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Against the Grain (THIRDS, #5)
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Against the Grain


4.19  ·  Rating details ·  4,814 ratings  ·  673 reviews
As the fiercest Defense Agent at the THIRDS, Destructive Delta’s Ash Keeler is foul-mouthed and foul-tempered. But his hard-lined approach always yields results, evident by his recent infiltration of the Coalition. Thanks to Ash’s skills and the help of his team, they finally put an end to the murdering extremist group for good, though not before Ash takes a bullet to save ...more
ebook, 220 pages
Published August 3rd 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
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Bloodred Yes according to Charlie's website it will be available in audible in October …moreYes according to Charlie's website it will be available in audible in October (less)

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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

Charlie Cochet, why did you do this to me?! Ash and Cael's story was supposed to be epic!!

I'm having a pity party over here, folks. I've been waiting on this story for the past few mediocre THIRDS books, and I was honestly expecting greatness. I've seen some glowing reviews, so I guess some people loved this one, but for me I think I'm being generous with my rating.

What really bothered me was Ash's lackluster and totally wimpy excuses as to why he wouldn't or couldn't be with Cael. I
~Mindy Lynn~

Yeah... That's exactly how I'm feeling after finishing this.

I was so excited about this story. I feel like I waited so long to get it and in the end it left me feeling just so unsatisfied.

I have a feeling I am going to be very alone in this boat of unsatisfactory.

But for me it just all kind of came off as predictable and the humor seemed so cheesy to me. The relationship felt kind of rushed as did the story even though it was over 200 pages. I wasn't feeling the Ex-boyfriend thing and especia
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Jan 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: male-action
3.5 Stars!

Got to admit....I'm a little disappointed with this one. Don't get me wrong I still liked it.

But I really felt like I was reading about a completely different Cael and Ash then what was portrayed in the previous books in the series.

I was always curious about what was holding Ash back, and I knew Cael would end up being a bit of a doormat, but I found myself a little bored with their romance.

I think my favorite parts of the book were the scenes with Dex and Sloane. I really never tho
This is the first book in the series that was centered on a new couple, and it's one we've all been waiting for. Cael is Dex's brother and he's a cheetah-shifter. Here's something I didn't know, but was all over youtube to hear it: Cheetahs chirp. It's freaking adorable!!

Isn't that so cute? ... wait, what about their daddy issues?

Okay, the daddy issues might explain why Cael is into Ash, a lion-shifter who is a lot older than him. Ash is a grump ash-hole who is horrible to everyone but Cael. He
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, m-m
3.75 Grumpy & Nerdy Stars

This wasn’t what I expected for Ash & Cael’s story and you know how long I waited to read it but still enjoyable. I expected something more for them. Their relationship went so smoothly. And another thing that bothered me was that the main focus wasn’t on them it was scattered between others. The first half was more about Sloane & Dex (from Ash & Cael’s POV), don’t get me wrong, there is no complaint here, you know who is my fave but still it was unfair to Ash & Cael. Th
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, shifters, military

It's time for Cash' story! In this book we finally get to know these guys better and see others from their point of view.

Cael and Ash both have their own demons they have to battle. Ash cares for Cael and he wants to be with him, but he's afraid of letting people get close to his heart. Though the feelings they have for one another are already strong and Ash tries to get his stuff together, so they can make their relationship work.

"I think I might die of how adorable this is," Ash said. "This
Reread September 2021

Ash still annoyed me in the beginning, but I love Cael and I'm still glad it all works out for him.

Reread May 2020

This one is still not my favorite but I enjoyed it more this time. I still don’t get some of Ash’s reluctance but he didn’t grate on my nerves as bad. Go figure 🤷‍♀️

Reread June 2019

Ash didn't annoy me as much this time around...go figure. I still didn't buy why he kept pushing Cael away. I wish it would have been explained better or more on page time to figuring
3,5 rounded up

It pains me to admit this was my least favorite in the series. I had such high hopes for this one. I've been dying to get to Cael and Ash's story. I absolutely loved them in all the other books, but here I didn't get what I expected. I wanted to smack Ash so many times! I felt like this dragged too much. There were SO many unnecessary scenes and Cael was super patient! I know I couldn't be this patient.

We already know about Ash's sad past from the previous books. So here we don't
3.75 stars

5+++++ for the Audio-book.

Mark Westfield's voice was made for these books. I love how he has been consistent with the voices from book 1. You can easily tell who is who.

I have loved Ash and Cael from book 1. They had chemistry from the get-go. BUT their book was a disappointment. Going in i expected to be blown away but sad to say i was not.


Ash- the Lion Therian, was just off. His character turned into this "i can't be with him because of my past". At some point i wanted to smack him
Trisha Harrington
5 stars!

Against the Grain is the fifth book in Charlie Cochet’s THIRDS series. I’m a huge fan of this series. It’s addictive and I love the characters and enjoy seeing what they get up to, both good and bad.

Against the Grain is a little different than the first four books. This time, we get Ash and Cael as our MCs instead of Dex and Sloane. Honestly, it was so good to get these two at last. It feels like it’s taken forever for them to get to their own book. This series is one of my favorites
DNF at 67%, and a good chunk of that was me skimming over the unnecessary filler.

Really, I have no one to blame but myself. Rise & Fall was barely 3 stars for me, and after reading a few of the lower-rated reviews for this book, I had a feeling that Against the Grain wouldn't be much better. But I had pre-ordered it, so I thought I might as well give it a try. I was disappointed, to say the least.

I was really looking forward to Ash and Cael's book, but this definitely wasn't what I'd expected. A
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
another update, I have in fact finished the book:

UPDATE!!!! I got the book :

Original Review:
After 4 books of sexual tension they are getting their own bookkkkkkk!!!





Please and Thank you.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Marte - Thunderella
*** 3,5 not what I hoped for stars ***

Rating 3 stars, and extra half star for old times sake and the story picked up towards the end.

Okay, so where to start.

First, I hoped for more with this book. I mean, it's Cael and Ash! I've been waiting for ever to get their story. What I got was not what I had hoped for.

There was literally no relationship build up in this one. No UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension). In the previous book Cael and Ash kissed, so that removes the excitement of a first-kiss-scene
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Can Contain Spoilers*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

My luck ran out. Book number five centers around Dex's adopted brother and a cheetah Therian, THIRDS Destructive Delta Agent Tech Expert, Cael Maddock (27?) and Sloane's best friend, Ash Keeler (37? 38? 39?), a lion Therian and Destructive Delta's entry tactics and CQC expert. I had kinda hoped every book would be centering around Dex and Sloane as I feel like their story isn't complete, but I was certain I wouldn't get my wish, and right I was. However, fr
Ash irritated the crap outta me, hence the 4 star rating. Loved Cael but Ash's ridiculous pushing away got old after a while ...more
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥

Okay Charlie, you had me for a microsecond there. It was good egg on my face, because I was ready to flip the crap out. You could have not done better IMO for Ash & Cael to me. I liked the pace that they took. I'm so happy it was not instant for them to get together. Thank you for kinda giving us strictly contemporary at this point. I know it's PNR, but I was kinda tired from the first few books and I kept forgetting things. LOL. I liked the refresher on terms at the beginning as well. Good job
* A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Stars

It’s been a long time coming getting Ash and Cael together, and though not as epic as I would’ve liked, this still had its sweet and poignant moments. As always, for me the happy ending that we get for these two is what ultimately counts.

Of course I loved seeing gruff, grumpy Ash fall hard and show his softer, vulnerable side. In turn, Cael is just one of the best guys ever. He has infinite patience and is devout in his love and utter trust with the reluctant Ash. Though I missed Dex an
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First off I just want to say how much I absolutely LOVE the whole THIRDS series! Second, Ash Keeler drives me nuts and Cael Maddox is the epitome of "sweetheart". Third, I did miss Dex and Sloane not being at the heart of this installment. Finally, as much as I missed Dex and Sloane being front and center, I loved seeing inside the gruff exterior of Ash and it's always a pleasure to see more of Cael.

When I first started Against I thought "what am I going to do without Dex's crazy love of everyth
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Re-read February 2019


I liked this more than I expected. A lot of my friends were disappointed in this book, so my expectations were very low. And I think that helped.

I got why some people would be disappointed in Cael and Ash’s story, because yes, this could have been better, but I was still happy with the way things turned out.

I expected lots of angst, since everyone was complaining about Ash getting his head out of his ass, but the relationship angst
Arch Bala
Feb 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I really did my best to get in the zone with this one but it’s not just for me. I ignored Ash’s asshatery towards Cael since he came around eventually but the story just didn’t click for me. Reading Austen’s POV was such a distraction and the whole Therian Intelligence Network (TIN) just made the whole thing a hot mess. The out made for Sparks was just all too convenient – and….


I loved that we still have a lot of Dex-time here who totally saved this read for me. I didn’t enjoy this one as much
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
BR with Sandi! Ash and Cael, Ash and Cael!! Hell yeah! I was so excited for this one and it didn't fall below my expectations!

How can a big, manly, lion Therian be afraid to fall in love? Well, enter Ash and hear his story from his childhood and you will understand. But who better to melt his heart than sweet and adorable Cael. One of the best parts is that Cael is Dex's brother and Dex and Ash are like oil and water.

What happens when two characters like Ash and Cael have pent up sexual frustrat
aksana  -  4 - 8 - 15 - 16 - 23 - 42 -
4.5 Stars
Nov 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: THIRDS Nerds
3.5 Stars

Can I tell you how excited I was to finally get Ash and Cael’s story? VERY EXCITED! There may have been some squeals heard when I got this book. Maybe. Though I’ll deny it actually happening if anyone asks.

I’ve been waiting for their story ever since Hell & High Water.

Picking up immediately where Rise & Fall left off Against the Grain starts off humorous with Tony confronting Sloane and Ash as to their intentions. As quickly as the humor comes so does the action, adventure, sexy times,
It was good to see the vulnerable gentle side that Ash displayed in this book. It made me actually see him in different light. It was bad that it took him so long to finally let go of the feelings he has carried since his teen years, but once he did, his and Cael's relationship was so passionate and at times sweet. Cael's past really surprised me. In a way it also showed the family dynamics between Cael, Dex and Tony. I liked getting a glimpse into their past. And Ash's life out of the office le ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
There's no doubt, Charlie has this entertaining series in the bag! As a means of escapism, when you just want to shut real life 'off' for a few hours, time spent with these guys and their action packed, fun, but still dangerous and exciting, escapades is the perfect diversion. What I love, is that having followed the series from the beginning, each time a new novel comes out, it feels like catching up with old friends. I know it's only fiction but Charlie has breathed life into this familiar, lo ...more
Virginia Cavanillas
3.5 stars

Loved the last 25%. Loooved it. And that’s why I’m rounding up.

Now, let’s find out what Calvin & Hobbs have in store for me.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m still going.

I love Ash but I seriously wanted to give him a swift kick to get him moving.

I’m loving these guys but it’s not completely won me over 🤷🏻‍♀️
4.5 Stars

Oh man, I dunno why I took such a long break with these books. Probably in part because of reviews I read for this, which didn't always favor it, and the fact that Dex and Sloane weren't the main couple of this one.

But I needn't have worried. I love this world, I love the characters, their relationships, and even though Dex and Sloane, who are still my faves in this series, aren't the main focus, they're still heavily featured of course, and that made me happy.

This is Ash and Cael's s
Cristina T.
First read: August 2015
Reread: March 2016 – BR with Trisha


I was kinda nervous about reading this book, because I skimmed a few reviews beforehand, and a lot of them contained the lines 'not what I hoped for'. I tried not to let that temper my excitement, and thought I should just see how I perceived the book, as we all see things differently. Well, the thing is, up until the 63% mark, I was prepared to give this book 3 stars. But the second half was way better, so I'll settle with 4 stars.

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Turning Pages At ...: Against the Grain (THIRDS #5) by Charlie Cochet 29 14 Sep 28, 2019 10:12AM  

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Charlie Cochet is the international bestselling author of the THIRDS series. Born in Cuba and raised in the US, Charlie enjoys the best of both worlds, from her daily Cuban latte to her passion for classic rock.

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found devouring a book, re

Other books in the series

THIRDS (10 books)
  • Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1)
  • Blood & Thunder (THIRDS #2)
  • Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, #3)
  • Rise & Fall (THIRDS #4)
  • Catch a Tiger by the Tail (THIRDS, #6)
  • Smoke & Mirrors (THIRDS, #7)
  • Thick & Thin (THIRDS, #8)
  • Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS, #9)
  • Tried & True (THIRDS #10)

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“He’d never admit it, but he counted Dex among his family. Sort of like the annoying brother-in-law. You’re happy he’s making your bro happy, but damn, sometimes you just wanted to punch him in his stupid smiley face. Who the hell smiled that much, anyway? A crazy person, that’s who.” 7 likes
“Come on, big guy. Let’s hit the showers.”

Cael patted Ash’s chest and walked off. Ash followed, but not before shoving Dex. He grinned when Dex fell into Taylor, his cheese snacks soaring through the air and hitting the carpet.

“My Cheesy Doodles!” Dex dropped to his hands and knees. “Noooooo! They were so young. So delicious.”
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