Kidnapped. Taken to a private island.
I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely. Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man
who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.
My captor is an enigma. I don’t know who he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in. My name is Nora Leston, and this is my story.
WARNING: This is NOT a traditional romance. It contains disturbing subject matter, including themes of questionable consent and Stockholm Syndrome, as well as graphic sexual content. This is a work of fiction intended for a mature, 18+ audience only. The author neither endorses nor condones this type of behavior.
Oh, my. That was my first thought when came to the end of this mindf%*k of a book. And I mean that in the best way possible.
Nora is senior in high school with her whole life ahead of her. With her fake ID, one night she goes out to a club with a friend. While there, she feels eyes upon her and when she finds the owner of those eyes, she feels a funny feeling deep inside. Danger mixed with arousal and attraction. He introduces himself and she quickly leaves. Over the next few weeks she goes on with her life, graduating high school, going out on a date with her long time crush and then she is kidnapped. And who kidnaps her? The man from the club, Julian. He takes her to be his and she finds herself held captive on a private island, at the mercy of Julian. A man she both loathes and finds herself drawn to. Why does he want her? What will he do with her?
For all you “Captive in the Dark” fans, this book is right up your alley. I’m not really sure that this is the kind of book that is totally up my alley because it is so dark, but even I can appreciate when a story is done well, even if the subject matter is questionable. I don’t really get off on the whole forced sex/slave dynamic, but enjoyed this book nonetheless because the writing is so dynamic and well done.
Nora I found to be a bit annoying at the beginning, but I had to remind myself that she is only 18 years old and innocent. As we see her change through the course of the book we can see how Julian impacts her growth and identity. It’s a really interesting transformation to read about, and was one of the aspects of the book I found myself most enjoying. The same is true with Julian’s character. He’s mysterious and as his layers get peeled away you get a glimpse of his twisted mind, but are somehow able to feel something for him. That’s always what gets me about books like this.
It’s a tough subject matter and the author must create sympathy for a character who seriously sick and twisted. The good authors manage to do it, and I’m happy to say that I think this author was able to pull it off quite successfully. I found myself if not liking Julian, feeling something for him. I get it. Great job.
I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series. I mean, I assume there’s a next book, because the end of the book left me really wanting more. I need to understand and learn more about
Julian! And don’t worry, there’s no frustrating cliffhanger, it’s just made clear that there’s more to know. 4.5 dark and twisty stars.
“I can’t be this girl who was drugged and kidnapped, and who is letting her kidnapper touch her, stroke her all over her body.”
While the synopsis is short and brief, it really just sums it all up. Nora, out with her fake ID celebrating the eve of her 18th birthday, runs into a handsome stranger. Little does she know then how deeply that will impact her life.
“No asking for permission, no pausing to see if I would let him touch me. He just touches me. Like he has the right to do so. Like I belong to him.”
This one is difficult to review. Not so much in that I don’t know how I felt about it but more in a way that this book is just something you need to experience for yourself. It is really dark. I love dark and this one didn’t disappoint. We go through Nora’s captivity with Julian step by step. Nora does a really good job of trying to stay strong and not fall for her captor although of course she isn’t successful. It was interesting seeing the Stockholm syndrome played out without it actually crossing her mind that it was happening through the book. There is loads of excitement towards the end and it leaves you wanting more. I really hope there is another book telling the next part of their lives.
“It’s not the sweet, tender kind of love I always dreamed of, but it’s love. Dark, twisted, and obsessive, it’s both a compulsion and an addiction.”
I seriously highlighted so much of this book. It seemed like every step that happened was important and I needed to remember it! The one part I was pretty disappointed in was the fact that of course it is another virgin who can miraculously orgasm multiple times even her first time. Also, she passes out during and after sex, a lot. I mean, I understand a lot of this is supposed to be fantasy but I NEED some realism. Even in a captive dark-romance book. Or maybe I am just totally with the wrong men. Thoughts? While it was distracting a tiny bit, I still over all just really enjoyed the story a lot. I makes me want to just dive into all the other dark romances that are in my TBR list. Okay one last note. The editing was amazing in this book. I maybe found 2 tiny errors? And, I enjoyed the writing style a lot. I will definitely not only read more of this series, I would also read other books by this author.
On my way back, I ask the bartender for a glass of water. I am thirsty after all the dancing.
He gives it to me, and I greedily gulp it down. When I’m done, I put down the glass and look up.
Straight into a pair of piercing blue eyes.
He’s sitting on the other side of the bar, about ten feet away. And he’s staring at me.
I stare back. I can’t help it. He’s probably the most handsome man I’ve ever seen.
His hair is dark and curls slightly. His face is hard and masculine, each feature perfectly symmetrical. Straight dark eyebrows over those strikingly pale eyes. A mouth that could belong to a fallen angel.
I suddenly feel warm as I imagine that mouth touching my skin, my lips. If I were prone to blushing, I would’ve been beet-red.
He gets up and walks toward me, still holding me with his gaze. He walks leisurely. Calmly. He’s completely sure of himself. And why not? He’s gorgeous, and he knows it.
As he approaches, I realize that he’s a large man. Tall and well built. I don’t know how old he is, but I’m guessing he’s closer to thirty than twenty. A man, not a boy.
He stands next to me, and I have to remember to breathe.
“What’s your name?” he asks softly. His voice somehow carries above the music, its deeper notes audible even in this noisy environment.
“Nora,” I say quietly, looking up at him. I am absolutely mesmerized, and I’m pretty sure he knows it.
He smiles. His sensuous lips part, revealing even white teeth. “Nora. I like that.”
He doesn’t introduce himself, so I gather my courage and ask, “What’s your name?”
“You can call me Julian,” he says, and I watch his lips moving. I’ve never been so fascinated by a man’s mouth before.
“How old are you, Nora?” he asks next.
I blink. “Twenty-one.”
His expression darkens. “Don’t lie to me.”
“Almost eighteen,” I admit reluctantly. I hope he doesn’t tell the bartender and get me kicked out of here.
He nods, like I confirmed his suspicions. And then he raises his hand and touches my face. Lightly, gently. His thumb rubs against my lower lip, as though he’s curious about its texture.
I’m so shocked that I just stand there. Nobody has ever done that before, touched me so casually, so possessively. I feel hot and cold at the same time, and a tendril of fear snakes down my spine. There is no hesitation in his actions. No asking for permission, no pausing to see if I would let him touch me.
He just touches me. Like he has the right to do so. Like I belong to him.
I draw in a shaky breath and back away. “I have to go,” I whisper, and he nods again, watching me with an inscrutable expression on his beautiful face.
I know he’s letting me go, and I feel pathetically grateful—because something deep inside me senses that he could’ve easily gone further, that he doesn’t play by the normal rules.
That he’s probably the most dangerous creature I’ve ever met.
I turn and make my way through the crowd. My hands are trembling, and my heart is pounding in my throat.
I need to leave, so I grab Leah and make her drive me home.
As we’re walking out of the club, I look back and I see him again. He’s still staring at me.
There is a dark promise in his gaze—something that makes me shiver.
Copyright Anna Zaires 2014
Anna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works.
After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics, Anna spent eight years on Wall Street analyzing stocks and writing research reports. In 2013, she became a full-time author, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing romance novels.
Dima Zales is the love of her life and a huge inspiration in all aspects of her writing. Every book Anna writes is a product of their unique collaborative process.
In addition to reading and writing, Anna enjoys drinking tea (coconut oolong, anyone?), watching addictive TV shows, and discussing book ideas during long walks with her amazing husband.
She loves hearing from her readers, so please don’t hesitate to contact her through her website or connect with her on Facebook, where she hangs out way too often. Also, please visit her husband and collaborator, Dima Zales, at www.dimazales.com and check out their fantasy & science fiction books.