As some of you know (because her page is how you found me), I am good friends with author Amber Lynn Natusch. I wanted to give a big shout out and congrats to her on today’s release of Tarnished (Caged Series #5.5)!! If you haven’t read the Caged series yet, you totally need to get on that shit. For Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance lovers such as myself, the series is a LOT of fun.
This morning, I reviewed Tarnished on my book blog (PureTextuality.com) and I decided to share it on here as well. I am planning to start doing this with reviews of my favorite books that I read. I try to keep my reviews SPOILER FREE so please try to do the same in any comments you leave. I hate reviews that are nothing more than a book report in which every plot line and twist is given away. It drives me INSANE when people do that. The point of a review should be to entice readers to want to check out the book for themselves, not remove any need for it.
If you’ve read Tarnished or any of the Caged series, please feel free to comment!! I would love to hear your thoughts as well!!
Sean has a reputation for brutality, and it is well-deserved. Centuries of inflicting pain and punishment on anything and everything he deemed worthy slowly stole whatever light had been in him when he was born. His angelic nature fell victim to the god of war within him, just as Ares had intended.
After an enigmatic encounter, a vision of Ruby comes to Sean and changes all of that. Her piercing blue eyes bear their way into his soul, awakening it as though it had never slept. Struggling against his inner darkness, Sean fights to keep that light from fading again and eventually goes to extremes to ensure that it won’t.
I read this a little later than I normally tackle Amber’s stuff. I started it this past weekend, got distracted by editing my own book, and just finished it this morning.
Although Tarnished is #5.5 in the series, it doesn’t take place post-Fractured. HOWEVER, I wouldn’t recommend reading it until you’ve read through the series up through Fractured. It gives up WAY too much about Sean and his past to be read prior to reading the series. Half the fun of the Caged series is you spend most of the time without a fucking clue what is happening. The constant suspense is what keeps us coming back. If you read Tarnished before tackling the series, instead of saying “HOLY SHIT!!!” at the big reveals, you’ll be saying “And?? I already knew this shit.”. So, DON’T READ IT UNTIL YOU’VE READ CAGED, HAUNTED, FRAMED, SCARRED, AND FRACTURED.
As for the story line itself, it was super interesting getting to see a glimpse into Sean’s past. Sean is a bad ass in the Caged series but he’s most definitely brought it down a notch or two from the days of old.
I had talked with the author prior to reading Tarnished and I was unbelievably excited about reading this novella. The biggest thing is (Alert! Alert! Therapy red flag comin’ up!) I wanted to see Sean go dark. I mean DARK. Like, full-on black. And he does but not in the way I expected.
You’re still very much protected by “discretion” when reading this book. Rather than painting the scene of what he does, it’s fade to black and the details are pieced together from the aftermath. So even the faint of heart wouldn’t really have a problem watching Sean go to this horrible place inside himself.
If you’re a Ruby addict, don’t hold your breath. Tarnished isn’t about Ruby but it will make you understand choices and actions that took place between Caged and Fractured. Although he will still be infuriating on every level, you finish Tarnished with a little more understanding. You end up “getting” Sean.
I am going to give Tarnished 4.5 stars! This was a great addition to the series but now I am DYING to get my damn hands on Strayed (Caged #6)!!!!
Caged Series #4
Caged Series #5
Caged Series # 5.5