My Rating: 4.5 stars: Loved it - enthusiastically recommend (A)
Full Review: http://www.twimom227.com/2012/10/review-blaze-by-joan-swan.html
Right from the opening, Blaze, brings action, adventure and heat to the reader. The book begins with FBI agent Keira O’Shay in the middle of a cult-like hostage situation. Her extrasensory instincts tell her that they are outside of something more than a religious commune. Her worst fears are confirmed when shots are fired and a man is down. Keira, an expert snipper, is called in and her new back up is her ex, Luke Ransom, whom she hasn’t seen since she left him three years ago.
Things go from bad to worse when the place begins to explode around the pair before they can rescue they trapped children. Keira’s focus is on saving a young boy, Mateo, with whom she has shared a psychic bond for a year. With the help of Luke, Keira manages to escape with Mateo, just barely. And then, the situation really gets ugly. Keira and Mateo are kidnapped, Luke saves them, and the trio are on the run, hiding from some powerful government players.
The hostage situation, followed by the continuing government conspiracy (from Fever) created wonderful tension and suspense from the get go. And the sexual tension was off the charts! The fact that Keira and Luke loved one another deeply and both regret their decisions that lead them apart made me cheer for the pair all that much more. I was emotionally invested in the couple from the start. There were several beautiful moments shared between Luke and Keira that had me sniffling more than once.
Outside of the love story, we are treated to the continuing storyline of a team of firefighters that have been altered by a chemical explosion in a warehouse. Since that moment, each has developed unique “powers,” but also plagued with emotional baggage. Keira and Luke are two members of this team. In Blaze, we learned more about what happened, and witness the group (almost all) together as a team. I love that the team is a close knit family and how they can still work as a team, even after all they’ve been through. There are some not-so-good government employees, lead by the mysterious Jocelyn, after this team, and now that they are bonding and reuniting, Jocelyn feels pressure to raise the stakes. Something big happens at the end of Blaze, that could have significant repercussions for Jocelyn, and holy hell, I cannot wait to find out what happens next!
Overall, I completely enjoyed this book and adored this couple. There was intense emotion. Real ones. Struggles most of us can related to... Perhaps not the actual situation, but the feelings of uncertainty and fear. Ms. Swan does a beautiful job communicating these heightened emotions while fitting them into the story without sacrificing the plot or action. I highly recommend Blaze to anyone who enjoys a suspenseful story, and values an emotionally-driven romance.