Touched by a Phoenix by Sophia  Byron

Touched by a Phoenix

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A romantic thriller features a strong-willed corporate attorney’s clash with a genius surveillance expert.

The story of this debut novel centers on forceful and emotionally scarred Alexandria “Alexis” Saunders, senior corporate attorney for AAS, a company run by her father that specializes in providing communications and surveillance equipment and systems for the military. Byron performs a smoothly skillful job of making Alexis a believable combination of personal vulnerability and formidable intelligence. But this mix is so precariously balanced that it promptly begins to fall apart when Alexis meets Brad Scott, the company’s new senior executive vice president of technology and development, a sexy and charismatic genius with five degrees and a personal history almost as complicated as hers. The two experience the jolt of instantaneous attraction that’s standard issue for romance novels; neither is at all what the other expects, and that surprise fuels the highly charged intrigue they feel for each other. And although Byron not infrequently lapses into the purple prose of the genre (“she stole his breath and his heart with that one single kiss,” etc.), she keeps her narrative moving forward, weaving in complications. The breakthrough technology that Brad develops for AAS draws the attention of a host of well-organized enemy operatives. The tech-thriller aspects of the novel kick into high gear and yet manage to live comfortably alongside the escalating romantic heat between Alexis and Scott. The dialogue is often wooden (including internal musings: “If they gained access to the technology on Brad’s computer…They would have power…too much power!”), but the personal tension between the two leads makes up for a multitude of such oversteps, and Byron’s fanciful sci-fi elements are grounded enough to feel gripping. The Christian and mystical elements that come to the fore at the story’s climax feel forced, but as a first novel in a projected series, the book works with an infectious energy.

A steadily escalating dual plot of romance and action enlivens this tale; a long and satisfying, genre-defying read.

Pub Date: April 24th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-692-39203-4
Page count: 606pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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