Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Charlie Turner’s life has never been easy. From the moment his father died, Charlie has tried to fill the void his father left with his family while dialing down his own expectations for his future. He stepped into his father’s business, supporting his mother and younger brother letting his own personal dreams and relationships suffer. Troubles and turmoils came, exploded and where dealt with. Charlie’s life started to move forward when he met Amos Greene and moved into Mountain Shadows. And just when his relationship with Amos Greene had stabilized and his brother, Damon, looked to be on the right track with his life, a monster in their midst shattered their calm and progress with one horrific event.
Now Charlie and all around him are trying to find a way to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward once more. But how to do that when you feel like you have been broken into pieces? It will take everyone to help Charlie and his brother to deal with all the pain and fear to move past the recent events, even if it means dealing with their own secrets and past histories.
Aftershocks. What a perfect name for this story. Why? Because sometimes its not the earthquake itself that causes the most damage, but the aftershocks, the reverberations from that seismic event that continues to riffle the landscape in wave after wave. That metaphor is perfect for dealing with the emotional consequences and impact of a horrific act upon a close-knit group of individuals, including family members. In this case its Charlie Turner, his boyfriend Amos Greene and Charlie’s family that consists of his mother and his younger brother, Damon.
None of these people are able to deal intellectually or emotionally with the guilt, pain, and fear that recent events have inflicted upon them. Charlie is especially vulnerable. He sees himself as a standin for his deceased father and feels that he has failed them all. Damon too has been unable to deal with the consequences of those events as he was the target and victim. Amos? Has his own pain and fears stemming from his past. Even Charlie and Damon’s mother seems helpless to move out of the stasis she seems frozen in. And all this feels absolutely real, as necessary a reaction to the devastating events as any we could expect. These people and their burdens feel authentic because we have gotten to know them intimately as the series progressed. And we are emotionally with them now as they try to get past their combined pain so any future might be possible. But how?
T.A. Webb acknowledges the emotional quagmire his characters are stuck in and then quietly and assuredly moves them forward through their pain and issues into some form of recognition and acceptance. The method Webb chooses is believable and grounded in what would be a logical and realistic solution to this mountain of emotional turmoil these people find themselves in. I admire T.A. Webb for choosing to go down this path and making it come across as the brave thing to do as well as letting the reader into the type of self reflection and questioning needed to make it work. It’s quietly stunning and hugely effective in bringing yet more depth to already full realized characters. It will also bring a few shocking revelations of its own into play as well.
We are almost there. T.A. Webb has one more story to go before the series finale. The aftershocks continue to shake the ground under the feet of all of Webb’s characters and we begin to wonder if they will ever achieve a firm foundation for themselves and each other. It’s a startling achievement for this author that we are asking ourselves that question so close to the end and still so unsure of where T.A. Webb is taking us all. What a journey its been. I can hold off on reaching the end a little longer.
I consider Aftershocks so remarkable in its tone and character. But to do it justice, pick up the series from the beginning and work your way through it and all the connecting series. This is one you shouldn’t miss out on. No surprise here to find its on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best of 2014 list. I highly recommend this to one and all.
Cover art by Laura Harner. Lovely and perfect for this story and series. That’s Charley to a T.
Sales Links: All Romance eBooks (ARe) Amazon Aftershocks
ebook, 50 pages
Published August 31st 2014 by A Bear on Books (first published August 30th 2014)
seriesPulp Friction 2014 #16, Earthquake
The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1)by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Whispering Winds: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by TA Webb
Controlled Burn (Fighting Fire #2) by Laura Harner
Cold Comfort (In From the Cold #2) by Lee Brazil
Blown Kisses (Whispering Winds #2) by Havan Fellows
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) by TA Webb
Backburn (Fighting Fire #3) by Laura Harner
Cold Feet (In From the Cold #3) by Lee Brazil
Blown Hard (Whispering Winds #3) by Havan Fellows
Tremors (Earthquake #3) by T.A. Webb
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)
Wicked Winds (Whispering Winds 3.5) by Havan Fellows – bonus book, Whispering Winds
Frankie’s Knight (Elemental Connections: IV) (Earthquake #3.5)
Kismet & Cartwheels – bonus book, Fighting Fire