Monday 17 June 2013

Captive in the Dark Review

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.

Captive in the Dark is not a book for the faint hearted.  If you’re expecting a budding romance with a happily ever after then this is not the book for you.  On the other hand, if you’re looking for a story that will captivate you from the get go and stay with you long after you’ve finished reading, a book that is so dark and twisted that it may make for uncomfortable reading at times, a book that contains some disturbing scenes that you won’t be able to look away from, then this is the book for you.

I just want to come out and say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I thought the writing was exceptional. When a writer can take on a difficult subject like human trafficking and write a lot of scenes containing just two characters and still keep things interesting, then that is a sign of true writing talent in my eyes.  I’m entirely impressed with C.J. Roberts and I will be reading everything she writes from now on. For real.  I’d only heard about Captive in the Dark a few days ago and already I am reading the third book.  That’s right, if you decide to start this series then the good news is that all three books have already been published and so you won’t have the long and agonizing wait to find out what happens next.

The story is told in alternating chapters from Livvie (first person) and Caleb (third person) and I’m intrigued as to why the author chose to do it this way rather than tell Caleb’s side using the first person but whatever, it works!   Caleb is the ultimate definition of damaged goods and his history goes some way to explain his behaviour (although I do believe that behaviour is a CHOICE regardless of circumstances).  At the crux of it all though, I believe he’s semi-decent and has just gotten a bad deal out of life.  He doesn’t feel worthy of love or affection and it’s hard for him to accept that someone might feel that he is.   He is dark and twisted but also a little sexy because he’s dangerous.  Would I want to date him? HELL NO but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a little danger when I see it.  He's the kind of guy you feel a bit wrong about finding him sexy. 

Livvie is an eighteen year old girl who gets good grades and wears unflattering clothes in public to hide her beauty in a bad neighbourhood.  She’s inexperienced with men and seems like a good girl. Her mother has never really loved her though and so yeah, she has some issues of her own.  I loved her fighting spirit and ultimately her strong will to survive.  I enjoyed her sassiness even though it came with less than desirable consequences. 

These are definitely two of the most interesting characters I’ve come across in a while and I loved exploring their history, what made them tick and watching their character arc’s grow and change throughout the book.  Having read the book, I can honestly say that there is no way in hell that I wish I was Livvie and I wouldn’t wish what she or Caleb went through on anyone.

With regards to the subject matter, I can see how this book could be considered controversial and it’s definitely not for everyone but if you take a chance on it, you might just find out why a lot of people are raving about it and why it’s sold over a hundred thousand copies which is pretty amazing for a self published work.   I should probably say at this point that obviously I do not condone human trafficking, sex slaves or the mistreatment of men and women in any way but it doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen and shouldn’t be written about.  I also don’t believe that the author was trying to romanticise human trafficking in any way, she was simply telling an honest, dark and twisted story that is both raw and real.  This is by no means your average love story and definitely not black and white.  If you decide to read it, you will see what I mean.  There is conflict GALORE amongst friends, family, enemies, and within the characters themselves.  What I found the most interesting conflict to explore however was Livvie’s feelings for Caleb.  Call it Stockholm syndrome if you want but I do find that aspect of human nature entirely fascinating. 

This was an amazing book and not necessarily one that I would think to pick up and read immediately but I’m sure glad I did.  Never for one second did I find the story unbelievable or outlandish.  I believed Every. Single. Word. and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be thinking about this book for some time to come. 
Captive in the Dark was published on 29th August, 2011 and is on sale for 99 cents (US) and 77p (UK) for the rest of June so get it at this price whilst you can!  To find out more about C.J. Roberts and her books, please click here to visit her website.

There are two of my favourite songs by Digital Daggers that I think fit this book REALLY, REALLY well and I wanted to show you them.  Firstly, this is Livvie's song...

Or the more haunting piano version...

And this is one of my absolute favourite songs which could probably apply to either Caleb OR Livvie...

And the piano version...

(No copyright infringement intended)


  1. I read this book and I was lost for words. I don't think any review I write will ever give it justice as this book is multidimensional with facets that sometimes are hard to explain.

    I agree, it feels wrong to find Caleb sexy but well the author does a brilliant job of it.

    Great review.

    1. I still get emotional when someone says something like this. Thank you.

  2. Such a great review and I am humbled every day by my fans. Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog, I'm so pleased you liked my review and thank YOU for writing such a bloody good book! :)

  3. I'm a little nervous to read it due to the subject matter but I trust your judgement.

    1. I know what you mean, I wasn't sure either but I loved it!

  4. The story ends abruptly and therefore you will want to quickly download book two to find out what Caleb and Livvie do to obtain their individual freedoms.
    I recommend this story, but then again I enjoy dark, twisted stories. I enjoy the tabu and unknown. I like the twisted fate of these two survivors.

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