Book Review – Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts

by Maryse on July 22, 2012 · 40 comments

in Alternative, My Book Reviews

Captive in the Dark: The Dark Duet (Volume 1)
I read this… back in December of 2011! After reading and loving Christian Grey, I was adamantly looking for more “like him”. Back when I was fairly “new” to the darker side of books. Well, I mean… I’m quite familiar with horror novels. Love them even. But this is a different kind of scary. Has all of the elements of a thriller (secretly stalking a young woman, kidnapping her, emprisoning her, and training her to be a submissive. A slave, even, for eventual sale.) Scary right!!??

… this particular slave, the one he eyed from across the street – she was different. She was neither willing, nor coerced, nor sent to him. She was pure conquest.

And you go through her terror with her (Olivia), in her tiny cell of a room. In the dark.

My friend Tina messaged me this back on December 4th when I told her what I was reading:

“I’m here if you need to be talked down after finishing Captive…”

Let me tell you. I needed it.

And here’s the thing. It’s not just “scary”. ‘Cause, what if I tell you that this “darker” book almost … hrmmm… no, mostly and unavoidably (and I say this with reluctance) makes you umm… sort of…. fall… for the bad guy? eek Yep. And when I say bad guy, I mean it. Sorta. No. Wait. Yes. I mean it.

Although she is frightened by the strong, sadistic, and arrogant man who holds her prisoner, what keeps Olivia awake in the dark is her unwelcome attraction to him.

What-What-Whaaaaaat??!?!! *nods* YES!!! Now what do you call THAT kind of book? What genre is it? BDSM? Well it has plenty of those *elements* but hrmmm no, not exactly. Erotica? Oh yes, there’s lots of that. But… not quite. Alternative romance? LOL!!! Well. There is that heart-wrenching point where, you know… the captor suddenly seems appealing. But romance? I dunno about that. Horror/thriller? *shakes head* no idea what this is. I call it a freaky, unputdowanable, mind-mess of a novel with a touch of whatever it is that makes our hearts… pull. You know what I mean. In that romance direction. Don’t make me say it. Eeeeeeeep!! *blush* (But! Wait!! But you see… “Caleb” has issues of his own… and well. You’ll see. neutral)

Maryse: … will still review Captive but I’m gonna need to be a in a proper mindset. It deserves a review – it was sure unputdownable, but what the heck do I say to THAT?!!

It’s not a hard book to love (well… for some aspects), but it’s a hard book to talk about. Oh yes, you want to recommend it to EVERYONE, but at the same time, there’s a sense of trepidation that recommending this might make you look all… Stockholm sydrome-y. You know… maybe having a propensity to it, or something?

Seduced in the Dark (The Dark Duet Volume 2) – expected release date September 2012

And with the exciting news of the sequel’s upcoming release (Seduced in the Dark – expected release date September 2012), and my friend Colleen‘s enthusiastic reaction to it, I knew it was time to talk about it. After all… I’ve read other “hard/dark” stuff since then, so I’m all better now. ;)

Colleen: I’m being lazy…I could just go look at your blog, but have you read Captive in the dark?

Maryse: I sure have BUT I haven’t reviewed it yet. I read it last year I believe, but it freaked me out so bad I had no idea how to recommend it (back then). Although, I couldn’t put it down, it really messed with my head. Have you?

Colleen: Oh, I know what you mean! I just read it last night and…wow. You know, for an author to create such an evil, sadistic character like Caleb…then make the reader like him? Wow. I had to email her last night just to put it out there that I thought she was an amazing writer. The second book in the series she said will be released in Sept… just a couple months away. I have to know what the hell happens!

Maryse: I know! I read it for an entire day sitting on a bench at a state park in our area. LOL!!!! Husband strolled around on his own taking pics and I read about some crazy psycho that had me swooning at times. Eeeeeeep! Oh I liked it. I just didn’t know…. how to … say so. LOL!!!!!! Yes, you are right. I should review.

Colleen: Well, if you end up reviewing it and want a quote from me or anything, let me know. … I’m still a little warped from it. lol

I must admit. This author is a master at making the reader’s mind and heart battle. So I’m blaming her for my confused reading state (but in a good way). After all. Sometimes we need a really good, unusual “love” (or is it?) story to jolt us, right? It can’t always be flowers and fairytales, can it? Mind you. After you’re done this one, you’re gonna want flowers and fairytales and sweet bubblegum romance that’s easy on the heart, and soul for the next few reads.

But, if you’re “okay” with this sort of read, then I HIGHLY recommend it. This will be one of your favorites. For sure!!!

P.S. this is one is much darker then Christian Grey and his Fifty Shades of… issues ;) (and I’m STILL looking for more of him).

4.5 stars!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Kay July 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Wow, interesting review Maryse. The joy of being in a group like BA on Facebook or following your blog here is that we know we’re talking to real book fans who don’t judge us for our opinions on any books, whatever the genre or storyline. So many of your reviews have made me buy books that I maybe would have otherwise overlooked so I totally trust your judgement! This sounds like a very different book for me, but after that review, I am off to Amazon to download it right now.

Barbara July 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Wow,Maryse you have put words to my thoughts. I brought this book a while ago and couldn’t start it because of the blog. However, something made me curious and I knew it was a book to read. I have always been a fan of contemporary romance or regular literature , that was until a friend drew me into the dark side lol. Enter Christian Grey, I loved the book because it had a plot and while sex was a big part of it , the book actually focused on a love story and growth of two characters. So when I read Captive In The Dark, I was drawn to the characters and their issues. What a book! I loved and hated Caleb, crazy as it sounds he became a hero instead of a villain by the end of the story. I find my taste for genres has expanded and now like you have found myself longing for a good read. I discovered Rescue Me series a must read.

I am looking forward to the second book because I am dying to know what happens next!

Maryse July 22, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Thanks Kay and Barb!! And you know, it’s all about the reads that make us react, those that we can’t forget, and that get us to talk for hours about them. This is one, for sure.

AND! I have another one for you guys tomorrow. I loved it just as much and it is just as intense.

Tiffany Smith July 22, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I had emailed you that I had read this book and felt a little icky that I had really Liked it ALOT!! You had replied that you would have to be in the right mind set…Glad you got there!! I personally cannot wait for the sequel!! Thanks for the Review!! You nailed how I felt reading it!! ;) )

Kristina T July 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yay Maryse! I am so with our fellow readers & you on this one. We always hear “don’t judge a book by its cover” & so I hope people will not judge readers and our broad range of taste. This book sort of reminds me of the new generation of boddice rippers, but defintely well written and done just right. I’m glad you reviewed it & can’t wait for the sequel to come out :)

Maryse July 22, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yes that was YOU!!! I included that little tidbit in there! ;) Yep. I made it!! Can’t wait for #2.

Minha July 22, 2012 at 5:20 PM

MARYSE, I just downloaded the first book because you got me soooo curious and “good” scared. Once again, I am a 100% sure I will love a book only based on your review. However, I will wait until the second book is out to start reading… Try to avoid the cliffhanger whenever possible!!! :)

Maryse July 22, 2012 at 5:53 PM

I understand… I do. But you really shouldn’t deprive yourself. A thrill is a thrill, right? And just wait until tomorrow’s review. hee hee.

Dana July 23, 2012 at 12:29 AM


I bought this about 5- 6 hours ago on your recommendation and I’m done already. It went too fast and now I wish I’d waited for the second book (I bought Fifty Shades as a set and was relieved that I did when I saw the way the first book had such a cliffhanger).

I see what you mean about Caleb. I sneered and hated him and felt like I was crushed under the raw emotion of his pain, too. I went from feeling sick at what was happening to having my heart race and wanting to reach out and brush his hair out of his eyes, too!

Can’t wait for the next one! I’m delving into Bared to You tomorrow (or maybe tonight…can’t decide if I want sleep more. lol)
I might need at least a few hours between Caleb and Gideon..

Carla July 23, 2012 at 1:54 AM

OMG! I really trust on your recommendatios, but this book? I don’t know, if i can handle it. Whenever i hear about it, i kind of remember the “bad” side of Christian. The one i didn’t like at all and gave me sometimes a hard time reading the first book.
Tell me this, Caleb (is that his name, right?) is mean to her? I know he kidnapped and emprisionated her, but you know Ty wasn’t bad with Gemma in “Stolen” so it didn’t bother me that much, but in this case, is Caleb mean to her?

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 11:03 AM

I dunno Carla. Hard to describe without ruining the effect of the book. I’ll just say he can be both. And you’re right… as crazy as what Ty did to Gemma in Stolen was, he WAS a sweetheart to her.

This is not necessarily like that in feel. Just letting you know. ;)

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Dana. Perfectly said! So many mixed emotions in this one…

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Kristina! Yep… they keep us on edge, they (mostly) can’t be put down, and make us think about them for days (or in my case, months…) hehe.

Maryse July 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Hi Kay!! I hope you like it!! But I agree, it’s always fun to explore a new genre, and it sure helps when there are a bunch of enthusiastic readers behind it.

Kay July 23, 2012 at 3:27 PM

Oh I’m sure I will like it Maryse, you never let me down with your reviews! I will ever be grateful to you for your review of Slammed as it lead me to download Colleen’s wonderful book and opened my eyes to the amazing world of indie authors – and that crazy BA Facebook group!
I had planned to start reading Captive in the Dark today, but then I came across your review of Damaged Goods and that one just called to me! I’m really enjoying it, so that’s another thank you I owe you :)

Rhonda July 23, 2012 at 3:57 PM

I also read this book around the same time you did. I agree with all of the things you said. This book absolutely blew me away on so many levels. I also began to love Caleb, and started feeling like maybe I was suffering from “Stockholm Syndrome”. LOL! Well I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for the sequel to this book, Seduced In The Dark is one of my most anticipated books this year, and it’s right around the corner!!
Great write up Maryse!

Courtney M July 23, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Oh Maryse you are so bad for my wallet but so glad I found you… Thankfully I have an understanding husband who helps supply my book junkie fix. I wanted to get this book for my nook to have on my TBR list (I try to keep up) but it is not available. You can however request this book as a nook from the publisher but am not sure how many request it would take to accomplish that. Also I wanted to say thank you for introducing me to so many new authors and books that I may not have otherwise been made aware of. You are doing a wonderful job and I tell all my friends about your site as well as tell the authors how I discovered their work.

Rhonda July 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM

This available through Amazon and Smashwords for your nook!

Lindsey July 23, 2012 at 11:26 PM

I read this book a few months ago. I read the whole thing, and was interested and compelled ( I really have never read anything like it), but I don’t think it’s a book I’d recommend. It’s a little “rapey” for my taste. I prefer my rough sex to be, at the very least, consensual.

Ariana July 24, 2012 at 6:15 AM

I’m so confused! I can’t decide whether I want to read it or not because there is a part of me that does… but there’s also a part of me that is slightly scared after reading what you wrote lol!
I may have to keep researching a bit and looking through a couple more reviews before I make a decision… thanks for your review though! You got me really intrigued haha

Pam July 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I was an emotional basketcase while reading this book. I think I had my hand over my mouth gasping the whole time. I know I hyperventilated a few times, too. However, I do not regret reading it one bit. I’m so glad she didn’t turn it into a trilogy- I could not handle waiting on TWO books to be published. One is enough!!

Courtney July 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM

I need a what to read after Captive in the Dark list. I need something to read that will fill the void the Captive left!

Maryse July 24, 2012 at 5:46 PM

You bet! As I rack up some “darker reads” experience points, I shall make a list of my favorites! ;)

Courtney July 24, 2012 at 11:02 PM

I think I am more in love with Captive than Fifty Shades! I think I am going to reread Captive in the Dark while I wait for the sequel!

Krista July 25, 2012 at 12:10 AM

I have to be honest, I quit this one about 20% of the way in (not something I do lightly). I read a LOT of the “dark” stuff and I love a lot of it as well (Joey W. Hill, Cherise Sinclair, Kitty Thomas, etc). For me, Livvie is just too young. It was making me feel dirty and not the good dirty. I respect the writer’s talent though, that was clear even when I was skeeving out.

Jennie July 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I just finished this book and my heart hurts, I can’t breath and I’m a MESS! The most emotional book I have yet to read! I felt ALL THE FEELINGS Olivia felt in this book! Eventho is was painful to read it was an AMAZING book and I can’t wait till September!!

Maryse July 27, 2012 at 4:31 PM

I know!!! It makes you feel all sorts of crazy things, quite an exhilarating (yet dark) read!

Regina July 29, 2012 at 8:23 PM

OMG!!!! Can’t judge a book by its cover. The cover alone made me think that I didn’t want to read it. Boy was I wrong. I never would have read this book if I had not seen it on your website. It really took me on an emotional rollercoaster. Caleb, Caleb, Caleb!!!! What more can I say!! Can’t wait ’til September!!!!

Claudia August 27, 2012 at 2:04 PM

Just finished Captive in the Dark….. Love that you discuss this book. I feel sort of hesitant to recommend to friends because of the content. Would love any suggestions on another read. (I thought this was much better than the “fifty” books!

Rhonda August 27, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Seduced in the Dark will be available in a few days, Sept. 1st.

Jackie August 29, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Maryse – you’ve intrigued me. Would I like this book? xxx

Maryse August 29, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Jackie… I dunno. He’s not easy to love, and I know with your past reactions to hrmmm… some of my book favorites I can’t say I would have run straight to you recommending this one.

If you’re in the mood for a thriller, and a bad guy as the “hero” (note I didn’t say “bad boy”, I said bad guy) then absolutely. But you know… you’ll be reacting for sure and I can hear you now… Oh boy!

I know you well. :)

Nina August 31, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Maryse, I just downloaded both books tonight. Was trying to find something to read for the long weekend… I guess these are it. I will let you know how it goes, although I am a little bit worried given your review of the 1st book. Here goes!….

melissa September 7, 2012 at 2:42 PM

will it ever come out on the nook????

vanessa October 23, 2012 at 5:53 AM

I wholeheartedly agree as to your comments that you would like to recommend to everyone but at the same time its so sadistic that you’re worried it might make you look all stockholm sydrome. I get it, can relate to it! Finished the series just a couples of days ago and is now immensely in love with it. Mindblowing and its the kind of series that leaves you gasping for more especially the secondary characters ;)

Paula November 3, 2012 at 2:38 PM

OMG!!!! I can’t believe i´m actually crying over this book… It is only me or everyone fall for the bad guy???

Sonia November 7, 2012 at 12:04 AM

I have to start by saying I was really apprensive about reading this book because it reminded me a lot of that movie Taken which I swore I would never watch again because it disturbed me so much. With that said I started reading it and forced myself to stick it out. I am glad I did. while the idea of what was happening disturbs me very much, I did feel emotion for both of them. I am amazed how well written it was. The writer takes you though so many emotions….now I need to know how it turns out!

Sandy J. Long November 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I felt like it was a train wreck ( you can’t help but look) in the beginning… you can’t help but look…did NOT like this book but still i kept reading then it grew on me… dark.. yes… and OMG YES… I felt so bad for Livie, she was so broken in her own way… and then there is Caleb… hate him, loved him, had total anxiety over him… how could i fall his lines of bull… and this definately was my first dark read..hhhmmm not sure about this give it a 3 1/2 to 4 stars… writing was amazing… good stuff C J makes you think…

Natalie November 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I still don’t really know what to say about this series…umm, it’s a total head-f&ck. BUT…I actually never *fell* for the bad guy in this one. I know that’s kinda what happens to most people that read it, but I just couldn’t. Ever since that moment right at the start of Captive that he made her crawl over to him on her hands and knees to get food. Now don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for what happened to him as a boy, it’s unbearable to even think about, but what he’s doing now to poor Livvie, well that overpowers all the feelings of sympathy I sometimes had for the guy. The ending just didn’t sit well for me. Yes he ended up *spoiler*, but…Livvie and Caleb…*spoiler*? WTF??? No…I just…I don’t get it! I honestly can’t even find the words to describe what happens in my head when I think about the ending of this story, I guess the closest thing that I can think of would be a train wreck of epic proportions.

Nicole Kruppa January 8, 2013 at 9:54 AM

This book totally sucked me in, like right away. I needed something……edgy, if you will, after Falling too Far. So I went with Maryse’s recommendation. And I’m glad I did. I read it pretty much in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down! Needless to say I was happy the Alabama game kept all the men busy at my house last night. ;) But I still had to talk to me husband about it. Went something like… I’m reading a book sorta like the movie Taken…..his reply, What happened to the Alien book? (he’s refering to the Lux novels.)……me, oh, I’m still on that series just taking breaks in between……him, *rolls his eyes*. LOL He reads non fiction war books. BORING!
But I have to say that I really liked Caleb, not love but I really liked his character. The baggage and the way he was so….real. And a of course a real BADASS! The hole biker scene really had me going. And of course there’s Livvie. Well I felt sorry for her. That’s my first response. Not just because she was stolen but because she just seemed so lost in life for an 18 year old from L.A.. But the connection between them, I loved that. Over all I loved the book. Thanks Maryse for the 2012 list. So looking forward to concurring it.
I also immediately downloaded book 2, I can’t wait to see what happens!!! I may never do laundry again! :D

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