Synopsis: 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.
What did I think?:
While Fifty Shades of Grey was becoming the talk of the town and being recommended amongst housewives everywhere, there was another novel that was far more deserving of mainstream praise and attention from media outlets all over: The intriguing and arousing and downright maddening (more on that later, I guess) Captive in the Dark.
Key word here: Dark. The novel is quite dark. It takes the theme of sex slavery, not in a manner that portrays it lightly in favour of eroticism but it challenges your perceptions of what is arousing and my guess is that if you are reading these words, that means you are interested in the dark subject matter that my blog talks about and therefore, your perception will be challenged too.
Yeah, it’s dark and it is gritty and challenging. Caleb starts off training Olivia to get back at the person that sold him into slavery. Caleb is damaged after what he’s been through but he takes Olivia and trains her to be a perfect slave as a means of going undercover to get to his arch nemesis. It’s already a twisted story that, in my opinion, is lightyears ahead of what Fifty Shades was trying to do because this takes this subject matter and spins it on its side.
Olivia starts off horrified as she is psychologically abused and trained to respond as a ‘proper submissive’ and as the novel goes on, her body betrays her. She finds it arousing. More than that though, she finds herself drawn to Caleb – and she’s not alone, as we soon find out as the novel takes his perspective, he is drawn to her too.
It’s a twisted romance but a romance all the same and….it surprisingly works.
It must have been hard for Roberts to write the romance and avoid the notion that Olivia isn’t deep within the throes of Stockholm Syndrome but she pulls it off somehow. There’s genuine affection that builds gradually over the course of the novel — to the surprise of both leading characters.
And then there’s the exhilarating erotic undertones. My goodness. You know, I read this on a bus on my iPad and I could feel myself growing hard at the situation. An overshare? Perhaps. But look where you are!
Anyway, the novel, Roberts’ words, spoke to my inner darkness. Could it be…? was it TRUE…? I was finding myself aroused at this poor girl all tied up and captive?
The novel plays with your mind, challenges your perceptions of whether you should be aroused or not. And for this reason, people have rejected it, getting on their soap boxes because the subject matter is just too much for them – and it’s true. This novel is pretty heavy. It’s not for everyone but neither does it really exploit such a terrible situation. I think the twisted romance, the BDSM that follows – I think it all works wonderfully, even beautifully – and the whole novel is just so sexually charged that I was thinking about it days after. Was I aroused by this? Am I wrong for liking this? Why does this turn me on so much?
Captive in the Dark, in my opinion, is well worth a read. It’s twisted, yeah, and it’s pretty dark, but it is wonderfully and delicately written, sexually charged and highly erotic and it is much more satisfying than Fifty Shades, in terms of the story itself and the BDSM contained within.