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Smoke & Mirrors Audiobook

Smoke & Mirrors: THIRDS, Book 7

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Publisher's Summary

Life for Dexter J. Daley has never been easy, but he's always found a way to pick himself back up with a smile on his face. Taken from his home and the arms of Sloane Brodie, his boyfriend and THIRDS partner, Dex finds himself in a situation as mysterious and lethal as the Therian interrogating him. Dex learns what he's secretly believed all along: his parents' death wasn't an accident.

Discovering the whole truth about John and Gina Daley's homicide sets off a series of events that will change Dex's and Sloane's lives forever. As buried secrets rise to the surface and new truths are revealed, Dex's and Sloane's love for each other is put to the test, with more than their relationship on the line. If traversing the waters of murder and secret government agencies wasn't enough, something inexplicable has been happening to Dex, and nothing will ever be the same.

©2016 Charlie Cochet (P)2016 Dreamspinner Press

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (269 )
5 star
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4.7 (257 )
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Story
4.7 (257 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Dunbar, WV, United States 10-08-16
    Amazon Customer Dunbar, WV, United States 10-08-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i love this series"

    i absolutely love this series but listening to the narration was painful. Mark Westfall was horrid and i will not be purchasing anymore of the audible versions of the book if he narrates.

    he was whiney and droned on and on....i kept flinching everytime he got to the end of a sentence which did this draging kind of....it was just awful. i couldnt get past the second chapter and i found myself going back to the other audible books to see if i had the same reaction and i did, but not as bad.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    May-Linn 12-01-16
    May-Linn 12-01-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book... Not so great narrator"

    I'm a little sad because initially I really liked the narrator for this series. But he's steadily gotten stranger. He ends every single sentence with the same intonation. And he keeps dragging out the end of words. The way he narrates doesn't always reflect the mood. He started out great at the start of this series so I hope he changes this habit by the next book, because I love this series. I just had a really hard time listening to it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Flyboy Baltimore 04-07-17
    Flyboy Baltimore 04-07-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Mark Westfield killed this"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Anyone who is such a sucker for the series that they'll put up with any of its flaws


    What could Charlie Cochet have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    This would have been more enjoyable had she not blatantly ripped of True Blood with the marked storyline. By going where she did with Dex, she's pretty much cut out the danger factor in his missions.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Mark Westfield?

    No. This is actually why I gave it such a bad review. The narration is so awful that it sounds like it's being read by a 1940's B-Movie villain. He hasn't bothered me before, but I had to stop and re-start over multiple days because I could only handle his narration for 10 minutes, tops.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. I think she's gone off the rails, and is the perfect example of what happens when a series goes on for too long. The decision to make Dex half human was such a jump the shark moment. One of the things about Dex and Sloane was that they were so different, and Dex's human vulnerabilities made missions for him actually dangerous. Now, Dex is simply bionic, and he's lost pretty much everything that made him vulnerable in the first place. Plus, the decision to be marked -- i.e. owned - is creepy, and needy, and not at all what I'd expect from Dex. It's not romantic in the least, it makes the relationship unbalanced .

    She's completely destroyed Dex. I think she might be spending too much time getting feedback from only fanboys and fangirls. Her beta readers should have been honest with her, rather than gushed over everything she put out. This seems to be a general problem with M/M fiction readers once they become fans of a series. She described this as a game changer, and it is, but that doesn't make it a positive one. She did exactly what Abigail Roux did with Cut & Run - she's made bad decisions with her characters, and in the process wrote herself into a corner that she can't get out of. I would really love it if she could realistically fix the problem she created with Dex, but I don't see how that's possible this late in the game. I hate to say this, but my enjoyment ran dry with this one, and I'm out :(


    Any additional comments?

    I love M/M action adventure and mystery books, and this is now the third series I've read. All of them seem to have the same flow -- interesting setup, followed by another book or 2 of universe building that gets more and more interesting, followed by a moment of bliss for the characters, followed by character assassinations and convoluted story lines with too many characters to keep up with. Formerly straight characters are suddenly gay, characters develop super powers, or are overwritten to the point that they become obnoxious even if they were your favorite characters before. The series get frustrating over time because the author has nothing else to say, but keeps miking the cow anyway. It takes a great series and ends up tainting it. And that's what's happened here.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Morgan A Skye 11-14-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So much excitement!!!"

    Well – SO MUCH HAPPENS in this book and I don’t want to spoil anything.

    So… things that I loved about this story:

    Sloane and Dex becomes SO CLOSE: It’s amazing. Just when you think they couldn’t possibly love one another more. Sigh. Ooey gooey love in abundance. It was wonderful!!

    Learning more back story: we learn more about Dex’s parents, Tony’s relationship with them.

    Super hot lovin' times.

    Lots of purring!!!!

    As you know, Charlie has teased us with her “Change is coming” and WOW is it ever. You’ll understand pretty much what that refers to after the first chapter.

    Things that break my heart: Seb and Hudson. They seriously need a HEA. They are in so much pain!

    Things that made me laugh: Ash’s response to Dex when he was pouting. ☺

    Things that made me mad: SPARKS. Full stop.

    I know any fans of the series will adore this and I think it might be tied with
    Rack and Ruin as my favorite in the series. I can’t tell you more. You must read this series in order. It’s amaze-balls!

    Highly Recommended !

    Audio

    There are so many characters, so many emotional scenes, so many “techy” type situations and Mark Westfield handles it all like the pro he is. This really showcases how wonderful he is at narrating this series. He practically defines the series by now in terms of “becoming” the characters, he’s got them down pat. Dex is Mark’s voice in my head. He adds so much with how he modulates his voice for being muffled, on a phone, around a corner… stuff that really brings this vibrant and action paced story to life. Highly Recommended!

    6 of 5 stars

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Belen 09-27-16
    Belen 09-27-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Fantastic! Best in series!"
    Any additional comments?

    Thoroughly enjoyable.

    Mark Westfield consistently uses tone, props and ingenuity to draw the listener in. He makes the story so much more unique and emotion-filled.

    All those threads that have been dangling since the beginning, all those moments that seem to have been unrelated, it's all explained and tied up with a neat little bow AND the series is left open ended enough to (please!).

    Along with Westfield's terrific narration this just a really entertaining and enjoyable experience.

    Recommended.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Schwarm 09-22-16
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    "One of the best in the series"

    I have always been a big fan of the series and of Mark Westfield as a narrator, and when I read this book I was afraid that it might be really hard to get all of the emotion into this story. I'm glad to say I was wrong. Mark did an amazing job. I won't go into spoilers for anyone who hasn't read the book, but I will say that when things got real he did an excellent job of making me feel like I was right there in the middle of it.

    Can't wait for the next book!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda McCoy 09-26-16 Member Since 2014
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    "LOVE this series!!!"

    I absolutely love this series!! The series just keeps getting better! I'm looking forward for Seb and Hudson's story!!! I like how she keeps Dex and Sloan's story going in between the other characters' stories.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 09-23-17
    Lisa 09-23-17
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    "Lots of action and laughs."

    This is one of the best paranormal m/m series I have listen to/read. The story is exciting and fun. Narrator was great!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. T. 08-24-17
    C. T. 08-24-17
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    "I'm a sucker for this series. I can't help it."

    This book is one of my favorites in the series, along with "Gummy Bears and Grenades" and then all the other Dex and Sloane centered books.

    Like the rest of the series, the writing flows well and is a very entertaining read, though there are still some small plot holes (in book 4: what -biologically- makes a mate mark different than a normal, deep scratch besides intent, or does the intent itself change the body's chemical makeup at the time, or when was Sloane's blood added during the marking since he only mentioned smelling Dex's blood at the time, etc...), inconsistencies (as far as I know, a house and an apartment are two different structures and not interchangeable, but Dex's house is called Dex's apartment quite a few times. Or, another example: I thought earlier books said Dex got the My Pet Monster, not Cael, and no mention of them having two), and timeline arrangement questions (like, in "Thick and Thin" with Sloane's supposed first shift after Dex's change at Greenpoint and not with the frat boys. Since it was specifically noted that it was the first shift after it wasn't a time delay like the seizures, etc...). Either way, the series is worth reading or listening to - I know I still love reading/listening about Dex and Sloane while at work or in my car again and again.

    As much as I loved this book it's all kinds of frustrating the way Sparks manipulated them from start to finish. The guys didn't even ask the most obvious questions. For example, when Sparks admits to letting certain events happen, Sloane didn't even ask how long she was going to let it continue, accepting her answer of saying she wouldn't let Dex die. And that's far from the only thing/question/conversation/issue that was left out of the characters' dialogue.

    Or how about Sloane not wanting to tell anyone about purring in human form and forgetting that there are a few people listening in on them 24/7?

    I do enjoy Sloane's feral side's possessive streak and the little touches; it's an extra touch of sweetness that Dex never seems to get enough of.

    I wish someone would've brought up the fact that Gina Daley still possibly saved Sloane and Ash by telling Tony about them, allowing him to submit their names to Sparks to find them before their deaths could be falsified, with or without another leak by TIN.

    As for narration...Mark Westfield has a sexy voice (especially speaking as Sloane) and did a great job.

    The weird/whiney lilt in Dex's speech in books 3 through 6 is practically gone, so thank you for that. Dex still doesn't sound as cool as he did in the first two books, but I still say 4.5 - 5 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    songbird 07-08-17
    songbird 07-08-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing series"

    I don't think I will ever get enough of Dex and Sloane. They are such great work partners and so beautiful together as a couple. I truly enjoyed the excitement their job brings. In their Therian form the teams chemistry is charming and playful.....but I'd hate to meet them in a dark alley. I think I might die when this series ends!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Nathan
    London
    10/9/16
    Overall
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    Story
    "I did not want it to end :("
    Any additional comments?

    One of my favorite M/M shifter series of all time! Charlie has created something i truly love and mark has brought it to life. (Thank you dream-spinner press)

    I would recommend buying book one and listening to all of them.

    I can not wait for book 8!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lulu
    8/21/17
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    "Back to Sloan and Dex!"

    AUDIO REVIEW

    Book 7 in my revisiting this series in audio - BEST ONE YET. This book is definitely not a standalone. We are back to Sloan and Dex in this book and yet again Mark Westfield's awesome narration really brings this story to life and brings a whole new dimension to the book.

    A lot happens in this book, I mean A LOT! Which I obviously won't spoil because if you've got this far in this series you'll want to read/listen to it for your self. I will say although I loved Ash and Cael and Cal and Hobb's books I loved that this one was back to Sloan and Dex. I just love these two so much and in this book their relationship has definitely deepened and we learn more about their bond and the changes taking place.

    This book starts off after the dramatic cliff hanger from the end of book 6 where Dex was kidnapped from right under Sloan's nose. Poor Dex, I really wanted to hug him and look after him following his capture and torture as he understandably struggled with the after effects. Sloan was so sweet and really stepped up in caring and supporting him.

    This book centres a lot around TIN, Sparks and all the underhanded psychopaths. There's plenty of twists and turns and a whole shed load of angst in this one that particularly in audio had me right on the edge of my seat and bravo to Mark for all the voice changes throughout this book!

    Secondary characters are as always awesome and exceptionally well developed and I loved the undercurrent of family woven throughout this book.

    I need to take a little minute to talk about the ending of this book! And what an awesome ending it was! I went from sat on the edge of my seat biting my nails, to devastated to ecstatic and eventually 'awwwwww'. So good!

    On to book 8!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kindleaddict
    nottingham UK
    10/12/16
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    "Fantastic series"

    What can you say about this series that hasn't already been said? It's a fantastic read, then add in Mark Westfield's narration and it becomes something else, something more. It just gets better and better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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