Fever is the second book in the “Fifty-shades-esque” Breathless series by Maya Banks. The first book, Rush introduced us to three best friends, Gabe, Jace and Ash who are billionaires and the founders of HCM Global Resorts and Hotels. Jace’s character was portrayed as a kind, sensitive, fun/flirty man with a great love and protective nature to his sister, Mia. That Jace no longer exists in Fever, or at least in the first half of the book. Jace is now a controlling, dominant, hot-headed asshole, mimicking the hero, Gabe, of Rush. But there are several issues why this story did not work for me. One being, the initial execution of the plot.
Jace’s first encounter with the heroine, Bethany Willis, is at Gabe and Mia’s engagement party. Bethany is working as part of the catering staff, cleaning up after the guests. She’s homeless and trying to earn money for her next meal and then move on to find more work in order to survive. Jace sees Bethany across the room and feels an immediate attraction. Ash sees that Jace is interested and decides to approach Bethany with a proposition. Ash and Jace have always shared women in the past. Threesomes are their thing but Jace does not want that with Bethany. He immediately decides he wants this woman for himself. Ash approaches Bethany in the kitchen which leads to this:
“What’s your name?”
She glanced up at him. “Uhm, does it matter?”
He paused a moment, cocked his head to the side and then said, “Yeah. It matters.”
“Why?” she whispered.
“Because we’re not in the habit of fucking women we don’t know the name of,” he said bluntly.
Jace walks in and is pissed off that Ash has propositioned her for a night with the two of them.
THEN Bethany asks….
“Does this offer come with dinner?”
…and agrees to a threesome with two men she just met for a cheeseburger, fries and orange juice and a night in a hotel room once she finishes the job.
The absurdity of their meeting was such a turnoff for me as well as the heroine’s weakness. Bethany is portrayed as a defeated doormat and in my opinion Jace needed a strong heroine to balance his dominant nature.
Another problem I had was the excessive swearing and profanity in the dialogue. I don’t have a problem with cursing when it’s relevant to the emotion in a scene; however it’s a major distraction and unnecessary filler when it’s on almost every single page. When I start counting how many times a character is saying “goddamn” it is a problem.
“But fuck, baby, you’re so goddamn sweet.”
“Just read the goddamn report, Jace.”
“Even with his instincts screaming like a motherfucker, he’d allowed it to happen. Every goddamn minute of it, but he’d still let it happen.”
The plot had potential but the overall execution and dialogue in the first half of the story confirmed to me that Ms. Banks writing style has significantly changed from the books I’ve enjoyed from her in the past. I’ve been an avid reader of her Sweet and KGI series and the last few books from both of those series were major disappointments as well. So, I am stepping away from Ms. Banks future work at this point and am grateful I will always have Damon (Sweet Persuasion) to fall back on for happy memories.