Returning home after three weeks of captivity in the shadows of her own mind, Ruby discovers the magnitude of the damage her absence left in its wake. With relationships to mend and unsolved mysteries still looming, she has little time to deal with the latest drama at hand: the three disreputable werewolves recently thrust into her life and a missing Scarlet. Ruby must quickly learn to adapt and thrive in her new situation while also treading carefully around it. If not, she will suffer the consequences―and without her genetically built-in safety net present, the ramifications could be epic.
Oh, where do I even begin?
Ah yes! Amber Lynn Natusch is an evil bitch. Plain and simple.
Now, before all of you out there in the Caged fandom come at me, let me also state that I told her this to her FACE. Ok, that’s a lie. But I did tell her in an instant message with tears streaming down my cheeks.
Scarred was a painful book to read. There is an event at the end of that book that will rip your heart out, stomp on it with football cleats and doesn’t even have the decency to put it back for you. It is PAINFUL. I think part of me even held a little resentment toward ALN for making me go through that awful experience with characters I love.
Ugh!! And then what happens AFTER the horrible event!!! That’s just as bad.
Well, once Scarred was behind me, I thought I was past the pain and could move on with my life…err, the story! Move on with the STORY. *shifty eyes*
Not. So. Much.
Yeah, remember that heart left stomped on the pavement??? ALN is back and in Fractured, she pulls it BACK OUT and pours salt on your wounds.
The horrible event I speak of gets brought back up in a very RAW way. The story line proceeds from when Ruby returns and everything is going along, smooth like butta’! Then BAM!!! Sadface.
You know what happens after people die?? That’s right. You have a funeral to attend.
Oh my GAWD I cried like a big bitch! And I was too heartbroken to be ashamed. And that resulted in an instant message to the author stating “you’re an evil bitch”. Except at the time, I was upset and I didn’t use the word ‘evil’. Instead, it was an F-bomb. And she laughed and laughed.
Fractured is all about consequences and Ruby has a boatload to face when she gets back. Although, I found myself reminding the characters (out loud, mind you!) that it was SCARLET in the driver’s seat when the event in Scarred went down. I am happy to report that it becomes clear pretty quick that they understand that but it also shows how hard it can sometimes be to remember that although Scarlet and Ruby share a body, they are two very difference personalities. They may inhabit the same building but they are definitely two different souls. To the people on the outside (or in the warpath, as the case may be), it’s just one face so they have to remember to keep that distinction fresh in their mind.
Let’s take a look at the characters.
Oh Ruby, you poor, poor thing. I just want to give her a hug. And sometimes, I want to give her a pat on the head….with a hammer. The Ruby we are presented with in Fractured is a MUCH different girl than we met 4 books ago in Caged. She’s been through a lot so far and the shit storms just keep coming. My only wish is that she’d lose the naïve streak she has sometimes. By this point, I feel like she should have a thicker skin and a harder frame of mind. HOWEVER…. At the same time, we as readers need to remember that not a lot of time has passed in Ruby’s world since Caged first began and Ruby has barely had any time to breathe between each crisis she faces. I don’t know how she doesn’t have a rockin’ case of PTSD by now.
Mmmmm, Sean. Sean has become one of my favorites and I have a little case of Stockholm Syndrome with him. He can act like a complete and total dick and in my head, I’m all “he just needs love. I can change him!” And then, yet again, I have to remind myself that he is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. Sigh…. I feel like Sean’s mean streak cleans up a bit in Fractured. Now that there is a clear, defined relationship between him and Ruby, he still has a slightly infuriating Man of Mystery thing going on. He wouldn’t be a good urban fantasy alpha male type if he didn’t though.
I started getting a little snippy with Coop over the last could of books because the dynamic between him and Ruby was so weird. It felt like a constant “will they or wont they” struggle. Fractured brought some real definition to what they mean to each other. I think it clears up any confusion and gets rid of the love triangle feel that the books were starting to have a touch of. He still doesn’t really like Sean but at least they now have something in common rather than competition – Ruby.
Ugh…. Peyta. Sigh. What the hell are we going to do with you? There’s a BIG secret revealed about Peyta in Fractured and to be honest, I didn’t really like it. The storyline is good but felt a little too real-worldy for the Caged series. I voiced this opinion to ALN via instant message while I was in the middle of reading the book and she assured me that the Peyta thing leads to a bigger conversation that needed to be had later on in the book. Fear not, reader! ALN was right. Although the Peyta secret doesn’t feel organic for the book at first, it DOES open up a can of worms later on in a great dialog session. In regards to the secret, I am not even going to hint at what it is. I am just going to say you’ll know it when you see it. There is no missing that shit!
Fractured also brings the arrival of some newcomers to the storyline and I really like them! They’re a good addition. A little sketchy, but good.
Oh!!! And I want to punch Gavin right in his suck hole. He’s a douche and he pisses me off. He may be there to “help” Rubes but I still want to make him feel pain. Every conversation they have causes me to go into a blind rage. He’s the king of dancing around answers and it just pisses me off to no end. I was seriously ready to blow a gasket over him by the end of Fractured.
I am giving Fractured 5 solid gold stars. After the events of Scarred, I didn’t see how this storyline could possibly get any better but I loved Fractured! While reading, someone asked me which was my favorite out of the series and I can honestly say that I can’t pick now. I love each one for much different reasons. Fractured was an awesome addition to the line up!
I’m not going to lie to you folks, Scarred sort of wrecked me. Like utterly.
Like I’m pretty sure Amber Lynn Natusch was a little bit worried I might cause myself actually bodily harm. (yes yes, those of you who’ve read Fractured already are pointing and whispering behind your hands about the correlation, but
Anyways, going into Fractured, I was sort of numb. Actually, I was sort of thinking of not reading Fractured. Maybe distancing myself from the story a bit. Scarred really was that traumatic for me.
Still, Amber goes “I have a version ready for you” and like Pavlov’s fucking dog I sit up and beg…
But back to the numb thing…
I went into this volume swearing to keep my emotional distance. To erect a wall between the story and my heart.
And like the sadistic bitch Ms. Natusch is (notice she’s Ms. Natusch now) she dragged me right back in.
…I blame the Brits.
No seriously. There’s a trio of new werewolves in town, and they just add something extra to the series. Now it’s not just Sean and Cooper fighting over Ruby. Actually, it sort of gives them some common ground. Almost bonding. Not quite bonding, but they’re getting closer.
Speaking of which? How happy am I that Sean & Ruby as well as Cooper & Ruby seem to have finally, FINALLY, settled into something they can all understand. How happy? So happy. So stinking happy.
So really, the only thing that’s mucking up our lives is Gavin.
Seriously, I want to punch that dink so hard his children will be born bruised. GD Gavin. I swear all my e-mails to Amber were “when do we get to punch him? Now? Is it now? How about now?”
Of course there are more questions. What’s up with Scarlet? What happened in the missing weeks? What’s in the damn letter? WHEN DO I GET TO PUNCH GAVIN IN THE EAR?
I give Fractured…
Wait, why do I feel like I’m forgetting something…
OH RIGHT, THE ACTUAL PLOT OF THE BOOK!
You know. All the stuff that goes around all the interpersonal relationships.
So this time around, trouble lands on Ruby’s doorstep and it’s not her fault. No really. It’s because of the Brits. You know, the ones I said I like because they add something to the story.
Well not only do they add banter, and a common threat for Sean and Cooper (real or their overactive imaginations, I’m not telling…), and references to soccer I’m still not entirely sure I understand… They also bring their own bad guy!
They’re so considerate.
And I have to admit, much to my shame, I totally did not see the grand finale with that whole situation coming. In fact, I kind of thought Amber dropped the ball a little bit.
I’d say more, but it would give too much away. Even, for example, me saying that I should never doubt Amber.
So I won’t say that either.
I’ll just think it really hard.
Long story short, I give Fractured 5 stars.
Finally! I really can’t wait for each book of the Caged series, so I was really excited to get this book early. I sat for over seven and a half hours non-stop reading this because it was just that good. Of course all of these books are just that good! Here’s where I say that it is not a stand alone book and if you haven’t read the others, you will be pretty lost.
When last we saw Ruby, Scarlet had taken over and taken off for parts unknown. This book starts with Ruby waking up in a scene eerily similar to the beginning of Caged-naked, alone and having no idea where she is or what she has done. And as in the first book, she is being hunted or is she? Not telling. Eventually she makes it home and walks back into the mess that Scarlet left behind. We get to see her homecoming with all the characters from the other books-and all the different reactions to her showing back up. Of course with what happened with Mattie and Ruby’s disappearance, there is quite the mess to clean up. I wish I could say more about the story but I really don’t want to ruin it for other readers. I can say that the love between Sean and and Ruby is so sweet and even tender this time around. They truly seemed in tune with one another(mostly) and I am really liking Sean more and more. Cooper is still there and still so good to Ruby. There’s some big realizations to do with him this time around and I really loved that! And there are three new, very interesting characters introduced to the story and yes they are male and oh yeah they are werewolves. I really love Peyta and she has quite the story line this time.
Give me a break Gavin is along for the ride also. He really is on my last nerve! But I guess he serves a purpose and I am sure we will find all that out eventually. There is also a surprise visit from someone else important to the story And Ruby does start to come to terms with her previous assaults from the Caged book. I really, really need to stop or I will ruin the story.
All that being said, I can only say how much I loved this book. There is something for everyone in Fractured, lots of romance, action and even mystery. Caged has always been my favorite of the series, I think because that is when I fell in love with the series and the wonderful characters, but I just might be putting this one in a tie with Caged. I love Amber’s writing style and her characters-all of them (although I am still on the fence about Gavin). Amber’s dialogue is real and as always the editing is pretty spot on, which I have definitely learned to appreciate.
I give Fractured a very, very solid 5 stars (one of the few books I wish I could give 6 out of 5 stars to). If you like paranormal romances, or just really like a really good story, you really need to read these books. Great Job Amber!
Caged Series #4
Caged Series #5