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Scorched: The Dark Forgotten Book 2    by Sharon Ashwood order for
by Sharon Ashwood
Order:  USA  Can
Signet, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Conall Macmillan has always been totally devoted to his job as a police detective. He's put just as much effort and enthusiasm into enjoying his down time, his tastes generally running toward the bad girls. The fact that supernatural creatures now roam freely among the human population has made hooking up that much more exciting - until the fateful night his scorching hot date Geneva gets a little too hot to handle and turns Mac into one of her demonic minions.

Geneva is eventually destroyed and Mac's connection to her partially broken, but as far as Mac's nemesis, Alessandro Caravelli, is concerned, half-demon Mac is still a viable threat to humans. Caravelli banishes Mac to The Castle, a supernatural prison from which none have ever escaped. It's in this dark and dangerous labyrinth that he meets Constance, an uninitiated vampire who herself has been trapped there for centuries. In Mac she immediately senses an ally, someone she can trust to help find her adopted son, who's sought by other dangerous denizens for their own dark purpose. As for Mac, he's not only got a new case to work, but for the first time in his life he's made a real connection with a woman he'd gladly die for. The question is, can he save her from herself before her true nature overwhelms them both?

Sharp and stylish writing, plenty of action, a well conceived and intriguing mythology and a great sense of dark atmosphere make Scorched a must read for die hard paranormal romance fans - particularly for those who've already had the pleasure of reading Ashwood's debut novel, Ravenous. Constance and Mac are both memorable leads: Constance as the perceived innocent determined to save those she loves, and Mac as the hardened, yet heroic cop who's just as determined to reclaim his humanity, but only if Constance can walk back into the sunshine beside him. Along with a memorable secondary cast they work together to unravel the dark secrets of The Castle and earn freedom for those they love. Scorched is a great continuation of the Dark Forgotten story arc and Sharon Ashwood is definitely an author to watch.

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