Ratings: 5 Stars out of 5
Rowen Smithe fought his demons, in this case the people who turned a 14 year old boy into a warped nightmare of a man. But Rowen escaped them but never the darkness they created inside him. Now, with the events of the past weeks behind them, Rowen is finally prepared to start living again, this time with Mick, the man who helped free his soul and stole his heart. But in the aftermath of the horror and killing, things have changed and now its Mick that the darkness has swallowed and Rowen is uncertain how to help the man he loves regain what he has lost.
Mick Rutger was a happy-go-lucky type of guy, a feeling he liked. But his encounters up close with Rowen’s past and the events that followed have left Mick with feelings of hatred and rage, feelings he is unprepared to deal with. Drowning under his fears, nightmares, and anger, Mick closes himself off to the outside world in a drastic measure of protection. Just when Rowe has finally opened up to him and Mick had hopes for their future together.
Both men will have to battle the darkness one more time if they hope for that HEA and trust that their sanity won’t be lost forever.
Final Blow is the penultimate story in Havan Fellows’ Whispering Winds (PF2014) series. I have loved both of her characters, but especially the damaged Rowen Smithe from the very start. Mick Rutger was Rowe’s opposite, always he seemed to be that affable and lighthearted golden bouncing after the haunted, dark soul that was Rowe. It was Mick who drew Rowen out of the cabin, or down from his tree, ever so slowly out of the silence and isolation that Rowen had wrapped himself in. It was a beautiful balance between the sun and the night, a twilight journey the reader was thrilled to be on along with Mick and Rowen. For every heartbreaking reveal from Rowen, Fellows gifted us with an endearing scene of Mick beckoning Rowen further out of his shell. Remember this scene from Blown Kisses?
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.
I laughed about that scene all the way through the terrors that followed, and the glimpses of hope for a future together that the author allowed us to see. Consistently, just when things were at their worst, Fellows incorporated lighter elements to alleviate the heaviness and strain that has been a major factor in this series. And always it was Mick who was the bearer of light tidings.
But in Blown Chance, there was a major reversal of roles between Mick and Rowen, the dynamics of which are just being felt here in Final Blow. Now we see the trauma and rage those acts have visited upon Mick as well an uncertain Rowen trying to reach out and save the man he finally acknowledges that he loves. It’s an unsettling turnabout for all and it heightens the vulnerabilities and frailties of both characters like we have never seen them before.
Havan Fellows reveals Mick as a character far more complex and layered then he originally appeared to be. It makes the relationship we have seen develop between the tortured Rowe and Mick more authentic and believable. If there is to be a yin to his yang, then it also needs to be on equal ground with matching complexities and overtones. The author accomplishes that hard-won balance in Final Blow. Here her characters find themselves in situations that require them to achieve a certain amount of emotional growth and healing in order to move forward, hopefully together. It was painful and wonderful and immensely satisfying to see characters we have come to love reach out for each other and more, much, much more.
I love Final Blow as I have all the preceeding stories in this series. But there is one last story to come. There are still monsters at play and demons to vanquish. Who and what they are is still to be revealed. I can’t wait for December to come.
But until then, grab up this marvelous series if you haven’t already. Make the acquaintances of Rowen Smithe (who definitely give Wicked Templeton a run for the money as favorite Fellows character) and Mick Rutger. Start at the beginning, enjoy the journey to love and HEA. Its one of the top series of the year, along with its interconnected Pulp Friction 2014 series, all of which are listed below.
Cover artist: Laura Harner consistently delivers a great branding job with the series and the PulpFriction 2014 logo.
Kindle Edition, 50 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Appleton Publishing Avenue
original titleFinal Blow (Whispering Winds #5) (Pulp Friction 2014 #20)
seriesPulp Friction 2014 #19, Whispering Winds
About Pulp Friction 2014
Pulp Friction 2014 Authors: Laura Harner ~ Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ T.A. Webb
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. All stories have been read and reviewed at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.
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
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 coming in December.
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