“I wrapped my arms around him and held on as hard as I could. He was my tormentor and my solace: the creator of the dark and the light within. I didn’t care that he would undoubtedly hurt me at any moment, right now; I just needed somebody to hold me… To tell me these exact words. Its going to be okay. It wasn’t of course, I knew that. But I didn’t care, I needed the lie.”
5 MINDFUCKING STARS!!
WOW. A dark and powerful read.
UTTERLY CAPTIVATING! UTTERLY DISTURBING!
This book blew my mind. I’m seriously disturbed at how much I loved it. And yet, I think it might end up being one of my favs now. Every scene in it led to more questions, made me doubt my feelings even more. In scenarios where right and wrong seemed so incredibly and unquestionably clear cut, it it just threw all my preconceived notions right out the window and just forcibly opened my mind to more and more perspectives, more and more questions.
The writing style is seriously phenomenal and mezmerizing!!! I felt like I just wanted to highlight the whole book! It was captivating, rich, vivid, descriptive… It put me right into the character’s heads. The story flowed beautifully, the dialogue was effortless and the plot was beyond gripping. CJ Roberts is definitely one of my new favorite authors!
The book centers around Livie’s kidnapping by Caleb. As part of a complex revenge scheme twelve years in the making, he abducts her with the intent of training her as a pleasure slave and selling her into slavery to the man he is trying to take down.
When Livie wakes from a drug-enduced sleep to find herself captive, her worse nightmare is coming true. Tied to a bed, with a strange man who calls her ‘pet’ and demands she call him ‘Master’, Livie is thown into a dark, twisted world, subject to deeply erotic, deeply horrific and disturbing violations against her will. But strangest of all are the feelings she begins to have for her captor. Is there a good heart behind the monster? As the lines between captive and captor are blurred, it leaves you questioning everything you feel…..
“Your entire life is going to change. You should try to accept that, because there is no possible way to avoid it. Like it or not, fight it or don’t, your old life is over. It was over long before you woke up here.” ~Caleb
I don’t view this as a BDSM book. This isn’t BDSM as we usually see it in books, this is real life BDSM. Its not a game, its not a lifestyle, not a choice, this is LIVING in it. Its raw, gritty reality. There is no safe word, no consent, no out. The main purpose isn’t getting off, the purpose is training. End of story.
“What’s going to happen to me?” I asked quietly, almost hoping he hadn’t heard. I wasn’t sure I wanted an answer.
There was no answer – then, “Whatever I wish.”
Its just such an alarming blend of gentle and tender to harsh, brutal and controlling… and yet I was RIVITED. TO. THE. PAGE.
The author is seriously ballsy – she goes ALLLLL out in this. There is NO freaking stone left unturned… Yup, read into that ALL you want!! O_O
There were parts of the book where I was just in shock at what was happening. The purest HOLY SHIT moments you can imagine!
The whole initial concept of how easily someone can just disappear is deeply chilling. And the story starts off from Caleb’s POV. Watching him watch her, contemplate taking her. Wow. So creepy and yet captivating.
“As a slave trainer, he had trained at least a score of girls. Some were willing… Others… Coerced… But this particular slave, the one he eyed from across the busy street – she was different. She was neither willing, nor coerced, not sent to him. She was pure conquest.”
Caleb… *deep breath* what a complex character. I was utterly intrigued by him. There’s a constant counterbalance between his inner thoughts and feelings (that are more purely him) and his outer actions which are clearly the result of his rigorous, brutal and intense training and conditioning. His journey in this book is so interesting because even though he is ‘technically’ the villain of this story, he’s also the victim of his own (utterly horrific) story. I think he had a lot of humanity, but most of it though had been raped or beaten away and his journey is him struggling whether or not he can and/or wants to find it again. We watch him struggle with what he wanted to do versus what he felt compelled to do. And its a complete mindfuck because, yes he is brutal, but not in the way some crazy mindless rapist would be. So I just found myself questioning things over and over and over again…
Did I like him because he was the best in this fucked up world or did I like him because of him? Is he the villain? Or is he too a victim of his own story? Should you love him? Should you hate him? I thought I might be able to love him for a while, then I was really fucking sure I hated his guts. But not hate in the sense that I want him to die. I just want him to be less brutal and then I could love him? And then, a few pages later I sympathized with him again and started to like him again. A lot … Maybe? Gosh that sounds fucked up even to me lol. Urrrrgh!!
One minute he was gentle, the next he was a monster – almost as if the inner him, deeeeep down may have been gentle, but he is just so strongly conditioned to be a monster, that it becomes dominant. I kept alternating between almost thinking I was starting to fall for him, then he would do something that just totally fucked with my mind and, just like Livie, I just had NO clue what to feel.
“Why couldn’t he just keep being an evil, soulless bastard so I knew what his role was and I knew mine? Why did he continually have to switch back from cold and unforgiving, to comforting and warm?”
I mean, I know he’s the product of seriously mindfucking so does that excuse his behavior? Prolly not, but it makes me more sympathetic to him… I think? Or not… GAH!!! Moving on… you’ll have to read it for yourself to see what you think about it.
Livie… I loved her character. I totally felt for her. I loved her spunk and her fight. She never gave up, not really. And her inner strength, despite her nightmare-ish scenario made me totally sympathetic to her. She was never stupid, never made me want to throw my Kindle at the wall. Her thoughts and actions were totally understandable and relatable.
“He had tied me – naked – to a bedpost. To suffer. And he was somewhere in the house fucking some whore’s brains out. He wasn’t thinking of me. Of the pain I was in because of him. He simply did. Not. Care. Hot tears streamed down my face.“
I alternated between finding what I was reading hot, utterly gross, utterly disturbing and then, disturbingly cute. When Caleb would do something cute or tender, I felt myself melt a little. And that just made me want to slap myself and just go ‘Gah! what’s wrong with me?! He’s a kidnapper!! He did unspeakable things to her! But… He’s really cute. Wrong wrong wrong!! Aaaaaaaaa’
“…he stood me up and pressed my head to his chest, rocking me back and forth gently. I gripped him tightly, both arms holding fast to his waist. It had become natural for me to seek shelter in his arms, even if he had just used then to hold me down and spank me….It wasn’t enough to fuck my body, he wanted to mindfuck me too. It was working.”
Both Livie and Caleb were inexplicably and wrongly (in both cases) drawn to each other and yet their feelings were also utterly undeniable. What was there was just SO. FREAKING. WRONG!!! … and yet, I just totally wanted to root for them. What is wrong with me??!!
The book was captivating and riveting from start to finish. It never dragged. It was just one scenario after another. Like Livie, you never knew what to expect. Total mind fuck.
I don’t know what else to say except if you can keep an open mind, READ THIS BOOK!!! Its absolutely AMAZING!! The ending is most definitely a cliffhanger with many unanswered questions, but the sequel is out so you can read straight through. I can’t wait to get to it in a few days… I’ve heard its even more amazing!
** SERIES READING ORDER **
Book #1: CAPTIVE IN THE DARK
Buy for Kindle| Buy in Paperback
Book #2: SEDUCED IN THE DARK
Buy for Kindle| Buy in Paperback | Read my Review
Book #3: EPILOGUE
Buy for Kindle | Buy in Paperback | Read my Review
You sold me on them, just bought them for my kindle…wish me luck.
Great review! Can’t wait to read this book!
Michelle Bushnell says
Perfect review! I feel the same way about the characters. I really ended up loving them both. You have to read the second book now!
Lee Clements says
I’m so glad you liked i.This is one of the best reviews i’ve read about it. You could have been reading my mine when you wrote it cause I was conflicted with my feelings too. Thanks for putting the words in my brain so eloquently in writing.
You will love the second book too.
Good luck Laura!! I hope you love it too!
And thanks guys for the review love 🙂 makes me so happy to hear you like it!
I’m totally excited for book 2!! I’ll be readin it RIGHT after my Love Unrehearsed ARC! So I should have the review up in a few days too 🙂
Ana Z says
I loved this duet. The books were Mindfucking Incredible!! No other words to describe it accurately. CJ Roberts rocks!! I have self diagnosed myself with Stockholm’s Syndrome because I was held captive and seduced by Caleb and surprisingly, I loved Livvie too. She was such a great character and I usually don’t like the female protagonist.
Great review!:D I’ve been waiting (impatiently) to hear your opinion about this story (I love your reviews, your enthusiasm always makes me get new books. :))).
Wow! I can’t wait to read it! Seems like a dangerous, yet delicious guilty pleasure – the kind of book that you can’t stop reading and loving, even though it’s disturbing and f***ing with your mind. Well, just my kind of book. :))
P.S. Love the pic you chose for Caleb! Those eyes… *gulp*
I keep hearing about this series but I’ve been so scared (yes scared!) to read it.. I’m more of a swoony HEA kind of girl so something this dark makes me wonder if I’ll enjoy it. I have a feeling it might be one of those books I put in the freezer during the scary parts..which would be bad since I read on my iPad lol. I’ll add it to my TBR list since your review sold me on it. 🙂 just need to keep an open mind.
Kerry G says
I keep looking at this book, trying to decide if I want to read it or not. Lately I’ve been penny pinching and hitting up the free books, since the books I have to purchase – my son’s college books – cost an arm & leg. But from your review, I think I will loosen up the purse strings and get this one 🙂 Thanks!
@Kerry: If you feel like waiting, I think my next giveaway that I’ll be holding will be one for this book and its sequel 😀
I haven’t read book 2 yet (thats next on my list after Love Unrehearsed) but once my review is up, I think I’m going to have to give copies of them away!
@Deea: those eyes just melt my heart! lol
@Camille: Definitely add it to the TBR. If it helps, I wouldn’t actually call any parts of it scary per say… more like some parts are disturbing. It doesn’t read like a thriller though…. just read it when you are in the mood for something dark and amazing 🙂
@Ana: yup… I have Stockholm’s Syndrome too *nods* its undeniable!
Kerry G says
Hehe, I just bought it 🙂
Wow! Thanks for the recommendation this book was fantastic but the sequel was even better. You rock, all the books you’ve recommended have been stop on. Can I just say Caleb was one f****d mess but I fell in love with him!!!
Amber Bennett says
OMG!! Aestas, your review is beyond amazing, I just got the 3 books delivered yesterday, and I’m definitely starting book 1 right NOW!! I can’t wait to read it. Just wanna thank you for introducing so many amazing books to read, buying all your recommendations, and you never disappoint. Not even once 🙂 you only disappoint my debit card!! THANK YOU for your great reviews and recommendations x
Donna Peebles says
Absolutly loved this series…is a must have, its dark and gritty its sadistic…but god its sooo good
Thank you! You put into words how I feel about it! I feel better now 🙂 *goes back to book*
Glad it helped 🙂