Michelle's Review: Fever by Joan Swan

book cover ARC: 342 pages
Publisher: Brava
Release Date: March 1, 2012
ISBN: 9780758266385

Source of my copy: publisher for review
Series: Phoenix Rising #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
When Dr. Alyssa Foster is taken hostage by a prison inmate, she knows she's in deep trouble. Not just because Teague Creek is desperate for freedom, but because the moment his fingers brush against her skin, Alyssa feels a razor-sharp pang of need...
A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. At least Teague doesn't, until his escape plan develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives, he can only give her lies, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever...

Michelle's Review:
There were a lot of things I liked about Joan Swan's debut Fever but there were a couple of things that bothered me a little--although not enough to take away my enjoyment because ultimately Fever was a good read.

I really enjoyed all the non-stop action. In almost every scene there was always something going on and I really liked how Alyssa and Teague worked together as a team. It didn't start out that way because Teague, an escaped convict, did take Alyssa as hostage and he hurt her (though unintentionally). However, Alyssa soon finds that there was more to Teague that meets the eye and decided to stay and help him. I liked how strong, resilient and take-charge Alyssa was--for me, her character shined more than Teague's character.

Another thing I liked: that the heroine was of mixed raced! Usually, I hardly make a note of the characters' ethnicity when I am reading but when it is something like part Caucasian, part Japanese and part Filipino, which the heroine in this book (Alyssa) was, I take notice. It wasn't significant plot-wise and was only very briefly mentioned once but it was just a fun little tidbit for me... But since we're talking about race, there was a minor character who was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood. I cringed every time this character opened his mouth because of all the racial slurs he spouted. He was killed off eventually but I wish he was gotten rid off sooner. Some readers might take offense to him but it added to his character's nastiness and despicable-ness.

We find out early on that Teague has this strange ability: he can change his body's temperature and can generate heat strong enough to melt metal and sometimes heal. He acquired his "power" after a strange accident when he was working as a firefighter. We also meet a couple of the firefighters who worked with Teague and also has their own strange abilities and I am looking forward to reading their own stories.

Because Fever is the first book in the series, the author had to introduce certain elements to the story--essentially, laying groundwork for future books and all the while telling Alyssa and Teague's story. This made the story a little too busy for my taste. Besides the main plot, with Teague and Alyssa trying to dodge the cops, there were a lot of different secondary plot lines and details about Teague's past to keep up with. However, I liked the author's voice and that made up for it.

Now that the over-arching story and the world is all set up, this series can only get better. Though Alyssa and Teague's story wrapped up neatly, there were a big questions that were left unanswered at the end of Fever. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

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