Review: Rush by Joan Swan

Posted September 17, 2013 by Jen in 3.5 stars, Paranormal Romance, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , ,

Author: Joan Swan

Rating: B+, 3.5 Stars

What I’m Talking About:

Jessica Fury was a new wife when her husband, Quaid Legend, was brutally burned and killed in warehouse fire five years ago. This is the same fire where a mysterious chemical exploded, giving fellow firefighters interesting paranormal-ish powers. After a tough five years, which included drug and alcohol addiction, Jessica works as a lobbyist in Washington, DC, where she has distanced herself from her former teammates and friends. These same friends reach out to Jessica when they discover a man known as Q, who has been a prisoner for five years and has no memories of his life before captivity. Quaid’s former teammates are certain that Q is Quaid, and begin the process of rescuing him from his captors.

Rush opens immediately after the explosive conclusion of book two, Blaze, where the team of ex-firefighters made a daring rescue and caused a massive explosion at a Department of Defense compound known as the Castle. Unknown to the general public, the DARPA division of DoD is using the site to investigate the properties of a chemical and its effects on humans… The same chemical that changed the team, enhancing them with “powers” five years ago.

As with the previous two books in the Phoenix Rising series, I was immediately sucked into the fast-paced story. And once again, it took me a while to figure out and recall who is who. Part of this is due to the number of key players, but also, sometimes characters are referred to by their first names, while other times; their last names. (I recommend a character list with first and last names, plus brief description.) I was able to get past the confusion, but it does make for difficult reading for the first quarter-to-third of the story.

Jess is a strong woman that has finally put her past behind her. I like that she is tarnished and worn, and sometimes just barely holding on to her sanity. It gives her a sense of vulnerability and makes her feel more “real.” We learn that Jess has the ability to astral project–something that she has tried to suppress and blames on her drug trips. But now that she is being connected to Q, her “powers” flare up, allow the team to track down Q and save him.

Q is an interesting character. I really like how he was written differently, depending on from who’s POV the story is coming. When Jess or one of his former teammates sees him, he is Quaid. When it is his own POV or that of someone that didn’t know Quaid, he is Q. And they really are two different men. I feel the author did a great job keeping that point going throughout the entire book. Q has no memories of being Quaid; however, he does have strong emotional memory – the feelings of love and friendship. He cannot explain or recall how or why those feelings are there – they just are.

The romance of Jess and Quaid is different than typical. Already married and once deeply in love, they had to start all over–almost. Since Quaid recalls every emotion, just no memories, they can start with intense lust and passion… and love, even without the memories. Jess and Quaid’s passion, while flaring brightly, wasn’t so emotional for me. I felt like they didn’t really get to know one another again, and that Quaid was too quick to recover. He should be so messed up (and is messed up) after all he’s been through, yet he is able to adjust to his new circumstances extremely well and a little too expeditiously.

Several of the “bad guys” from the previous stories return in Rush. With Joce presumed dead (at end of the second book – although I think she’s still alive), Senator Gil Schaeffer needed someone to step in and run his personal research projects. This is how Owen (originally Joce’s underling) gets promoted. I was worried that with Owen, we’d get more of the same, but that is sooo not true. I actually really like Owen… “Because, no, he would not play by Schaeffer’s rules. But, nor would he risk his children’s future.” Owen is different than the rest, and I enjoyed the direction his character took. We also learned a lot more about Schaeffer’s plans and background, some of which was left open-ended.

There were a few parts of the book that I felt didn’t go over smoothly. There was more than one place that I exclaimed “What?!” I felt that there were reactions and/or actions that just weren’t smart or seemed out of place for the mood of the book. For the most part, this didn’t bother me, but over time I felt a little bit of a “come on, really” attitude.

In the end, Rush is a good story. The end went down a little too fast for me, but I liked the results. And although this a paranormal… the world-building is sort of based in science, yet for me, it started getting a little too out there with Quaid and Jess’s powers. However, everything tied into together neatly, and the ongoing story arc made significant forward progress. There are a few bits and pieces that were left open… and I look forward to reading more in the upcoming book. Overall, the suspense was thrilling and action fast-paced.

3.5 stars: Liked it – recommend (B+)


About the Book:

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.

Release Date: August 27, 2013
Phoenix Rising #3
ISBN: #978-0758288257
Paranormal Romance
Paperback (400 pgs), e-book, Audible
Book Source: Author

Purchase Info:
Rush (Phoenix Rising #3)

Reviews in the Series:
Fever by Joan Swan (Phoenix Rising #1)
Blaze by Joan Swan (Phoenix Rising #2)