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Uncaged Review – Zworksy’s Children by Tom Connelly

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Zworsky’s Children
Tom Connelly
SciFi Suspense

Some got the gift; some didn’t. And then there were those who saw it as a threat.The gift was an unexpected side effect of Dr. Zworsky’s now banned vaccine, which was created for a generation of children who developed antibiotic resistance. They were known as the Metachromes: humans who could fly.

Darlene Verity never enjoyed the attention she got as a Meta. But she never thought those who labeled her as inhuman would force her into a protection camp in the California desert. That all changed when an asteroid crashed into the Southwest and set her and the Metas free. But their freedom came with a price. The asteroid’s particles created an unexpected fusion with their gift of flight: they can no longer be in the daylight and are aging faster.

Now Darlene’s only hope is a rogue scientific colony called Project Z who are secretly trying to recreate Zworsky’s vaccine. If they learn his mysterious formula, they will not only save the Metas but humankind itself. Zworsky has been dead for years and all documentation of his vaccine had been wiped from the medical archives. But Darlene has the only surviving document of Zworsky’s that could solve the vaccine’s mystery. With little time, she must reach Project Z before her revenge-driven leader, Kevin Stroder, unleashes his plan to annihilate those responsible for caging the Metas. His first target: Project Z.


4 Stars

Uncaged Review – The Guinevere Series by Fil Reid

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This series was read straight through, so I’ll review all 6 books on this post. This is a 5 Star series.


The Dragon Ring
Fil Reid
Time Travel Romance

Gwen goes to scatter her Arthurian scholar father’s ashes on Glastonbury Tor, and in the ruined church tower, she picks up a gold ring embossed with a dragon emblem. This snatches her back 1500 years into the dangerous world of the Dark Ages.

The Merlin tells her she’s destined to become the Guinevere – of the legends her father devoted his life to studying – and fulfill a prophecy by marrying Prince Arthur. Only with her help can he become the famous King Arthur.

If anyone is less enthused about this idea than Gwen, it’s him. Tall, handsome, and ruthless, he doesn’t truly believe any prophecy can decide his future. Son of the ailing King Uthyr Pendragon, he’s ruled the hilltop fortress of Din Cadan for his father since he was sixteen. But his jealous older brother is set to inherit both the kingdom and the High Kingship – so when news comes that Uthyr is dying in far-off Viroconium, Arthur sets off to stake his own claim.

He takes Gwen with him, putting more and more distance between her and the Tor, where she believes she can return home. But as time passes, her intention to leave wanes. While the lure of modern comforts and familiar faces is strong, the pull between her and Arthur grows ever more enticing…


5 Stars


The Bear’s Heart
Fil Reid
Time Travel Romance

Twenty-first-century Gwen, now a Dark Age queen, is cursed with the dubious knowledge of a future she dreads. She’s newly surrounded by once-murky history and still-confusing legends.

She has no idea which of the tales told by her late father, a fanatical Arthurian scholar, are true. Her worst fear is that history is fixed, and she might be merely treading a path long laid down for her… one that she can do nothing to alter despite all her love for Arthur and her new life, as challenging as it can be at times.

Every decision she makes could lead her closer to the doom that hangs over the people she’s come to love – Camlann. It’s the legendary battle in which Arthur, the man she’s given up everything for, is destined to die by the hand of his wicked nephew, Medraut.

Will any of her questions be answered as she marches north with her husband to battle the invading Saxons? Will she even survive? Unsettled, but devoted to both Arthur and their people, Gwen has little choice but to see things through.

History, romance, and legend intertwine in a story with an epic sweep that spans the post-Roman period of Early Medieval Britain.


5 Stars


The Sword
Fil Reid
Time Travel Romance

Merlin’s sword in the stone has stood for three years in the forum at Viroconium. Can Gwen get Arthur there to draw it and set him on the road to becoming the king of legend?

Gwen, a woman from the twenty-first century, was kidnapped back in time to become King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere in Book One, The Dragon Ring. In Book Two, The Bear’s Heart, she presented Arthur with his heir. But a dark cloud hangs over their son’s birth, and she can’t be sure Arthur believes the baby is his… she doesn’t even know if he still loves her.

With a head full of the legends her father told her, Gwen knows both too much and too little. She’s keeping all she knows a secret – out of fear some of it could be true. Maddeningly, she also fears that if it isn’t, revealing her suspicions could actually make everything she’s afraid of happen.

And she loves Arthur far too much to let him die at Camlann.

For love, Gwen follows her husband north to the old Roman Wall and the town of Vindolanda, then beyond the Wall into dangerous enemy territory.

She has to leave behind the quiet librarian she once was and discover her inner warrior queen, as she sees the battles her husband is famous for unfold before her eyes. Meanwhile, at Viroconium, the sword is still waiting for the only man who can draw it from the stone…


5 Stars


Warrior Queen
Fil Reid
Time Travel Romance

It’s been almost three years since Gwen, a 21st century librarian, fell back through time to become King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere. Arthur’s drawn the legendary sword from the stone and beaten his jealous brother. The only thing left to do is prove to his fellow kings that he’s worthy of the title High King of all Britain. Not an easy task.

At the same time, the countdown through the list Gwen knows of Arthur’s legendary twelve battles is flying past, bringing the thirteenth, fatal Camlann, ever nearer. With history tracking so close to legend, all of Gwen’s fears seem likely to come true.

While Arthur is away fighting Irish invaders in the far west, messengers arrive from the north, requesting urgent help. Gwen is forced to lead a party of her husband’s men across the River Severn in search of Arthur’s army. But she’s heading towards the inevitable realization that there are no true victors in war.

Can there be a happy ending for Gwen and Arthur, or is it written in stone that he must die?


5 Stars


The Quest for Excalibur
Fil Reid
Time Travel Romance

Twelve years ago, 21st-century librarian Gwen decided to remain in the Dark Ages with the man she loves above all else – a man around whom endless well-known tales of legend and magic have been spun. King Arthur. Over the years, she’s carved a life for herself by her husband’s side, gently steering him in the direction she wants him to go, but always with an awareness that he’s a Dark Age king with a Dark Age view of the world.

Equipped with her prior knowledge of Arthurian legend, Gwen’s sole aim has long been to save her husband from the legendary fate she dreads hangs over him. But always, at the back of her mind, is the nagging doubt that whatever she does is already set in stone, and nothing she can do will change his future which is already her past.

Now, in book five of the Guinevere series, she’s all too aware that time is marching on, and that this fate might well be drawing closer to the man she gave up everything for.

Danger lurks in the most unexpected places, and long-hidden secrets threaten to rise to the surface. After a long, cold winter in their hilltop fortress, Gwen’s pleased to welcome traveling players to Din Cadan. But these players are hiding secrets of their own, and one of them has come with black deeds in mind. Gwen will have to fight harder than she’s ever done to save herself and thus her husband. And all evidence points to the hand of Morgana, Arthur’s wicked sister, manipulating everything from afar.

Throughout all of this, simmering in the background, is young Medraut, Arthur’s nephew. Unnoticed, despite still being only a boy, he’s been exerting his malignant influence over those around him, in particular, Gwen and Arthur’s son and heir. The wedge he succeeds in driving between Arthur and his son will carry forward into the cataclysmic events of the final book, The Road To Avalon.


5 Stars


The Road to Avalon
Fil Reid
Time Travel Romance

Guinevere: wise queen, brave warrior, passionate lover, dedicated mother… savior?

Twenty years have passed since Gwen fell back in time to become King Arthur’s Queen Guinevere. Eight years of comparative peace since the triumph at Badon. All seems quiet and, with Medraut long gone and possibly dead, the prospect of Camlann seems far away and perhaps just another part of the legend that’s not true.

Until Arthur and Gwen go to Viroconium for the Council of Kings and take Amhar, now eighteen, with them. There, he meets up with the very much alive-and-kicking Medraut again, who has not improved with the passage of time. Unable to prevent Amhar inviting Medraut back to Din Cadan with them, Gwen can only watch in fear as events begin to unroll that will lead to the one thing she’s been fearing throughout her time in the Dark Ages – the fateful battle of Camlann.

But before Camlann can rear its ugly head, news comes of the death of old King March of Caer Dore in Cornwall. Arthur, Gwen and their daughter travel west for his funeral rites. Accompanying them is the old king’s son, Drustans, whose one aim is to claim the kingship and reclaim the love of his life, Essylt, who was forced to marry his father instead of him nineteen years ago. But Gwen has seen this warrior’s grave marker in the far off twenty-first century, and she’s afraid this will not end well.

Gwen and Arthur’s love is about to be tested to its absolute limit as Medraut takes on the mantle of chief villain in the story, and all seems lost. The young man’s malevolent influence within the walls of Arthur’s stronghold grows, alienating the younger warriors, and in particular Amhar, from their elders, which is where Arthur finds himself. But when the odds are stacked against her, Gwen is at her strongest, and she’s armed with a foreknowledge no one else possesses.

When the day of Camlann finally arrives, can she prevent the tragedies that threaten to unfold and change the course of history and legend? Can she find the road to Avalon for Arthur?


5 Stars


Uncaged Review – Rorik by Mary Morgan

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Rorik
Mary Morgan
Historical Fantasy

The Dark Seducer is known throughout Scotland as a man who charms many women into his bed. Pleasure is his motto as he obtains information for his king. Yet Rorik MacNeil harbors one secret buried beneath his heart of steel. An unfulfilled conquest plagues both man and his inner wolf, and Rorik would rather suffer death’s sharp blade than confront his greatest fear.

As the Seer for the Orkneyjar Isles, Ragna Maddadsson confronts an unknown destiny when she travels across the North Sea to Scotland. In her quest to deliver a message from a powerful vision, she fears the warrior will not listen. If Rorik ignores her warning, Ragna must find a way to forestall his impending death. If unsuccessful, she risks having her heart cleaved in two.

To unravel their true fates, Rorik and Ragna must trust in the power of the wolf.


5 Stars

Uncaged Review – Security Force of Two by Tena Stetler

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Security Force of Two
Tena Stetler
Paranormal Romance

Miacoh Zane, a Special Forces veteran, returns to Aspen Ridge, Colorado a small town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, to settle his beloved grandmother’s estate. But the town holds painful memories and mystical family secrets he wants to leave behind for good.
Candle Bearclaw, is a gifted computer analyst/programmer with psychic talents she buried when recruited out of college by the CIA. After fifteen years, she abruptly resigns her position and returns to her sleepy hometown to discover her childhood crush has also returned and a violent crime has been committed.
Due to their covert operations experience, Candle and Miacoh are thrown together to assist Homeland Security, FBI, and her father, the former chief of police, with a murder investigation. As they search for the perpetrators, their secrets risk being revealed as the investigation takes an unusual twist that could blow the case wide open.


4 Stars

Uncaged Review – The Axe by Linda Griffin

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The Axe
Linda Griffin
Suspense Short

Sweethearts Eric Leidheldt and Desiree Chauveau are spending a weekend at his uncle’s cabin when they encounter two strangers cutting wood. Eric is knocked unconscious, and Desi is viciously attacked. The following day two police officers come to their apartment to arrest Desi. Her assailants are dead, murdered with an axe, and her fingerprints are on it. She confesses—but is she really guilty? Eric is determined to stand by her, but the physical and emotional effects of the attack severely challenge their relationship.


4 Stars

Uncaged Review – Andy and the Extroverts by Jessica K. Foster

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Andy and the Extroverts
Jessica K. Foster
Contemporary Young Adult

Seventeen-year-old bookish Andy has no friends. When her over-involved mother has the audacity to ship her off to summer leadership camp, she’s thrust into an introvert’s nightmare. Everyone is a Communicator with a capital C, icebreaker activities are scheduled into every waking moment, and horror of all horrors: there’s no coffee. Even the girls who take her under their wing are the kind of self-assured people Andy could never dream of becoming.

Then she meets Lucas—hot, attentive, and everything Andy reads about in her books. Though the girls in her cottage try to warn her about him, she’s swept into the first romance of her life. But when she discovers her friends may be right, she’ll have to find her inner confidence to save her summer and become the leader she was always meant to be.


4 Stars

Uncaged Review – Knight of Darkness by Sherry Ewing

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Knight of Darkness
Sherry Ewing
Medieval Romance

Sometimes finding love can become our biggest weakness…

Wymar Norwood understands responsibility. His two brothers have been in his care since his parent’s death. With his title and lands stripped from him by the usurper Stephen, he aligns himself with the Empress Matilda, the rightful Queen of England. If he can win her favor and become her champion knight, he prays all will be returned to him.

Lady Ceridwen Ward of Norwich is out to prove not only to herself but the Empress that she is more than capable of protecting those she loves. She hides herself in the guise of a knight and follows along with her men to Lincoln to raise her sword for the Empress’s cause. But life can become complicated, especially after your identity is revealed.

But Wymar and Ceridwen have a common enemy who is bent on revenge. They will need to search their souls and overcome grief in order for their love to survive life’s greatest test.


5 Stars

Uncaged Review – The Wolfe by Kathryn Le Veque

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The Wolfe
Kathryn Le Veque
Medieval Romance

Read the Epic novel that started it all….

1231 A.D. – After a nasty skirmish along the England/Scotland border at Bog Wood, a badly wounded knight has crawled off to die. As women from the Clan Scott fan out across the battlefield to collect the spoils of war, one woman breaks off from the pack. She is sickened by the tradition of stealing valuables off the dead and runs off to hide. In her hiding place, however, lingers the badly wounded knight. The young woman is frightened at first but she tends the knight and saves his life. Little does the Lady Jordan Scott know that she has just saved the life of the dreaded English knight known to her people as The Wolfe….

Several months later, peace is proposed along the border. An English groom is offered to a Scots bride. The Lady Jordan Scott is that bride and her groom is the aged and powerful Earl of Teviot, John de Longley. When Lord de Longley sends his mighty and hated army to collect his new bride, the captain of the army personally retrieves Lady Jordan. When Jordan looks upon the fearsome English knight, she realizes there is something oddly familiar about his voice. When the man finally reveals himself, she sees that it is none other than the man whose life she saved, Sir William de Wolfe.

William has never forgotten about his Scots angel. As he escorts her back to Northwood Castle to wed his liege, each passing minute sees him fall more hopelessly in love with her. Jordan comes to know the man beyond The Wolfe of legend, and so the love story begins.

Join William and Jordan in a tale of true and utter devotion, of a love that bleeds beyond the boundaries of Scots and English, and where loyalty, friendship, and family bind them all together in this uncertain and political world. These are the dark days of dark times, but in the midst of a treacherous world of secrets and hatred, William and Jordan share a love that is only dreamt of.


5 Stars

Uncaged Review – Scorched by Paula Quinn

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Scorched
Paula Quinn
Romantic Fantasy

Marcus is a Drakkon as ancient as the stars, stronger than a mountain, and the last of his kind. Men now rule the earth. The time of the Drakkon is over thanks to the legendary Phoenix Amber and the Council of Elders who use its power to transform Drakkon into humans. When the Council discovers he may be hiding a treasure worth more than any dragon horde, they will stop at nothing to have it and transform him against his will.

Being human is worse than anything Marcus could have imagined. His brilliant cerulean scales are gone, replaced with paltry skin he is sure could not even stop a bird if one flew into him. But worse than imprisonment in a male body are the awakenings of unfamiliar human desires that are nothing like the animal urges that were so easily satisfied as a Drakkon— emotions like loneliness that make him seek out companionship with a woman who, unfortunately for him, happens to be a sweetly-scented virgin.

Samantha Montgomery isn’t about to go to bed with a man who believes he used to be a reptile, especially one whose smoldering smiles make her think of being consumed alive by fire, and loving it. A romance writer and product of the New York State foster care system, Sam just wants some normalcy in her life. She’ll never get it with Marcus. Should it matter that his wickedly passionate touch tempts her to yield all, even if all he wants is her virtue? He is everything she doesn’t want in a man. Fear of commitment is one thing, not loving anyone or anything for ten centuries is another. But he won’t leave her castle. He’s arrogant, proud, and a bit delusional as to his abilities, but despite all his infuriating ways, including reading her mind and ceaselessly trying to convince her that the knights she writes about were useless beings clad in metal, he works his way into her life by fixing what’s broken; from the stone wall outside her battle-beaten castle to the wall around her heart.

When Marcus discovers the treasure that prompted his transformation, he must make a choice. Give up his human heart and save the Drakkon race, or surrender his heart to love and remain a man forever.


5 Stars

Uncaged Review – Thinly Veiled by Eliza Modiste

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Thinly Veiled
Eliza Modiste
Contemporary Romance
/Suspense

The past haunts her, the present beguiles her…and the future is ready to bring her full circle.


Claire Branson just moved across state lines into Salem, Virginia, and she wants her life to go right for once, please and thank you. Having freshly escaped from a criminal past and the ex-boyfriend associated with it, she needs routine. Monotony. A happiness that could feel…simple.

Luke Turner is simple – sexy, sarcastically sweet, and, above all, radiating innocence. He could be her simplicity, there’s no doubt about that. But with Claire’s past festering under the gauze of her quick runaway, could he keep his innocence?

And, more importantly, will they get out of everything alive?


4 Stars