Fever, by Elizabeth Lowell

>> Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fever, is an Elizabeth Lowell oldie, from 1988. I already know I should keep away from her older books, but well, I saw a copy for $ 20 Uruguayan (not even $1 US) at a UBS that doesn't otherwise have books in English, so it was irresistible.

Rye McCall has a problem. He's got an obsessive father who's trying to ensure a dynasty, but Rye's rebellious and determined to lead his own life. And to make matters worse, he's just met a woman who may thwart both men's plans. For one brief, high-country summer, Rye manages the impossible—to keep his father's world at bay. But he's lost control of his own plans—he's fallen in love with Lisa Johansen. Now he's told too many lies for his happiness to last. He knows that. What he doesn't know is how to finally tell her the truth.
This was just so.... 80s! ::shudder:: My grade for this is a D

What did I have a problem with? Well, what didn't I have a problem with! First there's the barely 20 year old, child-woman heroine, who's never even felt sexual desire until she meets the hero. She's fragile and delicate and absurdly self-sacrificial. She lives only for her man.

Then there's the much older hero who thinks all women are greedy, materialistic hos out to trap men into marriage. Then there are the stupid, big assumptions Rye makes on the flimsiest of reasons to make him think it would be a good idea to lie to Lisa and make her think he's a lowly ranch-hand without even two coins to rub together.

I just hated that judgemental prick, Rye. I cannot stand mysoginistic heroes. Though, on the other hand, one might say he had good reasons to distrust all women, since, according to the book, every single woman he'd ever met had been after his money. Of course, if he treated every woman he met with the respect he did Lisa (practically calling her a whore when he knew nothing about her), no wonder the only women who wanted the idiot were those who were interested only in his wallet!

Anyway, so it's either Rye was a mysoginistic jerk or the book contains a mysoginistic view of women. In either case, it was offensive to me. And there wasn't even a good grovel at the end, so I didn't even have the pleasure of seeing the stupid prick squirm a little. He didn't even suffer much. He basically got everything he ever wanted without having to work at all for it, a reward for bad behaviour, actually. Ugh.

Good points? Well, Lowell's love scenes are always steamy, but I'm sorry, when I want to see a character smeared with honey and tied over an anthill, I don't particularly enjoy reading about him coming his brains out. So that's definitely a qualified positive. What I did like was some details about Lisa, who was a pretty interesting character. She's spent her entire life living among nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes all over the world, so she is just different from the usual. There were some very nice touches in her characterization, like the fact that she simply didn't perceive time in the Western way, but had what she called a "tribal" concept of time.

I think I've learned my lesson this time. No more old Lowells for Rosario, I should just stick to her nice, newer romantic suspense. Though Love Song For a Raven is supposed to be quite good....


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