Review: Shatter by Joan Swan

Review: Shatter by Joan SwanShatter by Joan Swan

Genres: Romantic Suspense, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Kensington on December 31, 2013
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars  

Each addition to this series just drags me in deeper.  I loved the author’s writing style, characterizations, plotting and backdrop from the start, but after all the twists, turns and overlapping angles that have taken place since the beginning book, I shake my head in amazement and wonder how she does it.  The intrigue and suspense in these books just grabs me and won’t let go.  The burning, wrenching situations of the couples both repels and attracts me because I just want them to be happy.

This is Mitch’s book.  He’s a character that has been larger than life and a regular in the series since the beginning.  He’s not an enhanced human like the others; he’s a lawyer- a brilliant, tenacious, resourceful and dirty fighting lawyer.  Snark and sexy charisma?  Yeah, this guy has it in spades.  So yeah, Mitch’s book?  I was all over it when it came out because really, who was Ms. Swan going to set up as this guy’s perfect lady?

After the end of the last book and its revelations, I got that answer, but having the answer just made me more curious.  Mitch’s gal is the woman who walked out on him and into the arms of her husband with no warning that she was married right when he was going to ask her to marry him.  Then he sees on the confiscated tapes that she was one of the scientists working for Schaefer.  Mitch goes on the hunt.  That woman has a lot to answer for.

She has been in hiding for years perfecting her new persona, bettering her self-defense and physical skills, making sure that she’ll be ready for the day they come looking for her.  However, the woman known as Heather is shocked to discover exactly who has come looking for her and he’s not happy.  Mitch!  Halina can’t believe it.  After all the efforts she put into running, protecting, hiding successfully, there he stands- the man she loves beyond anything and sacrificed everything to keep alive.  He has messed up everything and now she will have to get rid of him and start over.  But by the look on his face, he’s not going anywhere until he gets some answers and its going to rip her to pieces giving them because she knows just how betrayed, angry and hurt he is and it will only get worse when she feeds him a few half-truths to satisfy him.

Mitch is usually calm, collected and prepared for any crisis, but this?  Nothing could have made him ready for the gut-wrenching emotions he has confronting Halina and to have her swing between pounding him with her professionally practiced defense moves and trying to brutally cut him with words.  The truly scary thing is that he can only remember the need and want and the love just like it was yesterday.  Bigger things are afoot and it isn’t long into their confrontation than they are both in danger from someone who wants Halina and her research so he can continue the project that Mitch and his friends destroyed.

From then on, its high octane chases, fighting, passion and deadly secrets revealed.  Mitch, Halina, the Phoenix team and Owen have to keep their wits about them as they cross swords with a still powerful Schaefer and lethal Abernathy.  Who is going to get to whom first?  Thrilling to the last.

This one just jumped out of the blocks from the start and really didn’t stop whether it was the dangerous action scenes, the confrontations between Mitch and Halina or the passionate scenes between the lovers.  This one was tough for me because I respected, sympathized and was angry at the heroine at the same time.  I knew logically that she made the best decision at the time all those years ago and from her perspective she was still making good decisions in the present.  The woman was a big-time martyr of a heroine and yet she was the instrument for bringing Mitch to his knees (evil sucky Schaefer put her in the no-win position b/c of his greed for power and money).  She sacrificed, but it hurt the very person for whom she sacrificed.  It wasn’t her past choices that angered me.  I got all that.  I struggled because once he found her and explained what was going on; it was like prying teeth for him to get her to see that the scenario had changed.  Now it was her secrets that were the danger to everyone and she wouldn’t cough them up.

Now this is where the author’s writing redeemed it all.  Normally when I get frustrated with a heroine, I really don’t change my mind and it ruins my pleasure in the story, but in this instance I was even more motivated not less to see this through.  I was dying for Mitch to show his stuff and convince Halina.  He had to work through so much betrayal and pain which slowed down the process, but he did slowly and convincingly along with the help of the others wear down her barriers, get her beyond the damage done in her past and show her that she didn’t have to go it alone and that she could open up and trust- believe in a happy future.  Mitch was very different in this one, but it made sense after knowing this part of his past finally.  It’s kind of funny the way the others remind him of how he poked at them when they were going through their hard moments and he doesn’t like being on the receiving end at all.

One of the best parts about this series besides the great plots and the relationships to me is that the main characters from the past books continue to play strong roles.  They all work together to get the mission done and the sweet ‘family’ moments are adorable.  Loved the scene with Mitch and his new little nephew.  Their inclusion doesn’t push aside the main storyline, but its not just mere background either.  I liked that little side story line for Owen too.  Poor guy needed to catch a break after all Schaefer, Jocelyn and his ex-wife put him through.

This had a big ending that tied up so much that it felt finished in some ways.  I don’t know if it’s the last book or not, but I sure hope there is more.  I want Kai and Seth’s stories too. Greedy me!

Those who enjoy strong romantic suspense or thriller romance and don’t mind the inclusion of spicy hot enhanced humans should try this series on.  Reading them in order is a must.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this one in exchange for an honest review.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • The cover on this one alone is enough to draw you in…but thank good gravy the story is good as well!

    • These books are definitely tasty for certain. They are not light romances as each have severe stuff to get through before they can be together. I like that each couple has different issues to deal with though trust and communication seems to be the bottom line. The action’s great too. Okay…rambling. 😉

      • Lols :). It’s Good that they had their own separate issues. You don’t want to read the same stuff over and over again…especially. in a series.

        • I have read a couple of series that go stale like that where I can totally predict stuff b/c I’ve seen it before in the previous books. New monster or villain, but same issues and plot sequence or same romantic entanglements to work out. Blah! 😉

          • Lols!!! blah indeed. Nothing worse than predicting a story before it’s over: (

  • Ooo briefly scanning. Not really looking. Just checking it’s good! LOL It’s on my review list for this next week. Glad it got such a good rating! Woot!

    • I don’t like to completely read other reviews on a book I am reviewing until I’m done either, but thanks for taking a peek anyway. 😉