Book Review – Held by Edeet Ravel

by Maryse on October 14, 2013 · 30 comments

in My Book Reviews

So I read this REALLY AWESOME book last night (from start to finish in one sitting)… and crazy enough, it’s from 2011! Even though I had searched for books like this in the past, somehow… this one never came up. Until last night. I saw it. I saw it’s crazy-ish price. And yet I couldn’t help but sample it. And then once the sample was done, I needed more (price be damned), and I bought it.

Was the ride worth the price? HECK YAH (to me, anyway). Where was it going? WHAT was gonna happen??? What would be the outcome?! HOW?? WHY??

I didn’t sleep, I didn’t get tired, I read it on an adrenaline-rush of intrigue and excitement, and I dreamed about it and I thought about it all day.

Amazing writing and it brought me back to my “olden days” when I first started reading —> “these”. These? Yes… kidnappy-stockholm-syndromy books.


I know… some of you don’t “get me” (I received a particularly perturbed, er… confused comment last night about “why people like these?”) but some of you… well. You get me SO much!

This one is right up our “darkish alley” —> I say “darkish because it’s not as “detailed” or crazy as some, but the story is intense and amazing and I had to wake up my husband once it was over, to have him help me analyze “stuff”. Yep… one of those.

And once I started telling him the whole story, he was right there with me. It was good enough, even for him to pay attention. Just sayin’. ;)

But many of y’all get me. ‘Cause it’s all about the ride, right? The initial denial… the fear. The negotiations. The unavoidable acceptance. The “driving me crazy ’cause I have NO idea what’s going on!!!” and then, (well in OUR books) the sweet moments of gentle care from the one that at first, we feared (books, people… books confused).

Real life —> this is ALWAYS bad. Not EVER good – only “fun/good” in books, because the author doesn’t necessarily write “monsters” and we get to discover the mind. The possible connections and/or relationships in a messed-up situation (no matter what the outcome).

He didn’t look mad or cruel. In fact, I had to admit that he was good-looking. It confused and upset me, to register that he was attractive. Not that I wanted him to be scarily hideous, but finding him attractive seemed crazy and somehow wrong.

As I told my husband, it’s a psychological journey. An exploration of something that we’ve all heard of, but can only “maybe” have a smidgen of comprehension of… through these books. And if a character is in a circumstance like this, I’d much rather read about a “sweet-ish” bad guy then a horrendous one (that nobody can connect to) as in some of the more “horror” genre reads I’ve read. Intensity by Dean Koontz, anyone? Eeeeeeep!!! (although I was totally on my toes with that one, too).

But I dunno you guys, there are many things that fascinate me about the human mind and one of those things is the “Stockholm Syndrome”. A coping mechanism that helps one keep their sanity? Or have they lost it by this point?

So what’s it about?

Seventeen year old Chloe (btw: she turns eighteen in this), is in Greece vacationing with friends, but is kidnapped off the side of the road one day as she is exploring by herself. She’s confused, sure it’s a mistake, but soon realizes there’s no turning back, no matter “what” they kidnapped her for.

I felt like the last person on earth. No one knew where I was; no one had any way of finding me.

They are actually quite forthcoming with her, explaining her captivity is for a prisoner exchange. And as they “do what they need to do” she gets to know her main handsome young captor (since he’s the one that visits her in her “cushy” warehouse” feeds her - cooks for her – and cares for her).

Even though I was blindfolded, being held captive, and possibly in the hands of murderers, the delicious sandwich made me feel better. It’s hard to believe how quickly you become accustomed to losing your freedom, being blindfolded, now knowing where you are or what’s happening to you.

But this is not all “cushy”. Cushier than many of our dark reads, YES… but she faces terrible horrors. From a tormenter that chooses to punish her behind the main “bad guy’s” back…

I knew at once that I was in trouble. I’d been right, they were terrorists. They hated me, and they were going to kill me, though maybe not right away.

… to her own mind, scaring her our of her fragile sanity…. after days of isolation.

I longed for company and at the same time I was terrified of who might come.

I TOTALLY felt each one of those moments. Even the moments/days when it was just her. Those were the scariest of all.

But what I felt (even though I could see a downward spiral) was her attachment to bad-guy #1. Her “good-guy” bad guy. Attentive, sweet, gentle, caring… even nurturing. Lenient. But SO distant. He has his own story, you see.

“What do you have against being hugged?” I asked him.

“I don’t want to benefit from you in any way,” he said.

His answer surprised me. He was admitting that he would enjoy it if I hugged him. He likes me, I thought.

“But I’m the one who needs you.”

He stared at me, but I was used to his stares and I stared back. Finally he said, “I don’t want your forgiveness. I’ve taken away your freedom, and I almost let you die. If we manage to maintain some kind of equilibrium, we’re doing well. Anything else would be inappropriate.”

“Fine!” I said, slouching in my chair. Trying to cover my embarrassment, I grumbled, “You know, you’re a very poor hostage-taker. You’re not supposed to care so much about me. Didn’t you read the hostage-taking manual?”

And her own initial, incredible “maturity” to… a more “childish” feel. Her personality as she is forced to adapt to her captor’s expectations. She becomes both. Who she was… who she now is. A stockholm syndrome victim? Does she realize this? Does it… will it... matter?

I LOVED THIS!!!!! I loved the premise, I loved his “fight”, I loved the reason, I loved the “budding friendship”, I loved the psychological reactions and I loved… the ending.

The ending?

STOP HERE!!!! I know MANY if not ALL of you haven’t read this yet!!! How do I know? ‘Cause NONE of you have told me about it yet, and I know at least ONE of you would have, had you read it. ‘Cause it’s OUR book. It’s OUR thing. But I’m including this for those who have read it, to come back and maybe… message me to analyze with me…. Not a spoiler per se, but an analysis…

I can’t tell you…. anything. But what I can say is I have been analyzing and going over SO much of what I thought I knew… to what *might* be actual reality. There are a few things… left open. TWO BIG things… the future of her… and him, and the truth (which could be THREE things in the “truth” alone). The ending was almost… harrowing.

And since there are so many unanswered questions here… there is also SO much potential… for more.

Had I known about it when I was looking for more after a certain book that I loved (and had me anguishing “Stolen“)… sigh. Better late than never. And I’m not saying that this ends like Stolen did. Nope (if you read that one don’t automatically assume…).

I’m just saying in “tone and mood”… this one is kind of like that one. Not so “physically” overt (more “PG”) but definitely mentally/psychologically & emotionally overt.

Okay now you can come back… just for the bottom part.

4.5 stars ’cause it was awesome. This one will make you think. And then you’ll think again. ;)

Fantastic writing, a deep exploration of the human psyche that has me questioning my own… and even without the obvious “steam” (more along the lines of “pining” on a two-way-street – but subtly intense nonetheless) OMG!!!! I am still so obsessed with “my mind”. Her mind. His mind. All of it. SO GOOD! How did I miss this? Will there be more? I’m gonna ask!! :)

P.S. I’d totally give this 5 stars 1.) if it were less expensive, and 2.) if I knew there’d be another installment (of ANY sort) to this, coming…

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Jane October 14, 2013 at 8:28 PM

I was intrigued by the book so I went to Amazon to read blurb. Read the “about the Author” turns out she lives in my city :) Might have to read this book…

Stacy October 14, 2013 at 8:41 PM

I get you Maryse LOL!! I love these kinds of books as well! The darker the better! I read Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters and I highly recommend it. The girl in this gets kidnapped, then sold….yes sold!
It’s good…you should go read the sample now! LOL

Maryse October 14, 2013 at 8:46 PM

:D We’re having SO much fun!!!

Amy October 14, 2013 at 8:56 PM

I completely get the psychology part. I love the ride. To get to figure out what makes each character react and behave the way they do. Love a good, dark psychological book. They aren’t for everyone for sure but don’t judge. Depends on the angle you’re coming from.

M. Pierce October 14, 2013 at 9:32 PM

If you like the abduction/victim-victimizer theme, there’s an old YA novel called Companions of the Night that might be right up your alley — except that it’s, you know, YA. So no sex or fun smut — though there is romance. That said, it’s a fast-paced vampire novel that I devoured as a young person. Don’t be put off by the hideous cover, this book is seriously readable. I reread it again recently in just a handful of hours — one of the books that started my lifelong vampire fixation.

Maryse October 14, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Thank you! I’m sampling it!!! Covers don’t bother me… I know it’s what’s inside that counts. Mind you… books really *should* get nice covers. ;) LOL!

M. Pierce October 14, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Welcome. Always a pleasure to pass along a book I loved. That + The Silver Kiss are my two favorite “older” vampire novels in the YA genre. Damn, I might even have to read it again. I also have this not-so-secret hope that if I recommend enough good books, I can lure you into reading mine. ;) Happy reading. I’ll be checking out Held.

Jeanie V October 14, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Oh mygosh M. Pierce!!! (I’m reading Night Owl right now – what a co-in-ki-dink lol!) We totally get you on these books Maryse! I just finished Madeline Abducted. It was so dark & graphic but so so good!!!

M. Pierce October 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

Jeanie, I forever love you. And I’d love to hear your thoughts. Actually just downloaded Madeleine Abducted. Dark is good, can’t wait to start it. I’ve been hearing so much about it.

Jeanie V October 14, 2013 at 10:19 PM

Wha… wait… what?!?!? Eeep!!! I didn’t notice the author of the book – just started reading and then …. Gahhh! I went back to the cover & saw your name! Fangirl moment lol!!! Am loving the book so far btw!!! (Sorry for the tangent Maryse!)

Maryse October 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM

It’s all good. Tangent away. ;) Always cool when authors stop by and be “readers”. LOL!! I fan-girl, too!!

M. Pierce October 14, 2013 at 10:53 PM

That was… one of the cutest things I’ve seen online in a while. I am so glad you’re enjoying the book (and so glad Maryse doesn’t mind this tangent — which I am seriously stopping now). I only recently found this blog (living under a rock etc.) but now I check it every day. Great source of info; I end up purchasing 90% of the books reviewed here.

Amelia October 15, 2013 at 3:29 AM

I totally get you! I am so obsessed with these kinds of books. Now that you have mentioned it, I have two recommendations for you! The first book is “Consequences” by Aleatha Romig (It’s a three-books long series) :) And the second is the “Artists trilogy” by Karina Halle! Both are yummy and sexy as hell! Furthermore, the fact that they are a whole novella make them all the more fun! :D

Lauren October 15, 2013 at 3:48 AM

Oh hell yeah just brought it!!! Just what I need !! Thanks again maryse you rock!

Lauren October 15, 2013 at 3:49 AM

P.s I totally 100% agree with Stacey tears of Tess was amazing and right up your alley!!!

Maryse October 15, 2013 at 8:51 AM

Hi Amelia! Thank you for those recommendations, (I know both series very well). Love ‘em!


Lauren October 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Maryse, you HAVE to read Disastrous by E.L. Montes. And the sequel, Cautious. I love this series so much I re-read them every month. Also, Untouchable, Unforgivable, & Untraceable by Lindsay Delagair. All 3 books in the series are out so no waiting & they are EXCELLENT!!! Please, please read em & let us know what you think.

Angie October 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM

I have been making my way down your top 10 paranormal list when I saw your review of Held. So I bought it this am and read the entire book. I haven’t veered from my paranormal in a long time but I am glad I did. Love this book. You may have created my new obsession “kidnappy-Stockholm-syndromy” books. Can’t wait to stalk your website for others to read.

Maryse October 15, 2013 at 1:16 PM

YAY Angie!! My first feedback on this book. How many times have you mulled over… a few details? ;)

Angie October 15, 2013 at 3:35 PM

All day long. I keep putting together scenarios for the future. The what ifs. I want to know more about his story. How he goes on after. Ahhhhhh there needs to be a sequel.

Natasha October 15, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I read an awesome kidnapping/stockholm syndrome book written in the 80′s (so much drama and angst) called “Perfect” by Judith McNaught – NEVER FORGOT IT! OMG read it three times !!!! Will have to give this a try!1

Maryse October 16, 2013 at 1:03 PM

Ohh thank you Natasha!! I wish it was available in Kindle. Oh well, looks like i’ll have to read it “old school”. ;)

Anita October 16, 2013 at 11:45 PM

I can’t wait to start this book tonight Maryse! Thanks!

Also, I just have to say that I think it’s adorable and amazing that your hubby is there for you at all hours of the night to vent to, analyze with, cry on, etc…that is soooo sweet! :)

Maryse October 17, 2013 at 10:04 AM

I do appreciate (and take advantage of) his support. ;)

Jennifer October 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

woah!!!! Just finished HELD and I’m not sure where to go with this….. she has to writing a sequel….right??????

Kimber November 24, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Holy shitzballs! The ending… I had to go into a church restroom and finish it in the middle of a baby shower because I couldn’t put it down. Then I had to behave like I hadn’t just finished an amazing non-cliffhanging cliffhanger! I had to reread it to make sure I wasn’t crazy. WTF

(I read your blog weekly for a few years now and this is my first comment :/
I shy)

M. Pierce! No shit! Night Owl is in my Top 10 of 2013

Love this site Marsye. Ive read 90% of the books you recommend :)

Maryse November 24, 2013 at 10:05 PM

Yay! I’m so glad you loved it too, and you commented! *hug*

M. Pierce totally rocks. One of my favs, too. I’ve had a great reading year. ;)

Felicia February 6, 2014 at 9:10 PM

She won’t write the sequel until it comes out. Wants to wait and see what they do with the story.

Greg White October 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM

I just got Held by Edeet Ravel from the library it’s great reading.Chloe Mills actually feels for her hostage taker she has Stockholm syndrome.I can imagine how she must be disgusted with herself for feeling this way.

69 February 9, 2019 at 8:50 PM

I want to know what happened after they found what she wrote in her diary

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