Captive in the Dark

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Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1)Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will open with agreeing that this book is not for everyone; there are some very rough scenes. With that said, the author has created characters that are irrevocably changed by those events which adds an element of realism that at times makes the story hard to read but impossible to put down.

Livvie is a normal eighteen year old girl just trying to survive the curve balls life keeps throwing at her. She never expected to become a victim of the sex slave market.

Caleb, on the other hand, has one thing on his mind: vengeance. He set his sights on Livvie with the intent to use her as a means to an end in his plot to exact his revenge. We later find out that Caleb was also a victim of the sex slave market and how it shaped him into the man he is now.

Livvie is determined to not let Caleb break her. Caleb is determined to bend Livvie to his will at all costs. Neither of them expected to develop feelings for the other one. Livvie questions her sanity and whether or not she is suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Caleb doesn’t understand why Livvie makes him feel things he never expected to feel or why he is questioning using her for his vengeance.

As I stated before, this book is dark and gritty but underneath it all is a story of two people that could be so right for each other that it’s almost incomprehensible that they had to meet under such horrible circumstances. At the end of this installment, Caleb is gripped by internal turmoil and we do not know if he will go forward with his plan for revenge or try to foster a relationship with Livvie.

The story continues in Seduced in the Dark: The Dark Duet Volume 2.

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The Comfort of Lies

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The Comfort of LiesThe Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three women with three separate lives are connected by heartbreak and an innocent child.

Six years ago Tia had a yearlong affair with Juliette’s husband Nathan and got pregnant. On the same night that Tia tells Nathan about the baby, he confesses to Juliette about the affair, but not about the baby. Heartbroken by Nathan’s desertion, Tia decides to give the baby up for adoption. Peter and Caroline have the perfect child-free life, or so she thinks. Peter desperately wants to have a child but adoption is their only option. Tia decides to give her baby to Peter and Caroline in hopes that they will be able to give her a happy fulfilling life. On Savannah’s fifth birthday, Tia decides to send a copy of the pictures she received from Peter and Caroline along with a letter to Nathan. This one action changes everyone’s lives.

Juliette and Nathan’s marriage survived the affair. When knowledge of Savannah’s existence comes to light, it is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Caroline is cracking under the pressure of motherhood. Tia’s life is spiraling out of control. Can five year old Savannah cause the destruction of three lives or will she make them all better people?

This story of infidelity, heartbreak, and sacrifice shows us how one version of the modern family came to be and the difficulties inherent in such an arrangement.

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Lover At Last

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Lover At Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)Lover At Last by J.R. Ward
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Book Eleven brings us Qhuinn and Blaylock’s story. This book is aptly named Lover At Last because we have only been getting glimpses of their tumultuous relationship over the past several books (years) since they were first introduced as pretrans trainees back in books four and five.

So much has happened between the time we first met them and now but you do get the gist of their history throughout this book because therein lies the crux of their problems.

While Blay does have some trials to overcome in this book, Qhuinn received extra unwanted second and third helpings of trials and tribulations. At the end of Lover Reborn, Qhuinn serviced the Chosen Layla during her needing. Our first update on the status of that union bodes ill. Next, a routine recon mission at a Lesser camp ends up revealing a horrible blessing. Lastly, Blaylock and Qhuinn have a super heated confrontation in which Blay calls Qhuinn out on the life he has been leading which makes him question why he is the way he is. Once he opens himself up to finding the answer, he is finally able to accept who he truly is and live his life for himself and find happiness.

However, it is not all bad to worse for Qhiunn. Wrath rewrites the Old Laws which opens the door for Qhuinn to be inducted into a new family (hint, hint). Blay’s trials center around his imperfect relationship with Saxton and the implications for a future with Qhuinn but he also struggles with being honest with his parents about his love life.

This book is highly emotionally charged; a firsthand account of Qhuinn dealing with the rejection and then loss of his family, the complications of Layla’s pregnancy, Qhuinn’s ‘self-awakening’, Blay coming out to his parents, and several other surprises that would be spoilers…

We also get to see some more of Xcor and the Band of Bastards and Assail who both take center stage in the side stories J. R. Ward loves to throw in to lead into future installments of the series.

Needless to say there was a ton going on in this book and it has the page count to support it (almost 600 pages) so it doesn’t feel rushed. It seemed that the universe was forcing me to take my time to savor Qhuinn and Blay’s story instead of rushing through it like I wanted because it took me a while to get through it (almost two weeks which is a lifetime for me). However, I loved every minute of it and when it ended, I was grinning like a fool.

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(Not) A Review

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Since I probably won’t manage to finish the book…here’s a non-review of The Casual Vacancy by J.K .Rowling from another reader/blogger.

(Not) A Review.

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