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Catch a Tiger by the Tail

Catch a Tiger by the Tail - Charlie Cochet First read: January 2016
Reread: March 2016 – BR with Trisha

~~~~~

Fact #1: I love Charlie Cochet. Fact #2: She is an evil author. Fact #3: This book is amazing.

Catch a Tiger by the Tail is written from Calvin and Hobbs' points of view, and it focuses on their relationship. Fear not, Destructive Delta is as present as ever. There's action, excitement, a lot of fun shenanigans, and pain. So much pain. Little piece of advice: Have a good supply of things that comfort you and keep it close. Chocolate, a steaming cup of coffee, a blanket you love to cuddle in, you name it. And tissues. Lots of them.

The first half of this book is all fun and games, so much that I started asking myself what Charlie was talking about when she mentioned the angst. I was laughing my ass off half the time, when the team got together and they were all being their awesome selves. I was lured into a false sense of security, but the second half broke me. It made me want to reach into the book and hug both Calvin and Hobbs.

These two have been friends since they were kids, and they've been struggling to survive for just as long. Ethan's Selective Mutism and severe anxiety is something he deals with on a daily basis. Nevertheless, he's been taught from an early age that it doesn't define him, that he, as a person, is strong and capable. Calvin is his knight in shining armor, coming to his rescue and getting into fights with anyone who dares to hurt Hobbs.

Because of everything they went through, Calvin and Ethan share a bond that's unbreakable. This books shines some light on what goes on inside Hobbs' head, his way of experiencing the world, but also on Calvin, who has had more than his fair share of a hard life. Calvin is the type of person to keep it all bottled up inside, but slowly, he learns to lean on Hobbs, too.

As long as they were together, they'd make it through anything. Them against the world.


Their relationship slowly morphs into something more when Hobbs is able to learn how to deal with the fear of losing his best friend. And it's amazing to see it happen, so worth the wait. Also, you know how they say it's always the quiet ones... Well, prepare for some amazingly hot and kinky sex, because these two... Phew! Just saying. ;-)

I also liked finding out more about Hobbs' family, because their struggles put things into perspective. There's also snippets of Calvin's past, who's had to fend for himself since he was young. To be honest, the one who surprised me the most was Rafe, and his confession made me feel bad for him, even though I still want to punch him for treating Ethan like shit in the past.

Now, want to know why Charlie is an evil author? Because Catch a Tiger ends in a damn cliffhanger, that's why!!! Why, oh why??? I have to admit I'm very nervous about Smoke & Mirrors, because it's bound to be very emotional–who am I kidding, I love angst, haha–but it can't get published fast enough! ♥

Favorite scene... I just needed an excuse to post this photo, but trust me, the scene was golden! LOL.


I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Against the Grain

Against the Grain - Charlie Cochet First read: August 2015
Reread: March 2016 – BR with Trisha

~~~~~

I was kinda nervous about reading this book, because I skimmed a few reviews beforehand, and a lot of them contained the lines 'not what I hoped for'. I tried not to let that temper my excitement, and thought I should just see how I perceived the book, as we all see things differently. Well, the thing is, up until the 63% mark, I was prepared to give this book 3 stars. But the second half was way better, so I'll settle with 4 stars.

Warning: I can't organize my thoughts enough to figure out if there are any spoilers in this, so I'd advise you to proceed cautiously if you haven't read the book yet. ;-)

The first half

This book picks up at the funny 'Old Betsy' scene with Tony. Needless to say, I was already laughing hysterically right from the start. But my laughter soon died when things got serious, and Tony told Ash the story of Cael's despicable ex-boyfriend. Broke my heart.

Things between Ash and Cael are tense, to say the least. They treat each other like they're walking on thin ice, and it's painful to watch. Because for one, Ash knows how Cael feels, and also, the feeling is completely mutual. Still, Ash finds it impossible to overcome his past and let go of the guilt which has shaped him as a person.

I was very sympathetic towards Ash, and I understood his struggle, but I couldn't help feeling really, really bad for Cael. While Ash is figuring his shit out, Cael is left standing with his heart on the line, waiting. That didn't sit well with me, since Cael is the sweetest guy ever, and he's put himself out there for Ash on multiple occasions.

The second half

After 60%, Ash basically stops living only inside his head, and realizes how much he's hurting Cael, who doesn't deserve his treatment. So, he decides to try and do right by Cael, and he commits to overcoming his demons while learning to care less about the world and more about his man.

I loved to see their relationship grow into something beautiful and nurturing for both men. What I loved even more was to see Ash's soft side, the side which only Cael gets to see. The part of him which is protective and loving and contains just a dash of sappiness. Yes, you read that right. Ash can be sappy, and he even calls Cael 'sweetheart'. I mean, how cute is that?!


About as adorable as this photo, I'd say...

Other fun stuff

The humor in this book was–yet again–really fantastic, and there were a lot of laugh out loud moments. Dex's shenanigans were as funny as ever, as were his scenes with Cael, and most importantly, Ash. I especially enjoyed reading Ash's POV when it came to Dex, haha. And Ash's training sessions with the brothers were hilarious!

The unexpected twist with Austen and the badass Sparks was also great. What's more, we get a glimpse into the domestic life of the Maddock/Daley family together with Ash and Sloane. It involves baking and Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner, photo albums, and headphones for...y'know, various reasons. ;-)

All in all, I really liked this book, and I'm looking forward to the next installments in the series. Hobbs and Calvin's story in particular. Because Hobbs broke my heart here, and I just felt this strong urge to hug him until his world stopped spinning! Can't wait to read THIRDS #6!

Rise & Fall

Rise & Fall - Charlie Cochet First read: March 2015
Reread: February 2016 – BR with Trisha

~~~~~

The moment I picked Rise & Fall up, I was lost to the world–that is, the real world. And I mean completely absent, living entirely in the book. Anyone unfortunate enough who tried to pull me out of the book's world got nothing but growls–Felid behavior must have rubbed off on me–and dirty looks for their efforts. I did nothing but read for hours, that's how mesmerized I was. The fourth installment is, without a doubt, the best of the THIRDS series so far! AMAZING!!!

Warning: The next part of the review contains spoilers and is basically one big fangirl *squee*. :)

If you're looking for a thorough review of the book, this won't be it. Here are some highlights/my favorite parts:

Dex. I really liked seeing this whole other side of him, the man who fought with all he had to protect his family. Granted, I didn't approve of his keeping secrets from Sloane, but I understood his reasoning.

Sloane. He finally came to terms with his feelings for Dex, and it was lovely!

"I don't want Ash, goddammit. I want you! I fucking love you!


Also!!! Sloane marked Dex! Now, if that doesn't scream utter devotion, love, and trust, I don't know what does... *sigh*

He'd never done anything like this before. His Human side desired Dex. His Therian side wanted to claim him.


Ash & Cael. I thought these two would be the death of me! Two guys in love, and still, all they did was hurt each other. And OMG, Ash made me melt like butter!

"He's fucking gorgeous. I can't believe I'm saying that about another dude, but fuck me, he's beautiful. His eyes are amazing. These really pale silvery pools–pools, Sloane! I'm calling his eyes fucking pools. Just seeing him makes me smile. He's funny, sweet, damn sexy, and I don't know why the hell he fell in love with me. No clue."


But then they had that epic Hollywood movie kiss, and I was grinning like a fool.

Calvin & Hobbs. These two are so adorable, I can barely deal with it sometimes. And Oh. My. God. Them getting off in front of Dex just about did me in!!! Hello, voyeurism kink! ;-)

Hobbs. He talked! He talked to Dex, and he's such a sweetheart!

Ash & Dex. They bonded. Yep. You read that right!

"Hey, thank you."
Ash wrinkled his muzzle before looking away, as if he was thinking. Then he turned his head and snuggled Dex's face, giving his chin a lick.
"Ew, gross," Dex laughed. "Don't worry, big guy. It'll be our secret. No one would believe me anyway." Dex petted Ash before getting up and closing the door behind him.


Dex. White latex assless chaps. Stripping to Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me. Best. Thing. EVER!

Tony. The last scene was HILARIOUS! Maddock with Old Betsy going to have a serious don't-you-fuckers-dare-hurt-my-boys talk with Sloane & Ash. Just... Priceless!


I cannot wait for books #5 + #6!!! Is it July yet? Can someone wake me up when it's here? Please, and thank you.

Strong Signal (Cyberlove Book 1)

Strong Signal - Megan Erickson, Santino Hassell

BR with Trisha. <3

I'm not even sure where to start, to be honest, because I'm a puddle of goo. I can't seem to wipe this huge grin off my face, because I absolutely adored this book! It's been said before, but it bears repeating, because Santino Hassell and Megan Erickson really are the utmost definition of a match made in heaven. PER-FEC-TION!!!

Meet Kai. He's an experienced gamer who runs a Twitch channel and has a lot of loyal subscribers who worship him. Kai is a former dancer who suffers from severe social anxiety and who hasn't left his apartment in 3 years, because the outside world makes him have panic attacks. He's a sweetheart, cute as a button, and he loves red pandas. Seriously, look at this adorable creature!



Garrett has worked as a mechanic in the army for years. He's currently in Afghanistan, and he uses his laptop and gaming to escape his utter boredom and to avoid socializing. He meets Kai when Kai's orc kills his archer in a game, after which he messages Kai and develops a bit of an infatuation for the sexy twink. Garrett is overprotective, and he's a big grumpy gorgeous man.

They're both vary of online relationships, but what starts as an easy friendship filled with banter and confessions slowly turns into more. And by more I mean a bunch of scorching hot Skype sessions, dirty texts, but most of all, an openness neither of the men thought possible.

Garrett's deployment ends, and he decides to surprise Kai and pay him a visit. Well, that doesn't go as planned, and he gets a door slammed in his face. Fear not, Kai comes around, and they can't keep their hands off each other. Their cocoon of warmth and hot sex is disturbed by real life occurrences and the need to sort out their future, which they all do eventually.

These two make for an amazing couple, and I dare say they've joined the ranks of my favorite couples ever. I loved Garrett's attentiveness, his big heart and selflessness, and his proneness to giving orders in bed. I also admired Kai's courage, loved his flirty and dirty side, and the care package he sent Garrett was the best. Plus, chapter 10 has to be, hands down, the best and hottest thing I've read in ages!!! I mean wow. What's more, Garrett's sister, Nicole, and their mom deserve a special mention, because they're amazing women!

I'm really looking forward to the second book in the series, although I got to admit I was not a fan of Costigan. But I'm willing to keep an open mind, because I LOVE how well Santino and Megan work together!

 

~~~

First read: February 2016
Second read: July 2016

Rack & Ruin

Rack & Ruin - Charlie Cochet First read: March 2015
Reread: February 2016 – BR with Trisha

~~~~~




Rack & Ruin was one hell of a ride!

If this book were a 'Friends' episode, the first half would be entitled 'The One Where They Screw Like Bunnies'. They being Dex & Sloane, of course. That is in no way a complaint on my side. Au contraire. The second half would be called 'The One Where Shit Hits The Fan'. Everything, and I mean every possible thing, blows up–relationships get tested, patience runs low, and a lot of things happen all at once. And then, slowly, it all begins to settle down and fall into place, only to end in a big ol' cliffhanger. Mind you, I have the fourth book at the ready, or else I might have had a meltdown. So, all is good.

Warning: The next part contains spoilers, so you might want to stop reading, if you haven't read the book yet... ;-)

Dex & Sloane take their relationship to the next level. For a while, Dex is very careful as not to spook Sloane with how fast things are moving, but then he blurts out 'I love you', and his partner bolts. Eventually, Sloane comes back and they talk it all out. These two have a lot of tender moments, as well as scorching hot sex, and they find it hard to keep their hands to themselves when they are around their teammates, too. What's more, Dex & Sloane talk about their pasts, about what makes them tick, and their trust becomes complete. The scene where Sloane purred was my favorite, along with these little gems...

"I know I don't deserve it..." Sloane put his fingers to Dex's lips to stop the protest he was certain would come. "I don't. But can you say it anyway?" Dex nodded, and Sloane moved his fingers away.
"I love you."
It was the shy smile afterward that broke Sloane.


"I'd put my neck in your jaws without a second thought," Dex said hoarsely, his eyes reflecting fire and a trust the likes of which Sloane had never seen.

Also, the pre-birthday-party party Dex had was awesome, and his conversation with Ash about it later on was hi-lar-i-ous!!!

"We had sex in your bathroom during my party!"
Sloane gaped at Dex who clamped his hands over his mouth, as if doing so might miraculously take back what he'd just blurted out. Ash's words echoed Sloane's thoughts.
"What. The. Fuck! You had sex in my bathroom?" Ash went from flabbergasted to disgust in point five seconds. "Oh my God. Please tell me you didn't jizz on my towels."
Dex held a hand up in promise. "I swear we didn't jizz on your towels."
"Why would I believe you?"
"Would it ease your mind if I told you I jizzed in Sloane's mouth?"


Then there were Ash & Cael, and they frustrated me to hell and back! Ash is a huge asshole, in order to protect Cael, and he's hurting deeply. Cael, on the other hand, knows his partner is not being himself, and that something serious must be going on for him to dismiss Cael like he does. They do talk, but Ash can't let go of something that's happened in the past. So, obviously, they're still not together, and I wanna scream!

Calvin & Hobbs are also going through a rough patch, which sucks big time, because they're so perfect for each other and UGH. I hope they figure it out soon...

Oh, and I hope Hudson & Seb make up, because they are adorable!

As for platonic relationships, Dex & Cael have a little bit of a fight, but they get past it, and they're as fantastic as ever. What hit me more, though, was Sloane & Ash and all their conversations about their past, about the pain they had to endure, and how they stood by each other in all the years to follow the clusterfuck that was their childhood. I felt for them, especially Ash, to be honest, because unlike Sloane, he just kept all his feelings bottled up inside, and he thought he deserved the pain. Ash, love, I know how you feel...

Alright, I realize my review is all over the place, which is fitting to my current state of mind. I. Want. More.

The End.

Blood & Thunder

Blood & Thunder - Charlie Cochet First read: March 2015
Reread: February 2016 – BR with Trisha

~~~~~

I've been staring at the edit review page for a while, telling myself that starting with WOW would not be an option. But to hell with it. Holy shit, this book!!! WOW!!! I simply ADORED it!!!

The first book of the series was fantastic–my review is proof enough of how much I loved it–but Blood & Thunder was even better than Hell & High Water!



While Hell & High Water was all about world building, this installment focuses on character development. It shines some light on the relationships Destructive Delta has as a team, and also on the individual couples forming inside the team.

"Man, this team is incestuous." (Haha. True that! And I'm loving it! :D)

I am utterly smitten with Dex! I mean, it's hard not to be, since he's sweet and hilarious. I admired his patience in this book, and the fact that he wouldn't lose his faith in Sloane, no matter how many times he got pushed away or was kept in the dark. We also get a glimpse of the guy Dex is behind the cheerful exterior, and what he's been through.

Sloane has a lot on his plate, and the burden on his shoulders keeps getting heavier every day. Keeping his past secret from Dex is taking its toll on him, and he acts like a major asshole because of it. When he finally told his story, I really felt for him, and was glad he eventually saw that he wasn't alone anymore.

Something else I enjoyed was seeing the team members interact and grow closer, accepting Dex as their own. Oh, and I can't wait to see how the relationship between Calvin & Hobbs/Ash & Cael develops!!! I love all of them!

There were two scenes that particularly stood out to me. The first was the one where Dex and Sloane–in his Therian form–were at that rookie training, and Dex gave his oh-so-funny lessons on Felid behavior. And the second was, of course, the karaoke night at the bar! Dex singing 80s songs and getting drunk, Sloane being all jealous and possessive, Ash & Cael being adorable, the team's 'fuck, marry, kill' game, the sexy bartender... It was just FUN!

Frankly, Charlie Cochet gets all the stars. All. Of. Them.

Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1)

Hell & High Water (THIRDS Book 1) - Charlie Cochet First read: March 2015
Reread: February 2016 – BR with Trisha

~~~~~

I LOVED this book! L.O.V.E.D. it!!!

The most important thing here is the excellent world building, which is very complicated and extensive. For a closer look, this is the official THIRDS site, which is really freaking awesome!!! It contains everything from details on the characters, to playlists, badges, and other fun stuff! But, for the purpose of shedding some light on what I'm going to write about in this review, here's a short list of the main points...

THIRDS (Therian-Human Intelligence, Recon, Defense, Squadron) → basically an agency which promotes justice for all species, and therefore pairs every Human agent with a Therian one. They deal with all threats regarding Therians and/or Humans involved with them.

Therians → Humans who can shapeshift, and are much stronger than your average Human. They can obviously be very dangerous, especially when they go against the laws of the government.

Destructive Delta (Unit Alpha) → the original THIRDS Defense team, which is assigned the worst/most difficult cases.

This book is packed with action, suspense, humor, and a LOT of unresolved sexual tension–UST done right, so very, very right! My two favorite aspects of the book were Dex (Duh!) and the Felid Shifters. Big cats are my biggest love when it comes to animals–they're wild, beautiful, fast, and lethal. And some of them purr, like over-sized kittens! They fascinate me, always have. Shifters in general are not really my thing, but felines? Bring. It. On.



Let's meet the team then, shall we? I took the liberty to borrow the THIRDS cast from Ms. Cochet, because it's PERFECT!


For a HQ version, click here. ;-)


Dexter J. Daley “Dex” → Human

Dex is all kinds of awesome!!! He's vibrant, loud, enthusiastic, and full of life. He lights up a room in no time, is bouncy, has a soft spot for 80s music, and lifts up everyone's spirits. What's more, the guy has some balls! His first day at the THIRDS agency doesn't go all that well, because he's replacing someone who was really close to the team. Nevertheless, he doesn't let that bring him down, goes around calling bear shifters Baloo (hehe!), and lion shifters Simba (the puppet lion scene was also golden!). When Sloane gets all Team Leader Alpha asshole on him, Dex doesn't flinch, and continues to be sassy. Oh, and he's over-protective of Cheesy Doodles! Even though the team doesn't accept him at first, he manages to win them over soon enough–with baked goods, nonetheless! Smart guy! Dex's charm and humor ultimately saves the entire team, getting them out of their slump. I think it's pretty clear that I love him, right?!

Sloane Brodie → Therian – Jaguar



Sloane is hurting, so he's more of an asshole than usual, which leads to him treating Dex like shit at first. But his bullshit doesn't deter the Rookie, and Sloane eventually–after a lot of shitty actions–realizes that he has to let go of his grief, and give Dex a chance. When it comes to him, I kept changing my mind between wanting to kick some sense into him, and wanting to hug him and tell him to let his partner in, to let himself be helped with the healing process. Well, he's definitely bad-ass and being Team Leader, he barks orders at everyone, but they all follow, because Sloane knows what he's doing, and treats his team like family.

Ash Keeler → Therian – Lion



Ash appears to be nothing more than a colossal dick, but his teammates argue differently on every given occasion. He's Sloane's best friend, and they're the closest thing they've each got to family. He's the only member of the team who refuses to accept Dex's presence, but even he can't resist the guy in the end, and comes to care for him, although he tries not to show it. He was funny, and his quick wit was great!

Julietta Guerrera “Letty” → Human

This lady might be little and cute, but she's gonna kick your ass to a pulp before you have time to blink! Bad-ass is too tame a description for her level of awesome!

Ethan Hobbs “Hobbs” → Therian – Tiger



Quiet. Reliable. Loyal. Someone you want on your side. Intriguing. Mysterious. That's Hobbs in a nutshell.

Calvin Summers → Human

Calvin is very efficient, ready to risk everything to keep his partner safe, at times reckless, and he takes his job pretty seriously.

Cael Maddock → Therian – Cheetah



Cael is Dex's younger brother, and I really liked their relationship and interactions. They have each other's backs, they're very protective of one another, and their brotherly love is palpable. As an individual, Cael has an inferiority complex, for which he unnecessarily puts his life in danger on more than one occasion. He thinks that he has something to prove to his fellow Therian teammates, but none of them agree with his reasoning.

Rosa Santiago → Human

Rosa behaves like a mama bear with the other team members, she protects them, takes cake of them, and is a kick-ass woman all around.

Dr. Hudson Colbourn → Therian – Wolf

He's casted as Matt Bomer. Need I say more? Oh, yeah... Eyes off Dex, love! He's Sloane's!

Dr. Nina Bishop → Human

Not much to say about her. She is kind of just... there. Part of the team, but doesn't stand out much.

Anthony Maddock “Maddock” aka Tony → Human

This man is incredible. He adopted both Dex and Cael, and he's everything a father figure should be. As a Sergeant, he's a no-nonsense guy, firm, but understanding, and he's always there for his team.


Something I wasn't very fond of were the many pointless descriptions–of a room, for instance–but I won't lower my rating for that alone, because I enjoyed all other aspects too much. Oh, and the 'bad guy' was very obvious, but eh... Can't have it all, right? Dex makes up for the flaws, so I don't care!!! I can easily see this series becoming one of my favorites, and am looking forward to the rest of the books!

Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue

Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue - Charlie Cochet BR with Trisha – Saturday, January 30 :D

I was not expecting this story to be what it is. It surprised me in a good way, and I loved it! What doesn't come as a surprise to me is that Charlie Cochet is a fantastic writer! I loved the atmosphere of this book, the characters were interesting, and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. The reason this isn't getting 5 stars is because I have unanswered questions, and this was way too short to satisfy some of my curiosities. Nevertheless, Between the Devil and the Pacific Blue is a great story!

Lovers, Losers, and You

Lovers, Losers, and You - Skylar M. Cates BR with Trisha!

Here For You

Here For You - Skylar M. Cates BR with Trisha!

Learning to Feel

Learning to Feel - N.R. Walker This book is amazing!

We have Nathan, a doctor who wouldn't know happiness if it hit him over the head. He's always felt like something was missing, so he buries himself in his work. Until he decides a change is in order. So he accepts a position as a doctor in a small town.

Enter Trent. A painter with a heart of gold, who paints the house Nathan moves into. Trent is all grins and sexual innuendos on the outside, but underneath is a man who's scared of love and taking chances.

When Nathan meets Trent, he is taken aback by his attraction towards the man. But he decides to go with it. These two men teach each other how to feel, like they never thought possible. They give each other life.

And the cherry on top? Bentley!!! A golden retriever who loves toast. With strawberry jam. I'm not kidding.



My poor heart. *melts*

Sixty Five Hours

Sixty Five Hours - N.R. Walker I am... in awe of this book.

I am... in love with Cam and Lucas.

I am... smitten with N.R. Walker's writing.

I am... happy.

So happy.

And giddy.

And OMG, someone help me.

The hat tipping. The foot/sock fetish. The toys.

I can't.

Seriously.

This book.

Read it.

Now.



"Well, crazy socks and foot fetishes... There was never a doubt. It was always going to be a perfect match."

A Fortunate Blizzard

A Fortunate Blizzard - L.C. Chase BR with Trisha – Saturday, January 2, 2016! :)
♥ BR with Kayl – Saturday, September 12 ♥

Gives Light (Gives Light Series)

Gives Light - Rose Christo BR with Trisha! :)

Red Dirt Heart 2 (Red Dirt Heart Series)

Red Dirt Heart 2 (Red Dirt Heart Series) - N.R. Walker ♥ BR with Kayl – Sunday, September 6 ♥

Review to follow soon...