Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
If you have not started The Recon Diaries series, do so. Read this series. Read this book. If you have read Brothers in Arms and haven’t read Fire for Effect, what are you waiting for? I promise, on either account, you don’t want to miss out.
It’s been two years since Jonah Carver rescued a kidnapped Kellan Reynolds in the middle of a warzone. But in that two years, the men have not lost contact, spending time together whenever possible. In fact, their relationship is stronger than ever. Since the daring rescue and subsequent corporate take-down, Kellan and Jonah have spoken at several symposiums together about their experiences.
It’s at one such symposium that a question of the underawarding of Medals of Honor is brought up. And while Kellan is unsure of the subject, he is determined to learn what he can. While researching the topic, Kellan notes several prejudicial issues that arise and takes action. When a senate committee offers Kellan a chance to head an investigation into possible discrimination in the process of awarding Medals of Honor, he accepts and is given Jonah, newly promoted to First Sargent, as his military liason.
While both men have their careers to think about if the investigation turns south, they also have their relationship to consider. And when the investigation turns up inconsistent testimony, they have to decide whether putting themselves back into a warzone, in the middle of danger, is worth finding out the truth.
As I said, read it. Consistent in her writing, Kendall McKenna is a must-read author. Fire for Effect follows Kellan and Jonah on another investigation full of heart-pounding action, thrilling adventure, and intriguing mystery. McKenna takes readers on a journey in this book. At times I could picture being in the middle of a warzone – heart racing, hands shaking, grenades shaking buildings, bullets and shrapnel flying through the air. Reading her books is quite the experience.
But I think my favorite part of the book is the focus on Kellan and Jonah’s relationship. It’s been two years since the end of book one, but just before DADT is repealed, so Jonah and Kellan still have to keep their relationship quiet. Yet their relationship has grown by leaps and bounds. The protectiveness they hold for each other is telling of their growth as a couple because where they don’t want harm to come to one another, they support the other’s decision while standing firmly by each other. I especially enjoyed their growing small growing pains and minor insecurities; it only proves that these two heroic men are human.
Jonah and Kellan are two of my absolute favorite characters…ever. They are both strong and confident men, both powerful leaders. They are both determined, headstrong men that look out for others before they worry about themselves. They have a passionate to right wrongs and see the good guys come out on top. And I feel like a broken record when I talk about characterization, but both men are so beautifully written that the character/reader connection is almost palpable. Readers truly get to know both of these characters through this series.
This storyline is a tad more sedated than in the first book in that, for over half of the book, the guys are not in a combat situation. But the plot here is heart-wrenching at times. The subject matter is realistic and intriguing. I was riveted while reading this story not wanting to put it down.
My only quibble – and I’m going to try to do this without giving anything away – lies with the conclusion of the investigation. What happened to the guy they interviewed? What happened period? I mean, I can pretty much guess, but I don’t want to have to guess. I would’ve liked the satisfaction of seeing justice served in that situation. That being said, the rest of the book was so immensely fabulous, that it doesn’t disappoint me too terribly much…just a little.
And once again, I would like to point out another fabulous cover by the very talented Jared Rackler, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite cover artists. This cover is sleek and sexy and beautiful. I love everything about it – from the desert background to the Medal of Honor to the sexy pout on Kellan’s face.
I am not one to rush out and read military fiction. It’s never been my thing. After I read Brothers in Arms, I picked up every McKenna book afterwards thinking that it was surely only beginner’s luck. And I’ve been pleasantly surprised ever since. I now know that it’s not beginner’s luck. Fire for Effect is a wonderful addition to this series. I love the story, the characters, the connection, even the combat. The Recon Diaries series is a must read. I highly, highly recommend this book as well as the series
Note: Fire for Effect is the second book in The Recon Diaries series by Kendall McKenna. These books are best if read in order.