Monday, March 12, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of FEVER by Joan Swan

It's said that when a person is kidnapped that they may fall subject to the effects of Stockholm Syndrome - that's a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.
It's what you expect to have happen when you first start reading FEVER by debut author Joan Swan.
What actually happens is that the reader becomes so entangled in the story and involved with the characters that the reader, like a kidnap victim, falls victim but not to Stockholm Syndrome but to Teague Creek Syndrome!

Blurb for FEVER by Joan Swan:

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.

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As I've mentioned more than once or twice, I love reading debut authors and now I think I know why I'm so partial to them - they are always so amazing and it gives me another reason to procrastinate on getting my own WIP finished. I feel that some, like Joan Swan, will just put my writing talent to shame.

FEVER by Joan Swan is such an amazing work that I doubt my work would even begin to come close to what she has created. I had been eager to read this debut work ever since I read an interview she did for another blog early last fall. The whole premise of the book, a convicted murderer with exceptional powers escaping prison to find his young daughter and taking an innocent bystander hostage intrigued me in the same way that most novels by Stephen King do. Contemporary with the added bonus of romance and suspense with a touch of the extraordinary. I thought, wow, it should sizzle, and boy, oh boy, was I right.

From the first moment we meet Teague Creek, he grabs our attention as well as that of Dr. Alyssa Foster and never lets go. Teague takes poor innocent Alyssa, whose life hasn't been going exactly as planned, hostage after a mistake in identity. The second Teague wraps his cuffs' chain around Alyssa's neck and tells her, Don't make a sound, her life will never be the same. She pleads to be let go. She fights when she can. She even ends up getting stabbed with only Teague to care for her. The more time she spends with Teague, the more she begins to believe in his innocence. The more she believes in his innocence, the more she pushes for answers to an increasing number of questions that have her more and more interested in learning the truth about both Teague and the crime of which he was found guilty and sentenced to life for committing.

Teague Creek is a fierce and angry man with a talent for heating up situations that don't need any more incentive. But for all of his fierce anger and need for retribution, he's got a gentler more caring side that Alyssa begins to recognize and appreciate. Her attraction to him began before he took her hostage and put her life in danger but it's her feisty nature that incites Teague's growing attraction for her.

FEVER is exactly what the title infers. This story is hot, engulfing, action-packed, edge of the seat suspenseful and addicting. I originally started reading FEVER inadvertently. I was already reading another novel and quite immersed in it when FEVER came in the mail. That night, instead of delving into the other novel, I decided to take a peek at Chap 2 since I had already read Chap 1 online many times before. My peek ended with me reading clear to page 182 and the clock reading nearly 4 in the morning. Addicting, I tell you, addicting!

I found myself constantly thinking about getting back to the book to get some more of Teague Creek. I found myself in love with this man and wishing I was Alyssa Foster. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to replace Alyssa, I wanted to be Alyssa. I found her amazing. She is tough, feisty, and even though she hated cursing, which she heard a lot of from Teague, she wasn't shy about speaking her mind - even with a gun to her head. I found myself identifying with her even as I was falling in love with Teague just as she was. Joan Swan has created a set of characters in this story, including secondary characters, that come alive with expression and emotion. The story is the star but the characters bring it to life in such a way that you wish the end will never come.

I highly recommend FEVER by Joan Swan. FEVER is a suspenseful, action-packed, fall in love with, debut novel that you will find yourself wanting to read over and over. I am looking forward to Joan's upcoming endeavor, BLAZE - the second in her Phoenix Rising series due out this October - with great eagerness. If her next novel is written with as much care and passion as she put into FEVER, I know I will not be disappointed. FEVER by Joan Swan is an awesomely hot read and the cover is a ten on the drool-worthy scale.

Happy Reading!

FEVER by Joan Swan, book 1 in the Phoenix Rising series, published by Kensington Brava, released February 28, 2012, 354 pages, available in print or ebook format. For more information about Joan Swan and her books, please visit her at her website.

............. Andrea Dickinson!!  Congratulations Andrea.  Thanks to everyone who played.



The_Book_Queen said...

Great review-- I don't think I've heard a bad one about Joan's book yet! All the more reason for me to hurry up and buy a copy. But, well, that TBR we're always talking about..Yeah, it's threatening me now, so I'm going to hold off as long as I can stand. Which may not be very long, 'cause I've already fallen (hard!) for Teague just from the reviews and snippets I've found online! LOL.

TBQ's Book Palace

Dalila G. said...

Congrats Andrea D.!
Happy reading! :-)

Wonderful review Amy, another author I plan on checking out.

Amy Valentini said...

I hope everyone reads this book and loves it as much as I do. I honestly wasn't sure if I would like at first because hostage type situations make me very tense but this one is sooo connect-worthy that you can't help but fall in love with the characters. Enjoy!!!