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“I cowered away from him, unable to formulate a coherent sentence. Questions ran through my mind though none made it past my lips. I wondered how this could be happening, what he wanted, and what major injustice I’d brought against the universe to bring a fate such as this upon me.

Perhaps being born was reason enough.”

After his near death experience only months earlier, Cooper’s behavior is rapidly deteriorating. So what does Ruby do? She adds a new roommate into the mix. When her friend Ronnie is abruptly called away for a family emergency, Ruby takes in Peyta, Ronnie’s highly intelligent and overly observant teenage daughter. With an increasingly unstable Cooper in the house, Ruby fears for Peyta’s safety. But when Peyta’s behaviors become as perplexing as Cooper’s, Ruby finds herself juggling a series of lies to ensure their safety as well as her own… Until the lies, and the bodies, start dropping.

Have you ever picked up the second book in a series, only to put it down after the first couple of chapters to make sure you weren’t accidentally reading the first book again, because the author so conveniently decided to spend the better part of the first half re-hashing what happened in the first one, just to make sure the you what’s going on? I hate that.  Thankfully, Natusch is not that kind of writer.

Haunted picks up right where Caged left off.  We are met by Ruby and the crew, plus, we meet three new characters.  First, we meet Scarlet, Ruby’s werewolf. Oh, I’m sorry. You didn’t know Ruby was a were?  Then read the first book. 🙂  Scarlet, unlike Ruby, is confidence personified.  Where Ruby is easily annoyed and sharp-tongued, Scarlet can remain calm and under control, but still scare the crap out of anyone.  They’re a perfect balance, because Scarlet is everything Ruby is not.  One thing they do have in common: they will do anything to protect the people they love. Next, we meet Peyta. Smart, spunky, quick-witted Peyta. I love her.  Seriously.  She doesn’t take crap from anybody, and she’s very mature for age. She has to be, because a lesser girl would not have been able to deal with the shitstorm that quickly becomes her life.  Finally, we meet Matty.  Sensitive, caring, adorable in that younger brother kind of way, but yummy in that total hottie kind of way… all at the same time. Ruby’s more than a little naïve for not seeing the vibes he’s throwing her way, but it’s really not her fault, we can all be a little clueless sometimes and she has a lot going on.  We also meet a few of the PC guys too, but all I can say about them is that they’re kinda douchebags.

This book is fantastically written and I was enthralled the entire time.  It’s so hard to talk about this book without giving anything away!! There’s this one part, where Peyta could possibly… but she doesn’t. Then Ruby almost… but then, nope. Then, there’s this thing that happens with the guy at this place where Peyta could possibly… but then Ruby, well, Scarlet, has this idea to… and it works, so Cooper… Oh, Cooper!!   He is just as amazing as ever.  The guy I love to love.  And Sean, of course, the complication a girl could really sink her teeth into.  And then, I couldn’t believe what happened with Ronnie! The whole thing…it’s absolutely mind-blowing.

This book is a definite must-read, and I give it a solid 5 stars.

Haunted (The Caged Series) on Amazon: HAUNTED (Book 2, The Caged Series)