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Kendrick and Neo's love story, plus the exciting start of the family Dorian and Ray never thought they'd have...

Ivy League graduate and computer genius Kendrick Foster, aka Blaze, never expected to find himself putting down permanent roots in a tiny town in Wyoming.

But family isn’t always blood, and the Linear Tactical team is very definitely his family. He’s not going anywhere.

Neo LeBarre has always been a loner. Her computer hacking days brought her into contact with Linear Tactical, but she’s never felt like she could fit in here. These people are good, decent, honest.

She’s not.

When her past catches up with her, demanding more than she can possibly pay, Neo will have to turn the heroes surrounding her, especially Kendrick, for help. If they'll even give her the time of day after what she's done.

There's a danger closing in—one that will threaten to rip them all apart.

The Linear Tactical family has deep roots.
They're going to need them to survive what’s coming.

276 pages, Kindle Edition

First published May 11, 2021

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About the author

Janie Crouch

215 books1,725 followers
USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author Janie Crouch writes what she loves to read: passionate romantic suspense.

After a lifetime on the East Coast—and a six-year stint in Germany due to her husband's job as support for the U.S. Military—Janie has settled into her dream home in Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. She loves engaging in all sorts of adventures (triathlons! 200-mile relay races! mountain treks!), traveling, and surviving life with four kids.

Heroes exist. Let a Janie Crouch book prove it to you.

Check out Janie's updates and more on her website at http://www.janiecrouch.com

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5 stars
1,348 (62%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 232 reviews
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,024 reviews30 followers
May 15, 2021
Perfect Ending

What a perfect book to end this series. Every single book has been a new experience and yet this one brings them all together perfectly. I thought I would be very sad to say goodbye to these characters I know so well, but the book ends with the promise of a new beginning. Thank you, Janie Crouch, for the many enjoyable hours already spent and the many more to come.
Profile Image for Bona Caballero.
1,186 reviews46 followers
November 9, 2021
Kendrick Foster, alias Blaze, es el genio informático externo al que los Linear Tactical recurren cuando tienen que hackear cosas. A veces, hasta él necesita ayuda y para eso está la misteriosa Neoma LeBarre. Tras varios libros flirteando, parece que le van a dar una oportunidad a lo suyo. El suspense radica en un dispositivo electrónico que Kendrick tiene que destripar, mientras Neo le bloquea a cada paso, sin que él lo sospeche. El estilo, ya sabéis, ágil, mezclando el suspense con lo romántico y lo erótico sin darte un momento de respiro. La parte erótico-romántica la encontré más floja.
Reseña algo más extensa, en mi blog.
Profile Image for Jen (jensdreamylittlereads).
796 reviews68 followers
May 11, 2021
Blaze was simply everything I want in my romantic suspense stories and Janie Crouch never disappoints. This was such a rollercoaster ride full of emotional turmoil, suspense, intrigue, danger, murder, mystery, action packed, angst, and twists that make for one addicting read.

As ever, one of the best parts of this story are the friendships between the Linear Team members and all of their wives. Most of these men and women have lived through traumatic experiences. Yet, the love, respect, understanding and empathy that they all feel toward each other is palpable. This page-turner is filled with non-stop action and a lot of intrigue and mystery. A fantastic conclusion to this long time series, and I’m so excited for the spin-off series.
Profile Image for Darcy.
12.4k reviews425 followers
May 23, 2021
I'm sad to see this series end with this book. I found the romance between Blaze and Neo to be a bit blah, was more interested in what Ray and Dorian found out in the woods and what they did about it. I absolutely think they did the right thing there for everyone involved. Learning about Neo's secret made her actions more understandable. I also liked that Neo learned that family isn't always blood and they will do whatever they can to help you.
Profile Image for Read All About It.
1,399 reviews24 followers
May 11, 2021
What a great ending this long time series.
There is so much action going on Neo and Blaze “ Kendrick” have been circling each other for a while now.

“But I would die for you also. To protect you, to keep you safe. Anything that was in my power, I would give.”

This book is happening about the same time as the last book. There are two storylines that come together in the end. Humor and a great adventure with all our favorite characters. We meet new characters from the Zodiac Team.

“How about not dying now and saving the architecture lesson for later?” “Yeah, let’s go.”

It also leads right into the next series with a cliffhanger ending.
Profile Image for Susan.
4,329 reviews93 followers
May 8, 2021
Fantastic conclusion to the Linear Tactical series and introduction to the upcoming Zodiac Tactical books. In a continuation of Scout, Kendrick (aka Blaze) now has the hard drive that nearly cost Wyatt and Nadine their lives. He is brilliant with computers, but the urgent need to get into this drive has him requesting help from fellow hacker Neo.

I loved Kendrick. He is smart, confident without being arrogant, funny, and charming. I've watched him go from a sometimes helper to a vital part of the LT team and family. From the moment he appeared in Shamrock and wondered if he could get a "cool nickname," I had a feeling he would be important. With Kendrick's involvement in Capture the Flag with the others, the beginning of this book shows how much things have changed for him. I laughed out loud as I read his exchanges with Neo.

Neo has been an intriguing character from her first appearance in Ghost (loved that scene!). She is Kendrick's greatest computer rival and also the woman he loves. He knows that she has secrets that hold her back and exerts great patience as he waits for her to be ready for more. Watching her at the bar after the game shows that she feels the same about him. But her secrets could change things in a heartbeat.

From the moment Kendrick received the hard drive, with its connection to Mosaic, he knew there was no time to waste. And if his one head was good, two heads would be better if the other one was Neo's. Unfortunately, the bad guys got to Neo first, using threats and blackmail to coerce her into getting information for them and foiling Kendrick's attempts to access the drive.

From the get-go, this book had me glued to the pages, following every twist and turn. I could feel Kendrick's frustration as everything he tried came to a dead stop, foiled at every turn. Neo's fear was palpable while she tried to satisfy the bad guys, who ramped up the consequences when she didn't produce fast enough for them. Her guilty feelings ate at her even more after she found out what Mosaic was. I understood her attempt to remove herself from the equation, her desperate goodbye to Kendrick, and her heartbreak at their parting. To top It all off, another encounter with the bad guys left her in pain and fearing for the life of someone she loved.

I ached for Kendrick when he figured out what the problem was. He was hurt, angry, and felt betrayed. I wanted to shake him when he confronted her and smack him for being so blind. Fortunately, knowing Neo so well quickly broke through his anger. I loved that Kendrick went back and felt every bit of his horror at what he discovered. I loved his determination to take care of Neo and do whatever necessary to keep her safe. The tension kept increasing until a break from an unexpected source got Kendrick and Neo a step closer to where they needed to be.

This is where the intensity went off the charts. Neo desperately needs LT's help but doesn't believe she deserves it after everything she did. I loved her shock over their insistence on helping despite her transgressions and how they all shared their own mistakes as illustrations. The final confrontation was a nail-biter, and I loved how it went down - especially Neo's last word. In the end, seeing Kendrick and Neo finally be able to look at a future together was a perfect ending to the series. The epilogue was a gripping introduction to the new series, and I can't wait to read Ian and Wavy's story.

A secondary story involved Dorian and Ray. Because of their pasts, they live off the grid, deep in the woods. They are stunned to discover two young children living in one of the cabins on their property. After a period of observation and seeing no adults, with a Wyoming winter looming on the horizon, they know they have to intervene. I loved how Ray, who believes she has no maternal instincts, knew exactly what to do and connected with them right away. Ray's struggles with banana bread made me laugh. The two children Theo and Savannah were wary at first but quickly came to trust the two adults. The more Dorian and Ray learned about what happened to bring them there, the more they realized something had to change. I loved seeing Dorian go through all the options when it was obvious what the only right one was. I loved everyone's easy acceptance of the kids' presence in their lives.
452 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2021
Blaze and Neo have been a force to be reckoned with in previous Linear Tactical stories. Expert hackers, they have worked together to unravel the secrets of the baddest of the bad, and help the good guys win the day. Blaze has been infatuated with Neo for some time, but has the patience to wait for her to be ready for a relationship. When Neo is finally willing to open herself up to him, Blaze is thrilled to finally win over the enigmatic computer savant.

What no one but Neo can see is the threat to her and the secrets in her past. Convinced that the Linear Tactical family won't forgive her shady past, she tries to go it alone to defeat the mysterious Mosaic while protecting those people that are important to her both in her present and her past.

Blaze is super intelligent, kind, loyal and most of all patient. He would wait forever for Neo if he had to. His privileged background has provided him with plenty of advantages, but he has a strong moral center and knows what really brings value to his life - his ersatz family and his purpose in life. He is such an attractive male lead.

Conversely, Neo has had none of the advantages that Blaze had growing up in a wealthy family and attending Ivy League schools. She is a self-made woman, with mad computer skills and a past she has buried so deeply that none of her circle of friends really know anything about it. Even though she has faced trauma and has been alone for years, she works hard to try to build friendships and escape her desolation. She's like a stray pet that so wants affection, but is afraid to reach out for it.

As Mosaic closes in with deadly force, the entire Linear Tactical family will come together to protect their own and take down the bad guys.

With plenty of action and suspense, and a well-written romance mixed in, this story in the Linear Tactical series doesn't disappoint. I've been a fan of the series since the first book, Cyclone, and will miss these characters at the conclusion of the series. The men are all alphas, protective and loving, each with a unique personality. Their women are intelligent, strong and can stand on their own - there are no damsels in distress to be seen. Together, these couples form an extended family that is unbreakable.

Four stars for this suspenseful romance.

This is an honest, voluntary review of an ARC of the story.
Profile Image for Jane A.
244 reviews2 followers
May 11, 2021
A definite case of opposites attract - happy, charming extrovert Kendrick aka Blaze, Linear Tactical's genius hacker has been attracted to closed off, untrusting, secretive, equally genius hacker Neo since they first met. Kendrick has always given her the space she needs, he allows her the secrets without pushing and finally their slow-burn relationship is coming to a head. But of course, nothing is that simple and an encrypted flashdrive, danger, blackmail, betrayal, guilt and evil threaten to derail everything.
The gripping and entertaining story was packed with action and suspense, twists and turns, leaving you breathless at times, cleverly interweaving Kendrick and Neo's story with how Ray and Dorian's family came to be while tantalisingly introducing the new Zodiac series - which is going to be just as brilliant as LT and I personally can't wait for!
A great story to conclude this superb series about the very special Linear Tactical Family (with Jess & Ethan's book still to come of course). Thank you Janie Crouch and I can't wait for the coming new adventures.A definite case of opposites attract - happy, charming extrovert Kendrick aka Blaze, Linear Tactical's genius hacker has been attracted to closed off, untrusting, secretive, equally genius hacker Neo since they first met. Kendrick has always given her the space she needs, he allows her the secrets without pushing and finally their slow-burn relationship is coming to a head. But of course, nothing is that simple and an encrypted flashdrive, danger, blackmail, betrayal, guilt and evil threaten to derail everything.
The gripping and entertaining story was packed with action and suspense, twists and turns, leaving you breathless at times, cleverly interweaving Kendrick and Neo's story with how Ray and Dorian's family came to be while tantalisingly introducing the new Zodiac series - which is going to be just as brilliant as LT and I personally can't wait for!
A great story to conclude this superb series about the very special Linear Tactical Family (with Jess & Ethan's book still to come of course). Thank you Janie Crouch and I can't wait for the coming new adventures.
I received an arc from the author and I am voluntarily leaving my honest review.
68 reviews2 followers
May 10, 2021
So I honestly don't even know where to begin because this book was just that good! First let me say without hesitation you need to read this book! What another just fantastic example of a perfect romantic suspense that Janie Crouch has created in Blaze. It is the last book in the Linear Tactical series but can certainly be read as a stand-alone because the writer gives you all the details needed to understand the characters, plots and location. This book has 2 stories happening within it. The first is the story of Blaze and Neo, the second is the one with Dorian and Ray. One is more about falling in love amongst suspense and the other about the growing love within a family. The 2 stories are so beautifully juxtaposed but when the 2 stories collide together you get your wow factor. With regard to the main characters, Neo has her own mysteries but is so concerned about everyone else and ends up make some self-sacrificing mistakes. Blaze has been into Neo for sometime and I love how patient is is with her to get her to open up to him. But what really makes this book is how when everything comes to a head everyone at LT understands and helps support Neo, accepting her into their family unit. No judging or anger. Its the understanding that everyone makes mistakes but its the why and the how you handle it after that is more important. What I also was amazed by is that if you read the entire series you can see how carefully Janie Crouch created this series, with each book as a standalone yet each one builds on the story that ends within Blaze so perfectly. It amazes me how a writer can plan this kind of development so wonderfully over multiple books. Finely I must also say that the epilogue had me as glued to my seat as this entire book did and I cannot wait for the new series that is hinted at here. Get this book today!
Profile Image for Cathy Geha.
3,646 reviews67 followers
May 8, 2021
Blaze by Janie Crouch
Linear Tactical #12

Stellar story and excellent end to a wonderful series! Tension mounted as Neo and Kendrick faced off against a wicked foe as the team pulled together to solve problems dealing with Mosaic, mercenaries, assassins and two young children in need of a home. There is an intriguing introduction for spinoff series that will follow I can hardly wait!

What I liked:
* Neo: Attractive, intelligent, computer hacker, rough childhood, protective, caring, perfect with Kendrick.
* Kendrick: Charming, ivy league graduate, computer guru, charming, great family, patient, knows what he wants, perfect for Neo.
* Dorian & Ray: difficult backstory, lethal, PTSD, survivors, perfect together, given an opportunity to be a family…I liked them.
* Wavy Bollinger & Ian DeRose’s meet cute – looking forward to their story in the new series.
* Theo & Savannah: tough, resilient, survived a horrific ordeal, orphans, found a safe place to land.
* Catching up with some of the team members and their close almost familial ties
* That the team prevailed in tough situations.
* All of it really except…

What I didn’t like:
* Mosaic
* Those working for Mosaic
* Having to wait for the next book in the nw series.

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more by this author? Definitely

Thank you to the author for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars
Profile Image for Julie Miller.
Author 319 books321 followers
May 14, 2021
I'm so glad Blaze finally got his own story. He's been a patient, super helpful supporting player for most of the Linear Tactical series, and he deserved his own HEA. Possibly the only drawback for me was that Kendrick and Neo's storyline got a little shortchanged because there were two major plotlines going on that eventually met in a meaningful way. But I'm not really mad because the other plot with Dorian and Ray was really good, too. And both were complete storylines with no loose ends.

I will say that I'm having sort of a love/heartbreak reaction to this book because it is the last in a series that I have loved. The last line of this last book says it all--it's about the family of characters who have populated this action-packed, steamy, suspenseful series.

I'm looking forward to the Zodiac Tactical spin-off series. If that first meet between Ian DeRose and Wavy Bollinger is any indication, this new series is going to be equally exciting, suspenseful, steamy and romantic. Can't go wrong with smart, complex, occasionally funny, super protective and deeply loyal characters.
Profile Image for Karen Griffin.
65 reviews
May 13, 2021
I have been a fan of this series from the beginning. When Kendrick asked for his own call-sign, we knew Blaze had to have his own book. While the action in this book might not be as heart-stopping as what we experienced with the other members of Linear Tactical, there is still so much going on with this story that I just couldn't put it down and ended up reading it all in one sitting. At least I have learned not to start one of Janie's books late in the day. I know that I won't be able to just set it aside and head for bed.

A good portion of this book focuses on Ghost and Ray. Being able to go back and see more of their story was a special treat. Sometimes we only get glimpses of the rest of the team, but the group was more involved in this story and I think that was a bonus for fans of the series.

Now we wait to read Jess and Ethan's story and dive in to the Zodiac series. Janie's got a lot of expectations to live up to. But I have faith that she will deliver, as always.
Profile Image for Becky Baldridge.
3,264 reviews99 followers
May 16, 2021
This! This right here is one more reason Janie Crouch is a must-read author for me. At this point, I've stopped saying this is my favorite couple because you can bet that this author will prove me wrong with the next book. So, I'll just say that Kendrick and Neo are another great couple in a whole series of great couples. We're twelve books in and this one is a tough one since it's the last in the series. Of course, it's full of all the excitement and danger I've come to expect, and in addition to Kendrick and Neo's story, we get a little more for Dorian and Ray, who also have a special place in my heart. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I'll just say that Blaze is one more unputdownable read in the Linear Tactical series. I've loved them all, and thankfully, the beauty of books is I can revisit these characters any time. And since I'm pretty sure that Crouch can not write a bad story, I'm looking forward to whatever is next.
Profile Image for Jewlsbookblog.
2,133 reviews67 followers
May 11, 2021
4.5 stars

Kendrick, aka Blaze, is Linear Tactical’s resident hacker and all around helpful guy to have in your corner-especially when you’re in a pinch! He’s smart, funny, has undeniable charm, and is obviously attracted to Neo, fellow hacker extraordinaire and a woman full of sooo many secrets that Kendrick definitely has his job cut out for him in peeling back her layers….

Neo was a closed book and the complete opposite of Kendrick’s happy attitude. She reminded me a little bit of Ray and some of the struggles she had, especially with Dorian, but I liked her grit. Even with her emotional hang ups, Neo has been slowly warming up to Kendrick and the tactical team members and I actually did enjoy how everything came to fruition. It wasn’t a bed of roses for sure, but nothing at LT ever happens the easy way!

Blaze was a wild read and there wasn’t a dull moment to be found! The danger and hidden threats alone had me flipping pages, but the requisite emotional moments I’ve come to love between characters are what kept me glued! From the tight bonds of friendship to the encompassing conversations between a couple with just one look…those small moments always hook me in and Blaze didn’t disappoint.

I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Miki.
814 reviews36 followers
May 10, 2021
Oh my!!! This was such a captivating ride so well balanced with moving moments, other simply too funny ( go Wavy!) and some really romantic. So full of action and tension that you can't put the book aside until the last page you are hooked...oki even longer than that because of the cliffhanger in the epilogue that make you want more immediately.

But let start the beginning, Blaze is simply too great and the story taking place just were the last one left off ( with some moment crossing on both but with different point of view)make it just a perfect instalment in the series but also a potential stand alone because you do have all the information you want to enjoy this fully even if new to the series ...though you would be missing reat stories so i recommend to read this in order. ...I guess that's why i got angry with Neo...after spending so much time with the linear team how could she not trust them was beyond me ( at the beginning yes but that was before). Thankfully Blaze can keep his mind clear and see what she is hiding.

Really this was simply a fabulous read that would have had a 5/5 if not cliffhanger simply too good, we see all the team and more and just can't get enough of those guys and their loved ones.
449 reviews4 followers
May 11, 2021
Oh my what a wonderful way to end one series and start another. Blaze and Neo’s story is just wonderful. Blaze is just the best caring, loving and strong while Neo is sassy, independent and trying to learn how to trust. Their story Is full of twist and turns to keep you reading till the very end. With Dorian and Ray helping to thicken the plot it’s a fantastic read ! Absolutely loved it!
Profile Image for Lynn Brooks.
3,021 reviews30 followers
May 12, 2021
Tension is in the air as hacker vs. hacker collide! With book twelve in her always popular Linear Tactical series Janie Crouch brings us the story of Kendrick and Neo. Their portion of the story was fresh and exciting, but the secondary story of Dorian and Ray's family felt like we'd already been there. We might not have known every aspect of how the kids came to be part of their family, but it still felt like a repeat of time we had already covered. I would have enjoyed it more if the true story line had been more developed rather than going back to an old subject, but it was a nice added addition to the series as a whole.

Kendrick has been steadfast and true for as long as he's been helping the Linear Tactical team. I would have liked a little more detail of how he came to be the man he is today, but I enjoyed him none-the-less.

Neo is mysterious and delightful. We learned things about her background that showed us what makes her tick.

I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys non-stop action and suspense mixed with a whole lot of heart and feels!
Profile Image for Aimee.
356 reviews16 followers
May 14, 2021
OMG I love this one!! Each time I read one I'm blown away. I love how although they are all in the same series they are all unique and special. I really love Janie Crouch's style and stories. I hope you like them too.

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Books and Spoons.
1,613 reviews28 followers
May 23, 2021
What a thrilling conclusion to the series that has captured my mind and heart. The Blaze has it all: edgy and intimidating suspense, loyal and true friendships, tender yet ardent love story, and at the end, it is all about unity, family, love, and forever, just like each of these riveting Linear Tactical books have been before.
Kendrick and Neo have that geeky chemistry in their connection of their smarter than most brains, but there is nothing geek-like in their physical attraction and passionate bond as they finally come together. The loyalty despite the betrayals, the forgiveness, and understanding that comes with love, the building of trust as the foundation of their relationship - I was enamored and wanted to savor every moment of their beautiful love story.
The other part of the tale was the development of Dorian and Ray's family. I enjoyed seeing the growth in both of them and the wonders love and the Linear Tactical family has conjured in them. The way the author talked about adopted children, the love one has - and develops - for them, as they are part of you and meant to be your family was palpable and heartfelt.
While I'm having a hard time letting go of the Linear Tactical family, the epilogue in the Blaze was more of a prologue for the new series to come and I admit, I am intrigued!
If fiery, loving romance with fervid thrilling suspense, with an added touch of humor and pulsating banter within a tight adventurous brotherhood, is your genre, do not miss the Linear Tactical series and its crescendo, Blaze
~ Five Spoons!
Profile Image for Vicky.
1,997 reviews21 followers
May 21, 2023
I think what I like most about all of the Linear Tactical tales are the interweaving back stories... lends a very comforting air of familiarity when the reader is immersed!

Lovely ( well, probably not the right word, but you know! ) story. Neo and Kendrick? Quite right.
Profile Image for Jessie.
188 reviews4 followers
May 12, 2021
Blaze is the perfect beginning for Zodiac Tactical and series’ end of Linear Tactical.

I have been wanting to read Kendrick “Blaze” Foster and Neoma “Neo” LeBarre’s story ever since I met Kendrick in Angel and Neo in Ghost. Blaze does not disappoint and its everything you can ask for in a Janie Crouch book! The perfect mix sexy and suspense plus the happily ever after you love.

This book’s timeline runs in line with Scout, the last Linear Tactical book involving Nadine MacFarlane and Wyatt Highfield, so there is a little overlap if you had read it already. While this book can be read as a standalone, I highly highly recommend you read the whole series from the beginning starting with Cyclone. Not only to read these amazing adventures, but to fall in love with the beautiful town of Oak Creek and its residents and get to know the characters in these books that I have grown to love and cherish.

Blaze is a computer genius, who has had a “normal” life and graduated from two Ivy League schools. He has found a place to call home in Oak Creek and within the Linear Tactical family. Ever since he joined the LT family, he has proven himself resourceful time and time again when the team needed essential information for a mission that only he could crack and provide. I love how he is half Korean as I am Korean as well. In addition to his dashing good looks and being extremely smart, he is confident, charming, easy to like, with a contagious smile.

Neo is a computer hacker, who has had a hard life with no one to trust or depend on, but herself. After moving around a lot and being on her own most her life, she has finally made a home for herself in Oak Creek and within the Linear Tactical family. Ever since she met the LT team and family, she has assisted Blaze and the team with providing intel and information for their missions. She has proven herself to be essential to the team and to Blaze. I love how spicy and sweet she is. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and can stand on her own. She has a good heart and genuinely wants what’s best for everyone.

Ever since Blaze and Neo met each other, they haven’t found anyone that could match and challenge their computer skills or intellect more than each other and it was an instant connection and attraction to one another. Their chemistry and flirtation has been ongoing since they met each other and it has been slow building ever since. Now that danger has once again stepped foot in Oak Creek, Blaze and Neo have the opportunity to see how things would be between the two of them.

I love Dorian and Ray’s story and they have a special place in my heart. Reading about their past, present, and future just touches my heart like no other couple has. I love how their story ends and wasn’t expecting the twists in how their family became complete.

I have always loved Wavy Bollinger, sister to Finn and Baby, and I have been waiting for her time to shine. I am so excited that her book is almost here! She meets Mr. Mysterious Dangerous Man, aka Ian DeRose, in his book and their introduction was one for the books. I love how there is a reference with Omega Sector ( I loved those books) and I hope that there might be a chance to see a couple of those characters in the new series, Zodiac Tactical. I am so excited about reading more about the ZT team as we got a little glimpse at how they operate and met a couple team members in his book.

As sad as I am for the Linear Tactical series to come to an end, Blaze was the perfect book to end the series having all the characters from the books make an appearance. Janie, you wrote another amazing book and I can’t wait to read what you write next. I highly recommend this book, the Linear Tactical series, and all the other books in Janie’s backlist. Every book is worth the one click and a read!

Profile Image for Denise H.
913 reviews50 followers
May 17, 2021
Way more than 5-stars!!!

The Linear Tactical series by Janie Crouch is everything I LOVE about romantic suspense and I am both happy and sad to see it come to an end with this final installment, BLAZE. Happy because I have been wanting to learn more about Kendrick and see him get his HEA and sad because this is one of my favorite series and I am really going to miss reading about these guys.

This series started my love-affair with Janie's writing and I have enjoyed every smile, every laugh, every mutter, every fret, and every tear that it has pulled out of me. Finishing this series feels like leaving behind old friends but I am extremely excited and hopeful for the new journeys yet to travel with future stories by this incredibly gifted author.

Kendrick Foster was a pivotal character in several books in the series so it seems only fitting that the series end with him and his happy ever after. He was the ‘go-to’ for all things tech and was super good at what he did. He followed Gabe Collingwood (ANGEL) to Wyoming and quickly became an integral part of the LT family. The snippets provided of his intelligence, his wit, his skills, and his charm in the other books laid the foundation of BLAZE where he gets to shine. I have also been intrigued by the mention of Neo in a few previous books (first intro in GHOST) and in BLAZE we get to learn more about what makes her tick; her background, some bad choices, and hard decisions she has to face to get her guy. Have I said yet that it’s amazing?! Because it is!!!

This book is absolutely amazing from the very first page where I laughed out loud at Kendrick’s antics and my husband thought I was nuts. It immediately pulls you in to the story and never lets go. Blaze and Neo are a dynamite team and they have some serious obstacles to overcome to find their happy ending. There are some major bumps in the road, life and death, betrayal, heartbreak, secrets, and lies but these two push through it all and with the help of their friends at Linear Tactical and Zodiac Tactical (new series) they get the job done. And along with Blaze’s story, we also get the added treat of catching up with Dorian and Ray (GHOST) and witnessing some amazing transformations with their characters and wonderful surprise for them as well. These two characters have come a long, long way, probably farther than the rest with all the horrors they have suffered. It was absolutely beautiful to see their happy ending.

And finally at the end of BLAZE, Janie pulled me in and has me anxiously awaiting her next series – Zodiac Tactical, with a teaser of the first book – Code Name: Aries, which will include Ian DeRose, owner of ZT and Waverly Bollinger, Finn and Baby’s sister, who has also been in several of the Linear books. I am so excited to see her get her own book! (And shhhh, she also has a hilarious, epic run in with Ian in BLAZE; they’re gonna be so good together!)
772 reviews
May 16, 2021
WOW! What an great ending for this fantastic series!

This is the story of Kendrick “Blaze” Foster and Neo LeBarre. They are both attracted to each other even though they have never dated. Blaze and Neo are both computer geniuses who work for the Linear Tactical Team. However, that is the only thing they have in common.

Blaze got his undergrad degrees from Harvard and his graduate degree from Yale. He was always a nerd who spent his life in front of a computer. Therefore, he cannot run well nor does he have any athletic ability. Yet, in spite of that, his computer expertise makes him a fantastic asset to the Linear Tactical Team. He now lives in Oak Creek, in western Wyoming, where he is considered part of the team members’ “family.”

On the other hand, Neo grew up in the foster care system, where she bounced around from family to family. Because of this, Neo is a loner. Everything she knows about computers, she learned on her own. Yet, it is due to her unbelievable computer skills that she lands on the radar of the Team. She now works for them even though she does not feel like she fits in with them.

In this story, The Linear Tactical Team has secretly been given a flash drive that supposedly has inside information on Mosaic. This group is involved in many illegal activities, including human trafficking. Blaze and Neo are brought in to help the team decipher the information on the flash drive. They hope to find a way to break up Mosaic. However, Neo finds herself seriously compromised by her past. This puts her in a difficult position - stuck between the Tactical Team and Mosaic. What should she do?

This book also includes an update on Dorian and Ray. I thoroughly enjoy seeing what is going on in their current lives. Yet, as the story continues, we realize that the author has an ulterior reason for including them in this book. However, since I don’t want to spoil the book, I will keep that a secret.

I am sad to see the end of this series. I will miss the many characters that have been a part of my life throughout this series. However, before the book ends, Janie Crouch introduces us to a new character. It is obvious to the reader that he is going to be a part of her new series. Since he knows the members of the Linear Tactical Team and sometimes works with them, I am hoping that we will see more of our old “friends” in Janie Crouch’s new series.
1,157 reviews5 followers
May 13, 2021
Blaze is the thirteenth book in the Linear Tactical Series. While you don’t need to read them all, this book does directly connect and reference a few previous books, and I believe they’re more rich and better enjoyed in order. Kendrick and Neo have just decided to finally plunge forward and make plans for their very first official date, but danger interrupts everything. While Neo fights for keeping all of her loose ends within her grasp, Kendrick fights not just for her, but for them. Will Neo trust Kendrick with all of her secrets to save more than one set of innocents?

Oh my. This book is everything. There is so much emotion in these pages, so many ways that my heart was pulled, and I loved every second that I was able to spend within these pages. You have this really complex relationship that tries to be so simple between Kendrick and Neo. There’s so much goodness that tries to shine between them, but so little trust on Neo’s side that things can be as good and easy as Kendrick portrays. I loved her fight and sense of righteousness and the ways that she was willing to protect those around her. Kendrick was absolutely perfect - willing to let Neo keep her secrets, knowing that it’s better to have her in his life any way possible than not at all, and I loved that he was smart and strong enough to handle everything she threw at him. I think my favorite part of him was that he was so led by his emotions, but had the brains to step back when it mattered the most to use logic. There’s so many ups and downs that they needed to face as a couple, but I also loved that love was never a question. This book was perfection when it came to bringing in other characters, bringing this epic and amazing adrenaline and love filled series to an ending, and I was addicted not just to Kendrick and Neo’s journey to romance, but also to everything else going on in the background and the ways it sets up for a new series. I loved seeing people from previous books play both major and minor roles in this story, and I loved the sense of family and completeness that this book fostered. Such a fantastic read! I so highly recommend this series and know that I will reread this series and this book often!
Profile Image for Lexee Toste.
2,042 reviews14 followers
May 10, 2021
I loved this story! It was great to get to know Neo much better. We have seen both Kendrick and Neo through multiple books prior to this one as they work their computer magic. This book can be read as a standalone but it does pick up where the action left off in the last book in the series regarding the computer drive. Kendrick has been patiently working on getting Neo to trust him enough to build a true relationship. I loved his patience with her. He knew she had secrets and a past that had made her the way she was and he was willing to wait until she was truly ready. He pushed her just enough without going too far and pushing past boundaries that weren't ready to be crossed. This story is the last official book in Linear Tactical, (we do get a bonus story of second generation) and I thought it did a great job of wrapping up but also of setting up the next series Zodiac Tactical to pick up with taking down the bad guy. This story flowed well, pulled me in from beginning to end and had me engaged the entire time. There was plenty of action and intrigue in this story. I loved getting to see Dorian and Ray quite a bit in this story as well. We get to see them step foot back on the grid and it is truly awesome to see considering what they went through. Kendrick has to use his brain to figure out what is going on in time in order to save Neo and figure out what information the drive holds. While this story is very computer hacking driven I never felt lost with what they were doing. It was explained in a way that I understood what was going on or at least the gist of it so I never felt lost or like I was missing information. The characters really drove this story as well with them all pulling together and trusting what they knew of each other and not just what was put right in front of them.
I can't wait to get the bonus book of Jess and Ethan and getting a new series! I loved Oak Creek and the Linear Tactical series so am hoping that we might get to come back at some point but this did a great job of wrapping things up.
I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Profile Image for Jane Royal.
144 reviews1 follower
May 10, 2021
Mosaic. “Every second that I can’t figure this out, they are hurting somebody else. Maybe someone’s killed-Sold. I don’t want to sleep.” Kendrick “Blaze” Foster. Linear Tactical

Harvard and Yale educated Kendrick “Blaze” Foster, computer geek extraordinary who has never met a firewall he can’t charm. An integral part of the Linear Tactical team through friendship and a family member through the love extended by all. Neoma “Neo” leBarre, Foster child,brought into Linear’d for her computer skills, whose run parallels to Blaze- often thinking and writing code without speaking actual words- hearing each other in their heads and hoping in their hears, circling each other for quite a while, Neo has settled in Oak Creek, Wyoming. Could Blaze finally take her on that first date and these people become not only friends but family for her too? Trust.

Mosaic. They all thought it had been destroyed but it has regrouped not just into mind control, having tried to grab Lexi “Redwood” but expanding into human trafficking. (Crouch’s new series “Zodiac Tactical coming this Fall)
In typical Janie Crouch fashion, she has constructed characters flawed, real and rich in conflicted emotions making the reader ask, what would you do? How to save friends, family and the unknowns and yet be true to themselves. This reader went from OMG, to holding my breath, to oh wow, to an “I am Spartacus” scene which I called it as the women of LT support Neo.

As in all of Crouch’s LT books, she seamlessly connects the team, in this case Dorian and Ray, Theo Nd Savannah to answer previous questions we readers have asked along the way. In ending the series, the author does so with a non-stop action-packed, hard hitting surprise filled as in “didn’t see that” “ did think that maybe” and a wish for more in this series. I will revisit these friends often and look forward to Zodiac Tactical... after all Epilogue... Wavy and Ian DeRose... is it September yet?
Profile Image for CVZ.
210 reviews3 followers
September 4, 2021
Left Brain Computer Geniuses Blaze And Neo Engage Their Right Brain To Find Love And Passion

Janie Crouch’s books are always described as the “perfect blend of sexy and suspense.” Well…. she definitely achieved her goal!

Neo and Kendrick,aka Blaze, are on a mission to crack the codes that give them access to the vital information on a flash drive that some have lost their lives over trying to get in Blaze’s hand. Neo and Blaze are slated to work together to achieve this goal. Should be pretty straight forward…. Yes? Think again. Neo’s unshared secrets make this project impossible. The evil force, Mosaic, has a timeline that must be met…. or else! Thrilling suspense ensues coupled with a little angst.

This is a well written novel with a stellar plot line. Though I was happy to see that Neo and Kendrick are finally connecting romantically, I was most absorbed by the story of Dorian and Ray and the young orphaned, resilient children, Savannah and Theo. This subplot is where Ms. Crouch’s creative writing skills glowed!!! Well thought out scenarios to say the least!

Readers are also getting acquainted with Ian DeRose, head of Zodiac Tactical and his hilarious introduction to feisty, artistic, Wavy Bollinger. Ms. Crouch set the bait for readers to delve into the start of a new series beginning with Ian and Wavy’s story, and boy did I take the bait… hook, line, and sinker!!!! The only complaint I have is that I now need to patiently wait for the release date of what I’m sure will be an amazing read. At least I have a go to book….Forever (Ethan and Jess’s Story). Can’t wait!!!

The timeline for this story is BEFORE the third epilogue at the end of the last book in this series. For those that haven’t read it I’m not going to elaborate any further. As with previous reviews, I will state once more that reading this series in order comes highly recommended. It’s worth it!!! Thank you Ms. Crouch! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Profile Image for Dora.
704 reviews9 followers
May 9, 2021
4.5 stars

In the final book of the Linear Tactical series, we finally get Kendrick, aka Blaze, and Neo’s story. They both have been integral in so many of the dramas in the previous books so it was wonderful to finally see their story. Besides both of them being a computer whiz, Neo and Kendrick could not be any more different. Their background, education and family relations are complete opposites. For Kendrick none of that mattered, Neo just fascinated him from the very beginning and he was ready to make his move. Neo was just as receptive to moving forward in their relationship, but before they could even go on their first date, Kendrick’s expertise is needed to bring down a horrible organization. Not all is lost though, Neo’s hacking skills would also come in handy and they can work together again and be in close proximity to each other. But Neo’s past and her inability to trust definitely comes into play. With Kendrick’s patience and help from the rest of the Linear Tactical team she learns to accept help and be able to lean on other people. To be completely honest, I was not 100% on board with some of Neo’s decisions and initial reasons for them, but as we delve more into her story and more is at stake, you learn to understand her a bit more.

Besides the building relationship between Kendrick and Neo, we also get a side story with Dorian and Ray. I really believe that out of all the characters in this series, none have gone through more trauma than Dorian and Ray so to see a little bit of lightness and seeing them opening up their lives and hearts to others is so heartwarming.

Once again, another action-packed, drama and suspense filled addition to a fantastic series. It is bittersweet to see this series come to an end, but we get a sneak peek into a brand new series, Zodiac Tactical. And from what we have read of the first couple, I feel it is going to be as good.
68 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2021
This book was non stop action and total drama that was exciting and eventful , it was AMAZING

Blaze the last addition to the linear tactical series did not disappoint. Kendrick (Blaze), is Linear Tactical resident hacker.

He’s smart, funny, has charm, and is obviously attracted to Neo, fellow hacker and a woman full of her own secrets

When a computer drive needed to be cracked, he called her in to help. It seems there is a evil organization called Mosaic that is after her because of a missing encrypted flash drive.

Neo ends up being blackmailed to help them with the decoding and destruction of the drive. She becomes faced with having to betray the ones she loves in order to protect other people she loves
I loved the intensity and intimacy of the relationship between Neo and Kendrick
Neo was a closed book and the complete opposite of Kendrick’s happy attitude.

Great to see the rest of the crew make an appearance too , just felt like family

The story of Dorian, Ray and the kids was perfect they just formed a great family. It was great to see the softer side of Ray and Dorian.

This book had less of the romance element as the previous books and had more of the continuation of the mosaic story leading in to Janie’s new series Zodiac.

Blaze was amazing and I’m so glad he got his own story.

I’ve loved the Linear books- wished there was heaps more, and will be sad to say goodbye (after Ethan and Jess book of course) but I am so excited for Aries

I literally can’t wait to read more of Ian and Wavy.

Overall another great book where I was unable to put the book down till I’ve read the last word , it was full of suspense, romance and I highly recommend it

I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book from the author, thank you so much Janie
Profile Image for Kat Ryker.
788 reviews33 followers
May 19, 2021
I wasn't as keen on this book as I was with the others in the series. But before I say anything else, let me tell you that on her BAD day, Janie Crouch writes better than 99% of the indie writers when they are writing on THEIR good day.

I had trouble warming up to Neo. Perhaps it was because the skills that Neo and Blaze used weren't active and thus there was a lot less action. I also was a little disappointed that there wasn't more romance in the book. Its one thing for the characters to say I love you, but there needs to be romance too. And it was there, but very low key. The secondary story about the kids with Ray and Ghost, now that was book worthy and actually gave this book the 4-1/2 stars it deserves. It also needed the added personality that the Linear Tactical guys bring to every book. In a couple of places I thought it was there, but it didn't last long enough.

The book was, as usual with Janie Crouch books, very well written, paced beautifully, and the story was smooth. It had fewer scenes with the guys from Linear Tactical and I think that's why
I like this series so much. I love the back and forth among the characters we've met over the course of the series. I loved the intro to Ian DeRose, as I wasn't really familiar with that character. And I loved that Wavy will be his love interest in his first book. Wavy deserves her story too!

Thank you Janie Crouch for wrapping up the series so cleanly. I'm looking forward to the future for Jess and Ethan, and I will probably go back and re-read the series, since I'm sure they'll be just as good the second time around.
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