Title: Catch a Tiger by the Tail (THIRDS #6)
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 5, 2016
Page Count: 216
Reviewed by: Lily G Blunt
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.
As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends
I haven’t read any of the previous stories, but became a fan of THIRDS via the audio versions and thoroughly enjoyed each book in the series. I LOVE Mark Westfield’s narration and his portrayal of the different characters.
I listened to Cael and Ash’s story in Against the Grain again as a refresher before reading this story. It struck me that Calvin and Ethan’s story is, in some ways, very similar to Cael and Ash’s story, in that there’s a strong attraction and a lengthy friendship between the two men. They care for each other, and yet in each story one of them holds back, fearing their friendship will suffer and thus won’t commit. Neither Cael nor Calvin push their love interest into making a decision. They hold back and wait. And it pays off for them both. It takes a jealous response to prompt the other man into acting so they don’t lose out to another person. We also have the big and little guy together, some smoking hot bedroom scenes, as well as additional background to their family life and the reasons why they’re hurting.
Calvin and Hobbs don’t get a lot of alone time, but what we do get is a treat, being sweet or hot or indeed both. I like the terms of endearment and affection shared between them during their more private and tender moments. They learn not to push the other aside when having a bad day. Both have had rough experiences in the past, which affect how they behave in the present and we get a glimpse into that.
We gain more insight into Calvin and Ethan’s personalities through their interaction with their family members and work colleagues. There are several scenes with Ethan’s parents and his brothers, Seb and Rafe. Ethan and Seb both receive grief from Rafe, but we discover the reason why when he explains himself towards the end of the book and Ethan finally manages to talk to his brother.
We are also treated to moments between Dex and Sloane and Ash and Cael. Dex being marked by Sloane is an issue and we see others working this out. I particularly like how Sloane feels the need to claim Dex to warn off other Therian rivals. I’m still wondering about the relevance of the brief mention of Dex’s pain in his eyes and Taylor making a play for Dex.
There are quite a few episodes where there’s much fooling around and goofiness. Many readers will revel in this, but for me it’s getting a bit tiresome and not particularly amusing anymore. Dex and Ash are still at each other’s throats. Even Calvin and Hobbs seem to be unimpressed by their team-mates at times.These men are not acting in a professional manner at work and the scenes feel like stocking fillers rather than the main present. One scene I considered almost a farce and another I cringed as I read it, but other readers will probably find them amusing. Having said that, Destructive Delta is like an extended family—there’s familiarity, jesting and concern all rolled into one and it extends to other family members and partners. We see more of the characters in their Therian forms relaxing and witness the group dynamics during this camaraderie.
Thus the story on the whole is character rather than plot driven. The main plot involves a disgruntled employee and his family. There’s an incendiary device, which didn’t cause a lot of damage, plus a hostage situation and the repercussions connected with Calvin’s actions taken during a siege.
There’s also intense training for a mission that is not made clear until the end, but it challenges the roles within the team. Sparks always seems she has something to hide. She highlights the danger of lovers being influenced by protective feelings and becoming distracted during dangerous situations.
There’s a cliffhanger of an ending again, with plenty of hints as to who’s involved given throughout this story.
So yes, overall I enjoyed the story. I love these m/m pairings and their shifter world. I know most THIRDS fans will rave about it too. I’m also looking forward to the audio version and future books in the series, particularly Seb and Hudson’s story.