Title: Caged Jaye (Arctic Absolution #.5)
Author: Lynn Kelling
Publisher: Fantastic Fiction Publishing
Release Date: April 12, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Erotic Drama
Page Count: 176 pages
Reviewed by: Natalie
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
It’s Jaye Larson’s nineteenth birthday, and all he wants is to spend time with his boyfriend and his mother—the people he loves most and who make life worth living. But, faced by his mother’s demons, the imperfections of his relationship with boyfriend, Kris, and dangerous, homophobic strangers, one by one, all of Jaye’s dreams are soon derailed. Plunging into a waking nightmare, shortly after going to bed alone, he wakes in an alley, pinned down by two men with slow, bloody rape and murder in mind. It’s just the start of Jaye’s fight for his life, and his sanity, as time and time again, he’s forced to make impossible choices and survive, no matter what it costs. (See publisher’s website for content labels.)
This book floated around amongst the GBR team, and I immediately jumped on it. I dig dark reads. Scratch that. I dig dark reads that take the reader on an uncomfortable journey with a decent plot at the helm. I totally got that and then some in Caged Jaye.
The premise? Hold on to your hats folks.
Jaye Larson is turning nineteen years old. He works as a manager at a clothing store. He’s good at his job, great at it actually. He’s bubbly, efficient, and his coworkers adore him.
He’s attempting to get back on track with his mother. Their relationship has been strained for some time due to her drug habit.
He’s also in a relationship with Kris. Kris and Jaye have been living together for some time, but Jaye is unfulfilled in their relationship. Kris isn’t out to his family, and the sex between the two is stilted. Jaye wants more and tries to get Kris to go with the flow, but he’s not into it.
Kris and Jaye head out to dinner to celebrate Jaye’s birthday when things go completely awry. This is where the shit hits the fan. Jaye is attacked after parting ways with Kris for the evening and the things that happen to him… oy. The poor kid.
Jaye ends up behind bars in the most effed up turn of events. The remainder of the book pretty much takes you through his trials and tribulations while he’s incarcerated.
Verdict? I felt like I was watching an episode of Oz. The writing was excellent, the research that clearly went into Ms. Kelling’s work is noticeable. Jaye was smart and resilient despite the numerous things that happened to him. I really enjoyed his character. There are things that I was hoping to see fleshed out more, but I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of spoiling the story.
If you can stomach a dark read about a young man doing what he has to do to survive, I highly recommend Caged Jaye. Ms. Kelling did a super duper awesome job, and it’s well deserving of 4 stars.
Looking forward to diving into Arctic Absolution!