When I first started reading Captured, I genuinely enjoyed it. I was able to ignore the editing issues and just lose myself in the story. It had this nostalgic feel for me, like something I’d read before and was super comfortable with. I liked it. Definitely.
And then the romance kicked in…
Honestly, I found the romance here to be really forced. The author writes beautifully, sometimes to the point of purpley prose, but I just couldn’t get behind Braith and Arianna’s romance. I can understand why Braith would want her around given his condition and how it improves with her, but Arianna… It quickly became textbook Stockholm Syndrome, and only worsened for me when I learned she was 17. I almost wish she’d been older. The themes could have been a little darker, maybe the smut factor could have been raised a little, but once she was a teen in my eyes, her whiny attitude just got worse. It did, however, make her indecisiveness and hasty romantic feelings make more sense. I can basically link all the immaturity to her, in fact, being immature.
Erica Stevens has all the makings of a great paranormal romance author, but I absolutely feel she could benefit from both a line and content editor to comb through this and fix things. The writing did turn a bit rambly after a while, especially with Arianna’s musings, and there were a number of grammar errors throughout (incorrect hyphen usage, “interested peeked” instead of piqued, etc.). That’s not to say she’s a bad writer by any means. Like I said at the beginning of this review: I really enjoyed myself for the first… maybe 50% of the book, but things started to decline with the somewhat abusive romance tropes appearing (Braith threatening to kill Max, followed by a make-out session? Makes total sense.), and I feel an editor could have helped with that.
Despite all my issues, I am interested in reading the next book. I’ll add it to my list, and hopefully will snag it during a sale or freebie period, because I want to see more. I’m hoping things will be a little darker, a little gritter, a little more realistic. Until then, I reserve judgement and would encourage paranormal romance readers to approach Captured with an open mind.
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