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.