Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: Fever

Fever (Phoenix Rising - Book 1) by Joan Swan

Publication Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: Paperback, 354pp
ISBN-13: 978-0758266385
ISBN: 0758266383

(Received for an honest review from Kensington Brava)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Joan Swan on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Fever


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.


Fever is a romantic suspense novel with a paranormal twist. Author Joan Swan brings readers the first book in a new series featuring a group of firefighters who were supernaturally enhanced due to a warehouse fire. Readers will fall in love with Swan's extremely well developed characters and her frank and honest writing style. Swan didn't hold back with this novel and controversy followed. Readers may find some abrasive behavior from one character, but that only adds to the overall depth of this well written, action packed book.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I received this book for review. But, I do know one thing, I'm glad I decided to give it a go. I had never read any of the authors other books and I was really surprised at the depth and the versatility Swan shows in this novel. One of the things that stood out to me, was the fact that Swan was willing to take risks in her writing. She didn't stick with what everyone would like or expect. She turned it upside down and on it's ear and that made all the difference.

Instead of taking the easy road, Swan took the road less traveled with this one. One of her characters isn't exactly a nice guy. His appearance in the book isn't a lengthy one, but his abrasive style and language may be a little hard for some readers to swallow. Racial slurs along with some off color language have caused quite the controversy with this book. But, I honestly think that it made the character more authentic and real. Most prisoners are not angels, they don't use politically correct sentences, nor do they give a darn what anyone thinks, and that's exactly how Swan wrote this guy. Spot on, if you ask me!

Teague Creek was a fantastic hero. He was edgy, and full of grit. He was a firefighter before he became a prisoner and his sense of command and duty is strong. He understands loyalty and what it means to be a part of something bigger. And he has some cool abilities that your average jailbird probably doesn't have. Even though readers meet Teague as a prisoner it's obvious from the beginning that there is just something about him that readers will be drawn to. It was easy to see why Alyssa began to have feelings for him. It wasn't Stockholm syndrome kicking in that's for sure! Swan does a great job of garnering sympathy for the character even before the reader figures out that there is more going on here than meets the eye.

When Teague takes Alyssa prisoner and essentially makes her his ticket to freedom, Alyssa is taken aback and unsure of herself, but she quickly rebounds and gets her bearings. I liked her as a character, she was thoughtful and caring and she had a good head on her shoulders. Her relationship with Teague doesn't start off like gangbusters either. Swan allows their relationship to simmer and steep a bit, giving the reader hints of what's to come before the whole enchilada. I liked the build up and thought Swan did a great job of holding back. It doesn't all have to be about the sex, sometimes it's about the relationship itself. Well done!

I liked this one a lot. It was quite a bit more romantic suspense than paranormal but I liked the fact that Teague had something special going on with him. I liked the background that Swan imparts and the fact that she didn't just spell it out for the reader. You've got to think about it a little bit. Plus you get the added bonus of knowing you are going to get more information in the next book, which I can't wait to read. Swan is one of the authors that when you read, you start scratching your head and saying... "Why have I never read this author before?"

Fever is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Joan Swan is a triple RWA Golden Heart finalist and writes sexy romantic suspense with a paranormal twist. Currently, she works as a sonographer at one of the top ten medical facilities in the nation, and lives in magnificent wine country on the central coast of California with her husband and two daughters.