It’s hard to say "I really liked it" when the book so disturbed me on a variety of levels. But the fact that it got to me means it was so well written. Bianca Sommerland's Deadly Captive is a dynamic book but be warned that it is dark. The subject matter is as dark as a book in the romance genre can be. There's BDSM, torture, forced sex, and of course, some blood. If these are triggers for you, then don’t read the book.
That being said, Deadly Captive is deep, dark, and well-written. Bianca Sommerland scorches readers with a story of two people held in captivity, tortured and abused, but desperate to hold on to one another as anchors. Both main characters are convincing as they fight to survive the brutality of their vampire captors. It is amazing that the reader can find the evidence of their love despite the circumstances of their captivity.
The reader first meets Lydia, the heroine, as she awakes bound in the midst of a performance that will determine whether she remains alive. So long as she entertains her vampire captors, they care for her health and safety and spare their lives. For the first two thirds of the book, the reader gets a garish picture of their captivity, so honest and realistic. Faced with forced submission, beatings and unbearable living conditions, Lydia greatest pain is that she has no memories of her life before imprisonment. As she discovers more about her captors, she leans on her cellmate, Joe, for support. Joe understands that the crowd must be entertained and he does so without apology in order to save their lives. Joe is Lydia’s only comfort as the vampires torture her. He convinces her to survive long enough to break free and seek revenge. So riveting, readers nearly feel their desire to sustain one another triumph.
When they escape, the story takes this abrupt turn into more of an action and suspense story. The transition is awkward and the story reads choppy. The relationship between the characters – the way they relate to one another – becomes so different that it was in discord with the first part of the book. Their interactions suddenly seem awkward and some scenes did nothing more than confuse me. I felt disconnected as Lydia and Joe, who is an entirely different person than we thought, interact with the outside world. Suddenly I was lacking the ability to understand what was compelling the characters and that disconnect left me yearning to know more; completely opposite of the first part of the book when I had a deep knowledge of what motivated them.
Despite the awkward transitioning, this book is exceptional - truly worthy of our 5 Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry rating. Deadly Captive is a dark but well-written story. Readers willing to endure a darkly fantastical paranormal world filled with violence, dubious sexual consent, and bondage elements; this is a book you will never forget.
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and is also posted at: