Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Rowen Smithe’s world got infinitely larger and more complicated the day he met Mick Rutger, a friend of Finn’s. Mick is determined to draw Rowen out of his cabin and confined lifestyle and into Mick’s much larger and outgoing circle of friends. Rowen is equally determined to stay away and removed from the gregarious,handsome Mick. But now that Mick has moved just across the road from him in another rental cabin, it has become so much harder to ignore his neighbor.
Mick Rutger is fascinated by Rowen Smithe. Everything about the man from his long black hair to his secretive ways is attractive to Mick and he is determined to find out more and be the man’s friend, if not something even better. His first move is into the cabin across from Rowen’s and a stray cat to share with his neighbor. But then something more appears…a threat not only to their shared cat but to all the creatures of the woods, woods Rowen is bent on protecting.
Rowen Smithe’s top priority is no longer trying to quiet his inner demons but to put an end to the evil that has invaded the woods of Mountain Shadows leaving the bodies of small tortured animals in its wake. And he will need the help of a very nosy neighbor to track and remove those behind the animal deaths.
I should just make this review as short and sweet as this story and just say “go, go now and get this series”. Don’t dilly dally, or shilly shally around. This story and series are ones everyone should be grabbing up (and its companions series to boot). Havan Fellows has created in Rowen Smithe, a tortured soul whose background and secretive ways has made the man an enigma to many (including the readers). Rowen is alternately sexy. self assured and bold, or distressed, angst filled and withdrawn, and all within a space of 5 to 10 minutes. His is such an unexpected personality and that aspect draws everyone to him like moths to a flame. And that includes readers as well. A true naturalist and outdoorsman, his respect for nature is boundless. Less so his regard for his fellow human beings. Only a few have been let inside his personal space and now he is beginning to consider that Mick might be one more person to include in those he trusts.
The model on the cover is perfect for the larger than life persona that is Mick Rutger. Charming, enthusiastic with all the energy of a Golden Retriever, Mick is determined to get close to Rowen and a kiss from the man in question has only fueled Mick’s desires. But for every step forward he makes in his pursuit, Rowen takes twice as many in retreat. Rowen is a puzzle Mick is intent on figuring out and the reader is just as eager as Mick is. How I adore these characters. This excerpt is sure to entice you:
Rowen slouched lower and watched through a crack between the curtain and window as the bane of his existence rocked slowly with that fat ass cat sitting on his lap, her head bouncing up and down from his attentions.
“Don’t fucking scratch her so hard. She may be big but she still has a tiny neck,” Rowen mumbled to no one.
He realized what he’d just said and twisted on his heels from his squat to land on his ass against the wall between the front door and the window he’d just been spying out of. He must be mad to be worried about a stray cat that did nothing but run from him every time he stepped outside.
The irony of that thought was not lost on him; he just chose to ignore it for the moment.
But you are mad, aren’t you?
He banged the back of his head against the wall once, twice…when he lifted his head for a third round of punishment, the knock of flesh on wood happened before the contact between his skull and the wall did.
Rowen sat quiet for a second, wondering where the extra noise came from when it happened again, and he looked up to the right.
“Shit…” he muttered under his breath. Someone was knocking on his door.
He turned his body, slowly moved the curtain out of the way, and with only his right eye, peered out the window. He couldn’t see the front door from this window, but he wondered if a certain…
Two clear pale blue eyes stared back at him, crinkled around the edges undoubtedly because of the smile Rowen couldn’t see from this close.
Mick moved back enough to lift up Filigree—no, the stray cat—and wave her paw at Rowen.
Rowen gracelessly fell backward on his butt, the curtain fluttering closed when he pulled away. He flipped himself over and scuttled up the stairs to his second floor window and his blessed tree.
He easily climbed out of the cabin and onto the branch then froze with one hand on the window frame and the other on the limb above his head.
Standing beneath him and slightly to the left, a blond-haired man sans a stray feline smiled up at him.
“Thought I’d find you here. So, do you want steak for dinner?”
Irresistible right? Mick waving that little paw at Rowen? Adorable. But as sweet and funny as that moment and others are, the narrative also is quick to turn as dark as the voice inside Rowen’s mind. When the small dead animals start to turn up, its clear that other demons haunt the woods around Shadow Mountain. Soon the hunt is on for the culprit or culprits and everyone around is drawn into the task.
The narrative is very much like a day on a mountain, It can start off so promising with blue skies and a warm sun shinning down on you, but before you know it, a front moves in and you are caught out in the wild as a storm rages around you and rescue looks bleak. That how quickly the mood and relationships twist and turn here. It makes for a quick, provocative and suspenseful read. It’s one of the elements that makes this story and series so successful and the Pulp Friction group as a whole. You never know what’s coming next or which layer is going to be pulled back to reveal a tortured past or criminal element. It’s surprising how fast it all goes by. It pulls you into the story so completely that when you reach the end you are ready for the next story because you want it to continue immediately. But I have to wait and so do you, at least for a little while.
If you are new to these characters and series, start with the first story, Blown Away, then Blown Kisses. So go now, get started reading. You will fall in love with these characters and their series. And then move on to the other connecting stories. They are as addictive as they come and are highly recommended for all. All are listed below.
Cover art by Laura Harner. I love these covers, from the models to the branding for the Pulp Friction group. Just perfect.
ebook, approximately 45 pages
Published April 14th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
seriesWhispering Winds #2
Round One of Pulp Friction 2014:
Round Two of Pulp Friction 2014: