BOOK TWO OF THE DARK DUET
The exciting, titillating, and action-filled conclusion to Captive in the Dark.
What is the price of redemption?
Rescued from sexual slavery by a mysterious Pakistani officer, Caleb carries the weight of a debt that must be paid in blood.
The road has been long and fraught with uncertainty, but for Caleb and Livvie, it’s all coming to an end.
Can he surrender the woman he loves for the sake of vengeance?
Or will he make the ultimate sacrifice?
It seemed to Caleb, the nature of human beings revolved around one empirical truth: we want what we cannot have. For Eve, it was the fruit of the forbidden tree. For Caleb, it was Livvie.
Ashley’s book review: 5 stars
I am utterly speechless…and for those who actually know me, that is a VERY RARE thing. I will do my best to describe the book without spoilers and explain my emotionally journey throughout Seduced in the Dark.
On an emotional scale, I would consider myself on the upward spiral at the “hopefulness” level. I was eager to start Seduced in the Dark,because first off, C.J.Roberts knows how to capture her audience and throw them into a “dungeon of emotions” and trap them there with only their pleas of “give me more” and “please stop” being heard. Secondly, there is NO OTHER BOOK THAT COMPARES! I was completely wrapped up in Livvie and Caleb’s world…for better or worse.
My emotions took a downward spiral right away and were forced into the “worry” level of things! The best way for me to describe the writing style of Seduced in the Dark is, it’s in past, present and future tense…that’s kind of confusing. It starts out in the “future” or as we begin to read and realize, is the present. Livvie has been rescued and is being held against her will and is being interrogated as to her involvement with the “terrorists”. But as she is being questioned, that is where the past kicks in, Livvie’s memories. At the beginning of Seduced in the Dark, she’s been missing for a little over 4 months. At the end of Captive in the Dark, she had only been missing for about 2 months, so now we get to see what happened those last 2 months with Caleb.
This book went from Caleb and Livvie’s “little bubble of a life” that we saw in Captive in the Dark, to a whole new dark and disturbing world. We not only get to see Caleb train “Kitten” aka Livvie, but now we’re introduced into the “sex slave world”(as I like to think of it) and this is the part where I had to throw the book down, physically remove myself from it and come back later to read it with the right frame of mind. This isn’t like other BDSM books where there are safe words, consent and ways out if it’s too much for you. NO…there are no safe words, no consent, and no ways out. This. Is. For. Real. This is strictly about dominance and obedience.
We are introduced to new characters: Master Felipe Villaneuva, his slave Celia and we get to see more of some minor characters that were in the background of Captive in the Dark (Nancy and Kid) and ever present Rafiq. I did not like Rafiq from the beginning and my opinion did not change! C.J.Roberts wrote a novella that follows Kid after being kidnapped by Caleb’s men: “Determined to Obey”.
We once again get both Caleb and Livvie’s POV…thankfully!
Caleb’s character is still very much the epitome of the COMPLEX character he was in book 1: “monster with a heart of gold”. Caleb’s early life is heartbreaking and by far the worse I have read. He is merciless at times, but yet kind; brutal and yet, caring. He has this internal struggle: which side is really him—the monster he was “raised” to be or the man that is beginning to show because of Livvie? “He had told her he wasn’t her Prince Charming, but what he hasn’t said, was he wished he could be. Once upon a time, he may have been… normal. Before he had been stolen, before the beatings and the rapes and the killing – he could have been something different than what he was.”
He is so determined to breakdown “Kitten” and complete his lifelong goal of revenge, but his resolve is continuing to waver. “One silly girl was trying to make him question everything he and Rafiq had worked so hard to achieve.” He is confusing Livvie at every turn: one minute he’s “Caleb” the man Livvie is beginning to love and the next he is “the monster” that he thinks he is and he expects her to obey at all costs. “In the dark, my master let down his guard and he was Caleb again. He didn’t correct me. He didn’t punish me. He didn’t push me away emotionally. Caleb was there to hold me until the nightmares passed. He was there to tell me I was beautiful. He was there to tell me I was going to be okay. In the dark, he seduced me. I didn’t want the seduction to end.” The problem is, the monster inside “rears his ugly head” and once Caleb realizes his “mistake” of letting Livvie in, he lashes out because of his own inner demons. He doesn’t want Livvie to get “under his skin” because he has a debt to repay and revenge to achieve, but he can’t if he ends up caring for her. “His instinct was to lash out in an effort to put distance between him and Livvie.”
Livvie’s uncrushable spirit and strong will kept me able to get through the more darker scenes! Her character has grown SO MUCH from the broken character in book 1. “What mattered was I was different. The naïve girl in me had been b*tch-slapped into womanhood. I’d been razed by pain, grief, loss and suffering, and honest by lust, rage, and an acute awareness of my need to survive.” Livvie has figured out that the only way to survive is to rely only on yourself. Her largest obstacle is her heart; her feelings for Caleb. Should she be feeling anything for her captor besides hate, anger and the need for revenge?
At times, I found it nearly impossible to not LOATHE Caleb and thought it impossible for him to redeem himself in my eyes, but then he would of course find his way into my heart again. I found myself sympathizing with Caleb’s character….cray cray I know!! How could I? He is involved in human trafficing for a living and murders people if need be, but it is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT! You need to put into consideration his “upbringing” (I put that in quotations because it wasn’t really an upbringing, it’s indescribable what happened to him when he was an adolescent). He doesn’t know any better. Now I am NOT justifying his lifestyle or actions…NOT AT ALL, but I’m getting you to consider is he redeemable? Can a person change with the right influences or circumstances?
“Caleb knew he could never be redeemed, and he’d made his peace with it. He couldn’t right the wrongs, but he could offer a better future to those he’d wronged for the sake of his own selfishness.” He is the character I hate to love and I did love him at the end. He captured my heart and held it hostage. I think I fell in love with the broken boy inside that he rarely let show. “Live for me, Kitten. Be all those things you’d never be with me. Go to school. Meet a normal boy and fall in love. Forget me.” *tears*
Seduced in the Dark was like a train wreck, I couldn’t look away! I felt like my heart was being ripped out through my throat and getting stomped on. And then I had moments of peace, when the lovable Caleb would come out to play;) Both these emotions were like a pendulum throughout the book for me: swinging back and forth from peace to hatred! I had to stop reading and walk away countless times. But isn’t that what authors want to happen? Get you so wrapped up in their characters worlds, that you have to walk away to remind yourself it isn’t real? Well C.J.Roberts DEFINITELY achieved that with me. This book will stay with me forever!
Her debut novel, CAPTIVE IN THE DARK, has sold over 150,000 copies and is the first of three books in her bestselling and award winning series DARK DUET.
She was born and raised in Southern California. Following high school, she joined the U.S. Air Force in 1998, served ten years and traveled the world.
She writes short stories under the name Jennifer Roberts