Thursday, August 27, 2015

Series Tour: Caged by Shay Savage

I am so excited to be participating in this tour! Shay Savage is one of my favorite authors, and Caged did not disappoint. There's around 900 pages between the three books, and I devoured them all in less than three days. One of the best series I've read all year!
The third and final book just released, so I'll be doing a review for the series as a whole. Spoiler free (for book 3, at least...I'll try and keep it completely free!), I promise!

This is not made for TV. This is the raw, brutal underground of no-holds-barred combat. Inside the cage there is nothing but me and the pain I inflict on those who dare enter. In the cage, I never have to worry about anyone but myself. Yet, when she began standing outside of the cage, everything changed. I was no longer fighting for the money or the glory – I was fighting for her. 

Takedown (Book One) Caged Series
Barnes & Noble:

Bizarre rituals on a remote island in Maine.
My crazy neighbor lying naked in the produce section of a grocery store.
The sting of a knife as it slices through my flesh.
Now I know why they say life is never easy.
The soft touch of Tria’s hand against my chest is the only thing that keeps me going, but there are consequences. As a fighter, I should be able to deal with anything life throws at me, but there is one circumstance I simply can’t handle.
I only have one coping mechanism: a tube around my arm and a needle in my vein.

Trapped (Book Two) Caged Series
Barnes & Noble:

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 memoires 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.

Released (Book Three) Caged Series
Barnes & Noble:

My Review

Liam Teague came from a privileged family, but after a tragedy destroyed his relationship with his parents and broke something inside him, he walked out and turn to the only thing that would numb his pain: heroin. 
After a near death experience and with the help of a fighting trainer who took him in, Liam's been clean for four years, though that itch is always in the back of his head.
With next to no money and completely alone, cage fighting is his escape and his passion. That is, until he meets Tria.
Tria is a young woman from a very remote town, alone in a big city and putting herself through college, against the wishes of her adoptive family. She has more than her fair share of heartache, but stays positive and works hard to build herself a better future.

One night after one of Liam's fights, he spots a lone woman being threaten by a group of drunk men. He saves her, and soon discovers that this fiery girl with an enormous purse is none other than his new neighbor, Tria. 
They form something of a friendship (with plenty of sexual tension), and when Tria is laid off at her job and can't afford the rent for her apartment, Liam suggests they become roommates. 
Things start heating up for the pair, and they become a couple. Liam is refuses to tell her just what exactly happened to him, which causes a bit of stress between them, but for the most part they're happy together in their little slice of sunlight in a dark world.
It can't last though, and a few months into their relationship, something rocks their world to the very core. With history repeating itself and completely unable to cope, Liam walks out. He gives into that little itch in the back of his head that's now screaming at him, and puts needle to vein. 
He hits rock bottom, and he hits it hard. Will he be able to pull himself out of this darkness and get his life back on track, and Tria back? Or will he succumb to his addiction?

Holy. Fucking. Hell. This trilogy blew me away! I laughed, I brooded, I ached, I swooned, and I flat-out bawled. Shay Savage is a gifted, gifted storyteller, and that really came out in the Caged series. 

Liam's family issues may sound a bit trite and dramatic, but once you find out just what happened, you're torn in two. It's not often I can clearly see and sympathize with both sides of a rift in a story, but Caged had me split down the middle with my feelings on the matter. While I'm firmly in Liam's camp, I could see and appreciate his parents' angle as well. Right intentions, wrong execution. 
It was such a deep-seated issue between them, and watching the way it unfolded was incredibly raw and heart wrenching. I'm so pleased to finally have a story were there is some genuine healing between the two parties, even if it's not perfect. It was so tangible, and felt like it could happen in anyone's life. 

Caged had some of the best character development I've read in months. It's not an easy path by any means, but Liam completely transformed himself from the person he was in Takedown by the end of Released. There were setbacks, there was failure. There was hope, and there was success. 
Liam hit rock bottom, truly hit rock bottom. You can't get lower than he was without being dead. The way he clawed his way back on nothing but sheer willpower and the love of a woman was astounding, and humbling. Despite his shit choices in life (that were actually quite justifiable, given the circumstances), he came to be someone I admired and respected.
Tria also has a fantastic arc, though her's is bit more subdued than Liam's. She's a little younger than he is (6-7 years, I think?), so she's still growing up as all of this happens around her. She had a quiet strength and courage about her that I loved. 

"It's how beautiful you are when you're pissed off at me. It's how you smile when you're making me breakfast. It's your eyes, your voice, the smell of your hair. It's how your skin feels against mine."

Every character is well developed and fully fleshed out; it created such a vivid backdrop for Liam and Tria's story. It wasn't just them dealing with the effects of life and their choices, it was everyone around them. It made me view things differently than if it were more introspective, and it was a nice change of pace. Once again, this book felt like someone's life, rather than a fictional story. I almost felt like I was intruding in a few places. It was a very intense feeling, and one I loved. 

I was lost. Completely and totally lost within her.

The connection and romance between Liam and Tria was incredible. Absolutely incredible. They go through so much, and to be able to come out of all of it stronger than ever was awe-inspiring. 

"Please let me try to be what you need me to be."

I have't cried that hard while reading in a long, long, time. I'm not talking delicate, pretty tears either, oh no. Full on ugly, tight throat and clogged nose, can't see the Kindle screen from sobbing so hard crying. I was so attached to the characters, and their pain felt like my pain.
Liam's issues are heartbreaking, what he goes through is heartbreaking, and his determination is heartbreaking. It all hurt me, but in the best way.

"I want you because you are beautiful, inside and out. You're putting yourself through school and trying to do something with your life. Everything about you is admirable, and I don't even deserve to be in your company.
I've spent a long time not feeling anything, because all I felt was...bad. I was only happy when I was fighting, but changed all of that. For the first time in a decade, I have a reason to be outside the cage."

There was the perfect amount of humor to balance the agony of some parts. Tria carries around an enormous purse that Liam is constantly baffled by, and the various names he calls it had me cracking up.

"How do you even carry that thing around?"
"That...that purse-bag-thingy there. It's insane."
"There is nothing wrong with my purse!"
"It's huge."
"It has everything I need in it."
"It has everything you and then of your friends could need for a week. I know there are people who carry Chihuahuas in their purse, but you could fit a Dane in there."
"Don't be ridiculous."
"Okay, a decent-sized Schnauzer, then."

As I said earlier, this series is about 900+ pages between the three books. I started the first Monday morning, and finished the last late Tuesday night. I couldn't put them down!

She surrounded me, engulfed me, and made me whole as I came apart inside of her.

Since I can't say much more without being spoiler-y, I'll leave you with a GIF lineup of my reading journey.

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Ovearlly, Caged is an emotional, incredibly deep and realistic trilogy that kept me on the edge of my seat. I fell in love with Liam, shipped the crap out of Liam and Tria, and had my heart broken and put back together. I highly, highly recommend them! 
Book 1 and book 2 end on pretty major cliffhangers, so you'll want to grab them all!


Rating: 5 stars for each!
Genre: New adult/adult (toes the line) contemporary romance
POV: 1st person
Steam/sexual content: Deliciously steamy, hot sex
Series: Caged Trilogy
Warnings: Explicit violence, explicit drug use, explicit sex
Cliffhanger: Book 1 and 2, yes
HEA: Yes, and so well deserved!
Thank you to the author and TRSOR Promotions for the ARCs! All opinions are my own.

- The Bibliophile Babe


  1. I've never heard of this series before, but the cage fighting thing is of interest to me. Just teensy bit worried about the promise of angst. Hopefully, the good balances out the bad.

  2. Wow. Clearly I need to read this series if you burned through 900 pages in 2 days! That's impressive. Loved the gif summary too, I can see I'm going to be laughing, crying, swooning, dying and then cheering in the end:)

  3. Going to grab these, and omg I laughed at the gifs <3

  4. Woah - this sounds like a really awesome series. It's interesting to see books that have characters that are or were on heroin - it's a really big issue where I live.

    thanks for sharing,


  5. Wow..ok you sold me with the first paragraph of your review!!!