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I Belong


Review: Rush by Joan Swan

TitleRush

Author: Joan Swan

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Phoenix Rising (Book 3)

Publication Date: August 27, 2013

Format: Paperback, 400 Pages

ISBN-10: 0758288255 (Kensington Brava)

ISBN-13: 978-0758288257 (Kensington Brava)

Reviewed by: Stephanie

Synopsis:

Jessica Fury, Washington lobbyist, has money, connections, and her own firm. But five years ago she had something better: happiness. Her firefighter husband, Quaid, was handsome, courageous, and crazy about her. Then one day he walked into a chemical inferno—and never walked out. Jessica has been through hell to get back on her feet. And then a rumor surfaces that could bring a miracle or shatter her world – again.

Q has been a prisoner forever. He’s honed his mind and body into weapons. He’s developed abilities no one else understands. But he’s still at the mercy of a cabal of ruthless men, who blank his memory, test him like a lab rat, and tell him lies. Although his past has been erased and his future looks grim, instinct tells him he has a woman to live for. What his mind can’t remember, his body can’t forget…

The heat is on.

Quick & Dirty: Romance and intrigue meet when a woman discovers the husband she believed to be dead could in fact be alive and imprisoned by a government intent on exploiting his abilities. She lost him once. She’s determined to never go through that again…

Opening Sentence: That could not be Jessica Fury’s husband.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

This book is officially going in my “don’t judge a book by its cover” pile. While the cover made me think I was going to get your typical romance filled with steamy scenes, what I actually got was an incredibly well written political thriller that also included one of the most touching love stories I’ve read in a long time.

Five years ago, Quaid Legend and Jessica Fury were newly married, working together as firefighters on a hazmat team. Then everything changes. Their team is called to a fire at a warehouse where dangerous chemicals are being stored. When they go in to investigate, the chemicals explode, injuring everyone on the team. Quaid dies from his injuries, or so they thought…

Fast forward to the present. Jessica has separated herself from her team and is now working as a lobbyist in Washington. She’s been clean and sober for a year and is trying hard to get her life back on track. She’s visited by some of her former team members, who tell her that Quaid could be alive, having been kept prisoner by the government so they could run experiments on him and take advantage of his new-found abilities. You see, when those chemicals exploded, everyone who was hit by them gained some sort of ability. Jessica’s mood can alter the weather, and she can also astral project within the right conditions. She’s been trying to ignore her abilities and anyone from her former life, but news of Quaid’s possible survival changes all that. And so their hunt for Quaid begins. Will he be the man Jessica remembers?

The characters in this book are so well developed, they practically leap off the page. During scenes that show the team together, the reader can see how bonded they are. It was almost as if I had ceased reading and was instead watching a movie. It was just that well done.

I felt a real connection to Jessica. There were many moments with her that had me near tears. I’m newly married myself, and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to lose my husband. While I don’t believe I would turn to drugs, it still felt like a believable course of action a grieving widow might take. While Jessica could be seen as weak due to her actions, she is extremely cognizant of what she needs to do in order to stay in recovery, and that makes her very strong in my opinion.

Quaid is an excellent leading man. He has managed to stay strong through five years of experiments and torture, and yet there are moments with his team and Jessica where he is so incredibly vulnerable that it just broke my heart. There are many scenes with him and Jessica that had me near tears; I was definitely rooting for them all the way.

This is the third book in the Phoenix Rising series. I have not read the previous two books, and I hardly ever felt lost while reading this. The only negative emotion I felt was disappointment that I hadn’t discovered this series sooner. If you’re looking for a book that has a well written, believable romance combined with action and political intrigue, this will fit the bill! I will definitely be going back to read the first two books and am anxiously awaiting book 4.

Notable Scene:

A roll of ground-rocking thunder passed through the streets. A millisecond later, one quick strike of lightning split the sky. The jagged bolt speared the glass and smashed against the coin, refracting directly into Jessica’s eyes.

She yelped and shaded her face, but the luminosity intensified, showering her with heat, engulfing her in a cone of golden light. Sizzling tingles traveled across her body, matching the effervescent sound rising in her ears. A sense of weightlessness made her dizzy. Then she was moving, a rush of air and pressure and prickles over her entire body.

She grabbed for the arms on her chair, but found nothing.

Panic seized her chest. She gasped for air, but her lungs clamped down tight. And just when she thought she’d lose her mind to the hovering terror, she slowed. The pressure eased. The light’s intensity faded at the edges. The fizzing in her skin calmed.

Her heart thudded hard. Air scraped in and out of her throat. She squinted past the light still shining off the coin and the foreign sight of pine trees drifted through.

“Oh no,” she whispered.

Phoenix Rising Series:

1. Fever

2. Blaze

3. Rush

4. Shatter (December 31, 2013)

FTC Advisory: Kensington Brava provided me with a copy of Rush. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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