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Captive in the Dark (Dark Duet #1) by CJ Roberts

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.

WARNING: This book contains very disturbing situations, dubious consent, strong language, and graphic violence.
Five Dark & Captivating Stars

Each story wanted, no--needed--to reveal a human fragility, a human bondage which tied people to the things they did and to be the person they held in their heads. Those stories were something true and sometimes horrific but people were people and the parts didn't just tell the whole story. 

The above excerpt states it all. That was...not what I expected. Not at all. This was explicit & very dark. I mean really dark, but wow, it was really good & extremely well written. I knew it wasn't going to be the typical heroine-falling-for-captor story line, so I guess I shouldn't be too shocked, but I still was. Still am actually. But it was so much more, and so much better than I expected. So many emotions, and not all good ones, are felt in this story. This is definitely not for everyone.

Caleb was not easy to like. He wants revenge, plain and simple. He and his partner, Rafiq, are seeking vengeance against Vladek Restrovich (now known as Demitri Balk). Vladek is the main person responsible for the pain and suffering that both he and Rafiq have endured. Once a child slave, Caleb, wants nothing more than to make Vladek suffer and then kill him. However, they must find a way to get into his inner circle. This is where Livvie comes into play. 

Olivia, or Livvie, is the perfect candidate for the Flower Sale, an auction in which women from all over the world are auctioned off to be pleasure slaves to rich and powerful men. She is chosen by Caleb because she is poor, inexperienced, and extremely beautiful. Someone poor is most likely not to gain attention by their disappearance. Auctioning off a virginal, American girl like Livvie will gain Caleb the status he needs to get into Vladek's circle. Once taken, Caleb must train her to become obedient and submissive. Livvie is very strong willed and makes it very difficult for Caleb to train her. Caleb finds her innocence and fierceness all too alluring. He is strongly attracted to her, more than he will ever openly admit. Eventually Caleb finds a way to slowly expose Livvie to the point where she is raw and controllable. Livvie is fighting off some serious attraction for her captor. He is caring and sensitive one minute, then furious and angry the next. She holds on to that hope that somewhere deep down that Caleb will always protect and care for her. She, too, finds a way to slowly expose Caleb. 

Caleb and Livvie's attraction to one another is deep, powerfully raw and at times, destructive. They are both damaged individuals and have more in common than originally thought. This story is not for everyone. Some of the contents in the story might be deemed as too explicit. This book does not hold back the punches and its probably because of it that made me really appreciate it more. 

From what I read, the sequel, which is also the story's conclusion, will be out in September. I cannot wait for it. Excellent story.

Gabriel's Inferno (Gabriel's Inferno #1) by Sylvain Reynard

Professor Gabriel Emerson, a specialist in Dante and the art of seduction, believes he has already earned his exile to the lower circles of hell. Since redemption is impossible, there is no reason to refrain from indulging in a life of pleasurable sin, using his notorious good looks and sophisticated charm as a means to gratify his every whim. But when he meets Julia Mitchell, a brilliant, lovely, and innocent grad student with the achingly familiar eyes of an angel, all of his cynical convictions are challenged. Her mysterious allure and the havoc she wreaks on his self-satisfied existence cause him to lash out at her, while her quiet beauty and innate goodness consistently undermine his control, tempting him beyond measure.

Despite surviving a traumatic childhood, nothing has shaken Julia’s faith that redemption is possible for everyone—everyone but her. Her unworthiness torments her, since the only man she will ever love has managed to forget her very existence, failing to even recognize her when they reconnect. Too naive to see that Gabriel’s hostility is a mask for his increasing obsession with her, Julia forces him to come to grips with his past while she continues to unwittingly torment his senses. His fascination grows into a dangerous preoccupation, for Julia is forbidden fruit . . .

Will Gabriel survive the inferno, or will he succumb to the flames?

--04/15/12-- Loved it even more the second time around =)

--My review from October, 2011--

LOVED it. Review to follow, but for now, sleep so I can work in the morning to pay for my book addiction. lol.


I really don't know how I can review this book properly. I was so absorbed in the story, I just could not put it down. It had so many emotional elements to it. The story between Gabriel and Julia is a beautiful tale of second chances, fate and finding that certain person that makes you feel whole and happy. 

Gabriel was very hard for me like at first. He's bold, brash, rude, egotistical, and basically is an ass. Julia is everything that Gabriel considers good and beautiful. She is his angel. She is innocent, shy and sometimes naive. Though he doesn't remember it, yet, they have met in the past. She seems familiar to him, but just couldn't place her. She, however, has never forgotten Gabriel and their night together in the orchard. Fate has once again place these two together. He is her Professor. After almost kicking her out of the program, and being a total "ass", she still shows him kindness. After various encounters, especially when Gabriel's sister, and Julia's best friend, Rachel comes for a visit and after an embarrassing night of drunkenness, Gabriel finally starts to realize who Julia really is. After this part, sparks really fly between the two. From the voicemail messages he leaves her, to their face-off in the classroom, it draws you further into their story. However, as with all great love stories, their past lives play a huge part in the story. Will their pasts come back to bite them back? Actually, the bite does happen in Julia's case, but that's all I'll say about it. 

Anyhow, I HIGHLY recommend this book if you like to be absorbed into a deep, emotional love story. Thank you Mr. Reynard, and I cannot wait for your sequel. :)