A MelanieM Review: Diamond Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner (Pulp Friction 2015 #12)

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Rating: 5 stars out  of 5     ★★★★★

Diamond Edge coverAlpha Jet Gorman might once have been a reluctant leader, but when he discovers someone is willing to murder in order to hide the origins of the newest members of the pack, his protective instincts are out in full force. To prevent further injury to the younger wolves, he works to uncover the truth of his deceased lover’s past—but the real answers he seeks may remain elusive as ever.

As an ancient vampire and former executioner for the Vampire Council, Nico Sanzio da Urbino takes a longer view when it comes to telling the truth—all is fair if you get there eventually—but the conflict between duty and heart have never been so personal. The price may be more than he is willing to pay as he attempts to keep his own secrets intact while helping Jet uncover the previous Alpha’s mysterious past.

With the New Orleans preternatural population continuing to increase at an unnatural rate, the local Alpha and the Odd Squad’s chief enforcer should have their attention focused on maintaining the human-to-super status quo, but with things between them heating up, their mutual distraction could prove deadly.

Give me the right vampire/werewolf combination and I’m all in.  With Jet and Nico, Laura Harner has her vampire and werewolf dynamic balance exactly right. Its on the edge, the power shifting subtly to each side from moment to moment. Nico and Jet are drawn to each other past what either had anticipated. One has age and knowledge, the other a youthfulness as well as a ability to love that the vampire has been missing. But their pull on each other goes beyond attraction and the need for blood into something unnamed and unknown…as yet.

Harner makes this attraction between Nico and Jet white hot and sizzling. Their scenes together when they finally give in to their feelings of lust…well, bring  on the fans!  But it was more.  Jet was still in so much pain over the loss of Russ and reeling from the revelations that their investigations were uncovering about the rogue baby wolves and Russ’ involvement. To have him, accept Nico and give him blood? That moment of exposure and acceptance? Made me love this couple even more. Then came the undercurrents of mystery and hidden secrets Jet was receiving from Nico and others  which had Jet starting to  wonder who exactly he could trust.  So typical of this series.

I loved the buildup of suspense.  The two point perspective helps to build our anticipation of further “emotional explosions” and angst to come, because we’re in the heads of  both our beloved  protagonists, for better or sometimes for worse.  In case of this story and ending, far, far, worse.

Diamonds Edge,  so sharp it can cut the hardest of materials, is by far my favorite so far.  That ending is a killer!  Now I need more.  Won’t get it, but definitely want it.  This series is so addicting!  Grab up all the stories and make it yours.  Must be read in the order they were written.   I highly recommend them all.  Read them one by one or wait until they are finished and binge read.  Whatever is your reading pleasure!

Cover Art by Laura Harner.  This is my favorite yet.  I don’t know if its because I’m just a back slut or if its because that stormy background combined with the muscly back gives off the supernatural vibes I’ve been looking for, either way, I love this.

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

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 73 pages
Published July 30th 2015 by Hot Corner Press
ASIN B0134S3J5M
edition language English

 

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About Pulp Friction 2015

Lee Brazil ~ Havan Fellows ~ Parker Williams ~ Laura Harner

The Pulp Friction 2015 Altered States Collection.
Four authors.
Four Series.
Twenty books.
One supernatural finale.

Spend a year with the creatures that go bump in the night…fighting for their rights to exist and protecting the innocents of The Big Easy. A diverse group of friends trying to find their place in a world they never had to “fit” into before.

Although each series can stand alone, we believe reading the books in the order they are released will increase your enjoyment.
Round One:
Drawing Dead (Jack of Spades: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blind Stud (King of Hearts: 1) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Bedpost (Four of Clubs: 1) by Parker Williams
Diamonds and Dust (Ace of Diamonds: 1) by Laura Harner

Round Two:
Dead Blind (Jack of Spades: 2) by Lee Brazil
Stud Player (King of Hearts: 2) by Havan Fellow
Up the Ante (Four of Clubs: 2 ) by Parker Williams
Diamond Draw (Ace of Diamonds: 2) by Laura Harner

Round Three:

Dead Button (Jack of Spades #3) by Lee Brazil
Blind Man’s Bluff (King of Hearts #3) by Havan Fellows
The Devil’s Playground (Four of Clubs #3) by Parker Williams
Diamonds Edge (Ace of Diamonds #3) by Laura Harner

A MelanieM Review: Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States #2) by L.E. Harner, and T.A. Webb

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

“Wolf or vamp? Decide. It has to be now.”

Deadly Shades of Gold coverA life altering decision made in seconds. For those were the last words Sam Garrett ever heard—as a human. And as something other than human, his career as a cop was over.

Travis Boudreaux knows exactly how Sam feels, its an all too familiar situation. But as Travis and Sam are about to find out… when some doors close, the golden window of opportunity opens. Crimes against supernaturals require a new and different approach, and once the Feds show up, the Odd Squad isn’t the only law enforcement game in town.

With paranormal crimes flourishing and  a revenge-seeking vampire creating deadly havoc, the new federal agent-in-charge is on a recruiting mission—and he’s more than ready to fight fire with fire. What do you get when you mix old friends, new enemies, and a license to kill?

Pure dynamite.

Warning: This is an erotic urban fantasy. In this series the vampires don’t sparkle, werewolves kill, and the men sometimes have sex. With each other.

Alrighty then!  With Deadly Shades of Gold, the romance of Sam and Travis is about to be well…something hot and wonderful.  As well as totally unexpected.  I loved this story wholeheartedly.  It made me want to do a few high fives and “hell to the yeah’s”!  To recap briefly, Sam and Travis were partners on the force and soon to be partners in love when a vampire attacked Travis and killed him.  But Travis didn’t stay dead for long and his return (on the day of his funeral), revealed to the world that vampires and other supernatural beings were real and living along side of them.  Surprise!  And quite, naturally it split up Sam and Travis to go their separate ways.

In Deep Blues Goodbye, Sam became the focus of two warring supernatural groups and the end result was a life altering decision (not to be revealed here).  The choice made is startling as is the effects it has on Sam, his career, and all those around him.   It also brings Travis back into his life and that’s where this story takes flight for me more once more.  I love this two together.  Apart, its bittersweet but together? They become dynamic and compelling.  It doesn’t matter whether they are human or supernatural, Harner and Webb have created a romance that feels powerful and real, a connection that jumps off the page and into your heart.  This story starts them on the path back to each other and something more as it picks up from that moment.

I love how believable the authors made the characters adjustment to their new status.  There’s plenty of confusion and pain to go around, second guessing and indecision often rules the day.  The process of accepting and adjusting to being a supernatural takes time and we watch it happen as Sam works his way through this tumultuous period. More plot threads are revealed, including perhaps, a motive or two from the head villain himself.  Unknown histories are starting to surface and more supernatural politics combine with romance for another superb installment in this series.  I think this is my favorite so far.

I highly recommend this series.  I love the world building, its layered and complicated, just like the characters themselves.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Love this cover, wish there was more branding to the series.

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

Book Details:

ebook, 134 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN139781937252311
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://lauraharner.com
seriesAltered States #2
charactersSam Garrett (Altered States), Travis Boudreaux

Books in the Altered States Series in the order they should be read:
• Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
• Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States, #1)
• Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2)
• Free Falling Crimson (Altered States, #3)

 

A MelanieM Review: Altered States (Altered States, #0.5) by Laura Harner

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Altered STates coverNew Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett is having a bad day.  Sam can’t stand working with partners, yet he’s been assigned an aggravating, hot, and most-likely-straight partner, Travis Boudreaux,.  Travis pushes all his buttoms, including the one that says Sam finds Travis seriously attractive, not good when the man in question is straight.

When Sam and Travis are assigned to investigate a string of gay-bashings turned deadly in the French Quarter, the last thing Sam expects is that Travis plans to use him as bait. The worst part? They’ve got no back-up because the rest of the city is preoccupied by another series of killings — the victims drained of blood.

It should be a simple thing to close this case…but this is New Orleans where the deadly, the mystical, and the unknown can combine in lethal ways as Sam and Travis are about to find out.

Altered States started out as a story prompt in the Goodreads M/M Romance’s Love is Always Write, Don’t Read in the Closet Events.  But Altered States was to be a springboard to an addictively absorbing new series from Laura Harner and T.A. Webb.  It all starts with the wonderful creation of New Orleans Police Detective Sam Garrett.  Sam is gay, biracial, and physically slight, or should that be wiry.   He’s complex and not terribly popular down at the Precinct, which is a mixture of characters, not all of which are exactly upstanding representations of the law.

Adding to his woes of too many hours, not enough sleep, and aggravation at work is the fact that Sam has been assigned a new partner.  Travis Boudreaux is more of an enigma, a question mark of a persona that looms larger at the shocking end.  The case they are assigned too is horrific in nature.  Young gay men are being tortured and killed and its up to them to stop it.

Harner and Webb weave a fascinating tale of wary men, unacknowledged appetites, and murder.  Then they overlay it all with a touch of the supernatural when victims in another salacious crime spree start turning up dead, drained entirely of their blood.   It’s a great plot, and that twist at the end is shocking.  I loved it!  So will  you.

The kicker comes at the beginning of the next story that really starts this series, Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1).  That one?  Oh my!  This series is like a bowl of bon bons, once you start in on them, they are so delicious and rich that you won’t be able to stop.  I quite happily read my way through all three available stories and am now anxiously waiting for the next.

Altered States is one of my highly recommended reads as is the series.  Grab it up, along with all the others and drop yourself in the New Orleans world of crime, passion, and the supernatural!

Cover Art by Laura Harner.  Dark, kind of noirish.  Perfect!

Sales Links:     All Romance (ARe) (free)         amazon             get it here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 41 pages
Published May 27th 2012 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB0086Y9MM4
series  Altered States

Books in the Altered States Series:

  • Altered States (Altered States, #0.5)
  • Deep Blues Goodbye (Altered States #1) by L.E. Harner, T.A. Webb
  • Deadly Shades of Gold (Altered States, #2) by L.E. Harner, T.A. Webb

 

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: Moving Mountains (Separate Ways #3) by Laura Harner

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Moving MountainsLord Jamie Mainwaring isn’t sure what the future holds for him.  The devastating betrayals of the last mission aboard the Caribbean cruise have left him feeling emotionally battered and shaky.  The closer Jamie looked at the events that caused the death of his lover and almost his life, the more deceit he uncovered.  Soon Jamie realizes that he has been manipulated and lied to for most of his life.  Shattered and uncertain, Jamie realizes that there is only one man he can trust and turn to in this web of manipulation and deception….the man he left behind twice, Detective Remy Remington.

Detective Remy Remington and Miguel “Miggy” Rojas  have moved forward in their lives together in Phoenix, Arizona.  Their security business has taken off, and so has their relationship.  Partners in everything, from a business to adopting one of the unfortunate boys from the London mission, Remy and Miggy are happy together.  But all that is about to change.

Remy’s former chief  at the PD is dead, Remy’s name scratched in the dirt by his body.  Miggy was once an addict as was his twin sister.  Now she reappears on their doorstep and trouble is following her.  And on top of all that, Jamie arrives needing support and assistance from Remy, a situation that leaves Miggy unsettled and more than a little jealous.

With so many problems needing investigation and personal issues unsettled, the danger is just beginning for all three and it might just cost them their relationships and their lives.

If you are anything like me and fell in love with all three main characters in the Separate Ways series…Lord Jamie Mainwarring, Det. Remy Remington, and Miggy Rojas…then this is the book that will leave you feeling as devastated as Jamie did at the end of Oceans Apart.  Make no mistake, this is as outstanding a story as it is emotionally wrenching.  And that fact alone will have people hurling their books at walls, howling and bawling buckets here.  Why?  Because Laura Harner puts us and her characters through the proverbial wringer in Moving Mountains, a book you will hate to love.

In Continental Divide and Oceans Apart, we watched the dance of attraction and deep connection that developed between Lord Jamie Mainwaring and Detective Remy Remington.  First in a case in London involving missing young boys and murder in Continental Divide (Separate Ways #1), then on a gay cruise on an ocean liner in Oceans Apart.  On each occasion and mission that brings them together, the timing is off although the attraction remains white hot.  Both characters (and satellite ones) are superbly written.  These are nuanced, layered personas, easy to believe in and even easier to love and connect with.

And with each story, Laura Harner builds our frustration and anxiety over their  relationship and personal obstacles in between them.  One of these “obstacles” is Miguel “Miggy” Rojas.  And old friend of Remy’s, he appears early in the series in need of drying out and support.  Which he gets from Remy.  Theirs is a deep, complicated relationship but the more you see of Miggy the more you come to love him as well.  That’s a nifty feat for a character that by his very presence keeps our two main characters apart.

The tag line of Moving Mountains is “It’s easier to move a mountain than escape the past.”  That is certainly true of the story here.  Harner’s excellent plot has as many layers and complications as its characters.  There are mysteries and murders to solve, connections you will never see coming, and events that will leave you in tears, just devastated at the turn of events.  Yes, parts of this book are hard to experience.  But the choices that Harner makes here as an author are also logical and necessary.  For some fans and readers, that will be their hardest obstacle to overcome with this story and perhaps even the series.

The past certainly comes back to haunt all three characters here and as the sequence of events plays out, Laura Harner is setting the stage for the final story in the Separate Ways series, Prevailing Winds (Separate Ways #4).  As we sail towards the finale, I can say that this has been a moving and memorable voyage.  I have come to love these men through each intricately plotted and beautifully written story.  I have loved and cried with them.  And then cried some more.  And wouldn’t have missed a page of it, even with all the turmoil involved.

If you are new to the series, then please start with Continental Divide to see how these two men meet and separate the first time around.  Then onto to Oceans Apart and here at Moving Mountains.  Then you will be prepared for Prevailing Winds, just like me.  Or at least I hope we will be prepared.  With Laura Harner you never know.  It will be a wonderful rollercoaster, that is for certain.  Consider this story and the series, highly recommended!

Cover art by Laura Harner.  The simple restrained design works beautifully here.

Buy Links:              All Romance eBooks (ARe)                        Amazon                     Moving Mountains

 Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 199 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB00GAQGH00
edition languageEnglish
seriesSeparate Ways #3

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

Continental Divide coverOceans Apart coverMovingMountains8x12PrevailingWinds8x12

 

Review: Flare-up (Fighting Fire #4) by Laura Harner (Pulp Friction 2014 Series)

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Flare-Up cover by Laura HarnerFollowing his recent meltdown during a fire on Mountain Shadows and the increasing frequency of his nightmares, Scott McGregor is unsure of everything…his home, his future, and his relationship with Robby Hammond.  Scott is buried under the guilt he feels about the accident that caused his disability and another’s injury.   And now that he knows about Robby’s children and previous marriage, he wonders how he will fit into the new family dynamics, if at all.

Rob Hammond has gone to bring his children home from his mother-in-law’s house where they have been staying.  He wants to introduce them to Scott and their new home on Mountain Shadows.  He loves Scott and hopes that with his children in their home, it will send a message about how serious Rob is about their relationship and their future together.

But a new danger to Mountain Shadows campground grows bolder and soon events start to escalate out of control.  When the fires flare up around them, can Rob and Scott keep each other and Rob’s family safe from harm?

With Flare-up, Laura Harner starts the journey towards the end of the series and the resolution to the Elemental Connections series finale.  Events are on a collision course as more acts of vandalism and arson increase and the personal  problems of Scott McGregor soar.

Laura Harner brings Rob’s adorable family into the picture at the beginning of the story.  His children are endearing and it shows yet another element in Robby’s personality, that of a loving father and family man.  We are given a few more hints of Rob and Scott’s background and a temporary reprieve from the suspense and dangers present at the Mountain Shadows campground these days.  I just love this segment and wanted it to go on much longer.  So will you.

Scott’s inability to deal with his disability and departure from the profession of firefighter is given forward movement out of the present stasis here.  The author uses a wonderfully realistic method to shock Scott into looking at his current abilities and future in a pragmatic and raw way.  I thought this was a necessary and authentic moment for the reader and Scott.  It brought some of the dangers of being a wildfire firefighter into play and the vivid descriptions of the heat, smoke and agility needed to handle the equipment and quickness of the fires brought such a hazard and tragedy to life.

This is not a story or series you can get comfortable in.  As soon as you settle in to a certain mind frame, Laura Harner is just as quick to jerk you out of it with some new aspect of her plot or new revelation about the problems and events occurring on Mountain Shadows campground and this couples relationship.  It’s all about building up to some gargantuan disclosure and overwhelming event that will happen in the last stories. Laura Harner is  an expert at building an atmosphere of suspense and anticipation needed to sustain the necessary momentum.  And with Flare-up both the title and the plot start us running towards the fire.

I loved this.  It makes me want to go back and reread all the stories that preceeded it.  I want to savor the buildup and the events that Laura Harner is using as the ingredients for her series finale.  This is a highly recommended story and series.  Put it on your must read lists now.  But make sure you start at the beginning.  That’s absolutely necessary in order to understand, enjoy, and yes, savor, the full intensity and layers to this plot.  Book No. 5 here I come!!!!!

Cover art by Laura Harner. Love the covers, love the branding for the series.

Buy Links:                    All Romance eBooks (ARe)                               Amazon                                Flare-up

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 72 pages
Published July 14th 2014 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB00LTED5H6
edition languageEnglish

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 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

Side Stories or Interludes:

Taking Chances by Lee Brazil (a In From the Cold story)

 

Review: Firestorm (Fighting Fire #1) by Laura Harner

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Firestorm by Laura HarnerAfter a wildland fire put Scott McGregor on the disabled list and ended his career as a firefighter, Scott had to start his life anew.  While in the hospital, an old emergency contact number saw the reentry into his life of Robby Hammond, a former college lover of his.  Together they see  Scott settled into his new home and life as owner of the Mountain Shadows Campgrounds.  Comprised of a number of rental cabins as well as a bed and breakfast, Mountain Shadows is full of challenges, not the least of which is having Robby Hammond back in his life again.

Finding Scott again after all these years is hard enough for Robby but then to see Scott alone and in pain in that burn unit, well, that was enough for Robby to do the unthinkable and uproot his own life.  Leaving San Francisco is hard but taking a job as a law enforcement ranger part time is even harder. Robby, like Scott, has to adjust to a new town, Flagstaff, and a new residence too.  What is not new to either man is the white hot attraction that sparks back to life the moment they see each other again.

But what forced them to separate the first time around remains between them causing them both unlimited hurt.  Still the flames of love and passion continue to rise.  Where there is smoke, there is sure to be fire…sooner or later.

The Pulp Friction authors have started the adventure once more!  Firestorm (Fighting Fire#1) is the first in Laura Harner’s series for the Pulp Friction 2014 interconnected storyline and its off to a terrific start.  Comprised off just six chapters, Harner dumps the reader immediately into Scott’s new life as he travels with Robby from the burn unit in Albuquerque where he was recently discharged to the Mountain Shadows campground where he is to begin his new life.  We learn bits and pieces of Scott (and Robby’s past) as they travel the road up the mountain uncertain of exactly what his new property looks like.

I love riding along with the characters as they prepare to start this new chapter in their lives.  It brings us face to face with all the uncertainty and stress of the unknown ahead of Scott.  The property was bought sight unseen and Scott has no idea of what lies ahead of him.  Harner gives us a man on the precipice of a monumental life change and this character is reeling with the stress of the changes he has gone through while still trying to recover from the burns of the fire.  It makes Scott both  someone we can empathize with and relate to, complete with limp and scarring, emotional and physical.

Packed on top of all the drastic changes in his life, the reentry of Robby Hammond adds one more tumultuous layer to the situation Scott faces.  Harner is crafty in only doling out bits and pieces of Scott and Robby’s past relationship as they travel together to get Scott settled in at the campground lodge that is to be Scott’s home.  We see that they loved each other and that the physical and emotional attraction to each other is still very present.  But other than that?  Nothing until a shocker that arrives at the very end of this first story that both explains so much while still leaving us with loads of questions to be answered.

In Firestorm, Laura Harner is setting the stage for the rest of her series and the first inklings of the interconnected characters and relationships from the other authors.  I love the tone and pace of the story as well as the depth of characterization and surprising elements she is building into the relationships and storylines.  What a great setting too.  The wildness of the habitat just outside the door is aspect of the story that brings challenges of its own to all the people present as well as acting almost like an additional character as well.  I got to the end and immediately wanted more.  So will you.  Consider this story, this series and in fact, the entire  Pulp Friction 2014 group highly recommended.

Cover art by Laura Harner.  Cover is great, perfect for the character and story within.

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 62 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Hot Corner Press
ASINB00HV33EGG
edition languageEnglish
seriesFighting Fire
Buy links Amazon, ARe
One of the Pulp Friction 2014 Series

 From the Pulp Friction Group: 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.

Round One:
Firestorm (Fighting Fire: 1) by Laura Harner
Cold Snap (In From the Cold: 1) by Lee Brazil
Blown Away (Where the Wind Blows: 1) by Havan Fellows
Higher Ground (Earthquake: 1) by Tom Webb

Oh, What a Month It Was and the Week Ahead in Reviews

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What a splendid month was had in November at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  There were great author guest blogs by  LB Gregg (How I Met Your Father), Ally Blue (Long the Mile), Abigail Roux (Shock & Awe), and Shira Anthony (Encore).  The Pulp Friction group of Havan Fellows, Laura Harner, Lee Brazil, and Tom Webb started the month and will return in December to finish up the year. There was a cornucopia of contests and great books galore.  And then there was Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on the same day, something that won’t happen again for over 70,000 years.  Again, just amazing and a Astrid Amara story to help celebrate (and pickle recipes as well).

So I am starting off the week with a Summary of Reviews for November 2013.  Really, it was astonishing to see the range of books and authors reviewed this month.  There was everything from Eric Arvin’s horror fantasy The Mingled Destinies of Crocodiles and Men to Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons for Suspicious Minds, an historical novel in her Cambridge Fellows series.  December is looking to be just as strong a month as November.  I can’t wait to get started!dried flowers for november

So here is our week in reviews:

Monday, Dec. 2:           Summary of Reviews for November 2013

Tuesday, Dec. 3:          Ride-Off by Mickie B. Ashling

Wed., Dec. 4:                Blue River by Theo Fenraven

Thursday, Dec. 5:        Continental Divide by Laura Harner and Lisa Worrell

Friday, Dec. 6:              Guest Blog by Z.A. Maxfield, Lost and Found Tour/contest

Sat., Dec. 7:                   Lost and Found by ZA Maxfield

Review: Duplicity (Triple Threat #5) by Laura Harner

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Rating; 5 stars out of 5

Duplicity coverOn the surface, everything and everyone seems happy and settled in the home of Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah.  They have discarded Jeremiah’s contract and now have a loving threesome partnership. But only on the surface and when young, distraught Clarenda Harris enters their office to ask for their help, she triggers a set of events and emotions that none of them saw coming, not even Archer.

Clarenda Harris is the mother of twin baby boys and the father of her sons, wealthly Dwayne Cashman, is missing, presumed dead in a plane crash.  Dwayne Cashman, also a twin,and his brother were inseparable and now that brother is set to inherit all Dwayne’s money and estate, leaving nothing for Clarenda and her sons.  But Clarenda is certain something is fishy.  She thinks Dwayne is alive and wants Zachary, Archer and Jeremiah to prove it.  Usually, Zachary would turn to Wick Templeton for research and help but Wick has disappeared, leaving all Zachary’s phone calls unanswered.

Zachary is left to deal with his feelings of betrayal over Wick, Jeremiah is hiding his grief over the loss of a friend and Archer is trying to balance the needs of his men with his own feelings to master.  Duplicity is in the air and the tension is rising.  Everything is feeling unsettled.  Can Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah discover the truth behind Dwayne Cashman’s disappearance before the will is read and the estate settled?  Or will all the hidden feelings and complications cause a breakdown in communications and relations that will threaten their happiness and that of others close to them?

Duplicity is a perfect title for a story full of hidden agendas, false identities, and layers of deceit that cover the actions and events connected to Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah and their band of brothers.  It all starts with a case involving twins and more twins that causes reverberations through the closely bonded group of friends that includes Archer, Zachary, Wick, Marcus, Chance and their significant others, especially when  another set of twins turns up dead with connections to the missing Wick.   There are dangers and conflict doubled at every turn and Laura Harner does an excellent job of leading the reader through the maze of troubled relationships and past histories that have come back to upset all involved.

At the heart of the series is the loving menage of Archer, Zachary, and Jeremiah.  They are settling beautifully into a happy threesome and the sex scenes in this story are white hot and kinky.  There are elements of D/s and bdsm here but the manner in which Harner uses them to enhance and better understand her men and their needs makes not only for some very intense, loving sex but also makes their relationship understandable and accessible. This applies even to those readers who don’t normally read books with this content.

Harner also discloses aspects of the mens past, especially where it involves Wick Templeton, that starts to shed light on the origins of this band of brothers.  This provides us with a better understanding of the depth of Archer and Zachary’s feelings towards Wick.  It also gives Jeremiah a chance to step forward with his issues with Zachary’s dependance upon Wick and its intrusion into their relationship.  So many emotions in flux, including Jeremiah’s grief over the heinous torture and death of his friend, Nick.

Harner has created a story with all the right elements in play to create an atmosphere of suspense, mystery, angst that combined with the incendiary sexual and loving partnership of Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah makes Duplicity a must read for lovers of all genres.   Triple Threat is a dynamic, engrossing series, one of four interconnected series, that you should put on your lists of books needed for 2013 and every year after.

As with the others, if you are new to this series, go back and start with the first story, Triple Threat#1.  I have listed them all in the order they were written and should be read to understand the men, their relationships and the events as they occur.  Run, don’t walk, to grab them all up.

This is how it all starts:

“Nice to meet you, Clarenda. I’m Zack. If you’ll follow me, Archer and Jeremiah are waiting in the study.” As had become our custom, I greeted our newest prospective client at the door and used the opportunity to size up any potential threat. Although it was possible for a weapon to be hidden almost anywhere, it seemed unlikely that this harried-looking woman was armed with anything more dangerous than the sticky-looking Tickle Me Elmo that stuck out from the top of the oversized canvas bag slung over her shoulder. Standing not much more than five feet even, her long dirty-blonde hair pulled into a messy tail and dressed in khaki capris and a blue and white striped tee shirt, the woman could pass for a college student. Until you looked at her face. Dark circles under her eyes and hard lines etched into her cheeks added ten years to her looks.

Entering the study, I made the introductions and, after handshakes all around, led her to a wingback chair that faced the delicate looking couch Archer favored when we had a client. As usual, Archer got right to the point. “You understand how our business works, Miss Harris? You must have lost something of significant monetary value, and if we are successful, our fee is half of what we recover. Do you think what you’ve lost merits a fifty percent commission?”

“Is sixteen million dollars worth your time, Mr. Wilde? Because if I’m right, that’s what I estimate my former employer’s estate is set to pay to his twin brother in fourteen days.”

Triple Threat Series in order:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat, #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat, #4)
Duplicity (Triple Threat #5)

Cover art by Laura Harner is perfect for the story and the series.

Buy links:  All Romance EBook, Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 118 pages
Published September 27th 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN13 9781937252601
edition language English
series Triple Threat

Review: Defiance (Triple Threat #3) by Laura Harner

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Defiance coverAtlanta football legend Kebow Trainer is in big trouble and needs help now.  For four years Trainer has been blackmailed and has paid up. But now he is about to negotiate a huge new contract and the blackmailer’s demand has risen to outrageous proportions.  So now Trainer  wants it stopped and figures Archer and Zachary are the men to do it.  But this case brings up more than just a blackmailer filled with hate, it reminds Zachary of a part of his past that fills him with pain and regret.

It has been two months since Jeremiah was abused by a Dom with a grudge against Archer and Zachary and he has yet to heal emotionally.  So while Zachary worries about Jeremiah and his ability to move past his recent trauma, Jeremiah and Archer are overwhelmed with concern for Zachary and the future of their relationship.

For all involved, this case has enormous consequences for their relationships and their futures.  Will the triple threat of Archer, Zachary and Jeremiah be enough to solve the case and save their relationship?

Defiance is the third book in the Triple Threat series from L.E. Harner and it moves the reader into Zachary’s  past and his involvement with Wick Templeton (from Wicked’s Ways series).   I really loved this element.  Harner has been doling out bits of information about Zachary’s past like a miser does money, in tiny amounts here and there.  Now we start to understand that the loss of his sub and closeted lover was a deeper, more involved event that has had repercussions on Zachary’s life and relationships ever since.   So many layers here to peal back, such an amazing depth of characterization.  I just love Zachary.  His is a character and voice that just  resonates with a reader.  Wry, knowing, sarcastic, this person has seen it all, the best and mostly the worst humanity has to offer and is still standing.  Like Wick Templeton with whom he has a past and is close friends with, Zachary lives and works on the outskirts of what passes as normal in society.  He is both Dom and sub in his relationships, although sub to only one man…Archer.  He is brutal, funny, intelligent and physical.  Trust me when I say this complex personality will stay with you a long time.

Harner has created an emotionally explosive case for a trio of men already destabilized by recent events.  Nothing is ever simple in this series, no case without ramifications for all who become involved.  Jeremiah is still reeling from his abuse and uncertain future, Zachary is dealing with his past and Jeremiah, and Archer has to come to terms with the fact that he destabilized his own 15 year relationship with Zachary in his arrogance and the repercussions of the addition of Jeremiah.  Then you add the case of a blackmailed gay football player and watch the situation ignite.  Here is a taste:

The bottle of Don Pilar was already on the table, two glasses poured, two waters on the side. The plate of limes and salt sat in the middle of the glasses, where they would likely remain untouched. They usually did.

“Thanks.” I tossed back the first glass before I even sat down. Sliding into the black leather bench of the dark booth, I poured a second glass and tossed it back, too. It suddenly seemed like a great idea to get completely shitfaced.

“Never necessary. And you know that’s sipping tequila.” We smiled at each other. It was the look of longtime friends with hundreds of favorite lines from past conversations.

“You might have said that before. This needing each other shit is becoming a habit,” I said. It had only been a few days since I’d shown up to pick him up from jail. Wick hadn’t technically needed a ride from me—but a little bird let me know he was being released and I thought a surprise was in order. Not that he’d actually done anything wrong—it’d been part of a case he’d been working—but that got me thinking about the fed. “So, hear anything from that guy? What was his name? Fred? Ked? You know, the one you left standing there with his heart on his sleeve and a bone in his pants?”

Wick threw his head back and laughed. When he finished he took a long sip of his drink, eyeing me over the rim of his glass before responding. “You’re such an ass. His name is Ned. And no, I haven’t heard from him. I think he might’ve taken offense to the lip lock you planted on me when I got in your car. I probably should take offense too, except I love dancing with your tongue.”

I grinned. “Yeah. That one might’ve gotten a little away from me. Still, it was nice.”

“It always was.” We stared at each other for a long moment, old memories suddenly fresh.

So much is revealed by the single scene alone.  The easy, casual nature of the conversation, the lack of emotional and personal barriers between Wick and Zachary that just speaks volumes about their relationship as old friends and ex lovers.  It is terrific and a perfect example of the narrative of the entire series.

The reveal of the identity of the blackmailer is an emotionally explosive event as anything that preceded it.  It is gut wrenching and so painful in that one   secondary relationship that you have come to care about is left in tatters, the future of it and the couple involved uncertain.  It is a totally realistic and heartbreaking element in this story and  I don’t see how Harner could have handled it any other way without losing the credibility built up in the series to date.  But I would love to see a sentence or two somewhere down the line to let the readers know how it all eventually resolved for the men involved.

Defiance is an amazing read, especially considering it is only 83 pages in length.  As I have said before, this book and all the books in the series seem to have the feel and scope of  stories much longer in length because of all the emotions and story plots involved.  Great narrative, smooth writing style, compelling characters and a singular voice in the pov.  Those unfamiliar with BDSM and D/s or those who usually don’t read books with that element will still enjoy this book and series.   That aspect of this story and the m/m/m relationships are beautifully done and Harner makes it accessible to all readers, not only those who like a little kink in the sex but those who prefer their sexual relationship on the vanilla side.

I highly recommend not only this book but the entire series.  But start at the beginning.  It’s the only way to understand the characters and events that follow.  You will find yourself as hooked as I am.

Books in the Triple Threat series to date and in the order they were written and should be read are:

Triple Threat (Triple Threat #1)
Retribution  (Triple Threat #2)
Defiance (Triple Threat #3)
Crucify (Triple Threat #4)

 Book Details:
ebook, 83 pages
Published May 31st 2013 by Hot Corner Press
ISBN13 9781937252533
edition language English
series Triple Threat