Audio Review: Charlie Cochet – Smoke & Mirrors (THIRDS #7)

Author: Charlie Cochet
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Paranormal
[xrr rating=4/5]

Narrator: Mark Westfield

Life for Dexter J. Daley has never been easy, but he’s always found a way to pick himself back up with a smile on his face. Taken from his home, and the arms of his boyfriend and THIRDS partner, Sloane Brodie, Dex finds himself in a situation as mysterious and lethal as the Therian interrogating him. Dex learns what he’s secretly believed all along: his parents’ death wasn’t an accident.

Discovering the whole truth about John and Gina Daley’s homicide sets off a series of events that will change Dex and Sloane’s lives forever. As buried secrets rise to the surface and new truths are revealed, Dex and Sloane’s love for each other is put to the test, with more than their relationship on the line. If traversing the waters of murder and secret government agencies wasn’t enough, something inexplicable has been happening to Dex—and nothing will ever be the same


I’m going to start this review by talking about the ending. This time, Charlie left me in tears in a good way. Thank God, because I have been overwhelmed by tearjerkers recently. So if you are very unhappy about some of those past cliffhangers, fear not. Our esteemed author has taken pity on her fans and given us a more positive finale. This time. No telling what she has planned for the future.

What comes in the beginning and the middle? Nothing but action-packed adventure, life-threatening changes, enemies and more enemies, torture, kidnapping, death, estrangement, new love, old love, secrets, answers, new perspectives on the past, and of course, on the future—Charlie Cochet’s creative genius at its best.

And the best news of all? The focus is primarily on Dex and Sloane in this story. I appreciate the way each book in the series completes a critical step in the process of revealing the grand plan concocted by those who are true enemies of therians, especially the first gen therians like Sloane and Ash. This story takes us much further much faster than some of the other books, which served to cement the foundation and may not have been quite so action-packed from beginning to end.

I want to strongly emphasize that this is the review of the audio version. Had I read it, I would have given it 4.5 to 5 stars, but because I didn’t care for the narrator, and many times couldn’t distinguish voices, I’m deducting a star from my rating. I know I’m in the minority. I hear the chatter among my friends and others on Goodreads, but sorry, to me, his voice—with the way he puts a lilt on the end of every sentence—drives me crazy. It kept pulling me out of the story, so I can’t ignore it in my review.

If you are a fan of paranormal stories, by all means start this series. Immediately! I would rank it in the top three shifter paranormal series of all time, right along with Andrea Speed’s Infected series, and the Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes. This book is not a standalone, however, so consider starting at the beginning with Hell & High Water and work your way through. You won’t be disappointed.


Dreamspinner Press 

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