Give Me Fever
Give Me Fever sounded like it would be right up my alley. The heroine is a lounge singer searching for a pirate’s long-lost treasure, with the pirate himself providing aid in ghost form. It’s not a bad read by any means, but also isn’t as good as I’d hoped.
After her mother abandoned their family, Tally Addison and her sister Bree dropped out of college to raise their younger brother Mark. Now that he’s finally grown, Tally looks forward to fulfilling her own dreams. By day she works as a waitress; by night she sings at a New Orleans club called The Blue Note. It’s her dream to buy the club and make it her own. The chance comes all too soon when the owner informs her he’s selling the club to move to Florida where his daughter lives. He’ll give Tally two weeks to make him an offer. After that, he’s putting the club on the market.
Two weeks seems like an impossibly short time for her to come up with the money. Her only hope would be to find the legendary treasure of the nineteenth-century pirate Gabriel Dampier. A contemporary of Jean Lafitte, Dampier built the townhouse Tally and her sister inherited from their late uncle. Legend has it he continues to roam the grounds, doomed for all eternity thanks to a voodoo curse. She has no idea how true that is, as both Dampier and the woman who cursed him linger on the property.
Dampier decides to aid Tally in her quest, hoping it will help free him from the curse. He facilitates her discovery of his old journal, which might lead her to the treasure. Unfortunately, her brother tears out the relevant page while searching for a scrap of paper to write on, then promptly disappears. Desperate to find her brother and the map he unwittingly took, Tally turns to private investigator Christien Castille. They’ve long shared a flirtatious relationship, and it isn’t long before their working relationship moves into the bedroom.
Anders’ book is fast and easy, entertaining while it lasts, but nothing I’d necessarily run out to buy. The characters are both strong and likable, the sex, once it emerges, is frequent and hot, and the storyline is intriguing. It moves quickly, making for a brisk, light read.
If I can’t call it more than that, it’s because it’s a little too uneven, a little too shallow. Anders has a solid story here. Both Tally and Christien have clearly defined backstories and motivations. Due to her mother’s abandonment, Tally decided to always put her ambitions above love. She’s not interested in anything more than a fling with him. Christien is a former cop who left the police department after he was unable to get a conviction against a killer he knew was guilty. Disillusioned, he became a private investigator while continuing to monitor the man he believes will kill again. Both Tally and Christien come to terms with their issues and grow over the course of the story. At the same time, the character development felt sort of shallow, as though the author was saying all the right things and covering her bases, but not going much past the surface of the characters. It seemed too fast, too easy. I believed in their growth, but wasn’t really touched or affected by it.
This is a spinoff of last month’s Red Letter Nights anthology, which featured the story of Christien’s brother, with two more books by to follow in the months to come. I don’t know whether it would have been beneficial to read the anthology first, but the curse aspect in particular felt very vague, and I wish the details had been clearer. Neither Dampier nor his nemesis really seemed “real,” so to speak, so I never much cared about his fate, and their bickering over Tally and his punishment was tiresome. Tally and Christien’s early interactions also seemed a little forced. Because of all of this, it took me a while to really get into the story. But once it gets going, it is pretty fun, with many good scenes and entertaining moments throughout. And because it deserves to be said again, the sex is scorching.
Did I enjoy Give Me Fever while it lasted? For the most part, yes. Is it anything that’s going to stick with me? No. There’s nothing wrong with that though, and if all you’re looking for is a fast, sexy read to hold your attention for a few hours, this will do it.