Posts Tagged ‘Psychic’

Forged in Fire (The Forged Series)

I took a chance on this as I loved the blurb and I’m glad I did! Two of my favourite authors are JR Ward and Suzanne Brockmann, so to find a story that takes the best of both genres…. it makes for a truly awesome read.

It opens with a trio of sexy off-duty Navy SEALS hanging around an airport lounge, waiting for a flight to Hawaii to attend a friend’s wedding. So far, so normal, except that the Lieutenant Commander, Zane Winters, has a psychic flash of his two team-mates being shot and dying on board the plane. He comes from a highly psychic family and his friends already know to treat these flashes seriously. Then we have Beth Brown. She’s normal in every way, except that she had the most realistic dream ever the night before, in which she witnessed – in horrific detail – the hijacking of the Hawaii flight and the deaths of the 3 hotties currently waiting by the gate. She needs to warn them, but will they listen, never mind take her seriously?

She glanced at the clock on the wall behind the ticket counter…  Ninety minutes to convince someone to believe her and prevent a hijacking.

A nice little bonus for Zane is that he has a soul mate somewhere. Very JR Ward.

Every year the numbness dug a little deeper, spread a little further. He’d been warned about this particular side effect of the family gift – or curse, depending on who was talking. But knowing about it, and living with it, were completely different animals.

And as soon as he sees Beth… Yep, she’s the one.

The tug towards her was incredibly strong, like she was a magnet and his bones were made of metal. He took another step forward, his body vibrating at some strange frequency.

Of course, Beth is a little more resistant to the idea.

“That’s part of the bond. The connection we share. It will strengthen as we spend more time together. You can deny it all you want, but in your heart you know we’re connected. You felt it.

This story launches straight into the action and it’s non-stop from then on. Good guys, bad guys, a twisting, turning plot that grips you and doesn’t let go. It’s right there. Going back to JR Ward again, I fell in love with this book in the opening chapter when Beth first talks to Zane and realises he’s treating her very oddly.

A wave of intense disorientation swept over her. For a moment she was convinced she was still dreaming. That she’d fallen asleep while reading one of JR Ward’s Brotherhood of the Black Dagger romances and had inserted herself in to a dream based on the book. Any moment now he was going to start growling Mine Mine Mine and let loose with some spicy bonding scent.

Loved the reference. And of course Zane thinks this – even if he doesn’t say it aloud.

Another Big-Smile-Moment came when they explained they were Navy SEALs.

“The SEAL program is the Navy’s version of Special Forces -” he started to explain.

“I know,” she broke in. “Deployed from sea, land and air. I’ve read some… ah…” She coughed, her cheeks flushing pink. “… books that had SEALs in them.”

So what else can I say? There are some fabulous kick-ass secondary characters in this, most of whom are just crying out for their own story. Mac and Amy perhaps? Or Zane’s lovely team-mates Cosky and Rawls? There’s bucket loads of tension, and plenty of emotional angst too as Zane tries to persuade Beth that she’s the one, while she tries equally hard to keep her distance. I was distressed when the story ended on something of a cliffhanger, as I know that the next in the series (Woo Hoo, Cosky’s story!) isn’t out for months! This is a series I shall be following with eager anticipation, as well as keeping an eye on other work that Trish McCallan produces. 5 stars out of 5.


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Three and a half stars

Soldiers and team-mates, Ridge Gates and Cale Easton are closer than brothers and serve together in the army, watching each others backs. When Cale is killed in a mortar attack in Afghanistan, Ridge wishes he could have died instead. However, he made a promise to the dying Cale to look after his twin sister, Avery, and he intends to honour that. He’s been in love with Avery for years – as long as he’s known Cale – and he’s long since accepted that Avery deserves better than a Grunt. Especially one as damaged as him. He has no idea that Avery is in love with him.

The night Cale’s body is brought back the US is hard for both of them and they meet up in a hotel. Avery needs Ridge, and no longer as just a friend.

Everything he’d ever wanted was right here in front of him and he’d be a bastard for taking it, or a bastard for refusing.

Avery looked at him. “Pretend I’m someone else if you have to. Just give me this.”

After possibly the best night of sex ever, for both of them, Ridge slips out and leaves while she’s asleep, starting a pattern that lasts throughout the story.

She’d thrown herself at him, practically begged him to take her and God, she’d had to force him with her thoughts.

Shame. What she’d done to him was shameful and degrading. She’d even told him to pretend she was someone else if he had to. Did she really believe he’d want her after all these years of him basically ignoring her? What a pathetic dope she was.

“He used you, Avery.”

“No, she said. I used him.”

Their feelings for each other are complicated by a strange psychic connection that Avery shared with her twin – one that seems to have now transferred to Ridge. It takes her a while to tell him about this, during which time he thinks he’s losing his mind.

“I can’t believe this,” he muttered, looking as though he wanted to run. “So you can invade my head at any time?”

Invade, the word cut through her like a hot knife. He made her sound like a villain in some science fiction movie… it wasn’t like that.

“I don’t invade your head,” she answered calmly.

“Then what the fuck do you call it?”

Their on-off relationship is complicated by the addition of local cop, Kevin Stone, who takes a liking to Avery – and an instant dislike for Ridge. He joins the story when Avery’s house is broken into and all her belongings smashed up. Avery’s life is suddenly in danger and it has to be connected to the final, doomed mission in Afghanistan. Ridge’s memories are hazy – had Cale done something – or found something – that he shouldn’t?

This story engaged me and annoyed me in equal parts. Avery and Ridge grieved and loved and fought, with buckets full of emotion, but it became a little repetitive. They’d make up, have sex, then Ridge would run away again. True, he had his reasons, but I’m annoyed with him for behaving like that – and for Avery putting up with it. Even more irritating was when she played with Stone, dangling him and his interest to boost her bruised ego. Stone made the situation plain to Ridge:

“That woman is hurting, and most of the hurt is coming because of you. Either cut her loose and stop dangling her or step up and be a man. As of now, she has options. Keep that in mind.”

It bugged me that Stone fell for Avery so quickly, he seemed too rounded a character to fall head over heels in love with a woman on Day One. And while his dislike of Ridge seemed genuine enough, it was obvious they’d become friends.

So…. It was a good read, but not brilliant. 3.5 out of 5.

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