Series: The Dark Duet #1
Published by: Self Published on July 20, 2011
Genre: Abuse, Contemporary, Erotica, Suspense
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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.
Holy cow. Captive in the Dark is insanely real, and dark, and terrifying. It’s like Taken – Liam Neeson + Stockholm Syndrome.
It was pure chance that I even found this book. I happened to see it in my Goodreads feed, thought the cover was cool, and clicked on it to learn more. I’m so glad I did!
The scary thing about this book is that it gets you into the mind of a stockholm syndrome victim. When you read this book, and as Olivia starts to feel attraction towards Caleb, you will NOT be sitting there thinking, “She is being SO RETARDED! Why is she attracted to a completely disgusting, kidnapping monster??” Instead, you can really sympathize with her. You understand as she transitions from being terrified and disgusted, to seeking comfort in her captor. Caleb uses a brilliant mix of abuse and “gentleness” to break Olivia down to the point where she’ll come crawling to him and obeying him in exchange for a shred of kindness. He beats her and then massages soothing cream into her body. He touches her, but makes sure she enjoys it by pleasuring her. He’s full of contradictions. It’s both terrifying and fascinating to see this at work.
And then there’s Caleb. Wow, Caleb is such a complex and interesting character. Are we supposed to hate him? Understand him? Sympathize with him? The interesting thing about Caleb is that he never wanted or aspired to be a sex slave trainer. He’s in this for revenge. But the constant routine—year after year of training/abusing these women—has gotten to him; it’s changed him. Now he is a monster — a man who’s turned on by submissiveness. Part of him enjoys what he does, and part of him wants to escape from it. What kind of person does this make him?
This book is wrong in so many ways, but that’s what made it such an intense and INCREDIBLE read. Captive in the Dark is raw, it’s disturbing, it’s heartbreaking, it’s disgusting.. and yet.. it’s intense, bizarrely hopeful, and awesomely morbid @_@ I almost can’t believe that this book was only 253 pages. Captive in the Dark is packed to the rim with emotion, brutality, and other adjectives that I don’t even have words for. How C.J. Roberts managed to pack all that into a mere 253 pages is beyond me. What would a person do to survive? What does it take to break them? At what point does someone put aside their pride and succumb? These are some of the questions that Captive in the Dark tries to answer.
I feel like this is one of those books that you can’t even describe. You have to read it for yourself so you can properly feel this book, and understand it, and live it. I feel like I’m writing out words with this review, but I’m not actually saying anything. But that’s how blown my mind is right now. I’m at a loss for words. I feel like I have stockholm syndrome with this book. I feel like I shouldn’t love a book so wrong and abusive, but I do.. because it’s complex, it’s dark, it’s crazy, and it will blow your fucking mind to shreds. What you thought was real, and what you thought makes sense, suddenly won’t make sense anymore. Somehow C.J. Roberts managed to get me hooked on a book so disturbing and wrong and I applaud her for it!
I read a great interview with C.J. Roberts over at Sam, E and R’s Awesomeness blog and I wanted to quote something from one of her answers because it gives TERRIFIC insight into this book, her motivation behind it, and what the story is all about:
I was tired about reading books that revolved around a formula. I was tired of reading about ‘bad boys’ who weren’t really bad or messed up people who really weren’t. But I think I mostly wanted to read about a fucked up person, falling in love with another fucked up person. Probably because, at the time, I thought I was messed up and no one would ever ‘get’ me.
So I envisioned the most fucked up couple I possibly could. LOLC.J. Roberts, Author of Captive in the Dark