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Trace of Fever

Trace of Fever

4.2 345
by Lori Foster

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Undercover mercenary Trace Rivers loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned mission. First he'll earn the trust of corrupt businessman Murray Coburn, then gather the proof he needs to shut down the man's dirty smuggling operation. It's a perfect scheme—until Coburn's long-lost daughter saunters in with her own deadly plan for revenge.

With a smile like an


Undercover mercenary Trace Rivers loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned mission. First he'll earn the trust of corrupt businessman Murray Coburn, then gather the proof he needs to shut down the man's dirty smuggling operation. It's a perfect scheme—until Coburn's long-lost daughter saunters in with her own deadly plan for revenge.

With a smile like an angel and fire in her eyes, Priscilla Patterson isn't who she seems to be. But neither is the gorgeous bodyguard who ignites all her senses. Joining forces to plot Coburn's downfall, Priss and Trace must fight the undeniable heat between them. For one wrong move, one lingering embrace, will expose them to the wrath of a merciless opponent….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Foster follows When You Dare (May) with another fast-paced Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor romantic suspense novel featuring an antihero who goes outside the law in the name of vigilante justice. Trace Rivers, a private mercenary looking to avenge his sister's kidnapping, goes undercover as a bodyguard for Murray Coburn, human trafficker and all-around scumbag. When porn shop owner Priscilla Patterson waltzes into Murray's office and claims he's her father, Trace admires her composure and courage. As their mutual attraction grows, they confide their separate plans for Murray's demise. The fast-paced thriller keeps these well-developed characters moving, adding lots of sexy teasing as well as some comic relief in a couple of close escapes. Foster's series will continue to garner fans with this exciting installment. (June)

Product Details

Publication date:
Edge of Honor Series , #2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

Read an Excerpt

Arms crossed and his shoulder propped against the wall outside the elaborate, corner high-rise office, Trace Rivers considered his options. Having an inside source would shorten his job. As a pseudobodyguard, he hadn't been given the opportunity to uncover shit yet, and he was getting antsy. But if he could turn someone who was privy to the info he needed, then he'd get somewhere.

Murray Coburn was dirty. Trace knew it. Hell, a lot of people knew it. But they couldn't or wouldn't touch the bastard without rock-solid evidence. The legal system had failed.

Trace would find the evidence eventually, though, and then he'd mete out his own form of justice.

Until then he had to contend with the odd assortment of disreputable punks and bullies working for Murray.

He also had to contend with Helene Schumer, better known as Hell—a name that suited her well. She never missed an opportunity to grope him, to boss him, to make his job more trying than necessary. But as Murray's current paramour, Hell had privileges denied to others.

If Murray uncovered her perfidy, he'd kill her without remorse. That thought didn't bother Trace at all, but Murray would also lose trust in him, and that couldn't happen.

The unsavory idea of using Hell didn't sit well with Trace, but it would be expedient, especially since the lady acted like a nymphomaniac around him.

As she approached now, her intent obvious in the slanting of her eyes and the curve of her painted mouth, Trace did his utmost to ignore her. Luckily he was saved from her assault when the timid receptionist, Alice, approached with a message.

Using the name he'd given for this cover, she said, "Mr. Miller?"

Trace kept his gaze on Hell, but replied, "What is it?"

"There's a woman downstairs asking to see Mr. Coburn. Your presence is requested to see what she wants."

In theatrical fanfare, Hell paused with her feet braced apart, her hands on her rounded hips, her chin at a haughty angle. "A woman? Who the hell is she?"

The receptionist ducked her head. "No idea, ma'am."

"Tell them to keep the woman there until I arrive." Though he could have communicated directly with the staff downstairs, Trace dismissed the young woman to do the chore, to remove her from Hell's wrath. Hell's viciousness was one of the things Murray seemed to enjoy most about her, so he never required her to curb her more cutthroat tendency of mauling the messenger.

"I don't want another woman seeing Murray."

Vicious and territorial. Of course, she had to know that Murray screwed anything in a skirt, with and without consent.

"He's out anyway." The bastard had left two hours ago, and though he'd been favoring Trace as his personal protection, this time he'd taken another man with him.

"Find out who she is and report back to me."

"I don't think so." Everyone in the organization feared Hell, almost as much as they feared Murray. except for Trace; he felt only contempt—for them both.

And maybe that accounted for Hell's constant pursuit, and Murray's apparent regard.

As he started toward the elevator, Hell stepped in his way. In her spiked heels, she stood eye-level to his six-foot height. Her long dark hair hung sleek down her back, her lips and nails painted shiny red. A sheer camisole, stretched tight over her enhanced boobs, was cut low enough to display not only her cleavage but damn near her navel and tucked into a pencil-thin skirt. she looked killer-gorgeous, as always.

Gorgeous, and evil. She stared at his crotch. "How convenient for you, that you're being called away."

God, Trace despised her. "Yeah? How's that?"

As daring as always, she reached out a hand and cupped his balls through his slacks. "I anticipated a private moment with you."

Far from enjoying her touch, Trace didn't trust her not to mutilate him. He grabbed her slender wrist and squeezed the delicate bones. Though he knew he caused her pain, her lips parted and her eyelids went heavy.

She licked her lips and searched his gaze. "If you were naked, I would have my nails in you right now."

Which was a damn good reason not to get naked with her. Trace smiled in triumph. "But not this time, Hell." He removed her arm by squeezing until she gasped and her fingers opened. He tossed her aside. "I have work to do."


On a sigh, he turned back to her. "What?"

"I want you to take me shopping."

"Not in my job description, doll."

"It is—if Murray orders it." She rubbed her reddened wrist over her breasts. "And Murray will order anything I want."

Having nothing to say to that, Trace turned away from her and stepped into the elevator. When the doors closed, he let out a breath of relief.

Since he'd infiltrated the organization three weeks ago, posing as a bodyguard, Hell had been the toughest part of maintaining his cover. Eventually he'd have to deal with her. As a medicinal chemist, she supplied any and all drug persuasions that Murray might need for his human trafficking venture. Lackeys captured the women and Murray, the bastard, sold them to the highest bidder—after Hell ensured their compliance through risky drugs.

Trace looked forward to the moment when he'd deal with her.

When it came to annihilating the scourge, he didn't discriminate against women. Helene Schumer had to go; the world would be a better place without her.

Priscilla Patterson simpered and feigned distress as two hulking brutes tried to bully her toward a secluded conference room of the office building. What they intended to do to her there, she couldn't say.

They were not gentle, making her show of defenselessness difficult to maintain. Her arm got twisted; someone pulled at her ponytail, making her gasp.

And then suddenly, a quiet but stern voice spoke up. "Let her go."

Just that easily, she was free. She twisted to find a face to go with that deep voice, and froze. Wow.

Unlike the Neanderthals who'd taken pleasure in manhandling her so roughly, this man looked smooth and debonair and…sexy.

He strode toward them with a frown that brooked no arguments. Standing easily six feet tall, he was muscular but not overly bulky, clean-cut but not in a too-polished GQ way. Very fair hair, straight and a little too long, contrasted sharply with the most piercing golden-brown eyes she'd ever seen. He wore khakis and an obviously expensive black T-shirt. She detected the bulk of a Kevlar vest beneath the shirt.

A black-leather shoulder holster held his gun. The belt around his waist carried two extra magazines, a stun gun, baton and mace. His black lace-up steel-toed boots could be deadly.

The man was ready for anything.

But maybe not ready for her.

That bright caramel gaze drifted over both of the hulks with contempt. "I'll handle her from here."

Grumbling, the men moved away.

He took her arm. "come with me."

Priss tried to resist, but he was far more physically persuasive—without really hurting her—than the other men had been. "Where are we going?"

"Farther away for privacy."

"Oh. Okay." In her flat shoes, she hustled along beside him, feeling very short and suddenly unsure of herself. "You work here?"

He didn't reply but drew her around the corner, shielding her from prying eyes. He, on the other hand, stayed in view, and Priscilla assumed it was so he could keep an eye on the others.

Cautious and suspicious—qualities she appreciated.

He gave her a very slow perusal, from her dark reddish-brown hair in its high ponytail, to her crisp blue blouse and her over-the-knee, old-fashioned skirt, to her flat-heeled Mary Janes.and then back up again. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh." She pretended to be flustered by his direct stare. And truthfully…she was. But only a little. This was too important for her to fudge it.

She hugged her big satchel purse to her chest and said with just the right quaver, "I came to meet Murray Coburn."


She widened her eyes. "Well, that's actually private."

He stood there, waiting, his gaze unflinching, direct.

Ha. He didn't know her fortitude if he thought a little stare-down would discomfort her. Pasting on what she hoped was a winsome smile, Priscilla blinked her eyes at him. "Oh, I should introduce myself." She held out a hand. "I'm Priscilla Patterson."

He looked at her hand, and his left eye twitched.

He didn't touch her.

"Yes, well…" She tucked her hand back in close to her body. "Will you please tell Mr. Coburn I'm here?"

"No." And then, striking an exasperated stance, he asked again, "Why do you want to see him?"

When she started to look away, he caught her chin and lifted her face. "I don't have time for this, so stop the coy act."

This time her eyes widened for real. He knew she was acting? But how?

Shaking his head, he released her. "Fine. I'll have the men show you out."

"No, wait." She caught his arm—and was stunned at the unyielding strength there. It was like grabbing thick rock. "Okay, I'll tell you. But please don't make me leave."

He crossed his arms, which effectively shook off her touch. "I'm listening."

"Murray is my father."

So still that he looked like a stone statue, the man stared at her. Only an infinitesimal narrowing of his eyes showed any reaction at all. "You're fucking with me."

Okay, so coarse language didn't really shock her, not anymore, not at twenty-four when much of her life had been spent on the sordid side of survival. She still gasped. "Sir, really." Fanning her face as if to alleviate a blush, Priscilla frowned at him. "I assure you that I'm serious."

A noise at the front of the lobby drew his attention, and after a quick look, he cursed low. Catching her arm, he dragged her farther out of view and bent close. "Listen up, lady. Whatever harebrained plan you have to cozy up with Coburn, forget it."

With complete honesty, she said, "Oh, but I can't."

He snarled, and then he shook her. "Trust me on this— you don't belong here. You don't belong in this building, much less anywhere near Coburn. Be smart and take your pert little ass out the door and away from danger."

Pert little ass? Frowning, she looked behind herself. From what she could see, her ass—pert or otherwise— looked nonexistent thanks to the shape of the skirt.

A deliberate choice.

But because he looked genuinely concerned, which was surely at odds with the duty that would be assigned to him, Priscilla shrugged. "Sorry. I didn't come this far just to walk away."

Footsteps sounded behind them. His jaw tightened. "There's a back exit. Go down the hall, hang a left, go through the—"

So stubborn! "Excuse me." Priss stepped around him just as a behemoth rounded the corner, followed by the two men who'd bullied her earlier and another, equally disreputable-looking fellow.

She'd seen plenty of pictures, so she knew right away who stood before her.

Murray Coburn.

Dark, slick, massive in build with an enormous neck and back, he looked exactly as she'd expected, right down to the trim goatee and calculating gaze.

"What's going on here?" Murray sized her up, and though she knew she wouldn't be to his liking, his gaze turned smarmy. "Who are you?"

Again Priss held out a hand. "Priscilla Patterson. I'm your daughter."

Trace swallowed down a curse. He wanted to toss the girl, in her ridiculous clothes with her ridiculous ponytail, over his shoulder to carry her out the front door—away from harm.

He wanted, quite simply, to kill Murray in front of her, then kill the rest of them, too. Little Ms. Patterson might be traumatized for life, but damn it, she'd be alive.

Unfortunately he couldn't do a damn thing except stand there looking bored and mildly put out.

Murray's gaze swung to him, blue eyes as cold as the arctic zeroing in. "What the fuck is this, Trace?"

"A nuisance, that's all. I was just getting rid of her." Trace clamped a hard hand onto her arm.

With a flick of his hand, Murray stopped him from taking a single step. He dismissed the other men and after they'd walked away, he looked at her again. His brows were down in that fierce way that made most people quake in fear.

It was an affectation wasted on Trace.

Beneath his well-trimmed goatee, Murray's mouth was flat and hard. "Bring her up to my office."

And with that, he walked away to the private elevators.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. Glaring at the girl, Trace asked, "Happy now?"

She looked almost smug when she said, "Getting there." She gave a pointed look at his hand on her arm.

Ignoring that silent command, Trace high-stepped her toward an empty conference room on the lobby floor.

"Hey!" She tried to free herself, but couldn't.

Funny thing, though, Trace noticed that she moved in an expedient, stylized way that, against someone without his level of skill, might have gotten her free. "You're going to hurt yourself."

She worked up a few tears, letting them glisten on her long dark lashes. "You're hurting me."

"Not yet," Trace told her, unmoved by the false show of emotion. "But the idea of putting you over my knee gets more tempting by the second."

That left her tight-lipped and silent—with no remnant of tears to be seen.

Trace propelled her into a room and toward a conference table with chairs. "Sit." When she started to defy him, he filled his lungs and made a move toward her.

She dropped into a seat. "Why are you doing this?" Hands gripping the chair arms, she summoned up lost bravado and lifted her chin. "You heard what Mr. Coburn said. He wants you to take me to his office."

"Yeah. But I heard what he didn't say, too."

She shook her head. "What are you talking about?"

"I have to search you."

Aghast, she said, "I beg your pardon?"

"Beg all you want." He was so pissed right now, he might enjoy hearing it. "I'm still going to check you over. Everywhere."

Her eyes widened in alarm.

Too late, honey. Trace nodded at her, grim, but sort of anticipating it, too. "Every nook and hollow, honey, inside every piece of clothing."

She sputtered, and Trace noticed the flush blooming in her cheeks.

With her entire small body pulled tight in rebellion, she gasped, "You're insane!"

Trace propped his shoulders against the wall. "If you want to see Coburn, I have to ensure you aren't hiding a weapon, or a transmitter, of any kind."


"Fine." Perfect, in fact. "Then leave. Right now." She hesitated. "But…"

Again, Trace took his gaze over her. She tried to hide her body under the prim clothes, but he wasn't fooled. He'd bet his favorite knife that this particular babe was in no way innocent. Whether or not she was Murray's spawn, he couldn't say. There did seem to be something of a resemblance in the color of her hair, though hers was a shade or two lighter than Murray's. And when she connived, which she'd been doing from jump, she had a certain look about her that reminded him of Coburn.

Trace glanced at the chunky black watch on his wrist. "Make up your mind, but make it up fast. What's it to be? Do you want to leave, or do you want my hands all over you?"


Meet the Author

Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. She’s had top-selling books for Amazon, Waldenbooks and the BGI Group. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at www.lorifoster.com.

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Trace of Fever 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 345 reviews.
missy1029 More than 1 year ago
Trace of Fever is the second installment in Lori Foster's Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series. In this installment we get to follow Trace, who we met for a brief time in When You Dare. He is on a mission to try and rid the world of scummy human traffickers. This is especially important to him since his sister, Alani, was taken by them in When You Dare. He is undercover with one of the leading human traffickers in his area when in pops Priscilla. She claims that she is the daughter of Murray, the guy that Trace works for. He can tell almost instantly that Priscilla is up to something and starts trying to protect her. They both have reasons of their own for going after Murray. I love the way that Foster writes her female characters. They are so strong and independent. I hate whiny females that depend on a big strong man to help them. Priscilla is the exact opposite and she fights Trace the whole way. He wants to protect her and she feels that she can protect herself. They end up getting in some pretty sticky situations and Trace is always there to have her back. Speaking of Trace, holy swoon. I loved Dare in the first book and Trace is almost just as amazing. Foster makes you seriously fall in love with guys that she writes. They are all so sweet underneath their rough and mysterious exteriors.It makes the romance in the books that more awesome. I also love that we got to see more of Dare, Molly and Chris in this one! They have a smaller role, but it was nice to see what they are up to. I have always been a lover of book series that tie characters in with each other. Then, by the time the series ends, you get to know ALL about the characters the story involves. We also get to meet Jackson, who is the lead in the 3rd installment, Savor the Danger. I can't wait to read this one either. From what I hear this one seems to be everyone's favorite. It also features Alani, Trace's sister, who makes small cameos in each of the first two books. Overall I really enjoyed this installment of the series. I will admit that I didn't love it as much as the first book, but it was right up there. If you are looking for a fun, adventurous, romantic read I suggest checking this series out!
Kathybat More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable with the same energy as the others in the set. I would recommend this to anyone who not only likes romance but with some spy espeoniage as well.
Honeysweet More than 1 year ago
Holy WOW I am in love with this series! This was the second in the series, and for me it was a toss up which one was better. This book is action packed on the edge of your seat good. You can't hardly wait to see what happens. The relationship between the characters wraps you up! Oh wow I will read this again for sure! ON to the next in the series!
steffersSG More than 1 year ago
great book. Priss can get annoying in the book but I love Trace by far one of my favorite men of the series. I glad I took a chance despite the reviews and read it!
Lori_the_Librarian More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! Having read the first in this series, I was anxious to read the second and third and was not disappointed. The author does a good job of keeping the qualities that are necessary for an alpha hero, but giving him distinction from the other heroes in the series. The heroine was fine, there were a couple of scenes where I wanted to shake her, but for the most part she totally worked in the role. The plot is well paced and I was invested in the outcome. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a story that has hot heroes and an awesome story line.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
For the first third or so of the book, I had a really hard time buying the actions of the two main characters, Trace and Priss. They just didn't seem to be doing things that rational people would do, even in the situations in which they were in. In fact, Priss's character seemed to be a constant contradiction--her behavior never quite matched up with the way she was supposedly raised--and she never became "real" to me here. The first book was much stronger, in both character and plot. I'm hoping book three is more like it than this one....
lovetoread5000 More than 1 year ago
I always buy Lori Foster, however this series is a new favorite. The male character is strong and capable. I really enjoyed the female character because she is funny, capable and always does the unexpected. The first book in this series is a 5 star...my favorite....so far. However, I had to read this one because I truly enjoyed the main character in the first book. Lori Foster did not disappoint...again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was non-stop action and suspense. However, Lori Foster always puts in some comedy along the way too. The romance between Trace and Priss definitely has its ups and downs. I read the first book of this series and have found the characters to all be very strong and likable. The male and female leads always seem to complement each other and the women do not just sit back and let the men "take care of everything". I think you can honestly say, even the men are not what you would think they would be. I have read Ms. Foster's stories for many years now, and though I cannot say I like all of her books, she is right on the mark 98% of the time and I cannot wait for the final book in the series to come out.
Judy_F More than 1 year ago
Trace Of Fever by Lori Foster delivers another sensational and pulse pounding story. Trace Rivers is dedicated to his job, he loves the rush of excitement working undercover brings to him. This particular assignment is very close to his heart. Though these men are not the same human traffickers that took his baby sister they still are the scum of the earth. Trace will risk everything to bring them down. He needs proof to bring Murray Coburn to justice but a complication of his alleged long-lost daughter upsets his plans. Priscilla Patterson may look all sweet and innocent but Trace will have to keep a close eye on this woman. Priscilla Patterson seeks out Murray Coburn with the plan to bring this man who hurt her family to his knees. Nothing and no one will stand in her way. Certainly not Mr. Trace Miller the man in question bodyguard. Pris subjects herself to humiliation in order to pass mustard with Trace and his boss. But she isn't being completely truthful either, she plans to kill the man that harmed her late mother. Pris needs to stay on her toes around Trace, he shouldn't be so compelling to her but he is. He attracts her like no other man she has ever met. Trace and Pris unknowingly are on the same side. They both want justice for their families. It's going to take all their wits to keep ahead of those willing to harm those less fortunate. Their growing attraction adds an element neither saw coming. Will they be able to see justice served or will it get them first? Trace Of Fever on hot and edgy romance. The relationship between Trace and Pris is intense and sizzling. They both are willing to put it all on the line for those they love. It was intriguing watching these two fall in love and have each others backs. I love how previous characters also play an important role in the story. I am eager to read Jackson's story in Savor The Danger. This is a fantastic series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked up the 1st in this series & a later 1 in the series @ the super market because I wanted something good but light enough it wouldn't keep me from finishing my homework. Well, I got 1 out of 2. It was good reading but really tough to put it down for homework. I recommend the series to anyone wanting a good romance for entertainment purposes. The characters are well developed, the research for the plot accurate so it's a believable story & the plots: Main & the rest, are thoroughly complex w/layers of dynamics going on throughout the book. Yet, it isn't hard to follow. That's the easy part. Ohio really has become a haven, which is sad & so criminal in the legislators neglect of their jobs the people should vote them out of office! Since I don't live there any more, I am limited in what I can do. But, perhaps, you're not.? Like I said, I have enjoyed reading the 1st 2 in the series. Now on to the third!
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JAB4422 More than 1 year ago
Trace Rivers has made it his life's mission to bring down all human traffickers after his sister was taken by them. As part of this mission he starts working undercover trying to infiltrate Murray’s business, to gain his trust so that he could eventually put a stop to the human trafficking he was dealing in. Things are going well until Prisilla Patterson shows up claiming to be Murray's daughter. Priss has lived a sheltered life and after the death of her mother had set her sights on seeking revenge on the man she believes ruined her mothers life as well as her own by association; she was focused and determined much to Trace’s dismay. In general I didn't love the characters. Trace was OK but so over protective and obviously troubled by human traffickers to such an extent that it seemed to affect his entire life. Then there was Priss who I didn't like at all.  She was so determined to follow through with her 'plan' that she didn't stop to think about how it would mess up Trace's plan/mission. So she did a bunch of dump things. The bad guys were good, I mean they were nasty.  Murray and especially his girlfriend Helene (Hell) were so mean that they were scary to read about. Chris is a great guy being so efficient and funny and added fun to the story. Even though this was a good book I liked Dare's and Jackson's stories better than this one.
Debby43 More than 1 year ago
The first book with Dare had me drawn into the series, I couldn't wait to read Trace's book. It did not dissapoint! I loved Priss's character how strong she was through out the whole book. I could've never pulled off what she did. Trace was of course steamy alpha male and it was wonderful! Every Lori Foster book I read just keeps getting better and better. Would recommend to anyone to start this series. You do not have to read them in order it seems either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another reason to keep Lori Foster on my favorite writer of all time pedestal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
289pgs.. good continuation of the series. Had some funny moments even considerng the serousness of the main topic of the book. Romance, suspense, drama and a little bit of humor..I enjoyed it!
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Great book awesome series musr buy
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