I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging. In fact, you probably know too many things and know them far too well. Who am I? Well, that’s what I’m trying to figure out. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. I am the man who kidnapped Livvie. I am the man who held her in a dark room for weeks. But, most importantly, I am the man she loves. She loves me. It’s quite sick, isn’t it? Of course, there’s more to our story than can be surmised in a few short sentences, but I’m at a loss for justifying my behavior back then. I assume if you’re reading this, I don’t need to make those justifications. You’ve already made your own. You’re reading this because you want to know about the rest of the story. You want to know what happened that warm summer night in September of 2010, the night I met Livvie at The Paseo. It was the night my life changed all over again. It didn’t happen exactly as Livvie said. She’s been very kind to me in the retelling of our story. The truth is far more…complicated.
Ashley’s book review: 5 stars
This is just what my mind, body and soul needed after the emotional whirlwind I went through in Seduced in the Dark! This epilogue shows us a more in-depth side of Caleb and helps us understand how Livvie and Caleb can go from captive/captor to a thriving relationship with love, trust, and forgiveness.
At the end of Seduced in the Dark, we were left with Caleb and Livvie getting their “HEA” (which I was SO GRATEFUL for!!!), but how did they get to that point?!? C.J.Roberts left out the crucial “in between” time, where Livvie and Caleb had to build a life as Sophia and James out in the “normal world”. It was not an easy journey for either of them. There were many “hurdles” to jump over in the process. Sophia has to learn how to trust James, even though he broke that trust with Livvie. James has to learn how to be a completely different man. They both had to accept that their relationship did not start out at all traditional and in order for them to move past the pain of it all, they have to realize that no matter what, their past will not disappear, so they have to be willing to move forward. “I had come to understand our relationship would be riddled with moments where the past sucked all the joy out of the present. My only hope was that with enough time, Livvie and I would build memoires capable of trumping our beginning.”
James is having an “identity crisis” (as I like to think of it). He doesn’t know who he is. “This is my life. I was a whore in my youth, a killer since my adolescence, and a monster as a man. Who am I now? What am I now?” There’s only one thing he is certain of, he wants to be with Sophia and if that means he has to become a better version of himself, so be it.
James learns fast that leaving his old life behind is proving to be more difficult than he thought. “What does a former kidnapper/murderer do in retirement?” He has no friends, no “education” (at least no education that society would approve of), no job, no home, essentially he has nothing. He doesn’t even know if he has Sophia’s love. She loved him as Livvie, but can she love him as Sophia? Was her love for him, when he held her captive, really love? “You are the best thing that’s ever happened to me, Caleb. You’re also the worst. I’m trying to reconcile those two things. Help me?”
I loved being able to read James’ POV and see his internal struggles in his journey of finding out who he is now that he’s not “Caleb the whore/slave/killer/monster/slave trainer”. “I’m in the process of becoming someone else, Livvie. I hope it’s something good, something far removed from the monster you knew.” While reading his thoughts, I wanted to tell him, “Yes, you are worthy of her love!”
I could give her pain and pleasure. I could finally let the fading ghost of our past die and rest in peace. It was time for us to go on living. The void in me had been filled by her love and forgiveness.
I found redemption. I found forgiveness. I found love.
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