Title: Love and Payne (A THIRDS Universe Novel)
Author: Charlie Cochet
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 4th 2018
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 200 pages
Reviewed by: Jia
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
A THIRDS Universe Novel
Austen Payne, THIRDS Squadron Specialist Agent (SSA) for Destructive Delta and TIN operative, has seen the worst the world has to offer, faced lethal killers, and helped bring down dangerous organizations. But nothing terrifies him more than falling in love. After years of undercover work, Austen is a master at defending himself and protecting his heart… until he meets Osmond Zachary.
THIRDS Defense Agent Osmond Zachary has a huge, doting family, yet something is missing in his life. After meeting grumpy, foul-mouthed, jittery cheetah Therian Austen Payne, Zach knows exactly what that something—or someone—is. Unfortunately Austen seems determined to avoid Zach at all costs.
When Zach foils an assassination attempt, he ends up in the killer’s crosshairs, and Austen is Zach’s best chance at staying alive. Zach hopes the crisis will bring them closer, but Austen has every intention of walking away as soon as the danger is over.
Happily ever after isn’t for guys like Austen, but Zach is determined to show him it can be…
This book is part of the THIRDS universe. I have only read the first book of the THIRDS series before this one and though having the info from all the other books could be nice I actually think the author does well enough in explaining things that it’s possible to read this as a standalone.
I feel like Austen’s bad past is more hinted at then outright told, some is told yes, but not all. It’s in the way he reacts around other people and the way he thinks. I think his character is well thought out and Zach is a sweetheart most of the time, even though he didn’t seem like one in Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1). It was nice to see so many characters take part in this story, Brayden – Austen’s closest friend and a bunch of Zach’s family (and they are rather many). The only thing I found with the characters is how they felt too good to be realistic. All of them, maybe it’s just me but so many people getting along perfectly and all so kind and good-natured. But hey, it might just be me.
I liked how Austen’s and Zach’s relationship grew into something not to be denied. Zach and Austen has known each other for three years but so far Zach hasn’t been able to get anywhere with Austen. Of course he hasn’t been in such close proximity for such a length of time before either.
Considering Austen and Brayden was there to protect, there didn’t seem to be much they did as to keep surveillance or prevent the bad guys from swooping in. I most definitely wouldn’t want Austen as my bodyguard. He’s a superb fighter and can stand his own among guys bigger than him but it’s more like they are having a family get-together rather than trying to protect Zach. That part of the story doesn’t work well for me. There are a few other things which raise a question mark for me as I wonder how can he know, how can they be so close… I don’t want to spoil anything so I don’t want to say more. Still Zach’s and Austen’s developing relationship and the suspense when things happen keeps my interest through the story without question.
If you’re not picky about these things then you’ll probably like this book. I usually am, but I still liked this book.