Review: Prevailing Winds (Separate Ways #4) by Laura Harner

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

PrevailingWinds8x12“Please don’t go.”

Words that would haunt Lord Jamie Mainwaring long after he boarded the plane departing Phoenix, Arizona.  After the deaths and destruction of the past events, Jamie feels that leaving is his only recourse, even if it means leaving once more the man he loves, Det. Remy Remington.  Jamie watched Remy’s mouth form those words at the airport as he went through the doors to get on the plane.  But it  was too late for them  and for the love that had followed them across oceans and continents for the last two years.

Brokenhearted and grieving, Remy watches Jamie leave him once more.  But returning home, he finds that Jamie isn’t the only person leaving him.  Toby is confused, shattered and angry…at Remy and the world.  Toby flees his home and safety looking for answers to his past.  What Toby finds in Las Vegas is nothing but trouble,

Fate has a way of pulling Jamie and Remy back together.  Jamie’s is asked to get involved in one more case for the British special agency he used to work for.  Remy leaves home looking for Toby and both paths intersect in Las Vegas where a corrupt prince, the lost boys from London, and Toby are intertwined in a mess of abuse, pain and potential death.   Jamie and Remy must put all their past issues aside and come together to find and rescue Toby before the prince can destroy them all.  Will Remy and Jamie finally prevail and find a future together for them as a family?  Or will the coming storm destroy them once and for all?

Prevailing Winds, the Separate Ways series finale, is that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the icing on the cake and the cherries on top of the sundae!  This is the story that is the salve for the wounds left behind by the tumultuous events and anguish of the last three books and I couldn’t be happier.   For three bloody, suspense filled, painfully frustrating stories, Laura Harner has been developing her rollercoaster ride of a relationship between Lord Jamie Mainwaring and Det. Remy Remington.

From the moment they connected in London over missing boys, to the betrayals on the ocean cruise and the devastation of the events in Phoenix, the relationship dynamics between these two has been fascinating to watch as the men connected, fled, reconnected, and separated again and again.  What has made it so endlessly addicting is that we understood why the separations had to happen, the mental and emotional changes each character had to undergo in order to make a relationship (any relationship) work, and all the obstacles that life and their jobs as well as nationalities placed in their paths.  It wasn’t just one thing that kept them apart….but a boatload.  Harner carefully built up wall after wall between these two wonderful characters. Walls made up of Remy and Jamie’s childhood issues and abuse, requirements of their individual jobs, and even personal outlook on long term relationships and ties.  Throughout each story we waited for the barriers to start to fall.  And they would start breaking down, a few bricks here and there.  Only for us to watch the walls firm up again at the end of each story.  Frustrating, authentic, and it made great reading.

And as skillfully as Harner built up those barriers, then she had to slowly and realistically break them down.  And that took time.  And three, no four books to accomplish that because Remy and Jamie are still working on their problems and expectations for each other and a long term partnership well into Prevailing Winds.   This time, its Toby on the run and Remy following in his wake.  And their paths intersect with Jamie on a mission in Las Vegas.

The point of view flows back and forth between Toby and Remy and Jamie.  Toby’s scary predicament is heightened by this format as the danger increases the deeper the investigation goes and the closer the men get to finding Toby.  Gut wrenching at times, the anticipation is overwhelming towards the end as we rush towards the denouement!  Plus there’s not just one, but several here. Loved this part of the story.  In fact, loved it all!  So will you.

The writing is taut, smooth and fluid. The plot’s mechanisms are lovingly orchestrated for maximum excitement and anticipation.  Oh, and for our total satisfaction as well.  But you must read these stories in the order they were written, in order for the character development and situations to make sense.

This is one heck of a series and a great way to end it!  Love the book, love the characters, and Las Vegas was the perfect place to bring it all to a head!

I highly recommend this story and series to all lovers of action, adventure and a long denied romance that finds it’s happily ever after!

 

Buy Links:              All Romance eBooks (ARe)            Amazon    Prevailing Winds 

Cover Art by Laura Harner. This cover is very different in design from the other three but it works great for the story.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 198 pages
Published July 23rd 2014 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB00M3AV0YA
edition language English
url http://lauraharner.com/series/separate_ways_series/
seriesSeparate Ways #4

Separate Ways Series in the order they were written and should be read:

Continental Divide by Laura Harner and Lisa Worrell
Oceans Apart (Separate Ways #2) by Laura Harner
Moving Mountains (Separate Ways #3) by Laura Harner
Prevailing Winds (Separate Ways #4) by Laura Harner

Review: Delsyn’s Blues (Vasquez & James #2) by Lou Sylvre

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

DelsynsBluesLGAfter the deranged events of last summer, things should have gotten better, less complicated for fiber artist Sonny James and security specialist Luki Vasquez. Instead, it all sort of imploded.  Sonny sent Luki away while his nephew Delsyn recovered from his ordeal at the hands of his kidnapper.  And while Luki roamed Chicago wondering where it all went wrong, Sonny hid in his house, haunted by guilt and plagued by his fears.  Both separate, alone and missing each other.

Then the unthinkable happens and Luki is called back to Port Clifton, to help Sonny deal with his grief, and a police investigation that points to Sonny as their main suspect.  Sonny is drowning under the depths of his feelings of guilt and remorse.  He has raised a barrier between himself and Luki that Luki is finding hard to pull down.  But just as those barriers seem to be shattering, a man from Sonny’s past comes between them and their future.

All around Luki and Sonny is shrouded by the mists from their past and the uncertainties of their present.  As more violent acts occur and the investigations widen, Luki and Sonny aren’t sure who they can trust, even each other.

A voice singing the blues points the way, but will Sonny and Luki hear the sad refrains in time to save them all?

Delsyn’s Blues is the second book in the Vasquez and James series from Lou Sylvre.  The first story, Loving Luki Vasquez, pulled me into these amazing characters with their haunted pasts and complicated lives.  Each character is so different from each other and others that I have read about.  Especially Sonny Bly James, a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Yakama and a fiber artist whose weavings are highly sought after.  The minutiae of Sonny’s craft is intriguing, especially his dyes.  It gives him an unexpected depth of background and unique quality to his character.  Sonny is grounded by his art, his mind awash with colors, designs and fibers of all types.  He is a person who seems scattered by those who don’t know him.  And Lou Sylvre is slowly revealing Sonny’s depths and complications book by book.  What an amazing journey we are on with these characters.

But Luki Vasquez, of Basque and Hawaiian roots, is Sonny’s equal with his Hawaiian ethnicity a large measure of Luki’s personality and family support system.  Luki’s past is one he wears on his face, but the scarring inside goes much deeper than the one that bisects the side of his face.  He too has a past full of pain and trauma, only some of which we know about. Both men find strength in their native heritage and that is so important here in Delsyn’s Blues where both Sonny and Delsyn are/were tribal dancers each in their own manner of style and dance.  This element of Delsyn’s Blues and the series are one of its highlights for me.  Luki and Sonny’s close connections to their heritage provides a foundation for each man and a support system if they choose to use it.

Around these two multidimensional characters flow plots of great intricacy and deceit.  And it reverberates from one story to the next, the past like a river who continues to overflow its banks and cover all the events to follow, its dirty waters touching everything and everyone in its path.  Delsyn’s Blues opens one year after the end of Loving Luki Vasquez.   The men are separated and Delsyn is in a wheelchair due to his prior blood loss.  What a painful beginning for all, readers and characters alike!  From that moment on, we are in for one shock after another.   And it won’t stop until the book is over.

Are there things here readers will have issues with? Certainly, but Sylvre’s books have always had that element of realism and sometimes life just sucks to put it bluntly.  And once you get past the first shock, the rest of the story is gripping, suspenseful, and yes, frustrating.  I had a few more issues with this story than I did with Loving Luki Vasquez.  One issue?  I figured out almost immediately who one of the villains of the story is.  While I wish the author had made that a little harder to guess at, I found the anticipation she built around that person’s identity reveal  rewarding.

But my honest issue here?  Totally inconsequential but it bugs the heck out of me.  A drug dealer’s dog appears and goes along for the ride for about 1/3 to 1/4 of the story.  He becomes a real character.  He’s important until he totally disappears from the story, at least as much as I can figure.  He’s there then he’s not.  What happened to the darn dog?  Continuity!  It makes even the smallest things important when it is flawed.  So, if someone out there can tell me what happened to Bear, please I beg you tell me.  Did I miss something or did he really disappear?  (Note: I heard from the author, the dog is still around and latched onto  Luki.   We will see more of him later.)

Disappearing dog notwithstanding. I still highly recommend Delsyn’s Blues.  It’s an absorbing  story and its characters continue to grow in depth and backstory.  I love it when that happens.  Now on to Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James #3)!  Remember, please to read all these books in order.  It’s important for  character development and for understanding the events that occur.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I love these covers, so beautiful and perfect for the stories and series.

 

Buy Links:     Dreamspinner Press        All Romance eBooks (ARe)     Amazon      Delsyn’s Blues

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 309 pages
Published January 1st 2012 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB006SBC6KM
edition languageEnglish
seriesVasquez & James #2

Books in the Vasquez and James series to date in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters and events that transpire:

Loving Luki Vasquez (Vasquez & James, #1)
Delsyn’s Blues (Vasquez & James, #2)
Finding Jackie (Vasquez & James, #3)
Saving Sonny James (Vasquez & James #4)
Yes (A Vasquez and James Novella)
Because of Jade (Vasquez & James #5)