Reviewed by Helyce
I hadn’t read anything by Lori Foster in a long time, so I was very excited about this new series. Trace of Fever picks up sometime after When You Dare ends. Trace Rivers is still recovering from his sister Alani’s kidnapping. Alani had been kidnapped by human traffickers who smuggled her over the border into Mexico. Trace is carrying around a lot of guilt even though Alani was rescued and brought home safely by Trace’s friend and partner, Dare Macintosh. He’s now made it his personal mission to take out as many human trafficking cells that he can.
Undercover as Trace Miller, he’s currently working for Murray Coburn as his security chief and bodyguard. Murray is up to his eyeballs in the human trafficking trade. He’s rich, powerful and fearless. He thinks he is untouchable. Trace has him completely fooled and he is prepared to do whatever is necessary to take Murray down and make every single person involved with him pay as well. Trace is so close to his goal. He knows that there is a deal going down soon and when it does, Trace will call in Dare and Jackson and Murray Coburn will be out of business.
All his plans go out the window when Priscilla “Priss” Patterson shows up at Murray’s office one day claiming to be his daughter. Priss appears to be very naïve and innocent, but Trace can read people and he knows right away that she is much more than she seems. For starters he knows that she’s dressed to downplay her curves and he’s not buying her “innocent” act at all. He knows Murray will take one look at her and he knows that Murray will see dollar signs, daughter or not. Trace immediately tries to get Priss to leave before Murray sees her, but she is not about to give up that easily now that she is so close to her goal.
When Murray meets Priscilla he’s intrigued, of course, and tasks Trace with keeping her safe. Trace is not happy with having to babysit Priss, but he figures she’s safer with him and he can take the time to find out just what she is up to. They don’t know it yet, but they have the same goal. Take out Murray Coburn.
Trace has to work hard to get Priss to trust him and when he finally finds out what she’s hoping to do and why, all he wants to do is get her as far away from Murray Coburn as possible. After a particularly close call he thinks he’s convinced her to go into hiding while he puts his plan into action. Unfortunately, Priscilla has other ideas.
I really enjoyed the character of Trace. He is your typical alpha male-sexy, smart, powerful and basically kick ass, but you see his softer side come through as he spends more time in Priscilla’s company. His need to protect her and keep her safe from Murray is at the forefront. He is not immune to her charms, but he doesn’t fight his feelings for her either. His snark and humor come through when you least expect it and I was very entertained watching him fall for Priss.
Priscilla is exactly the kind of heroine that I like to read about paired with a man like Trace. She is smart, willful and not about to take orders from Trace just because he says so. As the story progresses, we learn a little more about Priscilla’s childhood. She grew up very sheltered, was home-schooled with little to no social interaction with others her age. It is clear that her innocent act is not so much an act as she freely admits throughout the book to her many “first time” experiences. So, I have to admit to a little disbelief that a young woman with so little life experience could be such a take charge confident woman. But throughout this book that is the only Priscilla we see, unless she is “pretending” in front of Murray for the sake of her cover. Priscilla’s is single-minded in seeking her revenge on Murray Coburn.
Trace of Fever is a quick read with a fast paced story. There is humor and wit and I found myself laughing with the antics of Trace and Priscilla. We also revisit characters from the first book which is always a plus for me. We are introduced to Jackson who has been hired to work with Trace and Dare and just happens to be the hero of the next book. Savor The Danger. I already have a little thing for Jackson, so I’m really looking forward to his book!