Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Hiding safely away in the confines of his Mountain Shadows cabin, Rowen Smithe is not prepared for the human tornado that is Mick Rutger when Mick enters his life. Rowen spends his time concealed within the safety of his cabin, observing and protecting the woods surrounding his Mountain Shadows home, venturing out only at night to explore odd sightings and unexplained happenings in the forest around him. Tormented by voices and secrets from his past, Rowen lets no one inside. Even the tentative gestures of friendship by his neighbor Finn have been rebuffed. Then he meets Mick.
Mick Rutger is a force of boundless energy and optimism. At loose ends after finishing 6 years of college, Mick figures a trip to see his oldest and best friend,Finn Lorensson, would help him figure out what he wants to do next. Finn lives in a cabin on Mountain Shadows, surrounded by beautiful woods, a gorgeous setting that Mick appreciates. Mountain Shadows is also the home of some apparently quirky, gorgeous men if the one Mick spies climbing a tall tree next to Finn’s cabin is any indication. After watching a lithe and long haired Rowen easily ascend the impossibly tall pine next to his house, Mick quickly becomes intrigued by the secretive man Finn calls neighbor.
When Rowen sees metal glinting far out in the woods through his binoculars, he knows that something suspicious is up and sets off to investigate. But what Rowen doesn’t count on is being followed by a curious and unprepared Mick. What follows is more than either one of them expected….
Never have I fallen in love so quickly with such a quirky and clearly wounded character as I have with Rowen Smithe. I am not sure if it is that aspect of his person, the one that loves his woods and mountains so, that speaks to the park naturalist in me. The familiarity with which Rowen moves through his forest environment, his appreciation and knowledge of the flora and fauna around him as well as his need to protect it all…well, it all just makes me gravitate towards his character as I would a fellow ranger. And when he climbs his trees, its more than a need to find the highest view point, it is a havan for Rowen, emotionally and physically. I get that too.
Character Mick Rutger makes a wonderful counterpart to all that isolation, secrecy, and wildness that is Rowen. His is the bouncy enthusiasm and energy of a golden retriever. Thoughtless in words, impulsive in actions , he’s that little boy that never stops moving, occasionally breaking things he didn’t mean to. Mick is just someone in need of a direction and perhaps someone to care for and he appeals to the reader almost as quickly as Rowen does. The author has certainly done a remarkable job in creating a character that is impossible to dislike while demonstrating that under all that superficiality are depths to be discovered. Great characters both of them.
Throw in suspicious doings in the woods as Havan Fellows does, and an unexplained “voice” that Rowen hears at the worst possible times, and you have a story guaranteed to lure you in and keep you absorbed in the characters and situations they find themselves in. Fellows moves the narrative along at a clip, the dialog is sharp and perfect for the characters, and the plot increases in complexity as more questions pop up about the events that are happening and the people who live in Mountain Shadows.
Really, I can’t wait for the next installment. And the ending? Well, I am still smiling and I will leave it at that. Grab this story up and start reading. It’s terrific and highly recommended.
Cover art by Laura Harner. I love this cover. That model is perfect for Rowen. Great job.
Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Published February 17th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
series Whispering Winds
One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series
From the Pulp Friction Group: The Pulp Friction 2014 Collection. Four authors. Four Series. Twenty books. One fiery finale. Spend a year with an eclectic group of strangers brought together through circumstances, as they are tested by life, and emerge as more than friends. The strongest bonds are forged by fire, cooled in air, smoothed by water, grounded in earth. Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.