Thursday, May 24, 2012

Captivated by Lauren Dane

Vincenz & Julian and Hannah's book

Captivated (Phantom's Corp 3)
(but book 5 in the Federation Chronicles series)

By Lauren Dane

Book Blurb:
Vincenz Fardelle, exiled son of the Supreme Leader of the Imperialist Universe, has spent much of the last ten years working to stop the threat his father poses. But he’s not alone in his quest. Julian Marsters has lost his best friend and countless others in the war and has made vengeance his only goal.  In each other, Julian and Vincenz find not only like minds, but kindred spirits.However unexpected their relationship, everything changes for Vincenz and Julian when Hannah Black comes into their lives. Having been captured and held in near total isolation by imperialist troops, their immediate response is to protect her.Emotionally shattered but resilient, Hannah rebuilds herself.  Because of the warm safety she finds in the arms of Julian—and Vincenz—she becomes someone harder, stronger and bent on preventing the Imperialists from harming anyone else.For the two men, wrestling with their passionate feelings for Hannah is only the beginning. War is about to send all three into harm’s way and an equally dangerous secret could tear them apart. 

Hopefully I can clear this book series order up if you are a wee bit confused. Lauren Dane has a fabulous series called the "Federation Chronicles". Captivated would be the 5th book. But within this Federation Chronicle series she has a spin off called "Phantom Corps" series. Captivated would be the 3rd book in that series. Okay? Good. Here are my thoughts. 

I adore the Federation Chronicle series. I've followed ever since the first book, "Undercover" (which is super fantastic BTW!!) I had been so looking forward to Captivated because the intended story line captivated me in the previous book, "Mesmerized". I couldn't wait to read about Vincenz and Julian and the mysterious woman Vincenz saved at the end of that book. 

Vincenz is the only living son of a madman dictator. I felt all the burden and pressure on poor Vincenz's shoulders. It weighed heavily on him that his father was the cause of so many lost lives. Vincenz escaped his clutches a few years ago and has been fighting against his father's armies ever since. His guilt is evident regarding all the atrocities and the war is a very personal thing for him. I loved how Lauren Dane wrote in right amount of guilt and didn't let it overtake his character. Vincenz was not a mopey, guilt ridden man but rather a man with a mission to do the right thing.  

Julian had a sad upbringing but he doesn't dwell on it. He embraces the second chance he was given within the Phantom Corps and he loves Vincenz fiercely. Both of these men compliment each other without being too alpha. I felt them both as equals in every sense of the way. What amazing chemistry. Those sparks were equally complimented with sexy and tastfully orchestrated M/M scenes. 

When Vincenz rescues Hannah, she is barely emotionally coherent. Being severely abused by her enemies and left in complete isolation, she needs to learn re-learn how to communicate her thoughts and emotions. What I really liked was that Lauren Dane didn't write that Hannah was to be healed overnight. She created a great medical mechanism which helped the story along in a believable sense. I know that the story is sci-fi but I still need believable situations within that story and I appreciated that thought and creativity that went into Hannah's healing.  

Favourite line of Captivated, "Would you like to go an adventure, Hannah Black?" Whew, talk about a double entendre!

Captivated is an erotic romance but that doesn't mean every other page is sex. There were a few well written scenes and they included a variety of M/M & M/M/F as well as M/F. It was really great to read about the M/F being included because it showcased how much they were falling in love with each other and not just a menage triad team. Love shone through completely. 

Since I have been following these books since the beginning and there had been some amazing adventures I was a bit disappointed with how quickly and abruptly the story ended. Five books in and I felt like "BAM!" it was over. It was way way to easy. I was hoping for more of an intense palm sweating ending. I am not going to release spoilers so I can't go into to much detail but after an amazing sci-fi adventure, the ending lacked creativeness. 

Teasers: Long leather gloves with buckles, cave pool, Julian's T-shirts, even Triads have arguments with each other

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