Blaze Paperback – Sep 25 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I am half way through when I look up the author and find out that this is the second book!!!! If this is the second book I have a feeling that I will blown away when I read the first one and I am so looking forward to it.
This is a must read for all of those the love roman with adventure thrown in. My hat is off to Joan Swan … thank you
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I simply marvel at the way this author takes on the romantic suspense genre with the polished skills of a veteran novelist. In this brilliant second installment of the Phoenix Rising series, Joan Swan will engross the readers with her effortless craftsmanship and those smooth and seamless shifts of focus between action and romance that can rival even the most seasoned suspense writers. After turning the last page of this compendium of pulse pounding suspense and breath-taking romance, I am still not able to tell whether I was more affected by the emotional depth of the characters' back-stories, or more taken with the mesmerizing intricacies of the storyline. To tell you the truth, I can't even recall enjoying a "conspiracy-theory, paranormal mystery" this much since the days of the X-files tv series.
In Luke and Keira's story, emotions intensify and the mystery thickens: together with the theme of ghost government agencies and their secret agendas, Joan Swans brings so many emotional issues to the table (the personal hell of an abused child, expectations and compromises in a love relationship) that spoke to my heart and lingered with me even after putting the book down.
Like in Swan's debut FEVER (Phoenix Raising #1), the execution is spectacular and the language is vibrant and real. Funny and gritty dialogues set the lively pace of the narration, leading the reader through a wide range of emotional responses. The romantic involvement of the lead couple, the scorching sensuality ignited by their mutual raw need, the elusive truth at the bottom of their super-powers are the cornerstones of this solid piece of fictional fabrication. The plot is so clever that despite the lack of closure as far as regards the big scheme of things, this page-turner can be enjoyed as a stand alone. The dangling plot threads, the breakneck sub-plots and the introduction of secondary cast that will surely rock the world of the Phoenix Rising in the coming sequel, fuel the reader's curiosity and enhance the thrill effect, leaving us with the awareness that our endearing characters are more in danger than ever and that someone is diligently trying to hide the truth.
That truth will still be elusive even in the final pages, but the choice of a conspiracy theme is thought-provoking and allows room for theorizing. The characters are fully nuanced, easy to root for and relate to, despite their larger-than-life nature; the emotional dynamic between Luke and Keira so engaging...the more they talk, the more they argue. They both share a personality trait that can place countless obstacles on the way to a smooth love relationship. They both possess an unforgiving, uncompromising, hard as granite temper, in addition to their psychic ability to read each other's minds... hard to tell if this is more a blessing or a curse. When they finally unlock their hearts and understand that love is "about finding strength in the sum of our parts instead of fighting alone", their release will be even more rewarding. To tighten up the threads of this rich and imaginative series, Joan Swan revisits familiar faces (Teague and Alyssa from Fever, installment #1 in the series ) and introduces an ensemble of new characters that move around our lead couple with the loyalty, the stealth and the precision of a SWAT team.
And then there is Mitch, Mitch Foster: "the dragon slayer" attorney, the man who gets things done with the power of a telegraphic phone call...there is no special force pilot, military helicopter, heavy artillery, or loyal bodyguards that he cannot obtain with a simple (and mysterious) call from his mobile...we will get to know his secret sooner or later. This character definitely deserves his own spotlight.
The first page alone was action packed and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat.
"Blaze" picks up with two new characters who I was drawn to the minute I was introduced to them. Luke, though, had an appearance in the first book to the Phoenix Rising series and he definitely has captured my attention more in "Blaze".
The minute I was introduced to Keira O'Shay, I had a great connection with her. She was one kick-butt woman who could handle her own. She never thought though, she would be working with her ex-lover, Luke Ransom (by the way...Teague move over, hun...because Luke stole my heart).
Keira is a FBI agent and has been tracking a little boy by the name of Mateo, who she needs to get back to a co-worker of hers. He was kidnapped years ago and it is up to her to get him back. Luke ends up in the middle of everything when Keira finds Mateo. He has no idea who the little boy is and why Keira wants to find him. Of course, he hasn't seen Keira in over three years so she may have moved on after she left him.
When Keira does save the little boy and gets him back to her co-worker, she never thought, the person she thought she could trust, turns on her. Now she feels, that everyone around her that she has been working for may work for that government agency that is out to get her and her friends that used to be firefighters.
It is up to Keira to find out the real truth about Mateo and why she feels so attached to him. In the mean time, her ex-lover Luke ends up helping her as well as Teague and Alyssa (from the first book) and Mitch (Alyssa's brother) to come up with the truth about who the little boy is and why a secret government force wants him.
Keira is starting to realize out the truth and so is Luke.
Luke is also going to find out the truth why Keira decided to leave him three years ago...and he is not going to let her walk away again without a fight this time around.
This book was one action-packed book. Joan Swan did not disappoint and now I'm even more anxious to find out what happens in this book because their were a lot of unanswered questions in this book. One being a certain person that everyone thought was dead and another being the darn bad guy, who by the way is getting on my nerves. Grrr!!!
What fascinates me the most is how Joan Swan throws in the different abilities of the main characters in each book. Keira is a audio-clairvoyant and Luke is basically fire-proof. Joan Swan even tells what the other characters are, that will most likely get their own books. (you'll have to read to find out)
I'm really, really wanting to find out more about Mitch Foster...let's just say for a lawyer, he sure knows how to get in touch with someone that can get a helicopter, translate Greek, or even get information for you in a hurry. He is really one interesting and well let's just say, sexy character. =)
I recommend this book as well as the first book, "Fever", to romantic suspense readers out there.
You will definitely have a hard time putting down this action-packed sequel to the Phoenix Rising Series.
I received a complimentary copy of "Blaze" from the Author in exchange for a honest review.
Luke Ransom has never gotten over Keira. He doesn't allow his friends to speak of her and has tried to replace her in his bed and in his heart without success. Never did he expect to be thrown together with the one woman who could read him better than any other - including his very thoughts.
Now Keira and Luke have survived the rescue of a small boy, Mateo, who Keira has been searching for this past year only to discover this adorable child has similiar abilities to her own and the government spooks who are always watching them are now eager to get this young boy back. Keira and Luke will do whatever it takes to keep Mateo safe until as a group, this unique family of friends, can figure out what is going on and how to keep them all safe.
With BLAZE, Joan Swan has truly proven herself to be a consummate story-teller! BLAZE by Joan Swan is the second book in the Phoenix Rising series and it's jam-packed with action, off the chart steamy romance, paranormal thrills, shoot 'em ups and a tearful reunion as well as a HEA that will have you clamoring for more and wishing the story kept going. Oh, how I didn't want this book to end.
Joan Swan has created a cast of characters that individually are fantastic but together draw you in as a member of their own elite group. Joan knows how to pack a wallop with action from the first page to the last that keeps you on the edge of your seat consistently as she weaves an intricate story of paranormal phenomenon, government intrigue and cover-up. All the while she tugs at your heartstrings as you travel this second chance at love with Keira and Luke.
I highly recommend BLAZE by Joan Swan if you love a great story, a hero who will have you dreaming about him, a heroine you wish you could be as tough and physically confident as, friends who you'd truly die for and sexy steamy romance that will have you wishing it was you and very, very real.
**ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blaze is the story of Luke and Keira, two former fire fighters who gained paranormal abilities after being injured in a chemical explosion.They and the rest of the team are being pursued by the ruthless government rogues that created the chemicals and is now testing them on humans.
Luke and Keira had been a couple about three years before. In this story, after a long separation, they meet again when assigned in their new roles as federal agents to a Waco-style shoot-out. Together, they rescue a bunch of children who were just about to drink the Kool-aid. Among them is a beautiful little boy who speaks only Greek, and with whom Keira has a deep and inexplicable connection. During the adventure, Luke and Keira find that their attraction to one another is stronger than ever.
I really like all the characters in this series. Swan excels at making each of them different, and at creating riveting plotlines. Mateo, the aforementioned little boy, is adorable and adds extra warmth to an already tight team.
I like Luke and Keira as individual members of the team. What I don't like is their relationship as a couple. They argue constantly, and sometimes it's camaraderie and sometimes it's just plain passive-aggressive or mean. Keira's childhood baggage has made her noncommittal, and her love for Luke is constantly short-circuited by fear; she pulls him in, then pushes him away, over and over. They seem immature, and their sex is more rough than romantic. They're my least favorite couple in the team. These issues may not bother you, though. It's just my opinion.
My favorite is still Fever, book one, with Teague and Alyssa's story (You must read that one!).