“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.”
If you read my review of Tarryn Fisher’s Mud Vein you knew Captive would have its day on Book Sidekicks. First let me say this: THIS BOOK WILL NOT BE FOR EVERYONE. Just as most books are not. We all have our preferences and our limits. If you can’t handle disturbing sexual situations, BDSM, or violence, I do not recommend this book. The warning at the end of the blurb is as follows: WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.
That being said, for those that can cope with the intensity of the novel and are willing to undergo some SERIOUS self evaluations, I HIGHLY recommend this book. It is not just sex. I promise. It WILL challenge things you thought you believed. I am still fervently against sex slavery and violence against ANYONE, of course, but I have now seen into the mind of a man troubled enough to do horrible things and watched the love of a woman alter him moreso than the crimes done to him in his past. This doesn’t mean I excuse the behavior. But before, I don’t think I was capable of understanding such a complex relationship.
Captive is dark erotica with authorial puppet strings that have you bending to Robert’s will. It’s that simple, yet that disturbing.
Let me give some setup first.
My friend called me one day to chat about what we’d been reading. When it came her turn, she was more than hesitant to tell me about the book. All she could say was: I can’t believe I read it, and that I feel about the hero the way I do.
I pressed as to WHY, because I know this woman. I know her preferences and her limits. I know she can handle a lot on the erotica scale, so I couldn’t imagine what had her so…off. I say off because she told me she hadn’t been able to read anything else in weeks. Not because “nothing compared,” but because she was just too emotionally stunned to delve back into another world just yet.
THAT caught my attention, ladies and gentlemen.
She didn’t want to give details because she wanted me to read the novel. But I pressed for something. ANYTHING. What did I get??
I was immediately repulsed. No way was I reading a book about sex slavery. That was NOT erotic. I have daughters. This is not an okay thing to center an erotic novel around. Violence against women is never okay. Right? RIGHT??
Well. Roberts did it. Bravely. I don’t think the book’s purpose was to make the situation of sex slavery erotic. It’s the painful and devastating and yes, often times erotic dynamic between a girl and a man, prey and predator, a victim and yet…another victim. There are no rules in this dynamic. Any preconceived ideas can be ignored. Stockholm Syndrome exists. And good people often do bad things. Not everyone lives a shiny life. Some see the dark far more than the light, and that tends to cloud parts of their being. Some worse than others. We all know people like that. We just tend to try to see only surface details because we simply don’t want to know more.
Roberts FORCES you to look deeper into the heart of a twisted and complicated man and the mind of a self-sustaining and confused girl. She made me feel for the “hero” who reads more like a “villain.” In fact I’m still torn about how the hell he can so perfectly be both. I wanted to hate him, and did, many times, but in the same breath I found myself wanting to see him redeemed. The desire was so enormous I often said it aloud while reading: “Don’t do it, Caleb. PLEASE.” Sometimes he did and my heart sank. Sometimes he didn’t and my heart swelled.
“Caleb was a strange person, cruel and inhuman; a monster, and yet, at other times, he seemed so capable of something like caring. He made me cry and scream and shake with fear and nearly a split second later he could make me almost believe he wasn’t responsible for any of it. He could hold me and make me feel safe. How was that possible?”
― C.J. Roberts, Captive in the Dark
It was pure torture.
When it was over, I devoured book two and the novella-ish epilogue from Caleb’s POV. I can say that I was honestly pleased with the unfolding of this story. I read book 2 in a day, while on a mini-trip with my hubs. Poor man had to just leave me alone because…GUYS. GUUUYYYYSSSS!!!! I. Could. Not. Stop.
But! THAT review is for another day 🙂
From my bookshelf to yours,
blurb from goodreads:
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.