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Review: Fever by Joan Swan

27 Feb

Fever by Joan Swan
Kennsington (March 1, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758266385

Favorite Lines: “A pristine fantasy of him lying naked in the middle of a big, comfortable bed with her equally as naked, straddling his lap with a sexy smile on that beautiful face instead of that perpetual scowl. Her hair fell forward over her shoulders as she split the foil condom wrapper with her teeth. Popped the latex securely between those full lips. Rolled it over his extended length with her mouth. Seated it in place with a suction that made his hands clench the sheets and his body arc off the mattress.” (p. 22, ARC)

Dr. Alyssa Foster will admit to a bad boy fetish. . .

But when she finds herself face to face with a convicted murderer with a ripped body, a determination for freedom and an eye on her as his get out of jail free card, Alyssa knows she’s in deep trouble. . .. Not just because Teague Creek is a prisoner desperate for freedom, but because his every touch makes her desperate for more.

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. . .

Teague Creek has one shot at freedom, but his plan to escape with a hostage develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives who know of his strange abilities, he needs to avoid trouble, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever.

I did not finish reading Joan Swan’s Fever. It looked exciting and began with action, but the first several chapters are filled with prejudice that really bothers me. As a bi-racial woman, I find myself particularly sensitive to books which use racial slurs. A couple racial epithets, I can deal with but when there are more–even when they are part of character depiction–I’m insulted and turned off. I don’t want to know more and I just want to set the book down and walk away. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I did with Fever.

As the book begins we are introduced to a mixed race Asian heroine who is about to examine a Caucasian male prison inmate. She notices white supremacist tattoos on him and soon meets his escape partner who makes no bones about displaying his revilement of all races who are not white. These are graphic descriptions. We are also given vivid details of how he feels other races should be treated. It is disgusting and it makes me think poorly of the hero, who aligned himself with the white supremacist culture in order to survive prison. I understand it was his coping mechanism, but it really bothered me to see this side the hero knowing he is going to end up in a bi-racial relationship. I thought about it throughout the story. It made me question the validity of his feelings and wonder when in the future that aspect of his life was going to reemerge.

I eventually picked the book back up and skimmed through it. I was curious to know what happened, but the damage was done early in the book. The great characters that I met skimming the following chapters didn’t mean squat ’cause the tone of the book, in my mind, still revolved around the two inmates I met early in the book. The author killed the racism in a vicious way pages before I set the book down the first time and I didn’t see the racism in my skimming the second time I picked up the book. (Yes, skimming isn’t really reading, but I wanted to know what happened at the end.)

I skimmed through a sexy, romantic suspense. I think I could have really dug Fever had the racial slurs not been present. I’ve read other reviews of the book and know that I’m in the minority of people who feel this way. Others have gobbled the book up. Don’t let my opinion of Fever prevent you from reading it. It’s Joan Swan‘s debut book and the first book in her Phoenix Rising series. I’m hoping book two, Blaze, or book three, Inferno, will be a better hit with me. Blaze comes out in October 2012 and Inferno does not yet have a release date.