Format: .mobi (Provided by publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Release Date: December 31, 2013
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.
Attorney Mitch Foster is being forced to face a past that he spent seven years trying (and failing) to forget. Underneath the sarcastic playboy exterior, Mitch is still nursing a broken heart and lingering feelings for the mysterious Halina Beloi, whom he loved and was abandoned by. Now, through a sick twist of fate, he has had to track down and confront Halina about her role in what happened to seven firefighters that let them with paranormal abilities and big target signs on their backs. What he finds is a very different Halina than the one he remembers and her presence adds more questions than answers.
I didn't think it could get any better than Blaze or that Luke Ransom would have to share the top spot with not one but two other cuties. Well it did, and he does (I still love you Luke!). Shatter is a standout book in the Phoenix Rising series by author Joan Swan and I'm not surprised. It is Mitch Foster's book and he's nothing if not an attention hog.
Mitch doesn't have any special abilities (though his sister and her husband might say that his special ability is to annoy the crap out of any one within hearing distance) like the others but he does posses an unrivaled stubbornness and loyalty to his friends and family. He might be the "ordinary" one in the group, aside from his sister but in my opinion, he's the one you notice first. He has had a very strong presence since book one and while he wasn't a brooding, tortured hero, it was clear the ambivalent playboy attitude was an act.
Halina was an awesome heroine. I kind of feel like fans were blindsided by her because she wasn't in previous books and there was next to no hints about her or her relationship with Mitch. That worked in the story's favor. Halina's sudden reappearance in Mitch's life gave Shatter an air of unpredictability and turned Mitch's already unstable life upside down and inside out. Those two had some smokin' chemistry going on between them, they were hurt, angry and still very, very attracted to each other which made for one very explosive reunion (Just that scene alone made Shatter start off with a fire rating of 3 books).
However, Mitch wasn't the only male Halina had chemistry with. There was also a very handsome, four legged hero named Dex in the story. If author Joan Swan hadn't sold me on Halina within the first two chapters, then she would have sealed it with how much Halina loves and depends on Dex. That's really what made me relate to Halina the most, her relationship with Dex and the fact that she didn't brush him aside just because Mitch was back in her life.
Shatter keeps readers engaged and entertained the whole way through. There's not a dull page in this book, not with Mitch around, and definitely not when he's with his sister, Alyssa, her husband Teague and his former firefighting team. I really look forward to those scenes where the entire group is together and harassing each other, swearing and having to put money in Alyssa's swear jar. Those scenes lighten up the grim situation they all find themselves in.
With a stand off and a conflict seemingly "wrapped up" at the end, I can't help but wonder, where will the series go from here? What about the remaining characters, Kai (who can give Mitch a run for his money in the sarcasm department), Seth (who deserves a second chance at love), Cash O'Shay and now the very sexy, former antagonist turned hero, Owen? I love the brand of action, suspense and romance that has become Joan Swan's signature style so it's easy to see why I don't want this series to end. Did I mention that I want Owen to get his own book? No? Okay well, I do. I have a crush okay? I can't help it.
Shatter can be read as a standalone or even out of order, but seriously, why would you want to deprive yourself of a series that can make you laugh and sigh?