Review: Trace of Fever by Lori Foster

May 8, 2011

Trace of Fever

Author: Lori Foster
Series: Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Book 2
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 978-0373775750
Date Released: May 31, 2011
Format Reviewed: Adobe DRM ebook
Source: ARC provided for review by the publisher
Length: Novel (400 pages in paperback / 5 KB in Kindle format)
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Online blurb:
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….

My opinion:

Trace Rivers is a man on a single-minded mission. His sister had been taken my human traffickers and though his friend, Dare, had killed those flush smugglers while rescuing Trace’s sister, Trace is dying to get some payback of his own. He’s managed to infiltrate a large smuggling ring as the bodyguard for the top man, Murray Coburn, and is steadily proving his worth while waiting for a shipment and buyers to be revealed so he can shut them down.

Right in the middle of his mission, a seemingly innocent and bubbly Priscilla Patterson arrives, claiming to be Coburn’s daughter. Despite her claims to be there just to meet her father, Trace can tell she isn’t who she seems and certainly isn’t out just to meet dear old dad. If Coburn even is Priss’ father at all. Put in charge of the new arrival by the untrusting Coburn, Trace fights his attraction to her even as he tries to ferret out who she really is and why she’s there.

Trace wants to protect Priss but needs to finish this mission. Priss, however, has her own mission to kill Murray Coburn in the name of justice. Neither will surrender their need for revenge to other – but when all hell breaks loose, will they survive to explore the fire that burns so fiercely between them?

Trace of Fever was a fun, fast-paced and interesting story that offered plenty of intrigue, sex and sheer amusement – all at the same time. Trace is a sexy, highly controlled and cool operative who has never had a problem keeping his attention on his mission and its successful outcome until he meets Priss and he is both attracted to her and a bit bamboozled by her. Used to working alone, he now has custody of a complete unknown and he’s not sure what she truly wants.

Priss is after revenge for her mother’s suffering and has spent a lot of time and effort preparing to take her revenge in cold blood and in person. But she never anticipated running headlong into this enigmatic bodyguard who alternates between looking out for her and trying to scare her off. It’s worse that she wants him, despite years of being warned about how treacherous and awful men – especially powerful men – can be. Is Trace really just trying to sucker her into Coburn’s plans or is he as hungry for Coburn’s death as she is.

The hero and heroine have a hard time learning to work together at all and Priss is regularly defying any logic or rationality in her defiance. A bit of a loose canon, indeed.

I really enjoyed Trace of Fever and devoured it the moment I was able to get it for review. This is the second book in the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series, following on the heels of When You Dare and picks up a bit after where that book left off.  Ms. Foster has numerous truly funny bits with some of the escapes and the presence of Ligon (I can’t help it, I’m a cat lover). I truly enjoyed the pacing and the story but was struck by Trace’s not being too manly to make friends with a cat and his concern that even Priss pet is kept safe. That touched me. I enjoyed Priss’ attempts to fend for herself though I admit there were a few times I wanted to shake her by her hair when she pulled what was almost a TSTL action. Ms. Foster’s voice and the story pace kept those moments from distracting me too much, though. Trace is very alpha and sexy but has a core of caring and love that peeks through his bluster.

All in all, I enjoyed Trace of Fever just as much as When You Dare and I’m hoping the third book in this series is as enjoyable.

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