Saturday, January 4, 2014

C. J. Roberts-Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet #1)

Adult Contemporary-18+

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.

Caleb is a man with a singular interest in revenge. Kidnapped as a young boy and sold into slavery by a power-hungry mobster, he has thought of nothing but vengeance. For twelve years he has immersed himself in the world of pleasure slaves searching for the one man he holds ultimately responsible. Finally, the architect of his suffering has emerged with a new identity, but not a new nature. If Caleb is to get close enough to strike, he must become the very thing he abhors and kidnap a beautiful girl to train her to be all that he once was.

Eighteen-year-old Olivia Ruiz has just woken up in a strange place. Blindfolded and bound, there is only a calm male voice to welcome her. His name is Caleb, though he demands to be called Master. Olivia is young, beautiful, naïve and willful to a fault. She has a dark sensuality that cannot be hidden or denied, though she tries to accomplish both. Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

{3 stars}

I am still struggling with my feelings about this book. It is very thought provoking, especially if you look past the physical situation. Olivia has been kidnapped, Caleb is her captor. But they are both prisoners in different ways. Olivia is a survivor, whether it be in the "free" world, or in her dark room, she has the deep will and instinct to survive. Her home life was only a "free" version of a prison. Captive to her mother's hatred, Olivia learned to behave and appear less threatening and almost invisible to the world around her. She was just waiting for her chance to escape and build her own life. Maybe that's what Caleb saw in her that day, a survivor, like himself. Caleb's life has been horrible, no child should ever have to live through what he did. But he did, his will to survive kept him alive and able to one day escape his captor. Olivia and Caleb are of a kindred spirit in that way. But Olivia sparks something in Caleb that turns all his plans inside out.

I would give the first half of this book 2 stars, it was hard to read, hard to understand this story at all. I didn't think I would finish it. And I almost gave up, but something in me about half way through wouldn't give up on Olivia. I needed to follow her journey, like a silent cheerleader hoping she would find her way again. Olivia has a strong will and will do whatever it takes to stay alive. Will Caleb let her go? His whole world starts to unravel with Olivia, he sees her more than just his captive. Maybe he sees a way out of his own life? Is vengeance worth his own escape? There are a lot more questions than answers after reading this first one, I feel some urge to finish their journey. I wound up with a 3 star rating because I like Olivia, her spirit of survival. I don't like the premise for how the story starts, but I am looking more at the journey of Olivia and Caleb, than the physical state of their own prisons. The reviews are all over the place with this series, that is why I delayed reading it, but i read it, and i will continue with their journey.

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