Review: Shatter (Phoenix Rising #4) by Joan Swan

December 26, 2013 Review 23

Review: Shatter (Phoenix Rising #4) by Joan Swan

For seven years, Halina Beloi has been in hiding. But she's never forgotten Mitch Foster, the long, lean man she had to leave behind. Until, that is, Mitch shows up with a list of questions and a 9mm in his hand.

All Mitch knows is that Halina broke his heart and disappeared. But new information has surfaced implicating her as a player in the deadliest game of Mitch's life. This time, he's not letting go without answers. Now terror, danger and heat will fuse them together or shatter the future.

Title: Shatter
Author: Joan Swan
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Rush
Series: Phoenix Rising
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: Rush
Published by Brava
Source: Publisher
Published: December 31, 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 352
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: three-flames

I’ve been impatiently waiting for this book since the moment Mitch Foster stomped his way onto the pages of Fever. Joan Swan created a character that I wanted to read more of when she penned him. He was a secondary character that I looked so forward to reading. Mitch finally getting his own happily ever after was a happy day for me. His heroine being worthy of him is just an added bonus to this must read book.

Rekindles are typically one of my least favorite type of romances. I always think why get back with the person you left for obvious reasons. Halina and Mitch had a once in a lifetime amazing ten month relationship seven years ago. She devastated him by introducing him to her husband. Mitch has been trying unsuccessfully to fill that void since. Once they are back together it is so easy to see why the void was impossible to fill. They don’t have an easy path to happily ever after. The whole group is still fighting Schaeffer and dealing with the repercussions of the exposure to the chemical. Halina is having a difficult time with her role in the chemical development. It is definitely an exciting read.

I loved the new character that was introduced with Dex. He fit in so perfectly with the group that readers know and love. He is just as much a fighter and loyal friend as the rest of them. I was pleased to see the past couples and the other team mates. Their camaraderie and love for one another is always felt not just words on paper. That is one of the many things I love about this series.

My only disappointment is that Mitch felt a little different in this installment of the Phoenix Rising series. In the previous books he has been full of snark and smart assiedness. While he still had some of those qualities they were not as often. His character was immersed in his anger towards Halina in the beginning. Then he was all about his love and keeping Halina. There is no appropriate place for his witty snark in keeping his gal close. There is also a nicely bundled closing with Shatter. This leaves me to wonder if this could be the last of the series.


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The chill air cut through Halina’s clothes. Her brain worked crazily to put all this information into the framework of what she knew, which, up to this moment she’d believed had been everything.

“I…” She was lost. Blind. Dropped into a black hole, feeling for an exit. “I don’t understand.”

“Neither do we. What we do know is that with Rostov and Gorin dead, Schaeffer will be coming for you, Hali. You’re the last of the three scientists working on his project left alive now. You may have lived here peacefully for a while, but he needs you to finish it.”

No, he needed her research—not her. And he wanted even more than that. He wanted the only leverage she had to keep Mitch safe. “I wasn’t involved with their project, but I do need to leave.”

“Don’t give me that shit,” Mitch yelled. “And you’d better not try serving it up to Schaeffer either. He’s not a forgiving man.”

“My lifestyle is a testament to Schaeffer’s lack of mercy, Mitch.”

“And I want more answers, Halina. For me. I want to know why you lied. I want to know why you walked away seven years ago. I want to finally be able to put you behind me.”

A sound staggered from her throat. Her chest ached as if her trainer, Tommy, had suckered her with a round house. Tears burned her eyes. Anger and pain and loss tangled into something explosive.

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t lose it.

“Now, that, I can help you with.” She dragged in air. Pushed it out. “Goodbye, Mitch.”

Halina turned away. A split second before she pulled the car’s handle, a shadow moved in the corner of her eye. She turned her head, caught the reflection of something silver near the garage door. It flashed in her eyes then cleared, leaving the sight of a metal semi-auto aimed at her head.

Instinctively, she pivoted toward it. Toward the man holding it. A stranger. Late forties, Caucasian, rugged facial features, dressed in all black including black gloves and black knit cap. His crisp, bright blue eyes had a cold calculating quality that made Halina’s skin chill.

“Don’t open that door, Beloi.” He voice was low, commanding. But it was the use of her given last name, a name she’d run from for decades that tugged her dark side forward. “Or the dog dies before he reaches the ground.”

Dex’s snarl rolled over her from behind, raising the hair on the back of her neck. Every one of her senses rose to the forefront. Every one of her skills crowded into her head, pushing and shoving for the lead.

“There are just too many players in this mess.” Mitch’s arrogant, condescending voice startled Halina. She’d completely forgotten he was standing only yards away. “I can’t keep all you idiots straight. Now, who the fuck are you?”

“Don’t move, Foster.” The stranger’s gaze never left Halina and an ironic smile twisted his mouth higher on one side. “What an asshole, huh? Comes here after years of screwing around and starts making accusations and issuing orders. Then, just to twist the knife, he tells you he wants to put you behind him?” The man tipped his head, narrowed his eyes, softened his voice. “You want me to put a bullet in his brain for you, Beloi?”

The chill along Halina’s skin turned icy and slid deeper. She darted a look to her left, found the stranger holding a second weapon on Mitch.

A double fisted shooter? Tommy had never trained her to defend against this. Against every other freaking unearthly scenario – but, no, not this.

Her mind shifted between the weapons, gauged their distance, the shooter’s height, his aim. For a split second, she got into his head, considered his agenda, his goal, his focus.

She didn’t want to do this. But she didn’t have a choice, did she?

Dex had started barking again, scratching and biting at the window, trying to break free of the glass.

“Who are you?” she demanded.

“Just what I was going to ask,” Mitch said. “Last I heard, Schaeffer was brain dead. So who the fuck sent you?”

Halina’s thoughts slipped off her attack strategy. Her gaze darted toward Mitch. “Brain dead?”

The gunman laughed, his bright eyes sliding toward Mitch for less than a second. “You’re so deep in the dog house, dude. You probably want to shut your mouth now.” Then to Halina, “He’s had all this time to find you, but he shows up now, when you’re the only one left. The key to a decade-long, multibillion-dollar project.

“Think about where he’s been all this time, Beloi. Think about what he’s been doing. And with whom. Then he shows up, poof. ‘You’d better do this. You’d better not do that. And while I’m at it, I want to make sure I can forget about you for good.’ What. A. Cocksucker.

“Who is he to treat you like this is your fault? He’s fighting for himself, Beloi. Don’t think he won’t leave your ass in the dust when he gets what he wants, kid.”

Phoenix RisingMeet Author 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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23 Responses to “Review: Shatter (Phoenix Rising #4) by Joan Swan”

  1. mrscrabbyfan

    The cover grabs my attention right away and it sounds good I can’t wait to read this Thank you for the great giveaway.

  2. jovialvampyre

    I cannot wait for my copy! I have loved this series. It’s an emotional roller coaster ride. Thanks.

  3. Lori H

    I’ve been hearing so much about this book. I hope to read it soon. Thanks for sharing your review 🙂
    Happy Holidays

  4. raonaidluckwell

    I really like how striking this cover is. It stands apart from the others and that can be a good thing.

    But then, maybe I’m biase that Mitch’s cover SHOULD stand apart. Yeah I’m stroking his ego

  5. Glittergirl

    I love second change at love stories. I have Fever and I’m working on getting the rest. Thanks for the tour! HAPPY NEW YEAR

  6. Karen Roma

    The excerpt is awesome and I love this cover! Can’t wait to read the book!

  7. Eva Millien

    Love the review, Vanessa. I love this series. I am looking forward to reading this one. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

  8. Kamla L.

    Great review and Love the scene! The dialogue is peppered with some great snark, suspense and hints of mysteries I am now dying to uncover. Thanks for sharing and for the giveaway!

  9. Michelle Harlan

    I almost don’t want to read anymore excerpts from the blog tour. The books sounds so good and it won’t reach my hands for a few more days.

  10. Stephanie F.

    Such a great book and series. Helina is a perfect match for Mitch. Can’t wait for the next book.