Weekly Wrap-Up: January 6th through January 12th 2019

Weekly wrap-up banner

Books I’ve Read (clicking on the picture will bring you to Goodreads page):

The Last Letter
Katie's Highlander (Highlander Protector, #3)
Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks, #1)
Game On (Aces Hockey, #8)
For Baby and Me (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 4)
Life Rewritten (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 3)
Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)
One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations #1)

Books with reviews pending (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Katie’s Highlander—review coming January 22nd, 2019

Katie's Highlander (Highlander Protector, #3)

Ice Hot—review coming March 5th, 2019

Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks, #1)

Game On—review coming January 15th, 2019

Game On (Aces Hockey, #8)

For Baby and Me—review coming January 11th, 2019

For Baby and Me (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 4)

Life Rewritten—review coming January 10th, 2019

Life Rewritten (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 3)

Can’t Stand the Heat—review coming January 9th, 2019

Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)

One Tough Cowboy—review coming February 1st, 2019

One Tough Cowboy (Moving Violations #1)

The Escape Room—review coming August 6th, 2019

The Escape Room

The Liar’s Child—review coming March 12th, 2019

The Liar's Child

The Military Wife—review coming February 10th, 2019

The Military Wife (A Heart of a Hero, #1)

The Night Before—review coming May 14th, 2019

The Night Before

Books with published reviews (clicking on pictures will bring you to the Amazon page):

Life Rewritten—review here

Life Rewritten (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 3)

Can’t Stand the Heat—review here

Can't Stand the Heat? (Welcome to Otter Tail Book 2)

White Stag—review here

White Stag (Permafrost, #1)

An Anonymous Girl—review here

An Anonymous Girl

Forgiving Keven—review here

Forgiving Keven (The Kennedy Boys, #7)

Deadly Cage—review here

NetGalley Haul(clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

The Woman in the Lake

Breaking His Rules

Breaking His Rules

The Night Window

The Night Window (Jane Hawk #5)

The Soul of Power

The Soul of Power

Smitten by the Brit

Smitten by the Brit (Sometimes in Love, #2)

Inspection

Inspection: A Novel

Email Haul (clicking on the picture will bring you to the Goodreads page):

The Queen's Opal (Stone Bearers, #1)

Weekly Posts:

Weekly-Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

WWW Wednesday

Throwback Thursday

Foodie Friday

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Deadly Cage by Tom Howard

Stars

Publisher: Lulu.com

Date of publication: November 21st, 2018

Genre: Thriller, Christian

Series: Cage

Caged Light—Book 1 (review here)

Crimson Cage—Book 2 (review here)

Deadly Cage—Book 3

Where you can find Deadly Cage: Amazon

Amazon synopsis:

In the final chapter of the Cage Series, Wyatt must lay everything on the line as he attempts to save not only Jess and Natalie but also prevent a war between angels and demons. The only way to thwart this travesty is to find the Key of Light. In Maddock’s hands, the Key will allow him to open a gateway straight into the heart of Heaven and release the full power of Hell’s might…revenge for their fall from grace. However, when Wyatt is told his daughter is to be the sacrificial lamb to be slain by none other than her mother to bring forth the one to lead Hell’s army in the fight, Maddock’s son, he leads the charge to find his family. A warning comes from an old friend not to give into the power within. If he lets his angelic half consume him, he will no longer be allowed to remain on earth to live the life of peace for which he so desperately longs and will have no other choice but to return to Heaven a full-fledged angel. However, to defeat Maddock, Wyatt may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.


My review:

When Tom Howard approached me to read/review the last book in his Cage series, I gladly accepted. I had enjoyed reading Caged Light and Crimson Cage and I had high hopes for Deadly Cage.

This book did not disappoint.

From start to finish, Deadly Cage was nonstop action. Wyatt was nothing short of a superhero. With help, he had to rescue his wife and daughter, from the demon, Maddock. From the minute he stepped out from the Fortress, he was besieged by all types of demons. Those scenes were truly epic.

Wyatt didn’t change from Crimson Cage. He still waked in that gray area between good and evil. He was a pleasure to read in this book because once Jess and Nat were taking, he gave zero sh*ts. He was going to do whatever it takes to get his wife and daughter back. He also was going to do anything to protect his son, Nate, too. He wasn’t going to let his demon mother get her claws back into him. So, when he left the fortress, I completely agreed with what he did. It kept Nate safe.

The Christian angle of Deadly Cage was much heavier than it was in the other books. But considering that the plotline was Wyatt saving his daughter/wife and thwarting Hell from attacking Heaven, I understood. I liked that it wasn’t preachy.

I am going to warn that there is a lot of violence in Deadly Cage. More than the other books. It didn’t bother me because it went with the plot. Wyatt unloaded on the demons and it wasn’t pretty. But it might bother some people.

There are also some disturbing scenes that take place in Maddock’s fortress (for lack of a better word). There is a reverse birth scene that skeeved me out. There are also scenes of children being held captive. Those scenes brought me to tears more than a few times.

The battle at the end of the book was one of the more epic ones that I have read. I did worry about Jess, Nat, and Wyatt during certain points of it. The deaths that resulted from it broke my heart. I wanted to cry, I was that upset.

The epilogue was the best part of the book. I enjoyed seeing what happened to Wyatt and his family after everything happened. I also enjoyed the twist that Castle dropped on him. I was not expecting that!!


I would give Deadly Cage an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be kidnapped children. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Deadly Cage. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank Tom Howard for allowing me to read and review Deadly Cage and the Cage series. It was a pleasure reading them!!

All opinions stated in this review of Deadly Cage are mine.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Befriended by Ruth O’Neill

Befriended

4 Stars

Publisher: Lulu.com

Date of publication: February 5th, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Where you can find Befriended: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Some secrets never leave us alone. . . Gemma Peacock’s life was perfect – or at least, she thought it was. She had a home she loved, a job she enjoyed, and a husband she adored. The only cloud on the horizon was the continuing tension between Gemma and her mother-in-law, but that’s the same for everyone, right? After the death of her beloved husband, Ritchie, everything begins to fall apart. Indiana Manors’ life, on the other hand, is far from perfect – but she knows just what she has to do to fix it. Befriend Gemma Peacock – and destroy her.

My Review:

I wasn’t expecting to like Befriended as much as I did. When I read the blurb, I thought that it was going to be a chick lit novel. There were parts of the book that do have that vibe. But, this book was so much more. It was the so much more that surprised me. The more I read, the more I liked and the more I enjoyed the story.

I did feel bad for Gemma for about 90% of the book. Her husband’s death devastated her. But, it was the secrets that were revealed after his death that rocked her world. Which brought me to my first question. Why did she keep going back to Indiana? I know that Gemma wanted to help her but still. I agreed with Maria. Gemma should have told Indiana to leave her alone after what happened in Crete. I do think that Gemma needed to come to terms with what Ritchie did and Indiana was there to help.

There was a point in the book where I did think that Indiana and Gemma’s relationship was going to become a Single White Female type of relationship. I mean, Indiana was calling Gemma’s friends and driving them away. She even phoned Mick and told him that Gemma wanted nothing to do with him. Thankfully, Mick didn’t believe that BS.

My feelings for Indiana was all over the board in the book. I first felt disgust for her when she revealed why she became Gemma’s friend. That changed to feeling bad for her because of her mental illness. I will say this, she did try to get help. My feelings then morphed into pity when it was revealed why she had singled out Gemma and what was being kept from her. Then I actually started to like her at the end of the book. Like I said, they were all over the place.

I did not see the big twist that came towards the middlish (more towards the end) of the book. I also did not see who was behind everything. That came as a huge surprise. Put it this way, when it was revealed why and who set everything in motion, my mouth fell open and I whispered (I was in bed), “No freaking way“.

I did think that Mick’s romance with Gemma was cute. But it did seem to me that it was more of an afterthought. I didn’t see that Gemma had feelings for Mick until he came to London. I thought they were friends. Then, suddenly, she has feelings for him. It seemed like it came out of nowhere. Of course, I could have missed the cues to their romance with everything else that was going on in the book.

The end of the book was great. I loved that everything was ended the way it did. Each character got their version of a happy ending.

What I liked about Befriended:

A) Great storyline

B) Likable characters

C) Twist that I didn’t see coming

What I disliked about Befriended:

A) What Gemma was put through the first half of the book

B) Indiana’s antics in the first half of the book

C) Mick’s relationship with Gemma

I would give Befriended an Adult rating. While there is sex, it is not graphic. There is language. There is also mild violence. I suggest that no-one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are trigger warnings in Befriended. They are mental illness, the death of a spouse and kidnapping. If you are triggered by any of these, I would suggest not reading the book.

I would recommend Befriended to family and friends. I would let them know about the triggers. This is a book that I would reread.

I would like to thank Ruth O’Neill and Lulu.com for allowing me to read and review Befriended.

All opinions stated in this review of Befriended are mine.

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

Crimson Cage by Thomas Howard

4 Stars

Publisher: Lulu.com

Date of Publication: September 27th, 2017

Genre: Christian, Thriller, General Fiction

Number of pages: 198

POV: 3rd person

Series: Cage Series

Caged Light – Book 1 (review here)

Crimson Cage – Book 2

Where you can find Crimson Cage: Amazon | Lulu.com

Books synopsis (from Amazon):

Some legends are born, others are forged in the crucible of fire. For Detective Wyatt Cage, fighting a demonic crime lord was just the beginning. Plunged deep inside of a world he barely believed existed, he is swept into a fight against possibly the greatest general ever to be born of HellÕs army to rescue countless children from a fate worse than death. Failure in this attempt will unleash HellÕs might upon the world in a war unlike any other. Along his dark road, Wyatt will discover two things his true lineage and something he never knew he was missing, his son. However, his fight in the realm where nightmare and reality are one may just cost Wyatt his life as he knows it.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “Crimson Cage by Thomas Howard”

Caged Light by Tom Howard

Title: Caged Light

Author: Tom Howard

Publisher: Lulu.com

Date of publication: December 18th, 2016

Genre: Thriller, Christian

Number of pages: 140

Series: No

POV: 3rd person

Where you can find this book: Amazon (paperback only)

Goodreads synopsis:

Former hitman, Wyatt Cage, turned detective, stumbles upon a mysterious woman whose only memory is her name. Their lives are quickly thrust together and soon find Wyatt’s past threatens the discovery of not only the woman but her life as well. Stopping at nothing to uncover the truth, failure would certainly bring destruction in the spiritual realm, as Wyatt’s former boss, Damon Carver, a powerful crime lord, would chase them to the ends of the earth to get his hands on the woman. However, unsealing the reality of the woman’s identity may just come at too high of a cost for Wyatt. Of the battle between good and evil, it appears the latter may just have the upper hand.

My review:

I was a little surprised when I read Caged Light. Not surprised in a bad way but surprised in a good way. I honestly wasn’t expecting the book to be what it was…..a Christian thriller with horror elements woven in. It was a first for me to read something like this and I enjoyed it very much.

I liked how the author dragged out who Michelle was until the end of the book. I was honestly very surprised when it was revealed who she was and why everyone wanted her. The red herring that the author put in did have me thinking what he wanted me to think. Which was great because once it was revealed, I was shocked.

I really liked Wyatt too. He was a former assassin for a crime boss who had a change of heart and profession. When he met Michelle, he was as a detective. I liked how the author combined Wyatt’s past and present life. It was very interesting to read about a detective with his assets. His relationship with his former boss was something that bothered me. Why would someone be that interested in a person who left him? But then I found out why and I was like “Makes sense now”.

I will say that the things happening to Michelle did creep me out. Like I couldn’t sleep afterward because I thought a little girl was going to show up out of nowhere creep me out. But once it was revealed what they were, at the end of the book, it made perfect sense. At one point in the book, though, I really did think she was losing it….lol.

The relationship between Michelle and Wyatt was cute and for a little while there, I thought it was going to turn romantic. I am glad when it didn’t, though, because it would have ruined the book in my eyes.

I liked that the Christian element wasn’t too heavy-handed in this book. I have read plenty of books where it is forced down your throat until you gag on it. Which was very nice and I was able to read the characters without having to worry about being preached to.

The storyline was pretty straightforward. Girl wakes up in craters, can’t remember anything but her name, gets chased through a forest by some seriously evil things and gets rescued by a handsome police officer. The rest of the story is her and the police officer running from some unnamed evil while trying to remember who she is. The crime lord storyline was woven beautifully into the main storyline and it was ended wonderfully, as was the storyline of Wyatt’s twin brother.

The end of the story was pretty good. There were a couple of twists in the story that I honestly didn’t see coming and they made the book. I do think that there could be a book 2 with the way the story ended and I really do hope that. I need to read more about Wyatt :).

How many stars will I give Caged Light: 4

Why: I enjoyed reading this book. It was scary enough to keep me up at night and was not preachy. The characters were well-rounded and the mystery about who Michelle was kept the book hopping.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age Range: Adult

Why: Violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**

The Seventh Mountain (Chronicles of a Magi: Book 1) by Gene Curtis

The Seventh Mountain (Chronicles of a Magi Book 1) by [Curtis, Gene]

Where you can find The Seventh Mountain: Amazon

Publisher: Lulu.com

Date of publication: March 11, 2006

Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads synopsis:

A dream, surreal and frightening, begins the path of Mark Young’s future; a path set long before he was even born. Fortunately, it’s not a path he’s doomed to walk alone. His course leads to true friends, fortune and a place where he learns to wield great power. This place is The Seventh Mountain, the place where Magi train. The Seventh Mountain conceals the direst legend known to man. Mark’s fate lies within.

My review:

What I liked about The Seventh Mountain:

  1. That it actually used the Magi (or the 3 Wisemen from the Bible) and incorporated it into the story. I loved that they made the Magi into almost superhumans (well once they learned how to use their powers).
  2. That it was a fantasy that didn’t use typical fantasy creatures. Lions, hyenas, dinosaurs, and labyrinths were used. Plus figures from mythology. Nothing made up, which was cool.
  3. The Christian angle. It was not preachy at all and incorporated other religions into the whole school/plot. One of the main characters was American Indian and followed their religion.

What I disliked about The Seventh Mountain:

  1. The bullying angle. It didn’t sit right with me. That bullying was tolerated and almost encouraged. Those scenes left a bad taste in my mouth.
  2. The beginning. It went very fast and almost seemed surreal to me.
  3. The way the book ended. Now I have to buy the 2nd book.

**I voluntarily reviewed this book**