Let me just start by saying that the description of this book does not include one critical warning for potential readers: There are scenes of dubious and non-consensual sex. Readers who are sensitive about that subject matter should proceed with EXTREME caution or consider finding another book.
Captive Mine is the story of Lily and Lake (all that alliteration action there). Lily is supposed to be going into the witness protection program and either Lake is guarding her or Lake is kidnapping her. I still don't really know what was what. The point is Lily and Lake spend the majority of the book in a secluded location where Lake endeavors to teach Lily to obey.....for her own safety (*side eye*) and Lily valiantly fights every attempt to bring her to heal.
The steam level of this book would cause a forest fire in California if it was dropped on the ground in the Point Ranch area. Not only is the erotic content HAWT, it is well written and represents a departure from the usual stuff we see. The language of the scenes as well as the creativity was really some 5 star type ish. I'm not going to lie, I was rapidly turning the pages just to see what freaky scenes lay ahead.
Steam levels aside for a moment, I'm not exaggerating when I say there was almost nothing more to this book. Even though Lily and Lake had a significant physical connection I was confused when they both started to view it as something more. When I say I was confused, I mean I started going backwards in the book trying to figure out if I skimmed over something in my rush to get to the next sex scene. I didn't skip over anything though. There is not one conversation between Lily and Lake where anything significant is revealed about either character. NOT EVEN ONE! The substance of love is one of the mysteries of the universe, nobody really knows what it is or how it begins but damn, give us SOMETHING to work with. When there is as little information about the main characters in a romance as there was in this novel, it starts to feel more like a really long short story. I was baffled by Lily and Lake's "connection" to one another. I don't even know what Lily did for a living or where was her Mom or what was her favorite color or food??? Likewise with Lake even though we get a little bit more information about him, by the end of the book, we really don't know anything about him.
The "plot" of the book felt more like filler created just to put the sex scenes into some sort of context. Similarly the angst that both characters experienced about what they wanted versus what they thought was right seemed a little contrived. The best example I can give you was Lake's insistence that his behavior was motivated by concern for Lily's safety. I have no idea how that was a real thing because it's never really explained. Further, the end of the book is abrupt (and if you know me, you know I hate an abrupt ending). Everything is tied up but I'm not sure the knot makes any logical sense. You have to be able to suspend disbelief and just be grateful for all the creative freakiness.
So my rating for this book was difficult to pin down but I'll explain it: I'm rating this book for readers like me. If you are willing to sacrifice a detailed plot for well written steam in a semi-coherent story line, this is a good book and you will like it. That would also make you a reader like me.If you would rather a really good plot and a well constructed relationship between the main characters, this might not be the book for you. Now don't come back and yell at me, I'm telling you up front, this book is going to give you different things depending on what you come in wanting.
A final Note: On the topic of non-consent I also need to say that I share the concern of some other commentators that the recurring themes in some erotic romance of a woman being aroused by force in an environment to which she did not consent is concerning. The aforementioned concern is that somehow readers will be desensitized to the reality that even physically arousing non-consent is still a crime. All that being said, I appreciate that this book is fiction and represents a fantasy in which many people happily engage. i just felt compelled to say something about the need to keep fantasy and reality in their appropriate domains.
**ARC provided by NetGalley*