Unchained (The Dark Forgotten #3) by Sharon Ashwood
July 6, 2010
Paperback, 384 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “I would like to ride a good horse again.”
“Well, I have some unicorns down in the basement, if you’d like to take them out for a spin.”
“They only like virgins. I’m rather too late to that party.”
Ashe Carver is monster killer extraordinaire-and she has the scars to prove it. But she hangs up her stakes in favor of a more sedate Librarian job in order to convince her in laws that she is a fit mother. But life never goes the way you plan. Vamps want to impregnate her, a slime demon with a collecting fetish is hanging out at the mall, and a supernatural prison guard from the Castle has entered her life to inform her he will die in 2 weeks unless she finds his stolen soul.
And that’s all before breakfast.
In the third installment of The Dark Forgotten-Unchained– we are given the other Carver sister’s story-Ashe Carver. She made a horrendous mistake years ago that resulted in the death of her parents and the loss of her powers. She has spent her life honing her skills into the ultimate slayer that the supernatural world fears. But a custody battle with her in laws has her putting away the knives and replacing them with a library card.
This is the ultimate paranormal romance. Incredible word building creates a story so full of life that I was unable to put it down. The story races a long, even though it is chocked full of intrigue, suspense and romance. There is a lot going on but all the story lines blend so well together that
the you see neither beginning nor end.
Ashe is such a deliciously dark conflicted heroine. Her mistakes in the past have created the person we see before us. A widow with a child, she does everything she can to provide a safe environment for her child. Strong and sure, she exhibits rare but endearing moments of vulnerability towards her family and friends when she feels she cannot keep them safe.
Captain Reynard, whom we met in her second book -Ravenous-is a prison guard of the old in the Supernatural Castle. He is as much a prisoner there as is his captives. His soul is stored in an urn which grants his immortality. When it is stolen, he has to leave the Castle in order to find it before he dies.
Who wouldn’t love a honorable, sexy, English accented, tattooed hero? His entire life has been given to the Castle and he never expressed a desire for more. When he begins to interact with the outside world we are given access to his feelings and emotions as each new experience occurs. I often felt like I was seeing and tasting things for the first time through his eyes. There is a scene where he eats a sandwich and it is illuminating and heart wrenching at the same time.
At that moment you realize just how a like he and Ashe are in personality and circumstances.
I loved how there romance builds slowly between Ashe and Reynard. Ashe is VERY conscience of Reynard but also of her child. She will bring no man into the picture unless she is 100% sure this is it. Teasingly rich dialog paints the attraction and tension between them perfectly. Their seduction of each other is through their everyday actions. They see beyond the outside trappings while made it more delicious and smexy to me. The love between them in and out of the bedroom is HAWT; especially when Ashe makes it clear what she needs and Reynard is more then happy and confident to supply it.
The secondary characters are so vividly written that you can’t help but interact with all of them. There really are no good and bad here but merely degrees of separation. Each character has a reason for the things they do. Often explained by their very nature. We see some old characters and are introduced to some very interesting new ones. My favorite character beyond our protagonists is the dark fey Prince Miru-Kai. His actions through out the whole book had me rolling my eyes and laughing. He is what I would call a rascal. Always scheming but never truly meaning to do harm. I do hope to see more of him in future books.
I only had one small problem with the story. I was a little let down in the final scene between The King of the East and Ashe. I figured with all his manipulations and scheming we would have seen a bit more controversy and action in her dealing with him.
I recommend Unchained and the first two books of the series -Scorched and Ravenous-if your looking action packed exciting paranormal romance with an incredible arc that you will keep you enthralled and captivated till the final pages.
This series includes: