My sins are my own. They keep me company. Instead, this is the true tale of how I found her, how I stole her, and how I lost her.
She was a damsel, one who already had her white knight. But every fairytale has a villain, someone waiting in the wings to rip it all down. A scoundrel who will set the world on fire if that means he gets what he wants. That’s me.
I’m the bad guy.
I’m going to contradict myself a bit with this review. If you read my other reviews, you know that I don’t tolerate heroines who accept abuse, in any form, from the so-called hero. I don’t believe that Stockholm Syndrome is the same as love. I want women who are kidnapped to get the drop on their kidnappers and kick the shit out of them. The end. Unless, I guess, the hero is Sebastian Lindstrom. Then...I dunno. Being kidnapped by Sebastian might not be so bad. There, are you happy, Celia Aaron? You made me turn my back on all my feminist beliefs.
Now, that is not to say that I condone men who chloroform and kidnap women, then hold them prisoner. Men, if you’re reading this, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. It will not end well for you.
But I will point out to any of you who are concerned (and in my own defense, I guess), Sebastian doesn’t hurt Camille in any way while he’s holding her prisoner. (There’s a little sexual coercion, not any rape—but if that kind of thing bothers you as a reader, you’ll want to skip this one.)
But anyhoo, about Sebastian...sigh. I might find him more intriguing than other readers because I was a psych major in college. Various mental issues fascinate me. I probably would’ve loved this book even if Camille hadn’t existed. Just reading about how his father taught him to “pass for human” and how he struggled with empathy would’ve kept me thoroughly entertained all on its own. The whole thing had a very Dexter feel to it. (And I loved me some Dexter, folks. If you didn’t watch it, stop reading this review and start binge watching that show. It was all kinds of awesome. Until the last episode. That one sucked. But I digress…)
The fact of the matter is that Sebastian is a psychopath. A high-functioning, extremely intelligent, ridiculously sexy, dirty talking psychopath. And after about 20% of the book, I completely stopped being horrified by what he was doing and started rooting for him. I wanted him to win. I wanted him to get his girl. I kind of wanted Camille to let him kill Link. I’m not sure what that says about me as a reader, but I loved Sebastian. I make no apologies.
(And off topic: I offer mad props to the cover model who is working it. Nicely done, sir. Nicely done.)
Long-story-short, if you’re a fan slightly unhinged, dark, obsessive, possessive heroes who would burn the world down for those they love, this book is your catnip. One-click the hell out of it. For those of you looking for a story in which the heroine rides off into the sunset with a tame, vanilla, Prince Charming type? Well, y’all will need to look elsewhere.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
I question the psychology a bit (I kinda doubt that someone who struggled with empathy as much as Sebastian did would be capable of loving anyone), but I’m willing to totally overlook that. This isn’t a psych textbook, after all. This is fiction. And it’s well-written, engaging fiction, at that. Therefore, I would have to say that this one crushes the romance stigma. No rehab needed!
Other reading suggestions
Check out the Celia Aaron backlist. Dark Protector is another favorite of mine. On the even darker side, try Prisoner by Skye Warren and Annika Martin.