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Caged Wolf

by SM Reine

Series: The Tarot Witches (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
483437,601 (2.89)1
The biker gangs passing through Lobo Norte don't scare Ofelia anymore. All those men are the same: scarred, homeless, and broken...just like Ofelia. They've become a blur of forgettable faces watching her strip. She takes off her clothes, takes their money, and wipes them from her memory instantly.But Trouble is different. A biker with a wolf tattoo and tortured eyes, he sees beyond Ofelia's tough disguise to a more fragile woman within. She's drawn to him like she's never been drawn to a man before-at least, not since she survived hideous torture at the hands of her ex-boyfriend that left her scarred physically and emotionally. She can't forget Trouble. And she definitely can't push him away.There's magic between them that neither understands. But maybe if Ofelia and Trouble can find the truth, they can release each other from the chains that bind them to Lobo Norte, to the Fang Brothers biker gang, and to the dark secrets in their pasts...… (more)
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This book... It was weird.
So the setting is Lobo Norte (which I am sure is some sort of magical town, but it's not explicitly said, so I don't know) and our protagonist is a scarred stripper. So far so good. When the bikers show up there's that insta love I've come to hate, but, at least they don't consummate immediately and they protect each other first. Props there, but seriously, they don't even know their full names by the end of the book.
Aside from the main story, I thought I got the world she lived in, biker gangs, middle of nowhere town, whores, motels, money and drugs. Great! When Cooper transforms, she's shocked and afraid because she didn't know he was a werewolf. That makes sense. Now, when she finds out the needles are incubus, she's like "oooh those needles, yeah, the incubus guys, hate them". When she's told the whores are half succubus, that makes sense too. It surprised me. I hadn't seen any clues that all creatures of the night were real in her world, or that she knew of them. They just showed up, and she had her history with them and I was baffled. Maybe it's me, but I feel like there's something missing that would help me make sense of this world Ofelia lives in.
To finish, I just have to admire the authors ability to put me in the story. Her descriptions of the smells, the sweat, even the bikes oil were on point for the most part and I got transported to Lobo Norte and that bar. That doesn't mean I found the filthyness sexy, but I was there, and I liked the immersion. ( )
  Nannus | Jan 17, 2022 |
Ofelia is hiding. After her horrendous past she has fled as far as she can and now lives in Lobo Norte, the almost unknown hamlet in Mexico near the US border

There’s not much there - but bikers come for drugs, for the local prostitutes and for the cage. The cage matches are massively popular and the lifeblood of this small town

But when a different gang comes to town, werewolves with their own agenda, the cage matches become much more important and much more dangerous. But despite Gloria’s insistence on keeping her head down, Ofelia is drawn out - both the promise of money and the unnatural attraction she has for one of the bikers. But drawing attention to herself is the last thing a hiding woman should do

As I mentioned in a previous review, I am on a mission when it comes to thisauthor’s world. I will read them, in something resembling a reasonable order.

And when I picked up this book, the first in the Tarot Witches series, I have to say I had some regrets. And part of that is simply because erotically charged Paranormal Romance isn’t my thing per se and I’d likely have skipped past it if I weren’t on the mission.

The sex comes hard and fast in this book (literally and figuratively) in a way that I find more irritating than titillating. Woman sees man and he hasn’t even opened his mouth to speak and already everything is hot and wet and moist and throbbing and pumping and zomg this is the hottest guy there has ever been ever and she can barely think. And this may work for a 14 year old ingénue raised by nuns seeing a man for the very first time. But she’s a sexually experienced, sexually adventurous stripper and former sex worker in her mid to late 20s and it just feels tired.

And it’s not just burning lust, we’re rapidly shoved forwards to Connor (or “Trouble”) being jealous of Ofelia, calling her his, giving her orders, being protective of her, willing to face down his pack for her, being drawn to her on a full moon, risking his life for her. And she, with less highhanded possessive dominance and jealousy, doing the same to him – deciding he’s hers, planning to run away with him, willing to fight a werewolf for him, ignoring his nearly biting her, getting all hot and bothered when he tells her what to do or seems angry when she disobeys.

I have no idea why these two characters like each other, let alone are madly-in-love-willing-to-run-away-together level attached. I don’t even know why by the end of the book, I think they’re literally willing to die for each other and they’re still complete strangers. It makes the whole romance painfully boring because there is no romance there. They find each other hot to the point of not being able to keep away from each other and that’s it. There’s no other connection, nothing, no reason for them to be this attached and no reason for me to care about their relationship one iota – or Trouble for that matter who is just a blank sexy slate with an impossibly big cock (of course).

Ofelia I have a little more time for – and when you clear Trouble OUT of her story, we have something interesting. In fact, her story was even getting really good before he and his unnecessariness pulled her out of things. Her discovering a Tarot card with dire meaning was interesting. Having a paranormal romance or an urban fantasy with a sexually active and charged main character was interesting and fun, complete with her lack of hang ups and, despite being badly scarred, with a strong body image. That last one is pretty unique. She has a tragic past and though it motivates her to hide and drives her to anger and vengeance, it’s integrated into the character as a defining and essential moment rather than an all consuming element of all she is. Her relationship with Gloria, who runs Lobo Norte’s bar, was excellent, all gruff and loving

Aside – I love Gloria, give me a book of Gloria. In fact, no, I want Gloria to just be taken and dropped into any book anywhere just to have her listen to the protagonist’s latest nonsense and have her say “blah blah blah, all I’m hearing is ‘Gloria, I am stupid’”. More Gloria would have helped this book so much because her slap upside the head and scathing tongue has no time for over dramatic romantic nonsense. Every book needs a Gloria.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Dec 16, 2018 |
I'm not sure what to write about this book. I'm honestly struggling with this review. It wasn't a romance, but then again it was. The characters had no shame about what they did and they stood behind those things which is always a plus. There was violence, but it fit within the world that was created. I'm not sure what I think about this book. Hell, I'm not even sure if I liked the characters in it, but something kept me reading it. I was a little confused about the main character at times cause she freaked out about "monsters" in the beginning of the book, but by the middle she knew about other kinds of monsters without blinking an eye. I don't know if I'll read anymore in this series. I guess it'll depend on the plot of the next one and if it'll be the same people or different.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. ( )
  amdrane2 | May 17, 2014 |
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The biker gangs passing through Lobo Norte don't scare Ofelia anymore. All those men are the same: scarred, homeless, and broken...just like Ofelia. They've become a blur of forgettable faces watching her strip. She takes off her clothes, takes their money, and wipes them from her memory instantly.But Trouble is different. A biker with a wolf tattoo and tortured eyes, he sees beyond Ofelia's tough disguise to a more fragile woman within. She's drawn to him like she's never been drawn to a man before-at least, not since she survived hideous torture at the hands of her ex-boyfriend that left her scarred physically and emotionally. She can't forget Trouble. And she definitely can't push him away.There's magic between them that neither understands. But maybe if Ofelia and Trouble can find the truth, they can release each other from the chains that bind them to Lobo Norte, to the Fang Brothers biker gang, and to the dark secrets in their pasts...

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