Love and Payne by Charlie Cochet
Dreamspinner Press | August 28, 2018
I have been sooo excited for this book! I’ve loved Austin’s character for a long time, and I’ve been taken with Zach ever since he stalked Dex over the last pack of cheesy doodles! Watching Austin fight his attraction for Zach has been hilarious. They might be my second favorite THIRDS couple, second to Dex and Sloane which is a big deal. I love Dex and Sloane.
Finally getting Love and Payne in my hands was awesome. Not only did we get the conclusion to Austin and Zach’s epic romance, it also introduced us to the huge magnificent Zachary family who I hope will be featured more in upcoming stories -Like maybe Brayden’s?- Charlie Cochet does family support pretty damn well, and Zach’s family was just as epic as Dex’s and the Hobbs family.
I also really liked getting to know Zach more. I feel like, having read so much about Sloane, we’ve gotten a good handle on what drives Austin. Zach was a bit more of an enigma. We knew he was a large, quiet, bear Therian. Early on we get the impression he was on the slower side of the intelligence meter, and it isn’t true at all. Large and quiet does not equal stupid, and I feel ashamed of myself for being tricked. Another beloved book character of mine (Ox) is treated as stupid for thinking slower, so I should know better. I’m sorry Osmond Zachary.
While I did feel like I knew Austin better, he seemed different in Love and Payne. My first thought was maybe his personality couldn’t sustain a full book, but after thinking about it I’ve realized how it was likely intentional. Zach throws Austin’s swag off. He’s always knocked Austin off kilter, so spending that much time around the man of his dreams would leave him grumpier than usual. When the situation required it, Austin was still his sassy flirty self. I loved every single time his naughtiness made Zach blush. Then, Zach’s blush made Austin’s heart flip. They were adorable.
I also thought it was clever how Ms Cochet set up the future TIN books. She made sure we, THIRDS fans, still get our favorite characters. I’m a full fledged THIRDS nerd, so I wouldn’t have quit this series, but now I’m even happier about all the incoming changes.