A MelanieM Review: Fallout (Flight HA1710 #4) by Meredith Russell

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Can missing a fatal flight be the wake up call Harrison needs?

Fallout coverWhen Harrison Kelley is banned from getting on Flight HA1710, it seems to be the perfect ending to a crappy couple of days. Not only did he wreck a wedding, but he’s drunk way too much and been on the receiving end of the groom’s brother’s fists. Being escorted out of the airport by security was just the icing on the wedding cake.

Elijah Pettifer has lusted after Harrison from afar for years but Harrison never sees him as anything more than a friend. If he ever saw him at all. While attempting to defend what little honor Harrison has left, Elijah gets caught up in the wave of chaos surrounding his teenage crush. But missing his flight home because of Harrison’s mess might just be the luckiest thing to ever happen to him.

With a 24 hour ban imposed by the airport, and having only each other for company, the two men grow closer. But will the fate of the airplane they should have been on be the push Harrison needs to walk away from the toxic relationship of his past? And can Elijah make Harrison see exactly what he’s been missing out on because of it?

The saga of doomed Flight HA1710 continues with Fallout by Meredith Russell.  This time the crash and aftermath affects not the passengers or crew but two people who missed the flight.  Harrison Kelley’s closeted boyfriend of many, many years is getting married, only not to Harrison but to an unsuspecting woman.  Harrison is but one of the wedding party at a destination wedding attended by many of a close set of friends.  One of those friends is Elijah Pettifer, is  crazy about Harrison, has been since their school  days but Elijah has always been overlooked because of Harrison’s passion for Anthony,  your basic self centered user.

Now all gather to celebrate Anthony’s wedding and the situation combusts when Anthony not only expresses his intention of continuing their “secret” affair after the wedding but is caught by Harrison with another man.  Talk about an unhealthy relationship.

And that’s part of my issue with this story.   So much of it is Harrison acting like a jerk, weeping over his long term affair with the closeted Anthony, who is as self serving as he is  emotionally cold.  Harrison, of course, gets drunk and acts out, and behaves generally like a “lover scorned” instead of the adult he is supposed to be.  Harrison’s connection to Anthony is almost one of obsession, one that’s a little masochistic at that.  If, as a reader, you connect to Harrison’s misplaced (and years long) passion for Anthony and sympathize with him, then you will like this story.  If, like me, you found yourself growing tired of his whining and actions, then you will find yourself getting impatient with the characters and the storyline.

Elijah is a caring person, a man who lusts after Harrison because of a drunken kiss in their youth. Yes, there is a pattern of alcohol abuse (Harrison’s) that is not directly addressed here and I think it should have been given its many mentions in the plot.  It takes most of the story before Harrison is able to see him as a person and treats him accordingly.  And yes, it often felt as though Elijah had a doormat in place of a spine.

What saves this book for me is the lack of instant love and a relationship. This is definitely a “promise” of more, instead of an actual romance.  The aftermath of the crash and the emotional impact is handled believably.  The character of Harrison feels realistic too, he’s just not someone I connected with.  For me, it was a nice story in a collection of novels I’m enjoying but not an especially memorable one.

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  Wonderful covers for this series, great for branding and for the characters in each story.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published July 3rd 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN13 9781785640162
 Series Promo banner

Flight HA1710 series

6 authors, 6 primary works

When Flight HA1710 crashes killing seven people the after effects are too many to think on. But how does the crash change people’s lives? From the pilot to the guy who missed the plane we chart the stories of those whose lives were impacted by the crash.

 

A MelanieM Review: Flashbulb (Flight HA1710 #3) by Clare London

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Flashbulb coverBlythe Harris was taking his first flight to the USA and hopefully a whole new client base for his bespoke upholstery business. An adventure for him, he was both nervous and excited to attract the attention of a handsome steward. Things might have gone further – if Flight HA1710 hadn’t failed.

Marc Stafford is a self-confessed player, and he used his charm to seduce his cute passenger. But in the aftermath of the crash, he’s struggling to recover his confidence. The TV declares him a hero for saving passengers, but at night his nightmares trigger painful flashbulb memories of the crash.

In an Irish hospital, Bly realises that although his broken leg will recover, his career may not. And in Chicago, Marc can’t face returning to work. Neither of them can shake off the memory of their brief, sexy encounter. Both of them need to be with someone who understands exactly what they’ve been through. And on a middle ground they can make all their own.

Flashbulb is the third story in the series Flight HA 1710, a collection that  revolves around an airline disaster.  Each story reflects the aftermath of the airline crash through the survivors and the way in which this horrific event changed them forever. Flashbulb is a wonderful story (outside of that awkward title).  Clare London’s characters are vastly different in life experience and outlook when we first encounter them on the plane.  Marc Stafford, a flight  attendant, is about to get in trouble yet again with his   flight supervisor.  An unrepentant flirt, he is a party boy who finds his temporary companions on the flights he works. That and his attitude have made him a target for the strict supervisor on board.  At the beginning, Marc comes across as superficial, slutty, but good at his job.

His target on this flight?  Blythe Harris off on his first journey to the US for an opportunity to expand his upholstery business. Its Blythe’s first everything.  First flight, first time to the US, and first time getting hit on by the very sexy Marc.  There’s a spark that flies between them during the early moments of the flight and then the airplane crashes.  In the aftermath, Marc and Blythe finds themselves very different men from the ones that boarded that aircraft.  Marc, named a hero for his actions in saving those that he could, is haunted by the victims he lost and the fear of getting on another plane.  Blythe?  He awakes to find himself broken.  A broken leg, and injured hands that may just cost him his business, flooded with uncertainty and fear.  Its in the aftermath that both characters come fully to life in their vulnerability and pain.

Clare London does a superb job in making these men believable and courageous.  First the flight brings them together, then it flings them apart to recover in distant locations but they discover that only together may they fully heal and find a future.  These are believable characters dealing in realistic ways with one of the most horrific things that can happen to a person.  London  brings us into their lives, makes us feel their anger, pain, and uncertainty every step of their path towards healing and a deep relationship.  By the end, I was cheering them on as they struggled with miscommunication and self sacrifice that almost costs them each other and a future.  And all the way through it, London delivers the drama, the developing relationship and its hurdles with a deft touch and moving narrative.

I love this series and Flashbulb by Clare London is one of my favorites.  Its one emotional ride, an endearing romance that any reader and lover of M/M contemporary romance stories is sure to enjoy.  Pick it up and settle in for Marc and Blythe’s journey towards healing and love.

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  Great cover. It works perfectly for the character and the series.

Sales Links:  All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 26th 2015 by Jocular Press
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.clarelondon.com/books/novellas/flashbulb
seriesFlight HA1710 #3

Series Promo banner

 

Flight HA1710 series

6 authors, 6 primary works

When Flight HA1710 crashes killing seven people the after effects are too many to think on. But how does the crash change people’s lives? From the pilot to the guy who missed the plane we chart the stories of those whose lives were impacted by the crash.

 

A MelanieM Review: Velocity (Flight HA1710 #2) by Sara York

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Velocity coverThe crash of Flight HA1710 brings life into focus for Phil Stewart. Before meeting Davin Tierney, love seemed only a myth to Phil, but one night in New York City changed everything, giving him something he didn’t even know existed. But Phil wasn’t comfortable saying I love you. During the crash, Davin suffers a brain injury, leaving him in a coma. Phil wonders how love can be so cruel to give him Davin and then take him away so suddenly.

Davin never intended to give Phil a second look, but Phil broke through barriers and made amazing overtures before stalling on the word love. The crash changes everything, and he’s no longer willing to play it safe, but can Phil actually change from the playboy Davin first met?

Velocity by Sara York is the second in the airline disaster series HA1710 from a group of writers.  Six authors are telling the stories of six couples deeply impacted by this tragedy because they were on the plane when it went down or because they were closely connected to it.  The idea behind this series is a moving and emotional one.  Book one, Retrograde by RJ Scott, kicked off the series with a terrific installment from the surviving pilot’s POV.  Now comes Sara York’s Velocity and we’re caught up in the aftermath from the perspective of a couple that were passengers on the flight who survived the crash…just.

The couple, Phil Stewart and Davin Tierney, are flying to Chicago from their home in Ireland in order for Davin to meet Phil’s mother, who’s health has left her unable to travel.  Phil is taking their 6-month  relationship to the next level and this indicates just how serious he is about David and their future together.  Then the plane crashes shortly after takeoff.

The story opens a day after the crash.  Phil is hospitalized with his injuries and desperate to find out what happened to Davin.  Its one frantic, pain filled scene after another and its Phil’s  anguish and uncertainty that pulls us into their story.  We understand his panic and frustration with the hospital personnel, and the lack of information available since the crash is still so fresh.  I thought this was actually the best section of the story.  Its impact is immediate and  deeply felt.

Interspersed with scenes from the present day activities and Phil’s attempts to find Davin, we get flashbacks to the night when player Phil first encounters Davin leaving a club in Chicago.  Their first connection is electric and it changes their lives in an instant.  That is especially true for Phil, who is a “love them and leave them” sort of individual.  These scenes worked too.  I believed in Phil and Davin’s bond and Phil’s surprise at the strength of his own feelings.

For the majority of Velocity, I found the story and the couple realistic and believable.  Their  plight was moving,  and the situation around them had the authentic feel of the aftermath of a catastrophe.  But then something almost indefinable  occurs and the story and their relationship (or perhaps more realistically my interest in their relationship) started to wain.  The narrative becomes a bit jumbled as the men try to pick up their lives again.

York only partially addresses the mental and emotional state of those who have just survived a tragedy of  such enormous measure, the impact upon them felt fleeting and unbelievable.   There is one scene that appears with an emotional explosion that lifts the ennui that has settled over the plot, which would be fine (and authentic) except the author has laid no foundation for it previously in her story.  It comes out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly.  And the fact that this element was a fascinating turn of events (one of the better ones), left this reader feeling frustrated at its promise and loss.

Velocity is a sweet story that had the potential of a terrific one, the promise of which dribbles away as the story moves to its conclusion.  Still, I’m happy  to  have made Phil and Davin’s acquaintance and look forward to the next story in the series, Flashbulb by Clare London.  We meet up with Rory Kendrick from RJ Scott’s story, Retrograde, in a moving scene at the hospital and I hope that’s an element we will have in each story as the investigation of the crash and the impact on peoples lives moves forward.   I really like this series and can’t wait to see where the stories and characters go next.

If you love reading  sweet M/M romance with a hint of angst, this story is for you.

Cover art by Meredith Russell is amazing.  I love the way the artist has branded the series and yet still keep each cover individual in design.  Great job.

Sales Links:    All Romance (ARe)  |  Amazon  |  Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook
Published June 19th 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN139781310523052
seriesFlight HA1710 #2

Series Promo banner

Flight HA1710 series

6 authors, 6 primary works

When Flight HA1710 crashes killing seven people the after effects are too many to think on. But how does the crash change people’s lives? From the pilot to the guy who missed the plane we chart the stories of those whose lives were impacted by the crash.

  • Retrograde (Flight HA1710 #1) by R.J. Scott
  • Velocity (Flight HA1710 #2) by Sara York
  • Flashbulb (Flight HA1710 #3) by Clare London
  • Fallout (Flight HA1710 #4) by Meredith Russell
  • Aviophobia (Flight HA1710, #5) by Serena Yates
  • Fracture (Flight HA1710 #6) by Amber Kell

A MelanieM Review: Retrograde (Flight HA1710 #1) by R.J. Scott

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Rating:   4.25 stars out of 5

Retrograde FinalCo-Pilot Lachlan Donaghue wakes up in hospital, a survivor of the crash of Flight HA1710, with memory loss and the suspicion that he could be at fault for the tragic accident. When everything becomes too much he is taken home to hide, back to the small Irish town he grew up in and to the home he once shared with Rory.

Rory Kendrick watches the news, sees every hour of the disaster unfold and somehow just knows that Lachlan was in the middle of it all. What he doesn’t know is that Lachlan will be forced to come back home to hide and to heal. Lachlan needs a friend, not a lover, but sometimes the lines are just too blurred to make any sense.

Retrograde by RJ Scott is the  first in a new series that  revolves around a doomed flight.  Each story is told from the perspective of a survivor of the airline disaster and each story is written by a  different author.  I love series like this one because for each person we get a author with their own style of writing and take on characters.

RJ Scott was a terrific choice for the unfortunate co-pilot Lachlan Donaghue.  Scott’s gift for characterization and ability to convey an intimate relationship is needed when one of the character’s caught in a mental and physical trauma that has cost him his memory and so many people their lives.  We have to jump immediately over to his side and we do. Right from the start.

So much responsibility rests on his shoulders and he is unable to remember any of it…at first.  Told from Lachlan’s POV, when Lachlan awakes in the hospital room, the world has become a painful, scary, guilt-ridden place where people are demanding answers from him that his traumatized mind can’t provide.

RJ Scott makes this man someone we immediately empathize with even though we know almost nothing  about him.  Lachlan hears the  doubt in the investigator’s voice and  the angry, loud accusations from the ever present reporters trying to invade his hospital  room and temporary  sanctuary.   Lachlan doesn’t remember what happens…just that his friends and colleagues as well as passengers have died in the awful crash.  Alone, aching and in unmeasurable mental anguish, Lachlan is easy to connect with.  But he becomes someone we can love when his past arrives at his hospital room.

Rescue comes in the form of farmer Rory Kendrick, childhood friend and ex fiance.  Rory offers Lachlan his support, his farm and “their house” as a place to recuperate and be safe as the investigation continues.  Lachlan’s lack of memory doesn’t extend to their relationship and last fight that saw them split up.  That painful time is something that Lachlan’s remembers all too well.    RJ Scott takes us easily from their estranged present to their past and back again.  She establishes a loving relationship that really hasn’t faltered no matter what angry words and stubbornness has passed between them.  As a couple Rory and Lachlan are people we can love and do by the end of the story.

An ending that arrives too soon for me.  I wanted to know more about what happens next and how the investigation was moving along.  That will play out over the next stories and we will see it happen through various survivor’s eyes.  I can’t wait for that to happen.

While each story stands on its own, I believe that reading them in order will round out the series narrative in the right way.  I have listed them all at the bottom.  Use it to add to your TBR pile as I have mine.  I definitely recommend Retrograde by RJ Scott.  It was a quick, dramatic and satisfying story.   I loved the characters and the series format.  Wonderful job all the way around.

Cover by Meredith Russell is perfect for the story and the series.

Sales Links:   Love Lane Books ♦  All Romance (ARe)  ♦  Amazon  ♦  Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published by Love Lane Books Limited (first published June 12th 2015)
seriesFlight HA1710 #1

Series Promo banner

Flight HA1710 series

6 authors, 6 stories, 1 disaster

When Flight HA1710 crashes killing seven people the after effects are too many to think on. But how does the crash change people’s lives? From the pilot to the guy who missed the plane we chart the stories of those whose lives were impacted by the crash.

 

  • Retrograde (Flight HA1710 #1) by R.J. Scott
  • Velocity (Flight HA1710 #2) by Sara York
  • Flashbulb (Flight HA1710 #3) by Clare London
  • Fallout (Flight HA1710 #4) by Meredith Russell
  • Aviophobia (Flight HA1710, #5) by Serena Yates
  • Fracture (Flight HA1710, #6) by Amber Kell

Can Tragedy Lead to Love? Find Out with Retrograde (Flight HA1710 #1) by RJ Scott (excerpt and giveaway)

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Retrograde Final
Retrograde (Flight HA1710 #1) by RJ Scott
Release Date:  June 12, 2014

6 Authors, 6 Stories. This is the First!

Buy Links at RJ Scott’s Blog (preorder at Amazon & All Romance)

Read the inspiration behind the collection at RJ Scott’s blog.  For more information about the stories and authors involved, go to the end of the post or visit RJ Scott’s blog linked above.

Blurb:

Co-Pilot Lachlan Donaghue wakes up in hospital, a survivor of the crash of Flight HA1710, with memory loss and the suspicion that he could be at fault for the tragic accident. When everything becomes too much he goes home to hide, back to the small Scottish town he grew up in and to his family home.

Rory Kendrick watches the news, sees every hour of the disaster unfold but never thinks that Lachlan was in the middle of it all. Or that his friend will be forced to come back home to hide and to heal. What Lachlan needs is a friend, not a lover, but sometimes the lines are just too blurred to make any sense.

RJ Scott

About RJ

RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.  You can find/follow the author through the following sites:

Email:  rj@rjscott.co.uk
Website: http://www.rjscott.co.uk/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Rjscott_author
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/author.rjscott
LibraryThing: https://www.librarything.com/author/scottrj
Tumblr:  https://www.tumblr.com/blog/rjscott  (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos)
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/rjscottauthor/

Excerpt

Chapter 1

The day of the crash.

 

Lachlan Donaghue opened his eyes, cracked them just a little. Something had sideswiped him, glass in his hair, his hands gripping… to his left a person, eyes wide and open, facing Lachlan with not a spark of life left.

 

And red… orange. And silence. Utter and complete silence. 



He closed his eyes.

 

Rory. Help me. 



When he opened them again, this time there was no red, only the blur of a night sky, the black all encompassing. This time there was noise in the silence. A shout, crashes and bangs, and a sense of urgency in the people who stared at him now. 



“He’s alive.” 



“How the hell is he alive?” 



It hurt too much to keep his eyes open. 



Tell Rory I’m okay. Don’t let him worry. 



“Lachlan? Lachlan Donaghue? How old are you? Who is the Prime Minister? What is the Queen’s name? Lachlan? Can you hear me?” 



Who cares? I can’t even speak, let alone think. 



Lachlan answered… or at least in his head he answered, but his throat was tight, there was pain in his head and neck, and he was staring at whiteness and blinking at bright lights. 



Where had the red gone? And the black? 



“Lachlan. Open your eyes. Look at me!” 



I don’t want to. 



“Pupils responsive. Someone get him to the Ulster.” 



“He’s triaged for Downe.” 



“He’s the fucking first officer. Get him to the Ulster Hospital and away from the scene now.” 



Rory, I’m sorry. I should have told you I was sorry. 



The TV was loud, discordant, and scary with red and orange against black, and they were shouting at him from the screen. People walked around him, all the time talking about the TV—or was that the TV itself? Nothing made sense. 



“The Captain is dead.”

The words spun in his head, people talking around him; a chaos of noise. 



“Not… Andrew.” Lachlan murmured in despair. The staring eyes, the absolute stillness and quiet—Andrew was dead. Is everyone dead? Am I dead? What kind of hell was he in where they pushed him and held him, then took the pain away with needles? 



“Lachlan? Can you hear me? My name is Dr.…” 



The words faded, and he looked past the man who stared at him, looking instead at the screen, hearing the words all pilots dreaded to hear. Death. Destruction. Crash. 



His picture flashed on the screen labeled in yellow: Lachlan Donaghue, First Officer. Then there were safety records… and red … and orange. 



“And do you think, taking this into consideration, that the crash was deliberate? An act of terrorism? Or one of the pilots deliberately flying the plane into the ground?” A soft but insistent voice came from the TV. 



“There is nothing to indicate that at this moment. Neither of the black boxes have been located at this time—” 



“Do you know your pilots? Can the airline categorically say that the crash of Flight HA1710 was not pilot error?” 



“It’s too soon to comment—” 

“Can you say that?” 



Pause. 



“No. No we can’t.”

Giveaway

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Open worldwide. Link and prizes provided by the author.

Giveaway:
Competition to win $15 Amazon/Are giftcard, closes 29th June at 00:01 GMT (London)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or direct link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f922301b56/?

Series Promo banner

Flight HA1710 Collection

Book 1 – Retrograde, RJ Scott
Book 2 – Velocity, Sara York
Book 3 – Flashbulb, Clare London
Book 4 – Fallout, Meredith Russell
Book 5 – Aviophobia, Serena Yates
Book 6 – Fracture, Amber Kell

These are stories based around the crash, the man who missed the plane, the steward, the investigator, and just how one incident can change so many lives.