Liam and Tria have been living together for a while now, but only recently has their cohabitation arrangement moved into romantic relationship territory. Sure, they've both had feelings for each other for some time, but they've been tight-lipped about them until they just couldn't hold back anymore. But Liam's messy past and Tria's reasons for carving out her own future are some big challenges to overcome, and nothing about their moving forward will be easy.
But... I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that this is virtually the same story I read in its previous incarnation. That's not to say it isn't still incredibly entertaining or just as good; it's just that I was hoping it would include something new for those of us who've read it before. There aren't a lot of authors I follow from the fic world to the published one, but I definitely appreciate it when they throw in a new twist or something unexpected, setting it apart from earlier versions. Shay Savage's stories are pretty unique either way, and that's what makes them so much fun to read, but I would think that their inherent differences from the usual published fare would make them that much more receptive to shaking up the plot a bit.
The Verdict: If the three books in this series weren't be released in fairly quick succession, I'd be having a fit right about now — I can only imagine what it's like for those that don't know how it all concludes! Caged was obviously the intro, the meet the characters and establish a foundation for their relationship story, and Released will bring it all to an awesome end, but it wouldn't be fair to call Trapped filler. If anything, it ties everything together so far.
Tria has tried hard to be independent, but at this point, it's fair to say she's anything but. That's not to say she doesn't have an inner strength; she's just not well equipped to handle life completely on her own. With her background, though, it's no wonder. From the unstable childhood to the feelings of inadequacy to the isolated and completely backwards way she was raised, she can't exactly get off the bus in a big city and immediately stand on her own two feet. But in Trapped, we do see a silent strength in her, more than just determination or perseverance. She may be rather subdued compared to Liam, but he brings out in her a hint of confidence she uses to stand up for herself.
Liam's past hasn't exactly been a secret thus far, but it's much uglier and damaging to him than was previously disclosed, and his way of dealing with it is to forget about it as best he can. The effects of what he's been through bleed through in his anger, though, an anger he still bears toward his family and that he now projects on to pretty much everyone and anyone who's not Tria. Her vulnerability seems to be the only thing that initially prevented him from treating her like he does anyone else who tries to get close, and it's that time to bridge the distance between them that has allowed him to fall head over heels for her.
Their romance is in some ways textbook — boy saves girl, they fall in love, they face some obstacles. But it's also unconventional compared to the rest of the genre, in that nothing is handed to them or seems to magically work out for them. They're scraping by on his fight winnings and making do with practically nothing. Liam's lingering anger and blame toward his family keeps him from accepting any financial help, and his issues often have him saying or doing the wrong thing when it comes to Tria.
For those that, like me, have read this story before, Trapped doesn't offer anything new, but it does maintain the crazy romance and emotional adventure that made us love it in the first place. While I know what's coming in the next book, I still can't wait to read it and see it all play out.