darkest hour before dawnRating: 4.5 stars
Buy Links: 
 Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Sebastian Hobbs and Dr. Hudson Colbourn were in love and planning a life together when a tragic event tore them apart. When faced with a crisis on the job, their need to protect one another as mates got in the way of a civilian life. It is seven years later, and the men are just as much in love now as they were back then. Seb would love to get back together with Hudson, but he knows Hudson feels like after what happened, they are better apart. That doesn’t stop both men from missing one another painfully and working in such close proximity at THIRDS headquarters is both a blessing and a curse.

When Hudson is threatened by outside forces, Seb is determined to protect him. Something is going on with old THIRDS enemies, and somehow Hudson is in the middle of it all. As the threats continue to grow around them, Seb and Hudson find themselves thrown together even more. Despite their determination to stay away from one another, the men can’t help but be continually drawn together. Even when Seb and Hudson try to move on, they know that they are meant for one another, they just have to forgive themselves for what happened in the past and let themselves be happy together. But even if they can move on together, dangerous forces put everything they are rebuilding at risk.

Hurray! It is Seb and Hudson’s story! I have been dying for this one for so long, and their relationship has been teased out throughout the THIRDS series, so I am so excited that we finally get to see their relationship in depth, as well as to finally get a happy ending for these two. Cochet does a nice job here showing the tension and chemistry between these two guys, without dragging things out forever. The happy ending doesn’t come easy for these guys, but after waiting for their book for so long, I was happy to see that we move forward here so nicely. We can feel that pain and they longing these guys have for one another, but we also get to see them happily together and rebuilding their connection. These guys are at once both sweet and incredibly sexy together and make such a fabulous couple.

As I said, we have been getting teased with this relationship for a while, and their backstory connects with the larger THIRDS world. We knew all along that the guys made a crucial error in judgment that got Seb transferred and put a wrench in their relationship, as well as causing some havoc throughout THIRDS. Hudson has Seb’s mating mark, and being apart is almost impossible for them, but they didn’t see any other way. So I really liked how things all come together here, tying up some things from across the series. However, I did have a few issues. First off, despite reading all the books, I didn’t have a clear memory in my mind of just what exactly happened that day seven years ago. It does get ultimately explained in detail, but I wish this had happened earlier in the book. We know these guys can’t be together, but without knowing exactly why, it lessened the impact for me a bit on the conflict. I also honestly didn’t quite get why what they did was so wrong. Hudson seemed to be facing a direct threat, they thought all the civilians had been evacuated, and so Seb tried to protect Hudson. It is a shame that an innocent bystander was hurt, but nothing that happened (at least as it is explained here) made me feel like these guys were at fault. Again, this is the foundation of all their conflict over their relationship and this series, and so I wish it had been a little more cut and dry as to what they did wrong.

Along with the relationship end, there is some mild suspense here. It is not a full on investigation like in some of the other books, so I’d say more of a suspense light. This story is more relationship focused than many of the others, which I didn’t mind at all. But still, the suspense angle is handled well with some real threats facing these guys, as well as lots of threads from the larger series plot coming into play. I kind of guessed at the reveal toward the end, but I still think it was interesting and lots of elements are set up here that will continue on throughout the series so I am really excited to see where things go.

So this was another great installment in what I think is just a fabulous series. I love how Cochet intersperses books featuring our main series characters, Dex and Sloane, with stories for some of the side characters. And Hudson and Seb were definitely two that I have been eagerly awaiting. This story definitely lived up to all my expectations for these guys and I found it so rewarding to see them finally together and happy. So THIRDS fans, be sure to pick this one up!

A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.

jay signature