My Rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book, if nothing else, makes you honestly and completely ‘FEEL’. Horror, disgust, pity, anger, lust, shame, hatred, love–whichever emotion it ignites in you, I promise, you’ll feel it to the millionth degree. There is nothing romantic about this story; at least not in the traditional sense, anyway. It’s gritty and crude and created not to please, but to ignite raw, uninhibited emotions that will leave you feeling exhausted. But the fact is, no other book has ever evoked such an array of gut-wrenching emotions or left me feeling almost violated just for having read it quite like this one has.
“He was my tormentor and my solace; the creator of the dark and the light within.”
Caleb is not about love. He’s about power and is living his life for a revenge that he will go to any extent to obtain. The sweet, broken, and innocent Livvie unluckily becomes his tool for this intricate, sinister plan of revenge. He captures her and sets forth towards his goal of turning her into a pleasure slave. It all seems simple and by the book; break her down and build her back up into the perfect submissive that no captor will be able to resist. But Caleb didn’t plan on feeling things for Livvie he never thought he was capable of feeling.
Don’t let me confuse you. Caleb does NOT go from frog to prince and live happily ever after. Not by a long shot. He is an abusive, callous monster. His behavior towards Livvie was vomit-inducing and I spent the majority of the book detesting him. But then there were conflicting, tender moments where he displayed a true conscience. Moments where I was able to sympathize with his torturous childhood, and somehow understand him. Granted, these moments were fleeting and quickly swallowed up by more insanity, but they were there. Which consequently left me all the more frustrated and confused.
Once I diffused the mental war I was having of bad Caleb VS. slightly less bad Caleb… I felt much more at ease with the story. Livvie was a lovable character whose ferocious strength surprised me. Her backstory was heartbreaking and she was very broken because of it. Caleb’s childhood was even more heartbreaking and to say that he was damaged from it would be a severe understatement. I know that some readers ended up adoring Caleb, but it just hasn’t happened yet for me. However, I saw the story for what it was and did not need to fall in love with Caleb to appreciate it.
This book was gripping and flawlessly written. It immediately ripped me out of my comfort zone, made me feel awkwardly amazed, and caused me to question my beliefs and morals. It made me search for kindness in places I’d least expect to find it. It has opened my eyes to a horrible world that I fortunately know little about and I fully believe that this was the story’s true intent.
▪ Genre/Category: Dark Erotica
▪ Steam Caliber: Maximum/graphic
▪ Romance: Scarce to none. Twisted and unconventional.
▪ Characters: Cold, detached, disturbed hero. Abused, secluded, withdrawn heroine.
▪ Plot: Focused intensely on sex slavery and psychological manipulation. Will bulldoze your emotions.
▪ Writing: Phenomenal. Gripping. Raw.
▪ POV: First person: Heroine
▪ Cliffhanger: Yes. Next installment available.
▪ Next Installment: Follow up