Bethany and MtSnow co-review ‘Rise & Fall’ THIRDS book #4 by Charlie Cochet (published by Dreamspinner Press, released February 2nd, 2015)
Why MtSnow read this book: More Dex and Sloane. Yay!! Especially in light of the cliffhanger ending in book 3 *grrrr*
Why Bethany read this book: After book three’s ending, I started reading this one the second I got my hands on it.
After an attack by the Coalition leaves THIRDS Team Leader Sloane Brodie critically injured, agent Dexter J. Daley swears to make Beck Hogan pay for what he’s done. But Dex’s plans for retribution are short-lived. With Ash still on leave with his own injuries, Sloane in the hospital, and Destructive Delta in the Coalition’s crosshairs, Lieutenant Sparks isn’t taking any chances. Dex’s team is pulled from the case, with the investigation handed to Team Leader Sebastian Hobbs. Dex refuses to stand by while another team goes after Hogan, and decides to put his old HPF detective skills to work to find Hogan before Theta Destructive, no matter the cost.
With a lengthy and painful recovery ahead of him, the last thing Sloane needs is his partner out scouring the city, especially when the lies—however well intentioned—begin to spiral out of control. Sloane is all too familiar with the desire to retaliate, but some things are more important, like the man who’s pledged to stand beside him. As Dex starts down a dark path, it’s up to Sloane to show him what’s at stake, and finally put a name to what’s in his heart.
Dex sorted out all of Sloane’s pillows, fluffing them up and arranging them before bringing the tray over.
Once Sloane was settled, Dex placed the tray over his lap and kissed him, tasting a faint hint of minty freshness.
Sloane stared down at the tray.
“Is it okay?” Dex asked. Had he forgotten something? “Eggs benedict and pancakes are your favorite,
“You made heart-shaped pancakes.”
Dex held back a smile. “Are they too unmanly? Should I have made them grenade-shaped? I’m sure
Letty’s got a mold for those.”
Sloane chuckled. “No, hearts are fine. It’s real sweet. Thank you.”
Dex sat down on the edge of the bed beside him. He ran his fingers through Sloane’s hair feeling guilty
for having left him on his own last night. Sloane could take care of himself, even if he was injured, but
his partner was drugged up and obviously feeling a little out of it, considering his reaction to the heart
shaped pancakes. Maybe it was time he took care of his partner like he’d promised he would.
“Why don’t you eat your breakfast while I shower, and we’ll watch a movie or something together?”
Sloane gave him a wide smile. “I’d like that.”
Dex left Sloane to his breakfast and went off to shower as quickly as he could. Showering wasn’t as
much fun without his partner. As he lathered himself up, a naughty thought occurred to him. He’d also
promised he’d make his partner purr. Finishing up, he could barely hold back his smile or the heat
spreading through him. Easy there, Daley. Don’t get yourself worked up yet. He dressed in his comfy
cotton pajama bottoms and a loose faded Back to the Future T-shirt before heading out into the
bedroom. Sloane was smiling, his plate devoid of any evidence food had ever been on there. Wow, his
partner had been hungry. Really hungry. Starving. Sort of like after….
“Please tell me you didn’t.” Dex removed the tray and put it on the floor against the wall. He pulled the
blanket back and tried to lift Sloane’s T-shirt, but his partner slapped his hand away. “Sloane, let me see,
damn it.” He grabbed Sloane’s wrist with one hand and managed to pull up the cotton shirt, cursing
under his breath at the tiny beads of blood seeping through the bandage. “For fuck’s sake, did you try to
shift?” When Sloane looked away, Dex had his answer. No wonder his partner was out of it. It wasn’t
just the meds. Sloane hadn’t recuperated from postshift. Dex opened the minifridge and found it empty.
“When?” He slammed the fridge door shut.
“Last night. After you called,” Sloane mumbled.
“Last night?” Dex put a hand to his head. Veggies and hummus were all well and good for Sloane’s
Human side, but not for the Felid inside him. He needed meat, protein, and more than the packet of
sliced chicken Dex had left him in the fridge. “Fuck. Sloane, you know you’re not supposed to attempt
shifting. The doctor said so, and it’s in the packet. To make matters worse, you do it when there’s no
one here to perform postshift trauma care? With no access to the right foods? What were you
“I’m thinking I need to fucking heal, and if that’s the quickest way to do it, then it’s a risk I’m willing to
Sloane’s ferocity surprised Dex, and he took a step back. His partner’s pupils were dilated and his fangs
slightly elongated. Fuck, what the hell was going on? It was like Sloane was having trouble controlling his
feral side. Dex could see it. He could see the Felid inside Sloane staring back at him from behind glowing
amber eyes. Could the meds be doing this? The recovery packet the doctor had given them specifically
instructed Sloane not shift while he was healing, especially while on his meds.
“Okay, take it easy. It’s me.” Dex held his hands up in front of him and swallowed hard, aware of the
telltale signs. “There’s no hurry for you to heal, Sloane. It’s okay.”
“It’s not okay,” Sloane snarled, his fingers flexing against the sheets and his nails starting to grow. Fuck.
“Sloane, you need to breathe. Calm down.” Dex slowly edged away from the bed. Why was this
happening? Sloane had never lost his grip on his Felid side. Not to mention he’d yet to fully recover from
his first attempt. “Please, Sloane. Your body’s not healed from the first try. Who knows what asecond
attempt will do?”
There was no reply from Sloane. He was gritting his teeth, his face red, and his muscles straining.
“Sloane, you need to stop.”
“I can’t.” Sloane lowered his head, his fierce gaze on Dex.
“To protect you!”
Dex gasped as Sloane let out a roar, his body starting to shift. What the hell was Dex supposed to do?
He’d never faced a Therian who’d lost control of his Human side, much less an Apex predator. Quickly,
he backed up against the far wall, cringing as Sloane’s cries of agony filled the room. Sloane tore at his
clothes, pulling his T-shirt and pajama bottoms off before his mass shifted, bones popped, and fur
pierced his skin. Dex reached into his pocket and with shaky hands placed a call.
A gruff voice answered. “What do you want?”
“Ash, you have to help me.” The panic in his voice must have been clear, because Ash’s tone instantly
transformed from its usual gruffness to concern.
“What’s going on, Dex? Talk to me.”
“It’s Sloane. He’s shifting, but it’s not… not normal. He tried last night but couldn’t complete the transformation. Then we got into an argument, and it’s like he’s lost it. I don’t think he’s in control. How
is that possible?”
“Hide somewhere he can’t get to you. I’m on my way. I’ve still got my key to your place.”
Ash hung up, and Dex shoved his phone in his pocket. Where the fuck was he supposed to hide? When
he moved his gaze to the bed, he stilled. There was no time for hiding. The huge black jaguar lay in the
center of the bed, his tail thumping against the headboard. He sniffed the sheets, then the air before his
gaze landed on Dex.
This particular story shows a more tenacious, darker, and at times oblivious side to our happy-go-lucky, make-the-rest-of-the-world-smile with his antics Dex. Sweet and sassy Dex. And he’s gotten to big, bad, now injured and recuperating Sloane with his affection for 80s music… More fun times. And grim times.
And Sloane, what’s up with him? He’s going through some odd personality changes that are very worrisome. But, we do get to see the two of our favorite guys start to develop in their relationship.
And Calvin & Hobbs in the van?! Oh.My.Gosh. And adding to that, Dex will never be able to listen to the band ZZ-Top without flashbacks! *giggle. snort*. Oh! And after learning what a certain Special Forces agent does as part of his ‘observation techniques’? Someone, somewhere has a bit of exhibitionist in him and I almost fell outta my chair!!!
That to me is what is so refreshing about a series book. Things are not all wrapped up tight with a neat bow in one book. As in real life, we get to see people go through ups and downs. And, even though these Therians are massive, strong and impressive shifters, they do show some very HUMAN qualities that made me feel for our THIRDs teammates.
We get to see more story and relationship development with supporting characters as well, along with a couple other pairings, and there were a few definite on-the-edge-of-my-seat moments. But, thank goodness, this one DIDN’T have as much of a cliffhanger ending as the previous stories. Saved my blood pressure, after it started escalating with some quite tense events. And left me thinking these guys all have a screw or two lose. We just get to wonder about so and so’s reaction to information he’s just found out. And what’s with the old wooden baseball bat?!
You just have to read this installment to get the rest of the story. But, as always, I’m loving this series with every part of my being *yeah!!*
Thank you Ms. Cochet for an ending that didn’t leave me wanting to throw my kindle across the room.
The ending for book three left me a mess, a sobbing, curled up in the fetal position rocking, blubbering “why” over and over MESS. So when the chance came up to get book four for a review as well as tour I couldn’t pass it up. I wasn’t sure how each book was better than the last, and I was afraid this would be the one that didn’t live up to the last. Boy let me tell you how wrong I was.
This one had a darker vibe going on to it. Our sweet, loving, carefree, gummy bear, chessy doodle loving Dex has finally confessed his love for Sloan. So when things threaten to hurt the ones he loves, it leads him down a dark path, one he knows he is on, but he just can’t make himself turn around. And you know what, I DONT BLAME HIM. I could feel his anguish in wanting an eye for an eye. The pure need to destroy what tried to destroy the person he loves. Personally this Dex was super hot and I enjoyed getting to see this side of him.
I also enjoyed the new side of Sloane. There were very big changes for ALL of the Destructive Delta team, but I must say none bigger than the changes in Sloane. No I will not tell you what they are, you read the book and find out for yourself. But what I can tell you is that our normally stoic, calm, rational Sloane makes leaps and bounds to becoming the man he didn’t realize he wanted to be, or that it was ok to be. Gosh, just thinking about it now makes me swoon just a bit. But that is not to say its all roses and rainbows for our boys. Far from it.
Like I said, the entire team is going through stuff, some more major than others but stuff all the same. And you know what? They all have each others’ backs, and that is what they all finally realize. No matter what happens, they will always be there for each other ’cause they are family. Man. I love this series so much and can’t wait to see where we go next. And I will go there cause I am officially a faithful follower.
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.
Thirds Headquarter: http://thirdshq.com/
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorcharliecochet