Hello all! Welcome to the Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, Book 3) cover reveal & giveaway! I’m super excited to share with you the cover to for the latest THIRDS book by the fabulous L.C. Chase! There’s also a giveaway, and Rack & Ruin is now available for preorder!
When the walls come tumblin’ down….
New York City’s streets are more dangerous than ever with the leaderless Order of Adrasteia and the Ikelos Coalition, a newly immerged Therian group, at war. Innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire and although the THIRDS round up more and more members of the Order in the hopes of keeping the volatile group from reorganizing, the members of the Coalition continue to escape and wreak havoc in the name of vigilante justice.
Worse yet, someone inside the THIRDS has been feeding the Coalition information. It’s up to Destructive Delta to draw out the mole and put an end to the war before anyone else gets hurt. But to get the job done, the team will have to work through the aftereffects of the Therian Youth Center bombing. A skirmish with Coalition members leads Agent Dexter J. Daley to a shocking discovery and suddenly it becomes clear that the random violence isn’t so random. There’s more going on than Dex and Sloane originally believed, and their fiery partnership is put to the test. As the case takes an explosive turn, Dex and Sloane are in danger of losing more than their relationship.
Dex had never been so eager to start his daily training session. Down in Sparta, he changed in the male locker room, swapping his uniform for his black Led Zeppelin T-shirt, loose jogging pants, and sneakers. He grabbed his boxing gloves from his locker and slammed it shut.
The bays were pretty busy at this time of day, but there was plenty of free boxing equipment in the boxing bays. He chose one of the emptier ones, and as he got ready, all he could think about was Sloane. The moment Dex had seen his face, he’d known. Sloane was going to run. I’m so stupid. He finished wrapping his hands and made straight for the punching bag.
After some quick stretches and warm ups, he started pummeling the red leather bag, hoping to release some of his frustration, but the more he punched the bag, the angrier he became. He’d told himself not to get so close. His head had known far longer than his heart what would happen, tried to warn him. But Dex hadn’t listened. He’d been a lovesick idiot, trailing after Sloane, getting on his knees, content to let Sloane bleed him. Maybe a part of Dex enjoyed it. Enjoyed being stripped, his vulnerability exposed. Why else would he continue to put himself through this? Why did he keep waiting? Because he’d promised Sloane he would. And what had Sloane promised in return? Dex remembered the words as if they’d been said yesterday. I can’t make any promises. Sloane had made it clear. Dex had no one to blame for his heartache but himself.
“Well isn’t that cute.”
Dex froze. He closed his eyes and breathed deeply. Someone up there was conspiring against him. Was this a test to see how much he could take before he lost his shit? Any other day, Dex would have walked away. But not today. He turned and faced Ash who was dressed similarly in a T-shirt and loose jogging pants. Letty was beside him looking worried.
“Come on. You and me,” Dex said through his teeth.
Ash let out a laugh. “Are you fucking kidding?”
“Does it look like I’m kidding?”
“Sloane wouldn’t be happy about that.”
“Well Sloane’s not fucking here, is he?” Dex snapped. He expected a smart-ass remark, but instead Ash seemed to be thinking it over so he pushed on. “You’ve wanted this since I joined. Now’s your chance. No one here’s going to stop you. You want to beat the shit out of me, now’s your fucking chance.”
Dex nodded and swiped his boxing gloves off the side of the mat. He held them out to Letty. “Help me out here.”
Letty took one glove from him and helped secure the strap before taking the next one. “Dex, are you sure you want to do this? You know he won’t hold back.”
“I’m counting on it.”
Letty cursed under her breath, saying something in Spanish Dex didn’t understand. He tapped his hip where his pocket was, and Letty reached in. She pulled out the small box containing his mouth guard and opened it, looking as if she was going to try again to convince him not to do this, but instead, she held the mouth guard up to him. He leaned over and closed his mouth around the rubbery piece. He could tell she wasn’t happy, but he needed this.
He hopped on his toes, rolled his shoulders, and waited while Letty helped Ash with his gloves and mouth guard. As soon as Ash was ready, they both stepped onto one of the larger empty blue mats. Looking at Ash, all the anger came flooding back, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t stop thinking about Sloane.
You really thought he wouldn’t run? He’ll always run. From you.
“Come on,” Dex said around his mouthpiece.
Ash shook his head, but there was no way Dex was letting him back out now.
Ash gave him exactly what he asked for. The first punch landed across Dex’s jaw and sent him reeling. He fell hard against the mat, his face in a world of pain and stars in his eyes. How the hell Dex hadn’t been knocked out by that one hit was beyond him. Fuck. That hurt. Okay, maybe this wasn’t your brightest idea.
“That all you got, Daley? One hit? That’s pretty fucking pathetic.”
Bastard. Dex pushed himself to his feet and shook himself off. Would Sloane come back this time? He had to. They worked together. What if that’s all he came back for? You fucked up. The first guy you could see yourself spending your life with, and you fuck it up within months. A new record. Ash grinned at him, and Dex lost it.
He came at Ash with everything he had, mindful of Ash’s fierce hooks. He maneuvered around him, ducking under hooks and jumping out of the way when Ash swiped at him. Ash threw both arms out to grab him, and Dex dropped down to the mat and rolled. He popped back up and took a swing, catching Ash on his shoulder. Then Dex remembered what Ash’s proficiency was. Close Quarter Combat. The guy had been toying with him. Letting him land blows, waiting for Dex to realize the mistake he’d made.
About the Author
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.