Carnal Captive by Vonna Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was "iffy" for me.
The non-con genre is a dark favorite of mine and true to form the handlers, Damek and Reno, were pretty brutal. And it's not that, that turned me off at all, it was the dialog between them that drove me a little batty. I kept expecting them at any minute to end up in a little schoolgirl shoving match. It was penis waving at it's best. Their constant, "don't tell me what to do", and trying to one up each other got redundant. Hell, at one point I was wishing they try to beat the crap out of each other.
The story starts out extremely dark, which I really enjoyed. But even from the beginning the handlers were bickering with each other. I kept expecting our heroin to use that to her advantage in some way.
The time with the "handlers" was too long, almost 75% of the book. And all the "conditioning" and "training" they did that whole time, it started to feel like a yawn fest.
I felt for a while that I favored Damek of the 2 handlers, then I would surprise myself by favoring Reno. I really, after a while, felt they were both just trying to prove to the other, and themselves, that they were actually cut out for this business.
Shari Isle. I liked her. I liked that she refused to give up the last bit of herself, her mind. She stayed strong throughout. She did what she had to do to survive. I felt her fear when she was taken, the author described this quite well. And I always felt that giving half a chance that she would kill all of those in her path to freedom.
The time with her new master was too short in terms of the length of the book, and he was pretty wishy-washy. What the hell was he doing buying a slave when he couldn't even make up his mind about basic things like wanting her on the bed or on a chair. It just didn't feel real. Yes, I know he was trying to figure out in his head what the hell he was doing, but it came off very weak. And it was all so rushed. I didn't like the ending, the way it played out, at all.
While I enjoy a Stockholm Syndrome feel to my non-con at times... I was really glad this one didn't take that turn. It wouldn't have felt real, not with as strong as Shari was portrayed to be.
This book is dark and at times brutal, very non-con, and as mentioned, it's a favorite genre of mine. I would caution the casual reader who may not be used to dark reads to read at your own risk as it involves beatings, rape, degradation, and humiliation. If these are triggers for you, best leave this one alone.
2.5 - 3 Star read for me.
Carnal Days was originally published in Feb. of 2012 as Carnal Captive with a different cover. Vonna hopes readers won’t be confused by the changes Amazon is requiring based on recent developments in the epublishing world about what is considered acceptable. This book is still listed on Goodreads.com as Carnal Captive.
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