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Love and Payne

Narrated by: Mark Westfield
Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (161 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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This Story Is Sexy

Publisher's Summary

Austen Payne, THIRDS Squadron Specialist Agent (SSA) for Destructive Delta and TIN operative, has seen the worst the world has to offer, faced lethal killers, and helped bring down dangerous organizations. But nothing terrifies him more than falling in love. After years of undercover work, Austen is a master at defending himself and protecting his heart...until he meets Osmond Zachary.

THIRDS Defense Agent Osmond Zachary has a huge, doting family, yet something is missing in his life. After meeting grumpy, foul-mouthed, jittery cheetah Therian Austen Payne, Zach knows exactly what that something - or someone - is. Unfortunately Austen seems determined to avoid Zach at all costs.

When Zach foils an assassination attempt, he ends up in the killer’s crosshairs, and Austen is Zach’s best chance at staying alive. Zach hopes the crisis will bring them closer, but Austen has every intention of walking away as soon as the danger is over.

Happily ever after isn’t for guys like Austen, but Zach is determined to show him it can be....

©2018 Dreamspinner Press (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

DNF due to narrator; switching to ebook

Don't know how to rate just performance so middle rating for story. Narration by Mark Westfield sounds more like TTS. Couldn't even make it to the 30-minute mark that I normally give to adjust to a narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

I suppose I expected much more

I’ve heard all the buzz surrounding the Thirds series, but had yet to take the plunge. When I realized Love and Payne was billed as an off shoot from that series but could be read on its own, I decided to give it a try. Even better, I had yet to listen to any books performed by this narrator. Although I found the story itself pretty interesting, Love and Payne ended up being just okay.

I started Love and Payne pretty excited. Though there were multiple references to past plots, couples, and specific scenes/events, the author also provided considerable background to let us newbies follow along and understand the different terms mentioned. Unfortunately, where this background fell short was the couple. I should have loved the pairing of sweet Zach and the surly, closed off Austen, but I never felt that initial connection or chemistry. Instead, I perpetually felt on the outside of their relationship, almost as though I’d missed a chapter or two of their story and I have to wonder how much of the groundwork for these two occurred in other books. The action and suspense surrounding the attempts on Zach’s life was fairly interesting and did keep me reading, particularly the final fight and resolution. And yet, it wasn’t enough to rescue me from the floundering romance.

In the same vein, the narration had positives and negatives. I liked the narrator’s voice and thought he read the scenes with an appropriate amount of emotion without it feeling overacted, even offering some sound or tone effects to make the scene come alive. However, his softer voices for the gruff characters and odd intonation at the end of sentences gave me pause and continually jostled me out of the story, even as it picked up in intensity. Overall, Love and Payne was an okay listen but not quite all that I had hoped for given the praise I’ve seen about the Thirds series.

*Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • CMN0320
  • Brentwood, CA, US
  • 08-14-19

DNF - will get book instead

I just couldn’t take the narration. Most sentences ended with a comma rather than a period. Very sing-song and repetitive in tone and cadence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finally Austen Has His Story!

I fell in love with Austen throughout the series and I’m so happy he finally gets a book focused on him. This book was just as exciting and snarky as I would expect a book focusing on Austen would be. I loved the story, I love the romance, and the sex scenes were hot and spicy.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Austen and Payne are finally together!

This is finally Austen's book. We met him way back when and he has always been just in the background making moves. Zach is someone who is a big bear of a man, literally. He is the baby of his family and he is treated as such. I am so happy when I realized that Austen and Zach were going to be together. They have been doing this dance for years.

When this story opens up Zach is out of commission. He is injured and the last people you would think that would contact Austen, Sparks, let him know about Zach. We come to find out that Austen is just if not more in love with Zach than anyone knew. I loved the fact that Zach fought to be with Austen.

Austen has been hurt and used in the past so he is unable to trust anyone. The few people that he does 'trust' is only at arms length. The whole Zachary clan accepting him for being a Tin operative is shocking to him and he does not know what to do about that. I think that is so cute that no one judge him for his past and only cares about how he treats Zacy.

SN: There is just something about Sparks that I am interested in. The fact that she is a mother figure to Austen. I want to know more about her past since it was briefly mentioned in this book. There is a lot of things we do not know about her and I am really excited for her book if that every happens.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love and Payne

The narrator sounded just a tad bored. But when we get into the actually characters the story really picks up. As always Charlie Cochet did a Super Job on the action and depth of story!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cat
  • Missouri
  • 02-06-19

Love it! Just what I've been waiting for!

I have been waiting for Austen to get his happy ever after and learn his story forever! (by the way, I love this cover and it helped me visually see Austen. Austen tries to stay in denial and push Zach away until Zach is hurt and his life threatened. He takes him to hide and protect until Zach's family steps in an Austen finds himself in the middle of something else besides love he doesn't believe in...Family.
Zach is the baby of a large family of bear shifters. When Zach's life is in danger after saving a little girl, they all step in and go to their private village. Austen and Braden go along.
This is not a continuation of the THIRDS books but a standalone in the same universe. Several of the characters have been introduced in the THIRDS books but enough explanation is there for you to follow just fine. (If you haven't read the THIRDS you should because it's great!) there are many great memorable scenes in this book. but near the front the little girl telling Zach she liked him because he reminded her of her Teddy because he keeps her safe, then what happens next was breath -taking.
Mark Westfield does a great job giving the characters great voice. I loved the personal touches and I always like how it sounds like they are on the phone or using technical devices. I can't wait for more in this Universe!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

another nice installment in THIRDS series/world

I still like this series quite a lot. It doesn’t have that hook that it did but I really enjoy the shifting and the world Cochet has built is still full of funny lines and neat powers. I’m a bit tired of the drama – so that makes the story more of a 3 than a 4 for me.

The romance was nice and I loved the growly “mine!” in bear language this time around.

The audio by Mark Westfield is definitely the best way to appreciate this entire series. He does such a nice job with the “sound effects” and doing his best to give everyone a unique voice and character.

I was glad I waited for the audiobook!

3 for the story and 5 for the narration – 4 overall

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

THIRDS Universe

An amazing job by Mark Westfield, he makes this series so much fun to listen to! All of his character voices, the special audio effects, the way he paces the dialogue and the narration all make up a terrific listen.

I've been a little in love with Austen Payne, undercover TIN operative, since his introduction to the THIRDS series, and I'm particularly glad he gets his own story - and happy ending - with Zach, the bear Therian that's kept Austen fighting his feelings for a very long time.

When Zach is injured in the line of duty, and then attacked shortly after, Austen drops everything to keep him safe. Filled with action, Charlie Cochet doesn't stint on the romance side. Love and Payne has dual POV, the introduction of some new characters, action, some humor, sexy times, and a happy ending.

I feel like fans of the series will be thrilled, and maybe the series will even get some new fans since Love and Payne absolutely works as a standalone. But this series on audio is so great to listen to - I don't think you'll want to stop at just one.

4.5 Stars

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I love this series

Austin deserved to finally be happy & loved, and boy does Zack love him. I can't wait to see him "manage" Dex. That is going to be so much fun.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful