BLOG REVIEW: Rush by Joan Swan

For the past 5 years, 31yo heroine has been having a hard time dealing with the loss of her firefighter husband Hero.
She doesn't know if she's lost her mind because she just saw & kissed a man who resembled Hero when she was suddenly transported to a different place.
She’s still not convinced when she sees him again in person & her close friends are confirming his identity. 33yo Hero can’t remember much except for his experiences being tested & prodded in confinement and some fuzzy ones doing dangerous missions.
He’s also had dreams of heroine all that time, not knowing who she was.
He’s not about to let her go now that he’s with her, despite all the mysteries surrounding him and the men out to get him back in their control. Heroine is torn between telling him the painful truth of her life in the past 5 years and keeping him in the dark to protect him from further trauma. How does their relationship fare when all gets revealed?

This book was smoothly paced & easy to follow, despite the multiple components in it (i.e., paranormal powers, 1st romance, 2nd romance, addiction recovery, grief/loss, political espionage, amnesia,  human experimentation). Most of the book was centered on how the main characters & their teammates/friends were dealing with Hero’s comeback & trailing the mystery of his disappearance & those hunting for him now.  There were some action-suspense scenes. The paranormal/quantum-physics elements were mysterious and somewhat contrived. For example, why did all the team members have different paranormal powers from the chemical explosion?  Was it some kind of  “smart” chemical to enable different powers in each person involved? Why was Hero the only one kidnapped & experimented on in their team and not the others? Maybe these questions will be answered in the later books. We also get to know the other characters and some will likely be featured in their own book later. 

The romance was poignant because we get to compare how it was before the explosion and after.  It was heart-wrenching to see how devastated heroine was with Hero’s supposed death. 

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Her battle with drug and alcohol addiction plus her meaningless sex flings showed her downward spiral from his death. It was unsettling to learn that Hero saw it all in his dreams. What he thought were sex dreams about a mystery woman were really his visions of how his own wife was coping with his death. The adverse physical reactions she got from her new paranormal powers also contributed to her drug and alcohol use. They helped her escape from her physical and emotional pain. 

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Hero’s understanding of her plight eased some of the destruction she did to herself & their relationship. I liked that he didn’t make her feel guilty or ashamed over her destructive behaviors. They talked about it in general but he’d already let it go, helping her continue on her positive road to recovery. 

The quality of their relationship was decidedly different now compared to before the accident. Both Hero and heroine had changed drastically. Hero’s amnesia created a divide in their views of their relationship. Hero never recovered his lost memories. So his view of their past romance was through what he was told by her & others & from photos of their past. It was one more loss they both had to deal with. They were different people managing a new relationship amidst a lot of stressors. The innocence and fun of their past relationship was pretty much missing now. But their current romance had a maturity and depth that their romance 5 years before lacked. In some way, their romance was both sad and joyful. The good thing is that they value the second chance they have to be together more so because of the losses they had & the maturity resulting from that. Their future together looks good.

I recommend this book.
4-star

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