Saturday, May 1, 2021

King's Captive by Amber Bardan


Wow, this was a lot of fun. A captivity romance that isn't super problematic with incredibly hot scenes and an intense Gothic vibe? Um, let me think for one-point-five seconds... YES. I bought this at the recommendation of a friend who said she thought I'd like it because it's similar to the types of books I love to read and write. That, and the inexpensive price tag, made me slam the one-click button and boy, oh boy, I am so glad I did!

Sarah is the captive of a mysterious man named Julius and has been for three years. Alternating between a show-down at her eighteenth birthday and the present when she is twenty-one, we slowly learn more about the history between the two of them and why they have such explosive chemistry. It's set on a gloomy island estate and the heroine is an unreliable narrator, which is intensified by the dual timeline. I know some people don't like dual timelines but I love them. Getting the bits and pieces of a story in tantalizing crumbs is like catnip to me.

This was so good. It was dark but not in an edgy way-- it reminded me of a more erotic version of one of those 1970s Gothic mysteries, drenched in atmosphere and UST, only in this book the author leaves the bedroom door all the way open. What makes it even better is that Sarah is a pretty strong heroine. Sometimes in dark romances, the heroines can come across as kind of spineless pushovers, but she was conniving and determined to do what she needed to do for her own sake, and I loved that. I was pleasantly surprised because I read another book by this author and didn't really like it all that much, so it's so incredible to see how much she has improved at her craft!

Definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes dark romances that aren't too taboo.

4 out of 5 stars

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