Wednesday, August 5, 2015


AgainstTheGrainFSLGTitle: Against the Grain
Series: THIRDS, Book 5

Author: Charlie Cochet

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Length: Novel, 216 pages

Release Date: August 3rd, 2015

Blurb: 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.


At one point, Ash felt Cael’s leg pressed up against his, and it was ridiculous how happy the tiny gesture made him. If it was even a gesture. Ash swiftly put it off to being an accident, but then a little later, Cael reached over and wiped a thumb over the corner of Ash’s mouth, telling him he had a breadcrumb.

“You should have seen him,” Dex said with a laugh. “He looked so adorable with his cheetah fuzz shaped into spikes, from his head down to his back. Like a little spotted punk rocker.”

Maddock shook his head at Dex. “It took me two hours to wash all the hair spray off your brother’s fur.”

“We were pretending to be Guns N’ Roses,” Cael explained. “Dex was singing ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ and I was backup sing—er, chirping.”

Ash laughed and playfully bumped Cael’s shoulder. “I’m going to have to agree with Dex. That’s adorable.” Even in his Therian form, Ash thought Cael was the sweetest thing he’d ever laid eyes on. Cael could be in his Therian form among thousands of cheetahs, and Ash would be able to point him out. His little gestures, the heart shape of his nose, or the way he chirped away, as if anyone not in their Therian form might understand him if he tried hard enough.

Dex grabbed Sloane’s arm. “Tell me you recorded that. Doesn’t matter. I have witnesses.” Dex stood and motioned to all of them. “Witnesses! You all heard it. Ash said he agrees with me.”

“Oh, good Lord. We’re never going to hear the end of this,” Maddock sighed, getting up to clear the dishes.

“Do you realize how epic this moment is?” Dex said, helping clear up.

“It’s not really that epic,” Maddock replied.

Dex let out an exaggerated gasp. “Where have you been living? Ash Keeler has agreed with something I, Dexter J. Daley, has said.”

“About your brother being adorable. Not exactly earthshattering. He’s thought that since they met.”

The table fell into silence as they all gaped at Maddock. Well, this was news to Ash. What the hell? Seeming to notice the quiet, or more likely the lack of Dex talking, Maddock looked up.

“What are you, fish? Close your mouths.”

Four mouths promptly closed.

“It’s not rocket science. I’ve known that boy since he joined, and he’s threatened every agent he’s ever met with kicking their ass. Except for Cael.”

Hard to argue with that. It was the truth.

Dex frowned at Ash. “You threatened to kick Hobbs’s ass?”

Ash nodded. “Yep.” Was it his first week of being on the job? He was pretty sure it was the first week.

“Dude, that’s not cool. Hobbs is awesome.”

“He can also be a pain in the ass. Plus when we first met, I didn’t know he had selective mutism. I asked him a question, and he wouldn’t answer me. He’d whisper to Calvin, who’d answer for him. I got pissed off and told him if he didn’t tell me himself, I’d kick his ass.” Ash had never met a tiger Therian as big and insecure as Hobbs. The whole encounter had left him confused. Here was their new demolitions expert, and he couldn’t talk. How the fuck was he going to communicate with his team? Ash wasn’t proud to admit he’d had a shit fit. He understood the THIRDS was about equality and representation when it came to hiring, but he had been genuinely concerned about the safety of his team. Not long after, Ash had seen how wrong he’d been about Hobbs. Not that he’d admitted it.

Dex let out a sound of disgust. “Dude, not cool.”

“I said I didn’t know. I apologized afterward, and that’s saying something.”

Ash got up to help clear the dishes, with Dex going on about how he should really think about using some of those scented candles Rosa had gifted him. Ash proceeded to flip him off.

When Cael stood to help, Ash put a hand to his shoulder.

“Relax, I’ve got this.”

He gave Cael a wink and walked the dirty dishes to the kitchen with Dex yammering on behind him. The guy was like a fucking mosquito buzzing in your ear and trying to suck the life out of you. Ash placed the dishes in the dishwasher, giving grunts and one-word replies. He grabbed the dishes from Dex and put those in as well. He wished he could stick Dex in there. Finally someone up there decided to give him a break, and Dex left the kitchen, singing some stupid song about a lion sleeping tonight or something.

Ash frowned at Maddock. “Does he never shut up? How the hell did you live with this for so long?”

“It’s called patience,” Maddock replied. “Not exactly your forte.”

“Oh, I can be patient. That’s not what’s required when dealing with your oldest. I’d say sedative is more the word you were looking for.”

Maddock laughed. “Just get in there, Keeler.”


This book starts off where R&F ends, Tony Maddox and his bat "Old Betsy". Tony is having his “talk” with Sloane, then drops a bomb on Ash regarding Cael. One I was certainly not expecting, and it was most definitely pivotal to the twists of the story, and holy twists and turns they were!
One moment you're like "ohhh, shit. please say it ain't so!" 
Then you're like "WTF is going on, who are these people?" 
Then a huge *sigh* of relief, only to be left on the edge of your seat, only to be relieved again... Seriously, a mind trip. 
You have no idea which way this book is going to go. 

As for Ash and Cael.... awwwwww!!!!
There were moments I wanted to shake Ash, but seeing his POV, I just couldn't be mad at him. I thought for sure he was going to make me cry, which I shed a few tears, but nothing too ugly. He was always so sweet to Cael, despite his “rough” exterior. 
I love how fiercely loyal and protective Ash is, and how sweet and strong Cael is. Despite all their baggage. they just work together, you can't help but swoon at them. 

Charlie did an awesome job and took the story to a whole new level. I can't wait to see where else this is going. I expect awesome things for Seb in the future, and I really hope Calvin and Hobbs get a super HEA, cuz holy crap they've been through hell. 

This is such a fantastic follow up. I started at about 9:00 p.m and it is now 3:00 a.m.
I couldn't!! 
Hopefully I'll be able to sleep with all the gun explosions going through my head. I really can't say any more about the book, I don't want to spoil anything, but I just can't say enough about how much I enjoy this series. All these guys have become so special to me. They're all unique in their own ways and I love them all. 

Until next time...

I give this book a 4.5 badass stars

***Given as an ARC for my honest opinion***

Ash *sigh*

I've been waiting for this book for many, many months. Needless to say, it was a sore subject whenever my friends brought it up, I'd tell them to mention it in July, closer to release date.

Seriously, I've been in love with these books and characters from the very first paragraph. It's M/M, it's PNR. Funny, hot, it has all the major feels. What more can a girl ask for?

So, Ash. Man, he wasn't my favorite, at first. But, somewhere along the lines, I fell for him, and I fell for him hard. And Cael? Aw man, how can you NOT love that guy?

The many feels I had while reading this! I laughed, I cursed, I melted and I even got teary-eyed. All of the characters are different, but they mesh up perfectly. I can't wait for more!

5 stars. Of course. It's Ash. 

One complaint, though. Why was is so short?

***Copy given in exchange of honest review***

And I'll admit I tend to sing a different song
But sometimes you just can't be afraid
To wear a different hat
If Columbus had complied
This old world might still be flat

Nothin' ventured, nothin' gained
Sometimes you've got to go against the grain
                                         Well, I have been accused
                                         Of makin' my own rules
                                        There must be rebel blood
                                   Just a-runnin' through my veins
                                         But I ain't no hypocrite

                                 Garth Brooks - Against The Grain

When Charlie announced that the fifth book in the THIRDS series was called Against the Grain,  and when we found out it was going to be a primarily Cael and Ash, this is what immediately played in my mind.  Because over the last books in the series, we know that Ash beats to his own drum.  His sexuality has never been an issue, to anyone but Cael, our darling chirping little leopard. 

 In AtG we get a little more of the Ash psyche, he has always shown protective instincts toward Sloane and especially Cael.  I’m constantly asking myself and my reading buddies how hell did she come up with that?  No question Charlie Cochet is a master storyteller, she has set up this awesome universe, where she is the master of all.  When you ask her a question about parts of her books she has a ready answer, I mean she knows exactly where she is taking us in her next book. 

 She is sets us up in this book, she has you thinking WTF?  Oh, Hell NO, and Holy Shit throughout this book.  This is one twisty book in my opinion, and like I stated before her storytelling is incredible, I could see Tony standing in that bar holding “Betsy”.  And of course Dex was in the house,  the Dex/Ash arguments were EPIC in this book,  at one point I had Dr. Pepper running out my nose at Dex’s…….. 

        "Yeah well maybe you shouldn't have used porn as a teaching aid, because a good deal of what you said got lost in the pizza guy's ass”

        Dex opened his mouth, then closed it before opening it again, “I got nothing.” Cael elbowed Ash playfully. “Dude you left Dex speechless.”’

        ‘”Oh, now this is precious. Dexter Justice Daley in sheriff footie pajamas.” Ash froze, pillow raised high above his head.  “Hold the phone.”  He arched an eyebrow at Sloane. “What did you say?”’

This book as all the books in this series is great, another I will purchase in paperback and audiobook.


***This ARC was received from the author for my honest opinion***


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Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Winner’s Prize: Against the Grain Swag Pack and $10 Amazon Gift Card.

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