Author: Joan Swan
Series: Phoenix Rising #1
Cover Art: N/A
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by: Julia
References to rape; Several sex scenes.
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…
From page one FEVER simmers with danger, chemistry, and Alpha hero deliciousness. And despite all that action, Swan still does a fantastic job having her characters navigate this steamy plot without sacrificing their depth. Well-executed romance with a light paranormal frosting, these two characters could have spent the entire book on a deserted island and I’d still be eagerly turning pages.
While it’s not unusual for me to like one character above all others in a book, it is rare for lesser characters come from behind and charm me. The high stress beginnings of Teague and Alyssa were all about danger and sexual chemistry. Once the smoke cleared, I was surprised to find that Teague’s hard-bitten exterior conceals a sweet, Beta center that touched my heart. While I initially admired Alyssa’s spunk in the face of kidnapping and assault, I started empathizing with Teague long before she was ready to give up her fight. It was hard to feel bad about Alyssa’s hospital politics when Teague’s whole world was on fire around him. Even worse, Alyssa changes her tune and wants to jump into bed with Teague long before she fully realizes what a great guy he is. Still, between Alyssa’s growing loyalty and her scientist’s fascination with Teague’s powers, but book’s end she had won me over.
With my intense interest in Teague and Alyssa, FEVER’s action driven plot came in a distant third. After the first few chapters, I wasn’t particularly interested in the conspiracy behind it all, except as a barrier to Teague getting his happily ever after. Some of the last twists and turns were over the top, but by then I was already sizing up the cast for book two. Luke is so angry, and a borderline villain, for most of FEVER, I’m very curious to see how he shapes up as a leading man. Alyssa’s brother, Mitch, and his whirlwind of legal acuity won a lot more of my affection in this book. Dare I hope he wears the hero hat in book three?