Fever by Maya Banks
ORDER A COPY: Fever (THE BREATHLESS TRILOGY)
Publishing Date: April 2, 2013
Paperback: 416 pages
Rating: 4 stars
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.
Jace Crestwell is still trying to get used to his baby sister, Mia, being engaged to one of his best friends and partner, Gabe Hamilton. At their engagement party, he can’t keep his eyes off of the intriguing woman working for the caterer. When Ash, sees the woman who Jace can’t keep his eyes off of, he steps in to see if she would be interested in sharing a bed with Jace and Ash tonight. Jace and Ash have been sharing women for several years now.
Bethany is as intrigued by Jace as he is with her, and if she has to sleep with both men to spend the night with him, so be it. It wouldn’t be a first for her. But the whole thing feels off to Jace from the beginning. He doesn’t like that his friend Ash is touching her. He wants Bethany all to himself.
When she disappears the next day, Jace is frantic to find her again. He doesn’t understand the driving need to find her, but he won’t stop until he does. Yet he has a greater shock when he tracks her down to women’s shelter near Hell’s Kitchen and finds out that Bethany doesn’t volunteer there, Bethany is homeless. He’s horrified when he realizes that anything could happen to her while she was unprotected and living on the street.
When he finally finds Bethany, there is no way he will let her get away from him, but he fears that if she can’t accept Jace’s controlling nature, she will disappear back onto the streets of New York, and he’ll never find her again. Worse is knowing that his friend has touched the one woman who has Jace in a possessive frenzy and it is putting a strain on their decades long friendship.
I like the way Maya Banks writes her characters. They are very passionate and well developed. Although I generally liked the story and it was a quick read, I was uncomfortable with the opening scene with Jace, Ash and Bethany because Jace was so uncomfortable with what was happening.
In this story, Jace has some great moments but just as many when he was an ass. Every time he was in a bad mood, he jumped all over her for something or other and then spends a good deal of time terrified she will leave and then trying to console her for treating her badly.
I understood that Bethany was relieved after all her life being ignored or abused and fighting to survive, that she would enjoy having someone like Jace taking care of her and making decision for her. I could also understand Bethany’s hesitation to believe that her good fortune in meeting a man like Jace who would take care of her would last and her self-consciousness that she wasn’t good enough for a man of Jace’s wealth and education. What I couldn’t understand is that for someone who has been taking care of herself for most of her life, she didn’t try to get a job once Jace set her up in an apartment. She kept saying it wouldn’t last and he will get bored with her very soon, but she didn’t try to get herself a decent job so that when he asked her to leave, she would have some money to get her own apartment. Instead of hanging around all day waiting for Jace to come home and jump her, it would have helped her self-esteem and her fear that she would be tossed back onto the street, if she had a job and earned her own money, or maybe was taking classes so she wouldn’t feel so inferior to Jace. She had what she believed was temporary good luck, but she didn’t do anything to improve her own situation so she wouldn’t end up right back on the street if he got bored with her. That annoyed me and if I thought too much about it, it left me feeling like Jace was just taking advantage of a homeless woman with no where else to go.
With the exception of my personal annoyance at Bethany, it was a good story and I am looking forward to see what Maya has planned for Ash.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
Kate said Bethany was injured and his mind was filled with images, none that were good. They hadn’t gotten into specifics. Jace had been too impatient to get to her. How the hell had she gotten hurt?
A woman alone on the streets…There were 1,001 ways for her to get hurt and every one of them made Jace’s gut clench.
When his car pulled up in front of the shelter, he directed his driver to wait. Hopefully he wouldn’t be long, but he was prepared for anything.
He strode toward the entrance, the wind biting through his coat. When he opened the door, his gaze immediately swept the room, searching out Bethany. Then, finally, he saw her. In the back. Off to one side. Away from the others. She was sitting in a chair, pale and looking lost. Still, he drank in the sight of her, relieved beyond words that she was here. He could see that her pants were torn at the knees and on one side. He could also see the bloodstains on her clothing and the raw scrapes on her elbows. What the ever-loving hell? Before he could start over, Kate stepped in front of him, her face creased with worry.
“Will you be taking her with you, Mr. Crestwell?”
“Oh yes,” he said quietly. “She’s coming with me. I’ll take care of her, I promise.”
Kate’s expression eased. “Good. I worry about her. About all of them.”
He started to step forward, eager to get to her and to see how badly she was hurt, but Kate stopped him once more.
“I want to thank you,” she said in a soft voice. “For everything. The heat. The food. The generous donation. Look around you, Mr. Crestwell. All these woman have a warm place to sleep and food to eat because of you.”
Jace grimaced, uncomfortable with her gratitude. He nodded briefly and then headed for Bethany. Her eyes were closed. She looked asleep sitting up. He took the opportunity to study her more closely and he swore at what he saw.
She looked even thinner if possible. There were shadows under the eyes. She was pale.
And she was hurting.
He knelt quietly in front of her. As soon as she sensed his presence, her eyes flew open and she flinched away, panic firing in her eyes.
“It’s all right, Bethany,” he murmured.
Her eyes widened and he was gratified to see that her fear disappeared, but it was quickly replaced by confusion.
His name came out a cautious whisper, almost as if she didn’t belief it was him kneeling in front of her. Then she straightened and she turned her hands inward, hiding the scrapes and the blood.
“What are you doing here?” she asked in a trembling voice.
His expression hardened and he stood. Her gaze followed him up and without saying anything, he simply reached down and plucked her slight weight from the chair. She landed softly against his chest and he cradled her possessively, determined that nothing else would hurt her. Then she stiffened and her mouth fell open with a gasp.
“What are you doing?” she hissed.
He strode toward the door, he grip tightening when she began to struggle.
“Taking you away from here,” he bit out.
She began to protest in earnest and Jace caught Kate’s worried stare. He nodded to reassure the older woman and then he tightened his hold on her further.
“Enough,” he ground out. “Don’t fight me. You’re worrying Kate. I’m not going to hurt you. I promised her I’d take care of you. Don’t make a scene. Do you want to frighten all the women?”
She bit her lip and went limp. Slowly she shook her head. “No,” she whispered. “But you can’t just carry me out of here, Jace.”