ISBN: 0425214230 2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Causing Havoc is the first book in the SBC Fighters series. This series of books are set in the world of Extreme Fighting – a topic that seems to be surrounded by controversy and strong feelings in real life. The books in this series explore the world of Extreme Fighting using fictional characters and a fictional organization based on reality.
“Havoc” is the extreme fighter, Dean Connor, who was orphaned at the age of 9 and separated from his sisters to be raised by his uncle – a man who built buildings all over the world. His sisters were raised in the the family home by their aunt. When Dean receives a letter from one of his sisters, he decides to take a break from fighting for a little R & R and a visit to his boyhood home in Harmony, Kentucky. Once he arrives, he finds his family home in disrepair; his Aunt Lorna having squandered most of the inheritance money. One sister, Camille, is set to marry a man Dean takes an immediate dislike to, and the other sister, Jacki, in a state of rebellion. He meets Cam’s friend Eve, and immediately falls for her. Cam is trying desperately to work, put her sister through school, keep the family house standing, deal with the petulant and at times, ridiculously evil Aunt Lorna and continue to date the icky Roger.
We see Dean change throughout this book from being a commitment-phobic visitor to the town of his boyhood, to an almost overbearing big brother to his sisters. He starts by just wanting to get to know his sisters and have a good time with Eve to helping with one problem after another.
Some of the characters I liked more than others. I thought that Cam was a a bit of a doormat and didn’t like her continued relationship with the bizarre Roger. It becomes apparent early on that he has a different agenda. He seems to be trying to force Cam into marriage using the leverage of Aunt Lorna – who is often not logical and only out for herself. Dean often seems to exude the “me Tarzan, you Jane” mentality and the sexism got my back up several times. He does have many redeeming qualities especially illustrated by his dealing with Eve’s “inconvenience”. Dean’s friend, Gregor, comes into town and gets corralled into helping fix the roof on the family home and falls in love with Jacki. The “me Tarzan, you Jane” mentality that Gregor also oozes is more comical than annoying. The interactions between Gregor and Jacki are hysterical at points. I don’t like to think that any man is quite as dense as Gregor seems to be!
On the surface, I loved reading this book. The sex was sizzling and the characters meshed well. Lori Foster seemed to spend more time delving into family background and the platonic interactions between her characters than in other books I have read. I felt that this produced a more well rounded book. However, the characters of Aunt Lorna and Roger seemed to be forced into “happy endings” at the end of the book making me worry for the future safety of Cam. It seems that there were still too many loose ends for the story to end.
Romance Reader at Heart has the following to say about Causing Havoc: “CAUSING HAVOC’s Dean “Havoc” Conor is yum. The kind of hunk of male meat guaranteed to cause a female’s heart rate to speed up. Havoc is walking testosterone. And Ms. Foster did a real convincing job of turning Havoc from a blockhead wanting only a quick tumble in the sheets with wise-cracking Eve into a caring, tender, bona fide hero. His gradual transformation from a cold, self-serving male into someone with deeper, more heartfelt emotions is one of the highlights of CAUSING HAVOC.” RT Book Reviews gives Causing havoc 4 stars and offers the following comment: “Peopled with interesting and fun characters, as well as a couple with a sinister side, Foster’s latest is delightful and amusing. It offers a brief but fascinating look at the world of professional fighting. Though there’s a bit of plot predictability in some places, there are also some nifty surprises, with more than one romance to be played out and a few mysteries to be solved.”