Collateral Damage

Deadly Captive, #2

One moment Nicole's a preschool teacher and the next she's part of a bizarre contest to be chosen as a teacher to a young child. Raped, tortured and abused, Nicole must fight for her sanity as well as her life. She finds strength in two unlikely places - her commitment to the child and in the arms of her keeper. Although Vince has hurt her, Nicole believes her salvation may lie with him. As the contest winds down Nicole must decide if Vince is worthy of her trust or if he's just another part of the sick game.

This story is the follow-up to Deadly Captive. It's just as gritty, dark and well written as its predecessor. It can be read as a standalone but will make much more sense if you've read the first one. Told entirely from Nicole's perspective, it really is the story of survival at its most basic. Vince is an unlikely and, at times, unlikable hero. Cyrus is truly twisted and all the more frightening because of his calm demeanor.

There's something stark and raw about the author's writing. She keeps her world almost nondescript so that you focus all your attention on the characters. Their triumphs are as much emotional as they are physical. The reader is in Nicole's head as she fights her enemies and herself. This is not enjoyable evening reading and it's a romance in only the broadest sense of the word. It is a gripping, terrifying glimpse into hell and at the courage and strength it takes to survive there. There is love and trust between Nicole and Vince but it’s been forged in that hell and bears little resemblance to that of most love stories. This is an exceptional story but not for everyone. I can't stress enough that the level of violence in this book is very high and that most of the torture is sexual in nature. The emotional abuse is almost worse. Even so, I would highly recommend this haunting thriller if the warnings haven't turned you away. The ending is disturbing and I do hope that next book isn't too far off. I need to know what happens.

Book Blurb for Collateral Damage

Stolen from a bright life full of colors, happiness, and youth, Nicole Reed is dragged into a pit of pain and depravity where all she can hope for is a quick end. But her captors don't want to kill her. They want to use her to teach a little boy whom they plan to mold in their image.

She must free him before that happens. Only she can't stand against those who hold him, not alone. Her only hope is Vince, one of her tormentors, who may still show a glimmer of humanity.

Or maybe that's just a trick of the light.

This is part of a series that needs to be read in order.

SPECIAL CONTENT: Extremely explicit edgy and graphic sexual content. Contains content some readers might find objectionable.

Originally published with Noble Romance Publishing.

Night Owl Reviews Jan, 2012 4.75