The Foxling Soldati Release Day and Giveaway!

Hello, all! I’m super excited to announce the release of The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2)! Woot! I hope you enjoy Toka and Rayner’s story! To celebrate we’re having a giveaway! You’ll find the rafflecopter link at the end of the post.

BUY LINKS

Dreamspinner Press :: AmazonKindle :: Barnes & Noble :: Kobo :: iBooks

Synopsis

Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.

Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs—in Rayner’s arms.

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SeriesOrder

The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts, Book 1)
The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2)

Check out the Soldati Hearts inspiration board on Pinterest.

GIVEAWAY

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#TeaserTuesday – 8/15/17 Finding Mr. Wrong

Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday is a snippet from my upcoming Dreamspun Desires book Finding Mr. Wrong which is out Sept 1st, and currently available for pre-order from Dreamspinner Press.

Jax turned in the direction of his studio, stifling a gasp when Matthew wrapped his arm around Jax’s as they strolled down the street. They must have looked so mismatched. Matthew in his designer clothes, looking elegant and clean-cut, and Jax with his unruly hair, scruffy beard, dark jeans, and faded motorcycle jacket. They got looks as they walked by, and Jax couldn’t stop from murmuring an apology.

“What are you apologizing for?” Matthew asked, his expression puzzled.

“We keep getting looks. People are probably wondering what the hell a guy like you is doing with a guy like me.”

Matthew gaped at him. “You’re kidding, right?”

“What?”

“They’re not staring at me, Jax. They’re staring at you.”

“I know,” Jax muttered, feeling embarrassed.

“They’re staring at you because you’re gorgeous.”

Jax frowned. “That’s sweet of you, Matthew, really, but it’s not necessary.”

“You don’t even see it, do you?”

Jax had no idea what Matthew was talking about.

“Jax, you’re a stunning man. When people look at me, they don’t see anything special, just an average-looking guy who probably has more money than sense. For some, I’m just another Wall Street yuppie. But you? You look like you just stepped out of a photo shoot. You’re a gorgeous, rugged man with a killer body, bad-boy looks, and a smile that makes people want to have your babies.”

Jax let out a bark of laughter at the last part. He shook his head and snickered. “Stop.”

Matthew arched an eyebrow. “You don’t believe me, huh?” He came to a halt, and to Jax’s disbelief, Matthew stopped a young couple walking arm in arm.

“Excuse me. Would you help me settle a bet?”

The couple eyed him warily, but nodded. The young man, holding his sweetheart, arched an eyebrow at Matthew.

“Matty,” Jax grumbled. He could not believe Matthew was doing this.

“I’m trying to prove a point to my friend here. Would you have his babies?”

The young woman’s eyes widened. She looked Jax over and didn’t hesitate. “I would so have his babies.” She turned to her man, who nodded his agreement.

“I’d totally have his babies,” he replied.

Jax stared at them, his jaw slack. He opened his mouth to say something, when a white-haired elderly woman in a tennis visor and velvet pink tracksuit paused long enough to look Jax over. Her bright blue eyes twinkled with mischief as she spoke.

“Honey, I might not be able to have his babies, but that wouldn’t stop me from trying.”

Jax laughed and gave her a wink, then snorted out another laugh when she fanned herself with her hand.

“Thank you,” Matthew said, turning to Jax with a smug smile. “See.” He wrapped his arm back around Jax’s and started walking again, his smile wide. “Everyone wants to have your babies.”

He’s nobody’s definition of Mr. Right—but that might make him perfect.

Matthew Hart is heir to the family fortune and owner of Hart & Home. When a near-death experience has Matthew fretting over the future, he decides he needs a husband, and not just any husband—an appropriate man to protect the Hart legacy. The last thing Matthew expects is to cross paths with Jax Foster, his first love and the boy who crushed his heart when he disappeared.

Jax is unlikely to make Matthew’s list of suitable candidates. Bad boy, vagabond, deep in debt, with a father who can’t keep out of trouble, Jax has nothing to offer—except his heart and a second chance at the romance they never got to explore.

Pre-order Dreamspinner Press eBookDreamspinner Press Paperback

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Una rosa con cualquier otro nombre. La Rosa Caida #2

I’m very excited to announce that A Rose by Any Other Name (Fallen Rose #2) has been translated into Spanish from Dreamspinner Press, and is available for pre-order. It will released September 12th, 2017. This book can be read as a stand alone.

Una rosa con cualquier otro nombre
La Rosa Caida #2

Las noches en la trepidante ciudad les recuerdan a los jóvenes brillantes que la vida es demasiado corta para darla por sentado. Oculto en Times Square, se encuentra el Pantheon: un cabaret secreto para hombres homosexuales ricos. Hay chicos guapos con elaborados trajes y carmín en los labios que están ansiosos por complacer, y el champán fluye durante toda la noche. Es un mundo de frivolidad, fantasía y libertinaje. Bajo el nombre de Eros, el artista más cotizado del Pantheon, Julius utiliza su belleza y encanto con los entusiastas clientes, pero cada vez está más cansado de amores superficiales, desea tener una vida mejor.

Cinco años después de haber sido declarado mentalmente incapacitado tras sobrevivir a las trincheras en tierra de nadie, Edward Joseph Clarence júnior ha reconstruido su vida destrozada. Ahora está listo para hacerse cargo del imperio de la familia. Para celebrar su trigésimo cumpleaños, el primo de Edward lo lleva al club nocturno más elegante de la ciudad, el Pantheon. Presas del hechizo de Eros, Edward y Julius encuentran un amor que nunca han imaginado y la oportunidad de un futuro que solo se habían atrevido a soñar. Pero Ares, un conocido gánster y el más importante —y peligroso— cliente de Julius, los vigila, y la amenaza a su amor y a sus vidas crece día a día.

Release Date 
Type Novels
Words 99,466
Pages 281
ISBN-13 978-1-64080-105-9
Translator: Traductores Anónimos

Reservar de Dreamspinner Press

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THIRDS Thursday – 8/10/17

I did a poll on Facebook asking who readers would like the next flash fiction story to feature. Austen and Zach won by a landslide. We had part two last week, so here’s part three! Happy reading!


Part Three

“Please, just try.”

Austen was going to snap at Zach to fuck off when Zach held the mug out to him again. Oh, he meant the tea. Damn it, he was doing the pouty lip thing again. That shouldn’t work on a guy of Zach’s size. He shouldn’t be able to pull off sweet and vulnerable. With a grumble, Austen took the mug.

“Fine. If it’ll get you off my back.” He wrinkled his nose, and braced himself as he took a sip of the steaming hot liquid. It was surprisingly not revolting. Not willing to admit it, Austen didn’t speak, just sipped the tea. Zach sat there, smiling at him. Christ. Now what? Who smiled at nothing? Except maybe Dex, but Austen had stopped trying to figure the guy out years ago. What was Zach’s deal? Austen finished his tea, and put the mug on the table.

“Listen, I appreciate you doing Sloane a solid by accepting to babysit me, but I’m fine. I’ve had worse.”

Zach nodded, and stood. He walked over to the coffee table and picked up the mug. “I’ll heat up some soup for you in a bit. You should rest.” He walked off, and Austen stared after him.

What the hell just happened? Clearly, he was being too subtle. Zach returned, and took a seat on the couch.

“You need to go.”

Zach tilted his head. “Why?”

“Because I don’t need babysitting.”

“I agree,” Zach said.

Austen peered at him. “And yet you’re still here.”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Oh, my fucking hell,” Austen said with a groan.

“You curse a lot.”

“Yes. Yes, I fucking curse a lot. All the fucking time. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”

“Why?”

“Why do I….” Austen leaned in, eyes narrowed. “Because you’re annoying me, that’s why. I swear on my much beloved nads that if you say “why” one more time, I’m going to punch you in the face.”

“No, you’re not,” Zach replied matter of fact.

Austen arched an eyebrow. “Is that so?”

Zach nodded, a smile spreading across his stupidly handsome face as he made himself comfortable. He stretched his long jean-clad legs out in front of him. His brown leather biker boots probably weighed more than Austen. He laced his fingers on his flat stomach, the long-sleeved T-shirt straining over his bulging biceps. Jesus, did the guy not own shirts that fit? Austen would bet if he wrapped his hands around Zach’s bicep, his fingers wouldn’t touch.

“Hey,” Zach said softly, grabbing Austen’s attention.

Austen moved his gaze up to Zach’s face, and the knowing smile. Shit. He’d totally just been busted checking Zach out. Feeling his cheeks burning up, Austen threw his blanket over his head, and keeled over. He curled up on himself, his voice muffled under the blanket.

“Get out.”

“Nope.”

Dammit. What the hell? Maybe if he just stayed under his blanket, Zach would go away. “I don’t—”

“Need a babysitter,” Zach said gently. “I know. I’m not here to babysit you, I’m here to offer support. That’s what friends do.”

Austen’s heart skipped a beat, and he cursed himself for being such a dork. “We’re not friends.” He felt a hand on his head, and gasped. As soon as the shock wore off he hissed.

“We could be.” Zach’s tone was soft, and hopeful.

For crying out loud. Cut me a break, will you? “I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Austen muttered, curling up in a tighter ball. He swatted at Zach’s hand from under the blanket. Why wouldn’t Zach take the hint? They shouldn’t be friends. Being friends with Zach would mean getting closer, and Austen couldn’t do that. Not with Zach. Why did Zach even care? Austen had never been anything but a pain in the guy’s ass. Why did he keep coming back for more? Man, he was suddenly feeling tired. It was going to physically pain him to say the word, but he’d try anything at this point. “Please, go away.”

The hand moved away, and Austen stilled. The couch shifted, and he listened out for the door. Nothing. How could a bear Therian be so quiet? No creaking floorboards, heavy footsteps, nothing. Austen tugged his blanket down his face, and he found himself nose to nose with Zach.

“Holy crap!” Austen scrambled back until he was practically inside the couch cushions. “What the hell?” he growled.

Zach chuckled warmly, his amber eyes bright and filled with amusement. He was crouched in front of the couch where Austen had been curled up.

“You’re kind of jumpy.”

“No shit. That’ll happen when someone stick’s their nose in your face.” Okay, he’d had enough. He threw off his blanket, jumped off the couch, and the room spun. Flailing, he prepared to kiss the floor when he landed against something soft. He blinked up at Zach. For fuck’s sake. Again? Why did he keep ending up in this guy’s arms?

Zach’s brow furrowed as he looked down at Austen now cradled in his arms. He placed the back of his hand to Austen’s brow. “I think you have a fever.”

Somewhere in Austen’s head was a smartass remark, but suddenly he felt drained, achy, and sleepy. “I hate this,” Austen mumbled, closing his eyes.

“What’s that?” Zach asked, sitting down cross-legged. Austen opened his eyes, and Zach pulled the blanket off the couch. He covered Austen up to his chin, his strong arms around Austen as he shivered, both from his fever, and from being in Zach’s arms. He didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to feel safe, or comfortable. Too close. Too warm. Too… perfect.

“Being weak.”

“You’re not weak,” Zach said gently, but firmly. “You’re just not feeling well. We can’t be at our best all the time, no matter how strong we are. It’s okay to lean on someone. On me.”

Austen was so cold, and Zach was so warm. He turned into Zach, curling up against him, and burying his face against Zach’s chest, mumbling. “This doesn’t change anything.” He just needed a moment to recharge, that was all. Soon as the room stopped spinning, he’d tell Zach to leave, and go back to being a miserable jerk.

“I know,” Zach replied quietly.

Was that a smile he heard in Zach’s voice?

“Just this once,” Austen said, his body feeling heavy. “Then you go home.”

“After soup.”

Austen sighed. “Fine. After soup.”

“Go to sleep.”

“Don’t—” Yawn. “Tell me what to do,” Austen huffed as he tried to stay awake. Zach’s hand came to rest on his head, large fingers slipping into Austen’s hair, stroking, comforting. Austen would have swatted his hand away, but that would mean moving. He made a noise he was pretty sure conveyed his annoyance.

Just this once.


Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS Published by Dreamspinner Press.

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THIRDS Thursday – 8/3/17

I did a poll on Facebook asking who readers would like the next flash fiction story to feature. Austen and Zach won by a landslide. We had part one last week, so here’s part two! Happy reading!


Part Two

That was the problem with good guys like Sloane. They always wanted to help.

“Look, I understand better than anyone the dangers of losing someone you love to the job.” Sloane sat down next to Austen, and put a hand on his shoulder. “Do you think it didn’t scare the hell out of me every time I went out on a call with Dex? No matter how capable I knew he was, that didn’t stop me from worrying, because it wasn’t his skills I questioned, but the motives and vileness of what was out there. Even once we’re sworn in by TIN, and we’ve had all the training there is, that doesn’t mean I won’t stop worrying about him. Does that mean we shouldn’t make a life together? Shouldn’t have friends, or family?”

Austen frowned deep, his gaze averted.

“Zach doesn’t live in a bubble, and yes he works for Unit Beta. The risks he faces on the job aren’t the same as those of Unit Alpha, but there are risks nonetheless. You keep telling yourself, and everyone else that you’re trying to protect him from the dangers of your job, but the truth is, you’re protecting his heart from you.”

Austen’s head shot up, and he met Sloane’s gaze. It was frightening, and heartbreaking how much affection he saw in Sloane’s eyes. Austen was a lethal, trained TIN operative, but when he was around Sloane, it was like he was that frightened little boy who’d been tossed out into the street. His world changed when he met Sloane, and despite Sloane being a huge ass jaguar Therian, Austen felt safe with him, always had. Cheetah Therians were known to have difficulty trusting, due to their vulnerability as the smallest of the felids. It didn’t mean they weren’t strong, but they had big hearts that were easily broken. He shouldn’t have felt safe with Sloane after running into him, but he had. Austen trusted Sloane with his life, and his heart. He hated that Sloane was right.

“I know you’re scared, and I’m not telling you what you should do. I’m just saying that you need to really think about the reasons you’re pushing Zach away, and that maybe having a friend or two outside of Destructive Delta would be nice. You know we’ll always be there for you, and we want your around.” Sloane put a hand to Austen’s cheek, and smiled warmly. “We also want you to be happy, to have more than just the job. At least think about it, yeah?”

Austen nodded. Just then the doorbell buzzed. Dex got up and walked over to the security camera. He called out over his shoulder.

“It’s Zach.”

Austen sat there quietly for a moment. This was insane. He was not going to become BFFs with the guy just because Sloane got all sappy with him. What the hell was he supposed to do? Zach was already here. With a heavy sigh, Austen nodded. “Buzz him in.”

“Your tea should be ready,” Dex said, walking over to the kitchen after presumably buzzing Zach up.

“I know it’s still months away,” Sloane said, a big dopey smile on his stupidly rugged face, “but we’ve arranged it so everyone can arrive early to the estate the day of the rehearsal dinner to give everyone a tour. There’s plenty of room for shifting, playing, and pouncing. It was one of the bonus perks for picking this place. Maybe you should invite Zach for a run. I hear he’s pretty damn quick.”

Austen let out a snort. “Maybe, though he’s not as quick as I am.”

“We’ll have to see about that.” Zach walked into the living room, and smiled at Austen.

“Are you kidding me? There’s no way you’re beating me.”

Dex handed a mug to Zach, who brought it over to the couch. He took a seat beside Austen, and handed him the steaming mug of gross tasting tea.

“And why’s that?” Zach asked, putting his arm over the back of the couch as he leaned in to Austen. Needing to do distract him from the closeness, Austen listed all the traits that made a cheetah Therian the fastest Therian on the planet.

Sloane stood, and Austen stopped talking. Where the hell did he think he was going?

“Dex, and I better get going. Lou’s kinda scary when you mess with his schedule.” Sloane cringed. “Actually, when he’s in work mode, period, he’s terrifying.”

“You’re leaving?” Austen asked, dumbly. He looked over at Dex. Hell, he’d even take Dex. Wait, if Dex stayed—which he wouldn’t, but still—he’d meddle and try to play matchmaker. It was best the blue eyed menace got lost.

“Yep,” Dex replied cheerfully. His big smile making Austen want to punch him. Dex smiled at Zach. “Make sure he drinks all that tea, and at least two more. There’s soup in the fridge, make sure he eats all of it.”

Austen glared at Dex. “Screw you, Daley. I can take care of myself.”

“Really? What was the last thing you ate?”

“Pizza,” Austen said smugly.

Dex nodded. He pointed to the kitchen. “From the pizza box next to the trash bin? The one with the receipt time-stamped four days ago? That pizza?”

Oh, you fucker. “Just go,” Austen grumbled.

“That’s what I thought.” Dex turned to Zach. “Ninety percent of what comes out of his mouth is bullshit, so you’re going to have to read between the lines.”

Austen grabbed one of his throw pillows and chucked it at Dex’s head. Unfortunately, his reflexes were for shit right now so Dex managed to duck. With a cackle, the asshole headed for the door. Sloane waved as he followed his dorky fiancé.

“Rest up. Call if you need us to pick anything up on the way home.”

The door closed, and Austen put the mug of boiled leaf water on the side coffee table, before slinking down into the couch cushions, his knees raised, and his blanket pulled up to his chin. Zach was in his living room. Sitting next to him on his couch. Close. Too close.

“You need to drink your tea.”

Austen narrowed his eyes. “You need to not be so bossy. And no. It’s disgusting.”

Zach got up, walked over to the coffee table, and picked up the mug. Instead of handing it to Austen, he walked off into the kitchen. Well, that was easy. Austen heard cabinets opening and closing in the kitchen. What the hell was he doing in there? Austen leaned forward to try and see into the kitchen. Damn it. Where the hell was he? Maybe if he leaned a little more….

Zach appeared, and Austen quickly sat back. He peered at Zach as the huge-ass bear Therian walked into the living room. He held the mug out to Austen.

“I’ve put some honey in it.” Austen opened his mouth, and Zach held a hand up to stop him. “No bear jokes.”

Damn it. Austen lifted his chin defiantly. “Don’t care what you put in it. I’m not drinking it.”

Zach took a seat beside him, and turned, one knee bent on the couch so he could face Austen. He took up half the couch. Why were bear Therians so freaking big? Okay, yeah, so their feral halves were ginormous so it made sense they’d be huge in Human form. Plus, there was the fact Austen wasn’t exactly great in stature to begin with. With each of them being at the far end of the Therian size chart, it made their differences glaringly obvious. Austen dropped his gaze to Zach’s hand. The one resting on his knee.

“You got big hands,” Austen said before he could stop himself.

Zach held his hand up to inspect it. “Do I?”

Austen snorted. He put his hand up against Zach’s, the difference staggering. “Uh, yeah.”

Zach smiled softly, and moved his fingers slightly so they were in between Austen’s, not quite holding his hand, but if he bent his fingers he would be. Austen snatched his hand away, heat flaring through his face. He was such an ass. Zach wasn’t even his type. Not that Austen had a type other than “willing and able”, but even so, Zach was most certainly not his type. He was too big, too strong, too capable of overpowering Austen.  Never again. Austen shook those thoughts from his head. He wasn’t that weak, helpless kid anymore. Zach might be bigger, but Austen could take him down if he had to. He wasn’t falling for that gentle-giant bullshit. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice….


Part Three next week. Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS Published by Dreamspinner Press.

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#TeaserTuesday – 8/1/17 The Foxling Soldati

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! Just a little over two weeks before the second Soldati Hearts book The Foxling Soldati is released! I’m so excited! This week’s #TeaserTuesday features a snippet from the book which is now available for preorder from Dreamspinner PressAmazonKindleBarnes & NobleKobo, and iBooks.

2016Divider

“King Pavoni is an arrogant, greedy bastard who believes everyone should kiss his boots. He doesn’t merely allow his warriors to behave in a deplorable manner—he encourages it. He takes what he wants and treats his servants like slaves and playthings. It’s disgusting.”

“Rayner,” Khalon warned gently. He lifted his eyes from his letter to meet Rayner’s gaze.

Rayner cleared his throat. “Forgive me. There is no love lost between us.”

Riley frowned, puzzled, and Khalon let out a sigh.

“Pavoni wished to unite our kingdoms through marriage. As I was destined to mate with a Soldati prince, that left Rayner as the next most powerful Soldati. Pavoni suggested—”

“Insisted,” Rayner corrected.

“Insisted,” Khalon acquiesced, “that Rayner marry Prince Merlo.”

“But you didn’t love him?” Riley offered.

Love? The question perplexed Rayner for a moment. Then he remembered Riley had lived among humans who chose their mates. Not everyone was so lucky. Rayner fortunately had some say in who he wed, due to his rank. He frowned deeply. “Worse than that. If I agreed to the marriage, Merlo would have power within the Soldati Realm through me, which would mean Pavoni would have power over the Soldati because Merlo is his puppet. Merlo has never had a singular thought of his own in his life. Pavoni isn’t interested in uniting our kingdoms. He wants power. I wasn’t about to give the bastard control over me or the Soldati.” Thankfully, Khalon had agreed with Rayner on all accounts.

“What happened?” Riley asked, eyes wide. “I’m guessing he didn’t take the rejection well.”

Khalon sat back with a sigh. “Pavoni is known for getting his way, always. So no, he did not take it well. Especially when someone below his station tells him he would rather, um—” Khalon winced. “—get sucked off by a demon and have his cock rot off than marry Prince Merlo.”

Toka coughed into his hand, clearly an attempt to keep from laughing. Riley had no such luck, and he was soon in tears from laughing so hard. Khalon was trying desperately to keep his frown in place, but Riley’s laughter was obviously making it difficult, and Khalon’s lips twitched up in the corners.

“Oh my God, Rayner, you said that?” Riley wiped a tear from his eye. “The dude must have been so pissed off.”

“That would be an understatement,” Khalon informed him. “As you can imagine, Pavoni has held a great deal of contempt for Rayner since that day.”

“The feeling is mutual,” Rayner muttered.

2016Divider

Read Chapter One

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The Folxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts #2) is now available for preorder from Amazon!

Hello, all! The Foxling Soldati is now available for preorder from Amazon! So if you enjoy one-clicking, you can do so with Toka and Rayner’s story here: http://amzn.to/2eZ32pz

It’s also now available for preorder from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. You’ll find the links below.

Synopsis

Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.

Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs—in Rayner’s arms.

Preorder from:

Dreamspinner Press
AmazonKindle
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBooks

 

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SeriesOrder

The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts, Book 1)
The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2)

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THIRDS Thursday – 7/27/17

I did a poll on Facebook asking who readers would like the next flash fiction story to feature. Austen and Zach won by a landslide. So here you go! Happy reading!


Part One

He felt like crap.

Damn it. TIN operatives weren’t supposed to get sick. He knew this was coming. The second that douchebag had sneezed on him, he knew. Did henchmen not get paid sick days? The dude should have been at home, not at work infecting everyone with his germs. Granted, he’d tried to stab Austen, and that would have been far more inconvenient than contracting the mutant bug he’d been fighting for days. He’d tried to power through it, but the second Sparks heard his voice, she benched him. When she asked him about his flu shot, he cringed. He’d totally forgot. After she stopped breathing deeply though her nose—he could practically see her nostrils flaring—she asked him what medication he was taking. Apparently “whiskey” was the wrong answer. Then she went and narced on him to Sloane!

As if it wasn’t bad enough he was feeling like sludge, he had to deal with Sloane’s fussing, and Dex’s meddling. They were driving him batshit crazy with their mothering. Drink this, rub this there, inhale this, take that, get some rest. Did they not know who he was or what he did for a living? It was the flu, not freakin’ ebola. He made to get up off the couch, and the world spun off its axis, bringing him crashing back down.

“Fuck. This. Shit,” he grumbled against his pillow. Colds and flus are what mortals got, not TIN operatives. “This is bullshit.” Damn it, he had to get better.

Dex’s bachelor party was less than a month away, and for some ridiculous reason, he’d RSVP’d when he’d gotten the invite from Cael. What the hell was he doing going to a bachelor party? Especially since he knew a certain someone else had been invited as well. Just what he needed. It’s like the universe was purposefully fucking with him. Every time he thought he had a handle on things where Zach was concerned, some asshole, or some blue-eyed menace was determined to undo all his hard work.

Austen rolled onto his back, cocooning himself in the thick fleece blanket Sloane had brought him. He was fucking freezing, and the heating was on. He glared up at the ceiling. It had been odd at first, being in Sloane’s apartment, even after Austen filled it with his belongings. Gone were Sloane’s wall to wall shelves of books, and movies, the living room set and coffee tables. Austen’s space was sparsely furnished. An old habit. He’d spent most of his life moving around from one place to another. When he’d started working for TIN, he was earning enough to buy himself a home, but Austen had yet to find a place he felt he could call home.

This was the longest he’d ever held onto a place. Nearly two years. Fuck. He’d had Sloane’s place for almost two years, being extra vigilant, making damn sure no one even got close to figuring out he was here. The place was still under Sloane’s name, and the tenant an alias, one with an entire life, a busy guy who travelled a lot for business, so he was rarely home. Austen had also installed a ton of security.

Behind a picture frame by the door was a security panel that opened a section of the wall, revealing a high-tech display. With his handprint, or the right clearance, the wall opened, revealing several screens and security footage of the apartment building. There was a digital keypad, and typing in a sequence of numbers would open a section of the living room wall opposite the bookcase filled with all kinds of equipment and weapons. He had no idea what had possessed him to do that, but for the first time in his life, he felt a sense of calm when he got back to this apartment.

The alarm beeped, and there was a click. Austen groaned. The thought of two sexy male nurses would have put a smile on anyone’s face, except these two were determined to crush his libido, acting like a couple of big brothers, making him disgusting tasting tea, making sure he took his antibiotics, making him chicken soup, and patting his head like he was twelve. Two dopey faces smiled down at him from over the back of the couch.

“Hey there,” Sloane greeted.

“Aw,” Dex crooned. “He looks like an angry little caterpillar spinning a cocoon. Soon he’ll emerge as a deadly little Felid.”

Austen narrowed his eyes at Dex. “I want to seriously hurt you right now.”

“And I’m going to make you some of Darla’s special tea,” Dex replied, booping Austen’s nose. Austen snapped his teeth, but Dex moved his hand away.

“Flu’s making you slow,” Dex said with a chuckle as he walked off.

“Bite me, Daley,” Austen called out after him.

Sloane laughed softly. He came around the couch, and Austen slowly sat up. Man, his head was killing him.

“So,” Sloane said, fidgeting in front of Austen. “Dex and I have a bunch of appointments with Lou today for the wedding. Of course, if you need anything, you call us. We’ll be back tonight to check in on you.”

Austen peered at him. What wasn’t Sloane spitting out? “Just say it.”

“I um… well, we decided someone should be here with you, to you know, help out.”

Austen’s eyes widened, and he stared up at Sloane. “Don’t you fucking say it.”

Sloane cringed. “Zach’s on his way.”

It took Austen a moment for the fog in his brain to clear enough for Sloane’s words to make their way through. Zach. Coming here. It was either the fever making his blood boil, or he was just fucking livid. “Are you fucking kidding me?”

“You’re angry,” Sloane stated.

“No shit. Yes, I’m angry. No, scratch that. I’m fucking furious. He shouldn’t be coming here. Fuck, now he knows where I live! You’ve painted a huge fucking target on his back!”

Dex arched an eyebrow at him as he entered the living room. “Weren’t you the one who said Zach’s been under surveillance for a while now? That TIN’s keeping him safe? Besides, Zach can look after himself. You seem to keep forgetting he’s a THIRDS agent. And a fucking huge-ass bear Therian.”

“Yeah, in fucking Unit Beta. Those guys play defense. It’s their job to look fucking huge and scary as shit so their opponents back down without a fight. They’re the guys you bring in for crowd control, to escort dignitaries, and play bodyguard. Do I look like fucking Whitney Houston to you? I don’t need a bodyguard.” He’d bet his spots this had been Daley’s idea. The guy was so fucking annoying!

“No, but you need a friend,” Sloane said softly.

Austen’s eyebrows shot up near his hairline. “The fuck just came out of your mouth, Brodie?”

These two were unbelievable. Why couldn’t they get it through their thick skulls? Austen didn’t want Zach anywhere near him. He was trying to protect the guy, keep him away from all the grime, and fucked up shit surrounding Austen, and not all of it related to his job. Zach deserved someone good, and sweet, and fucking perfect, not a broken Felid that spooked at the mere thought of more with someone. Happily ever after was something that happened to guys like Sloane and Dex. Not Austen. He had nothing to give. No. He wasn’t going to be a sucker. He wasn’t going to get his hopes up only be tossed aside. There was no way he would ever, ever let Osmond Zachary near his heart.


Part Two next week. Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS Published by Dreamspinner Press.

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THIRDS Thursday – 7/20/17 Pick the Wedding Playlist

Hello, THIRDS Nerds! As I work on revisions for Tried & True (THIRDS, Book 10), I have a select number of songs picked for Dex and Sloane’s wedding that will be in book 10’s official playlist, but I also wanted to put together a wedding playlist. Then I thought it would even more fun if I let you guys pick the music! You get to be the wedding DJ’s!

Now the official playlist can only have so many songs (I’m thinking twenty at most), so the songs that aren’t chosen for the wedding album will go into the Tried & True Fan Playlist.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you that Dex and Sloane’s first dance as husband and husband will be to Journey’s “Faithfully”. I also have some fun surprises in store for the reception. I mean, it is Dex’s wedding after all. So what songs do you think should make it to the official wedding album? Place your song choices in the comments below!

I’ll be taking songs until midnight (Eastern US time), August 30th to give folks plenty of time to enter. The chosen songs will be posted on Thursday, August 31st.

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#TeaserTuesday – 7/18/17 Finding Mr. Wrong

This week’s #TeaserTuesday is from Finding Mr. Wrong, my upcoming Dreamspun Desires book which is now available for preorder from Dreamspinner Press! Happy Reading!

“Don’t you see? It makes so much sense now.”

“What?”

“Why you’re so scared of relationships.”

Matthew scoffed. “I’m not scared of relationships.” He’d been in plenty of relationships. Granted, they didn’t last very long, but that wasn’t his fault.

“Really? What happened to Mr. Wall Street?”

“You mean besides the fact that he was a jackass? He was clingy.”

“Clingy? He texted you to say he had a great time and wanted to see you again.”

“I know, but I could tell it wasn’t going to work.”

“You went on one date!”

“It was a long date. I got to know him well enough.”

“Oh, Matthew. Jax was the first boy you fell for. He abandoned you, shattered your sweet little heart, and now you’re afraid of it happening again, so you won’t let anyone get close to you. The second you find yourself facing more than a casual hookup, you’re out of there. I’ve read about this.”

Matthew rolled his eyes. “Here we go. How many times do I have to tell you? Romance novels don’t count as reliable reference material.”

“Hey, a lot of research goes into those books.”

“Yes, I’m sure scouring the internet for the right six-pack is arduous work.”

Adam looked unimpressed. “Maybe if you actually read one of the many books I’ve recommended, you’d see how there’s more to them than six-packs. Might even teach you a thing or two about romance.”

“For crying out loud. Fine. I’ll read one of your damn books. Can we please get back to what we were discussing?”

“Right. Jax breaking your heart. That would explain the countless men.”

“Countless? Really?”

“Okay, maybe not countless. We are talking about you.”

“Thanks.”

“What happened to Jax?”

Matthew sighed. “I tried looking for him once, but when I couldn’t find him, I gave up. It wasn’t like he’d bothered looking for me, so I clearly hadn’t meant that much to him. He probably forgot all about me.”

“You’re adorable.”

“Shut it.” If Matthew had really meant something to Jax, Jax would have gotten in touch. It wasn’t like Matthew was hard to find. Hart & Home’s website had his bio and credentials, as well as contact information. All Jax had to do was google Matthew, and done, but Jax hadn’t bothered once in the twenty years that had gone by. That was all Matthew needed to know about Jax’s feelings on the matter. For all Matthew knew, the guy could be married, have a bunch of kids, be happily in love and enjoying his life.

“Okay, so let’s get back to finding you a husband. Let’s make a list.” Adam took the pad and pen from Matthew’s desk and . “Tell me about your Mr. Right.”

Were they really doing this? Whatever. If it meant Matthew finding a husband, he’d go along with it. “Well, someone who’s kind.”

“Hot,” Adam added.

Matthew rolled his eyes. “Compassionate.”

“Great in bed.”

“Has a sense of humor.”

“Big and strong.”

Matthew narrowed his gaze at Adam. “Are we looking for my Mr. Right or yours?”

Adam’s bright green eyes filled with mischief. “Seeing as how I’m already searching….”

“You’re terrible. Okay, someone who likes animals, especially dogs.”

“Basically you’re looking for a nice guy who’s hot, compassionate, great in bed, is big and strong, has a good education, a good job, a sense of humor, and likes dogs.” Adam smiled at him. “Piece of cake.” He continued to jot things down.

“What are you writing?”

“Just adding a few bonus traits.”

Matthew released another groan.

“Don’t you worry about a thing. I’ve got this.”

“I’m a little scared right now.”

Adam waggled his eyebrows.

“That doesn’t reassure me. If anything, I’m even more scared.”

“You know, you could just ask your mom. She’d have them lined up out the door.”

The thought terrified Matthew, and Adam laughed—no doubt at his horrified expression.

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