Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review: Caged by Lorelei James

Caged (Mastered #4)
By Lorelei James
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Source: Publisher
In the searing fourth novel in the Mastered Series, following Unraveled, only one woman can set a hardened fighter free from his past.…
In order to survive a life of tragedy, Deacon McConnell embraced his roughest edges and learned to fight on the streets. Then a life-changing jujitsu seminar led by Sensei Ronin Black led Deacon to become a professional fighter. With his muscular physique and his body covered in tattoos and scars, the MMA fighter defines mean, both on and off the mat.
But everything changes when innocent Molly Calloway signs up for his kickboxing class. Molly is Deacon’s opposite in every way: She’s kind, sweet, thoughtful, and educated. After a heated argument between them turns into a passionate encounter, Deacon realizes Molly is eager to experience more, and she looks to him to take her to the darker edge of lust....
The last thing either of them expects is how deeply their lives will be thrown upside down by the passion they find together.

When I want a more steamy romance, I turn to two authors: Maya Banks and Lorelei James. When I had the opportunity to review Lorelei's latest novel in her Mastered series, I couldn't say no. I read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it, so I couldn't wait for the fourth book! 

Deacon McConnell was headed down a dark path in fighting before he met his match against Sensei Ronin Black. Honing his anger and focusing on his professional fighting career and teaching classes for Ronin, Deacon is finally getting his life together. Until Molly Calloway walks into his kickboxing class and the chemistry between them is undeniable. Molly is everything Deacon is not, but one heated confrontation later and there's no going back with Deacon and Molly. 

Since I missed the 2nd and 3rd books in this series, I was not at all acquainted with these characters when the story just jumped into Deacon and Molly's relationship. In this book, we don't get to see how Deacon and Molly meet or even the development of their attraction until the story starts where Molly is mad at Deacon and they had already acknowledged that they liked each other, but hadn't acted on it yet. Also, there are SO MANY CHARACTERS in this book it was impossible to keep them straight. There were so many trainers, fighters, and friends of Molly's that I tended to get lost in them. I wish there were less characters or more time spent on explaining who people were so that I wasn't lost in the characters and could focus on Molly and Deacon more. 

While it was hard to connect initially, I really ended up loving Molly's character. She was very timid before the book because of an attack, but she had definitely found her back bone and wasn't afraid to stand up for herself. And I LOVED how she was not super skinny and was actually insecure about herself and her imperfections. Deacon was able to reassure her that she was beautiful to him. I also liked how Molly held her ground with Deacon, especially how he was described as a very serious, dark, brooding man. Wow, when those two were alone, their chemistry exploded and it was definitely very hot. While the story did seem to go on longer than it needed to, I did enjoy the fighting storyline along with Deacon and Molly's story and their relationship. 

Overall, the heat and chemistry were there in this book, but I was not happy with the overall experience of the book. I felt disconnected in the beginning since I missed meeting the characters in the previous books and didn't know their history. While I liked Molly's character and Deacon's fighting background, their story went on a bit longer than I would have liked. Lorelei James will always be a favorite of mine, but this was not my favorite of hers.

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