Review: Caught in Amber by Cathy Pegau

Recently out of rehab, Sasha James is determined to keep her head down, complete her parole and never touch amber again. The chip in her neck controls her cravings for the highly addictive drug, but also tracks her every move. Not that she goes anywhere other than work and the halfway house she calls home—a far cry from her luxurious former life as lover of the mining colony's top drug dealer, Guy Christiansen.

Agent Nathan Sterling has no desire to see Sasha fall back into amber, but his sister has become Guy's latest conquest and the unexpectedly attractive Sasha is the key to getting her back. So in exchange for an introduction, he offers Sasha the one thing she can't refuse—her freedom. From the chip, her parole and even the planet if she wants. Though he would be sorry to see her go…

Torn between her growing attraction to Nathan, fear of Guy and the allure of amber, Sasha accepts. But who will save her if Guy refuses to let her go a second time.

Sasha is a paroled felon and a recovering amber addict. She had once been on the arm of one of the most powerful men in the city of Pandalus, Guy Christiansen – a shipping magnate and drug dealer - but when she left his house she ended up stealing to support her amber habit. She was incarcerated but now she is a parolee just trying to make it through each day without using again. She has a chip embedded in her skin that identifies her as a criminal and she just waits for the day that she can be deactivated and liver her life without someone looking over her shoulder.

Sasha is approached one night by Nathan who is on a mission. She is leery of him, with good reason, but agrees to talk to him. He is out to save his sister who has started working for Guy Christiansen and he wants her out of there before she become addicted to amber which is called being “caught in amber.” Sasha wants nothing to do with Guy or his drugs and she is adamant about not helping Nathan until he says that he can get her chip deactivated for her. This intrigues and excites her as that’s what she dreams of. All she has to do is introduce Nathan to Guy under the premise that Nathan is trying to set up drug shipments and her part is done. Nothing’s ever easy though and Sasha’s part in the scheme ends up being more than she bargained for. She also didn’t plan on having feelings for Nathan but it ends up being something that she can’t control.

Caught in Amber brought a new world to me. Apparently there is a first book in this series – which I think I remember reading about but as I don’t read f/f (normally) I wasn’t interested. I may go back and read it now as I liked the world that Pegau created. It seemed kind contemporary but had lots of things like credits and air cars and other fun things. It did mention something about 2095 but it seemed like that had been in the past for these character so I’m guessing it was even farther in the future.

The story itself was a little slower going at first. I didn’t particularly care for the way that Nathan was using Sasha to get what he wanted but he was completely desperate and I understood the drive to get his sister out of Guy’s house as soon as he could. However, Nathan KNEW that Guy was still in love with Sasha so he should have expected that Guy wouldn’t just let her introduce him and then fly out of his life again. I just didn’t understand that.

Sasha was great. She was stronger than she thought she was and I admired her for that. She kept her feet on the ground, even when she was in the presence of the amber and could have easily slipped up and used again. She really was the glue that kept the story together in my eyes.

Now as we got further into the story it showed Nathan becoming more attached to Sasha but while I really liked that they were getting together it wasn’t a “romantic” togetherness. I saw that it could become that but in this story that didn’t happen. Though it was slower at first the story built and grew as it went on and then it came to the exciting part. This was all really good and I enjoyed it but Nathan’s actions when things came to a head seemed over the top and uncalled for at that moment.

Turning the last page, I was satisfied with the conclusion of the story. I will be keeping my eye on this author to see what she brings forth in the future.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Cathy Pegau

1 comment:

orannia said...

Lovely review Tracy!