Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fever by Jamie K Schmidt

The Basics:
Fever by Jamie K Schmidt
Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Book Three in the Club Inferno series
Published March 17, 2015
Source: Received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Why I picked up this book:

I needed something to break up all the historical romances I'd been reading!

Deep in the shadows of her exclusive fashion resort, Couture, Colleen Bryant presides over a much more intimate world: Club Inferno. The successful businesswoman and sex instructor has built an empire that caters to the BDSM elite, but now she finds herself longing for something a bit more ordinary: a man to love. She’s not sure how to find someone who will accept what she does for a living—or the kinks that drive her wild—until her old flame, ex-pro football player Chase Fairwood, comes back in her life.

There’s no woman as hot, sexy, or exciting as Colleen—and Chase knows it. He also knows he’s man enough to play her games, and to give as good as he gets. His return to Club Inferno reignites Colleen’s scorching demands, along with a new determination to test his resolve. Soon he’s competing against a rival Dom to brand Colleen as his own. But Chase has a secret weapon: the burning desire to offer his body—and his heart—in sweet surrender.

Fever is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

My thoughts:

I could not have selected a book that has less in common with all the historical romances I've been reading if I tried. Fever is a very modern tale about a smart, determined woman who has built an empire for herself using her late husband's wealth. While the public face includes a successful nightclub and fashion ventures, the private face is an exclusive, secretive BDSM club.

I enjoyed the way that Fever treated kinky sex, making it the norm for most characters in the book, putting the more vanilla Chase into the position of outsider. Club Inferno had a great mix of mild and extreme examples of BDSM, letting us see how a sex club could cater to varying tastes. I like the idea that people have safe spaces to explore their sexuality, *particularly* when it is not in line with the mainstream (though if you read/believe the trends in erotic romance, BDSM is pretty darn mainstream at this point).

I hadn't read the first two books in the Club Inferno series and that put me at a bit of a disadvantage. The layering of Colleen's holdings are complicated, and as I read, I felt that my impression of her was supposed to be informed by how she'd appeared in earlier books. Still, she was pretty easy to 'get' early on, and I found myself liking her quite a bit. I appreciated the approach to her as a Domme - I tend to find Doms are more prevalent in erotic romance/erotica, so it's nice to see a woman on top, as it were, for a change. 

As you might expect in erotic romance, there was a lot of fairly steamy sex. I did find that sometimes the sexual encounters were lacking on the more intimate details that can really raise the heat level. Possibly because Chase and Colleen were mismatched in terms of sexual kinks, I was lacking that strong connection that really raises the bar. 

I also had really big problems with the ending of the book. I felt that the story wrapped up far too quickly, with a big event catalyzing the HEA in a way that was too convenient. There was also a lot of glossing over how Colleen and Chase would *really* make things work between them. I loved that they had actual issues, but I was disgruntled that we never saw them really working these issues out.
Bottom line:

I don't think Fever would be my first recommendation if someone was looking to read some erotic romance. It's a decently indecent book that lacked magic for me and ended on a rushed note. 

3.5 stars
For fans of erotic romance, BDSM, sex clubs in fiction.

But don't just take my word for it! I grabbed a few links to other blog reviews of Fever:

Obsessed with Myshelf (I love that clever blog name!)

Cocktails and Books

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