by Alaska Angelini
Series: Captive to the Dark
Genre: (Dark) Erotic Romance
Release Date: March 14th, 2014
Length: 214 pages
Source: ARC from author via Author Accomplice
| Amazon |
MARY is the perfect tool to use against the man who took his sister, Lily. What better way to exact retribution from Governor Hagen and force him to bring Lily back, than to steal his own daughter and threaten to sell her as a sex slave, too? But, even the best laid plans don’t always go smoothly. Slade ends up falling for his captive, and is faced with a decision that might just cause him to lose the one thing he doesn’t want to let go.
SLADE is every bit the animal he portrays. Dominant, dark, unbending, and possessive—her own personal predator. Mary can’t help but be drawn to the soul deep darkness in him. It calls to her like nothing she’s ever felt before. When her father bends to Slade’s will and releases Lily, will Mary be allowed to walk away and follow her father's plans to marry another, or will Slade make her a captive to the dark…forever?
WARNING: This book contains very graphic violence, disturbing situations, dubious consent, and very strong language
| Goodreads |
First off, heed the warning! This book is considered erotic romance, but it's definitely a dark erotic romance because of dubious consent, choking, knife/blood play, mention of rape, heroine is a virgin and anal sex. Okay, let's get on with the review.
When Mary was thirteen years old, she was sodomized by her bodyguard. Her father, a man with political ambitions, swept the incident under the rug and life went on. To her family she was a disgrace and an embarrassment. At seventeen, she snuck into a BDSM club to relieve her insatiable need for dark, twisted sex. With pain came pleasure. By twenty-two she'd done a good job of maintaining a facade that she was a good girl with no problems. Until the day she was kidnapped.
Slade had a similar upbringing in terms of having parents who couldn't care less about their children. They died in an accident when he was twenty, leaving him to take guardianship over his younger sister, Lily. From there he worked hard and became a self-made man. When his sister was kidnapped by sex slave traffickers, he saw only one way to get her back. An eye for an eye, so to speak.
I thrived off of what I was about to do. I'd break her. She'd be obeying my every wish come morning.
The book was written in the first person point-of-view from both Mary and Slade, which I really liked. I felt their raw emotions and I always knew what they were thinking. It was probably a very good move for this dark-themed book because the reader could tell whether or not they would find the hero redeemable. Armed with the knowledge of Mary's past, and the way she felt about herself and the risque actions she took were hers alone, therefore it's impossible to judge her for the things she needed to cope. I could understand her urges even when they felt uncomfortable to read. You'll have to put your personal feelings and judgments aside before you immerse yourself in these two protagonists and what makes them tick.
The story began with some back story on Mary before seeing her in the present. The dilemma that was her life unfolded during a sailing trip with her sister and brother-in-law along with a man she was being set up with, Jordan. It took a while for them to warm up to one another, but she quickly realized that he was a little bit like her. Right before she could go through with something she may have regretted later, she was kidnapped. Slade was a more complex character than Mary. I think he was more of a Sadist than a Dom. He wasn't squeamish about giving pain, but even in the most intense scenes, he was controlled and never did anything Mary wasn't willing to accept. It's my guess that he pushed her so hard because of who she was and the situation with his sister.
Terror was what I needed from her at the moment. It was imperative that she fear me.
The chemistry between them was there, and seemed to grow the more time they spent together. In the beginning he was dark and cruel, but moments would slip through that hinted at a good man underneath who had been driven to extreme behavior. He was used to being feared, but Mary was the first person who didn't react the way he had expected, and it threw him for a loop. I really liked Mary's feisty side in dealing with him, although I think she secretly enjoyed goading him into losing control.
Her eyes rolled sarcastically and she looked off to the side. Sputtering went off in my brain. Had she really just done that? It was almost like my mind couldn't accept the possibility. No one had ever disrespected me while I was trying to dominate them. People feared me.
I wasn't surprised that within the realm of being a wealthy CEO, he was also a bit of a vigilante. He had no trouble killing bad guys where the law would fail. Those few scenes were a little graphic but nothing too terrible. I think I loved him even more for being such a bad ass. There were some twists I never saw coming, but I loved the suspense of how Mary would fare when faced with them. I barely held back tears when she had a meltdown. Up until that point I was loving the story and the character development. But then it went a little downhill from there. My problem was Mary, and she made a few decisions that baffled me. I also didn't understand why she put up with Jordan and his own brand of high-handedness when she'd only known him for less than a week.
**Mild spoiler ahead**
Before her kidnapping she was on her way to becoming a child therapist or criminal profiler. When it seemed that Slade wasn't going to use the evidence he'd gathered to bring down the traffickers, she was pissed off. Rightly so. But after the situation with Lily, she decided to run back to Jordan of all people. THAT did not compute. And she was going to go along with her father's wish/demand that they marry. Her inability to stand up for herself disappointed me. I felt like she'd sold all those other girls and women out just to save her own behind and because she supposedly had no place to go. Not true, she could have gone back to her apartment considering Slade bought it for her. At least he was a better alternative than anything she came up with. And Jordan, after the things he'd done I didn't understand why he got off so easily. That was a shame, and left me feeling like the victims were denied any justice.
The Bottom Line
I really enjoyed this this story from new to me author Alaska Angelini. Slade was a deliciously dark (anti) hero, but he wasn't a cruel man for cruelty's sake. I loved the unconventional romance blossoming between them, and I do think he helped her tougher side emerge. I couldn't put the book down once I started. It was paced well. The sex was mostly rough, but consensual and so hot! If you pick this up, have faith. They do get their HEA. This can be read as a standalone since there was no set up for the second Captive to the Dark book titled Blake. I will definitely be looking out for that one when it comes out. Ms Angelini is an author to watch. The story may go through some revisions before publication, but I'm just reviewing what I had in front of me. I recommend it.
The V that was exposed from the towel hanging at his hips made my mouth water and it only angered me more. I jumped to my feet and snatched the rope. "I'll do it my fucking self."
"There's my girl." His hand grasped my throat and slammed me onto the bed. The muscles constricted and I took a deep breath as best as I could. "You're a fighter, Mary. I like that."
Rating: 3.75 rounded up to 4
♥ ♥ ♥
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from the author via Author Accomplice for the purpose of an honest review. The views and opinions expressed in this review are my own, and in no way represent the views or opinions of the publisher/distributor.
Buy Links are simply informative in nature. I am in no way affiliated with mentioned book sellers, nor am I under any type of affiliate program with said book sellers. Reviewed books were purchased by me unless otherwise noted. Any type of ad that appears anywhere on my blog are NOT sponsored. I do not receive monetary compensation. Giveaway prizes are provided by the author or publisher unless otherwise noted.
Find MsRomanticReads online