Wings of Thunder
(Book 3 of the Thunder trilogy)
Reviewed by Merrylee, TwoLipsReviews
Once again, Linda Mooney has worked her singular magic, creating a fantastic close to her Thunder trilogy with Wings of Thunder, a riveting story filled with unswerving love, edge-of-the-seat danger and one man’s disturbing obsession.
After two years away from Earth, Annabel Lee Mayall — known to the winged people of Parra as Grand Lady Annie — was homesick. Although she’d accepted her life on Parra, with its tangerine sky, twin suns and two moons; its blue grass and crystal towers; its odd foods and even odder customs, she missed the taste of ice cream, apple pie and corn-on-the-cob dripping with butter. She missed the blue sky, the green grass and the majestic Montana mountains she’d once called home. She was still just as much in love with her husband Rion as she ever had been, and she was completely devoted to her baby son, Kerr. Yet she hungered for home so desperately that Rion, Grand Lord of Thunder — the winged man who’d tumbled out of the stormy Montana sky and into her heart three years before — worries for her health.
When the granddaddy of all storms, a tosis, obliterated Parra’s capital city and opened more rifts — the inter-dimensional pathways between Earth and Parra — than the Lords of Thunder could cover, a biplane from Earth is pulled through one of the rifts. The fierce winds bring the Gloster Gladiator down in Parra’s destroyed capital, leaving Royal Air Force Wing Commander Ian Davenport alive but badly injured. Awakening days later in a strange hospital, he was greeted by the loveliest woman he’d ever seen. Her name, she told him, was Annie. And she told him something else as well, that he was on another planet, a place called Parra. He could have been in Heaven for all the angels buzzing around the oddly colored sky, but from the moment he laid eyes on Annie, he didn’t care where he was as long as Annie was there. For Ian, it was love at first sight, but for Annie, the Brit airman was a catharsis for her homesickness, the remedy for what ailed her. Someone from home...well, at least someone from Earth, who could tell her all the latest news, not the least of which was how the war with Hitler and Tojo was going.
Rion feared his beloved Annie was getting herself in deeper with the Earthman than she realized, first visiting him in the hospital and then at his hangar as he pieced his damaged flying machine back together. Rion knew the man was in love with Annie. He didn’t need to hear the gossip about them to know as much. All he had to do was look at the man to know he felt about Annie and that he planned to take her back to Earth with him once his airplane was repaired and a rift opened for them. Would she go, leaving Rion and their son behind? He knew how homesick she was, and now she had a way to go home and somebody to take her there.
What’s more, a sudden and undiagnosable disease was opening painful sores on Annie’s back. Parra’s best healers were of the opinion that something on Parra was causing the progressive disease and that if she stayed it would only get worse. But if she went back to Earth, perhaps it would heal itself. Or perhaps healers there had a remedy for the malady. But could Rion force himself to let her go? After all they’d been through to be together, could he watch her get into Davenport’s flying machine and fly away from him for all time? Would that be any less painful than watching her die a slow, painful death in his arms? When Ian finds a way to take the decision out of his hands, Rion will be forced to face the fight of his life and Annie will have to make a choice between two men who love her beyond distraction. Which one will live? And which one will die?
Ms. Mooney began telling Rion and Annie’s story in Lord of Thunder, continued it in Passion of Thunder and brings it to a thrilling close in Wings of Thunder. This three-part serial needs to be read in order of release for the best possible enjoyment and appreciation of the continuing story arc as Rion and Annie fall in love and discover several times over that their love is worth fighting anyone or anything to hang on to. The desire between these two virtually jumps off the pages. They create sizzling, sensual love scenes in the bedroom or wherever else they choose to have sex. They’re not exhibitionists, but they have no qualms about making love veritably under the noses of others. Annie is the strong pioneer type, the last of a dying breed from the American West of the early 1940’s. While most homesick women would have wallowed in self-pity, the experience only adds strength to Annie’s character.
Determined to share her life with Rion, however long it may or may not be, is what she intends to do, come hell or high water. Rion is my ultimate hero, muscle and marshmallow, a hard-bodied man with a soft heart, at least when it comes to Annie. I really felt for him when he had to face the possibility of once again losing Annie, this time to another man. You can’t help but like Ian and wonder how he could have gone so wrong when he started out so right. It was a question I wish Ms. Mooney had answered.
Although I haven’t given Wings of Thunder the Recommended Read I gave both preceding books in this series, it’s nonetheless a must read at 5 kisses. In this reviewer’s humble opinion, no one writes more touching, heartfelt romances than Linda Mooney. She can haul you right into the story and make you feel her characters’ desires, happiness, passion and sadness better than any author I’ve ever read. That said, I’d love to see her write a spinoff Thunder series about a grown up Kerr, the next generation Lord of Thunder.