Dex and Sloane are a couple there is no doubt about it, yet Sloane IS somehow sill holding back which is why when Dex accidentally says the "L" word it makes Sloane take a hike. The one is there for both of them, telling them to have faith in one another is no other than Ash!
Yet Ash isn't himself the whole of this book. He is distant, he is even more of a douche bag, especially to his best friend Cael whom he keeps hurting. it's obvious he has his reasons but it's pretty difficult for both Sloane and Dex finding a sense to the way he is behaving. Something is VERY wrong. Somewhere near the end, we get to understand not only why Ash wasn't himself towards everyone, we also get a very sad glimpse into his past, explaining his resolve towards Cael. Can't wait to get to the 5th installment of their love story!
Besides that, on the action side of the story, THIRDS are having a hard time capturing the Order of Adrasteia when there is another group hunting them down - Ikelos Coalition - a group of Therians who are not concerned with the civilians who might get in the cross fire. Also who exactly are they looking to capture in the Order when they are currently "head-less" after Sloane killed Isaac Pearce. The Coalition are doing their part in getting rid of the Order, one by one, but it takes the team long enough to understand who they are targeting and why. Also they have another problem. There is a mole in THIRDS. Someone is giving the Coalition data on THIRDS activities and when and where they are bound to appear and the little intel they gather comes from Austen the sweetest Cheetah Therian who has a major crush on Sloane. After visiting the THIRDS HQ site I'm REALLY excited about getting a book about him and agent Zach (whom we met for a moment on the 1st installment, he is the one who took Dex's cheesy Doodles).
The team in general isn't at his best at the moment, Hobbs and Calvin are still having issues no one knows about, Cael and Ash as I've already said aren't talking and Ash isn't being very cooperative with the team as it is and Sloane and Dex aren't on the same page relationship-wise. Dex is trying to be as patient as he can, but it's not easy when his feeling are growing more than they really should. Sloane is having nightmares about his past, making it hard for him to concentrate on the present. He actually goes to visit Dr. Shultzon which is a totally weird experience in my mind. He is not only the man who saved him but also the man who tortured him (when he was being examined in the facility growing up before he was enlisted to the THIRDS). Dex was totally there for Sloane in regards to meeting the doctor, it was beautiful seeing how much Sloane trusts in Dex and being comforted by him.
There are two really cool scenes I want to mention, trying not to spoiler ;) The first being a major player from the Order the team manages to catch, who is also HIGHLY sought by the Coalition. Sloane is doing a GREAT job explaining to the guy why he is MUCH better cooperating with the THIRDS than going outside of the agency where he could be found by the Coalition. He probably peed his pants! The other one is a stand off between THIRDS and the Coalition in which Ash has a major heroic role I really enjoyed reading.
I sort of have a misgiving about this book. But really I couldn't reduce even half a star though I HATE when a book ends the way this one does - with a cliffhanger. I guess it's sorta obvious things will work out considering there will be 10 books in the series.. but still, I would have preferred a more easy going ending. Yeah the other books in the series DID end with a glimpse to the main issue to be dealt with in the next book, giving us the notion all is NOT well, and yet I was still a little bit annoyed with how it was concluded.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (just keep the next one close by ;))
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 206 pages, 5 November 2016 / On GoodReads
ABOUT THIS SERIES
THIRDS is my absolute favorite Paranormal MM Romance / Urban Fantasy series. It's the first I've read by Charlie Cochet (and wasn't the last!). I absolutely ADORE the series, each book was simply superb! There's a lot of action in the books, but there is also A LOT of laugh out loud moments as well as heartfelt ones between the MCs. I couldn't have asked for more. This series has it all!
The world building is AWESOME, it's explained right in the beginning of the series - A biological weapon used in the Vietnam war caused a mutations that made the Therians, a new species of half man - half animal. What we usually call "shape shifters". The world is struggling to deal with this new species, a lot of prejudice, a need to register and somehow contain the new members of society. The THIRDS - Therian-Human Intelligence, Recon, Defense Squadron is formed to help the "human police" deal with Therian threats.
The series focuses on the "Destructive Delta" team, mostly the leader - Sloane a Jaguar Therian and his new human partner Dex (with 3 novels focus on other couples).
The Destructive Delta Team:
Sloane Brodie (Therian Jaguar) - Dexter "Dex" J. (Justice) Daley
Ash Keeler (Therian Lion) - Julietta "Letty" Guerrera
Cael Maddock (Therian Cheetah) - Rosa Santiago
Ethan Hobbs (Therian Tiger) - Calvin Summers
2. Blood & Thunder [Sloane & Dex] (Published 3 August 2014) ★★★★★
3. Rack & Ruin [Sloane & Dex] (Published 7 November 2014) ★★★★★
4. Rise & Fall [Sloane & Dex] (Published 2 February 2015) ★★★★★
5. Against the Grain [Cael & Ash] (Published 3 August 2015) ★★★★★
6. Catch a Tiger by the Tail [Calvin & Ethan] (Published 5 November 2015) ★★★★★
7. Smoke & Mirrors [Sloane & Dex] (Published 8 July 2016) ★★★★★
8. Thick & Thin [Sloane & Dex] (Published 1 February 2017) ★★★★★
9. Darkest Hour Before Dawn [Seb & Hudson] (published 25 April 2017) ★★★★★
9.5 Gummy Bears & Grenades [Sloane & Dex] (published 4 October 2017) ★★★★★
10. Tried & True [Dex & Sloane] (published 24 November 2017) ★★★★★