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.
"Gripping, gritty, no holds barred romantic suspense. . ." --New York Times bestseller Stephanie Tyler
". . .a wild (and sizzling) ride." --Bonnie Hearn Hill
"Fans of The Fugitive and Heroes won't be able to pass up this smart, sexy, page-turning read." --Elisabeth Naughton
"Swan's gutsy, jaw-dropping style will have readers talking!" --New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione
About the Author
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By Joan Swan
BRAVA BOOKSCopyright © 2012 Joan Swan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe clank-clank-clank of shackles echoed off the hospital's linoleum floors, rippling across Doctor Alyssa Foster's shoulders.
She headed toward the source, her muscles tense despite her fatigue. Normally, she didn't mind taking on additional duties when the department was short staffed like this. She didn't even mind carrying the everyday load for her attending physicians. And sure as hell didn't complain about it like her sorry-assed excuse of a rival, Greg Dyne, but this ... This was the worst of the mundane chores. She'd rather perform the toughest procedure on the nastiest patient than be forced to interact with prisoners.
Before facing the hardened, violent psychopaths waiting at the end of the hall, Alyssa ducked into the restroom and took a minute to splash water on her face. Then she made the mistake of looking in the mirror.
Pale skin, bruise-colored shadows beneath her eyes, frown lines marring her forehead. She almost didn't recognize the person staring back. Her twelfth day in a row of twenty-fours didn't look so good in this light, and the unsavory chore awaiting didn't help.
"Fourteen more days," she murmured to her reflection. Her year-long fellowship would end in just two weeks. Had it really only been a year? She felt like she'd been at St. Jude's for a decade already. "And if you want to stay here, you'd better learn to live with jailbirds."
The hospital had contracts with five neighboring prisons and the forensic patients had prompted the budget increase, which in turn opened this new attending radiologist's position, one either she or Dyne would fill.
No. The one she would fill.
Alyssa yanked at the elastic band in her hair and smoothed the messy strands back into a ponytail with a damp hand. After stretching her back and popping her neck, she dragged herself through the closed double doors hiding the forensic wing from the general public.
She'd be the first to admit to a bit of a badboy fetish. Certainly had made her share of mistakes choosing men in the past. But her definition of badboys encompassed independent men who pushed the limits and lived by their own rules, not murderers, rapists and drug pushers.
The angle of sunlight spilling through the glass on the single exterior door at the end of the hall told her it was getting late. She still had patients in the intensive care units in need of procedures, the day's studies to read out and ... oh, yeah, food. She hadn't stopped to eat anything all day.
Her teeth met and her jaw muscle flexed. She didn't have time to be doing other people's work, but if she didn't, Dyne would. And she damn well wasn't going to lose this position to that cocky, substandard excuse for a rival.
Alyssa paused at the doorway to the already darkened exam room and nodded to the officer in the hallway. The one with a weapon. The one who kept a safe distance from the inmate so the prisoner wouldn't have an opportunity to steal a gun. One sweep of his twenty-something, clean-shaven, sweet Midwestern face, and Alyssa knew this was the perfect place for him—well out of the felon's reach.
"Ma'am." Farmboy shifted to allow her past the partially curtained opening. "Sorry we're so late. The transportation sergeant screwed up."
She couldn't quite muster the words, that's okay, because it was really messing with her day and her mood, but it also wasn't his fault. She nodded acknowledgment. "What facility are you from?"
"San Quentin, ma'am."
Alyssa resisted the urge to close her eyes and slump her shoulders. Quentin: death row capital of the California state prison system. Home to the most notorious serial killers and mass murderers of the decade. Definitely an apropos ending to this hellacious shift.
With a slow breath directed deep into her chest, Alyssa prepared her emotional shields then passed the guard and scanned the prisoner's paperwork: Teague Creek, thirty-four, right upper quadrant pain. Abdomen ultrasound. Piece of cake. It would take her ten minutes, tops.
She surveyed the prisoner from shoulders to toes. He was tall, but little else stood out. His periwinkle-blue prison uniform was too similar to hospital scrubs for Alyssa's taste. Probably because it made her wonder if she was a prisoner of sorts as well. Especially on days like this.
The second officer—this one inside the room and without the weapon—was older, maybe fifty, also Caucasian.
"Officer," she greeted, "I'll need his shirt off and his hands uncuffed from the waist chain."
Alyssa pulled the curtain halfway closed and set the papers on a foldout desk. Her gaze paused on the box labeled RELEASE DATE where the word life had been scribbled. Her lips pursed with an involuntary shake of her head. So young. What a waste.
She slipped on a glove, picked up a bottle of warm gel and turned to find the prisoner leaning on the edge of the gurney. Something dark caught her eye and her gaze passed over his face without seeing it, honing in on the coal black tattoos covering a wide muscled chest.
A swastika the size of a basketball stamped the left side of his torso. The right side of his abdomen flaunted an eagle holding a shield with the letters "A B" and two swords crossed in the background. Barbed wire spiraled his biceps. All classic insignia of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Apprehension clenched her belly in a tight, hot fist. Her eyes darted to his face, looking for something—disgust, venom, condescension—some reaction to her ethnicity. Anyone with two eyes could tell she wasn't a hundred percent lily white. But he'd tilted his chin down, his gaze now cast on the floor, and Alyssa found herself looking at the top of his head, shaved nearly to the skin, and—surprise, surprise—another swastika centered on the dome of his cranium.
In a last ditch effort to quell her anxiety, she took a quick look at his hands. They'd been released from the waist chain and secured with another set of regular cuffs, standard procedure for high-risk prisoners. Suspicion confirmed. This guy had trouble written all over him. Capital T. And Alyssa already had all the trouble she could handle. She already felt brittle enough to shatter. This would be the fastest scan she'd ever performed. The typical ten minute exam just dropped to three.
She gestured to the gurney, keeping her focus on the crisp white sheet. She didn't want to meet his eyes, didn't want to see whatever was there—or not there. "Lie on your back, please."
He obeyed, without even attempting a side glance her way. Seemed he wanted to avoid eye contact as much as she did. Something was finally going right with her day.
Alyssa tapped information into the ultrasound machine with tense fingers and grabbed a chair. "Can you raise your arms over your head, please?"
As he moved, so did the bulk beneath his tan skin and black tattoos. Alyssa could have used him as an anatomy model to delineate each muscle. Inmates were often physically fit—after all they had all the time in the world to work out—but this man was extreme. As a physician, the sheer beauty of his body intrigued her to distraction. As a woman half his size, it scared the hell out of her.
The officer in the room edged toward the partially open curtain, meeting up with the other guard. "Did you buy that golf pass yet?"
"No," Farmboy replied. "I have to wait until my next paycheck."
"You're gonna miss the deadline, man. Can't beat those prices. Thirty bucks for eighteen holes on a course like that? Includes a cart, too."
Alyssa angled the transducer between Creek's ribs to get a good shot of his liver, half listening to the idle conversation. She darted a look at his face. His gaze was locked on the ceiling, his jaw ticking. The darkened room shadowed his features, but his looks still caused a double take. Just as striking as his body, his face was all handsome angles and perfect proportions. Too bad the good looks had gone to waste on a racist, criminal pig.
"Do you have AIDS?" she asked as she clicked pictures of his right kidney.
His eyes flicked toward her, held. Light eyes. Sharp eyes. "No, ma'am."
The low, smooth timbre of his voice gave her belly an uncomfortable twist.
"Hepatitis? A, B, C?"
Her arm brushed his ribs and heat stung her skin. Alyssa startled, attention refocused. She tipped the transducer so she could lay the back of her hand against his belly. "You're burning up. How long have you had this fever?"
He shifted away from her touch and turned his eyes to the ceiling again. "No fever, ma'am. I'm fine."
"I can feel it through my glove."
"Normal for me."
Alyssa squinted at him in disbelief. That level of heat wasn't normal for anyone. He had to be near a hundred and five degrees.
As she continued to scan, she searched for a source of infection to explain the fever, but ultimately found none.
In an effort to get him talking in hopes of gaining more information, she said, "I haven't found anything that would cause the pain you're having."
Creek said nothing. His jaw resumed ticking.
With a mental shrug, Alyssa used a washcloth to clean the gel off his skin, his body heat burning through the cloth. Weird kept repeating in her head. But if he wanted to let his blood boil, so be it.
"Turn toward me," she said. "You're almost done."
The officers ignored her conversation with Creek as they debated club grip and swing arc.
When he rolled onto his side, he was only six inches away. His intense body heat closed around her like an embrace, creating an intimacy that left her squirming in her chair.
Alyssa's eyes lifted to his face again, expecting to find him staring at her, but again, he was looking down and away, his gaze fixed on the officers' boots, all that was visible of the men now situated just outside the curtain.
With one last image of yet another perfect kidney, Alyssa dropped the transducer into its holder and laid a towel on the table beside him. This man's cut physique would linger in her mind for a long time.
Which meant this place must have finally pushed her over the edge, because fantasizing about prisoners was not what lingered on a normal woman's mind.
"Done. You can clean up." She turned away and pushed to her feet. "You need to mention that fever to your—"
The hair on her neck barely had time to lift before heat washed her back. Creek's hard body closed around her. A cool chain cut across her throat. No. She sucked air. No. Her fingers clawed at the metal. No!
"Don't make a sound." He spoke softly, slowly, his chin on her shoulder as he bent over her and pressed his cheek against hers from behind.
Her brain finally came back online. Air wisped into her lungs and fed the new baseline of fear. When Creek straightened, he rose ten inches above her. And she now registered not only his size, but the sheer strength in all that corded muscle she'd been admiring. His movements were controlled, purposeful, almost Zen-like in confidence.
"You idiot ..." She barely breathed the words, the metal and pressure restricting her vocal cords. "Let go—"
The chain jerked once, cutting into her trachea. "Shut. Up."
Pain cut off all thoughts of arguing. She wedged her skull against his collarbone to allow a fraction of relief on her airway. Oxygen wisped through the stricture. In. Out. In. Out. Her gray matter slugged back to work, edged with hot, sharp panic that threatened to invade every crevice and drive her insane.
The officers' boots were still visible beneath the curtain where they stood in the hall, but she couldn't draw enough air to speak, let alone scream. And the links of metal weren't cool anymore. They burned, as if Creek's body heat streamed through the chain.
The older guard chuckled. "You have to stay away from those sand traps, man."
"Water holes are my problem," Farmboy replied. "I could pay for the damn pass with the cost of the balls I lose in those lagoons."
Creek leaned sideways, reaching for something on the desk. With his chest pressed against the width of her shoulders, his hips fitted to the low curve of her spine, he dragged her along. Alyssa strained her peripheral vision toward his reach. Toward the coffee cup holding pens and pencils and ... He plucked up a pair of scissors.
Jesus. "Put ... those down." A spurt of terror gushed up her chest. Her fingers searched for a millimeter of leverage between the chain and her skin. "You're ... burning ... me."
Creek's head tilted down, his whisker-roughened chin scraping her cheek. "Fuck."
The pressure eased and Alyssa ran her cool fingers over raw skin, choking in blessed air. Her relief was short-lived as the rasp of metal on metal sounded in her ear. A hard blade pressed against her neck, and she squeezed her eyes shut.
"Not another sound," Creek whispered, "or I'll cut your throat."
"All right." The older guard sounded relaxed and jovial as he swooshed the curtain aside. "Are we all done in—?"
The room went completely still. The extended, shocked moment expanded, taking on weight and mass and volume like one of the cancers Alyssa fought so hard to find and fight in her patients.
"Creek, what the fuck are you doing?" The older guard's voice cracked the silence. "You're not thinkin', man. This stunt will get you thrown in the hole for a month."
"Not if I don't go back." His forearms locked over Alyssa's shoulders, keeping her tight against him. "Give me the gun."
Oh, no. God, no. Alyssa's eyes popped open. In front of her, the older man had both hands held palms out. His face had lost two shades of color.
This really couldn't be happening. She could almost convince herself if Creek's body heat weren't wearing on her as if she'd been hiking in the sun.
"Listen, Creek," the guard said, "I heard about your appeal, but you're not out of options, man. You know how this works. Just have to keep bucking the system. You'll get another chance. This kind of shit will only get you—"
"Out of that living hell," Creek finished. "Now, give me the damn gun before I cut her open."
Something pinched Alyssa's neck. She gasped. Or at least she tried. Only a thread of air got through. Warm liquid trickled down her neck. "Do ... something."
"You heard her, boys." His voice dipped to a dangerously desperate tone. "Do what I say or she'll be dead before she hits the floor. And you know where I'll be? No worse off than I was when I woke up this morning. Give me the gun, right fucking now."
To Alyssa's utter disbelief, the older guard pursed his lips, dug his hands into his hips and nodded at the younger officer. "Do it."
"What?" Alyssa squeaked. If that gun reached Creek's hand, every chance she had evaporated. "No!"
The younger guard stepped forward, the weapon held out, butt first. After one more glance at the older officer, he slapped the gun into Creek's palm. Alyssa's vision blackened at the edges.
"Give me your gear," Creek ordered. "Both of you. Now."
They obeyed, setting their radios, sticks and whistles on the foldout desk. Creek pressed the gun to the base of Alyssa's skull. The scissors rasped closed and disappeared. She took one luscious, deep, shaky breath. Air had never tasted so good.
"Keys," Creek said. "Uncuff me."
The older guard unhooked his keys from a belt loop and dropped them on the desk, his expression angry but resolute. "Make your new girlfriend do it for you."
"You bastard." If she could have reached that guard, she'd have decked him. "How dare you—"
"Dump your keys, kid," Teague said to the younger man.
Once Farmboy's keys joined the others, Creek lifted his chin toward the half bath tucked into the corner of the room for patient's use redirecting the weapon toward them. "Both of you, in."
He pushed Alyssa forward as the men crowded into the tiny space. Within sixty seconds she'd be alone with Creek. No one came down this hallway but prisoners and guards, and look how well that had worked out.
Creek's grip shifted and the chain loosened, offering instant relief, but her skin still simmered as if it had been fried in oil. "Oh, my God. What's on that chain? You burned me."
Excerpted from FEVER by Joan Swan Copyright © 2012 by Joan Swan. Excerpted by permission of BRAVA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
OMG... yep it's worth those three little letters right there! Joan hits a home run with me her first out of the gate! Suspense thriller with a paranormal aspect unlike anything available out there today. If you want a story, and I mean a full on well plotted beginning to end story then Fever is for you. I love how the drive of the story is pulled along by the hero's conflict and resolution as opposed to the hero always being the rescurer of the heroine!
This is the first book in a series. The premise is seven members of a fire fighting hazmat unit had gone into a warehouse firefight as ordinary people. Six had emerged permanently altered. One died. Each of the books in this series will deal with the survivors and what happened to them after. Fever is about Teague Creek’s story. Five years ago after the fire in the warehouse Teague was married with a little girl. His wife suffered from extreme depression. She knew that something had changed all 6 members after the fire that also included her twin brother Luke. Teague’s gift is he runs hot. If he gets upset or aroused his body temp goes way up. He has learned he can do some minor healing with this gift and a few other things but really doesn’t haven’t any real control or understanding of what is going on with his body. His wife’s depression worsened until she killed herself. Years later Teague is with a new girlfriend and she is violently murdered. He gets accused of her murder and sent to prison for life. The story starts off with Teague and another inmate kidnapping and escaping with Dr. Alyssa Foster. The other prisoner Taz is a racist SOB in the worst sense of the word. I am not going to beat this part of the book to death as many other reviews have. It’s an ugly part of our world but nothing that was said or portrayed by Taz is untrue. Teague is not portrayed ns a good light either in the beginning and you don’t know anything about him but you do notice that he is protecting Alyssa from Taz even though he thinks she is someone else. Alyssa figures out there is more to Teague than he is saying after she is stabbed. This is when Teague first uses his “healing power” on her. After an altercation with between Teague and Taz which leaves him dead (by this point you are clapping) the story finally starts going in the right direction. Alyssa finds out slowly from Teague why he has the “fever” why he was sent to prison and why he broke out of prison. They both also realize that there is a major government cover up going on and that a lot of people that have had contact with the six surviving members are dead or missing. We get the POV of the people that want Teague dead so we know just how high up this goes. In this book we get to meet Alyssa twin Mitch Foster who is a criminal defense attorney but with some great government connections himself . Luke Ransom who was the twin brother of Teague's wife and also used to be his best friend but turned on him after his sister died and went for full custody of his niece and won. Luke was also one of the 6 firefighters in that warehouse and has a gift of his own. He now works for the ATF. His story is next in the series. Once I was finished with this book and could look back on each piece of the puzzle we were given though out I really liked the concept of this series. When you first start the book you just don’t have enough to go on and wonder where the author is going.. But if you just wait till the end and process everything I think you really like this series. (less)
Fever by Joan Swan starts with a bang with a serious case of mistaken identity that sets the stage for a sizzling hot romantic suspense novel that will leave your pulse racing. The character of Teague Creek is the token bad boy with a rough exterior that hides his gentler side. The way each of the characters play off one another and their dialogue is just one of the things that I love about this book. I found myself liking the characters Alyssa and Teague more and more as the story progressed because Alyssa was not afraid to fight back at all and while Teague does certain things most people wouldn't do, I was able to understand the reasoning behind his actions. I mentally applauded when Luke and Teague overcame their differences and worked together to stop Vasser, someone from Teague's past who is ruthless and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. The relationship between Alyssa and Teague proves that the line between love and hate is indeed a thin one.
Excellent new series! Dr. Alyssa Foster is a radiologist at St. Jude’s hospital. She’s competing with another doctor for a new position at the hospital and has two weeks to prove she’s the better choice when her life gets turned upside down by a prisoner taking her hostage in his bid for his escape. Teague Creek is in prison for murder. He plans his escape and the radiologist is his key to making the whole plan work. He complains of pain so he can be sent to the hospital for scans and takes the doctor hostage, makes his escape with another prisoner, trades her for someone he loves and heads for the border. A fairly simple and straightforward plan, right? Only, his plans go every which way but right. The only thing he accomplishes is his escape. After that, well, Murphy’s Law takes over for the beleaguered Teague and the adventure begins. Excellent read! Well-written, excellent plot, interesting well-developed characters and smooth-flowing. I had a hard time putting the book down. I can’t wait to read the stories for the other characters in this series. *The publisher provided a copy of this book to me for review. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.
4.5 Stars - Gutsy, sexy and action packed! I’m going to start this review a bit differently. A lot of people don’t give this book a chance because of racial slurs and downright ugly language. Yes, this book has those factors in it, but it is not the book. The individual who talks like that doesn’t last long. This is NOT his story. It’s an unpleasant reality that there are people out there that still think and talk like this, but like I said…It is a reality. I have to give kudos to the author for not sugar coating the truth no matter how objectionable it is. Teague had it all once upon a time. A loving wife, a beautiful child and a career he enjoyed immensely. One tragic event changed his life forever, unbeknown to him. From that moment on, his life took a downhill plummet. He has lost nearly everything and now he has nothing left to lose. Determined to take back the one thing that is most precious in his life; he takes a chance and breaks out of prison. Now all he has to do is reach his final goal and to hell with everyone in his way. Dr. Alyssa Foster is having a really tough day. Exhausted and beat, she has no idea she just entered a storm. Now she is being held captive by two men; one who does nothing but hate her for living and the other that confuses her all the way down to her toes. No matter what, she must survive. She has too much to live for and she has worked too hard to let these men ruin her life. Things don’t look promising for these escapees. If they are not fighting among themselves, they have gangs, the police and an unknown entity after them. They are running out of time and things are not looking better but worse. This is one high octane ride! Fever is sexy, dark, mysterious and kick-butt. I loved the chemistry between Teague and Alyssa. She is one smart cookie and she doesn’t take any crap. Their adventure is definitely a roller coaster ride from start to finish. In her blurb about herself, Ms. Swan mentions that she writes romance suspense with a paranormal twist. I would agree. While this story is NOT a paranormal romance, it does have a different element/feel to it. I would have to compare it to Spiderman, if you will. Parker got bit by the radioactive spider and now he has these amazing abilities. I know it’s kind of geekish of me to compare it like that, but that is the best comparison that I could come up with. So there is no supernatural in this book, just the unnatural. This is romance with a little extra edge. It works - trust me! Heck, if you don’t pick up the book for the cover alone, I would have to question your sanity, just kidding. Fever really is a great read. Full of suspense and action, but tender loving moments that steamed up my glasses. If Ms. Swan is making this a series, I’m on board and will be in line for the next installment. I loved her voice and she knows how to write hot sexy romance with clever dialog. These are all bonuses in my view. Great job and well done!!
A GraveTells Review: March 2012 Book of the Month - A gritty, steamy "must read" 4.5/5 Hearts Ok first i just have to say mmmm, firemen! You know that combination of muscles, vulnerable boy-next-door charm, outgoing attitude, and life-risking savior complex that makes them so irresistible and lethal to a woman's libido? Well Teague Creek has all of that. In spades. This dude is the whole package. Despite his offensive tattoos and the fact that you meet him as a convict, Teague is sexy and commanding right from the start. Take-charge but not rude, determinedly protecting and tending his prisoner but not weak or gullible, capable but not overconfident, and respectful and thankful for the little things. I liked that he had a reason to be so fit (those sexy muscles we ogle on the covers of books don't sculpt themselves, peeps!) and Alyssa recognized just how much time and effort that level of "wow" and *drool* requires. I think we take that for granted a lot with our heroes, like their strength just magically pops in out of nowhere. It's no wonder Alyssa found herself unintentionally attracted to him- I was too! And if you're stressing about the tattoos (bald, muscle-bound convicts with swastikas on their heads and Aryan clovers on their knuckles generally make me want to run the other direction), don't... they aren't as permanent as you might expect. Their chemistry is searing and paced leisurely enough to be believable. In a hostage situation, especially when the man is fresh out of a three year prison stint, it would be easy to rush the pace of attraction between them, but Ms. Swan masterfully draws it out with lingering touches and looks, even as the characters themselves hesitate over Stockholm syndrome and the intense physical need resulting from Teague's time on the inside. As hot as their physical passion is (and that's without being too explicit!), their fledgling emotional connection is remarkably strong. Teague's acceptance of the mess his life has become, combined with his absolute need to protect and shelter, really touches me. This is a man who can wear the violent psychopathic prison facade as a shield when he needs to, but still manages to retain the vulnerable sense of self that prison so effectively strips away. His personality practically begs you to care for him while obstinately keeping you at arm's length. Fever's characters are complex and compelling, complicated and endearing, unique and memorable. The storyline is a mystery that unravels thread by interesting thread, and leaves the reader craving the next book in the series just to spend more time with the characters. This is the first book in a unique series about a group of firefighters whose lives were all supernaturally changed by a brutal warehouse explosion. I love that it's such a fresh new perspective for a series, and if the level of skill Ms. Swan shows in Fever for weaving a story with compelling, touchingly flawed characters is any indication about what's in store, I can't wait to read the rest! Fever is a must-read! Review shortened to fit submission requirements. This book was provided by the publisher and no compensation was received for this review. Reviewer opinions are true and uncensored.
Fever is Joan Swan's break out novel. I had the great pleasure of getting to read an ARC of Fever. LOVED!!! LOVED!!!! LOVED this book!!! Joan has created a world for us that starts with a single event. A Fire. A warehouse fire. A warehouse fire that will forever change the life's of the men and women caught in that fire. In Fever we meet Teague Creek an man on the run. On a mission to get to the one person he loves the most and nothing or no one will stand in his way. Teague is a tough talking, tough looking man who deep down is very loving and tormented by the past. I loved Teague. Loved to see how he grows over the course of this book. How he changes, how he tries to protect the ones he loves, even the one that have hurt him in the past. But Teague's biggest lesson learned is to Trust. To trust those around him. Alyssa kicks butt. For a girl who was in the wrong place at the wrong time she makes a great heroine. I love to watch her stand up to these tough talking guys and bring them to their knees. I loved this book and can't wait for the second installment in this series Kelly Books-n-Kisses
Joan Swan has officially become one of my favorite romantic suspense authors. I started with Intimate Enemies, which I loved, and moved on to Fever. It was great. Fast-paced intrigue blent beautifully with the romance budding between the two main characters. The hero is awesome, and you just cheer for him from beginning to end. The heroine is smart and fisty and knows how to fight for her man. I love that about Swan's female characters. I highly recommend the book. I cannot wait to start reading the next one in the series, Blaze.
Alyssa is kidnapped by a convict (Teague) while she is treating him at a clinic. He and another prisoner Taz, have been planning this escape for a while and have everything from a getaway car, to clothes and money. They even planned on taking Alyssa as a hostage. Teague keeps saying that he needs Alyssa... but he keeps calling her Hannah. Instead of correcting him, Alyssa plays along because if Teague needs someone named Hannah and he thinks that's her, than that means he won't just kill her on the spot. I really liked this story. At the beginning when Alyssa is kidnapped, Teague keeps talking about a Luke and how he has no clue what Luke see's in her. I was a little confused by this because this happens before you realize he thinks that she's someone else. However, at the time I honestly thought jail life had gotten to him and he was off his rocker, or there was a book previous to this story that I didn't read. But no, he starts calling her Hannah and says how he needs her as a bargaining chip. Then you realize the poor guy nabbed the wrong doctor. One would think that this story would be a case of Stockholm syndrome but its really not. Yes, Teague kidnaps her but the entire time he protects her from Taz who wants nothing more than to rape and beat Alyssa. Teague even heals her and stitches up a knife wound she got during a run in with a gang. (Oh yes, there is a TON of action in this book) He seems like a really good and descent man and you start to wonder, what is he in jail for? Forgetting to pay his taxes? Too many traffic tickets? I wished the cover was a bit more accurate though with the tattoos. He's supposed to have a swastika on his side, barb wire up his arm and shamrocks on his knuckles (all gang related tats) but the cover shows something completely different. He's supposed to be huge and very dangerous looking but the cover doesn't really project that. Why not put more accurate tattoos on the cover? Who knows though, maybe you can't put stuff like that on a cover of a book? With that aside though, the name of the book is spot on and even the series name is incorporated into the story. I really enjoyed this book and thought the author did an amazing job weaving all of the elements into the story. It's a fast paced mixture of suspense and paranormal that leaves you wondering what's going to happen next. I cannot wait to read more from this series.
I am a very fast reader, and it depends for me on how fast a book moves. Fever moves and moves quickly.I loved that Ms. Swan didn't cut corners either, it's gritty in the places you look for grit and tender where it counts.You will fall for Dr. Alyssa Foster who is kidnapped by prison escapee Teague Creek. Teague is a a wrongfully convicted felon in a high-security prison and all he wants to do is prove that he's innocent. Fever is a non stop thrill ride that left me wanting more. It made me laugh, cringe and cry in many different places. It's sensual not sexual meaning I can sell it to customers who love romance but don't need every other chapter to be a steamy scene. Romantic suspense readers who don't pick this book up will be truly be missing a great read.
This is one of those books where you jump right into the action and it never stops. Teague Creek is an inmate coming in for a medical exam. At the last minute, Dr. Alyssa Foster is asked to fill in for a colleague with a prior commitment. Alyssa is in the wrong place at the wrong time and Teague is too preoccupied with escaping to notice that Alyssa isn’t the technician he is supposed to be taking hostage. Teague is intriguing from the moment he walks into the exam room. His swastika tattoos, muscular body and shaved head present one image but the author does a great job of letting you know there is more than meets the eye when it comes to Teague. As you get to know him you see he’s an innocent man. Prior to being wrongfully convicted he was a firefighter, paramedic and all around great guy. One unfortunate fire at a warehouse exposed Teague to chemicals at a secret government facility and his life has never been the same. Alyssa has been working her ass off for years to become a doctor. She only has two more weeks until she’s done proving herself and gets the position she has been working her entire adult life to achieve. When Teague takes her hostage she is more pissed off than scared. She fights him whenever she can and she mouths off to him every chance she gets. I liked that because I could see myself reacting the same way. She is smart and feisty, a combination I always love. Teague’s escape is one catastrophe after another and the entire time Alyssa is irritating the crap out of him. Slowly Alyssa and Teague come to depend on the other and a bond is formed. Alyssa starts to see that Teague isn’t what she assumed he was and, despite his threats, has in fact been protecting her all along. She also notices that he has some rather strange abilities. Eventually they figure out that it’s these abilities which have targeted Teague and some important government officials are trying to make sure nobody ever discovers them and the secrets they could reveal. I don’t think I can emphasize enough how much action there is in this book. It’s one difficult situation after another and the entire time there is an attraction building between Teague and Alyssa. The romance is secondary to the action but the anticipation and build up of the romance are wonderful and very well done. The two aspects of the story blend together very well. The twists and turns were great, they kept coming and many were unexpected. I love a book that surprises me along the way. A couple things did bother me about the book, I wish the cause of Teague’s special abilities had been explored a little more in depth. The conclusion of the story happened really fast too. I had to go back and reread parts just to make sure I caught it all. Other than that, it was a great book. If you like conspiracy theories and suspense types of books then pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.
The cover is not the only hot aspect of this romantic suspense debut novel by Joan Swan. I have one word for you: UNPUTDOWNABLE. This genre is not usually my cup of tea ( in addition to the suspense element, FEVER features also a paranormal twist), but in this case I found myself devouring this well executed novel page after page, totally absorbed by the riveting and well-paced storyline , by the compelling and fully nuanced characters, by the emotional depth and scorching romance. During the explosion of a warehouse where experiments for the advancement of military warfare were secretly conducted, firefighter/paramedic Teague Creek and his team are exposed to some chemicals that will give him the power to control and manipulate heat. When Teague starts investigating the true nature of those chemicals and his “mutation”, the government secret services set him up with false accusations of aggravated murder and lock him in jail for life. Life in prison for a crime he never committed is too much to bear, especially when outside there is a five years old daughter he will never have the chance to hold in his arms again and a new and healing love he desperately needs. Driven by sheer desperation (he would rather die than go back to jail and witness horrors and tortures), he breaks free during a medical check-up and kidnaps a young doctor (Alyssa Foster) with the intention to exchange his hostage with his daughter, flee the country and start a new life elsewhere. What initially seems to be a further complication (the kidnapping of Doc Alyssa Foster), turns out to be a blessing and the tool of his redemption. Teague and Alyssa’s relationship is the thing that I loved the most about the book: their chemistry is so palpable, their emotional connection deep and immediate, their dialogues mesmerizing, their mutual need so heartwarming. There is great intensity in this book and an overall feeling of right proportions between action and romance, character development and sensuality. As for the accusations made by some readers regarding the author’s indulgent use of vulgar language and racial slurs, please mind that it’s less extensive than some reviews may lead you to believe and it needs to be read only as part of the characterization of a particular character throughout a limited number of pages (compared to the length of the novel), certainly not such a defining aspect of the whole book. Realistically, I wouldn’t expect the secondary character in question to express himself in a different manner. The use of a certain language is true to the context and adds to the credibility and consistency of the character. For me it was a 5 stars plus reading and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I will definitely put my ends on Blaze, the second installment in this series, as soon as it will be released.
My Review: This is a book that I have been looking forward to for months. Finally, my pre-ordered copy showed up and I devoured this book within hours of it's arrival. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. It surpassed all of my already high expectations...OMG, I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This is the first in a series of books about a group of firefighters who got caught up in a warehouse explosion. Something was in that explosion which affected the group, but it's affected them all in different ways. Certain key players within the government is trying to cover it all up. This first book follows Teague, who has developed a thermokinesis ability (his body reaches extreme heats when he's faced with strong emotion) and he can also heal with touch. The warehouse explosion and the subsequent quarantine, which happened five years ago, began the start of a breakdown of his life. His wife committed suicide and his brother in law (his former best friend) decided to sue for custody of Teague's daughter, Kat. The past three years he's been in San Quentin serving a life sentence for a murder that he was framed for because he kept asking questions about the warehouse event. He doesn't care about anything else besides escaping and getting to his little 6 yo daughter, Kat. To say that he is disillusioned with the world is putting it mildly. He's lost all faith in pretty much everything. The only thing he knows is that he loves his little girl desperately and needs to be with her. Alyssa is a doctor who was covering for a tech the day that Teague was brought in for an exam. In a case of mistaken identity, Teague kidnapped her during his escape. I liked Alyssa's character. She's terrified, but that doesn't stop her from fighting back. She is tough and scrappy and constantly comes up swinging. But she's also incredibly intelligent, fair, and compassionate. As Teague constantly does things to protect her even when he himself is threatening her, she starts to see him differently. This book is heartbreaking and suspenseful. I just couldn't see how it could all work out. Even though Teague didn't commit the original crime, he's committed a whole bunch since his escape, but this is not a bad guy. He was a paramedic and firefighter. This is someone who committed his life to saving others, but somehow got caught up in these horrible circumstances and he can't find a way out. This book is brilliant. The twists and turns....just Wow! It's an absolutely amazing read and Joan Swan is an amazing story teller. I was riveted from the very moment I started it. There are still lots of questions to be answered about what happened to these firefighters and I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series. We've already seen glimpses of a couple of the other guys...I am thinking all the books are going to be this hot...Yay!! Definitely something to look forward to.
It’s one of those good news/bad news types of days. Deep breath. . . . The Cover: This is not Teague Creek. Someone please enlighten me on who has the final say on book covers because in my train of thought – it is not usually the author. Someone dropped the ball here BIG TIME. And yes, I want my cover to match what I’m reading! Teague’s “Ability”: This is a major part of Teague’s character and plays a vital role in many scenes. Yet his “burn” is never fully explained the how, why, what, etc. Highly disappointed. The DOD: The Department of Defense is involved somehow in Teague’s “ability”, but once again, their role never comes to fruition. I was left with unanswered questions once the last page was turned. Why and how were they involved in the incident that started the whole mess? What did they do to cause Teague’s Ability? The Sex: Or lack of, should I say. With Paul on the cover, published by Kensington Brava, and a title of FEVER, I expected smokin’ hot, stoke the flame sex. Nope – Nem – Nyet! The sex didn’t start until page 233 and then, IMHO, one more after that for a grand total of *drum roll here* two scenes. For all of the “fire” that burned in Creek, the sex scenes were mild and simmering. This is your basic prison escape, hostage taking, “I’m Innocent”, and a few others for good measure, completely packaged into an HEA. I would call it a “romantic suspense light” with a twist of paranormal. I found FEVER to be an easy read. I didn’t have to stumble and grumble over countless spelling, grammar, or editing errors. (Yes, I do that, but you never hear about it until I start notating/counting them!) Creek was a bit of a screw-up at times, but that is to be expected. . . escaped convict on the run. Alyssa is a little spitfire with a touch of Stockholm Syndrome. One character I found very interesting is Mitch, Alyssa’s brother. He makes quite an impact – need to know more about this guy!
Sizzling Thrill Ride WOW! Joan Swan's debut romantic-suspense novel, FEVER, is a thrill ride you won't want to miss! When San Quentin prisoner, Teague Creek, former firefighter and paramedic, is transported to a San Francisco medical center for a medical exam, he sets his plan for escape in motion. His plans include taking a specific hostage, but what he didn't know is that the hospital would be short staffed that evening, and he mistakenly takes another person. As Teague and another inmate escape with Dr. Alyssa Foster as their hostage, the suspense just builds and builds from there! Teague and Alyssa are both strong characters that have obvious chemistry from the beginning. Teague is wrongly accused, hardened from prison life and determined to escape to not only prove his innocence, but to get to the person who matters to him the most. Alyssa is career-driven and strong-willed. She stands up to Teague and fights him from the beginning. When the situation they're in intensifies and Alyssa gets injured, they gradually learn to rely on each another. Ms. Swan does a great job building their romance too. Teague and Alyssa are physically attracted to one another from the get go. Their trust and emotional bond gradually strengthens as they seek answers. Throughout most of the book, these two keep resisting one another to the point of utter frustration, but when they finally get together it is so worth it! Negative comments: Not much. I know many people will be sensitive to the racial slurs spoken in this book. I don't like reading about bigotry either, but Swan wrote a particular character very honestly even though he is rather despicable. One of my favorite moments that made me laugh was when a certain character was belting out a song in the car. Joan Swan, how did you know I love that band? I just had to sing along too! FEVER is a fantastic start to Swan's Phoenix Rising Series. The paranormal aspect is minimal and used well. Teague was exposed to something in a warehouse explosion and ends up having constant high body heat. He is literally hot to touch and is still learning how to control his power. There were six surviving people from that explosion, so maybe we'll learn more about the others in future books. In this book Luke and Mitch are great secondary characters, and I wanted to learn more about them. Hopefully they will get their HEA in the next books as well.
I have been hearing a lot of buzz about this book for the last few months and now that I have read it, I understand what all the hoopla was about. Not only is Teague the perfect hero, strong, thoughtful, protective and sexy, but Alyssa is a heroine that isn’t going to take trouble from anyone, not even desperate criminals escaping from prison. On top of the awesome characters, this story hits the ground running (literally—prison break remember) and it just doesn’t stop ‘til you hit the last page, and it has everything: desperate criminals, kidnapping, gang members, cops, FBI, knife fights, gun fights, fires…even wolves (but not the werewolf kind). Definitely pick this up and make sure you have plenty of time to read since the worst thing was trying to pick a place to stop and go to sleep.
Once in a while I read a book that I can’t put down. It’s the kind of book that I think about when I’m folding laundry or driving to the store or jogging around the neighborhood. I wonder how the characters are possibly going to solve their problems and end up together. And I stay up late, even though it means functioning on four hours of sleep, because I cannot wait to find out how the novel ends. I hadn’t read a book like that in a long time. Until I picked up Joan Swan’s debut, Fever. From the initial pages of Fever, Swan had me wondering how she was possibly going to make this story work. A beautiful doctor as a heroine isn’t too unconventional. A convicted murderer as a hero is pretty much unheard of. Alyssa Foster is a physician with a bright future and a lot of competition. She’s beautiful, tired, and overworked. She doesn’t like having to work on prisoners as patients, but she has to suck it up because the hospital is short staffed. Lucky for Teague Creek, Alyssa also has a bad boy fetish. But then who wouldn’t have a bad boy fetish with a gorgeous guy like Teague Creek half-naked in front of you, whether he’s a prisoner from San Quentin or not. But Alyssa’s normal life is shattered when Teague kidnaps her and takes off. His companion is a lowlife scum who would just as soon rape and kill Alyssa, but Teague protects her. She soon realizes he has her mistaken with someone else, and she fears when he discovers who she really is, and that he doesn’t need her anymore, Teague will kill her. Teague Creek is not your average hero. He has special powers, whereby he can actually burn or heal with his hands. Alyssa calls it thermokinesis, and basically it means he can control his body temperature. Teague has other secrets, but I won’t reveal those because I found it so delicious and exciting to puzzle out all the little mysteries in this book, and I think you will too. This story moves fast. Swan’s pacing is excellent. The novel is also hot—no pun intended. Alyssa and Teague have so much sexual tension the pages of my ARC were crackling. When they finally make love, Swan makes it incredibly romantic and poignant too. Fever is an awesome book, so much so I can’t even believe it’s a debut. Joan Swan has a dazzling future ahead of her. I highly recommend this novel.
For full review including excerpt and dialogue highlight, please visit Reader's Edyn at: ~~~ readersedyn (dot) blogspot (dot) com ~~~ Review: ~~~ Holy Wow! I was completely blown away by this debut novel. I absolutely fell in love with both main characters and have an overwhelming urge to read about the fabulous supporting characters. I was engaged from the first page and the book never let me go until it ended. My only regret was that it did end. I found myself frequently looking at how much was left to read, knowing I was nearing the final pages, and wishing more pages would magically appear. ~~~ Teague – love that name, by the way – is not what he first seems. In fact, he couldn’t be anything further from his first impressions. I thoroughly enjoyed how Ms. Swan only let us in on his true background in bits and pieces. She didn’t lay it all out there and immediately flip the reader’s mind, she let the reader gradually reassess just exactly who this man was much in the same way Alyssa did. Alyssa is constantly grappling for the right thread of truth to cling to throughout her entire “ordeal” with Teague. I say ordeal for lack of a better word, but please don’t misunderstand. There are some high points within this ordeal. She makes an immediate judgment call about Teague’s character, which seems pretty accurate given the circumstances. And who could blame her? But as the hours tick by (the book takes place in the span of a few days), she begins to war within herself. Is Teague who he seems to be, or it there a real human being somewhere within; a human being she is drawn to despite trying desperately not to acknowledge such a longing. As the deception unfold – and there is a whole lot of deception, Yo! – Teague and Alyssa’s roles dramatically switch from the first couple of chapters. And their sexual chemistry? Holy hotness Batman! Ms. Swan knocked it out of the park by allowing the sexual tension to build to a blazing desire, making their surrender to each other that much better. ~~~ Ms. Swan is an author to watch. With a debut like this, I have high hopes for her future releases. She clearly has a gift in writing. Overall, Fever is a fast-paced, super sexy, extremely suspenseful, engaging story. I was beyond satisfied with this read and look forward to many more in the future. Blaze is already on my TBR list! My recommendation? Buy! This! Book! You will not be disappointed. ~~~ (Uncorrected proof provided by Kensington for review.)
I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! Oh My God it was sooooo good! I started reading it at work in between calls and it sucked me right in. I had a hard time to stop reading lol So the story starts with Dr, Alyssa walking down the hall and she's contemplating life and that fact that she is fighting to make it to the top of her career. I usually read through descriptions quickly to get on to the dialogue but they were so well written I read word for word. When Alyssa gets to the room that is holding a convicted felon in need of an ultrasound she tells him to take off his shirt. I loved this part HAHAHA but don't we all. The man/felon took off his shirt and he was describe so well I swear I saw him in my mind with no problem. YUM! From there he manages to escape and takes Alyssa with him and their unbelievable adventure begins. This book was delicious and I ate it as fast as possible and I plan to read it again because it will need to be savored. It got my palate in just the right ways. It was full of intrigue, adventure and it was action packed. It was well portioned though with passion, sizzling sex appeal and romance. I can't say enough about this book, to me it was the perfect read and I hope you will check it out!
Reviewed by JenReivew ARC provided by aurhorI'll admit that for the first 100 pages or so, I was confused. Don't get me wrong, I was pulled into a fast paced adventure as Teague takes Alyssa hostage as he breaks out of prison. But I was unsure how this fugitive was going to be the hero of the book and wondered how the romance was going to play out. But I kept reading and was rewarded with a wonderful debut novel by Joan Swan. Ms. Swan took me on a roller coaster ride from confusion to clarity, laughs to tears, and action scenes to love scenes. Add in a touch of paranormal and this story has just about everything you could want. I was quite intrigued with the mysterious Teague, an escaped felon who keeps showing cracks in his bad boy facade. I wanted to understand his motivation for breaking out of prison and why it seems that every government agency under the sun is trying to capture him. And then there's his intense attraction to his hostage, Alyssa. Alyssa was a little harder for me to understand. I like that she was a strong, vocal woman. However, while I understand the attraction between Teague and Alyssa, I found it hard that she so readily believed him and decided to help him. It was the one thing in this story that kept me from truly loving this novel. All in all, this is a solid debut and I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series. And for lovers of romantic suspense, check this one out.
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Suspense and romance with a little touch of the paranormal for flavoring.Opening Sentence: The clank-clank-clank of shackles echoes off the hospital¿s linoleum floors, rippling across Doctor Alyssa Foster¿s shoulders.Review:I try to give new authors props when warranted. Most debut books have problems like flow and character under-development. And when you think about it, that makes sense. These types of issues get resolved with time and experience. That being said, I thought that Fever was pretty good coming right out of the chute. Kudos goes out to you, Joan Swan!Fever follows the story of escape convict and convicted murderer, Teague Creek, and his hostage Dr. Alyssa Foster. Teague uses Alyssa as his bargaining chip to trade for the life of his 5-year-old daughter, Kat. Along the way, Teague and Alyssa start to work together (both in bed and out) to clear Teague¿s good name and discover who the people were that sent him to prison for the crime he was wrongfully accused and convicted of. Okay, put like that, this book doesn¿t stand out among all the other suspense/romance novels available today. But wait, dear readers, there are a few key twists in this seemingly bland story.When we first meet Teague Creek, he is portrayed as a convicted murdering racist. That is the image he perpetuates for prison survival. The real Teague is a former firefighter and devoted father; basically a good guy. He also is in way over his head when he kidnaps the wrong woman during his escape from prison. Alyssa starts out as a distressed woman that is in the wrong place at the wrong time. A convict thinks that she is the girlfriend of the man that has custody of his daughter. It doesn¿t take long for her annoying, stubborn side to emerge. She pesters Teague about every little thing, including the reasons for him being put away. After she decides to help, she pesters him until he allows her to help clear his good name. The initial character portrayals are completely opposite of their true nature. I think that is my favorite part of this book; characters with more depth than the false natures that are initially presented.There is also the series of unlikely and unlucky events that follow the two around. Who knew that prison breaks never go the way you plan them? Not only does Teague nab the wrong girl, but she happens to have influential family members that will stop at nothing to take him down if she gets hurt. Alyssa is no walk in the park either. Why couldn¿t he find a woman that will do as she¿s told when threatened with bodily harm? This byplay gives the book its much needed comedy relief.So, where is the paranormal part come into play? Teague happens to be able to raise his core body temperature so high that it burns. He also has a small talent in healing. His thermokinesis is the result of accidental exposure to radioactive gas during a fire rescue gone wrong. The government¿s illegal experimentations that are behind it are a subplot. Though this sounds pretty darn cool, it is almost like a side note to the overall fugitive manhunt that takes center stage. The plot would have worked with or without the fire abilities additive.Overall, Fever left me feeling happy with the ending. The guy gets the girl and a chance at a future he didn¿t think was possible and the two find love amidst the unlikeliest of circumstances. The story is complete in its self; if you want to enjoy a book that doesn¿t have to continue on to find a satisfactory conclusion, this may be the right book for you. It¿s a fine debut and I look forward to reading more from Ms. Swan.Notable Scene:The other motel guest grumbled something unintelligible as his attention shifted from the cops back to the ice machine. The sound of his feet dragging on the cement brought Alyssa¿s focus around her eyes wide with surprise. And in the fraction of a second that followed, Teague realized that if he did
4 1/2 stars"Fever" by Joan Swan is the debut novel of a talented author who is destined to be an excellent new voice in a crowded genre. This imaginative tale is about former firefighter and paramedic Teague Creek, desperate convicted felon with an uncannily high body temperature, who takes Dr. Alyssa Foster on his frantic journey of escape from prison. The problem is that Alyssa hasn't achieved her current accomplishments by being a passive non-resourceful victim and she doesn't plan to change her personality for the sake of Teague and his fellow escaped convict. The gradual revelation of the murky issues surrounding Teague's conviction and imprisonment combined with the disturbing distortion of the events surrounding her kidnapping causes Alyssa to use her formidable analytical prowess to delve into the dangerous yet attractive man who has taken her hostage. Teague is fighting to get back to the only person who has remained true to him since his imprisonment and his desperation has led him to make some unwise choices but he discovers that he has more than he ever imagined in the woman who somehow manages to break through the walls he has erected around his heart. The question will be whether he will live long enough to achieve his goals or to explore the attraction for the plucky doctor given the number of people seeking to recapture him, dead or alive.An intriguing start to a promising series. There are a few inconsistencies and rules bent that are used to achieve the desired results but the author has created fascinating characters who combine wit and ingenuity while remaining mysterious enough to warrant an interest in future tales. There are vivid descriptions of the hazards of dealing with fire and allusions to the dangers faced by those brave souls who combat them. It will be interesting to discover more about the multiple secondary characters who have been introduced and the next installment is undoubtedly going to be just as action-packed and thrilling.© Night Owl Reviews
Could NOT put this down. Once I got into this book, it kept me intrigued all the way to the last page
Very enjoyable. A lot of action, there is a bit of blood, so be prepared. A lot of heat, which was very tasteful and well written. The characters are very believable, if not a bit stubborn, and the ending is really good!