I have a love/hate relationship with books by Maya Banks. I usually roll my eyes at how over-dramatic the characters are and the sappy-ness of the story. And yet, I can’t stop reading her books, rushing out and devouring each of her new releases. It’s an addiction I won’t be quitting anytime soon. So when Fever came out, I rushed out and read it. It was completely and utterly ridiculous.
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.
Fever is the second book in the Breathless Trilogy, but can be read as a standalone. It picks up shortly after Rush, with Jace and Ash finding a new woman to have a threesome with. Because, apparently, these two grown men can only have sex together. With a woman firmly between them, so they’re not actually touching. But sex without each other? Unheard of!
For someone who spent several years living on the streets, and jumping around in foster care homes before that, Bethany was extremely naive and pliant. I would have thought that she would have been tougher, or at least, not afraid of everything. Instead, she went along with everything that Jace said (never questioning anything), she was terrified of meeting new people and refused to see anything bad in her adopted brother, (who, by the way, sent drug dealers to go beat the crap out of Bethany until he could pay off his debt). Bethany did show a hint of a backbone in one scene, but it vanished shortly afterward.
Jace was basically like, “I’m going to control your life, but I have anger issues so I’m going to be a dick about it. But I’m going to spoil you and give you tons of stuff, so love me.” And, for some reason, Bethany did love him. She talked about wanting “structure” and “routine” in her life after having none, and somehow Jace telling her exactly what she could and could not do, telling her what food to eat and what clothes to wear, gave her a sense of security. I don’t know. I will never understand that kind of dependent relationship. (But that’s a rant for a different time.)
If I ignored Jace’s controlling ways, he was a nice guy. After losing his parents unexpectedly, he had to raise his much younger sister. After he found out that Bethany had been living in a women’s shelter, he donated a ton of money to that shelter. And, in his own way, he did love and want the best for Bethany. (Just because I thought he was a controlling jerk doesn’t mean that he didn’t actually love her.)
Please, don’t make me even begin to talk about the sex. There were so many problems with the sex. First there was Bethany, who claimed to used sex as an escapism, so she’d had plenty of kinky sex before meeting Jace, but then acted like a scared virgin in bed with him. It wasn’t until she was drunk that she “let go” in bed. (I don’t mind tipsy sex, but falling-on-your-face-drunk isn’t sex.) Then, there was Jace who convinced Bethany to have a threesome with him and Ash (even though he didn’t want it to be a threesome) and then held it against her, like it was her fault. Oy.
I can usually love just about any love story, but Fever was so beyond ridiculous that I can either laugh or cry over it. I’m not even sure which I want to do. Annoying characters, an unbelievable plot and lackluster sex do not make a good story. I can deal with one of those things, but only if the other two make up for it. But when all three are terrible? I give up.