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…
I debated reviewing Fever given this is a debut author and I wish nothing but the best for any aspiring writer. However, I also believe that readers need a fair and honest review from a person who finished the book in it’s entirety. The reason I finished the book is because at times I am a masochist when it comes to not DNF’ing a story. In all seriousness though, I hoped to find something to justify why one of my all time favorite authors would give a positive quote to the book. What I found was the potential of a great plot that was flawed by writing. I would like to share a few high points about why this book did not work for me.
Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I love a dark, gritty, story, but I also need an authenticity to the darkness. Why is this aspect of the story there? What purpose does it have? How does a character overcome an issue or walk through it? Alas, I asked myself these questions when reading Fever and was not able to speculate on the answer that would further the storyline and/or pull me in as a reader. Quite honestly, one reason for this is that the book began with a disturbingly negative racial tone which set the overall delivery of the story. What was most annoying is that the racial slurs used were entirely unnecessary. The author already established that the character was an asshole, through and through, so the continued use of derogatory, demoralizing racial comments added nothing but frustration and frankly a bitter and disappointing view with regard to the writing style of a debut author and her work.
As an avid reader of all genres of romance, I must say that I do NOT want to read such characters as the ones portrayed in the first 1/3 of this book. It is not an enjoyable experience nor one I desire in a romance story when I read about secondary characters that are in the plot only to mouth off sentences such as the following:
“These porch monkeys gonna pound your cracka faces into the pavement.”
“Whatcha doin’ with these honkies, pretty?”
“What do you say baby? Wanna taste of black meat? It’s an all- you- can- eat buffet.”
“You know what they say…once you’ve had black, you never go back.”
“Yeah, like how the fuck we’re getting out of the hell hole that bitch got us into now that those niggers jacked our ride.”
“I’m going to fuck the living shit out of this slant-eyed cunt.”
After reading those quotes, if your eyebrows are shooting up to your hairline and your head is inching backward as if you could somehow physically distance yourself from the overt [crassness], you are not the only one. I could go on with more quotes, but I think I’ve made my point. It’s disturbing, uncomfortable, and for me, infuriating because I have read enough romance to know that you can establish a bad, ruthless, asshole of a character without bigotry.
Racial issues aside, I contemplated DNF’ing at the 120 page mark for the simple fact that I believe an author should establish at least a glimmer of why the reader should believe in the hero or the hero/heroine forming a romantic relationship and it had not happened. I still did not know why the hero was a criminal. The circumstances surrounding the crime were a mystery. And why I should believe he had any redeeming qualities that would result in the heroine falling for him or having any empathy towards him was equally illusive. There was no justification as to why I, as the reader should believe in them as a couple. Both the hero and heroine’s personalities were flat, lacking chemistry and a believability that they could actually form a relationship of trust and love. Overall the story was poorly executed and left me with a negative taste that will make me think twice before considering future releases from this author.