Sharon Ashwood
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Buy *Scorched: The Dark Forgotten* by Sharon Ashwood online

Scorched: The Dark Forgotten
Sharon Ashwood
384 pages
December 2009
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Scorched follows on from Ravenous in that there are characters who feature in both books, but it also works as a story on its own, and differs somewhat in feel to the previous book.

In Ravenous, we met Conall Macmillan, a former detective possessed by a demon and in thrall to a witch (who was defeated in that book). Now, in Scorched, Conall ('Mac') is free of the witch but can't go back to his previous life - he is still part-demon. When Alessandro Caravelli, vampire hero of the previous book, comes across him, he should technically kill him. Instead, he exiles him to 'The Castle,' a strange place where various magical creatures live.

Mac is able to escape The Castle, but not before he stumbles across an intriguing young woman. Constance is in trouble: her adoptive son is in danger, and the Castle itself seems to be crumbling. Mac finds himself driven to help Constance and to try to overcome his demon side.

Scorched held my attention, and the switching between scenes in the Castle (necessarily bizarre) and in the real world works well. We don't see too much of Caravelli and Holly, the hero and heroine of the previous book, but they do play a part in this story. Mac's characterization is reasonable, but I couldn't quite get my head around Constance and wasn't entirely sure what he saw in her. I like the world of The Castle and its confusing nature, although the big scenes of battles in the Castle towards the end of the book don't always work. Still, it isn't a bad read and not as formulaic as many stories in this genre.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Helen Hancox, 2010

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