Against the Grain

Against the Grain - Charlie Cochet *** 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 and a build up to it. Cael also told Ash he loves him, and Ash told Cael he has feelings for him. But, this was in the previous book! So there's no excitement and giddiness to see if they when or how the come together. There was just waiting around for Ash to get his head out of his ass. He has demons from his past he is dealing with and that has been his reasons for not getting close to Cael in all the years they've worked together. How long has that been? Ten years? Ash has everything within grasp, a great and sweet guy who has offered his heart on a plate to Ash. And Ash still holds back, because of his issues. And I have to say I don't really understand what his big problem is. They are never really addressed either. Ash goes from retreating from any form of affection from Cael to being his boyfriend in a hurry. What changed his mind was a <spoiler>blow job from Cael</spoiler and Cael's <spoiler>asshole and abusive ex-boyfriend showing up and smacking Cael around.</spoiler> Of course this brings out Ash more protective side and suddenly wants to be Cael's boyfriend, because he wants to be with Cael and love him and protect him. Ehm... what? What about working through it? It was like flipping a switch with Ash. And Ash has had feelings for Cael in all the years they worked together, not to mention all the scenes in the previous books where Ash could have had a change of mind, he had to be prompted with a <spoiler>BJ and an ex</spoiler> to get his head out of his ass. It did not sit well with me, I'm sad to say. I had higher hopes for Ash and Cael. They deserved a better romantic development than this. I wished for more, more, MORE! *sniff* And I had to wait four books and get this?

I'm hesitant to say this, but I feel the whole PR package around the THIRDS series is actually better than the last two books to get published. I started to feel this with #4 and I still feel it with #5. I feel the series has become too hyped up. I still love the series, the world build and the characters, but the danger of hyping up a series this much also makes the expectations go way up. It's fabulous when expectations are met, but all the more disappointing when they are not. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. I also think with a hyped up series it's easier to either be very excited or bummed out, than a standalone, if you know what I mean. There's a difference of seeing a book in a series as a book of it's own and an extension of the series. And I believe the ratings for this book reflects that. The wow for the series gets included in each book. I don't think this book (as a book of it's own and not as of a series) is not that good, it lack build up of Ash and Cael's relationship, which I had been looking forward to for four books. Ash's issues were not dealt with at all, he just decided he didn't have them anymore and wanted to be with Cael. Why didn't you do that years ago, eh? Or earlier in the series? Cael deserves a medal for putting up with Ash's asshole-ness, because, man, he says and do some stupid shit sometimes.

All that being said, I did not hate the book. It was just frustrating to read, especially the first half. But there were some great, sweet and funny moments (mostly because of Dex). The story plot, which picks up the tale of why Sloane had his uncontrolled shift in the last book, is explored in the last half of the book. So the book got more interesting towards the end. In addition, I admit I got a bit choked on the book. The book and I got off to a bad start, and it might have clouded my judgment of it. But hey, I'm supposed to enjoy reading a book I've been looking forward to, aren't I? Well I did, and I did not. I wished the story of Ash and Cael to have been better. *pouts*

I recommend you read this book for yourself. And please tell me what you think.

Check out my updates, they show off my up and down feelings reading this book.