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REVIEW: Fever Cure by Phillipa Ashley

Dear Ms. Ashley:

I was looking for recommendations for contemporary romances and this Samhain title was recommended to me. By whom, I am unsure. While this is the first book of yours that I have read, it appears that you’ve been successfully publishing Chick Lit type of stories in the UK which are now being reprinted in the US by Sourcebooks. Jayne enjoyed “Dating Mr. December” and frankly from her review, it sounds like I would too.  I guess the main difference between “Fever Cure” and your other titles is that “Fever Cure” appears to be more explicit.

Fever Cure Phillipa AshleyThe two leads in the story are very likable but I felt the conflict didn’t hold up for the entirety of the story and that the unsolvable nature of the conflict was too easily resolved.  Keira Grayson has a meet cute with enigmatic British fellow, Tom Carew, outside the church where a fellow schoolteacher was getting married. The Honourable Doctor Thomas Edmund Jasper Carew is a passionate humanitarian working as a rural doctor in the Papua Islands. He’s back for a short break and then plans to return. Keira is a school teacher who has her own passion for her children, her teaching, and her permanent roots. Thus, the unsolvable conflict. Either Tom gives up his humanitarian passion and disdain for general practitioner work in Britain or Keira gives up her position as a school teacher and her desire for permanency.

Despite Dr. Tom knowing that he wants to return to Papua Islands as soon as possible and despite Keira knowing this as well, the two embark on an affair which deepens beyond the physical after each moment spent together. Tom’s family looks on Keira as if she is a gift from heaven, hoping that Tom’s desire and burgeoning love will ground him close to his family. His older gay brother also encourages the relationship knowing that no heirs to the title will issue from his relationship.

Tom comes off as bossy and presumptuous at times. This plays well because Keira finds it attractive and Tom sees it as a sign of his own social ineptness. He acknowledges that it is a character flaw and we, as the reader, get the vicarious thrill of enjoying a bossy guy without actually having one in the house irritating us constantly.

He checked his watch briefly, then said. “Right. Saturday. Seven thirty. Your flat. I’ll drive.”

“Now, just hang on a moment! I might be doing something!”

He just smiled, grabbed his bag and made his way to the door.

“Besides, how do you know where I live?” she called as he walked out into the corridor.

“I asked Carrie.”

“You’ve got a nerve, Tom Carew. Just who do you think you are?”

“A presumptuous git,” he shot back. “With a table booked for two at one of the best Italian restaurants in London.”

The dialogue between the two is funny and charming. But the conflict lacked enough energy to carry it through the novel length of the book and despite the fun dialogue and the sexy scenes, I wanted the movement of the book to speed up. The unsolvable nature of the conflict didn’t abate and when the solution was presented to the reader, I felt deflated. I hadn’t seen enough in the build up to warrant the ending.

Up to the end, both parties were very set in their ways and both seemed to have a true passion for their careers and their life’s choices but there was no easy resolution to their dilemma. The resolution, however, was only one that could have been made in romance. B-

Best regards,



Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ridley
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 10:43:00

    Pretty sure I’m who recommended it to you, which is amusing, since I haven’t read it yet. I bought it based on the cover.

    Glad to hear it’s actually good!

  2. Jane
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 10:44:10

    @Ridley – I did like it although I wished the conflict was bigger, better resolved, and involved less repetition in the push/pull. I do want to read more by her, though. She’s the British Julie James in my head now.

  3. Kati
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 11:49:52

    She’s the British Julie James in my head now.

    Uh…sold. I’m buying this one.

  4. Tripoli
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 12:07:08

    I read this a while ago and loved, loved, loved it! I loved the author’s voice, and especailly the hero – yum, there was just something about him that really came alive during the sex scenes.

  5. Ducky
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 12:55:39

    I really like the cover of this book.

  6. Ridley
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 13:03:51

    @Ducky: It’s really good, isn’t it? I love how they’re both fully dressed, he’s a normal-sized human and they’re not clinging to each other for dear life. It’s really sexy in a subtle, anticipatory way, like a kiss on the back of the neck versus the standard clinch cover’s chest grab and sloppy makeout.

  7. Leslie
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 13:31:47

    I recently read “Carrie Goes Off the Map” by Phillipa Ashley. At first I thought it was the book in your review. Very similar to “Fever Cure” almost exactly with subtle differences.
    Schoolteacher Carrie gets dumped a day before her wedding. Crashes ex’s wedding, meets up with Humanitarian Doctor on short leave from some Pacific Island outpost. Gets manipulated into going camping with him in a VW. bus to Cornwall. They have various relationships with other people along the way but end up together. Same issues, same family dynamic though older brother isn’t gay he’s an alcoholic over achiever. I almost didn’t finish reading because it seemed to contrived to me.

  8. library addict
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 14:34:20

    This ones been in my tbr pile for a while now. I bought it when it was a new release based on the blurb.

    I thought it had been reviewed here already, but I guess it was the calendar book which was made into the movie with Kristin Chenoweth (Twelve Men of Christmas was the film title, Dating Mr. December was the book).

  9. Mandi
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 15:20:39

    I think I need to try this one…

  10. cleo
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 16:39:22

    we, as the reader, get the vicarious thrill of enjoying a bossy guy without actually having one in the house irritating us constantly

    This made me laugh out loud. Remarkable how you managed to explain the appeal (and limitations) of the majority of romance heroes in one sentence.

  11. Camille
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 16:46:37


  12. Jill Sorenson
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 16:54:17

    Love the cover.

  13. Brie
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 17:04:56

    I never managed to finish Dating Mr. December, but I can’t remember why, maybe I wasn’t in the right mood. That book had more of a chick-lit feel to it, though, this one sounds more like a contemporary romance. I’m tempted to try it. Has anyone read both? How do they compare?

  14. Anna Cowan
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 17:48:00

    I love the figures in the cover, but the background and title make my eye think it’s a romantic suspense, which I don’t read. I can’t convince my eye otherwise!

  15. SonomaLass
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 19:12:26


    yum, there was just something about him that really came alive during the sex scenes

    Can’t stop laughing at that description!

  16. Kaetrin
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 20:07:59

    There’s another one of Phillipa Ashley’s books on NetGalley at the moment – I think it’s called Just Say Yes. I have Dating Mr. December on my TBR and I think I might have to pick this one up too.

  17. Jane
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 20:15:08

    @Camille – I admit I am not the best proofreader but I love to correct my errors. Can you help me out?

  18. Brie
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 20:27:21

    @Anna Cowan: And she’s wearing a trench coat, so she must be a detective ;-)

  19. Kaetrin
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 20:31:37

    @Brie: or a stripper!

  20. hapax
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 21:20:18

    @Jane #17 — well, I had to confess that this one:

    Tom’s family looks on Keira as if she is a gift from heaving,

    made me giggle a bit. Bosoms, I presume?

  21. Camille
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 21:21:35


    The syntax of the first sentence in the 2nd paragraph.
    3rd paragraph, 2nd sentence should say gift from heaven, not heaving.
    Same sentence: I assume you meant “will ground him”.
    4th paragraph, 2nd sentence:should be “Tom sees”.
    Lack of conjunction in last paragraph, 1st sentence.

    This is what I do and so errors are conspicuous to me. Great receptivity/attitude, btw. Cheers :-)

  22. Jane
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 21:23:13

    @hapax – that line was a mess.

  23. Jane
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 21:23:45

    @Camille – Thanks for pointing them out.

  24. Tripoli
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 08:14:13


    yum, there was just something about him that really came alive during the sex scenes

    Can’t stop laughing at that description!

    LOL – I didn’t even think about that! My bad! ;-)

  25. Amanda
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 10:16:14

    For those of you who like the cover, there’s a book by Avery Flynn called “Temptation Creek” (published 6/2011) that has the same cover, just zoomed out so you see the man and woman from head to toe. The cover caught my eye on that book, and I ended up buying it and enjoying the romantic suspense.

  26. Amanda
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 10:19:41

    Oops, I was looking at the thumbnail picture for he cover on the DA website. When I enlarged the picture of the cover, I realized that the covers are exactly the same.

  27. Loosheesh
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 10:54:49

    @Amanda: When I first saw the review and cover, I immediately thought it was for Avery Flynn’s book, which I bought when it was advertised here on the sidebar (yes, I clicked because I really liked the cover =D). It’s part of a series and I bought both books, but haven’t read any of them yet.

    @cleo: Me too! Awesome line, lol

  28. Jane Lovering
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 10:06:48

    This is on my TBR pile (well, list, on Kindle). I love Phillipa’s voice.

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