“People often believed they were safer in the light, thinking monsters only came out at night.”
I enjoy the dark and twisted. Seriously I do. I’m messed up that way. From the enthusiastic star rating and gushing endorsements (is that a gross adjective to use here?), I thought I would be able to get into this more than I did.
Dark and twisted is what came to mind when reading this one’s blurb. The artsy cover (love it), combined with the plot description, makes it promise to be something different, something daring. It probably would have worked better if I was a straight out erotica fan, but unfortunately, despite the brief stalking session and Caleb’s initial exploration, it jumps too quickly into action before I gave a damn about either of the characters or any eroticism that could result between them.
Stockholm Syndrome is never hot. Some may argue that is not what she has but she matches all of it to a T. She has no other reason to start getting emotion for him with how he treats her and what he plans to do with her. There is no great characteristic about this man that stands out and makes him shine in the dark he traps her in. For them to have bonded is because he made her completely psychologically dependent on him.
Yes, she’s a strong character for her situation, but that doesn’t mean she’s immune to this unfortunate side effect. She’s a vulnerable, unloved person with horrible self-esteem who wears baggy clothes that hide her body.
She’s kidnapped by a ‘slave trader’ who wants to break her, train her, and sell her off to an enemy for his own purposes. The story possibly could be exciting, could have worked in a twisted, off the wall way, but instead I find a broken “master” who is plagued by his own self-doubts and tragic past. A decently likeable heroine who had no logical rhyme or reason for feeling anything other than hatred and horror toward this man. The sexual stimulation makes little sense to me considering what’s going on.
The first half had what I suppose is found to be the troubling kink by the majority. After a scene or so the kink pretty much never happens again.
The pacing is relatively slow and Caleb’s reasoning behind what he’s doing seems too thin a motive to carry this story all the way through. Also is there a rule with this type of erotic fiction that the dominant male can only be abused and emotionally terrified of other people?
Writing style is actually decent. The author is able to convey desperation well. She also avoids melodrama, which is easy to lapse into with this type of tale. As a negative, some of the girl’s inner monologue is not believable with it’s phrasing later on.
Overall I grew bored quickly, not stimulated, found the emotional background of Caleb cliché, and had no empathy for the heroine being able to develop realistic attraction and emotions. This story is in no way filled with kink and experimentation after the first half, but instead sinks into woes and angst. It is dark, it is risky, but it doesn’t make a good story or anything erotic.
“He was my tormentor and my solace; the creator of the dark and the light within.” - Livvie
“This isn't a romance. You're not a damsel in distress and I'm not the handsome prince come to save you.” - Caleb
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