Caught in Amber

Caught in Amber

by Cathy Pegau

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Recently out of rehab, Sasha James is determined to keep her head down, complete her parole and never touch amber again. The chip in her neck controls her cravings for the highly addictive drug, but also tracks her every move. Not that she goes anywhere other than work and the halfway house she calls home—a far cry from her luxurious former life as lover of the mining colony's top drug dealer, Guy Christiansen.

Agent Nathan Sterling has no desire to see Sasha fall back into amber, but his sister has become Guy's latest conquest and the unexpectedly attractive Sasha is the key to getting her back. So in exchange for an introduction, he offers Sasha the one thing she can't refuse—her freedom. From the chip, her parole and even the planet if she wants. Though he would be sorry to see her go…

Torn between her growing attraction to Nathan, fear of Guy and the allure of amber, Sasha accepts. But who will save her if Guy refuses to let her go a second time?

80,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426894985
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 01/28/2013
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 705 KB

About the Author

Cathy Pegau's muse almost always finds some sort of sci fi, fantasy or paranormal bend. Her debut novel, Rulebreaker, was released in Aug. 2011, Caught in Amber in Jan. 2013, and the third Nevarro book, Deep Deception, in May 2013. She lives in Alaska with her husband, kids, pets and the occasional black bear that roams thru the yard. Say hi at or on Twitter @CathyPegau

Read an Excerpt

There he was. Again.

Sasha sipped her huskberry juice and watched the blond man reflected in the mirror behind the bar. Dressed in the somber clothing of a Revivalist, like herself, his broad shoulders filled out his long, dark coat like no other man in the room. He walked with a quiet confidence that drew the attention of more than a few people and had them moving out of his way on their own accord—definitely not in the unassuming nature of a typical Revivalist. Veering off behind her to the right, he didn't seem to notice her as he navigated chatting patrons and servers with colorful drinks on their trays.

But she'd noticed him. Twice before tonight. The first time had been earlier this week, while Sasha had been grabbing a quick bite at a local coffee shop before work. He'd strode past her table, eyes on the counter, and placed his order without seeing her. His profile had been handsome enough in a serious, lived-in sort of way. Brooding, almost. But it was the way he carried himself—the way his shoulders narrowed to a tapered, fit waist—that had caught her eye.

He'd started to leave then turned and smiled at something the server said, and his face had changed from merely attractive to charming. The severity in his eyes softened, making him more approachable. If she'd had the nerve to do anything like approach him, that is. Sasha had only smiled in response, surprised he'd affected her at all, and hid her grin behind her cup so he wouldn't catch her looking at him.

She'd almost felt sorry to see him go.

Then two days ago, at the PubTrans station near the halfway house where she lived, his blue eyes found hers as she boarded a train car. Their intensity took her breath for a moment before he disappeared into the crowd.

Maybe he lived in the neighborhood. Maybe she'd run into him at the market where she worked. Maybe they could have coffee together sometime. A nice, normal conversation with a nice man. A decent man.

Sasha gave herself a mental shake. Right. And the offender status chip in her neck was just for the hell of it. Seeing a stranger three times in the same week was no coincidence. Not when it came to her.

"Getcha 'nother?" Trent, the skinny old bartender, stepped in front of her, cutting off the view of the room.

Damn. She'd lost her bead on the guy.

Sasha gulped the last of her drink, shivering at the citrusy tang on her tongue. "Less ice this time." She slid the tall glass toward Trent and tilted her head to glance in the mirror behind him. No sign of the blond man. Was that a good thing or a bad thing? "I'd like to taste the juice."

Trent's bushy gray eyebrows rose in proper, albeit false, indignation. "Me? Water down drinks?"

Sasha mimicked his expression. "You? Charge a credit for a credit's worth of product?"

The barman laughed as he refreshed her glass with more of the ochre juice and less ice, she noted, as she smiled back. "Just don't tell anyone I'm giving you the real deal. I'd go broke in a week," he said.

"For what you charge for a whisky fizz, which I know is mostly fizz, I think you can afford to give me straight juice."

Sasha tensed as she felt a prickle of awareness on the nape of her neck. Trent continued to smile as his gaze settled over her left shoulder.

"What're ya drinkin', sir?" he asked.

"I'll have what she's having."

Sasha relaxed a micron and rolled her eyes. Not the most original line she'd ever heard, but she liked the sound of his low tenor. "Hope you like huskberries."

She turned toward the newcomer and froze. The blond man.

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Caught in Amber 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What I liked. I loved the characters. Sasha, despite her dark past, is an immediately likeable and sympathetic character. Even after being broken and having to rebuild herself from the drug-addicted shambles she's become, she's strong, intelligent, and a warm human being who doesn't wallow in self pity but lives with her regrets. She had every reason to tell Nathan Sterling where to stick his request (and frankly I'm not sure what he was offering was good enough a prize), yet she knows what Nathan's sister is heading for and wants to help. I liked the world building and the idea of Amber, but felt that it wasn't as in depth as I'd like. It was the character and plot that prompted the five star rating for me. What I didn't like. Nathan - despite his good intentions and desire to protect Sasha, I'd like to give him such a slap. He still put her in serious danger for his own ends, and ultimately I found that a little too selfish. I felt he used her, no matter how sorry he was about it and how he fretted over her. From a personal perspective, I really hate to be used. Guy - I've no doubt he was a bad man, but I found myself conflicted over him. He genuinely appeared to care for Sasha and *potential spoiler* dealt with the real creep of the piece, so I actually found it hard to hate or understand him. In conclusion. This reminded me of a Humphrey Bogart thriller/detective story but in a futuristic setting. Not something I'd normally go for, but the author won me over with Sasha and the lovely dark, slightly Bladerunner-esque feel. The tension was good, both romantic and plot-wise, and the one sex scene was done well. I'd like to have seen more on the world building side. If you like spy thrillers along the lines of James Bond in the future, this is for you.
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
By: Cathy Pegau ublished By: Carina Press Age Recommended: Adult Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 5 Book Blog For: GMTA Review: "Caught in Amber" by Cathy Pegau was a good 'Sci-Fi romance that I really enjoyed reading. I found this read somewhat sci-fi, urban fantasy romance really made a statement about dug addiction in general. This drug is called Amber, heroine or another other highly additive drug. From the read we find Sasha has been out of a correctional facility for eight months as a reformed addict. She has a chip in her neck for monitoring her and she wants to remain clean. Never wanting to see they guy that got her in all of this who was 'Guy.' Nate Sterling who was a CIA agent, sister, Kylie is working for 'Guy' and is more likely involved with Amber as Sasha used to be and he wants her to introduce him to Guy as someone who has a business proposition hoping that he can get him into Guy's operation and get his sister out of this mess. Why would Nate want Sasha to do this for him? Does it have anything to do with the chip in her neck? Will Sasha help Nathan because she wants to get back a Guy for throwing her away like garbage? This is where I say you must pick up this excellent read to find out how this all comes out. "Caught in Amber" was a good romance and the characters were all developed and colorful personalities. Sasha, Nathan and Guy really gives the reader a intriguing story from the beginning to the end. If you are looking for a good sci-fi read with some romance you have come to the right place..."Caught in Amber" would be recommended to you.
CharleeA More than 1 year ago
The author kept me on the edge of my seat with action and danger at every turn. I worried, not only for the safety of the heroine, but for the terrible risk that she could be caught by the drug that nearly ruined her once before. I could feel her fear and admire her courage as she takes ever more dangerous risks. The author also does a masterful job of portraying the hero's frustration and fear that he won’t be able to keep her safe and allaying any worries I might have had that his actions made him less than heroic.  I didn’t need to judge him harshly when he was doing that for himself. I loved the deliciously creepy portrayal of the drug dealer in this story. He was so kind and solicitous of heroine, Sasha, when she appeared to be ready to return to him, I could easily see how the young Sasha could have been drawn in.  He is just as convincingly dangerous, and when roused, his temper and violent behavior seem just as much a part of him and doubly terrifying.