A MelanieM Review: Frankie’s Knight (Elemental Connections: IV) (Earthquake #3.5) by T.A. Webb

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Frankie's Knight coverAtlanta Detective Frankie Prater is working a case where young boys working as prositutes have gone missing.  Then he gets a lead on his case from a most unexpected source…the Arizona Flagstaff Police Department where a joint task force has convened after the arrest of a serial  rapist murderer and sadist..  Turns out that this monster is responsible for the abduction of 40 boys and girls from around the country and among them just might be the young boy missing Frankie is looking for in Atlanta.

Frankie journeys to Flagstaff hoping for answers and perhaps even the boy himself.  With him is Brady Owens.  Brady lived six years as a prostitute after his parents threw him out at the age of twelve.  While on the streets, his boyfriend was killed by a rogue cop and he himself was tortured before being saved by Frankie’s brother, the City Knight and his friends.  Now he lives with Frankie and his kids.   Brady has turned eighteen. Brady knows what and who he wants.  It’s Frankie Prater and he is pretty sure that Frankie wants him back.  But how to convince him that he’s all grownup and ready for a relationship?

In the middle of an investigation where the missing kids are  plentiful, their bodies are missing, and clues are scarce, will Frankie figure out his feelings for Brady before the investigation turns deadly once more?

T.A. Webb is killing me here.  Never have I handed out  so many high ratings as I have with this series and authors.  And with Frankie’s Knight, a side story from this year’s Pulp Friction’s Elemental Connections series, the  pattern continues.  Once more, T.A. Webb is able to combine the two series (City Knight) and (Earthquake) in a realistic and dramatic fashion.  Here the connecting element is missing boys, both in Atlanta and Flagstaff.   Unfortunately from the last Earthquake novel, Tremors (Earthquake #3), we have learned  the identity of the culprit behind a main character’s kidnapping.  It is revealed that he is not only a sadist but a serial rapist and murderer of more than 40 boys and girls across the US.  That horrific discovery reverberates across agencies and states where the children were kidnapped, among them Atlanta.

There is always an element of angst to these stories whether it is kidnapping, torture, abuse or murder.  But in Frankie’s Knight, that aspect is heartbreaking as Webb works the reality of  those discarded LGBTQ children on the streets and the life that awaits them there as castoffs from  family and society. There are so many of them, a fact highlighted by the shear number of children this person was able to kidnap and kill without raising alarm. Unfortunately this is another realistic element here as the media and law enforcement can attest.   T.A. Webb’s treatment and characterizations of these kids is both authentic and profoundly painful.  We have seen it in Brady Owens and his friends from the City Knight series last year.  Here Brady’s background of abuse and prostitution will come into play in a most unexpected way.

T.A. Webb’s plot is gripping.  The suspense  builds as the hunt for the Atlanta boy intensifies.  All the law enforcement agents gathered combine forces and resources to put this person away for good, find the boys and girls missing, even if they think it is only bodies to locate at this point.  And through it all, Brady and Frankie are trying to find their way to each other and a HEA.  Webb gives us tension with a capital T, whether it is the building sexual tension between Brady and Frankie or the stress and tension caused by the investigation that comes with a time restriction.  It all builds into an explosive finale worth of the plot and characters.  Just amazing.  And once more,  T.A. Webb leaves the reader wanting more of all the people and couple involved.

I highly recommend Frankie’s Knight and all of the Earthquake and Elemental Connections series.  I have listed them for you at the bottom.  However, in order to avoid spoilers and to understand the sequence of events and character development, they should be read in the order they were written.  Grab them all up today.  This is one amazing author and series!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Amazing cover, I love it.

Sales links:             All Romance eBooks           Amazon           Frankie’s Knight

Books in the Earthquake (Pulp Friction 2014) series in the order they should be read:

Higher Ground (Earthquake #1) (Pulp Friction 2014 #4)
Moving Earth (Earthquake #2) (Pulp Friction 2014 #8)
Tremors (Earthquake #3) (Pulp Friction #12)
Frankie’s Knight (Elemental Connections: IV) (Earthquake #3.5)
Aftershocks (Earthquake #4) (Pulp Friction 2014 #16)

Higher Ground coverMoving Earth coverTremors cover by TA WebbFrankie's Knight cover

Book Details:
ebook, 65 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by A Bear on Books
ISBN139781310928611
edition languageEnglish

Review: Out in the Cold (In From the Cold #4) (Pulp Friction 2014 #14) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Out In The Cold coverThe summer is coming to an end and with it, Dr. Cannon Malloy’s temporary job at the hospital and his stay at Mountain Shadows.   And now that Cannon should be preparing to say his goodbyes to Flaggstaff and the people he has gotten to know so well, he finds that’s the last thing he wants to do. His reluctance to leave especially applies to the relationship that has grown up between himself and Prof.Finn Lorensson.  Cannon has figured out that he loves Finn but what does Finn feel about Cannon?  That Cannon sets out to explore.  He wants to wine and dine and plain romance the heck out of Finn before its too late.

But Finn Lorensson has other things on the mind, huge problems that are getting bigger and bigger.  His brother Siggy is due in court on the trumped up rape charge,  And someone is out to get Finn at all costs.  Finn is beginning to think that Cannon is safer far away from him and Mountain Shadows even as the thought of Cannon leaving seems unbearable.

What happens when romance and danger collide?  Will the evil hunting Finn keep the men apart just when love has found them both?

This story and series (like its companions) is getting harder and harder to review.  Why?  Because the reviewer ends up saying the same things repeatedly.  The standards here are so high for excellence in character, plots, and writing that its hard to find something new to say.  But I’ll give it a whirl.

Out In The Cold is the penultimate story in Lee Brazil’s In From The Cold Pulp Friction 2014 group series.  There are five stories individually and then one sixth story written by all four authors for a finale.  So as you can imagine, things are getting ready to explode for all the characters living in Mountain Shadows.  The past is returning in multiple ways to each and every one.  Old friends are showing up.  So are old enemies and lovers.  And you can feel the mountain air crackle with suspense.

Lee Brazil’s Cannon Malloy is a character that has found himself in Mountain Shadows.  He’s come into his own skin and sexuality over the course of the stories.  And that solidification of character has made him someone the readers can love.  What a redemption for a man who almost single handedly destroyed  Chance Dumont (from the PF2013 series).  Then Cannon was a figure of contempt and pity.  Now? Lee Brazil has painstakingly turned this persona around until we believe in him as much as he has begun to.  What a tremendous journey we have been on with him.

The person who has not only witnessed that turn about but caused most of it is Prof. Finn Lorensson.  An intelligent, Thor lookalike, Finn has layers upon layers to him.  And all those layers are in love with Cannon Malloy.  Finn is deeply connected to his town and the people there, including his brother, Siggy.  Siggy is in trouble and it points back to Finn.  Finn has had problems at the college he teaches at, and they inadvertently involved Cannon as well.  Brazil has taken great care to make Finn as vulnerable, and fallible as possible to offset the image of a Nordic god made human.  Finn needs his human frailties in order for the readers to connect with him and for Cannon to believably fall in love with him.  Give us someone too perfect and it just wouldn’t work amidst this oh so human cast of characters.  How I love Finn too with his sense of honor and loyalty.

Someone is out to get Finn, no matter the cost to him and those around him.  With Out in the Cold, Lee Brazil’s narrative turns the proverbial corner as the race is on to the finish. The plot set up is done. The suspense has been building as has the mystery. Now as Cannon’s opens himself up to the pain of rejection in his quest for love from Finn, the stakes are heartbreakingly high for each man.  How high becomes apparent by the end of the story.  Danger is everywhere.  It”s personal, it will get physical, and the anticipation is nigh killing me here.

What a magnificent series, what a fantastic set of characters and mysteries to boot!  Will Cannon and Finn make it to their HEA?  I can’t wait to find out! Neither will you.  I hope you have been following along with me with this series (and their connected series).  But if this is a new story, or author, then make haste and check out the list of the Pulp Friction 2014 authors and series at the bottom of the review.  Read them in order.  They are like the best bonbons in the world.  Once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop.   These are fictional delights for the soul and all of them will have their special place on ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Best of 2014!

Buy Links:                    All Romance (ARe)              Amazon                 Out in the Cold

Cover art by Laura Harner. Everything about these covers works wonderfully.  The PF2014 logo with the mountains at the top, the models, and the landscape at the bottom.  Perfect for the story and for branding the series!

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 31st 2014 by Lime Time Press
edition languageEnglish
seriesPulp Friction 2014 #14,

The Pulp Friction 2014 series in the order they were written and should be read to understand the characters, events and plot:

Round One:

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

Round Two:

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

Round Three:

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

Round Four:

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 4.5 Side Stories:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)
Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows (PF2014 4.5)

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
charactersFinn Lorensso

 

 

Review: Taking Chances (Elemental Connections 2 – PF 2014 Bonus) by Lee Brazil

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Taking Chances CoverChance is on the phone with Cannon out in Arizona, when he hears Cannon give a shout, a banging on the door at the other end of the phone and then a dropped call.  When further calls to Cannon go unanswered, there is only one thing to do.  Drop  everything and head out immediately for Mountain Shadows, Arizona, and Cannon.  That’s exactly what Chance DuMont and his young lover, Rory Gaines, do.  For when old  friends and ex-lovers need help, you help them.  Even if it might cause some problems with your new lover and your happy relationship.

Even though Rory and Cannon have become friends, uncertainties and old jealousies are never  far away.  When Chance is reunited with his old love, how will his new one handle it?

Taking Chances is a bonus story that combines the characters from the first Pulp Friction series, Chances Are in 2013 and brings them into the realm of the Elemental Connections Pulp Friction 2014 series.  Specifically, Chance DuMont and his new lover, Rory Gaines are off to visit/rescue Chance’s old lover Cannon Malloy who is living at the Mountain Shadows campground outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.

Cannon Malloy is a crossover character from the first series and now he is in the middle of the mess that is Mountain Shadows Campgrounds.  Desperately  unhappy when he first moved west, he has periodically called Chance and Rory when homesickness and loneliness hit home.  In this new series, Cannon has really come into his own as a character.  He’s no longer at odds with his sexuality and the move has been good for him, mostly.  But that last phone call brings some unexpected visitors and some closure too.

Taking Chances is a sort of temporary reprieve from all the emotional drama and criminal events happening at Mountain Shadows.   Chance and Rory think they are riding to the rescue.  Are they?  Not for me to say.  But Brazil uses this short story to bring closure to certain matters between the three characters as well as let us see an event that has already occurred from another perspective.  One real highlight?  Viewing the new Cannon through the lens of his ex lover and friend, Chance.  It makes the changes in Cannon fresh and vivid.  Typically, the story is told from either Cannon or Finn’s view point which means we are  deep in the middle of whatever muddle or argument or sexy makeup or out session they are involved in.  Now we get to step back and see it from someone removed from the daily happenings and their personal lives.  And I just loved that.

Plus any chance to visit with, well, Chance and Rory, is great too.  We get caught up on their lives and romance since the last time we saw them in 2013.  Lee Brazil’s narrative strides along, complete with snark, snappy dialog, and a few poignant moments. And its over way too soon.

Taking Chances is short, sweet, and sexy.  It combines old characters we loved with new ones we have grown to love and the mixture is marvelous.  I hope this is only the first of many crossover stories to come.  Fingers crossed in anticipation.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Lovely as usual.

For all the Pulp Friction 2014 stories, visit any of my reviews for Havan Fellows Whispering Winds series, T.A. Webb’s Earthquake series, Lee Brazil’s In From the Cold series or Laura Harner’s Fighting Fire series.  All part of the Elemental Connections Pulp Friction 2014 interconnected series.

Buy Links:                  All Romance Ebooks (ARe)                     Amazon         Taking Chances

About Pulp Friction 2014

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.

Book Details:

ebook, First, 37 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Lime Time Press
ASINB00LMOIT9W
edition languageEnglish