Fever, by Kimberly Dean

>> Friday, July 14, 2006

My first Kimberly Dean was a short story of hers in the Secrets Vol. 9 anthology, and I was pretty impressed by it. I hadn't been expecting all that much from it, but it was a fun and sexy read, which managed to pack in a convincing romance in a few short pages.

On asking for recs in my blog post about it, the consensus seemed to be that her
Fever (excerpt) novella, from Ellora's Cave, was good (if short), so I decided to give it a shot.

Relentless heat. Uncontrolled desire. And a man to slake her every need…

Delia Jenkins is distressed when a raging fever forces her to leave work on the day before a big bid. She’s brand new on the job, but her delirium has pushed her to the point where she can’t think straight. She goes home to recuperate, but the heat inside her only builds. That night, a man shows up at her apartment to care for her. He’s concerned about her well-being, but the fervor has reached a ravenous pitch.

There’s only one way to douse the flames.

It’s only after the fever breaks that Delia realizes her work situation has gotten hotter than ever before.
Well, the people who recommended this one were right, it was good. It was also short, but in this case, this was good, and the story felt exactly the right length. A B.

From the story description alone, I would never have bought this one. Delia Jenkins is feeling really sick, so her coworker and boss practically force her to go home and rest, even though there's still work to be done. And it's a good thing that they did, too, because she begins to run a very high fever; so high, in fact, that she becomes delirious. The thing is, this particular fever doesn't leave her plain delirious, but delirious with wanting, and when a mysterious man shows up, Delia realizes that he's the only one who can help her.

The main reason this did not sound like my cup of tea was that all the descriptions I read made it sound as if this would read a bit like the very vague dream sequences some authors are so fond of. Just anonymous, two-dimensional people doing stuff the author feels no need to provide motivation for (it's a dream, right? So they don't need motivation).

This wasn't like that at all. Delia was still Delia (only Delia in heat, I guess), and even through her hazy thoughts you got a good idea of both the personality and motivations behind her dream guy. And since both of the people participating were three-dimensional, the constant sex was engaging and hot and really did show a wonderful beginning to their relationship. And Dean also did a good job in the last few pages in showing that they do develop a good relationship later.

In other notes, the identity of the dream guy is not really much of a mystery if you're paying attention, but that was fine with me. Oh, and for those looking for adventurous erotica, this is not it. The sex here is pretty vanilla. Hot vanilla, but vanilla, all the same, which was a positive for me, as I really don't think the time to go into new territory is when one of the participants is out of her head with fever!

So far, Dean has hit two for two with me. I hope the next one I read (and after this, I definitely will read another one!) is just as good.


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