Thursday, January 2, 2014

Blog Tour - SHATTER by Joan Swan

(Phoenix Rising #4)
by Joan Swan
Published: December 31, 2013, Kensington  Kobo Barnes&Noble


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. . .

(Phoenix Rising #4)
by Joan Swan
ARC Review
Published: December 31, 2013, Brava

My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️

Growing up without parents in Russia, Halina Beloi was placed in the care of an abusive uncle, where she managed to survive by learning to adapt until she could stand on her own. She eventually lands work as a scientist for the Department of Defense where she becomes involved in research that causes her to question her superior. From that moment on, her life and the life of her lover are put on the line and Halina sees no other option than to disappear, completely. Until seven years later, she is suddenly face to face with the man whose heart she broke.

For all these years, Mitch Foster had harboured a hot resentment for Halina, for the way she just up and left him, rendering what they had shared meaningless. But his ongoing investigation in the department that Halina had worked for has finally caught up with her, albeit under a different name. Seven long years and all he has is questions, and he is not about to let her go without some answers this time. People's lives are at stake and the man responsible has to be brought down once and for all.

Mitch knows Halina is holding back secrets, just like she must have when they were still together, but she seems so vulnerable and defeated, he has a hard time understanding her motivations. His body seems to recognize her without hesitation and responds as eager as it always had to her proximity. It is proving virtually impossible to keep his distance, but his head and his heart cannot take another blow from the woman he had planned to spend the rest of his life with.

Being with Mitch again was both heaven and hell for Halina. She would like nothing better than to nestle in his arms and tell him all, but to do so would put him in more danger than he was already in. She would do anything to protect him and his family, despite what he thinks of her. But when it becomes clear that her manipulations and lies are not doing anything to deflect the danger any longer, Halina had to make the choice to come clean, or forever lose the man who owns her heart. 

That is, if they survive......


Twisting intrigue, a hint of paranormal, a solid lick of heat and a whole lot of action!!!!

I have to admit, the first few pages of the book, I was afraid I would not be able to get the backstory together, not having read all the previous books in the series. But I shouldn't have worried, the story came together just fine and I read it in one sitting!! Delicious! I'm such a sucker for a good action/romance combo!  It's the double thrill that does it for me, and add to that some steamy sex, which is one of Joan's specialties, and I'm sold.

Halina is a bit of a broken soul, even before she meets Mitch the first time around, she has been deeply damaged by her childhood. More deeply than perhaps is visible at that time. Her upbringing has taught her to respond to threats in a certain way out of self-preservation, and that has become so instinctual, that it is a hard habit to kick, even when around people who wouldn't harm you. Self-reliance is the only thing she knows and trusts and she has invested a lot of time and effort into ensuring she is at her best at all time. Letting someone close, or leaning on someone does not come natural, but she craves it with Mitch.

Mitch has been blessed with the closeness of family and friends and knows how to enjoy it. He had been sure at one time Halina was his future, and was still coming to terms with the fact he had been so mistaken. He is used to protecting and taking care of others, even in his work he is not afraid to take on Goliath if it means righting a wrong. Trying to make sense of his own conflicted feelings around Halina is not easy, when half of him despises her for what he thinks she is part of, and the other half is as drawn to her as seven years ago. 

The description of her protagonists' internal struggles and their adjustments to ever-changing situations is very insightful and illustrates a solid growth of character. Joan Swan also has written an intricate piece of conspiracy that gives me goosebumps. Very clever!! Though I'm not usually a huge fan of the paranormal, I love it in this setting. A taste within the parameters of a straight story enhances it so much. It doesn't overwhelm, but is 'credible' in this instance. I'm almost a believer now!

✨An imaginative, chilling and provocative quest for truth.✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**



Mitch pivoted toward Alyssa, rubbing his hands together like a miser. She was jostling the fussy, squirming ball lost in blankets. “Where’s my Brady?”
Alyssa smiled, extending her arms, offering the baby. “He’s all yours. Has been inconsolable all day.” Mitch reached for the bundle as Brady’s tiny fists found an exit and pounded the air, punctuating his cries. Alyssa pulled him back at the last second and gave Mitch a warning look. “No swearing.”
His grin widened. “Never.”
As Mitch cradled the infant, something shifted in his expression. Something fundamental, rich and warm. Halina couldn’t define it, couldn’t explain it. Could only melt inside as she watched him soften and open in ways she could never have imagined witnessing.  
He swayed with the baby and shushed him. “What’s wrong, buddy?” he asked, his voice unbearably soothing. “Is there too much action around here? You should be used to that by now.”
Holding Brady in one arm, Mitch nudged the blanket off his face. “Let’s get a look at you, kid.”
Mitch’s audible indrawn breath made Halina step closer. Without taking his gaze from Brady’s face, Mitch tipped the baby in his arms so Halina could see him. And it was obvious why the baby had taken his breath. He was stunning. He was perfection. He had Alyssa’s creamy skin and dark hair. But, the other features, clearly from the Fosters’ mixed ancestry, also reminded Halina that Alyssa and Mitch were twins. The sprinkle of dark hair, full lips and shape of his eyes may have been contributed by Alyssa, but they were clearly Mitch’s as well. Only the color of the baby’s eyes was different—bright blue.
“Oh, thank God,” Mitch breathed with extra drama as he sliced a glance at one of the men who had drifted to Alyssa’s side and wound an arm around her shoulders. This had to be Teague. She’d have known by the blue eyes he’d obviously contributed to Brady. “He looks like us, Lys.”
Everyone burst out laughing, including Alyssa’s husband, who said, “Did you miss those eyes?”
“They’re all born with blue eyes,” Mitch said. “They rarely take.”
“Not that blue,” Alyssa said, leaning into her husband while staring at Brady with a perplexed look. “How’d you do that?”
“What?” Mitch asked.
“Get him to stop fussing? He’s been miserable all day.”
Sure enough, Brady had quieted, his unfocused gaze fixed on Mitch’s face. And when Mitch smiled down at the baby, the resemblance between the two hit Halina with a fist of longing so strong, it closed her throat and pushed tears to her eyes.
“It must be an uncle thing,” Mitch said.
“Great.” Alyssa rubbed her eyes. “Want to move in?”
“Lys,” her husband hissed with a half-smile, “bite your tongue.”

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.

Website ⭐️ Facebook ⭐️ Twitter 

Tour Stops:

Other Upcoming Events:

Facebook EventWednesday, January 1.
Twitter PartyThursday, January 2 from 8-9pm EST.

Tour Wide Giveaway Details:
Tour Wide Giveaway: (1) Kindle Fire HD, (1) Kindle, and (1) $25 eGC to Amazon or B&N will be gifted to three different lucky commenters from the tour. Please follow the Rafflecopter widget to enter to win at each stop. (Full Terms & Conditions located on the widgets.)

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  1. This sounds great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. What is it that you like most about doing blog tours?

    1. Being introduced to new readers is my favorite part!

  3. Congrats to Joan on the new release.

  4. Ha Ha - I love that last line ;). Can you imagine Mitch living with them - oh my!
    Thank you SO much!

  5. Loved the excerpt! I understand the effect on babies you wrote about...When we took baby rabbits to my daughters middle school. I couldn't believe the transformation in the boys. The absolutely melted around them and stood in line so they coulld hold them. It was anawesome thing to behold!

    1. Such a sweet, sweet moment in the book for me. <3 Mitch.

  6. Awww my heart melted at that scene with Mitch with his nephew. That was too stinnking cute!!!

  7. I want to thank Joan for coming in yesterday, and answering all your comments and questions!!

    It was a pleasure having you here! ♥️

  8. Great excerpt. Looking forward to reading this series.

  9. i loverd the excerpt thanks so much for the giveaway the book looks so good cant wait to read

  10. Loved the excerpt, the book was really good. Helina was the perfect match for Mitch. I can't wait to see whose book is next.

  11. Congrats on the new release!!

  12. Characters sound interesting