Captured (The Captive Series Book 1) by Erica Stevens

 Captured (The Captive, #1)

Captivating Vampire Romance

 My sister recommended this book to me, knowing that I like a good vampire romance and I’m glad that she did as I found it to be a really entertaining read. It has an interesting take on vampires and is a sweet romance, with enough potential for violence and evil to satisfy my darker needs!

The world of Captive, is set in the future where vampires have come out of hiding and have gained supremacy over the humans who are either subservient to them or live on the fringes of society in the woods and caves, forming part of a human resistance. Arianna, daughter of rebel leader, is captured and sold to Prince Braith as a blood slave. Arianna is kept captive in the Prince’s apartment at the palace. Despite her status as blood slave she is treated well by Braith, and they form a friendship, which develops into more, although they both in their own way struggle with their feelings. Relationships between masters and their blood slaves are forbidden and both Braith and Arianna realise that there is no future for them.

Just as they begin to acknowledge their mutual attraction, the return of Braith’s younger brother, Jericho, after an  absence of six years, leads to shocking revelations, impacting on Braith’s and Arianna’s burgeoning relationship and paving the way for Book 2 in the series.

Although Arianna is young, 17, compared to Braith’s 952 years, she is a strong heroine.  Indeed, she was captured whilst saving a small boy from the vampires. When being put on the auctioneer’s platform to be sold, at first she prefers death, to the constant torment of being purchased and used as a blood slave. However, once she discovers that her childhood friend Max has also been captured, she resolves to help him escape. I loved how she was captivated by the beauty of the palace and its gardens, which contain luxuries she has never before experienced. Arianna is at first suspicious of Braith’s motives in being so kind to her, fearing that he plans to gain her trust, only to then cruelly destroy her. She comes to care for the prince against her better judgement.

Braith, the first born prince, has a fearsome reputation and demands respect. I liked the fact that although he was instantly drawn to Arianna and was compelled to purchase her, it was not for the usual reason in vampire romances – he does not immediately desire to mate with her or dominate her sexually for example! Indeed, she is not the type of woman he is usually attracted to. However, she does have a strong physical effect on him, which I will not divulge here as it would spoil the book for those who wish to read it.

He is both protective and possessive of Arianna, although there are scenes where he does dominate her and barely keeps his violence in check. He is also fearful of her being taken away from him if anyone discovers that she is anything more to him than a blood slave. I loved how he became increasingly attracted to Arianna, begining to empathise with her. He does not desire anyone else’s blood but hers, but at the same time will not force his attentions on her. Braith recognises the importance of gaining Arianna’s trust and it is this that he wants in the end more than her blood, which I found to be endearing.

There are many tender scenes between Braith and Arianna in the book. The tale is different from many vampire novels I have read in that the relationship between the hero and heroine is a slow burn, rather than them jumping into bed with each other from the start. However, I did not think that this detracted from the romance and it made it all the more meaningful. For example, I found that the scene where they experienced their first kiss and was very moving. Moreover, the level of heat certainly increases as the plot develops.

The main secondary characters in the book included the human Max, Caleb, Braith’s brother and Jericho, the youngest of his brothers. Max seeks to help Arianna escape. He believes all vampires are evil and his experience of being a blood slave is vastly different from Arianna’s. Caleb is pure evil and suspicious of Braith’s relationship with Arianna and Braith takes special care with how he treats Arianna when he is present. Jericho, who returns after an absence of six years is an interesting character. Whilst Braith is wary of Caleb and his motives, he feels more affinity with Jericho. However, it is Jericho’s actions, not those of Caleb, that have a profound impact on Braith and Arianna’s relationship at the end of the book and set the scene for the next instalment.

I enjoyed the author’s writing style, which was fresh and direct. The story flowed easily and at its core focused on the relationship between the two main characters, which I liked, whilst still making me want to know about the world they inhabited and the other characters. I will certainly be purchasing book 2 in the series very soon as I am eager to learn what happens next. I would recommend this book to readers of all ages from young adult upwards, especially those who enjoy a good vampire romance.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Author’s website http://ericasteven.blogspot.co.uk

Cover art by www.EbookLaunch.com and image used by kind permission of Erica Stevens

About Caroline Barker

I am a happily engaged mother of three and I absolutely love to read and write. Therefore, I am setting up a book blog in the hope to influence some readers out there!

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