#TeaserTuesday – 4/4/17 The Foxling Soldati

Hello, all! This week’s teaser is from The Foxling Soldati, book 2 in the Soldati Hearts series which is currently in edits and due for release late July.

A fierce roar echoed through the woods, and Toka gave a start. His heart beating wildly. It was Khalon. He giggled at Rayner’s deadpan expression when he spoke.

“I swear it’s as if he knows I’m enjoying myself.”

Toka gave Rayner a playful shove. “Go on. Your king summons you.”

“Oh, I see how it is,” Rayner teased, drawing Toka into his strong arms. “When he’s being a pain in the backside, he’s my king, but when he’s being magnanimous, he’s our king.” Rayner growled and nipped at Toka’s neck. The scoundrel.

Toka couldn’t help his laugh. “You are a rogue of the worst kind, sir. Charming foxlings with that handsome face and naughty smile. Having your wicked way with them in forests only to leave them pining for your touch.”

Rayner paused. He looked worried as he studied Toka. “You don’t really believe that, do you? That I have my wicked way with other foxlings?” He brushed his fingers down Toka’s jaw. “I promise you, you’re the only foxling I desire.”

Toka smiled sweetly, and he cupped Rayner’s cheek. He smiled and stood on his toes to give Rayner’s lips a sweet kiss. “I know I’m the only foxling you desire.” His smile turned mischievous. “However, the rest is true. You’re handsome, have a naughty smile, you’ve had your wicked way with me, and I’ll most certainly be pining for your touch the moment you step away.”

Rayner licked his bottom lip, his amber eyes glowing with a familiar fire. “Well, I suppose I’ll have to make certain I don’t leave you without my touch for very long.”

Toka pressed himself against Rayner, took Rayner’s hand, and placed it to his backside. “I’ll be waiting.”

“Oh, but I see I’m not the only one who’s wicked,” Rayner said with a groan. Another roar resounded through the woods, and Rayner sighed. Their king was not the most patient man. Rayner took Toka’s hand in his and brought it to his lips for a kiss. “Until our next encounter, my foxling.”

Toka nodded, watching Rayner turn, then break into a run, as sleek and graceful in his human form as he was in his feline body. Rayner changed into his tiger form and stopped to look over his shoulder with a chuff before running off. Toka placed a hand to his rapidly beating heart, unable to believe what had happened. He could barely contain his grin. For the first time in centuries, he felt… so wonderfully happy. It was foolish to think he and Rayner could have a future together, and yet his heart was filled with so much hope.

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#TeaserTuesday – 2/21/17 Darkest Hour Before Dawn (THIRDS, Book 9)

Hello, all! This week’s Teaser Tuesday is a snippet from Seb and Hudson’s book Darkest Hour Before Dawn which is book nine in the THIRDS series, and now available for pre-order! Enjoy!

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“How are you doing today?” Hudson tried to summon a smile. The least he could do was be civil, for Seb’s sake. The brothers were closer than ever, and Hudson wasn’t about to come between them. Rafe squinted at him, and Hudson let out a soft sigh. “I’m not being snide. I’m genuinely interested.”

Rafe still had a way to go to redeem himself in Hudson’s eyes, but Hudson felt for him. Having known the Hobbs family for years, being present for some of Thomas’s worst days, Hudson wouldn’t wish the condition on anyone. The knowledge that Rafe would one day end up in a wheelchair like his father, at the mercy of agonizing pain, hurt Hudson. Rafe was Seb and Ethan’s big brother. A huge tiger Therian, built of what seemed like solid muscle. At seven foot two and over three hundred pounds, he eclipsed Hudson’s smaller wolf Therian frame. As big as Seb was, Rafe was just that tiny bit bigger, certainly broader. It saddened Hudson. Rafe hadn’t always hated him. Once upon a time, Rafe had been kind to him, even smiled.

“I’m okay,” Rafe replied. He cleared his throat, looking larger than life as he sat across from Hudson. “Thank you for asking.”

Hudson nodded. “What can I do for you?”

“I wanted to talk to you about Nina. I know things are still strained between the two of you, and it’s my fault. She did it to protect me. Please, don’t be mad at her. She loves you, Hudson. If you could only see how much pain she’s in, how much she misses you.”

The last six months had been rather awkward. Although Hudson was on speaking terms with Nina, their relationship had suffered greatly. How could they get back to the way things were after she’d purposefully kept him in the dark? For months, day after day, she’d looked him in the eye, going on as if nothing had happened, and all the while sharing Rafe’s bed.

“I would have thought you’d be happy to be rid of me once and for all. She’s the only connection left between me and your family.” There was no bitterness in Hudson’s voice, only sadness.

Rafe straightened, looking affronted. “How can you say that? You’re connected to my brother in the most significant way possible, which, by the way, I don’t get you. You took three bullets for him, are obviously still as much in love with him now as you were then, and he worships you, yet you keep pushing him away. Why won’t you come home?”

Hudson inhaled sharply. Rafe’s words hit him harder than expected. “Why… why would you say such a thing?”

“That you two should be together?”

“No. That I should come home.”

Rafe raked a hand through his hair and let out a heavy sigh. He appeared to give a lot of thought to the question, as if trying to find the right words.

“Fuck it.” Rafe met Hudson’s gaze, his eyes intense. “Because you’re a part of our family, always were. You’re his home, Hudson. He’s been lost since you left, and I don’t want to see him in pain anymore. He deserves to be happy, and that’ll never happen without you. He needs you. My family needs you. My mom misses the hell out of you. She’s always asking about you. Ethan misses you, my dad—”

“Don’t,” Hudson pleaded, blinking back the tears in his eyes. “Please don’t use Thomas.”

“It’s the truth. You may not want to hear it, but that’s the way it is. We are your pack, Hudson. You walked away from us, and yes, I hated you for a long time for what I believed you were doing to my brother, but I think I also resented you.”

Hudson was stunned. “For what?”

“For leaving. No one blamed you. Okay, I blamed you, but I was an asshole. My mom, dad, Ethan, Seb, none of them blamed you. They just wanted you home.”


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

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#TeaserTuesday – 2/7/17 The Foxling Soldati (Soldati Hearts, Book 2)

Hello, all! This week’s Teaser Tuesday is a snippet from Toka and Rayner’s book, The Foxling Soldati which is book two in the Soldati Hearts series! Enjoy!

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[Khalon] stood and stretched before leaning over to kiss the top of Riley’s head. “You must meet with Uburto regarding your ceremonial wardrobe for the evening of the banquet.”

Riley wrinkled his nose. “He’s going to drown me in layers again, isn’t he?”

Rayner held back a laugh at Riley’s pout. His princely ceremonial garb was a far cry from the T-shirts and jeans Riley had been accustomed to wearing when he first arrived in the Soldati realm. Come to think of it, any princely garb he wore was a far cry from his previous human wardrobe. During events that required Riley to wear more than his trousers and a simple jerkin over a shirt, Riley had a habit of discretely shedding pieces of his clothing as the evening went on, much to Rayner’s amusement, and Khalon’s befuddlement.

Khalon hadn’t quite known what to do the first time it happened. One moment Riley was dressed in various layers, including a regal cape, next moment he was in his trousers, and a thin royal tunic over his shirt. Rayner was quite certain the man hadn’t even worn a belt. The most fascinating part was that after the initial shock wore off, no one cared. They were all so charmed by Riley that the man’s lack of royal attire became no consequence, simply another quirk of the dashing Soldati Prince.

“I know,” Khalon said through a chuckle. “It’s not as if you’ll be wearing it for long.” He gave Riley a pointed look, but the sternness was gone the moment Riley’s cheeks went pink. Khalon realized what Riley had taken his words to mean, and coughed into his hand. “What I mean, is um, you tend to remove your clothes, um….”

“Not helping,” Riley muttered.

“Right. I’m going to go… do the things.” Khalon pointed to the door.

“Yeah, you go do the things,” Riley said, his lips pressed together as Khalon rounded his desk. Khalon narrowed his eyes at Rayner as he walked by.

“Oh, be quiet.”

Rayner suppressed a grin, and held his hands up in front of him. “I didn’t say anything.” Grumbling to himself, Khalon left the office, and Rayner fell back against the chair with a laugh. “The man is absolutely hopeless around you.”

Riley let out what sounded like a dreamy sigh. “Yeah, he’s something all right.”

“You two are adorable.”

Riley gave a sniff. “Now I know why he’s always telling you to be quiet.”

“A very noble attempt on his part,” Rayner teased.


Copyright © 2016 Charlie Cochet. Soldati Hearts published by Dreamspinner Press.

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THIRDS Thursday – 11/17/16

THIRDS Thursdays

Prompt: I’d love to read about Ash and Cael going to brunch with Ash’s mom. Thanks so much!!


“This is ridiculous.”

Ash scowled at himself in the mirror. He’d been at this for an hour now. He turned to Cael with a frown. He lay the gray tie over his charcoal gray shirt beneath his collar.

“Tie or no tie?”

Cael smiled warmly as he crossed the bedroom to stop in front of Ash. He placed his hand over Ash’s, his voice gentle when he spoke.

“Ash, do you think your mom’s going to be happier to see you or the tie?”

Ash blinked at him. “Well, when you put it that way.” He tossed the tie onto the bed then turned to draw Cael into his arms. “Thank you.”

“For what?” Cael cocked his head, and Ash chuckled softly. How could Cael not see how much his support meant to him?

“For being here. For coming with me.” Ash brushed his fingers down Cael’s cheek. “I don’t think I could have done this without you.” He swallowed hard, still unable to believe he was going to be having brunch with his mother. There wasn’t a whole lot that Ash really gave a shit about. Very little ruffled his mane, because that would mean it mattered to him. Yeah, he bitched and griped, but that was mostly things pissing him off in general, but really get to him, enough to make him nervous? No.

A part of Ash was hesitant, telling himself it was too little too late. Why hadn’t she stood up to his father years ago, when he’d needed her most? He’d just lost his brother, and then shifted for the first time. He’d been terrified, in need of the woman who’d hugged them close at bedtime, and told them stories. Where was she when his father turned on him? The man had been an asshole, always. He’d looked for any excuse to “discipline” him and Arlo, though Ash had done his bets to keep his brother away from their father’s belt.

“Ash? Talk to me.”

Ash shook himself out of it, finding Cael’s hand on his where Ash had it over his cheek. He’d been rubbing it without realizing.

“I got hit in the face once, with the buckle of my dad’s belt. He used the end with the buckle because it would hurt more.” Ash wrinkled his nose at the memory. “Usually it was where our clothes would cover the marks, but I’d made the mistake of talking back. Actually, I think I was pleading with him. If I talked back, I was insubordinate and needed discipline. If I surrendered, I was pathetic.” Ash walked over to the bed and sat on the edge of it, his head in his hands. “Maybe this is a bad idea. She didn’t just throw me away, she let him hurt us. I’m sure he hit her too. We just didn’t see it. Why didn’t she do anything?”

The bed sank down beside him, and Cael’s soft voice broke through his pain.

“Maybe she was too scared. Terrified of what he’d do if she left. Where would she go? Who would she ask for help? What if they thought she was too weak to take care of herself? Maybe it was all so terrifying, and overwhelming that she didn’t know how to help herself, much less her kids.”

Ash straightened, his heart squeezing in his chest at Cael staring down at his fingers. “Cael?”

“I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel how you feel, or that she couldn’t have done more. I’m just saying I understand how scared she must have been.”

Ash drew Cael into his arms. He kissed the top of his head and ran a hand over his back, soothing him. “I’m sorry I dragged you into my drama.”

Cael pulled back, a deep frown on his face. “You didn’t drag me into anything, Ash. I love you, and I want to be here for you no matter what. This is about you, what you feel, and what you want. It’s not about me. What I feel doesn’t matter.”

“It matters to me,” Ash replied firmly. “You are the most important person in my life, Cael. Don’t ever question that.”

Cael’s smile reached his big gray eyes. He threw his arms around Ash’s neck, and kissed him. Ash wrapped his arms around him as he returned Cael’s kiss. He was warm, soft, and tasted deliciously sweet. Ash was tempted to stay right here, in bed, with Cael in his arms, kissing him, making love to him.

As if reading his thoughts, Cael smiled against his lips. “We should get going.”

Ash huffed. “Fine.”

Cael chuckled, and stood. He held his hand out to Ash, which Ash promptly took.

“You look amazing.”

Cael looked down at himself, tugging on the end of his gray vest, and shrugged, but there was no mistaking the blush in his cheeks. “It’s nothing special.”

The dark jeans looked fucking sexy on his lithe frame, and the preppy gray vest over the fitted blue and gray checked shirt accentuated his slender waist. The top button of the collar was open, and the sleeves neatly folded up to his elbows. Ash was still amazed that Cael wanted to be with him. He was just so damned… beautiful.

Ash placed a kiss to the top of Cael’s head. “You’re something special.”

“You’re such a big softie,” Cael purred, standing on his toes to give Ash’s lips a kiss.

“Only for you,” Ash teased. Fuck, he really was turning into such a sap. As long as Dex didn’t get wind of it, he’d be fine. Besides, it wasn’t like Sloane wasn’t a total sucker for Dex, and he didn’t care who knew it.

Ash laced his fingers with Cael’s, and they headed for the door. The café they’d chosen near Central Park was cozy, and when they arrived, his mother was already there. She’d gotten them a table near the back which Ash appreciated. It offered them a little more privacy. A lump formed in his throat when she smiled at him. She stood, and made to move toward him but stopped herself. As if she wasn’t sure she should, so he took the initiative, kissing her cheek.

“Hi.”

“Hi.” Her eyes were glassy as patted his arm. She smiled brightly at Cael, and gave him a hug. “Cael, it’s so good to see you again.”

Cael smiled sweetly. “It’s good to see you too, Vivian.” He took a seat across from her, and Ash sat beside Cael. The waitress came, and they put in their order for coffees and pastries. Food was the last thing Ash wanted right now. Cael and Vivian exchanged pleasantries until the waitress returned with their drinks and food. Cael thanked the young woman, and took a sip of his decaf coffee, the table falling into silence. Ash noted the way his mother absently shifted the cutlery, or touched her cup without picking it up. She was nervous. Finally, she looked up at him.

“Thank you for coming. I wasn’t sure you would.” She dropped her gaze to her lap. “I wasn’t sure why you answered my call to be honest. I wouldn’t have blamed you if you told me… to never contact you again.”

Cael pressed his thigh to Ash’s, letting him know he was there, and Ash found the courage to speak up. How was it he suddenly felt like a little boy again? How did she still feel like his mother after so many years apart? After she’d abandoned him.

“I wanted to give you a chance,” Ash admitted. “I think we both deserve a second chance. In all honesty, I was surprised you called, and even more surprised you’d left him.”

She nodded. “After seeing you… I couldn’t go back to the way things were. I missed my baby boy.” Tears filled her eyes, and Ash placed his hand over hers, doing his best to remain quiet and composed while she said what she clearly needed to. “I failed you in so many ways, you and your brother. Before and… after.” She shook her head, her bottom lip trembling. “I was so scared, and devastated. I couldn’t believe Arlo was gone, and then you… you shifted. I know that’s no excuse. I… I let him… hurt my babies.” She broke into tears, and Ash went around to sit beside her, pulling her into his embrace. She buried her face into his chest, and he kissed the top of her head as she sobbed. He had tears running down his cheeks, but he didn’t care. He focused on his breathing, and comforting his mother. he wanted to be mad at her, hate her for what she’d done, but he never did. Not really. He blamed himself. Told himself she left because he was an abomination. He’d had so much anger inside him for so long, he didn’t want to go back to that. He’d changed. Maybe not completely, but where it mattered. He had so much good in his life now.

When she pulled away, she thanked Cael for the napkins. She dried her eyes and blew her nose. She wouldn’t look at Ash. “I don’t know how you can stand to look at me. I’m a failure as a mother. If I’d done something sooner…. If I’d taken you and Arlo, and left, Arlo might be alive today, and I’d have my boys.”

Ash placed his fingers under her chin, and turned her face so he could meet her gaze. So much heartache and pain in her blue eyes. “Listen, I know what it’s like to live your life steeped in regrets and what-if scenarios. Don’t. What happened to Arlo wasn’t my fault, and it wasn’t yours either. The past can’t be changed, but we can have a future. A family. I’d really like for you to be a part of my life.” He reached across the table to take Cael’s hand in his. “Of our lives.”

She looked up at him with big wide eyes. “Really? You… want me in your lives?”

Ash nodded. “Very much.”

His mother threw her arms around him and squeezed him tight. He couldn’t help but wrap his arms around her. He turned his face into her hair, and closed his eyes. Her scent hadn’t changed. Still the soft rose scented perfume she’d always worn. Back then his arms just about encircled her waist. Had he really been that small? She felt so tiny and fragile in his arms, and a fierce sense of protectiveness washed over him. She’d been hurt too, by a man who’d vowed to cherish her and love her. Richard Keeler should have protected his family, loved them. Instead he wallowed in his misery, growing bitter, angry, and taking his pain out on his family. Not anymore. Not while Ash could do something about it. He pulled away, and wiped her cheeks.

“Where are you staying? Are you safe?”

“Yes. When your father—”

“Richard,” he corrected. “He doesn’t deserve that title.”

She nodded. “When Richard went out to drink with his friends, I went online and looked up organizations that might be able to help me. I found one whose mission included helping women in similar situations. I went to their office, spoke to a lovely Therian lady who listened to every word I said. I admit, I was afraid she would ask me to leave, knowing what I had done. I told her how much I missed you, and how after seeing you, there was nothing I wanted more than the chance to have my son back. She took my hands, smiled, and said she was glad I came to them. They helped me move out, found me a lovely apartment, a job, and an incredible divorce lawyer.” She smiled wide, and Ash couldn’t help his grin.

“I’m so happy for you.”

“I was terrified, but now… I’m happy for me too.” She gave his hands a squeeze. “For the first time in years, I feel like my own person, like I have a say in my own life.” She turned to rifle through her purse, removing a piece of notepad paper and a pen. She scribbled something down before handing it to him. “You already have my cell phone number. Here’s my address. Please come visit whenever you like. You and Cael.”

Ash took the paper with a smile, and nodded. He folded it up and put it in his wallet. Standing, he sat back down across the table next to Cael, and kissed his temple before turning back to his mom. “You can bet on it. And any time you’d like to come over, just let me know. The only reason you need to call is because my work schedule changes a lot, and I’m basically always on call in case of an emergency.”

“Of course.” Her smile grew sly as she looked from him to Cael and back. “Plus I wouldn’t want to barge in on you boys, um, enjoying each other’s company.”

Ash’s eyes went wide, his face all but spontaneously combusting while Cael giggled beside him. Ash arched an eyebrow at him.

“What?” Cael asked innocently. He leaned in, whispering loudly. “I like her.”

Vivian laughed, the sound filling Ash with warmth. When was the last time his mother had laughed? Ash poked Cael on his side playfully, making him squirm and laugh. Cael started chatting enthusiastically with Vivian, telling her how she had to meet the team, including his crazy brother who was the boyfriend of Ash’s best friend Sloane, then regaled her with tales of their team’s shenanigans, usually instigated by his brother. Ash was happy. He’d lost his family and found one in Destructive Delta, and now his family had grown again to include his mom. Maybe Sloane was onto something with this whole family thing. Ash was certainly happy to find out.

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#TeaserTuesday – 11/15/16 The Soldati Prince (Soldati Hearts, Book 1)

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! Today we have an excerpt from my upcoming release The Soldati Prince which is out on November 23rd! It’s currently available for pre-order from Dreamspinner PressAmazonKindleAll Romance eBooks, and Barnes & Noble. I just submitted the second book which is Rayner and Toka, along with more from Riley, Khalon, and the Soldati Realm.

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Around them the birds chirped and Riley smiled when he saw some squirrels playing. Soon some other furry little creatures joined in. A group of rabbits appeared, heading swiftly in the same direction. Did rabbits travel in packs?

“Um….” Riley caught up to Rayner. “Quick question.”

Khalon let out a heavy sigh. “Your questions are never quick. And here I thought I might have a moment’s peace.”

“Your charm continues to astound me,” Riley drawled before turning his attention back to Rayner. “Are the animals in this forest always in such a hurry?”

Rayner stopped. He sniffed the air and narrowed his eyes, peering into the woods. He turned and gave Adira a nod. She leaped into action, darting off into the woods while Ezra took off in a different direction. That didn’t bode well.

“What’s going on?” Riley asked, a chill spreading through him. He didn’t like this. Something was wrong. There was a distant roar and Rayner’s eyes widened. He grabbed Riley’s arm.

“Run!”

Before Riley could ask, the sun was swallowed in darkness, or so it seemed. A thick fog rolled into the woods all around them and Khalon pulled Riley between him and Rayner as they sped down the trail. The fog became so thick Riley couldn’t see what lay two feet ahead of him. He trusted Rayner and Khalon not to run him into a tree.

A horrifying shriek resounded before it multiplied into several more, followed by two familiar roars. Riley’s heart was ready to beat out of him. He didn’t need to be told what was behind them. The tattoos on his arm burned but he ignored it, too horrified by the noises coming from within the fog. He could barely see a thing, and as much as he hated to admit it, he was scared shitless. Whatever number of demons had shown up in the alley last night was nothing compared to what was after him now.

“Khalon, what’s happening?” Riley asked as he did his best to keep up with the warriors on either side of him. He really needed to lay off the cake. If he survived he’d have to remember to thank Tura for the boots because his sneakers—and feet—wouldn’t have survived the jagged rocks and harsh terrain of the woods. An icy wind whipped in his face and his lungs ached from his heavy breathing, but he continued to push himself, his boots kicking up dirt and pebbles as he raced down the path.

“There’s a village not far from here,” Khalon informed him. “Straight ahead. Whatever you do, don’t look back, and don’t stop.”

Despite what Khalon might think, Riley wasn’t an idiot. He had no intention of stopping until he either ran out of ground or collapsed from exhaustion. Amazing how the threat of being killed by demons unlocked a level of athleticism Riley never knew he had.

The noise intensified and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Something was close. He could feel it. Like it was clawing at his soul. His chest got tight and it suddenly became harder to breathe. What the hell? Was he running out of steam already? He wasn’t that out of shape. His lungs burned and he felt dizzy. No, this was something else. His vision flickered, and when a strange pulse erupted from his chest, he got scared and cried out.

“Khalon!”

Riley didn’t know why he called Khalon’s name, but when the world around him spun off its axis, his vision growing dark and his legs giving out from under him, he was relieved and grateful Khalon was there to catch him.

 

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#TeaserTuesday – 10/4/16 Disarming Donner (North Pole City Tales, Book 5)

TeaserTuesday

Hello, all! This week’s #TeaserTuesday brings us an excerpt from Disarming Donner, book 5 in the North Pole City Tales series which is due for release in December. Enjoy!

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Where was everyone?

“Perhaps we can find a way to amuse ourselves until the others arrive.”

Donner’s cheeks burned, and his heart fluttered most awfully. He spun on his heels and found himself face-to-chest with Calder. Swallowing hard, he lifted his chin. It wasn’t right for an elf to be so tall, or so… broad and muscular. Calder smiled, and Donner’s heart fluttered again. How very annoying.

Calder moved his arm, and Donner took a quick step back. He was surprised when Calder held out his hand.

Donner blinked up at him. “What are you doing?”

Calder nodded toward the empty ballroom floor.

“I’m not dancing with you.” The very nerve. As if Donner would do such a thing. It would require him holding Calder’s hand and getting… close.

Calder shrugged. He put one hand to his chest and held the other out before he began to dance and sway. Plum pudding. The elf had gone mad. Calder smiled as he danced, his large stature not impeding his easy grace in the least. Donner would never have suspected the elf to possess such flair. It was difficult not to watch him, and even more so to appear indifferent. Not when Calder waltzed around him. The orchestra began to play a soft melody, and Donner cursed under his breath. Were they trying to be droll?

“Join me,” Calder said.

“No.” Donner folded his arms over his chest. Absolutely not. Dance with a Dockalfar? Absurd. He could just hear the gossip now.

Seemingly unperturbed by Donner’s refusal, Calder began to sing.

Oh for the love of holly. He sings too? Calder sang in a smooth baritone that did the strangest thing to Donner’s skin. He didn’t like it one bit. He especially didn’t like it when Calder sang about Donner’s eyes and the stars.

Calder danced closer, his voice low and dripping with honey. “Dance with me.”

“I’ll do no such thing.”

“Afraid I’ll sully your reputation?” He stopped behind Donner and murmured in his ear. “Or afraid you might like it?”

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THIRDS Thursday – 9/22/16 Thick & Thin Excerpt

THIRDS Thursdays

Hello, all! Here’s a snippet from Thick & Thin (Sequel to Smoke & Mirrors) which was recently contracted by Dreamspinner Press and due for release in Feb 2017. Thick & Thin is a novella which continues where Smoke & Mirrors left off. In this scene, the team has been called out to Greenpoint, which also happened to be Dex’s first real call out back when he started on Destructive Delta. My how things have changed.


“You okay?”

Dex clipped Sloane’s PSTC kit to his tactical backpack. He smiled at Sloane. “Let’s do this.”

“Hey.” Sloane pulled him close, placing a gloved hand to Dex’s cheek. “You don’t have to pretend with me, you know that?”

“I’m a little nervous,” Dex admitted. “But I’ll be okay. Be careful out there, okay?”

“You too.” Sloane gave his lips a quick, but sweet kiss before he slipped behind the privacy screen.

Okay, Daley. Get your shit together. Time to pull his head out of his ass and get to work. He lowered his visor, and grabbed his tranq rifle from the weapons cage. Securing it closed, he met Rosa’s concerned gaze through the rearview mirror and gave her a wink. His team needed him.

“We’ll be back before you know it, Rosita bonita.”

“You better. Go kick some ass.”

Sloane’s pained groans and roars resounded through the closed truck, and Dex closed his eyes for a moment, letting the sound wash over him. His muscles tensed, and he gritted his teeth at the pulse of pain that spread through him. His muscles twitched, and he breathed out slowly through his mouth. Sloane’s Therian roar did something to Dex, and his eyes snapped open. His heart raced, and his pulse picked up. The pain in his body eased, and Dex hit the button to raise the privacy screen. Sloane’s fur bristled, and he lowered his head, his ears flat against his head. Why the hell was Sloane hissing at him?

Dex crouched down so they were at eye level. “What’s going on, babe?”

Another hiss left Sloane before he gingerly approached Dex, sniffing him, as if he didn’t recognize Dex. What the hell? Dex remained perfectly still as Sloane circled him. He sniffed at Dex, before pushing his nose against Dex’s cheek. Dex put his hand on Sloane’s head, and gave him a scratch.

“You had me worried for a second there.” Dex stood, and Sloane rubbed his head against Dex as he circled him, leaving his scent. When he was done, he padded to the end of the truck. Dex opened the door, and they hopped out.

“Took you long enough,” Letty grumbled. “We doing this or what?”

“You got a date or something,” Calvin teased, scratching Hobbs behind his ear. Hobbs let out a chuff, and playfully bumped his head into Calvin’s leg. “Planning on having a little Sci-fi marathon?”

“Shut up, Cal.” Letty cursed at him in Spanish before marching off ahead of them, Ash on her heels. What the hell was that about? Dex arched an eyebrow at Calvin. Mischief filled his friend’s blue eyes and Dex gasped.

“Oh, sweet baby Jesus, you found out Dimples’ name!”

Calvin grinned broadly, and wriggled his eyebrows. “He called this morning for Letty, and Lisa put the call through to me by accident. We had a friendly chat.”

“You ladies coming, or you gonna stand around all day gossiping?” Letty growled at them. Ooh, she was so not happy with Calvin. This was awesome.

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THIRDS Thursday – 8/25/16 Thick & Thin Excerpt

THIRDS Thursdays

This week for THIRDS Thursday, we have an exclusive excerpt from Chapter Four of Thick & Thin. Enjoy! **Contains spoilers from Smoke & Mirrors**


“Sloane.”

His name was almost a whisper on Dex’s lips, his chest rising and falling rapidly. Sloane opened his eyes, and was met by pools of glowing amber. They were stunning. He shouldn’t be surprised. Dex’s blue eyes were the most beautiful blue he’d ever seen, and now they glowed a fiery amber. They were brighter than Sloane’s, as if flames burned behind them. Dex’s lips were swollen from Sloane’s kisses, his fair skin flushed.

“I’m sorry for being so selfish,” Sloane admitted quietly as he stroked Dex’s skin under his T-shirt.

Dex’s brows drew together. “What are you talking about?”

“There’s so much we don’t know about what my blood has done to you, but…. I can’t help thinking about how you carry a part of me inside you. You’ll always have a piece of me. With my claws, I pierced your flesh, and my blood bonded us. Now, my DNA is fused with yours.” He pulled a hand out from under Dex’s shirt so he could take hold of Dex’s hand. Embarrassed, he shook his head and brought Dex’s fingers to his lips for a kiss. He kissed the tip of each finger in the spot where his claws extended from. “I’ve made your life more difficult, and I’ve put you in danger.”

Dex opened his mouth to reply, and Sloane placed his fingers to his lips.

“We both know it’s true. God knows what would happen if word got out. A Human with Therian traits? Our strength, speed, enhanced healing, razor sharp claws and teeth. They’d try to take you from me.”

Dex’s eyes clouded over. His canines elongated, and his amber eyes flashed. “They can try.”

Despite the ferocity in Dex’s hiss, Sloane couldn’t help his chuckle. He placed his hand to Dex’s cheek. “Look at you. My fierce little felid-in-training.”

All at once, warmth flooded Dex’s features and his expression softened. His eyes returned to their brilliant blue and he smiled at Sloane.

“The only reason I’m not freaked out about this, is because it’s you. Like you said. What’s inside me is a part of you. I know you. I know the kind of man you are, and I know how much you love me. I’m not scared.” Dex bit down on his bottom lip. He looked up at Sloane from under his lashes. “I am curious though.”

Sloane arched an eyebrow. “About what?”

“What the sex will be like.”

“Oh.” Sloane hadn’t considered that. Dex was stronger now. Maybe even as strong as Sloane. “Oh.

A wicked smile spread across Dex’s face, amber spreading from his pupils. “I think it’s time to practice my pouncing.”

Sloane’s eyes widened. His heart skipped a beat and his pulse soared. He could smell it now. The shift in pheromones. The thick fog of sex and heat threatened to consume him. Well this is new. He wasn’t simply being confronted by his mate, but another predator. For the first time, Sloane was the prey, and his body knew it, could feel it. He gingerly slipped Dex off him, his eyes never leaving Dex’s as he stood. Sloane’s movements were slow, deliberate, as he edged closer to the stairs, his gaze locked on Dex. His partner didn’t move a muscle. He just followed Sloane with his eyes. Sloane was so hard; the softest touch would be painful.

Dex’s lips tugged at one corner. He spoke, his voice low and filled with the promise of a good, hard fuck when he caught Sloane.

“You should run.”

Sloane did. He took the steps up to the bedroom two at a time, making it just inside the door when Dex grabbed him from behind and lifted him off his feet.

“Holy fuck!” Sloane flailed briefly before he was tossed on the bed. He rolled onto his back, his pulse racing as Dex crawled over him. Damn he was fast. And strong. Dex kissed the breath out of him before taking hold of Sloane’s T-shirt and pulling it off him. They clawed at each other’s clothes until there was nothing but the feel of skin on skin. Dex trailed blazing kisses down Sloane’s body, his fangs grazing Sloane’s skin sending a shiver through him.

“Fuck. Dex.”

“Funny, because all I hear is fuck Sloane.”

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THIRDS Thursday – Smoke & Mirrors Sneak Peek

THIRDS Thursdays

Smoke & Mirrors (THIRDS, Book 7) Sneak Peek


After coffee, Dex spoke to his little brother, insisting he was fine. Talk of Dex and Sloane having sexy times had quickly turned Cael’s fretful ramblings to gagging noises and sounds of disgust before he told Dex he was a jerkface. In true Cael fashion, it was quickly followed by an apology and insistence that Dex was not, in fact, a jerkface. Dex promised to call Cael if he needed anything and asked him to annoy Ash on his behalf, or at least make an attempt.

Less than an hour after their phone conversation, Cael was on Dex’s doorstep. Dex had opened the door, barely getting a word out before Cael launched himself at him.

“Woah, hey.” Dex let out a soft laugh as he wrapped his arms around Cael. “It’s okay, Chirpy.”

“Don’t call me that,” Cael replied, his words muffled against Dex’s shirt. He squeezed Dex gently, and held on to him.

Dex couldn’t remember the last time Cael had clung to him like this. He closed his eyes and let his head rest against Cael’s. He didn’t pull away or comment. It was clear Cael had been shaken up by what happened. Once he pulled back, he wiped at his eyes with his sleeve, and gave a sniff, a deep frown on his face. He refused to look Dex in the eye. Who knew what was going on in that overactive brain of his.

Dex put his hands on Cael’s shoulders, demanding softly, “Hey, look at me.”

With some reluctance, Cael did. His big gray eyes were glassy.

“I’m sorry I scared you.”

Cael nodded.

“How about a drink?” Dex motioned behind him, and Cael followed. They headed into the kitchen where Sloane was washing the dishes. He smiled at Cael.

“Hey.”

Cael gave him a wobbly smile before taking a seat on one of the chairs behind the counter.

“So what’ll it be?” Dex asked, subtly squeezing Sloane’s side. Cael was quiet. Like Dex, Cael was never quiet. Not unless he was engrossed in a video game or movie. “Tea? Hot chocolate?”

Cael sat up straight, seeming to shake himself out of it. “Hot chocolate. With marshmallows. Lots of marshmallows. Like, half the cup should be marshmallows.”

Dex chuckled, relieved Cael was acting like himself again. He got to work fixing up Cael’s hot chocolate while Sloane made a latte for himself and Dex. Sloane knew him so well. Dex didn’t even have to ask.

When Dex placed Cael’s hot chocolate in front of him, the tiny marshmallows forming a peak, and close to causing a tiny marshmallow avalanche, Cael frowned at it.

“I can’t stick any more on there, buddy. Gravity’s got to do its thing.” Dex studied his brother. “Cael?”

“I don’t know what to do with it.”

Dex cocked his head to one side, smiling. “You eat the top part and drink the rest, silly.”

“No, you jackass!”

Cael’s outburst surprised the hell out of Dex and Sloane. The two of them stood speechless. Dex could see Cael was barely keeping it together. Usually he was easy to read, but right now he had no idea what was going on. Cael’s face was flushed, his eyes glassy, and he looked about ready to blow his top.

“Cael, talk to me. Don’t know what to do with what?” Very gingerly, Dex made his way around the counter, stopping next to Cael.

“With you almost dying,” Cael replied through his teeth. “With you being tortured.” His hands balled into fists on the countertop, his hard gaze on the peak of marshmallows. “I know you’ve been in tough spots before, but even then, I knew you’d be okay, because you always found a way to be okay, to get yourself out of trouble. This time….” He shook his head, his lips pressed into a thin line. When he turned to look at Dex, the fear in his eyes broke Dex’s heart. “I really thought this was it. I thought I’d lost my big brother for good.” Tears pooled in his eyes and Dex didn’t hesitate. He threw his arms around Cael and hugged him close, offering what comfort he could as Cael shed quiet tears.


Pre-order coming June 9th. Copyright © 2016 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.

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THIRDS Thursday – Smoke & Mirrors Excerpt and a Giveaway!

THIRDS Thursdays

“I’m okay,” Dex said, staring off at nothing in particular.

Sloane tipped Dex’s head back and searched his gaze. If anyone could see past the brave front, it was Sloane. Dex was resilient, the one everyone leaned on and turned to when they needed help. He was the shoulder they cried on. The white knight ready to charge into battle.

“Let me take care of you,” Sloane pleaded softly, placing a kiss to Dex’s brow.

Dex closed his eyes and nodded. His body visibly relaxed as Sloane began to wash him. First his hair, which was getting a little long, falling roguishly over one side of his brow when he didn’t run gel through it, then his neck and shoulders. Sloane worked his way down Dex’s body, making sure to soap him up good yet very tenderly. His beautiful skin was marred by ugly bruises, scrapes, and cuts. When he reached Dex’s fingers, Sloane was especially careful. The bandages came off, and Sloane was forced to bite down on his bottom lip to keep himself from cursing. The dark splotches under his nails would take time to disappear. Once he was done soaping Dex up, he led him under the shower to rinse him off. Dex opened his eyes but didn’t look at Sloane. He was lost somewhere in his thoughts. Sloane placed a kiss to Dex’s shoulder before he quickly showered, then got them both out of the tub. He dried them off, wrapping Dex in a big fluffy towel afterward.

In the bedroom, Sloane got dressed in a pair of pajama bottoms and a T-shirt. He made sure to find Dex’s softest, most comfortable T-shirt and pajama bottoms to dress him in.

“My feet are cold.”

Dex’s voice was so quiet, Sloane wouldn’t have heard him if he hadn’t been a Therian and standing so close.

“No problem,” Sloane replied with a smile. He kissed the tip of Dex’s nose and grabbed a few pairs of socks and presented them to Dex. “Okay, we’ve got rubber duckies, cheeseburgers, happy toast, sushi, the Mona Lisa, or Superman.”

Dex pointed to one of the pairs.

“Duckies it is.”

With a smile, Sloane returned the rest of the socks to the drawer exactly where he’d found them and then slipped Dex’s rubber ducky socks onto his feet. Dex stared at his socks. He was still for so long, Sloane was worried something had happened. He reached for Dex’s shoulder when Dex shook himself and slipped off the bed.

“I’m hungry.”

It was music to Sloane’s ears. He followed Dex downstairs to the kitchen, keeping a close eye on him just in case. It was still surprisingly early. Barely seven in the evening. He was relieved to see Dex still had an appetite.

Sloane moved with Dex around the kitchen as they prepared themselves some sandwiches, and they ate them in the living room in front of the TV. The sense of normalcy felt good and was clearly what Dex needed right now. Maybe Sloane’s luck was changing for the better, because one of the TV stations was running a marathon of Back to the Future, one of Dex’s favorites. No matter how many times he watched it, Dex never tired of it. He loved quoting the movie yet laughed as if he were watching it for the first time. Sloane was about to return their empty plates to the kitchen when the doorbell rang. Dex flinched, and Sloane placed his hand to Dex’s shoulder.

“I’ll get it.” Shit. What now?

Sloane answered the door, stumbling back so as not to get whacked by it when it swung open. Maddock marched in, looking more pissed than Sloane had ever seen him.

“Where is he?” Maddock barked.

Sloane held his hands up in front of him in the hopes of getting Maddock to calm down.

“Sarge, now’s not a good time. Please. He’s—”

Maddock shoved Sloane hard against the wall. His fingers curled around Sloane’s T-shirt, and his gaze bore into Sloane’s, nostrils flaring. When he spoke it was a low, fierce growl.

“Boy, you will stay the hell out of my way if you know what’s good for you, or I swear on my daddy’s grave I will beat the shit out of you.”

Sloane swallowed hard. There was no doubt in his mind that if he even hinted at getting between Maddock and Dex he would be on the floor and in pain within seconds.


More to come soon! Pre-order June 8th. Release Day July 8th.


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