Title: Tried & True
Series: THIRDS: Book Ten
Author: Charlie Cochet
Narrator: Mark Westerfield
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 10 hours and 40 minutes
Category: Urban Fantasy
At a Glance: At the end of the day, there is much to love about the book, and listening to Mark Westfield’s great performance throughout (with the exception of Cael sounding younger and more annoying), and the way he brings to life the vows, emotions and joy on Dex and Sloan’s big day is well worth a listen.
Reviewed By: Jovan
Blurb: When THIRDS Agent Dexter J. Daley met Team Leader Sloane Brodie, he couldn’t have imagined how slamming into his new partner -literally – would shake both their worlds. Now, four years later, they’ve faced dangers, fought battles both personal and professional…and fallen deeply in love. Now, their big moment is finally in sight, and they’re ready to stand up together and make it official. Unfortunately, as the countdown to their big day begins, an enemy declares war on the THIRDS….
With their family in danger, Dex and Sloane are put to the test on how far into darkness they’ll walk to save those they love. As secrets are unearthed, a deadly betrayal is revealed, and Dex and Sloane must call on their Destructive Delta family for one last hurrah to put an end to the secret organization responsible for so much devastation.
Dex and Sloane will have plenty of bullets to dodge on the way to the altar, but with happiness within their grasp, they are determined to get there, come hell or high water….
Review: Tried and True was a fitting last hurrah for Destructive Delta as an active policing organization, and is narrated with as much energy as ever by Mark Westfield. If you’re a fun of the audiobooks, Westfield’s voice work for most of the characters has been impressive throughout the course of the series, and even his British accent has improved (some)! And in this book, Westfield definitely has his work cut out for him as Charlie Cochet puts him through his paces with plenty of action-movie fight scenes, sex, emotional bonding moments, sex, bad guy villainy and monologuing and if not full on sex, plenty of “I want me some of that hotness” sex-infused dialogue.
As Dex and Sloan prepare for their big day, they are still actively training for their new duties as TIN operatives, as well as dealing with the continued threat from the Mahkai, who have a mole and operatives within the THIRDS and TIN and are targeting two people close to the team. Amidst the starry-eyed romance between Dex and Sloan, the tearful reminiscing and reassurances that no matter how the team changes, they are still family, DD gets to band together one last time as the Makhai threat strikes close to home days before the wedding. Additionally, Dex gets plenty of moments to showcase his continually growing skills and hybrid-DNA infused badassery.
Throughout the story, Dex and Sloan, as well as fans of the series, get prepared for a change in tone and rules as the characters shift from police work to covert intelligence agents. This takes the form of being schooled about their naïveté when it comes to privacy and the positives of surveillance, the benefits of torture and the overall message consistently running through the last few books that the ends can justify the means (at least for the good guys). No one can say that Charlie Cochet doesn’t try to prepare fans for the ethical/moral gray areas her heroes may face in the future, or how doing whatever it takes for the mission may be hard for them. . . unless family is involved, because this book definitely shows that when it comes to family, everything is fair game.
This idea is why, as much as I enjoyed the book, I have mixed feelings about it. As a fan of the series, I loved the trademark shenanigans, feels, the OTT “you totally should NOT be able to walk after that” action and fun. It was nice that the final book brought back some of the spark and energy missing towards the middle of this 10 ½ book adventure, and toned down some of the increasingly sappy, tween-ager dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of hearts and flowers and “my sexy/hot/beautiful partner/love of my life/man-god talk to go around, but even with a wedding, it wasn’t as jarring or overwhelming as in some of the later books. However, though the sugar may have been limited in the dialogue, it pushed itself into the narrative in ways that seemed forced and more about HEAs for everyone in every situation, and making sure that nothing is off limits when it comes to family.
Yet, at the end of the day, there is much to love about the book, and listening to Mark Westfield’s great performance throughout (with the exception of Cael sounding younger and more annoying), and the way he brings to life the vows, emotions and joy on Dex and Sloan’s big day is well worth a listen.
You can buy Tried & True here:
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