Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Fire For Effect (Recon Diaries #2), Kendall McKenna


A great follow-up to Brothers In Arms. Really loved seeing Kellan and Jonah again.

- Review by Kazza K

Fire For Effect (The Recon Diaries, #2)It's two years since the end of Brothers In Arms. The MC's, Kellan and Jonah, have completed their Senate Committee  testimonies in regards to the events in and around Diyali Province, Iraq. DADT is looking like it will be repealed soon, and Jonah is now living in California, stationed at Camp Pendleton, after his last tour ended six months ago. Kellan is still in D.C. as a private consultant. So, both men are now stateside, which is a positive, but the problem is that they are working (hard) in different parts of the country. Jonah is looking at rising through the ranks as far as an NCO can go, and Kellan is now the CEO of Keystone Consulting. Theirs is a long distance relationship and both men are discreet about it, or as they put it they 'don't flaunt it.' Jonah still serves and Kellan doesn't want there to be repercussions for his lover, but when they can they catch up -

It had been six months since he'd seen Jonah. Six months since Jonah's TAD had been terminated....Six months had passed since Kellan had been able to feel Jonah's skin, smell his scent, and make love with him.....

Kellan caved first but he didn't give a fuck anymore, He slid his arms over Jonah's shoulders, pressed
himself to the length of Jonah's body. Kellan covered Jonah's mouth with his own, pushing his tongue inward; demanding entrance, not asking.
Jonah's arms came around Kellan's back and gripped his ass firmly. Jonah's hardness pushed against his own and he rubbed himself against it. Pushing back on a gasp, Jonah breathed harshly against Kellan's cheek. Each exhalation was rapid and hot.

"I missed you," Kellan said, voice strangled. "God how I have fucking missed you."
"I'm glad you did," Jonah murmured against Kellan's throat. "I was afraid I was the only one." 

When this pair get it on all I can say is that it is all kinds of holy-shit hot.

So Kellan is in California for five days to see Jonah and address a symposium about their discoveries and ordeal in Iraq. While giving a talk at the meeting both Kellan and Jonah are asked by a man in the crowd if they can explain why so few Medals of Honor are being awarded to the men and women who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Kellan feels the man may have an agenda and glosses over it a little. Jonah acknowledges there could always be more medals/recognition of service personnel. He also lays it out that that information is a little 'above his pay grade.' But it does make Kellan think about the question and have a look for himself. When he is back in D.C. he digs and discovers that there is merit to the question and publishes a report on the matter. This report comes to the attention of some Senators who each have a reason why they would like Kellan to head up a committee to look further into the reasons for the lack of MOH recognition of servicemen and women. Are there bogus or genuine reasons? If there is an issue they want it brought to their attention. They are looking into a particular event surrounding a Marine, Sergeant Miguel Restrepo, who has been posthumously denied the Medal of Honor; despite eyewitness testimony that he acted in a manner that deserved the Medal during the Second Battle of Fallujah.

Kellan gets to pick his team and Jonah is the first man in, solving their bi-coastal issues as well as having a trusted team member. He also has  other team members who can investigate, know the legalities involved, and aren't scared of what they might dig up or uncover - it could be career ending for any of them. Particularly given it goes back to the Department of Defense and the government in general -

When the doors closed and they were alone, Jonah turned in his chair to face Kellan. "So, Captain, ready to go to war?"

I liked that Fire For Effect has Jonah and Kellan front and centre again. I liked that it's filled with plenty of action, good dialogue and takes them from the political machinations of D.C. to Afghanistan and back into conflict. I liked that one of my favourite couples got some more loving in here. We get to see a softening of some hard edges. I particularly like how Kellan thinks about Jonah - brave, sexy, strong and how Kellan hopes Jonah has the same feelings for him as he does for Jonah. I liked earlier on when Jonah tells Kellan that he will make the effort to move closer to Kellan. That was a sweet declaration from the tough career sergeant -

"I could make it easy and just take orders at Quantico or somewhere in D.C." Again, Jonah looked everywhere but at Kellan.
"But you love California," Kellan blurted out. 
"No, I like California," Jonah replied, pushing food around his plate. "I love you."
Kellan stopped breathing his blood thundered in his ears.

I very much liked that Fire For Effect was a piece of fiction but actual events from the period are woven into the fictional ones. There was some good, solid research thrown into this ebook. It all adds to an already interesting story, including the suppositions and thoughts about why the MOH is not issued much in spite of acts of bravery. I like that the author, Ms McKenna, is respectful to the men and women serving her country and the armed services in general.

Corporal Corey Yarwood was an interesting character in Brothers In Arms and we get to see a little bit of what has happened to him since BIA. It appears he will be right in the thick of things in the next book. For me this is exciting news, as I'm sure it will be for the others who also liked his character in Brothers In Arms and wanted more. Well, we're about to get more.

Fire For Effect is another great read and backs up Brothers In Arms beautifully. I liked that it was slightly softer around the alpha edges only in that you get to see the primary relationship between these two men build more. It is nice to see two men who had denied themselves for so long be happy on a personal level. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Kellan and Jonah working their relationship out and having the time to be in love with one another. There are not as many Marine terms this time around, not as many acronym's, which should appeal to a few who found the military speak dry or confronting in Brothers In Arms. Don't get me wrong, they are still there, but not as much.

The books ends as a lead into the next one and I will be very glad when that is out to see what happens from here. The ending is left somewhat open to focus on the story coming up in the next book with Corporal Corey Yarwood. It leads me to believe I will still see more of Kellan and Jonah again, in a secondary capacity, which makes me a happy reader. I'm not finished with these two characters yet, but I'm really ready to see where Corey Yarwood's story goes now. Highly recommend for those who enjoyed Brothers In Arms, Strength of the Pack and those liking a well written military-themed M/M.


  1. I can see why (after reading this) you are such a big fan of this author. Great review.

    1. I do like Kendall McKenna's writing. I loved the sweet component to the harder edge of the men. What? No comment on the pics? You must not have had your coffee, lol

    2. Actually, I did come back and comment on the pics. It showed published but it obviously was not. :( I love the pictures (as I always do). These are sexy and sweet at the same time. I love that. :)

    3. That's the Cindi I know, lol

  2. Now I need to read the first book... Yum,Love those pictures Kazza

    1. It's worth it to read Brothers In Arms. But this can be read as a stand alone, Letti. Glad to be of service with the pictures :)