“I never knew when he’d come to me. Only that he would.”
Hostage is book 2 in the Criminal & Captives series, but can be read as a standalone and I haven’t read book 1, Prisoner, yet but rest assured I will definitely check that out soon. I love sinking my teeth into dark romances every now and then, I love being taken out of my comfort zone and perhaps even be a little disturbed. Hostage wasn’t as dark as I was expecting, but I still really enjoyed the plot, characters and dark elements contained within.
Most sixteen year old girls want nothing more than to bask in the glory of their big birthday party and celebrate with family and friends. Brooke’s birthday bash was not like that at all, it consisted of constantly disappointing her parents, starvation in order to keep up appearances (fitting into a second hand designer gown two sizes two small), suffocation and bouts of anxiety.
In an attempt to escape her party and get some much needed air, Brooke witnesses a man being beaten to a bloody pulp. Knowing she can’t just stand there and do nothing, watching a man die right in front of her very eyes, she attempts to intervene with dire consequences. She becomes a hostage.
“I look up at him. His face is cast in shadows by the moon. Demonic. Unforgiving. I wonder how I look to him, down on the ground in a dirty alley.”
Stone Keaton is on a quest, a quest for revenge. He is bitter, angry and wants nothing more than to torment and kill the people responsible for holding himself, and his brothers captive in a basement. Stone however did not anticipate a sixteen year old girl witnessing him maim and kill.
Stone did what he felt he had to do in order to protect himself and his crew, he abducted the witness to his brutality, sixteen year old Brooke. What Stone didn’t expect though was that he would take her down to the river, scare her and then let her go free. She was a witness to his violent crime and witnesses need to be kept silent, don’t they?
From their first horrific encounter, Brooke proceeded to consume Stone’s every thought. He became a man obsessed and would risk everything just to be near her.
“I’ve never felt so helpless, so alone. I’m a sacrifice, kneeling at the feet of a beautiful, brutal demon.”
One of the things I loved most about this story was the dynamic way the characters interacted with each other. Two different worlds that collided with each other, with catastrophic outcomes. I loved the way they interacted and dealt with their feelings along with all of the events happening around them.
This was my first Skye Warren and Annika Martin story and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be diving in for more. The intensity and hot chemistry worked. I was a little worried at first with whether they could pull off such a dark vengeful character with a traumatic past and young privileged elitist who has been taught image is everything. Well, I can tell you that that they did pull it off, because the plot line worked as did the characters and their well thought out development. The mix of dark themes like, brutality and violence, along with romance was meshed really well together and I can’t wait to see what this dynamic duo come up with next.
It’s him or me. It’s stand here and let a man die, or do something—for once in my life, do something that’s not wearing a dress and smiling and getting it all wrong.
So I run out there. I watch myself do it, like a movie almost. “Stop it,” I yell.
The attacker just keeps on, a dark storm, all fists and fury. My presence means nothing to him. My words don’t touch him. It’s as if I’m yelling at thunder.
My heart beats out of my chest. I’ve risked everything, come out in the open, but it’s not enough. I stamp my foot to get his attention, crushing gravel beneath my mother’s Louboutins.
“The cops are coming,” I say.
The man stills and looks up. It’s a shock when it happens, even though I’ve been trying to get him to see me. His eyes seem to blaze into my chest, hot and bright.
Breathless, I back away.
He stands, leaving the man in a groaning, whimpering heap.
I retreat slowly, showing him my phone, as though that might protect me. “Cops are coming,” I say again. A lie. I couldn’t punch in the code.
He’s coming at me, expression unreadable. He’s a few years older than I am—late twenties, maybe.
My back hits something hard. The van.
He keeps coming. I try to spin and run, but he grabs my arm and slams me back into the van. “Where do you think you’re going, little girl?”
I stare up at him, panting.
His warm breath is a feather on my nose; the heat in his eyes invades me. He grabs my hair and tilts my head back, forcing me to stare into his face, as if he’s trying to read my eyes.
A moment later, he looks up at the night sky. He seems almost wolfish, and I’m conscious, suddenly, of my bare neck so close to his snarling mouth. I wonder if he’s staring at the moon. It’s like he’s going to howl or something.
Then I get it. He’s listening for sirens.
“You’re a little fucking liar.”
About Skye Warren:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, four dogs, and one evil cat.
About Annika Martin:
Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.