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CAPTIVE IN THE DARK (THE DARK DUET, BOOK #1) BY C.J. ROBERTS: BOOK REVIEW

by hmhibbit, May 23, 2018

Captive in the Dark

The Dark Duet, Book #1

By C.J. Roberts

ISBN# 2940011444937

Author’s Website:  http://www.aboutcjroberts.com/

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Caleb is the monster that lurks in the dark, he’s not a good man, and he never was.  He was kidnapped when he was very young, he doesn’t even know what his real name was, he just knows the torture he lived through.  He was treated like a dog, and was even called the name for dog in their language, Kéleb.

“People often believed they were safer in the light, thinking monsters only came out at night. But safety – like light – is a façade. Underneath, the whole world is drenched in darkness.

The only way to truly be safer, was to accept the dark, to walk in it with eyes wide open, to be a part of it. To keep your enemies close, so that you could no longer discern where they ended and you began.”

The man who owned him, for lack of a better word, took great pleasure in trying to break Caleb.  However, Caleb learned at an early age to dig deep inside himself and to disconnect from his emotions all together.  It was the only way he could ever be free.

Then one day Rafiq came looking for his kidnapped sister.  She had died long before his arrival, but he came upon a screaming filthy Caleb that was in excruciating pain and near death.  He bought Caleb, gave him his name, and took care of him.  Rafiq taught Caleb how to kill, it was so easy for him to kill the man that tortured him all those years, but it was over too quickly.  After that night, the bond between Rafiq and Caleb had solidified and was unbreakable.  Caleb would do anything for Rafiq even to this day.

After all this time, Rafiq and Caleb are finally close to getting vengeance on the man that murdered Rafiq’s mother and kidnapped his sister.  Their plan, like everything else they do, is a dark one.  Kidnap the girl he’s been watching for weeks, train her as a pleasure slave, like he’s done so many times before, and give her to their enemy at the ‘flower sale’.  Then, in time, they can use her to get close to Vladek and kill him once and for all.

“The only way to truly be safer, was to accept the dark, to walk in it with eyes wide open, to be a part of it. To keep your enemies close.”

Everything has been planned down to the last detail.  The kidnapping goes down without a hitch.  He has six weeks with the girl before they have to move to meet Rafiq and head to Pakistan for the sale.  However, there is something different about this girl, something about her that speaks to him in ways Caleb doesn’t understand.  Something that makes him careless and leads to events that could ruin all their years of hard work and planning.  Something that could ruin the relationship between Caleb and the only person he has ever trusted.

“Caleb was a strange person, cruel and inhuman; a monster, and yet, at other times, he seemed so capable of something like caring. He made me cry and scream and shake with fear and nearly a split second later he could make me almost believe he wasn’t responsible for any of it. He could hold me and make me feel safe. How was that possible?”

I really didn’t know what I was getting into with this book.  Dark books aren’t normally my thing, but every once in a while I branch out to something a bit different, and the synopsis of this book did intrigue me somewhat.

Caleb is our tortured….. hero?  I don’t know about hero, but tortured something…

“Well, sorry pet, I don’t want to be fixed. Whatever your little school-girl brain told you about men is absurdly wrong. This isn’t a romance. You’re not a damsel in distress and I’m not the handsome prince come to save you.  You ran.  I went to collect my property.  End of story. “

You can’t really blame Caleb for being the way he is considering the childhood he had.  And, honestly, the emotions and thoughts he experiences in this book, especially towards the end, makes me think he turned out better than you could expect for someone that has survived so much.  He’s definitely someone you would not want to fuck with though.  He’s a badass with absolutely no fear, the scariest kind of badass!

“I was as real to him as he was to me and it struck me just then that I meant something to him. In whatever capacity he was able, I meant something. The irony of that epiphany made my gut twist.”

It’s really quite frightening just how easy it is for someone to make a young girl disappear like Caleb did with Livvie.  It’s all in picking the correct target.  Picking someone that won’t be missed.  Someone they won’t even look for.  You could honestly see it happening in real life, which is quite chilling and … sad.

“Why couldn’t he just keep being an evil, soulless bastard so I knew what his role was and I knew mine?”

Livvie is a fighter and even in the difficult situation she’s placed in, she tries her best to get away, but her situation is impossible and there is no easy way out.

“Make him love you,” Ruthless Me whispered. “Make it so he can’t live without you. The devil you know.” I felt her growing inside me, bringing with her the insane idea that I actually wielded power with Caleb.”

It’s easy to see what it is about Livvie that makes Caleb question everything about himself and what he’s doing.  She’s a fighter, a survivor, just like him.

“For the first time in recent memory, Caleb wanted something other than revenge. He wanted the girl. He wanted Livvie.

He knew her name now, but it was the least of what he now knew. He knew all kinds of things about her–too much maybe. She wore shapeless clothing to school because she wanted her mother to love her. Her eyes were sad because she knew her mother didn’t.

She had brothers and sisters. She felt responsible for them and jealous of them.

She was funny, and shy, but also fierce and brave.

Her first kiss had been a disaster.

She’d grown up without anyone to protect her.

And no one but Caleb had brought her physical pleasure.

Livvie was a survivor. That much he’d known, but what he hadn’t known was what she’d had to survive. She deserved better. Better than them and certainly better than him.

He’d seen it in her eyes and her manner, but he had tried not to know why. He had wanted her nameless. He wanted to forget she had ever had a past, a history, dreams and hopes and all of those other things that made her … Livvie.”

This book is labeled as a dark erotica novel, but it doesn’t have as much sex as you may expect since for what Caleb needs Livvie for, she needs to stay a virgin.  There are still some graphic scenes, including punishment and sexual situations that may offend some, so you should definitely consider that before embarking on reading this book.  But overall I actually did like this book and it made me think, which I feel is never a bad thing.  It was dark, twisted, and captivating in quite a strange way.  I couldn’t put it down!  Of course it ended in a weird spot for me, as there was no conclusion to the story, although I’m not certain I would consider it a cliffhanger per se, but rather close.  I now know it isn’t a matter of if I read the next book, but when, because I have to see what happens next!  I suspect I shall not wait long!

“I wrapped my arms around him and held on as hard as I could. He was my tormentor and my solace: the creator of the dark and the light within. I didn’t care that he would undoubtedly hurt me at any moment, right now; I just needed somebody to hold me… To tell me these exact words. Its going to be okay. It wasn’t of course, I knew that. But I didn’t care, I needed the lie.”

 

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