Fever (The Breathless Trilogy, #2)

Fever (The Breathless Trilogy, #2) - Maya Banks 2.5, maybe 3 starsFrom the other reviews, I'm in the minority here. I'm not gushing over this book. Yeah... I really wanted to like this book, and it was a decent read. But it didn't GRAB me like Maya's and Gabe's story did in book 1. It's not a bad book... it probably deserves a 3 star rating, because I *did* read it, and I *generally* liked it. I just didn't feel the chemistry between Bethany and Jace, despite his obsession with her. It really did seem too much like a cross between Pretty Woman and FSOG (with a whole better setup and better, stronger characters).And, unfortunately, this story is completely predictable in almost every way. Sure, I want to find out what happens to them all from here, especially Jack. But was I one bit surprised at what happened? No. The story is fairly well-written and definitely has it's moments, but I didn't feel the *need* to read it to know how it would end.Bethany's lived a hard life, and I empathized with her, even her insecurities. I guess that for someone who's lived on the streets most of her life, this whole scenario would be more than a little overwhelming. While I can see how she'd appreciate Jace's 24/7 almost TPE (total power exchange) - taking almost complete control of her life, giving her a schedule, deciding what she wears and eats, when they have sex, etc. - after awhile, I can also see her rebelling. And because of the way that they've started, will they have built enough trust and love together that Jace will stand by his assertions that he'll take her any way he can get her. 'Cuz in future, I see her being much more independent. It's one thing to allow Jace total control/dominance in the BDSM way in the bedroom and another to allow that same total control/dominance in her everyday waking life.I guess that's the catch: Bethany's life truly has been SO DIFFERENT from Jace, Gabe, Mia, and Ash, that despite how wonderful and accepting and loving these people are, they don't KNOW what it's been like for her. To go from wondering where your next meal is coming from and whether you'll have somewhere warm to sleep tonight to literally anything her heart desires and total protection and control from a man obsessed with her... well, that's going from 1 to 10 in .5 seconds. That's the part of the book that doesn't fit. Doesn't seem real.IF Bethany had a fairly normal upbringing but then something happened and she was out on the street surviving, OK. I could accept it. But that's not the case.And the whole thing with Jack. OK, he's not the best person to be around her. OK, he's got his own issues. But living as Bethany has for so long, the fact that Jace can't see or understand what Jack is to her... the fact that he's so threatened by Jack... well, it says a LOT about Jace and how he's relating to Bethany.To be fair, Ms. Banks TRIES to bring those elements in. But most of it gets lost in the HEA of the romance genre. The harsher edges are smoothed down by appeasing the reader with mild BDSM scenes. Yes, Bethany's realization about TRUST and Jace is very good - very real. But it's not really addressed, front-and-center; it's acknowledged, barely discussed, and then swept under the rug in favor of Jace's determination to be forever with Bethany and provide everything and anything she could ever want.The way that Jace and even Ash talks most of the time, without a subject - "Wanna blahblahblah..." "Have to thisorthat..." - drove me crazy after awhile. It was totally overdone. No one talks that way all the time.So... I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. I'm hoping that Ash's story is more in line with some sort of reality.