Gummy Bears & Grenades (NeRdyWYRM’s Review)

review master
Title: Gummy Bears & Grenades (THIRDS, #9.5)
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 4, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 102 pages
Reviewed by:
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5

THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not necessary to read before Tried & True.

Dex or Jory?

There’s not much to say about Gummy Bears & Grenades that you probably don’t already know. Dex wreaks havoc, all the guys are funny as hell, and there’s foreshadowing of both trouble and potential couples to come. As for the guys, Austen is still a weirdly damaged but loveable asshole, Zach is still huggable, Cael is still chirpy, Ash is still mostly bark, Ethan is still my favorite (besides Sloan) though Calvin comes close, Sloan is on a whole other level and still ridiculously sexy, Seb and Hudson are still adorable, and Wolf still makes me want to shoot something. I’m sure I missed a few because there are sooo many good characters, but you get the idea.

entertained gladiator

Maybe the comparison ‘Dex or Jory?’ is a bit harsh, but Dex is wearing on me like road-rash. The coquettish flirting to get his way, the insane heedlessness to his thoughts and actions, the chaos that seems to attach itself to him like barnacles … it’s all shades of Jory, only with shifters. I have to admit that I’m getting tired of the hijinx. I love the humor and the snark and all that fun stuff, but the chaos is starting to bore me. I want Dex to buckle down and show us what he’s got without distractions like him, a big bear suit, and contraband grenades ending up all over the news every five minutes.

Bad Gummies

HOWEVER! And this is big people: Dex is a more likable character than Jory on the whole, and even if he was a complete shit, I’d still like the series and I still would have enjoyed this book. I’m not really fond of the THIRDS shorts, thus the average rating. I don’t hate them, but I don’t like them either. I’d almost rather have had this book, for instance, be the prologue for #10. It makes good marketing sense, teasing us before the release of the next book, but it irritates me on general principle. I don’t have to be browbeaten or schmoozed into reading the next book. Put aside the blatant manipulation, and the fact remains that short stories annoy me … period. In all honesty, that’s probably 98% of my problem with this one.

That said, anything in the THIRDS series is a must read. This one doesn’t happen to be a favorite of mine, but it doesn’t mean it’s not worth reading. I’m not usually forgiving of shorts because there’s not enough time for much but PWP, but with established characters like these … well, that’s not something that applies. I’ll be there for the next one, for sure. And much happier to get a full story out of it as well.

This review is cross-posted at Goodreads. Other reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be read here.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Gummy Bears &
provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


I am a life-long reader and an avid learner. I remember reading books without pictures when I was about four, and raided every title on my parents’ full and intimidating book shelves—well, the ones they would let me read, anyway—from then on. Characters written by authors like Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Terry Brooks, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Raymond E. Feist, Mercedes Lackey, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, and Anne McCaffrey were my childhood playmates.

Back then, I went nowhere unless I had a book in my hand. While the rest of my generation was shifting from cassettes to CDs and from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation, I spent my allowance on Myth & Magic pewter figurines and on books at the Stars and Stripes bookstore. These days I don’t have a book in my hand anymore, at least not the printed variety. Instead, it’s any device with a Kindle app.

I stubbornly held on to the printed page until a military move weighed my book collection in at over a ton. Oops. Sorry-not-sorry, but I did have to exercise some pragmatism in that area, unfortunately. Now I only buy hardbacks from my favorite authors, the classics, or long-running series. Otherwise, I’ve surrendered to the times and our weight allowance and have gone all digital.

I stay strictly on the fiction side of the fence because non-fiction is generally too dry to hold my interest. I was always a scholar, and so have read enough textbook-like titles and required reading for school and college to last me a lifetime, thank you very much. So, non-fiction? No, thanks. However, barring non-fiction and biographies (ewww people), there’s not much out there I won’t read.

I have loved romance novels since I was prepubescent. Something about historicals and anything with horses, i.e., Native American inspired romances just did it for me. My grandmother was appalled that my parents let me read that ‘smut’ as she called it. I’d already justified my position on being allowed to read those controversial titles with a logical argument that there were a lot of historical facts in those books that couldn’t be learned in the classroom alone. And to this day, I maintain that stance. I have learned more from books, specifically romance and fantasy novels, than I ever did in a classroom.


My dad always said I was too smart for my own good. Looking back, he was probably right! I could logically talk my way into and out of just about anything. It’s served me well, but caused me no end of problems, too. That said, despite my love for the romance genre in general and the m/m romance genre in particular, there is little chance that a decent book of any kind will fail to catch my interest, and there’s nothing at all I’m unwilling to learn. So bring it on. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

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