Review: Love and Payne (THIRDS #10)

Author: Charlie Cochet

 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

 Rating: 3 stars

 Buy Links: DSP & Amazon

 Type: Novel from a Series

 Received from Publisher


Blurb: 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….

Review:  I reread the entire series before reading this and I was looking forward to Austen’s book. Sadly, it wasn’t what I imagined it would be. Austen was a smartass, mysterious, and tough as nails in all the other books, but in this he was basically a doormat.

I HATE meddling family. Hate doesn’t even come close to word, but it’ll do. Zach’s family irked me so much I almost wanted to put this down and never pick it back up. I mean, we’re dealing with law enforcement professionals, right? Zach’s brothers and sisters aren’t teenagers acting out? Zach is the youngest out of 10 kids and he is definitely babied. His family has 96 people in it total. I’m getting itchy just thinking about it.

If you’ve read the previous books then you know Austen has been keeping an eye on Zach for a long time. He knows everything about him and his family, but Zach has no idea he’s doing this. So when Austen finds out Zach’s last mission went bad Austen rushes to his side. Cute, right? I thought so, too, until the family showed up. I’m not sure I could roll my eyes enough.

Austen needed to put his foot down and do his ghost thing and just leave the family in the dust. Get Zach to safety and worry about the rest later, but does he do that? Nope. He lets Zach’s ENTIRE family come with him. Yeah, because that won’t bite them in the ass later. I don’t care if they’re THIRDS or not, it’s not their job. It was on Austen to keep Zach safe. The whole “everybody is afraid of Mama Bear” thing drove me bonkers. She should know what her kids have to do since she’s been around for a while. She shouldn’t have insisted on being there WITH HER GRANDKIDS! Not even just her, but Zach’s brothers definitely should have known better.

I wanted so much more action in this, because I hated the family. I needed something to distract me, but it wasn’t there. I was so bored and I shouldn’t have been. I will say though, that I did like how Zach romanced Austen. He showed him that he’d be there and he was worth it.

“I see you.”

Overall, I needed less family, more action, and more of the Austen that I’ve come to know and love. This review sounds like this story was awful and it was FOR ME, but if you’re a fan of this series you’ll like this. I just can’t do meddling family (or friends for that matter). You’re a grown adult act like one!

I’m looking forward to more of this series though, especially Brayden and his fluffy tail.

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