Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Following his recent meltdown during a fire on Mountain Shadows and the increasing frequency of his nightmares, Scott McGregor is unsure of everything…his home, his future, and his relationship with Robby Hammond. Scott is buried under the guilt he feels about the accident that caused his disability and another’s injury. And now that he knows about Robby’s children and previous marriage, he wonders how he will fit into the new family dynamics, if at all.
Rob Hammond has gone to bring his children home from his mother-in-law’s house where they have been staying. He wants to introduce them to Scott and their new home on Mountain Shadows. He loves Scott and hopes that with his children in their home, it will send a message about how serious Rob is about their relationship and their future together.
But a new danger to Mountain Shadows campground grows bolder and soon events start to escalate out of control. When the fires flare up around them, can Rob and Scott keep each other and Rob’s family safe from harm?
With Flare-up, Laura Harner starts the journey towards the end of the series and the resolution to the Elemental Connections series finale. Events are on a collision course as more acts of vandalism and arson increase and the personal problems of Scott McGregor soar.
Laura Harner brings Rob’s adorable family into the picture at the beginning of the story. His children are endearing and it shows yet another element in Robby’s personality, that of a loving father and family man. We are given a few more hints of Rob and Scott’s background and a temporary reprieve from the suspense and dangers present at the Mountain Shadows campground these days. I just love this segment and wanted it to go on much longer. So will you.
Scott’s inability to deal with his disability and departure from the profession of firefighter is given forward movement out of the present stasis here. The author uses a wonderfully realistic method to shock Scott into looking at his current abilities and future in a pragmatic and raw way. I thought this was a necessary and authentic moment for the reader and Scott. It brought some of the dangers of being a wildfire firefighter into play and the vivid descriptions of the heat, smoke and agility needed to handle the equipment and quickness of the fires brought such a hazard and tragedy to life.
This is not a story or series you can get comfortable in. As soon as you settle in to a certain mind frame, Laura Harner is just as quick to jerk you out of it with some new aspect of her plot or new revelation about the problems and events occurring on Mountain Shadows campground and this couples relationship. It’s all about building up to some gargantuan disclosure and overwhelming event that will happen in the last stories. Laura Harner is an expert at building an atmosphere of suspense and anticipation needed to sustain the necessary momentum. And with Flare-up both the title and the plot start us running towards the fire.
I loved this. It makes me want to go back and reread all the stories that preceeded it. I want to savor the buildup and the events that Laura Harner is using as the ingredients for her series finale. This is a highly recommended story and series. Put it on your must read lists now. But make sure you start at the beginning. That’s absolutely necessary in order to understand, enjoy, and yes, savor, the full intensity and layers to this plot. Book No. 5 here I come!!!!!
Cover art by Laura Harner. Love the covers, love the branding for the series.
Kindle Edition, 72 pages
Published July 14th 2014 by Hot Corner Press
The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:
Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner
Out In The Cold (In From the Cold #4) by Lee Brazil
Blown Chance (Whispering Winds #4) by Havan Fellows
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) by T.A. Webb
Round Five: to be released
Radiant Burn (Fighting Fire #5) by Laura Harner
Cold Day in Hell (In From the Cold #5) by Lee Brazil
Final Blow (Whispering Winds #5) by Havan Fellows
Terra Firma (Earthquake #5) by T.A. Webb
Sixth Book Series Finale Written by all the Authors
Side Stories or Interludes:
Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)