Cael to have their story told. This book has a different feel to me than the others. It focuses more on the romance and we get to understand Ash and Cale on a different level. These two have loved each other for a very long time. Ash has had a lot of emotional struggle and things he has had to work through before he could give himself fully to the relationship. I learned about issues in Cael’s past that made me understand him more. I never realized he struggled as much as he has. This story made me see each character in a completely new light and they have become my favorite. To be honest, I wasn’t too fond of Ash to begin with. He now holds a special little place with me.
Tell us what your favorite thing about the THIRDS series is, and one commenter will win a copy of Against the Grain from TCO.
And if you haven’t seen my video interview with Charlie Cochet from Rainbow Con, check it out here: youtube