ARC Review: Blaze by Joan Swan

Posted September 24, 2012 by Annie in Reviews / 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Blaze by Joan Swan
by Joan Swan

4.5 Stars


Released: September 25, 2012
Series: Phoenix Rising #2
Published by Brava
Pages: 375
Format: ARC

From the get-go, Joan Swan demands your attention, opening up with a killer scene that hooks you right in. At first, I wondered if everything was happening too fast, but it’s as if Swan heard my thoughts because right after that the action levelled out and she gave readers time to breathe. This, my friends, is what I called great pacing. I’ve mentioned this before in my FEVER review, but I’ll say it again, Joan Swan is fantastic at pacing her work so that she controls the way your heart pumps faster with the action and lets you breathe after an intense scene.

I immediately felt a kinship for Keira O’Shea. I loved how physically and mentally tough she was and her sense of morality. Even amongst trained men, she still held her ground in times of distress and that made her admirable. But even though she is one tough chick, later on in the book you also get glimpses of a softer side to her. Though she says she doesn’t want children, there she is, holding little Mateo protectively in her arms. I loved reading about the different sides to her. She was a multidimensional character that really displays her resiliency and also her vulnerability nicely.

Then there is Luke Ransom (what a sexy name!) who is fireproof (fireproof!!!) making him more badass and hotter than he already is. Though sometimes he can be a jerk, I think it only added to the drama that Luke and Keira have in their relationship. After ending their passionate relationship on bad terms, seeing each other for the first time in three years does not bring back pleasant memories. Both are bitter and neither one is able to forgive the other for what was done to them.

But there is one thing they have in common and that is a broken heart. Despite the hate they so obviously display for one another, there’s sexual tension brewing beneath the surface.

Added to the intense sexual tension of this book is the action-packed, thrilling and explosive journey that these two endure together. Clutching little Mateo to her side, Keira and Luke fight to get to the bottom of this strange predicament they are in. After rescuing Mateo from enemy hands, they find out that something in embedded into Mateo’s head. It could be a tracker or it could be something far more dangerous. Regardless, BLAZE will hook you right in and never cease its pulse-pounding ride until the very end.

BLAZE can be read as a standalone novel, but familiar faces are present. You see Teague and Alyssa. Mitch also has some great lines. I’m eager to learn more of him.

This second book in the Phoenix Rising series is better than its predecessor, hitting harder and upping the romance. With more endearing characters and intense scenes, readers will be panting with their need for more. I hardly had time to catch my own breath while reading this!

*ARC provided by author

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About Joan Swan

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Joan Swan writes sexy romantic suspense for Kensington (Phoenix Rising Series) and independently (Covert Affairs Series). She also works as a sonographer at a top medical facility in San Francisco and lives in magnificent wine country on the central coast of California with her husband and two daughters.

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Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m an obsessive makeup junkie and a compulsive reader. I like to call Under the Covers Book Blog my stomping ground, but when I’m not talking about books with my girls, I write New Adult Dystopian and Contemporary Romance under the pen name Ana Jolene ( I also work as a virtual assistant for authors. You also can find me as a reviewer and columnist for

When it comes to books I’m pretty adventurous. I read everything from Paranormal Romance to Urban Fantasy, New Adult, BDSM, LGBT fiction, Cozy Mysteries and even YA. If it’s got the littlest trace of romance in it, then I’ll probably read it. That being said, my all-time favorite authors are J.R. Ward and Karen Marie Moning.

When I’m not submerged in a good book, you can find me musing about makeup and planners or dreaming about Kpop boys and beaches. Until then, check out my reviews and let’s talk books!
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Maria D.
Maria D.

Thanks for the review – can’t wait to read this book!

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Under the Covers

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do, maria!