Rush

Rush

4.3 24
by Joan Swan
     
 

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Gutsy, jaw-dropping style!" --Larissa Ione

"Joan Swan writes riveting twists and turns like no one else!" --New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Tyler

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,…  See more details below

Overview

Gutsy, jaw-dropping style!" --Larissa Ione

"Joan Swan writes riveting twists and turns like no one else!" --New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Tyler

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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758288264
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Series:
Phoenix Rising , #3
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
172,388
File size:
832 KB

Read an Excerpt

Rush


By Joan Swan

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2013 Joan Swan
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-8825-7


CHAPTER 1

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.

Fucking-A.

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."
(Continues...)


Excerpted from Rush by Joan Swan. Copyright © 2013 Joan Swan. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Rush 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
TSteiner More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars of greatness. I was completely blown away with the first book in the Phoenix Rising series, Fever.  Book two, Blaze, was a fast paced scorching read and book three, Rush is a high adrenaline ride from the first page to the very last.  I can’t believe it took me this long to catch up.  My only defense was life got in the way and I’m glad that I was able to do a marathon read when I was finally able to dig back in. Jessica and Quaid’s story is a heartbreaking story.  Friends who became lovers and then newlyweds then a tragic accident rip them apart.  Jessica then began a horrible downward spiral that took her years to conquer and though her life is a half-life, she has purpose and resolve to make everyone involved with her husband’s death to pay. Q is a man who doesn’t have a past and only one friend to hold onto.  The red haired woman from his past has left his dreams and his only friend has just attempted to escape their concrete prison.  Reality and fantasy are fine lines in his life and when he is finally revisited by his mystery woman and they finally share a kiss, he is a happy man.  But when he meets the woman of his dreams, can he trust that she is real. Rush takes place right where Blaze finished off.  The team may have found their lost member and will do anything to bring him home; for themselves, but more for Jessica.  Her life has been miserable without Quaid but she fights his possible existence.  Their reunion is so bittersweet, but you can feel the spark between them right from the very first moments.  While there were times I wanted both of them to move on, I also was cheering them to find what they lost.  I couldn’t imagine the pain and heartbreak they encountered.  When they first had sex, I was on a rollercoaster of emotions.  I was thrilled at the possibilities then felt utter despair and pain.  I can’t recall every experiencing such mixed emotions. Ms. Swan did an amazing job and wow this whole storyline is engulfing.  I couldn’t put it down.  I craved page after page.  Like I mentioned before, I’m so glad that I had all the books to read them all at once.  I would have hated to have to wait for the next installment.  Ms. Swan has penned a diverse and interesting world that is sexy, adventurous and refreshing.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Jen Review originally posted at Romancing the Book Book provided by the publisher for review I’m going to start by saying that this is book three of a series that really needs to be read in order. I think if you tried coming into the series with this book, you’ll really be lost as there is an overarcing plot line that has been advancing for the last two books and continues in this one. Ms. Swan does some recapping, enough to refresh memories, but I don’t feel it was enough for this to truly be a stand alone book. So this series revolves around a group of firefighters that were in warehouse chemical fire that resulted in them developing some… well, usual abilities. And to top it off, there’s this huge government cover up. The depth of that cover up has been revealed during the first two books and continues into Rush. **Be warned, there may be some minor spoilers coming up if you haven’t read the series.** This story is about Jessica and Quaid. They were married and then he “died” in the fire. But in the last book, it was discovered that perhaps he really didn’t die and the team set out to find him. Who they find is “Q” and they bring in Jessica to identify whether or not this man is her husband since “Q” has no memory of his past. I’m not entirely sure why this book didn’t sit as well with me as past books in the series. Both Jessica and Quaid are quite flawed and have some major issues to work with. I totally understand that they both needed to work through them, but sometimes it felt rather repetitive, as if they weren’t healing but rather wallowing. But I think the biggest problem for me was the special abilities that Jessica and Quaid had due to that fire. In the earlier books, the mutations were more believable, like having extra sensitive psychic abilities. But, this time around, the book almost felt a bit sci-fi and got pretty darn technical as Ms. Swan attempted to explain what was going on. I’ll admit that I got a bit confused, but powered on through those sections of the story. For fans of the series, read it as I said before, the main storyline progresses with this installment. But if you’ve been contemplating this series, don’t start here. And all that said, I am looking forward to the next book as I want to know what happens next.
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Hey?
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Its not you its survival
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"Are you still locked out of res1?"
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Tammy_SmutReviewer More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! It was my first read from this author, and I can tell you, I want more. I didn't read the first 2 in the series, but I will definitely be going back to grab those so I can catch up. I have some questions and I think I will get my answers there. This book had me a teary eyed mess for most of it. Q's story just, ugh, broke me down. Loved him! It was just excellent. I love a good book that makes me fight those emotions and keeps me on my toes. This is it! Loved it! *Copy provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five years ago Jessica’s husband was killed while on the job. They were part of a special hazmat team of firefighters and on the day her husband died, they were blasted with some sort of chemical that killed Quaid and gave every one else special powers. But when reports come in that her husband may still be alive, the old team comes together in search for him. Only, when they find the guy they think is Quaid, they realize that he’s not the same guy anymore. Q’s memory only goes back to the 5 years that he’s spent as a lab rat. He’s been sorely abused and knows nothing of the outside world. So when he’s rescued by a bunch of strangers, he’s disoriented to say the least. They are making him food, showing concern and giving him freedom. They all act like they know him but he has no idea who they are or why they keep calling him “Quaid”. Even though this story started off a bit slow with the action, I still found myself zoned into the story. I knew that once the story picked up that it would take off running and it did. I actually liked that we got a look back in time to when the chemical blast took place because it put everyone’s relationship into perspective before you dove into the story. You could definitely read this novel as a stand-alone and have no problems catching up with what’s going on. I liked that the author not only wrote from Q’s POV but wrote it in a way that the reader really felt his confusion. His thought process always turned to third person when he thought of “Quaid” and what was expected of him. He had no idea who Quaid was but he knew that he could never be him. However, it didn’t stop him from trying to please those around him, especially Jessica. The author writes in the POV of the bad guys behind the scenes as well. So you’re not just reading about Q’s day to day life while he tries to regain his memory. There’s always something going on that keeps the reader enveloped in the story. I like this series and I cannot wait to see where the author goes next with it. I loved the ending and thought it was brilliant that she went the route that she did. I would have been disappointed if she copped out and went with the easier, fluffier ending. *Sorry that’s all I’m gonna say about that*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GraceDZ More than 1 year ago
4 – 4.5 stars An Emotional Heart-wrenching story for Jessica and Quaid I'm a huge fan of Joan Swan's Phoenix Rising series! I've been anticipating this book since the very beginning. As I was reading Rush, I realized quickly that this installment was going to be a little different than the previous two. While both Fever and Blaze were highly fast-paced and thrilling, Joan Swan slows things down a bit to tell the story of Jessica and Quaid resulting in one heck of an emotional roller-coaster. My gut twisted! My heart wrenched! But don't get me wrong, there's still plenty of suspense and danger that kept me bouncing in my seat. “This is a one in a zillion opportunity, Quaid. How often do people get a second chance to find love with their once-in-a-lifetime?” --Jessica (pg. 265 paperback ARC of Rush) She thought she lost him forever. After five long years Jessica Fury receives some promising news that she refuses to believe. For Q, everything that was Quaid had been torn away from him...his life as a firefighter, his happiness, his loving wife, and all his memories. For five years Q was held captive and used in experiments. After finally being rescued and reunited with Jessica, the painful process of healing begins. Jessica and Quaid's journey to be together again is extremely emotional and tragic. Ms. Swan does a wonderful job at showing what had happened to Q in those five years, which made me angry that this happy, fun-loving couple had their lives ripped apart in the first place. I loved that there were glimpses of Jessica and Quaid during more blissful times, too. Even with all the angst, Rush will leave you with the feeling of hope. All the favorite characters in the series are present and working together as a team. All their abilities are used. There is also a huge set up for the next book, Shatter. Joan Swan has been teasing us with Mitch throughout the series. He is one cocky and mysterious dude. He's more than meets the eye, and I can't wait to find out about all his secrets! Reading order for the Phoenix Rising series: Fever Blaze Rush Shatter – coming soon! * A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review *
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 (I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review) I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Since I jumped into the series by reading the third book, I was concerned I would be a bit lost in the plot.  However, Joan Swan did a beautiful job of writing in the back story of the series.  Obviously if you read the books in order you will get a clearer picture but this book can certainly be read as a stand-a-lone. I am however going to go back and read all the books in order, it's an OCD thing.  Rush is a romantic action packed suspense thriller with a bit of science fiction thrown in as well. The emotional roller coaster of a love story between Jess and Quaid had me hooked. Taken as a lab rat for government scientists Quaid has lost his memories of his married life to Jess. Yet he knows he belongs to someone, even if he can't remember her, the love for her endures within him. Their journey to finding a way back to each other both emotionally and physically actually brought tears to my eyes. Which almost never happens to me. The sexual scenes were well-written and placed appropriately within all the suspenseful action.  Yes there was a plot! I can't tell you how happy I am about that. Seriously though, I couldn't put Rush down and ended up reading it until 4am the next day. I just had to know if Quaid would regain his memory and if he would finally get his happily ever after with Jess.  I can't wait to go back and read the other books. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy the Ghostwalker series by Christine Feehan. Also to anyone that enjoys reading a great romantic suspense thriller.  
Barb-TRC More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is book 3 in the Phoenix Rising series and it is even better than the previous books. And this is quite an achievement because the first 2 books were fantastic. Here the team rescues the misterious prisoner Q and they confirm he is their friend Quaid, who they were told had died after the warehouse fire. The book offers new insights into the Phoenix research program, introduces new characters and is action packed. The romance between Quaid and Jessica is more like a rediscovery and pulls you in emotionally from page 1. Terrific writing, great character development, page-turning suspense, and hot, passionate romance. Cannot get any better.
LITERALADDICTION_MLO More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely LOVE this series and they just keep getting better and better. Great story, love the characters. Can't wait to see what happens next. A must read!!!!!!!
csmaxwell More than 1 year ago
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. 
AMR0406 More than 1 year ago
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.
hcollins1 More than 1 year ago
This story is about Jessica and Quaid, characters that up until now, we've only heard about. That part, for me, did make it a little hard to connect with them at first. After several chapters though, I was just as drawn to their story as I would have been had they been around from book one. This is a very complex world the author has created, but she is doing an amazing job of sticking to it and revealing something new with each book. Still looking forward to where this series goes and very curious to how it will all unravel. I received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
ornerylibrarian More than 1 year ago
You know that feeling you get when you're on a roller coaster and the first climb to the first drop... the slow clank, clank as you ascend and then the hesitation at the top... you hold your breath and try to prepare but it doesn't do any good... you drop and it stops your heart and your stomach seems to try to climb up your throat... and then after that, it's nonstop action... with twists and turns... fear and excitement... This is one of those stories...