Review: Fever by Maya Banks

Posted April 9, 2013 by Vampbard in 3.5 stars, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Rating B Tags: , , ,

Author: Maya Banks     
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Breathless Trilogy #2
ISBN: 978-0425267066
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Format(s): paperback (416 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher / NetGalley
About the book:
Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise… 
Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women. 
When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control. 
Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend. 
What VampBards talking about:
Maya Banks certainly left me Breathless whilst reading the second title in that trilogy!  LOL.  Couldn’t resist… but, seriously.  Fever certainly ratchets up the heat index with the turn of each page.
When we left the Breathless hunks, Gabe had proposed to Mia, Jace’s sister.  Jace & Ash were OK with the idea, and neither were threatening beat his ass any longer.  We pick up the story, rather seamlessly, at Gabe and Mia’s engagement party.  The focus has shifted from Gabe and Mia to Jace and Ash, as well as the beauty in their sights for the night.  I have to say, I was really surprised that we had a menage at the beginning.  Yeah.  Starts hot, stays hot!  HEAT INDEX:  4 out of 5.  (I need to blush to issue a 5!)
I knew that this story was about either Jace or Ash after reading the first chapter at the end of Rush.  It was obvious from the beginning that Jace would be our focus, however.  I’m not quite sure what drew me to Jace as a hero.  It could be his intent focus, his selflessness, or his compulsion to ‘possess’ Bethany.  Over time, I think that as we grow and we have to control so much in our environment, it’s important to have someone that will simply take over and make sure that everything is ‘taken care of’.  Don’t think I’m talking about a D/s lifestyle being the be-all, end-all for everyone.  I think that, at times, everyone needs someone to call the shots so they don’t have to in SOME aspect of their lives, in a controlled manner.  I’m not sure, but Jace feels like he’s more THAT type of person than the complete Dom.  While he SAYS he wants to dictate every minute of her day, it doesn’t seem to me that he really wants to completely control Bethany.  He wants her safe.  He wants her taken care of.  He wants her to be happy.  Rarely were we shown that Jace dictated what Bethany should wear, or activities she was to attend.  We weren’t privy to the concept that Bethany was less than amenable to anything that Jace suggested, and we learned through the course of the book that Bethany was not an over-all sub.  Jace was constantly trying to please Bethany without completely compromising his own perspectives on life.  He did things FOR HER HAPPINESS that he never would have considered, previously.  
I do think, however, that Jace wins the award for biggest transformation in this book.  He changed from someone that resisted making connections with people – except for Gabe, Mia, and Ash – to being completely enamored with Bethany.  His connection to Bethany caused him to grow as a character, for me.  He was no longer the dude that wanted to kick the shit out of one of his best friends because he fell in love with his little sister.  He had transformed into the person that KNEW what it was like to be so wrapped up in another human being that he understood the changes in his friend and sister.  Jace seems to be the ‘love at first sight’ kind-of dude in this book.  Realistic or not, Jace does fall for her from square-one.  
Bethany, formerly homeless, was living in the lap of luxury, under the ‘protection’ of Jace.  We learn some truths about Bethany, and while they don’t ‘make a difference’ to Jace, I don’t think they’re completely forgotten.  We see Bethany asserting her independence while concurrently thinking that it would be nice to have someone take care of her, as she’s been on her own for pretty much her entire life.  This is a totally realistic mentality, BTW.  I work with kids that have been in the ‘system’ for a really long time.  I work with the ‘troubled’ kids.  In reality, they need to learn skills, and they need someone to give a shit long enough to help them learn these things.  Bethany totally needed someone like that in her life, and it wasn’t Jack (more on him later).  Bethany was a totally believable character for me.  She wanted to be cared for, but not in a smothering, all-encompassing way.  I’m not sure whether that was expressly stated during the course of the book – in her actions and reactions – or whether it’s me reading into the text, based upon my own experiences.  Bethany is a pretty complex  character, and I feel we could have seen more from her.  Maybe there will be a wrap-up with Bethany in the next book.  I felt like she wasn’t fully developed, and that leaves me with a ‘meh’ feeling.  
There were a couple major conflicts in this title, and I was comfortable with them both.  The first involved Jace’s relationship with Ash, and ensuring that he involvement with Bethany didn’t push them apart.  He had to make it OK with Ash, or his relationship with Bethany would be tainted.  The other conflict involved Jack, Bethany’s ‘brother’.  That was a hum-dinger…you’ll have to read to figure out THAT situation!  I was satisfied with the resolution of both, and I felt comfortable that the resolutions would be OK with the supporting characters as well as the main characters.  
Overall, I felt that Fever, the second title in Maya Banks’s Breathless trilogy, lived up to it’s name.  It raised the temperature with it’s hotness, and ratcheted up the intensity of the characters.  Since I read both Rush and Fever, I can’t wait to read Burn (August 2013 release), and anticipate the words will cause incineration to the pages.  Ash, after all, is our central character!  
VampBards Rating:
Liked it a lot – recommend (B+)

Purchase Info:
Reviews in the Series: