Fever by Joan Swan – a Review
Fever by Joan Swan, is the first book in her Phoenix Rising series. This is also Swan’s debut novel, which is romance suspense, and bit of paranormal, which is minimal in this first book of the series.
We meet our heroine, Alyssa Foster right from the start. She is a doctor, working overtime to cover the hospital shortages, and she is also competing with a fellow doctor for a permanent position. Her last shift at night, one she always dreads, is to help a patient from the local correctional prison. A case of mistaken identity changes everything for Alyssa, as she becomes a hostage to two escaped prisoners.
Teague Creek is not your normal hero, though over the course of this book, you can’t help but fall for him. But not in the beginning, as he takes Alyssa, who was treating him as his hostage. Teague is hard & tough, and has only one thought….escape and let no one stand in his way. Alyssa’s worst nightmare is about to begin. But then again, Teague has his hands full with Ayssa, who fights with everything she has. She is the perfect heroine, someone who despite the odds will stand up to almost anyone.
An unlikely romantic couple, but their chemistry together is excellent, especially early on when they both fight each other, especially vocally. You know sooner then later, the attraction will begin to get stronger, as the gentle side of Teague begins to show himself to Alyssa. The other escaped convict is an early villain; Taz is a racist, and totally wacko. It is Teague, who needs Taz, to help them escape, but he also needs Alyssa, or who he thinks she is. He also finds himself drawn to her, and also needs to protect her against the dangerous and despicable Taz.
Fortunately for them and us, Taz is killed off fairly early in the book. It then becomes the Teague and Alyssa story and how despite all that stands between them, the differences, the fighting, they begin to overcome this, and start a relationship that was never destined to be. But destiny has its own mind, and Alyssa does begin to crack the hardness that Teague built around himself during those three years in prison. It is Alyssa who finds out the truth and knows that Teague is innocent; together they go on an exciting journey to find his daughter and those who are truly responsible for the conspiracy that helped kill his friends, and possibly his dead wife.
Fever is an exciting story from beginning to end, with a mystery as to why and how Teague was framed, and why does he have powers that no human can have, but he is fully human….all leading to a climatic conclusion. It is tension to the end, towards the climax to save themselves against the real enemy. The romance and sex between Teague and Alyssa was an added bonus, as they were totally steamy together. I also enjoyed some of the other characters that came into play, as we may see them again in the future stories in this series. I really really enjoyed Alyssa’s brother Mitch, and though early on I thought Luke was bad, but he turns out pretty good.
Upon reading a few comments regarding the racial slurs by Taz early on in the book, I understand why some people would get upset. Wheras, we did suffer from his despicable presence for about a ¼ of the book, and we have met fictional characters like this; but in the real world, as much as we may not like it, the hardened life time prisoners may very well be foul mouthed and in some cases racists. I did not let it bother me, as I felt it was part of the story, as well as to make him even more dislikable, and believe me when I say he is very much disliked. Taz does meet his justifiable end early.
Overall, I felt this was an excellent story, an excellent heroine, and eventually hero, and lots of action, mystery and suspense. A great debut novel by Joan Swan.
Reviewed by Barb
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