Review: Caged by J.A. Belfield

Posted March 21, 2014 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews, Werewolves / 52 Comments

Review: Caged by J.A. Belfield
Caged by J.A. Belfield
Series: Holloway Pack #3
Published by J.Taylor Publishing
Published on: July 30, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Werewolves
Pages: 355
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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If the meek can become deadly, the strongest can be weak.

For Ethan Holloway, his mission to find a missing werewolf should be simple. Crack a few heads, bust a few chops and the solution always reveals itself. Always.

Not this time.

Ethan's reputation precedes him, and because it does, someone is ready. Waiting. Unbeknownst to Ethan, he's about to go down. Hard. Against a foe he never suspected and in a world he never imagined could be real.

What awaits Ethan is a fight not only for his reputation, but also his pack, his female, and his life. If he survives, damage control will become priority number one.

If he survives.

Because even Ethan's not sure he's strong enough to take on an entire race all by himself.

Especially one hell bent on exposing who and what he is in the name of sport.

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I love it when a series gets better with each new installment and J.A. Belfield’s HOLLOWAY PACK is a prime example of that. I’m glad that I stuck with it after having given book one and two, 3 and 4 stars respectively, because following the evolution of this author’s werewolves made me better able to appreciate CAGED for what it is—grade A alpha meat! Ethan’s story is as riveting as his back is gorgeous, and Belfield’s mythology surprised me with its uniqueness which is saying something considering I devour novels in this genre en masse. This series continues to be shelved as Paranormal Romance but its very action-y, to the point that I’d even go so far as to call it Urban Fantasy. Tomato, tomahto—call it whatever you want, CAGED was awesome!

I really enjoyed the author’s twists on werewolves; she takes an unconventional approach to many of this genre’s go-to elements which helped to set this title apart from the countless others on my to-be-read pile. For one, I liked that Ethan’s protectiveness extended to everyone he cares about instead of the common mate-specific trait. It made his character’s alpha-ness all the more believable by playing on pack dynamics rather than on the over utilized insta-love. I also liked how Belfield didn’t just showcase the positive aspects of mate bonds. Jem’s pregnant in this installment and Sean gets to be the first man to experience the joys of childbirth. The woman in me couldn’t help but grin at that!

It was a real pleasure getting to view this book from Ethan’s POV; he’s very… surly, and likes to punch first and ask questions later. Watching him become the target of another supernatural race, and have to rely on more than just his brute strength to free himself and his pack mates was a great testimony to this author’s skill with character development. However, don’t go thinking that Holloway talks his captors to death because he doesn’t; there’s still plenty of werewolf action to satisfy his beast’s thirst for violence. I was taken aback by how little of a role the romance actually plays in this installment. Other than a quick horizontal dance in the earlier chapters, Belfield makes readers wait until the very last page for Ethan and Shelley’s HEA. Towards the end, I was beginning to seriously doubt whether it was going to happen at all!

The overall plot of CAGED is fairly straightforward, kind of a FIGHT CLUB meets Noah’s Arc type thing. Some interesting new secondary characters are introduced, and the author sets things up nicely for Brook and Kyle’s story in UNNATURAL. Being a werewolf fanatic, I tend to shy away from novels that feature cat shifters but after meeting Nicholls, there’s not a doubt left in my mind that I’ll enjoy reading book 4. I’m quite curious about Lauren as well, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding her character, and I’m hoping that we’ll see her again in a later installment. And, then there’s Gabe! I was so worried about him, but fortunately he seems to have survived his ordeal relatively intact. He was trained by Ethan himself, so I have high hopes for him too!

CAGED is more than just a pretty cover—this book tastes as good as it looks!

Holloway Pack Series

My Review

My Review
Unnatural by J A Belfield

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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52 responses to “Review: Caged by J.A. Belfield

  1. terrirochenski

    Yes & more yes. Love this series for all the reasons you so eloquently stated. Love me some Ethan.

  2. Oooo this sounds right up my alley Carmel! Yes to werewolves. Particularly alpha male ones:) I always love when a series gets better as it goes as well, I much prefer that to a series that starts out strong with book one and then can’t quite meet the bar set by that book in subsequent books. Really looking forward to meeting, and probably drooling over, Ethan!

    • I agree! When they keep getting better, it makes the journey feel worthwhile while as when it’s the reverse, it can feel like a waste of time. You’re gonna LOVE Ethan!

  3. You always get me with your 5 star reviews, and I love getting the male’s point view in a series. It’s only three books in, so not too bad…Now I must go look for the first book, if I’m lucky the first book will be on audible already.

  4. Ethan sounds like my kind of alpha male! Can this be read as a stand-alone? The last thing I need is another series on my list but I might just have to give in after reading your review! 🙂

  5. I was trying to wonder if I had read a review of the previous books but I don”t think so. The series and the author are new to me and to see that you had such a great time with it, I’m now curious about it. I’m also curious to discover Ethan, he sounds fun to follow.

  6. This sounds really interesting! I’m really liking the sound of how the author makes her opinion of werewolves / other paranormal creatures so different from the norm. Definitely makes her books stick out in a good way! The characters sound fantastic, and I’m so glad to know that the series keeps getting better and better (unlike some series…not naming any names *cough* Divergent *cough*). Thanks so much for sharing Carmel, and, as always, fabulous review!

  7. Faye M.  

    Awww, I’d love to read something like that! An alpha werewolf whose concern reaches to his pack, not just to his mate. That somehow reminds me of Simon from Written in Red (you know I’m obsessed when I am kind of seeing his name or any of the characters in that series EVERYWHERE). Definitely putting this to my TBR!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  8. This series sounds awesome! I love werewolf books and YA just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. My fav adult is the Kelley Armstrong series. I also like how Ethan gets a POV – male POVs are the most compelling, often, I find at least. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this series! 🙂

  9. Oh yea! I’m glad that the third book was fantastic. Sometimes an author needs to get a few books in before they really start to rock. 🙂

  10. Wonderful review. I’ve not herd of this series and now I must add it to my to-read list. Oh Carmel you keep reading wonderful books and making me want to pick them up. “Sigh” ^_^