Thursday, December 24, 2015

Against the Grain by Charlie Cochet (audiobook)

Title: Against the Grain
Author: Charlie Cochet
My Rating: B+
Narrator: Mark Westfield

Genre: Paranormal Suspense (m/m)
Series: Thirds #5
Main Characters: Ash and Cael
Release Date: October 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
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.
My Review:
Overall...4.0
Performance...3.25
Story...4.25

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!!


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