Hi all, Today I’m reviewing a new M/M police/urban fantasy/paranormal/shifter romance series by Charlie Cochet. Sorry for all the tags, but I almost can’t classify this genre-bending phenom. And, frankly, neither can anyone else–it’s been nominated for six (maybe more) different awards from Goodreads includeing Best M/M Romance Series, Best Police, Best Sci-Fi, etc. There’s criminals, and terrorists, and prejudice and family ties, and head-spinning sexy, sexy men, and goofballs.
What else can I tell you? Well, at the heart of these stories, is a boy standing in front of a boy, asking him to love him…and that just melts me! 😉
There are three books released in this planned series of eight, and I’ve finished two: HELL AND HIGH WATER and BLOOD AND THUNDER. RACK AND RUIN was released last week and it’s getting high praise from fans. It’s in my TBR and I’ll likely start it nearer to Thanksgiving, so expect a review update. Right now, Charlie Cochet is having blog tour for RACK AND RUIN, which is outstanding. It’s a series of character vignettes touring the “press” through the THIRDS command center. Check it out and see why Charlie Cochet’s humorous writing is driving fans insane for each book in the THIRDS series. (Oh, and there’s a giveaway, too!)
About Hell and High Water (Book 1):
When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media frenzy—aren’t far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn’t find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed. Instead, his adoptive father—a sergeant at the Therian-Human Intelligence Recon Defense Squadron otherwise known as the THIRDS—pulls a few strings, and Dex gets recruited as a Defense Agent.
Dex is determined to get his life back on track and eager to get started in his new job. But his first meeting with Team Leader Sloane Brodie, who also happens to be his new jaguar Therian partner, turns disastrous. When the team is called to investigate the murders of three HumaniTherian activists, it soon becomes clear to Dex that getting his partner and the rest of the tightknit team to accept him will be a lot harder than catching the killer—and every bit as dangerous.
This book is set in an alternate contemporary reality where shifters are fully out in society. “Therians” resulted from genetic mutations due to a virus and the anti-viral treatment of it. They are into their third generation of procreation and have governmental rights. The action takes place in NYC and THIRDS is the joint police force comprised of equal numbers of humans and Therians.
Dex Daley is a detective on the Human Police Force who has just testified against his human partner for killing a Therian in cold blood. The rest of the HPF is out for Dex’s blood, and he’s been beaten more than once before he gets a “promotion”. Yep. Dex Daley’s going to THIRDS, he’s to be the replacement partner for Agent Sloane Brodie, a jaguar Therian with a seriously bad attitude.
Dex is a jokester, and uber-friendly human, always willing to reach out and charm the pants of anyone (mostly men) who he contacts. His boyfriend fled after the trial, and he’s not feeling a lot of lot from the Destructive Delta crew to which he’s been assigned. It helps that his adoptive brother, Cael, and adoptive father, Sgt Maddox, are on the Delta team, but Dex works his own magic inserting himself. See, all the Deltas were pretty broken up losing their teammate, Gabe, but Brodie took it worst because Gabe was his lover and he feels it a betrayal to accept any replacement for him.
Of course, Brodie also knows that if he refuses another partner he’ll be reprimanded. So he makes life tough for Dex–who basically turns the tables time and again, working his hardest and proving himself. He’s smart, and funny and charming and so unlike Gabe, but there’s an attraction, one which makes Brodie furious. Dex does help Brodie blow off steam (read: smexytimes) and they engage in a down-low affair.
Meanwhile, several upstanding HumaniTherian supporters (people who fight for equal Therian rights) are killed, and all the evidence points to a jaguar Therian. Brodie is not under suspicion, per se, but he’s not comfortable with all the scrutiny. He’s faced a good deal of prejudice in the press and from humans–particularly from Gabe’s brother Isaac. Isaac, for his part, seems interested in Dex, and wants to ruin Brodie–which leads to a whole plot arc regarding tolerance and prejudice.
In fact, the book is whole lot on cooperation and clashes within the Delta squad. Dex is finally accepted, but Brodie’s not sure what to do with his feelings toward Dex–and he might not have a lot of time to figure it all out once the heat gets too hot searching for the murderer, and the terrorists come out to play.
This is a fast-paced shifter M/M romance that has a lot of great characters and a well-planned story. Dex is hysterical–a perfect blend of whimsy and intelligence. His antics are well placed to diffuse the tension and also get his Delta squad to lighten up. He’s a great match for the taciturn Brodie, who is so Type A I wondered if he arranged his sock drawer by color. Watching Dex melt Brodie’s reserve was so fun. I really enjoyed this.
About Blood and Thunder (Book 2):
When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta, and causing a rift between agents Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie, peace seems unattainable. Especially when a new and frightening group, the Order of Adrasteia, appears to always be a step ahead. With panic and intolerance spreading and streets becoming littered with the Order’s propaganda, hostility between Humans and Therians grows daily. Dex and Sloane, along with the rest of the team, are determined to take down the Order and restore peace, not to mention settle a personal score. But the deeper the team investigates the bombings, the more they believe there’s a more sinister motive than a desire to shed blood and spread chaos.
Discovering the frightful truth behind the Order’s intent forces Sloane to confront secrets from a past he thought he’d left behind for good, a past that could not only destroy him and his career, but also the reputation of the organization that made him all he is today. Now more than ever, Dex and Sloane need each other, and, along with trust, the strength of their bond will mean the difference between justice and all-out war.
As much as HELL AND HIGH WATER is about Dex winning over Sloane, I think BLOOD AND THUNDER is a lot about Sloane learning to love again. And recognizing that the feelings he has toward Dex are, in fact, love.
Sloane Brodie is a First Gen Therian. Life has not been easy. His first shift, at age eleven, was so catastrophic he ended up institutionalized. His only friend from those years is Ash, the lion Therian and general dickhead on Destructive Delta squad. They are close, and Ash has no problems giving Sloane his unfiltered opinion, mainly because Ash only comes unfiltered. In this book we get to see many new burgeoning relationships, and understand the inner workings of this select group of law enforcement agents.
Potential couples to be eyeing: naturally Calvin and his tiger Therian partner, Hobbs. (I KNOW! The jokes are merciless, seriously.) But, there’s also some really, really touchy-feely things happening between Ash–who is straight–and Dex’s step-brother Cael, the sweet and tender cheetah Therian. All of this will likely bear fruit down the pike, but I can’t help wonder who’ll do the chasing…
As for the plot, the THIRDS teams are being led on a merry chase for the terrorist organization, Order of Andrasteia, who longs to see Therians exterminated, if possible. Hunting down the leader is, well, daunting. He is a former Human Police a force detective, and doesn’t make a whole lotta planning errors. In fact, this dude’s set on hurting Sloane most heinously–by ripping Dex away, and letting Sloane suffer the grief of losing another lover.
In the meantime, relationships are getting complicated. Dex only wants Sloane, but can he continue with everything on the down-low? What about when Dex’s ex-boyfriend stumbles onto the scene? And how can Sloane keep Dex to himself when his own Delta team–even the lesbians–would pick the suave and quirky Dex for a one-nighter in Marry, F@ck, Kill? (Poor Ash, he really got nailed in that little game!)
Be prepared for sexy-sexy men, terrorists, tough-love, bombs, ex-boyfriends, vengeance and karaoke music.
The tension is super high throughout. Sloane has lots of secrets about his recruitment to THIRDS that he wants to remain secret, but the Order seems hell-bent on revealing all it can to discredit THIRDS and the Therians, in general. There are some great tender moments, and some that are plain-out hot. While this is a continuing series, there is a complete resolution to the main plot arc. Still you kinda gotta read the series in order. Not that I’m complaining. I’m a Dex-Girl; I gotta see this one through.
About RACK AND RUIN (BOOK 3):
New York City’s streets are more dangerous than ever with the leaderless Order of Adrasteia and the Ikelos Coalition, a newly immerged Therian group, at war. Innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire and although the THIRDS round up more and more members of the Order in the hopes of keeping the volatile group from reorganizing, the members of the Coalition continue to escape and wreak havoc in the name of vigilante justice.
Worse yet, someone inside the THIRDS has been feeding the Coalition information. It’s up to Destructive Delta to draw out the mole and put an end to the war before anyone else gets hurt. But to get the job done, the team will have to work through the aftereffects of the Therian Youth Center bombing. A skirmish with Coalition members leads Agent Dexter J. Daley to a shocking discovery and suddenly it becomes clear that the random violence isn’t so random. There’s more going on than Dex and Sloane originally believed, and their fiery partnership is put to the test. As the case takes an explosive turn, Dex and Sloane are in danger of losing more than their relationship.
If you are interested in THIRDS, check out the blog tour now running. It’s jam-packed with extras–fun little vignettes from many members of the THIRDS Destructive Delta squad. Each one shares a bit more of him/her self and you get a real sense of the humor and whimsy of this series. Plus, there’s a $15 GC and book swag giveaway you can enter! (Yes, I’m in it to win it!)
4th Nov – Hearts on Fire Reviews (Invitation from Lieutenant Sparks)
5th Nov – Carly’s Book Reviews (Sergeant Maddock)
6th Nov – The Novel Approach Reviews (Team Leader Sloane Brodie)
7th Nov – Bookwinked (Agent Dexter J. Daley)
10th Nov – It’s About the Book (Chief Medical Examiner Hudson Colbourn)
11th Nov – MM Good Books Reviews (Agent Rosa Santiago)
12th Nov – Joyfully Jay (Exclusive Excerpt)
13th Nov – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews (Agent Cael Maddock)
14th Nov – TTC Books and More (Agent Ash Keeler)
15th Nov – The Blogger Girls (Agents Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs)
17th Nov – Love Bytes (Agent Julietta “Letty” Guerera)
18th Nov – Attention is Arbitrary (SSA Austen Payne)
19th Nov – Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews (Character Interview)
20th Nov – Books Make Me Happy Reviews (Interview)
21st Nov – Prism Book Alliance (Farewell from Destructive Delta)
About the Author:
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!