Title: Uncaged (Shifter’s Uprising Book #1)
Author Name: Lisa & Thomas J. Oliver
Publication Date & Length: June 8, 2015 – 129 pgs
Carlin is an Alpha Wolf Fighter, one of only three in the top spots at the Souterrain – an underground fighting club, run by the Elite to punish shifters who have gone outside of the laws. He’s happy enough, only has to fight exhibition matches, has his own apartment space, food and sex on tap – yep, life it good. So when Martin offers him the chance to fight for his freedom, Carlin turns it down. It’s no fun being a lone wolf and Carlin is quite happy where he is.
Then Lucas catches his eye. A handsome man, a stunning fighter, moving up through the ranks fast. Lucas might not have the killer attitude that most men at the Souterrain have, but he’s got the moves. Carlin has no problems insisting the man is bought to his apartment – sex is never a bad idea. But when he catches Lucas’s scent and realizes the man is his fated mate, suddenly getting him to bed is the least of his problems. Lucas wants to be free, and for the first time in a long time, so does Carlin.
Unfortunately there is more to Lucas than meets the eye. Martin certainly has no intention of letting them go, and if he has to have Carlin killed to keep Lucas at the Souterrain, then the man has no problems with that either. Suddenly the deal Carlin makes with Martin goes horribly wrong, and Carlin and Lucas realize that the price for freedom might be Carlin’s life, and even then Lucas will not be free.
Warnings: M/M sex, HEA, some violence (they are in a fight club after all). A growly Alpha who lets his emotions get the best of him, and a hybrid shifter with a wicked imagination.
I really enjoyed this story about Lucas and Carlin. It hot hot scenes, their chemistry was both alpha and broody and submissive and caring, all wrapped in to one. I really enjoyed the secondary character, Brian too.
This was a story about finding the one you are destined to be with and never letting that connection go, despite obstacles and people trying to break you apart.
While I wished that we were given a little more on Carlin’s background, I liked how mysterious Lucas’ background was, even to him. I thought that it helped make the story much more believable.
Overall, this was a steamy first story and I can’t wait to watch the mystery unravel.
Carlin knew he was behaving like an idiot pacing up and down the floor of his small apartment, but he couldn’t stop. How long did it take for one man to have a shower for fucks sake? He’d ordered food for the both of them. Having been a fighter for more than five years, Carlin knew that Lucas would be hungry – hopefully for food and sex. But if the bloody man didn’t get his skates on then Carlin would eat alone and get straight to dessert when Lucas arrived. About to call Brian and find out where his errant fuck had gone, Carlin caught the sound of people outside of his door. He threw himself on the couch and picked up a book. He didn’t want Lucas thinking he was waiting for him or anything.
Brian came in, Lucas a few steps behind him.
“Alpha Fighter Carlin. This is Lucas, ranked fifth after today.”
Carlin was surprised. He’d heard the man had moved swiftly up the ranks, but he didn’t realize that Lucas was so close to a shot for an Alpha ranking. In theory, one more fight and he might have to fight Lucas in the ring. For a moment Carlin was tempted to send the man away. He did have some conscience, even after so many years of being a fighting machine. He didn’t want to have to kill someone who had been in his bed.
But then Lucas stepped past Brian, and Carlin was caught in angry eyes. Silver eyes. Something tugged at Carlin’s brain – the eye color had some significance, didn’t it? But then Lucas’s scent hit Carlin’s nose and any rational thought fell straight out of his brain.
“Leave, Brian,” Carlin said, standing up and not breaking his stare with Lucas. He knew his body radiated the power he was famous for, and guessed he might look intimidating, as he heard Brian whisper to Lucas as he scurried out of the door, “I told you not to stare at an Alpha. You’re dead meat pup.”
“Better dead than a fuck toy,” Lucas snarled – his comment for Brian, but those silver eyes stayed fixed on Carlin.
“I agree,” Carlin said, his voice dropping as he got closer. Before Lucas could react, he reached his hand around, grabbing Lucas by the nape and pushing the man’s face into his throat. Whatever Lucas was going to say was muffled by Carlin’s skin, although the man was kicking, punching and doing everything he could to get free.
“Sniff, damn you,” Carlin said urgently. “Fucking sniff, and then I’ll let you go.”
Carlin felt Lucas quieten, although his body still stayed rigid in Carlin’s grasp. Lucas’s deep inhale was the only sound in the room. Carlin knew the moment Lucas had worked out what Carlin was trying to say.
1) Can you describe in detail what your writing environment is like?
[Lisa] I have one of those cabins, which sits at the bottom of my driveway. It’s quite and it locks which is really important. Inside I have my office desk and chair with the biggest computer screen I could buy. On the wall beside me are printouts of the pictures of my latest characters and on the other wall is a large map of the USA which is handy when I am working out distances between places. I also have a television, two lazyboy recliners and a whole stack of books in the shelves under the television. It is my home away from home.
2) Is there one of your characters that you relate to (from any of your works)? Why?
[Lisa] All of my characters carry a part of me. In this latest book, Uncaged, Carlin has that whole loner aspect going on which is something I can relate to, while Lucas is different, which is something else I feel about myself. In other books I have looked at ideas about abuse, trauma, PTSD, lack of self-worth and being bullied –all aspects that resonate in my soul for different reasons.
3) If you couldn’t be an author, what would you do instead?
[Thomas] I’m a builder by trade, having just finished my apprenticeship. As much as I would love to be a full time writer, I enjoy working outside, the fresh air, and working with a good group of people. I am not sure I could ever give that sort of thing up although working on this book has been a lot of fun.
4) Is there anything that you learned during the writing process that you wish you had known before hand?
[Thomas] I honestly didn’t realize writing a book would take up so much time! I don’t know why I didn’t realize it, but mom (Lisa) makes it all look so easy. It wasn’t until we worked together that I realized how much work goes into each book, and how much time the whole process takes. A real eye-opener for me.
5) Is there anything that you wish you could change about your book now that it is out?
[Lisa] There are always little things I think about changing, after the book has been published, but as far as the storyline goes, and the way the characters interacted, no. I think we did a good job there.
6) How do you come up with new ideas for your story?
[Thomas] I know mom usually just writes whatever comes into her head, but I am more of a planning sort of person. This book, Uncaged, came from little things that I saw on the news, and in daily life and I started thinking – how could any one person, or a group of people create some sort of change so things were better for everybody. This series is based on those thoughts and ideals.
7) What’s next for you as a writer?
[Thomas] Well, for me it is working on book 2 in the series, Flying Free which will include bears and bird shifters. I know mom is working on a heap of other stuff as well though.
[Lisa] Sure am. I am working on Josh’s story from the Cloverleah Pack, which I think is book seven in the series. I also want to get the second Stockton Wolves series book finished as well and I am hoping to write Phillip’s story from the Bound and Bonded series and another Alpha and Omega book all in the near future, so there is a lot going on.
8) Where do you live? Do you think this influences how or what you write?
[Thomas] We both live in a small town in New Zealand. I don’t think this influences the story lines at all, although obviously being in a small country like this, we are not as impacted by world affairs as other places.
[Lisa] I set all of my stories in the US because we don’t have animal predators in this country at all. It means I have to do a lot more research about places to make the information in my books more credible, but it’s worth it.
9) What is your favorite genre outside of the one you write in? Why?
[Thomas] I know mom just reads her M/M or art books, but I like fantasy books. I like the idea that books can take you to new worlds where life is different – it’s a form of escapism I really enjoy.
10) Do you have any vices? Shoes, coffee, shopping…etc?
[Thomas] Lol – coffee and bourbon, and wait…I’ll tell you mom’s…It’s chocolate and she loves online shopping.
[Lisa] Awww, how nice that you know that. That’s sweet.
Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.
When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it, is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate.
Lisa loves to hear from her readers and other writers. You can friend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/lisaoliverauthor), or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to chat with her on Skype, then email for contact details.