Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

The genre for this book is erotica. My review may allude to sexual or other graphic scenes.
Captive in the DarkCaptive in the Dark by CJ Roberts
Series: The Dark Duet #1
Published by: Self Published on July 20, 2011
Genre: Abuse, Contemporary, Erotica, Suspense
Pages: 253
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★★

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.

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts - He was my tormentor and my solace

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.

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts - I just needed someone to hold me

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. LOL

C.J. Roberts, Author of Captive in the Dark

The Verdict


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  1. Holy shit! I need to read this book!!! I’m so excited you found this. I think I saw the cover, but never really read the synopsis! I totally need to read 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. ”
    That, my friend! Totally sold me! I know I will feel the same way like you do and I LOVE passionate and tense emotions!


    DannyBookworm recently posted: Hanging by a Thread by Sophie Littlefield
    1. Danny I can’t wait for you to read it!! This book is seriously… SO INCREDIBLE!! And if you can imagine that it’s even possible, the second book is like 10x better! It’s been over a week since I’ve read it and I’m *still* thinking about it!! These books will be the biggest mindfuck of your life, but that’s why they’re so amazing!!

  2. This book along with the sequel that was just released are two books that I’ll never forget. They were so dark, indulgent, frightening…I could go on forever with a list of adjectives. I’m just glad I decided to read them because, for lack of a better word, they were simply fantastic!

    1. I’m so glad that you loved these books too, Molly! These books are just indescribable. I feel like no amount of words or adjectives in a review can do them justice.

    1. I really hope you do!! This book is about heavy/serious topics and there is sex/violence, but the protagonist is 18! Maybe that makes it more relatable for teens than if the main character was in her 20s or 30s.

      If you read it then I really, really, REALLY hope you love it! 😀

    1. I completely agree! This is totally just a guess.. but maybe it’s because indie authors are less concerned about how to categorize their books. For example, a typical Young Adult book would almost never be super dark and intense, because it’s supposed to be for younger/teen audiences. A typical Adult book might have some darkness and intensity, but oftentimes it’s purely geared towards adults. So maybe in traditional publishing, people are less inclined to step outside of those cookie cutters.

      But maybe indie authors are less concerned about how to categorize their book and just go with whatever they want. So here you have a book with young protagonists that’s dark, gritty, and emotional. It combines the younger main characters, with the young adult “ease of reading”, with the adult/mature themes. TOTALLY AWESOME!!

      1. Yeah, that’s definitely true. Plus, I think (my own opinion, nothing to back it up) that traditional pubs are scared to go too dark, especially for YA. Yeah, you have “The Hunger Games” and so on, but I could NEVER see a book like this getting a traditional deal. Which is a real pity, because there’s an audience for stories like this.

        And that’s exactly why I want to write indie too, haha. I know some of the stories I want to tell just do not fit into the mold. It’s so encouraging to see that others get that, and that others support it, too. Kind of a tangent there, but really, YAY!

  3. Hey! New follower here 🙂
    Thanks for checking out my review of Captive in the Dark. Your review was one of the ones that swayed me to read it. And yes, I bought the second book and can’t wait to read it. I LOVE reading about fucked up characters, they are my favorite kind. The more messed up they are, the better. Wonder what that says about me…
    And OMG, you made the banner!? I saw it on Goodreads on a couple of reviews and didn’t know who made it but I LOVED it! It’s my favorite line of the book. Did you also make the one for the second book?
    (I’ll make sure I go back in and credit you)
    I can see you’ve also read Lengths and Avoiding Commitment. Yup, I’ll have to keep coming back to this blog 🙂

    1. Hi Nereyda!

      I’m glad I swayed you to read Captive in the Dark! Everyone should read it!! LOL! It’s seriously so amazing… and there is nothing else like this book out there! As soon as I finished reading both books (which I bought on Kindle), I scrambled to secure signed print copies because I just needed to hold them in my hands so I could drool all over them.. and of course, signed is a bonus!

      I did make the banner! 😀 And I made the one for Seduced in the Dark as well. I’m so glad you like them! CJ Roberts even made bookmarks out of the one for SitD! I was so honoured. ♥

      Thanks so much for following!

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