Series: Caged, #3
Published on August 2015 Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Oblivion is a sweet, sweet place.
No pain. No disturbing thoughts of the past. No guilt from my recent actions.
Deep down, there is still a part of me that knows how screwed up I am. I don’t see a way out, not now. Tria’s gone, and the possibility of her forgiving me in my current state is exactly zero. I know I have to pull myself together, accept my responsibilities, and try to make amends, but I have no idea where to start.
No job. No apartment. I’m living on the streets with the other junkies. As little as I had to offer Tria before, I have nothing to give her now. The only way out is to come clean and tell Tria the truth about my past, but the idea of reliving the memories is so painful, I can’t think about it long enough to figure out a solution.
I’ve hit rock bottom, and I don’t even know which way is up any more.
Michelle is back with this amazing REVIEW of the Caged Trilogy. Fun fact about me (Kristi?)—I don’t read series until they’re all out. Guess what I’m about to do? One-click this because I love Shay and this review kicks ass. Thanks Michelle for this review and teasers and thank you Shay for your kick ass stories!
Caged Trilogy Review. (All three sort of summed up in one)… All were five star reads for me.
Liam “Takedown” Teague is an underground fighter who spends two nights a week pummeling opponents and the days in between training. A simple life of rinse, wash and repeat. But all of that soon changes when he saves Tria from a dangerous situation. Now life is becoming about so much more. Something that Liam gave up hope for long ago.
Takedown Teague is the first in the Cage Trilogy and although some readers experienced his story as fan-fiction, this was my first meeting. One thing that separates Shay from other romance authors is her ability to tell a story from the male point of view. She feeds this need I have to get inside the Hero’s head like no other author.
The first book in this series sets up the story perfectly. Tria and Liam both have horrible pasts that they are running from and although we get a good look into the life Tria was living, we haven’t even begun to peel back the layers of what Liam has endured.
What I found with Trapped, book two, was that Takedown Teague really felt like more of Tria’s story – we get to know a lot about her, we get small pieces of Liam but nothing concrete until now – and even now, you’re left with so many more questions. So we start off exactly where we left off. Some small town in Maine with Population: Screwed the F Up. I won’t go into what this entails, since I think discovering Tria’s upbringing is a major twist that readers who are lurking around reviews should really experience firsthand. But what we get in Trapped is seeing this experience through Liam’s eyes and partly I think him being so vocal about how screwed up it all was really broke through to Tria a bit.
But her past isn’t quite finished with her yet and it appears neither is Liam’s.
I was looking forward to this installment of the series, I loved the climb from book one and was ready to hit the top of the mountain with book two only to discover that Shay wasn’t quite ready for that just yet. Everything I thought I had figured out about Liam’s past blew up in my face and I still have no clue as to what to expect him to reveal, only that I am guessing it is going to be ten times worse than I ever imagined.
Tria & Liam’s emotional journey comes to a conclusion in the final installment of the Caged trilogy, Released. Up until now, we’ve gotten bits and pieces of Liam’s past but never the full story. And with the cliffhanger ending that Shay left us with in book two, getting all the gritty details was a must.
It all comes crashing down around Liam and old habits are hard to break when everything is, once again at risk.
A single high.
A way to forget the fear, the pain, his past.
As Liam’s worst fears are relived, he runs. But when he returns he finds everything that mattered gone. Four years sober and all of it is shot to hell as his painful past is staring him right in the face. But in order to get Tria back, Liam must face it. Must relive it and must let it go and forgive himself and those around.
I think as I read this I took educated guesses at what Liam’s story was going to be. I was blindsided a bit by Tria’s story but for Liam – I really wanted to try to figure him out along the way. What I learned was that there was just no way to do that. I might have come close to some key aspects, but I was miles away from his truth.
Liam’s pasts tore my heart apart. There wasn’t just a series of unfortunate events, there was agonizing destruction. The kind of pain that steals your breath and makes you want to never wake up. The fact that he survived, even if he wasn’t really living, was a testament to his strength.
Released was an emotional journey. I expected that Trapped would be the part of the story that held the climatic emotional high, but I was wrong. It was still just part of the buildup, leading us to the final chapter of their story. Every moment led us to this place. And Liam’s story was utterly heartbreaking. Watching him face his past, the moments where he lets Tria in, giving her the missing pieces that explain his fear, broke my heart. Shattered it.
There is no doubt that when it comes to writing a romance from the male POV, Shay owns this. I love getting the gritty details of a romance without all the hearts and flowers as she delivers harsh blows. Unapologetic male characters that will give their whole heart to the women they love, but don’t become soft just because they find love. Her writing is not conventional romance. It’s not filled to the brim with sweet moments, it’s filled with the rough stuff, the moments that make you appreciate it even more when the hero gets that soft look in his eyes, because you know that is just for HER. For THEM.
But have no fear, this isn’t just a cry your eyes out, emotional sock to the stomach read. Between Krazy Katie and the world’s largest purse EVER, you are given these moments when the weight ot the story lift, breaking up the tension in all the right spots.
Shay delivered a heartbreaking story that although broke you along the way, glued all your pieces back together again in the end.
To connect with Michelle on Goodreads, click here.
Thanks Michelle for this amazing review! I’m going to one-click NOW.