Sep 24 2012 1:30pm

First Look: Joan Swan’s Blaze (September 25, 2012)

Blaze by Joan SwanJoan Swan
Kensington / September 25, 2012 / $14.00 print & digital

Ever since FBI agent Keira O’Shay started tracking a young boy named Mateo, she’s felt a connection even her empathic abilities can’t explain. She needs to save Mateo from the cult leader holding him hostage. Nothing can interfere with that—not even the reappearance of Luke Ransom, the hot-as-hell fire captain she’s regretted walking out on for three long years.

Losing Keira left Luke vulnerable—in every way. When they were together, the powers each possesses were mysteriously enhanced. But it’s the sexy, surprising woman beneath the tough exterior that Luke’s really missed. Even if she betrayed him utterly. And even if agreeing to help her uncover a government conspiracy means watching his life and his heart go up in flames again

Blaze is the second book of Joan Swan's Phoenix series. These stories revolve around seven firefighters who were caught in a chemical explosion in a government warehouse which left one dead and the remaining members forever changed. Each member has developed their own special supernatural abilities, and in this series, the scary monster in the closet isn’t a vampire or a zombie—it’s our very own government.

This black ops division of our government was aware of the toxic stew they kept hidden in their storage warehouse and have been monitoring these firefighters for the past five years. Those in charge are torn between destroying them before the public finds out or using their usual powers for their own purposes.

Jocelyn strode down the cement corridor. “This is such bullshit,” she muttered out loud only because she knew it would be drowned by the clomp-clomp-clomp of the boots worn by the five guards accompanying her to Cash’s cell. “Why can’t we control one damn man or one damn team of firefighters when we can annihilate entire Islamic paramilitary regimes?”

While all of the firefighters are being watched and monitored, it is Luke Ransom and Keira O’Shay who are most interesting to the government. Luke and Keira were lovers long before the fateful fire, but everything changed when Luke walked out of the warehouse both fireproof and bulletproof and Keira was suddenly able to hear thoughts. Amazing enough, but even moreso is that while they were together their powers are enhanced. Because of this extra ability, everything is being done to keep these two from coming back together, for fear of how powerful they could be if combined.

She moved her fingers over the red sticker, and listened.

With a shake of her head, she opened her eyes. “I’m getting nothing.”

Before she pulled away, Mateo’s palm covered the back of her hand. An eruption of sound burst in her head. So much at once, Keira jerked her hand back.

“Oh, my God.” She curled her fingers into her palm. “That’s….” creepy. “Oh, my God.”

“What?” Luke asked, eyes darting between Keira and Mateo. “What happened?”

“When he touched me.” She paused, swallowed. “I could hear.”

Keira and Luke are brought back together when the FBI and ATF are brought in on a raid on what is supposed to be a religious compound and turns out to be a laboratory. When a fire starts during the confusion, they can’t help but notice the strange colors blazing in the flames—thesame colored flames that burned the night of the warehouse fire.

The government has decided that it wants these special abilities bad enough. If you can’t get a team of firefighters to do your bidding and let you use them as lab rats, why not figure out how to re-create the toxic exposure and create your own enhanced soldiers, starting with some malleable children?

“I also wanted to tell you something about Mateo.”

“What about him?”

“He’s …special. I mean, he’s…like us.”

For some reason, that resonated with him. “Why would you think that?”

“He has the mark. I found it when I was washing him. See?” Keira said. “It’s the same. The wings, the body. Looks like a—“

“Phoenix.” He looked up at Keira, shocked, suddenly breathless.

When the team realizes just how far the government is willing to go for their dark purposes, they know they finally have to do whatever they must to stop the madness.

Although the current situation is not ideal, it may have given Keira and Luke a chance to reclaim the love they've lost. When you always have to look over your shoulder and fear who is waiting to get you with every corner you turn, is undying love enough?

“I can’t…do this. You, me. Us. The whole family thing. I mean, part of me wants to…with you. For you. But…” Pain and guilt sparked in her eyes. She waved an angry hand toward the compound shining in the distance. “They’re everywhere. Crawling into every crevice of our lives, trying to rip it apart.”

What do you do when you can’t run far enough or fast enough—when no where is safe, and the closer you are to the people you love the most, the more the danger increases? Do you risk everything and hope that you can keep safe or do you toss away the greatest love you will ever have to protect them from a powerful enemy that can’t be overcome?

Buy Blaze at Barnes and NobleBuy Blaze at AmazonBuy Blaze at iTunes


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1 comment
Saundra Peck
1. sk1336
Not usually a reader of this genre, although I love this type of movie... Maybe it is the firefighter hook, but I love the preview and want more!!!
Post a comment