Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Against the Grain
Author: Charlie Cochet
Series: THIRDS #5
Genre: MM Paranormal
Length: 220 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 3, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
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.
Review: I can’t imagine that I would ever NOT want to read about the THIRDS. Every single character has a piece of my heart that is reserved just for them. One may wonder how you can offer your heart to someone like Ash Keeler, someone so unbelievably difficult, but all I saw was a man craving love and acceptance. A man who believed he was not worthy of love, after all, his own family gave him away. Nevertheless, Ash Keeler is exactly the kind of man that pulls on my heart strings; big, strong, alpha asshole to the extreme, but also, a man who is intensely loyal, reliable, dedicated, and hurting. That hurt is something that pulls me in like a magnet, and I was not going to be happy until he found a way, and allowed himself, to be loved the way he so deserved. Naturally, he found that with Cael.
Cael is everything that is beautiful and sweet in a world that can be dark and depressing. He always looks to the bright side and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt. Many wondered what he saw in Ash, his own brother couldn’t understand it, but what it took the team forever to notice was that Ash treated Cael differently. He treated him like a cherished friend, a devoted lover, a precious gem that needed to loved and protected. He treated Cael like his soul mate because Cael is his soul mate, he just didn’t know how to be Cael’s boyfriend. Here I expected things to grow difficult between them, and no it wasn’t easy, however it was not a long drawn out angst-fest either, fortunately.
The best part of this story was getting to know the real Ash. Seeing how and why he became the man he is, and having my heart break for the child that he was. I was ecstatic that he was able to get some closure on the family drama that began his difficult journey, and beyond content to see him not only accepted, but loved by someone he thought had forsaken him. I can’t wait to see the interaction between in future books.
As usual, it’s always a blast to spend some time with Dex and Sloane. Those two will forever remain beloved, cherished and will stay firmly entrenched at the top of my all time favorite couples list. They never grow boring or tedious. The jokes are refreshing and continue to be as humorous today as they were in book one. The love that has cemented between them is open and accepted, and it makes my heart happy to see Sloane especially find peace in his life. Knowing that both Dex and Sloane wish the same for Cael and Ash just makes them that much more extraordinary.
So here we are, finishing up book five and now awaiting book six. I still remember the excitement I felt when I wrote the review for Hell or High Water knowing in my heart that this series was destined to become a hit with a massive following. I was not wrong, and many will be pleased to know that the series just continues to grow and get better and better. I am eager to see how Charlie Cochet pulls in the other couples who are predestined to find their other half and get their own happy ever after, but what I am not excited for is for the series to end. So, here’s to another sensational installment in the THIRDS series. I can’t wait to see how our boys are doing when next we check in and also what’s in store for Seb & Hudson, and Ethan and Calvin.
Overall Impression: It was amazing!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*