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Thursday, August 15, 2013

ARC Review: Caged Warrior by Lindsey Piper

This story was by far one of the most brutally emotional titles I’ve read. From the first page I was unable to put it down. I immediately connected with Audrey and was her not-so-silent cheerleader from start to finish. When I read the prequel to this series, Silent Warrior, I was unsure of a lot of aspects surrounding the settings of Piper’s Dragon Kings world. After finishing book one I felt fully aware of the harsh reality these characters call home.

Audrey is a Dragon King, but one who’s powers have never surfaced. After being exiled from her Clan she successfully integrated into the human populace. Found a new life, a man to share it with, and eventually a son. The first natural born dragon king child in generations. A truly blessed and happy life, but the fates had never been on our Audrey’s side.

Seemingly out of nowhere members of one of the leading Mafia families shatter her life in an instant. Her husband murdered, both her and her son being subjected to numerous scientific experiments, accompanied all by physical and emotional torture. Eventually Audrey is thrown into a private cell. Her new assigned task to be trained for the Cage Fights that keep the Mafia boss’s pockets padded. Fearing for the life of her son and expecting to hold her captors accountable for their proffered deal of setting them free in one year’s time, Audrey agrees to do what she must to survive. Upon meeting the cold hearted Cage Warrior intended to train her she understands that she will have to use every ounce of strength to keep hope alive.

Leto Garnis, for all intents and purposes, is the Alpha Cage Warrior. Winning is just what he does. Collared and battling for his Mafia Boss for the opportunity to breed and continue his bloodline. Something many Dragon King’s find worth fighting for in any manner. Being saddled with a neophyte or trainee is nothing new to his life, but having her be so completely green and stubborn to their lifestyle was both a surprise and annoyance. Her failure not being an option in order to keep him from losing both his standing among the other warriors, but as his owner’s number one man. Leto will have to dig down deep, and use every trick in his book to get Audrey in top shape for the battles ahead. Both of them having too much at stake to lose.

The relationship between these two characters grew slowly. Stewed, flash froze, simmered, flash boiled, cooled, and then exploding in an inferno of passion. A roller coaster of relationship baggage, trust, teamwork, understanding, angry and violent outbursts, and small snippets of raw emotional vulnerability. Though I had an idea of how the story would end, or at least my hopes on the topic, the journey there never left me unsatisfied. Page for page I grew more tied to Piper’s world and upon finishing it couldn’t wait to jump into the next installment of the series. Audrey and Leto grew together and while both individually brace and strong willed...together they became a true force to be reckoned with. I have to say that it has been ages since I fell for a couple as much as I did these two.

Hark and Silence, from Silent Warrior (Dragon Kings #0.5), had a lot of moments in this title. Having read the prequel it was really nice to get the opportunity to see how they are faring together. Hark of course made me laugh giving a little comic relief to bring my blood pressure back down, and Silence was herself. Mysterious and a total butt-kicker! I really enjoyed the story these two were in, and getting to spend more time with them was a total treat.

I don’t want to delve into the meat of this story much. So much happens and everything comes together so well that I couldn’t help but add this to my ‘Favorites’ list and in turn want you to have the opportunity to experience this story as I did. If you are looking for a fully fleshed out story of hellish trials, unquenchable passion, and strong characters that enmesh themselves in your heart you need to get this title in your hands as soon as possible. Piper most definitely won’t dissappoint.

**ARC provided by NetGalley**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |


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