Sequel to Against the Grain
THIRDS: Book Six
Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his selective mutism and social anxiety. Calvin's confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that's been his whole world for as long as he can remember.
As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.
©2016 Charlie Cochet (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press
One of the things I love most about Calvin and Ethan was the fact that they have unflinchingly had each others backs since childhood. Ethan is a big, strong, tiger therian whose strength and fierceness protects Calvin physically, whereas Calvin uses his heart and words to protect Ethan mentally and emotionally. These two, no matter what adversity throws at them, are solid.
For this installment, Ethan, as his internal debates and dialogue are heartrending, but his Dex character is still my ultimate favorite, even when he is not the main character. I admit that his female voices are commendable but also kind of funny. I can’t ding the narrator for not pulling off the female, Hispanic voice perfectly, but it’s not really an issue and besides a couple chuckles here and there I’m never pulled out of the story.
Ethan and his brothers reconciling.
Mark Westfield is still doing a great job of bringing the THIRDS series to life. I’ve read each book before I listened to each audio, and I never lose interest the second time around. I have to say though that his delivery is a little too slow for me, and I have to listen on 1.25x speed. I think it’s probably because I don’t need the performance to be drawn out, so I’ll put that speed on me.
So by now you know the drill. This is book 6 and I’m pretty sure you could figure things out if you read this as a standalone but only barely ☺
It’s time for us to finally get our story for Calvin and Hobbs. They’ve been best friends forever, partnered up in THIRDS for years and fighting their sexual attraction for just as long. Recently, a bout of jealousy spurred Ethan (Hobbs) into action and we got some hot making out between the two and an uneasy relationship.
In this book we finally – FINALLY – get some resolution and our couple faces their issues and really gets over the hurdles keeping them from being the adorable couple they (and we!) know they can be.
Meanwhile there is also some more drama with the other members of THIRDS: Seb and Hudson especially. Sparks has the team doing a lot of specialized (difficult) training and lives are threatened at a birthday party at Dekatria!
There’s a cliff hanger at the end – I’ll warn ya now! – so be prepared – I’m sure it’ll end up fine… it’s the kind where we know there’ll be trouble but a happy ending – but now we all have to bite our nails til book 7!
I LOVED that we got to see the softer side of Ash and Sloane in this – lots of ooey, gooey and PURRING moments with Dex and Cael and their partners. There’s the requisite action and shooting and some more of the back story gets revealed involving the team and their pasts.
The twists and turns that Ethan and Calvin’s relationship takes are a bit surprising and I guess I was a bit … maybe let down? I was expecting a big, emotional and full of hearts and flowers thing and it sorta happened that way – but it was a bit anti-climactic. Maybe because we’d already seen them hook up or maybe because they’d been friends for so long… in any case… It was sweet and tender and sometimes scorching hot! – but a bit different than I’d expected.
I still loved them – don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of heart-string-tugging moments and tears – nobody will be disappointed by how things unfold.
All the fans will be ecstatic to read this and justifiably upset by the cliff hanger as we await for book 7!
4 of 5 stars
Mark Westfield is now to most of us the voice of THIRDS. He has some special challenges here because so much “speech” occurs in Ethan’s head. He does a great job of sort of “whispering” these lines to give us the indication that he’s not actually speaking. I’m not sure if I’d have gotten it if I hadn’t read it first, but since I knew the deal… well I think you’d get it anyway. He does his nice job with telephones and walkie talkies and other electronics as well. I found that listening to this made me appreciate how sweet Dex and Sloan are together as well as how cute Calvin’s southern accent is and his mom’s too. I love listening to this series and highly recommend it!
Narration 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars
This offering has all the excitement, action, and drama building of the previous Thirds books in the series save one thing. That one thing missing is an overarching conspiratorial super villain organization weaving their nefarious ways through the plot of the entire book to some sort of exciting break neck resolution. That makes this work a transitional work and a set up to book 7 of the series “Smoke & Mirrors”.
In place of the super-villain is a series of exciting but comparatively mundane Thirds policing operations. Team Delta is being trained to the max by Sparks. There is a nice rail against unfeeling corporate culture ruining working class lives driving one individual to strike back with a bombing and a shooting ending in his death. There is a nice rail against shoddy journalism stirring up bad feelings in the public against Thirds authority. Then there’s Calvin (Summers) and (Ethan) Hobbs finally overcome Hobb’s communications gulf to find their place together as their relationship become full-fledged. The riff between the three Hobb’s brothers is resolved with Rafe Hobbs returning to the family fold with Ethan and Sebastian Hobbs. Relationship between the major characters (Dr. Hudson and Seb) are further defined and additional background on other characters is provided.
The book abruptly ends with Sloan Brodie being drugged and his Dex abducted with Dr. Schultzon’s as the chief suspect or lead as to Dex’s whereabouts. This cliffhanger ending is obviously a set up to the next book “Smoke & Mirrors”. If Dr. Schultzon is involved obviously the super-villain nefarious organization theme will make reappearance in that book. Let us hope so as the book is not as exciting without an uber-villain mysterious organization to battle.
The best thing about the Thirds series is its combination of rich character studies for the heart and the complexly layered plot lines keeping the reader on their toes feeding the intellect. It appeals both to the heart and the mind. In short this science fiction series is superb.
The Thirds series has been a very enjoyable story. However, the narration was very distracting on this one. I had to rewind on many occasions because of this distraction. The distraction was him elongating the last word of each sentence during most of his narration. It was not as bad with the characters. For instance, he would pronounce "brotherrrr" instead of "brother" almost like he was signing each ending word. For some reason Mark ended most of his sentences in this fashion during his narration but not so much when the characters were speaking. I had Book Three still on my player so I went and checked out how his narration was on this book and it was nothing like this one. Mark did a good job on the previous books, that's why I was confused as to why he changed his style. For me the narration was so painful that I probably will not listen to any future books that he narrates unless he reverts back to his previous style. It's really a shame because he is a rather good narrator and I really enjoyed all of the previous books and I was looking forward to any future ones. The story itself has been very pleasurable.
I love to read any genre and most topics. I like diversity and engaging characters. I write, garden, cook,craft and chill with my furbabies
Calvin. I liked how he never gives up on Hobbs. I also like that he is stoic doing his job and doesn't let it make him a hardened man.
When Calvin he faces down Hector, breaks Protocol and speaks to him though he isn't supposed to. I can't Imagine standing there all that time, having men and women call you names and not respond, knowing you did the right thing. but when he walks out and lays down his gun, man to man that was awesome.
My heart went out to Hobbs.He is such a sweet man to be trapped in his selective mutism.
I had been looking forward to Hobbs and Calvin's story from the beginning. I hate to say it wasn't what I expected. I was hoping for more light on Hobbs, selective mutism, why it's selective.
Don't get me wrong, the story is awesome, with plenty of action and drama as the others, and it also focuses a lot on the coupling of many of the teams and them moving into the new training and getting back to work. I think it mostly being in Hobbs view with him unable to speak, Mark having to interject so many 'He thoughts' or 'I thoughts' into the dialogue got a bit distracting for me.
Having said that, I still love this series and the book is still a great one.
If you like shifters, especially big cats, special ops, science fiction, romance and some hot man-sex this is for you.
Avid reader/listener of romance, action, thrillers, and spy novels.
I loved these guys so much, they broke my heart time and time again. Bloody Hobbs, he's so sweet and I finally got to get inside his head, which is amazingly brilliant, even if he has selective mutisism (which I can't spell). Calvin killed me with all his brooding sniperness. Oi vey.
He's got the characters down so well by now in the series, that you know exactly who is who without having to have Ms. Cochet tell you who is talking. I love how Hobbs is the biggest member of the team, but has the sweetest and smallest voice of them all.
These guys were awesome, as always and I'm glad I finally got to listen to their story. They need a novella so we can see their kittens, if they have any! Or have Hobbs playing in a box! Loved that!
This is by far the worst audio book I have ever listened to. The narration is either extremely monotone with a strange vocal dip at the end of each sentence, or it is whiney. I actually prefer to listen to the text-to-voice rather than being punished by this audio book. Seriously, it was really almost painful to listen to!
I loved hearing about the relationship between Calvin and Hobbs! Charlie Cochet has very quickly become one of my favorite authors, and Mark Westfield does such an amazing job narrating, I wish he narrated all my audio books!
"Well read but not much happens"
The other books in this series, while clearly romance novels, have a plot that keeps the characters moving along nicely. This one is very thin on plot and reads like a not all that great fanfic that you keep reading just in case something happens.
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