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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.

400 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2013

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About the author

Joan Swan

12 books512 followers
USA Today bestselling author of passion, danger and suspense.

I live in the magnificent wine country of California's central coast with my husband and two daughters.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 101 reviews
Profile Image for Robin.
1,702 reviews60 followers
February 3, 2021
Firefighters Jessica Fury and Quaid Legend are newlyweds who are happy to be working on the same team. When a warehouse chemical fire leaves Quaid dead and the other team members with paranormal abilities, Jessica doesn't know how to deal. Five years later she is finally getting her life together when her friends tell her that they believe Quaid is still alive. They have learned that a man who is called "Q" has been held prisoner at a Government owned facility. He has developed various paranormal abilities that the government is using for their own ends. Q has no memory of his past. The team has decided to rescue Q and bring him back to Jessica.

This is the third book in Joan Swan's Phoenix Rising series. If you haven't read the previous books in the series, do not start with this one. The author only gives the backstory in little pieces. Someone who has not read the previous books would be lost.

Like the other books in the series, this story has a good balance of romance and suspense. I liked Quaid. He was so lost and didn't know who he could trust. All he asked is that people not keep information from him. Of course, Jessica and the team decide they can't tell him certain facts for his own good. That drove me crazy. There was a lot of angst and emotion in this romance. Sometimes I wanted to just flip past this portion of the story and get back to the suspense.

The suspense story was fast moving. Some of our questions were answered. Other questions were left hanging for the next and final book in the series. My rating: 3.5 Stars.
Profile Image for Mei.
1,881 reviews414 followers
December 4, 2013
A very nice book!

But, DO NOT READ this book if you haven't read the previous ones - you will understand almost nothing about what's happening here!

Ebook is the direct sequel of the previous one. You must read what happened in the previous ones to get the whole picture and to understand the why and how. Otherwise you'll just get confused, because there's much intrigue, interaction between the characters, background story...

But each book is focused on one couple. Here we have Q (or Quaid) and Jessica story.

Their story is both heartbraking and wonderful. We get to see the sufferings both of them lived through. And their deep love for each other that even Quaid's loss of memory coudn't take away.

We get to see that Owen is not so bad as he changes his mind and wants out from under Schaeffer's heel. I think in the next book we'll see more of him! :D
Profile Image for Krissys.
1,424 reviews86 followers
August 8, 2017
Rush (Phoenix Rising #3) by Joan Swan  

Author: Joan Swan Title:Rush Series: Phoenix Rising Cover Rating: Book Rating: Buy This 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…


Truckee, California Five years ago
That could not be Jessica Fury's husband. Not the man hanging upside down, fifty feet off the ground over unforgiving asphalt, prepared to perform a midair flip, hoping—hoping—to grab that ladder and scale down to safety. Not all in the name of some spontaneous, reckless, madcap training drill. Sure as hell not after he'd just been trying to coax her into making a baby with him hours ago.
Only it was. It so was. Goddamnit.
The catcalls and laughter from the other members of their hazmat team usually filled Jessica with joy. Tonight, the boisterous encouragement egging her husband on in his latest stunt made her teeth grind.
She stood at the base of a ladder, securing the structure for what should have been Quaid's execution of a simple bailout maneuver during one of their standard team training sessions. But what kept flashing in her mind—over and over, like the repeat of a movie clip—was the love of her life, her brand-freaking-new husband, diving out that fifthstory window headfirst, wrapping his leg in the safety rope instead of avoiding it, and pushing off the rungs of the ladder he should have been holding tight, then ... letting go.
Just letting go fifty feet in the air.
Beads of sweat burst across her forehead. The building spun in her vision against the darkening sky. Jessica swayed and tightened her grip on the ladder.
He looked amazing, she couldn't deny that—his strong body filling out the heavy turnouts and silhouetted against the evening, red helmet gleaming in the sunset. That mischievous, full-of-himself grin lit his handsome face. Confidence, courage, and challenge electrified the air around him.
No doubt about it—this was one-hundred percent authentic Quaid Legend in his element.
"Hey, buddy," Teague called from where he stood on the other side of the ladder. "Hope your life insurance is paid up. If you don't die from this stupid stunt, you can bet your ass Jess is gonna kill you when you touch down."
Another round of laughter erupted. Jessica fingers tightened on the ladder until they stung. Quaid's joyous grin dimmed and his beautiful eyes darted to hers.
"Legend!" Battalion Chief Kai Ryder, their team leader, yelled at Quaid from so close beside Jessica, she jumped. "What the fuck do you think you're doing?"
"Kai." Jessica's voice scraped out of her throat. One more crack to her heart and it was going to explode. "Scream at him after he's on the ground. Please."
Kai's attention jerked from Quaid's precarious sway to Jessica's face and, damn it, pity crept into his eyes.
The sting of tears pressed across the bridge of her nose. She would not cry. She would not. Damn Quaid for scaring her so badly she hurt. Damn him for putting her in this position with her team.
Kai approached the building. "Get your ass down here, you sonofabitch. A simple bailout, Legend. What part of that didn't you understand? You've only done it a million fucking times."
"Well, yeah, chief," Quaid said with typical ease. "That's why I wanted to work on this one."
This was classic Quaid—going rogue. Quaid the adventure seeker, the adrenaline junkie. Once upon a time, and not all that long ago, it had been sexy. Exciting. Only occasionally annoying. Now married, with him nudging her toward a family, it was terrifying.
"Goddamnit, Quaid," Jessica whispered.
"It's what happened with Duke," Teague said at Jessica's side, using his smooth mediator tone. "He hasn't been able to shake it."
Her thoughts turned to their friend, another firefighter, who was still in a coma with severe brain damage. Duke had recently found himself right where Quaid hung now after being blown out a window at a structure fire. Only Duke had been trapped as the building collapsed around him.
"I know." Her heart felt too big for her chest. "But if he wants to practice getting out of a bad situation, he has to plan for it. He needs an air pad out here. He needs to start lower and build up. He needs—"
"He's been doing this for weeks, Jess. He's gone higher—"
"What?" Her gaze broke from Quaid and cut to Teague. His blue eyes shone bright beneath the brim of his helmet.
Teague shrugged and returned his attention to Quaid.
Jessica followed Teague's gaze and wondered what other risks her husband had been taking without telling her. But she wasn't going to ask and put Teague in the middle. She didn't need to put any more pressure on their friends. As it was, she and Quaid were lucky to still be on the team together.
At the base of the tower, Kai had stopped yelling at Quaid and started coaching him through the steps of this new drill. Quaid's grin was back. Mischief sparkled in his velvet brown eyes again as he prepared to defy gravity like the rebel he was. Rebel to the core. Which was one of the things she loved about him. One of the things that shot heat through her veins and pumped adrenaline straight to her heart. The very damn reason she loved him so much sometimes it hurt to breathe.
But she wasn't breathing now—as Quaid pushed his body backwards for momentum, then swung toward the ladder. Every muscle in Jessica's body tensed. She leaned into the metal and held tight. Quaid twisted, then flipped like a gymnast, and righted himself. His gloves slapped metal. His single free boot found traction on a rung. But momentum tugged at the other leg still wound in the rope and that planted foot slipped.
Jessica sipped another frightened breath. Then Quaid regained his footing. Only when he unwound his other leg from the safety-rope-turned-death-trap did Jessica start breathing again.
"I thought he'd grow out of this kind of shit when you two got married," Teague muttered. "But it's not lookin' good, Jess."
Quaid couldn't even do something as simple as descend a ladder without flash. Instead of climbing down the rungs, he straddled the metal, settled his boots on either side of the vertical supports and started a stealthy slide toward the ground. He released one side of the ladder and turned to look for Jessica. As soon as his gaze found hers, he smiled. A big, warm, intimate smile just for her. A smile of shared excitement. A smile that said everything from, "Hey, babe, I'm back," to "Did you see that?" to "You're not really mad, right?"
And damn it, she didn't want to be mad when he looked at her like that. But she was. Which led to an onslaught of guilt. Followed by a burst of unrestrained anger.
By the time his boots came within a couple feet of the ground, his smile had vanished, and concern made that cute little V appear between his eyes. The one she loved to kiss away. Before he touched down, Jessica headed toward the station's engine bay.
"Jess?" he called. "Hey, Jessie. Wait."
He jogged up beside her, but didn't touch her, didn't try to slow her down or force her to look at him. He knew better.
"Come on, baby," he crooned in a voice that should have been outlawed. Deep and smooth and so damn sexy. "I know, I shouldn't have surprised you like that, but I did good, right?"
She clenched her teeth.
He bent forward, trying to look into her eyes. He'd taken off his helmet and in her peripheral vision she saw the dirt smudges on his face, his thick black hair mussed. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep a flood of tears from pushing over her lashes. He never looked better than after he'd been working. The light in his eyes, the excitement on his face, the raw life buzzing over his skin, and that smile ... Never was he more pure Quaid Legend, the man she loved heart, body and soul, than after he'd been working.
"Jessie, stop for a second." They passed through the huge bay doors and in one swift move, he darted in front of her, then blocked her every attempt to get by with a simple shift of his body.
"Quaid, knock it off."
Whatever expression she wore shocked him. He jerked his head back as if dodging a punch, and the playful frustration drained, replaced with something dark and far more serious. Something that made Jessica's chest cinch down tighter.
He dropped his helmet. The thunk against concrete shocked Jessica, and she jumped, frantically searching for the gear as if he'd dropped a child. She'd never seen him drop anything, especially not a piece of equip—
He slipped his hands beneath her turnout jacket and around her waist, pulling her up against him. He was strong and warm and familiar. And they fit so perfectly together. In so many ways. She hated the way he continued to put that at risk.
"Hey." He lifted a hand to her face. "What's this? I've never seen you like this."
"Quaid ..." She glanced over her shoulder for the rest of the team. "Don't—"
"Screw them. Look at me. You're scaring me, Jess."
Her gaze shot back to his. Her hands fisted in his jacket. "Scaring you? No, Quaid, scaring you would be more like me jumping out a fifth-story window on the spur of the moment while you were watching."
Guilt flooded his eyes. "I'm sorry, Jess. I ... didn't think—"
She pushed back, breaking his grip, her anger, terror, pain renewed. "You can't just say you're sorry and make it all go away. Do you have any idea, any idea, how it felt for me to stand there and watch you? Watch you roll out the window and let go of that ladder?"
"I know. I—"
"No, you don't know." Tears spilled over her lashes before she could stop them. "I thought I was going to stand there, helpless, and watch you fall to your death."
"Oh, shit. Christ, don't cry, Jess. That's not what I was ... I was trying to ... I wanted to ... with what happened to—"
"Duke." She pulled the hem of her shirt up and wiped her face. She hated how he caved when she cried, how he completely lost focus on the argument at hand. How he'd promise her anything just to get her to stop. "I know, but that doesn't—"
Their pagers went off at the same time and a stereo of beeps echoed in the bay.
"Ah, shit." Quaid glanced at the display hooked to his belt and Jessica silenced her unit. "Just a warehouse."
His turnout jacket fell back into place and he reached for her again.
She stepped back. "This is serious, Quaid. I need you. I depend on you. You're—" Her throat closed. Tears renewed and she took a breath to keep them back. "You're everything to me. Everything. If you really want a family you cannot be pulling shit like that. Do you understand?"
"Absolutely." He nodded, his eyes serious and intent on hers, and so very clear. She knew he meant what he was saying. "Yes."
The tension inside her shifted from heavy despair to blessed relief. She threw herself into him, knowing he'd catch her. He held tight, pressed his face to her neck and wiped his damp eyes on her skin.
"I'm sorry, baby. I love you so much. I worry all the time, you know? Shit like what happened with Duke ... I just want to know how to stay safe. How to keep you safe. I want us together ... forever."
Footfalls sounded on the concrete, and for the first time since she and Quaid had started dating, she didn't care who saw them together at work.
"I told you she wouldn't stay mad at him longer than ten minutes." Keira's voice cut into Jessica's moment of relief, which was just as well. She was ready to melt into her husband and let him take over. Let him do whatever he damn well pleased just to see him smile, which was exactly how they'd gotten here.
"You're one to talk, sweetness," Luke, their teammate and Keira's new boyfriend, teased with a tousle of her hair. "You can't stay mad at me for two."
"Knock that shit off," Kai grumbled, passing them on the way toward their hazmat rig. Jessica pulled away from Quaid just before Kai slammed Quaid's helmet against his chest with a glare of steel. "Watch your gear, Legend. And one more epic act of stupidity like that, and I'll kick your ass to Iceland. Load up."
Quaid's ass could have already been in Iceland. Despite his close seat alongside Jess in the back of the truck with her fingers curled into his, the look he'd seen on her face earlier still chilled him. It was the same look he saw on Duke's wife's face whenever a doctor entered Duke's room in the ICU. And Quaid didn't want to see that look in Jess's eyes again. Ever. His efforts to master that damn drill had been for exactly that purpose—to keep that look out of her eyes.
He pulled his hand from hers and sat forward in his seat, leaning elbows on knees. She might think he was everything to her, but she was his goddamned universe. And the road noise and others talking wasn't helping him think. Wasn't helping him figure out where his damn defect was or how to repair—as Kai had so perfectly put it—his act of epic stupidity.
Jess leaned into him and combed her fingers through his hair. Love, rich and warm and sweet, pushed wetness into Quaid's eyes. He closed them, pressed his fingers against the lids to ease the sting and let his mind wind around every possible way he could make this up to her.
They'd been riding twenty minutes, now well into the desolate mountains of the Sierra Nevada, when Kai called attention and started giving information.
"This is a government storage warehouse," he said, reading from his iPhone, where he stored data on all area buildings. "It houses machinery and supplies. We shouldn't run into weapons or biohazard, but we'll have petroleum-based products and cleaning supplies. May have high combustibles burning toxins and no doubt our beloved plastics."
The vehicle slowed and bounced onto a rough road. Quaid grabbed a handlebar above Jessica's head and braced her with his body.
"I'll take the entry team with Teague and Luke," Kai continued. "Keira, Jess, Quaid and Seth take second in. The hazmat team from Carson City will be there as backup."
Quaid saw an opportunity for redemption. The first step toward taking that look out of Jess's eyes forever. And after Luke and Teague popped the vehicle's doors and the team dropped into the cool night, Quaid went in search of Kai.
The scent of pure mountain pine mixed with smoke. One deep breath and excitement rushed his system. Adrenaline fueled his muscles and pumped his energy. His thoughts sharpened, his reactions quickened. He was high and ready to take on the flames.
But he couldn't do that tonight. He couldn't play that reckless cowboy anymore.
Local firefighters already had their ladder truck positioned alongside the building, their hoses pouring water on fiery tongues licking through a hole in the metal ceiling. Three other engines were positioned near the main door. Firefighters hauled hose from the back of the trucks, the thick canvas slithering along the asphalt like tan snakes. Light from flood lamps cascaded over the surrounding terrain, making the aspens' flat leaves sparkle gold among the dark towering pines.
Quaid followed Kai to the opposite side of the vehicle and stopped close. "Chief, I'd like to be on the entry team."
Kai yanked open a compartment. "As if."
"I know I screwed up. Give me a chance to fix it."
"If you can't act like a professional in training—"
"Give it a rest, Kai. We've worked together for eight goddamned years. Do you want me to remind you how many times my unorthodox ways have saved your ass?"
Kai shot him a heavy-lidded look around the metal door, but his silence said he was considering. Quaid held his breath, waiting ... hoping. After several seconds, Kai finally said, "Fine, you're on the entry team. But Quaid? I want you to think about how ball-shriveling glacial it is in Iceland right now."
"Yes, sir."
"If you make even half a misstep, you're off this team. You got me?"
Quaid exhaled slowly. "Yes, sir."
With purpose and a plan, Quaid headed back toward the truck. He found Jess on the far side, unloading gear while studying the fire. He smiled to himself, a little surprised at the new sense of maturity and pride rising inside him.
"Lucky this didn't spread," she said, her gaze straying to the tree line. "If it had reached the forest, we could have lost thousands of acres. And look at those aspens. They're so pretty. God I love this time of year." She set her oxygen tank on the ground at her feet. "Where'd you go?"
"To talk to Kai. I'm on the entry team."
"Quaid, you don't have to do that."

A beautifully descriptive beginning to start your bond with her main characters, Rush is a very high voltage book with a heart breaking tragedy and a realistic view into the world of those that put their lives on the line every day. 
Even in this world of fantasy Joan Swan has found something fabulous for us to experience, her creativity gives the her readers a thrill and a twist in an exciting read that you won't be able to put down.

Until next time book lovers...

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
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Profile Image for Michelle.
Author 24 books13 followers
August 6, 2013
Rush is the third installment in the Phoenix Rising series by romantic suspense author Joan Swan. Just as with the first two, Fever and Blaze, Rush grabbed me from the opening lines and didn't let go until the very end, leaving me breathless and ready for more.
I was lucky enough to have had the chance to receive an advance copy of Fever in order to review it, which introduced me to this amazing group of people who are as close as any blood family. When Blaze was released I made sure to grab up a copy and dove right in, not coming up for breath until I had devoured every last word. And when the opportunity to receive an advanced copy of Rush was presented, of course I jumped at it. I was so excited when the book arrived in my mailbox and couldn't wait to learn about another member of the team.
Where Fever focused on Teague’s story, and Blaze brought in Keiera and Luke, Rush delves into the before mentioned Quaid, but who until now, was a character we didn't really know. He was just a name. Quaid’s story was powerful and heart wrenching. Joan Swan has a way of crafting her characters and stories in a way that makes you feel for the characters, makes you root for them while hoping the bad guy gets his in the end. And with each new book in the series, I love learning more and more about all of the characters, their dynamic and how they function as a group, as a family.
My heart has raced; I have felt anger, sadness, happiness, and the love that comes through Joan Swan’s words. If you haven’t had a chance to get to know these amazing people, if you haven’t had a chance to hear their stories told as only they can tell it, I recommend you pick up a copy and get started…believe me, you won’t be sorry!!
Profile Image for Christi Snow.
Author 70 books743 followers
February 7, 2014
My Review:
Quaid supposedly died five years ago. His wife Jessica might as well have died with him since she sank into depression and drugs and a non-life just to cope with life without him. She's been on the road to recovery for a year now so when her friends come to tell her that Quaid might still be alive, she can't allow herself to even hope. She wouldn't survive his loss again.

This book made my heart hurt so much for both these characters. Quaid and Jessica had a perfect love...no, not a perfect marriage. They fought and were normal people but they were so much in love. They were on the same firefighting team when the warehouse exploded. That explosion killed Quaid and left the rest of the team changed with paranormal abilities. Ever since then, Jessica has separated herself from the team. Her whole goal for her life now is revenge. She is literally the walking wounded and her pain is so heartbreaking as you watch her struggle.

Q was a character who showed up in Book #2...a man with no memory and no identity who's been the subject of medical experimentation for the last 4 years. He doesn't remember his life from before or anyone from that life, including Jessica. His only knowledge of her has come through his dreams. They have a connection even with all the damage that's been done to them. And these two are definitely not the same people they were before the warehouse explosion.

Angst and emotion and suspense...if you like your books full of those things, you will like this one. Both these characters are so wounded, there are times I wondered if they were truly going to be able to come back from that. And they don't go back to where they were....that's an impossibility, but they grow to know each other anew in this book and find there way to a new level of relationship. It isn't easy or without heartache, but it makes for a beautiful love story and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading it.

The other part of this series that is so good is the entire team aspect of it. This particular story line is tough on everyone from that team because they all lost and mourned Quaid. As he and Jess find their way back to each other, tensions are really high because it certainly isn't easy for them. There are moments when neither one can cope and I loved the whole support aspect that came into it. This is a team that has been to hell and back and they are much better as a whole because of it and because they've stood together. They let Jessica slip out of that when Quaid died, but are determined to not let that happen again and I enjoyed that aspect of the story and that it was recognized as an issue. I liked the realization that they let her down by not protecting her from herself when he died.

This has been just an excellent series so far!
Profile Image for Vanessa theJeepDiva.
1,258 reviews127 followers
August 10, 2013
Towards the end of Blaze a new character was introduced to the Phoenix rising series. He was simply known as Q. Everything points to the fact that he is most likely the one member that was deemed dead. The simplest solution would be to ask Q if he really is Quaid. The problem there is the sicko’s that declared Quaid dead are the same freaks that are experimenting on humans all for the purpose of filling their coffers. Q has no recollection of who he really is. The former hazmat team that is more family than teammates have decided not to leave one of their own behind and they go after who they hope is Quaid.

Jessica had buried and is still mourning the loss of her beloved husband. The information that Teague and Keira present her with cannot be true. She knows how horrific the explosion was that claimed her husband’s life. She is also filled with such guilt that denial is so much easier to deal with. She has lived a quasi-life while she believed her husband dead. While she has not exactly moved on and put the past behind her, she certainly hasn’t lived the life of a woman who could possibly have a living, missing spouse.

Rush is heartbreaking in so many ways. Jessica has done things since burying her husband that fill her with guilt. Q and Quaid are two very different people. The commonality between the two is Jessica. Q may not remember Quaid and Jessica but his heart tells him she is something very important to him. Reading them reuniting and trying to find their way is so tragic, yet Joan tells their story in a way that leaves you impossibly hopeful for them from the very beginning.

I think every series I’ve ever read I pick a guy and impatiently wait for his book. I’m perfected the art of choosing the hero who is destined to have the last book. If the teaser at the end of Rush is any indication January will not get here soon enough. I do believe my guy is getting the next book and I am beyond excited about that possibility.
Profile Image for Farrah.
1,249 reviews207 followers
August 28, 2013
I really liked the idea for this book. A couple split up, one thinking the other is dead, the other wiped clean of his memories. I had high hopes for this book. Were they met? Not completely. Though I liked the characters and I enjoyed the story, I never felt drawn in. Overall, though, I thought Rush was a lovely paranormal romance.

Jessica was a good heroine. Though I had trouble connecting with her. Maybe it was just because I didn't agree with how she reacted after Quaid's death. There wasn't anything that I disliked about her. I mean, she was a strong heroine. But, I didn't connect with her, so I couldn't say that I truly liked her.

Q was better. I really liked him. I thought it was so sweet that, even though he lost his memory, he still remember Jessica. Or, at least, remembered the memory of her. I thought he was totally sweet and I adored him.

The romance was well done. There was already a basis for their relationship, considering Jessica and Q had already been married. Their feelings for each other, even with Q having memory loss, were deep and obvious. And the chemistry between them was nonstop. I thought they were lovely together.

The plot was okay. I liked the story and I enjoyed it. But, I was never completely hooked. I just couldn't get drawn into it. I still enjoyed this book, I just didn't love it.

Rush was a nice paranormal read. I liked the characters, for the most part. I enjoyed the story. But, I didn't feel engaged in the plot. Maybe it's just me, because I know other people have really liked this book. I would still recommend it to people who really enjoy paranormal romance. It was an enjoyable book.

*Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington: Brava for a copy!
Profile Image for Ellen.
670 reviews9 followers
August 17, 2013
This review now available on my blog at: http://neverkissandblog.blogspot.com....

So, Rush is book three in Joan Swan’s Phoenix Rising series, a paranormal romantic suspense series. With smokin’ hot firefighters. Everything is better with firefighters? Five years ago the firefighting squad went into a burning government building and came out changed. Unfortunately some rogue elements of their government decided the best way to cover it up was to get rid of them.

Quaid was one of the first to enter the building and got an extra blast of chemical, so Gil Schaeffer decided he’d be the best person to experiment with in regards to abilities. This is so evil I can’t even… They (the governmental conpiracy types) had to knew what the chemicals might do but they didn’t warn anyone they just watched to see what would happen.

Jessie was Quaid’s wife and took his loss badly. Really badly. She denied her abilities as best she could and ended up a drug addict as she tried desperately to forget her loss. She was devastated by his loss. When Keira and Teague come to her office in Washington to try and convince her Quaid might be still alive she refuses to believe it. Teague tricks her into scrying for Q, and she refuses to believe that he is Quaid even after astral projecting to him. And I was so drawn into her that despite reading Blaze and being 99% sure that Q was actually Quaid I wanted to shout at Teague and Keira to leave her alone because I sympathised so strongly with Jessica and her inability to cope with her loss.

Q, on the other hand is broken. He is a seething mass of instincts and fear with no memory of how he learnt any of his skills. He doesn’t know about his abilities at all so thoroughly have Schaeffer and Gorin fucked him over. My heart broke as he tried to understand who he once was and who he is now. The rage he went into when he realised how much of his life was stolen is amazing. His utter devastation as he realises that he was married to Jessica and he doesn’t even remember.

As far as the series’ plot goes we have a fair amount of resolution and plenty of set up for the next part of the series. I will say this, the ending is so fast. I’m not sure if Quaid remembers his life before the fire or not. I don’t know if Scaeffer and Green are dead or not and the ending is so quick that it’s closer to a HFN than a HEA.

Bottom line, everything you thought that this book might not do it does. Quaid comes back from the dead and you feel the emotions that it causes the relief and worry, the fear and expectations. You see Quaid trying to understand how to live without being an experiment. Jessica’s fear that he’ll disappear, that she’s not strong enough to live if she loses him again, or if she doesn’t is so real. Read Rush.

**I received this book as an ARC from Kensington via NetGalley**
Profile Image for Sue "DavinciKittie" Brown-Moore.
393 reviews59 followers
August 1, 2013
To see the full review, including memorable quotes and other similar book recommendations, visit GraveTells:

~~~@ This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! @~~~

Rush starts off with a... well, rush... of energy and emotion as we step right into the passionate relationship between Quaid and Jessica and get glimpses into their vibrant pre-accident personalities. The good-natured training scene charges straight into the now-infamous warehouse explosion we've been waiting so long to learn more about.

Oh Quaid, how you break my heart! Getting to see him "before"and "after" just makes his imprisonment and torture that much more gut-wrenching and his depth of love for Jessica that much more powerful. This sweet, kind, gregarious, and outgoing man has been molded into nearly the perfect soldier who thinks, acts, and reacts like a war machine, yet has no memory of who he was or even what he can do now. His storyline is by far the jewel of this book and I didn't think I could like another hero more than Luke from Blaze!

Jessica was a little tougher for me to relate to. She's a recovering drug addict and, like many addicts, fearful of change and always walking that line between truth and lies. Jess may have been a firefighter, but she's not a badass heroine like we saw in Kiera. She doubts herself so deeply that is almost painful to experience. Some of her dialogue came across as whiny or naive to me, although I imagine that's just part of her character development.

The sex between Q & Jess is off-the-charts hot. Joan Swan writes scorching chemistry and soul-deep emotional connections, and Rush follows in the proud tradition of excellence set by its predecessors in the Phoenix Rising series.

Rush has a great mix of lethal special ops action and more intimate getting-to-know-you downtime. Between Quaid and Jess, their abilities are nearly unstoppable and they totally live up to their last names: Quaid Legend and Jessica Fury.

I like that Ms. Swan didn't try to tie everything up neatly at the close of the story. It all comes together naturally and feels right rather than a rushed, fake happily-ever-after. Don't worry though - Q and Jessie still get their happy ending, there are some new characters to speculate about (predictions about Trent, anyone?), and we get a healthy dose of Mitch time to lead into his story, Shatter, which is up next.

Rush is an emotional roller coaster of a ride and a satisfying third installment in Joan Swan's Phoenix Rising series! Quaid and Jessica's story is a must-read!
920 reviews26 followers
December 5, 2013
Pamela Clare, Maya Banks, Cindy Gerard, Suzanne Brockmann, Christy Reece, Anne Stuart, Shannon McKenna…my favorites in romantic suspense. While sometimes their books are too formulaic, and often the bromance among the guys (and there must be several guys who work together – with the obligatory female teammate who falls for one of the guys) is the best part of the continuous stories, I still read these books with my heart pounding – will the baddies get caught (and sometimes – wow, the baddies are off the chart psychos – so much so that I’m dragged out of the story, thinking “really??” (looking at you Christy Reece and Shannon McKenna)), will I understand the military techno-babble – but as long as the men are hot, and the women are not TSTL, I’m totally on board.

I can add Joan Swan to this list. Her Phoenix Rising series, while only three books, has captivated me. The first book, Fever, like so many that begin a series, was good but not great. It was a bit hard to follow at first, but the action was non stop, the lovin’ was smokin’, and I loved Teague and Alyssa together (a strong sexy guy willing to risk anything for his little girl – yay!). Fever introduced a lot of potentially great characters, and ended with a lot of questions about what happened to Teague and his fellow Hazmat team in the government warehouse explosion. On to Blaze – and more smexy times, an awesome H/h combo (Luke and Keira), and incredible edge of your seat action. We got to know our supporting characters a bit more, some humor was thrown in (love you, Mitch!)…and an almost-cliff hanger…who is the mysterious Q?

Rush is Q’s book (the almost obligatory back-from-the-dead-but-changed character that many RS books feature). I loved this book in spite of its flaws. I found parts really reasonable and somewhat realistic – the idea that Jessica went off the deep end after Quinn’s death (drugs, sex), distanced herself from friends, etc. When they first find Q she does not see in him her husband – because while he is, he also isn’t. There were a few times where she got on my nerves (I felt she could have been more understanding about Q’s issues, of which there were many), but overall, while not as kickass as Kiera, I liked her. Q – oh, my sweet, damaged, incredibly hot Q. You are my newest book-boyfriend. You are so innocent, almost virginal, so determined to win your life back. I loved the supporting players, and am over-the-moon thrilled that Mitch stars in the next book, which yay, comes out in January!! Yup, this was some good reading!!
Profile Image for Victoria.
1,188 reviews95 followers
August 11, 2013
I should admit I am a sucker for a back from dead/amnesia story line. That’s was drew me into reading this book even though it has paranormal aspects, which I normally don’t read. Jessica had a perfect life. Totally in love with her husband, both of them firefighters, wonderful friends…until a fire changes everything and her husband dies. Five years later and Jessica learns there may be more to the fire than anyone first realized and shockingly, her husband may still be alive. Can she survive learning the truth?

For me, Rush was a good balance of drama, suspense, and romance. The paranormal aspect was woven into the story line and was more believable than what I was expecting and did not distract from the overall story at all. I liked the overall cast of supporting characters. I will say that Jessica, the main character was a little annoying in the beginning. She seemed very weak and I wasn’t sure what kind of heroine she was going to be. As for Q, he was definitely the star of this story for me. I was pulling for a happy ending for him as soon as he was introduced. The poor treatment he has received along with the confusion he has while trying to make sense of his past is heartbreaking at times.

“Were you mine Jessie?”

“And who do you belong to now?”

Yep, he totally got me there. As far as Jessica goes, once she really commits to Q being Quaid, the chemistry between the two is HOT. He needs her with animalistic passion. He can barely control himself. And that need is not one sided. Jessie wants to take everything Quaid can give her.

“The sex had been passionate, bordering on obsessive. Hard, edgy, dark, serious. Hot. God, Just thinking about it made her wet. She squeezed her thighs together against the need that had been growing since the moment he’s last pulled out of her.”

That is what I am talking about…

I went into reading this book a little blind. I wasn’t familiar with the author and didn’t realize there are two books in The Phoenix Rising series that build off of each other that ideally should be read before you read this book, book three. That being said, not having read the earlier books didn’t keep me from really liking Rush but it would have been nice to know the back stories and read them in order. I definitely will be reading the next story in this series and can’t wait to read the first two books to learn the backstories of the supporting characters. Overall, a very solid read with equal parts suspense and romance.

Thanks to Netgalley for ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Eva Millien.
3,146 reviews42 followers
August 27, 2013
The author has combined all the elements of a great paranormal romantic suspense series, action, intrigue, enemies, hope, betrayal, lovable and intriguing characters, romance, friendship, family and paranormal abilities and the reader will be completely taken with this series. With the third book in the Phoenix Rising series being a very intriguing and engaging read that can be read without reading the first two because the author gives the reader all the information needed to get caught up in the plot without overloading the reader with too much information.

The romance between Jess and Quaid is interrupted by a few problems but that doesn’t stop the attraction between the two from building throughout the story. The sex scenes are well written and take place at appropriate times during all the chaos.

All of the characters are easily related to and easily draw the reader into their world. The enemies are ones that everyone will love to hate; the government, private business and evil scientists. The good guys have a lot of people to fight to keep their lives and to keep the ones they care about from being taken away again. The situation is further complicated by the supernatural abilities that the characters have to learn to control and understand.

The author has created a situation that draws the reader in and builds the suspense with every turn of the page. The fighting between the bad guys and the good guys is well described and believable giving the reader the sense of being right in the middle of the action.
The only negative I had with the story was I personally wish that Jess had overcome her problems a little sooner, but I think that she may surprise us in future books. Overall I was very entertained and intrigued with this book and I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I was provided this ARC by NetGalley in exchange for a honest review
Profile Image for Michelle Leah Olson.
914 reviews104 followers
August 30, 2013
Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:

This is apparently the third book in the Phoenix Rising series although it is the first book that I have read by Ms. Swan. I feel that this is not a standalone book and readers would certainly benefit greatly if they read the two previous books (Fever and Blaze).

This started out as a very detailed story about two firefighters(Jessica and Quaid), who are clearly very much in love. This is a very intense beginning to a story that had me believing the author intended to give an insight into the life of modern firefighters. I could not have been more mistaken, as the plot very quickly twisted and threw this reader into a confusing world full of tragedy, intrigue, and unexpected paranormal events.

Whilst I hesitate to give spoilers, it's fair to say that the two lead characters are tortured individuals who have been through fire, quite literally! An explosion of toxic and highly top secret canisters finds both them and their firefighting unit changed irreparably! Whilst they all exhibit some form of psychic abilities, its Quaid who suffers the most. Believed to be dead, he has been experimented on beyond belief, and is now far more than just the fun loving man that Jessica remembers. His lack of memories may seem problematic but his new lack of humanity could destroy them all.

I am stunned by this book! It pulled me in with its heartbreaking beginning but also managed to entertain with witty dialogue and a very unique storyline. These guys may not be superheros but they definitely gave this reader a fantastic ride. Totally unlike anything I have read and quite simply a fabulous read.

I would have to say a very well deserved 5. This woman can write!
Profile Image for Mara.
2,475 reviews232 followers
September 1, 2013
3 1/2
I am surprised by how much I enjoyed Rush. I feared I wouldn't be able to fully appreciate it as it was the third book in a series. But the author worked beautifully to integrate the back story in the plot. Clearly, if you read the first two, you'll gain more inside into characters and story arch, but I was able to follow everything without a single glitch.

Rush is a mix of futuristic, pnr and romantic suspense and it's able to sustain all :) I'm always a bit wary of second chance stories, but in this case I was fully engaged. Both because there's been no betrayal in the past and because the author gave the couple a base to start, without forcing the readers' hand. It was almost a new love story, as the two are now quite different from their past selves.

Maybe not all characters were fully rounded, but I loved the beginning. I really felt for the heroine and her denial. I almost hated every single person in her group, their "cruelty". This is quite a feat for me:)

World-building is a bit on the light side and the quantum theory bit will probably make some of my friends pale. But I was engaged in the plot outside the couple and I'm keen to know what next.

ARC courtesy of Brava via Netgalley

Profile Image for Sally.
861 reviews
November 8, 2013
What a marvellous author, and what a marvellous series!
Continuing the stories of the group of friends and colleagues fighting the corruption in Govt ranks which has caused so much grief, following on from the rescue of Cash, Keira's brother, there is the mystery of Q, who helpers keep Cash sane and helped in his attempted escape from the prison where Q has been drugged and experimented on for six years.
Could Q be there supposedly dead and grieved comrade? Can Jessica be brought back into their group to try to find Q and identify him?
This just the beginning of this heartrending, thrilling and exciting love story.
This series deserves all the accolades it can get.
Profile Image for Diana's.
1,039 reviews121 followers
December 13, 2015
I did not realize when I requested this from Netgalley that this was the 3rd in the Phoenix Rising Series..
SO I was somewhat lost..
BUT!! What I was able to follow along was very well written and kept me interested.. But I could tell there was tons I missed and would have benefited and enjoyed he read much more had I read Fever & Blaze Definitely have added to my TBR list.. and will consider this author for future reads
Profile Image for Adria's Musings.
844 reviews40 followers
September 1, 2013
*Book provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Originally posted on Adria's Romance Reviews

Sexy men, confident women and hot love scenes mixed with government conspiracies and unusual abilities best describe the latest book in author Joan Swan's Phoenix Rising series. Rush amps up the action, suspense and of course, the romance. Where Fever and Blaze (book one and two respectively) pushed the mystery of the chemical explosion that left seven firefighters with unexplained abilities to the side, Rush places them front and center along with the mystery of who was responsible for causing it.

Jessica Fury has been in hell for five years. Sure she's a successful, independent Washington lobbyist but she'd trade it all in an instant to have her husband Quaid back. A brave firefighter, Quaid never backed down from a challenge, so when he walked in to a chemical fire and didn't come out, it shattered Jessica. It isn't until she gets word that Quaid may still be alive that she snaps out of her semi-existense and jumps back into the middle of a government conspiracy that just might include more people than she thinks.

With no memories of his past, Q is relying on his gut instinct that keeps telling him he has someone to live for. Used for the past five years as a lab rat has left him angry, bitter and a bit unstable. When he's finally freed from his prison, he finds himself among people claiming to be his friends and a woman who looks at him like she's seen a ghost. He barely has time to catch his breath before his captors are after him again but this time Q has no intention of letting them get him or his new found friends.

Rush not only has more danger and suspense than its predecessors, it's also a more emotional story. Each of the characters has been through their own hell since the day of the chemical explosion, but none have come as close to giving up as Jessica. Losing Quaid the way she did broke her completely. I'm not talking about just years of mourning and refusing to move on, I'm talking about walking on the dark side holding hands with suicide and partying it up with drugs. She really hit rock bottom and though she has managed to drag herself out, it's an ongoing fight for her and readers get to see her on more than one occasion almost fall back into that life. I felt so bad for her. In the first few pages Jessie did come across as one of those women who depends on a man to validate her existence and I was afraid that she would play that role throughout the whole book and just irritate me.

She didn't.

This is a character who changed drastically and who battled the temptation to just give up every single day since she said goodbye to her husband. I'm not applauding the fact that she fell so far down after his death and that "proves how much she loved him." That would be a ridiculous thing to say. No one should have to go through that so the world could say "She must have really loved him." I am applauding that she managed to pick herself up from the gutter and put herself back together as best as she could. Does she still miss Quaid? With every fiber of her being, but she does her best to keep living. That's what I loved about her. A survivor isn't someone who becomes immune or numb to the pain, but someone who can be in that much pain and still live life and be a good person.

Because Jessie and Q have changed so much since they've been apart, there was that fear that they just couldn't get back together. Jessie had her demons that she was still fighting and Q was certain that the man Jessie fell in love with no longer existed inside him. Rush a chance for them to see if even with their personal changes, they could still find love with each other. The physical attraction is definitely there and man are those scenes hot!

Rush also explores more of the Government conspiracy surrounding the explosion and the fact that Quaid, Jessie and their friends are not only being monitored but they are not the only ones that have been exposed to strange chemicals. It really ramps up the mystery and excitement of the overall series.

With so many twists and turns, it would be easy for a reader to get lost in the plot but Joan's style of writing is easy to follow, entertaining and interesting. Once I started reading Rush, time just flew by for me and before I knew it, I was finished and saying "I wonder when the next book is going to be out..."

Of course, part of that anticipation is because of the interactions between the once tight knit group of firefighters. Whenever they're all together it's sure to be entertaining. Throw in the new kids Alyssa (Teague's wife), Mitch (Alyssa's brother) and now Cash (Keira's brother) and the sarcastic quips start flying. I love the gang and the way they "communicate" with each other. I said it once before and I'll say it again, I'd love to have a family like that. Annoying as hell at times but when the chips are down they're there for you no matter what.

I can honestly say that Rush is taking the series in a new more intense direction and Joan Swan is really stepping up the love scenes. Rush has made it into my list of best books this year.
Profile Image for Jen (That's What I'm Talking About).
1,474 reviews256 followers
September 19, 2013
3.5 stars: Liked it - recommend (B+)
Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About
Review copy provided by the author.

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.
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews546 followers
November 14, 2013
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

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.

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.

FTC Advisory: Kensington Brava provided me with a copy of Rush. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
Profile Image for Lucy Dosch (EBookObsessed).
1,070 reviews21 followers
September 14, 2013
When Quaid Legend and his team of Hazmat Firefighters walked into the burning warehouse five years ago, their lives changed forever. The chemicals that the government was hiding in that warehouse caused them all to change on a molecular level, and left them with special abilities which certain areas of the government of very interested in using. Their lives have been monitored since that fateful day. Yet they were the luckier ones. Quaid lost his life…just not in the way the team was told. He didn’t die from his injuries as they believed, but he lost his freedom, his wife, and the future they should have had together.

Quaid was the first one into the warehouse that day and unlike his brethren, Quaid wasn’t just hit with one chemical blast, he was hit twice, and the blast shattered every bone in his body, but he survived and his body began to heal itself. And the government wanted to use that ability to create super-soldiers. When their experiments couldn’t recreate his abilities, they wiped his memory, drugged and tortured him and used him as a secret weapon.

When Teague, Luke, Keira and the rest rescued Keira’s brother Cash from government facility known as The Castle, they found their first clue that their friend Quaid was actually alive and being held by the government and used in experiments, but they need Jessica’s special ability to locate where they have hidden Quaid.

Jessica has never recovered from the loss of her husband, but she has finally stopped the downward spiral of drugs and sex to suppress the loss. She has been clean for the last year and she has focused all her energy on destroying the Senator who has been ruining her friends lives for the last five years. When Teague and Keira come to her with news that Quaid might actually be alive for the last five years, she is afraid to hope knowing that hope can push her back onto that path of self-destruction if the man they find isn’t her husband.

Except hope finds its way back into Jessica’s heart and she goes with her team to rescue the mysterious man known to Cash only as Q. What they find is a man with no memory of his past, a man who has become dark and dangerous from his years of torture and government programming. Quaid might not remember his life or his friends, but he recognizes the redhead from his dreams. Can Jessica drag Quaid back from the edge and remind him of the man he once was and of the life and the future they once dreamed of?

This is definitely my favorite story of the series. You know I love the tortured hero story so Quaid is already getting thumbs up from me, but added to that was Jessica’s acceptance that the Quaid she knew would never come back. She sees what was done to Quaid, to his mind, and she accepts that he will never again be the Quaid she married, and instead of lamenting her loss, she is ready to accept the man he has become and create new memories and a new life with this Quaid.

Quaid sacrifices himself to protect Jessica from the full blast in the warehouse fire which subjects his body to excessive exposure to the chemicals as well as shattering all the bones in his body. We only get a sample of his years of torture at the government hands as well as only a sampling of his abilities since Quaid spent a great deal of his time being drugged so they could control him and so he wasn’t fully aware of all his abilities so he couldn’t use them again his jailers. Although he couldn’t remember his past, there was still a part of his brain the remembered Jessica and sometime when he was able to spirit walk to her. He believed she was just part of a dream he was having, but his feelings for his “dream woman” were enough to comfort him during his captivity, and once he finds out that she is real, he will do everything to keep her by his side.

It was moving to watch them reconnect after all this time and see how deep their emotions were that his feelings for Jessica survived having his brain wiped clean and he knows that he loves her, but doesn’t know why. Just Quaid’s reaction to Jessica telling him she won’t ever leave him made me all teary since he couldn’t remember anyone ever caring about him.

There are some big happenings during this story which should bring big changes to the series. I can’t wait to see what surprises Mitch’s book will bring to the series.

I have enjoyed all of Joan’s stories but this one is at the top of my list.

Received an ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

See more at http://ebookobsessed.com
771 reviews8 followers
October 27, 2013
Will Quaid be the same man when they thought him dead? Will he ever regain his memory? Will Jessica be able to love the man he had become, Q?

Wow Rush was a rush of emotions, the emotions that I had due to the treatment of Quaid. I could not believe the amount of things that the government had done to him but not only him, Cash and his family especially Mateo, Cash’s son. The torture that they endured because of some psycho Senator wanting to make troops with paranormal capabilities, he’s a sick man. This story captivated me from the very beginning till the very end. The part that hurt me the most when I was reading this story was the idea that maybe Quaid would never be able to remember his past. The time he spent with Jessica, their marriage the thought of having a family with the woman he loved.

Jessica Fury lost her husband in an explosion five years ago and what did they name the explosion an “accident”. After the death she went into a very dark place where she tried to drown her pain. After endless drinking, drugs and sex her life almost came to an end maybe that’s what she wanted. Maybe that was the way she would finally be able to be with Quaid once again and finally be happy.

Jessica is ready to make Senator Gil Schaeffer life a living hell. She has been investigating him, taking his picture because she knew that the explosion was not an accident. There could not have been those types of chemicals in that warehouse. Now all of a sudden somewhere in Nevada there was a similar explosion. What the hell is going on and is her former teammates there.

Quaid Legend was a firefighter and also a dare devil. The day of the explosion he did something stupid and he got talked to by Jessica. When the team went to the fire he knew that he need to prove something and was able to go into the warehouse with two of his teammates. Only he knew there was danger the color of the fire was different and the heat melted his flashlight. His only thoughts were of Jessica when the container exploded once then it happened again.

Q has been held captive for five years; his body has been experimented on. He has one friend that he has been able to talk to and now he has escaped and maybe Cash will finally be able to reconnect with his sister and son. Now he is being moved to another location but something is happening. He has been dreaming of a woman, a red haired woman but now he can touch her, hold her, kiss her. But not only that there are some voices that he is hearing something is going on.

Jessica can’t believe what her ex-team members are telling her. That there is a man named “Q” and they believe he might be Quaid. She can’t go through this again; she can believe he is alive, when he is dead. Only when he is rescued and she does a little investing of her own looking over his body. She can’t believe he is alive but he is not the same person, he tried to break her neck.

Rush is a thrilling ride of suspense, intrigue and is book 3 in Phoenix Rising Series. I will have to say that I am going to have to read the first two books that Ms. Swan has out of this series in order to better understand the characters. This read is intense and emotional because of the amount of pain Q has gone through. The amount of studies that he endured the countless beatings is terrible. Now the part that was very interesting was the paranormal elements due to the chemicals they were exposed to at the explosion. I loved how the weather changed when Jessica was feeling rage, despair, anger. Then there is Q wow he had some amazing talent, I believe the best part was his teleporting. He was a very strong, fast man that did not hesitate when it came to acting when danger was close but the one person that could break him was Jessica. The pace of this story was perfect at no point during the read did I feel uninterested, the need to put down the book. The passion that Q and Jessica have was intense, the moment that their lips touch it was like a fire was ignited. The chemistry was amazing between them.

Ms. Swan has an amazing writing style; it’s full of passion full of emotion. Rush was well written and the scenes were vivid. I recommend this book to all genre readers. I can’t wait to read the next installment, Shatter.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books334 followers
August 26, 2013
Wowsers! The title says it all about this one. It was truly a rush from start to finish. I knew it would be intense because it was Quaid and Jessica's story, but knowing and experiencing are two vastly different things it seems. Joan Swan has an absolute gift for telling an adrenaline-producing heart-pounding story that surrounded and immersed me so that every sense was engaged. I love how each book in this series just cranks it up just that much more. You don't need to be a psychic to know how I feel about this book now, yeah?

Oh, I should probably point out that these books all build on each other so they need to be read in order. If you haven't read the previous books, I should warn you that my review will contain series spoilers to previous books so continue at your own risk.

Jessica Fury, once part of a firefighting hazmat team and estranged member of the Phoenix team who survived with those unique paranormal abilities, has done everything she could to go on with her life even though five years later her heart is still shattered from the loss of her husband and love of her life, Quaid Legend. Her past is littered with all sorts of failed coping mechanisms and she can only survive by distancing herself from everything that reminds her of Quaid. Just by one look at the national news broadcasting another chemical fire and explosion along with military involvement, she is transported back to the pain and loss of her own past. Then matters get even worse when Teague and Keira burst into her office offering cruel hope that it's possible that Quaid is alive. Her scrying abilities take her to a scene where she sees a battered and tortured man who resembles Quaid, but she can't be sure.

Q is thrilled that his friend, Cash, escaped from the explosion and fire to go find his son and sister and he is even resigned to his continued captivity as long as he can hold on to the dreams and hope the visions of the red-haired woman give him. She comes to him yet again, but this time it is all so different. It feels so real. With the boatload of drugs in his system and the mind games his captures like to play, he can't distinguish the real from the make believe. Only this time, his pretty red-haired lady has brought a team of help with her and she rescues him. They all seem to know him, but he remembers nothing before the last five years of his life.

Jessica and the others try to remain hopeful after they successfully bring Quaid away from his captors, but it becomes patently obvious that he has a long road to recovery and he might never be the same. In the meantime, Schaefer is busy with his machinations against the Phoenix team and he's playing for keeps. Everything is on the line and he'll stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Okay, so this one was as good or better than the other books in the series IMHO. It was darker and more difficult to read because of how the experimentation, torture and captivity have warped Quaid and the loss of Quaid has changed Jessica too. Their romance has its stark bare moments, but it is also a story of hope and strength. Their passion was more rough and raw because of how much they've lost and they treasure what they have. The rest of the plot was pretty tight too.

As to the characters, I could have kept reading about Jessica and Quaid. I was sympathetic and in love with both of them even just getting a hint of their story from the last book let alone what poured off the pages in this book. It was great to have most of the team close to each other and working together as strong secondary characters in this one. I love that they don't just get their own stories and then fade into the shadows. Their stories continue just in a muted sense. And Mitch, that guy is off the hook. I can't wait to pursue his storyline. He's got it all going for him with personality, hotness factor, cool toys and gadgetry along with brains.

All in all, I can't push people enough to give this book and series a try. Those who enjoy hot romantic suspense blended with paranormal elements should definitely be scarfing these up.

My thanks to Net Galley for providing my copy for review purposes.
Profile Image for Barb Lie.
1,799 reviews4 followers
September 3, 2013
Rush is the 3rd book in Joan Swan’s Phoenix Rising series. I have read every book, and each one was a wonderful read, and yet Swan manages to make the newest one better then the last. I loved Rush.

Rush was a roller coaster of a ride from start to finish. Swan manages to pull all kinds of emotions from us throughout the book. What I find amazing in this series is that each main couple that are featured in each of the books are totally awesome. Swan creates such great characters, you find yourself loving them all. Our heroes in Rush, Jessica and Quaid are no different. Another thing I absolutely love about this series is that all the main & secondary characters play major parts in the books, as they have become part of our family. We get to see the entire team throughout in this magnificent adventure, and they are wonderful together.

The story picks up after Blaze, as we meet our heroine Jessica Fury. We learn early on, that 5 years have passed since the explosion that gave our heroes their unique paranormal powers. Jessica is now working as a lobbyist in the political field, privately trying to find a way to destroy one of the men behind the government conspiracy that have tried to hurt her friends, including secret experiments being done. Jessica was married to Quaid before the explosion killed him. Having lost the love of her life, Jessica succumbed to drugs and encounters with other men to drown in her grief. She managed to bring herself back, but she still has anxiety attacks.

The scenes when they go back 5 years showing the love between Quaid and Jessica, and the rest of the members of that firehouse team were awesome, as they were a fun close knit family. You can feel the love between them.
Then Teague and Keira come to visit Jessica to explain about Cash (who was rescued in Blaze) and his friend (still captive). They carefully try to tell a fragile Jessica that they think the man called Q, is in fact Quaid still alive and held captive all these years. What follows is an exciting action filled adventure with the entire team helping to rescue Q.

But rescuing Q is only the beginning. Is he Quiad? He has no memory of his past, having been tortured, brainwashed & made into a mercenary for the government conspiracy that the team has been fighting from the start. It is the scenes between Q and Jessica; the love they had for each other before; the memories of the past; the friendships of the entire team; that totally tears you apart emotionally, as Q tries to remember who he is and who he was. What is real? This was a heart wrenching, tense, edge of your seat story, and I could not put this book down.

Joan Swan has outdone herself, as I felt each emotional pull; whether it was sadness, laughter, nerve wracking tension, or the heat of their sexual chemistry. I love all the members of this team, and cannot get enough of them. Do I love Phoenix Rising series, you bet I do. If you have not read Joan Swan or this series, what are you waiting for? This is an awesome series, with everything, suspense, action, friendships, and very steamy sexual scenes. I suggest you start with the first book in this series, Fever, as you do not want to miss any of these wonderful characters.

The Reading Cafe
Profile Image for Snarky Mom.
245 reviews20 followers
August 27, 2013
You may have picked up on the fact that I have a few… “issues”. One of them is hopping into series midway. Just can’t do it. Even though it puts me behind on deadlines for reviews on books I’ve requested the privilege to read & review. MUST. READ. IN. ORDER. This is one such instance. I recently signed up to read & review “Rush (Phoenix Rising)” – and then I realized it was the THIRD in the Phoenix Rising series. Off to my library website I went (have I mentioned how much I love my local library?) and I borrowed the first two books in the series, “Fever” and “Blaze (Phoenix Rising)“. I sat down to read, and below you can suffer through my thoughts LOL! In the meantime, just some of the basic background info I like to provide: Author of the books is Joan Swan, and the publisher is Kensington. Each book is upwards of 350 pages – but holy moly are they expensive! My suggestion(s)? Borrow from your library… Buy a used print copy & then apologize to a tree… Split the costs with a friend. I hold firm on my stance that anything over $5 is CRAZY TALK for a digital price.

“RUSH”, by Joan Swan and published by Kensington, is 400+ pages of rushing excitement, intrigue & make-you-want-to-sob romance. The best part is that at the end there is an excerpt for the coming novel – #4 in the “Phoenix Rising” series – so at least I can rest easy that I won’t have to wait too long to find out how everyone is progressing! (And neener neener, boo boo, I now know who #4 is about!)

I won’t lie – when I started reading this series, I just couldn’t get into “Fever”. Really got into “Blaze” and swear on my PTO membership, I LOVED “RUSH”!! It’s a bit difficult to answer the question on if this could be read as a standalone. Yes and no. In terms of understanding the warehouse fire, absolutely YES. I would have LOVED to have had more of that information in “Fever”. In terms of keeping on top of the government conspiracy? That one would be a little tricky. If you could only pick one of this series to read, I’d definitely pick “Rush” – but even better, read them in order. (You’ll be glad you did.)

So at the end of “Blaze”, the team realized that Q was actually Quaid, the long-thought-dead husband to Jessica. He’s been in a facility for all 5 years being experimented upon relentlessly, to the point where he retains no memories of his life prior to the lab – including socialization cues. Once the team rescue / retrieves him, he & Jessica have to start over from scratch – even the basic scratch of “what is sex”. (Don’t worry – Quaid seems to get the hang of it pretty darn quickly… with great recuperative powers. Ah, what a superhero! [wink]) Add in the team trying to get to a position of safety, get to the bottom of the government conspiracy, while Jessica tries to figure out how to harness HER powers, and this is a true RUSH of a story!

Go get it. Seriously. I told my kids tonight they could make themselves hot dogs. I didn’t even want to be bothered long enough to feed them while I finished reading this book. It was worth the effort it took me to tune them out while they complained about having to eat hot dogs for dinner.
Profile Image for Anna's Herding Cats.
1,274 reviews308 followers
September 10, 2016
Ahhh I loved it! But let me tell you there was a serious 'oh my effing hell' moment there at the beginning that I so wasn't prepared for--because of my non blurb reading stance-- and holy crap it was amazing! Swan actually made my jaw drop and and left me speechless. Needless to say Rush was an exciting read that had me on the edge of my seat, made my palms sweat and had me falling in love all at the same time. Whew! It was excellent.

Alright, so, seriously, this one is so gonna make me paranoid as hell where the government is concerned. The gist is that years earlier a group of firefighters went in to battle a fire at a government warehouse and tragedy struck when a chemical explosion left one of them dead and the rest picking up the pieces and rocking some freaky paranormal abilities. But this wasn't a mere tragedy and now, years later, government conspiracies, kidnapping, human testing and horrendous coverups are brought into the open when Q, who has been tortured for years-- escapes his captives and slowly begins to regain his life with the people who love him and thought him dead all this time. Holy crap. Talk about a major mind fuck.

The suspense side of things was really great. I loved seeing the race against time as they dealt with their abilities--teleporting, healing, affecting the weather, etc-- and the despicable men and women behind their exposure and the experiments on Quaid. It was exciting and infuriating and had me holding my breath for all of them wondering if they'd all make it.

It's not the most romantic of books since so much focus is placed on figuring out what was done to Quaid during his captivity, jogging his memory and stopping those behind his years of torture but the romance was still there and because of their years together still really worked. There were some intense and awkward moments for Quaid and Jessica but you could feel the love and passion between them and how real it was. They absolutely broke my heart and it was hard watching them try to piece things together and deal with the things that had happened while they were apart. Swan did an amazing job of really making me feel their emotional turmoil and had me tearing up quite a few times.

Q looked at Cash, who'd returned to stand in the middle of the hallway, waiting for him, but couldn't speak. What was he going to say? I'm having a panic attack because I'm free and I don't know how to be free? There are people that exist who love e and I don't know how to be loved?

Swan completely won me over with Rush. The romance, the suspense, the amazing characters. It was a fabulous combination that made for a top notch romantic suspense. I loved all of the men and women in their group and seeing how much they cared and truly loved one another. The way they'd tease and bitch now and again but would go to the ends of the world for one another. I'm really looking forward to going back and checking all of the previous books out and getting to know them better. If the writing is anything as exciting and moving as Rush they'll be a real treat.

Reviewed for herding cats & burning soup
Profile Image for May Mostly Romance.
677 reviews70 followers
February 11, 2014
<เราอ่านเรื่องนี้จบไปนานแล้วล่ะค่ะ แต่เพิ่งมาเจอว่า ไม่ได้เขียนรีวิวเอาไว้ เลยขอเขียนสั้น ๆ เพื่อเตือนตัวเองนะคะ>

จำได้ว่า ก่อนหยิบเล่มนี้มาอ่าน เราค่อนข้างตืนเต้นและคาดหวังกับเล่มนี้ไม่น้อยค่ะ เพราะมีพล็อตแบบที่เราชอบ สามีภรรยาที่มีเหตุการณ์บางอย่างพรากพวกเขาออกจากกัน และได้กลับมาเจอกันอีกครั้งนึง

และเหตุการณ์ที่พรากเจสสิกาและเควดออกจากกันก็ร้ายแรงยิ่งนัก ทั้งสองทำงานเป็นนักดับเพลิง ในขณะที่เจสสิการอบคอบถี่ถ้วน เควดใจกล้า บ้าบิ่น และไม่เคยกลัวอะไร และนั่นก็เหตุผลที่ทำให้เขาตายหลังจากทีมนักดับเพลิงถูกเรียกตัวไปช่วยดับไฟไหม้โกดังของกองทัพ

นั่นไม่ใช่ทั้งหมดที่เกิดขึ้น เหตุการณ์ไฟไหม้ในวันนั้นเปลี่ยนแปลงชีวิตของนักดับเพลิงทุกคน มีสารเคมีบางอย่างถูกเก็บอยู่ในโกดัง และทุกคนที่อยู่ในเหตุการณ์ได้รับบางอย่างเพิ่มเติมเข้ามา พวกเขาพบว่า ตัวเองมีความสามารถพิเศษเหนือธรรมชาติ นั่นอาจจะเป็นเรื่องดี ทุกคนย่อมอยากเป็นซุปเปอร์ฮีโร่อยู่แล้ว แต่พวกเขากลับพบว่า ตัวเองถูกตามล่าโดยคนจากหน่วยงานรัฐบาล

เนื่องจากเล่มนี้เป็นเล่มสามในชุด และเรื่องราวค่อนข้างต่อเนื่องกับเหตุการณ์ในสองเล่มแรก เราไม่แนะนำให้อ่านเล่มนี้เป็นเล่มแรกนะคะ (และเมื่อคิดว่า เราชอบเล่มแรกมากที่สุด เราก็คิดว่า ถ้าอยากอ่าน ก็เริ่มเล่มแรกนั่นแหละคงดีที่สุด)

จากเหตุการณ์ในเล่มก่อนหน้า ทำให้ทีมนักดับเพลิง ซึ่งบัดนี้แยกย้ายไปประกอบอาชีพต่าง ๆ นานา (ความไม่เชื่อก็คือ ตอนนี้กลายเป็นทั้ง FBI, ATF, ทหาร เพียงแค่เวลาไม่กี่ปี) พบกับความจริงว่า เควดอาจจะยังไม่ตาย แต่เขาถูกจับเป็นนักโทษ แล้วถูกนำไปทดลองต่าง ๆ นานา ความพยายามตามหาเขาจึงเกิดขึ้น แต่แล้วจู่ ๆ เขาก็ปรากฎตัวขึ้นมาเอง

แต่เควดที่กลับมาไม่ใช่คนเดิม เขาจดจำเรื่องราวในอดีตไม่ได้ด้วยซ้ำ ตอนนี้เขากลายเป็นคิว ทหารรับจ้างที่ถูกทดลอง ทารุณราวกับไม่ใช่มนุษย์ และคนคนเดียวที่ดูเหมือนจะต่อเชื่อมกับเขาได้ติด ทำให้เขายังพอมีสติพูดรู้เรื่องอยู่บ้าง ก็คือเจสสิก้า

หญิงสาวที่เขาไม่รู้เลยสักนิดว่า เป็นภรรยาของเขา

อย่างที่บอกไปค่ะ พล็อตเรื่องนี้เหมือนสร้างขึ้นมาเพื่อเราเลยนะคะ เป็นพล็อตแบบที่เราชอบมาก แต่พออ่านเรากลับ���ู้สึกว่า บางอย่างขาดหายไป คนอื่นคิดยังไงไม่รู้นะคะ แต่เรารู้สึกว่า อารมณ์โหยหาระหว่างเจสสิกาและคิวน้อยเกินไป จริงอยู่ว่า ความทรงจำของคิวเสื่อม เขาไม่รู้ว่า เจสเป็นใคร อันนี้เราเข้าใจได้ แต่เราไม่ค่อยชอบเจสสิกาค่ะ เราคิดว่า เธอทำตัวเหมือนเป็นเหยื่อเกินเหตุ เธอเสียสามี เสียคนรัก เสียทุกอย่างไป เธอล้มลง เธอลุกยืน คือเรารู้สึกว่า สำหรับเจสแล้ว ทุกอย่างเป็นเรื่องของเจส ไม่ใช่เรื่องของคิว และในสถานการณ์ในเรื่อง คิวต้องการใครสักคนที่เข้มแข็ง แต่เราคิดว่า นางเอกอ่อน��อเกินไป (แต่คนทั้งเรื่องพูดประสานเสียงกันว่า เธอเข้มแข็ง เธอเก่ง เราก็เลยแบบ...)

สรุปว่า เรามีปัญหากับคาแร็คเตอร์ของนางเอกน่ะค่ะ โดยเฉพาะเมื่อเราคิดว่า ในสถานการณ์ที่เป็นอยู่ คิวซึ่งแทบไม่รู้อะไรเกี่ยวกับอดีต เขาไม่รู้จักโลกภายนอก เขาถูกขังมาตลอดชีวิต (ที่จำความได้) เขาควรจะเป็นจุดศูนย์กลางของการเยียวยา แต่ทั้งหมดสำหรับเจส กลับกลายเป็นเรื่องของเธอเท่านั้น คือเรื่องไม่ได้บอกแบบนั้นนะคะ แต่ความคิดของนางเอก ทั้งเรื่องวนเวียนอยู่แต่แค่นี้เท่านั้น เรื่องบอกว่า เธอรักสามี อยากได้เขากลับมา แต่ปัญหาคือ คิว ไม่ใช่เควด เขาอาจจะมีดีเอ็นเอเดียวกัน แต่คิวคือซากของเควดที่กลับมามีชีวิต ความเสียหายมันรุนแรงเกินกว่าที่เขาจะกลับกลายเป็นคนเดียว แต่ในเรื่องเรารู้สึกว่า ทั้งหมดที่เจสสิก้าต้องการก็คือ สามีคนเดียว ทุกอย่างเหมือนเดิม

อ่านไปก็ยิ่งสงสารคิว เพราะเขาต้องพยายามกลายเป็นผู้ชายอีกคน เพื่อให้ได้มีชีวิตร่วมกับเจสสิก้า

เรารู้สึกเหมือนนางเอกไม่อาจยอมรับตัวตนที่แท้จริงของพระเอกได้น่ะค่ะ โดยเฉพาะเมื่อคนแต่งก็เขียนอย่างชัดเจนว่า ไม่มีอะไรสามารถกลับมาเหมือนเดิมได้

คะแนนที่ 63

Profile Image for Trish.
Author 1 book24 followers
August 29, 2013
I love and adore this series. And with each book, I love the heroes of Swan's Phoenix Rising series.

In Rush, Q has been rescued by the other members of his firefighting team. The same team that were involved in a bio hazard explosion five years ago. The same team that now have special supernatural powers since said explosion. And the same team that are now fighting to save their lives as one maniac searches to destroy them.

The Phoenix Rising series is one that MUST be read in order, as the story builds on itself--and jumping ahead will only lead to mass confusion.

Q has been thought to be dead for the last five years. And Jessica Fury, his widow, is afraid to believe that Quaid is alive. She has spent the last year fighting a grief that had her turning to drugs and meaningless sex in order to forget the man she would always love. And the slightest hint of hope could send her back down inside the dark abyss of addiction.

But there is no denying that Q, the man they rescue, is her husband.

And there is also no denying the fact that Q is not the same man he was five years ago. He's been tortured, tested, and drugged for over five years in a secret black op experiment -- one that goes way beyond ethical, moral, and with a evil man in power hell bent in making sure Q is returned to line his pockets with dirty money.

Q cannot remember his past. He has no memory except for the torture and experiments that have been done to him. But the presence of Cash, the only man he knows he can somewhat trust, along with the other people claiming to love him, he realizes that his entire life has been taken away from him. And he will do anything to get it back. Especially the beautiful woman he has dreamed about while held captive. He is drawn to her, feels things that doesn't make sense, but pulled by something stronger than his will.

Jessica knows that Quaid has a long road ahead of him. He may be alive, but he has seen things, done things, that have changed him. But he is still the move she loves. And Jessica is afraid that the things she has done while grieving his loss could destroy their fragile connection. So she treads carefully, hoping that the secret she keeps will not come back to destroy their chance of a happy reunion.

Joan Swan writes a compelling, nail-biting thriller with appealing characters. The fact that the reader can re-visit Tag, Alyssa, Luke, Kiera, Mitch, Cash, and Kai is a huge plus. I love them all. With a special place reserved for the ever humorous and ever mysterious Mitch. I call dibs on him.

Rush gives more information about DARPA and what exactly the evil Schaeffer expected to gain with his deadly plans. But of course, there are cliffies and hints of other possible side stories developing in the wings. I wait anxiously for December and the release of Shatter, book four in the Phoenix Rising series. I'm hoping that Swan will not leave the mysterious Trent alone in Pakistan.

The Phoenix Rising series is a highly addictive read that grabs you and won't let go.
Profile Image for Sue .
726 reviews29 followers
August 19, 2013
Not only did Jessica and Quaid work together as firefighters, they were married and each other's soul mates. But after a horrifying fire and explosion 5 years ago, Quaid lost his life and Jessica lost the love of her life, the light in her life. The team Jessica worked with disbanded and everyone moved onto other things. Jessica now works for a private lobby firm, but she feels so empty inside even 5 years later without Quaid.

There was always something suspicious about the last fire they all worked. There were chemicals involved that "...poisoned the entire team and left them all with bizarre paranormal abilities." It also gives them shadows...people who are always watching. When another explosion eerily similar to the one 5 years ago happens at a government facility called "The Castle", it sets up a series of events that will once again change Jessica's life forever.

When members of her former team show up after rescuing one prisoner (Cash), claiming a prisoner called simply "Q" might be Quaid, Jessica refuses to believe it could be possible. She has been to hell and back since the explosion, and has no desire to get her hopes up only to visit there again. But stranger than usual things are happening and soon Jessica is on a rescue mission to rescue "Q" with the rest of her former team. Whether he's Quaid or not, there is something about the man they call "Q" that calls to someplace deep inside of her.

"Q" has no recollection of his past or who he really is. He has been tortured, isolated, and used as a human experiment for the last 5 years. When he is rescued, he doesn't know who to trust...or what's real and what's not real. He has seen Jessica in his dreams, and often she has brought him comfort. Now that she's here in person, he will not let her go. While "Q" and the rest of the team discover secrets and who he really is, they must be very careful. Because someone else wants "Q" back...at any cost.

As Jessica gets to know "Q", they also are in a race against time to out secrets and corrupt politicians, and save "Q" and Cash from a certain death.

Rush is a fast paced thrilling adventure that shows you a world you can only hope doesn't really exist! At times I was anxious to keep reading, but at the same time wanting to close the book for a while, scared of what was to come! The romantic aspect of Rush takes a back seat to all the suspenseful action, but is an integral part of Rush. Jessica and "Q" discover who each other are in today's world, and have to put the past where it belongs. Will "Q" survive the chase to be with the one woman he's always dreamed of?

Rush is very well written, and will captivate you from the start...having you wondering - what could possibly come next? I have not read the other books in this series so I did find keeping all the characters straight a little bit confusing at times, but I would still say you don't have to read the first two books to be entranced by Rush...I do think it would add to the rush though! I'm looking forward to seeing where Joan takes us next!

Profile Image for Amy R.
584 reviews
August 12, 2013
So freaking awesome. Joan Swan's Phoenix Rising series is unlike anything I have read before. The third book in the series, Rush, is just as kickass as Fever and Blaze. All of the characters have such an amazing chemistry with one another. The dialogue is both hilarious and emotionally intense. The plot itself is intriguing and sucked me in since the first pages of Fever (Book 1). Each story in the series features different main characters, yet has the same "team" of characters and overall plot. I really don't think you can read these books on their own because there is so much stuff in each book and they build on each other.

In Rush we finally experience the famous warehouse fire that started it all (it is only referred to in the other books). If you read Blaze, you know it left off with the team thinking they found Quaid, Jessica's husband, who they all thought died in the warehouse fire because that is what they were told by government officials.

The plot in the Phoenix Rising series gets thicker in Rush. More is at stake and the tension is stronger. The team of characters are still pushing along to find out more information on what is going with each of their abilities and why the government wants to keep a lid on all of it. Joan continues to intrigue me keep me on the edge of my seat. Things move quickly in the story and I found myself hanging on each word.

Quaid and Jessica are two very tortured individuals. We don't learn a lot about them in the first two books but Joan does a great job of setting the stage for them in Rush. Jessica thought Quaid was dead for the past five years and her life spiraled out of control after that. Quaid has no memory of her or his teammates specifically because of all the drugs and experiments he has been subjected to for the past five years. He remembers Jessica only as the woman from his dreams. It was incredible watching the two of them try to reconnect and Quaid try to assimilate back into the real world away from the labs. They are both very different people now but still just as connected emotionally. My heart broke for Quaid and Jessica so many times but there is so much hope there as well, so it is all good and I am extremely pleased with the ending to Rush.

I love how emotionally charged I get when I read Joan's books. The serious and intense scenes really pull at my heart and I love the fun dialogue she has between characters like Kai and Mitch to lighten up a scene. The team is so fantastic together and I cannot wait to read more of this series. I really don't feel as though my review gives Rush justice and wish I could offer a money back guarantee if you read it and don't like it! It is almost as if it am too twisted up over it (in a good way of course) to come up with a decent review. If you are looking for an incredibly unique, engaging and entertaining romantic suspense story you have got to try Rush and the other books in the Phoenix Rising series.
Profile Image for Jeannie Zelos.
2,801 reviews50 followers
September 11, 2013
Rush Joan Swan.

ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I somehow got muddled here, thought this was a romance, and though it had romantic elements it was far more a political thriller. Still, its good to have a change of genre sometimes and its a while since I’ve read a thriller.
This is book three in a series and TBH I’d have had a better understanding of who each person was and how they fit if I’d read books one and two but...I haven't. Still, I did enjoy the story and can see the series has a good fanbase, and is deserving of that.
So – we start by meeting the team just before disaster strikes, they're all part of the fire fighting unit involved in a huge chemical blast which leaves them with some strange abilities...then fast forward five years and Jessica is told her husband Quaid may not have died in the disastrous chemical fire, but be still alive...He's part of a group of men who’ve been subject to all sorts of unimaginable tests and training to become an ultimate killer, assassin, thief of secrets, whatever the controlling group need. Of course they all have strong special abilities in some way, and that’s why they were selected, and their brains have been altered so they have no memory of their former lives. Kept in conditions like lab rats their life is grim – then Jessica gets that message. She's worked so hard to try to get past her heartbreak, but she's really still grieving and finds it hard to believe that the person she sees is Quaid. Add to her heartbreak when she does accept him is that his experiences have left him unable to trust, and if he tries to escape the rescue group, they are all in danger. Its imperative that they can find some common ground quickly.
There's lots of political manoeuvrings here, money, power – all the usual things that lead to people doing what's illegal, immoral, dangerous to others, all the things that their greed makes them feel is OK. A rush of danger from one rescue to the next, a feeling of necessity of solution, each crisis has its own time limitations and time runs out for an antidote to a life threatening condition for two of the group. It's all go, barely time to breathe through each crisis. What's horrible too is the feeling that this could really be happening, we know people's greed often leads them to measures that are unimaginable, and few people really trust those in power to do what’s right rather than what's personally profitable. We see small scandals involving money, power, drugs, etc all the while – this is just a much greater thought out one, and its not beyond the realms of belief. Well, for the cynics among us anyway :)
I did have a problem at times with the large number of characters, getting them confused as to who was who, and which side they were on... enjoyed reading this book as a change from my usual genres but wouldn't re read it, its a one off only. Priced at £4.82 for 401 pages its reasonable VFM especially if you love thrillers.
Stars: four.
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