Forced to join a secret intelligence agency at a young age, Russian interpreter/spy Yulia Tzakova is no stranger to dangerous men. But she's never known one as ruthless and compelling as Lucas Kent. The hard-edged mercenary frightens her, yet she's drawn to him - a man she has no choice but to betray. Second-in-command to a powerful arms dealer, Lucas Kent has never met a woman he's wanted as much as Yulia. Obsessed with the beautiful blonde, he'll stop at nothing to capture her and make her pay for her betrayal. From the icy streets of Moscow to the steamy jungles of Colombia, their dark, all-consuming passion will either crush them or set them free.
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Dark romance audiobook lovers, have I got a deal for you! Anna Zaires' entire Capture Me trilogy for just 1 Audible credit! That's nearly 21 hours of a gray romance (somewhere between a romantic suspense and dark romance), delectable listen!
Book 1 Review:
4 "Traitor or Victim?" Stars for the story and narration.
If you enjoyed the Twist Me Trilogy by Anna Zaires and Dima Zales then you will want to continue the dangerous, adventure filled world in Capture Me. Although Capture Me is a spin-off of the Twist Me Trilogy, the Capture Me trilogy could still be read or listened to as a standalone as it primarily features a different couple. For those of you who did experience the first trilogy, however, you will be happy to know that you still continue to see glimpses of how Julian and Nora are adapting to their new life together.
Carrying on from the plot commenced in the Twist Me Series, Capture Me features one of Julian's primary guards, Lucas, and the Russian interpreter, Yulia, who appears to have betrayed Julian's team. Giving us a flashback to the night when they first meet, and then quickly segueing into the aftermath of the plane crash which happens as a direct result of what Lucas and Julian believe is intelligence that Yulia shared about their whereabouts, Yulia's days appear limited until Julian through Lucas are healthy enough to come and seek their retribution from her.
However, when the day comes that he has her in his possession again, Lucas is conflicted by the passion that he still feels for Yulia after their unforgettable one night together. Being a professional, he knows what he must do, but as he tears more information from Yulia through his interrogation of her, the lines between right and wrong begin to blur.
Will Lucas stay loyal to Julian? Is Yulia's apparent passion for Lucas real or merely a keen survival mechanism of a well trained operative?
Shirl Rae and Roberto Scarlato return as narrators and do a great job with most aspects of this narration. Each can be counted on to deliver easy to listen narration passages, making it seamless for the listener to know who is speaking. Additionally the listener can feel the emotion and the mood of the scene by the narrators' tone. Perhaps my only observation on the narration is that as Yulia is Russian, I would have expected her to have a Russian accent, but the narration does not reflect this. Nonetheless, every other aspect of the narration was flawless, making this a story that can easily be enjoyed in audio format.
I enjoyed Capture Me as it still had that great hot, physical tension that I enjoyed so much in Twist Me. The passion between the two main characters is raw and primal. However, I do feel that it is important to note that this romance is definitely more mainstream and less dark or edgy than Twist Me. I would term this a "gray" romance, rather than a dark one, as there still are some edgier aspects associated with being captured but nowhere near the more dubious consent scenes that appear in the Twist Me Series.
Having started this journey, now I can't wait to continue the wild ride in Bind Me!
Book 2: Bind Me
4 "Falling for Her Captor but Bound to Another" Stars for the story and 4.5 Stars for the narration!
Please note this is book 2 of a trilogy that must be read in sequential order. If you have not yet started this series, please see my review for book 1, Capture Me, as the below review contains spoilers for book 1.
The Capture Me Series is a series that lovers of capture romances that are more on the lighter side of the spectrum ("gray romance") are sure to enjoy. Interestingly, the spin-off series is even lighter than the dark romance, Twist Me Series from which it was spun-off. Instead this series is really more just a classic erotic romance where the heroine happens to have been captured by the hero, so while there are some capture elements to the story, like the heroine sleeps handcuffed to the hero, there is no lack of consent or dubious consent scenes.
Picking up right where Capture Me leaves off, Yulia is being held captive by Lucas, presumably for questioning in connection with the hijaking of the plane that both Lucas and his boss, Julian (the hero from the Twist Me Series) were on and the crash that they shouldn't have survived (this actual event takes place in the Twist Me Series but it is recapped in this series so this series could be listened to as a standalone). However, as the days goes by, Yulia becomes increasingly suspicious and paradoxically more comfortable in the confines of Lucas' unexpectedly easy imprisonment. She hasn't been tortured, or even hurt, he's feeding her, and seems genuinely interested in her. Is this part of his strategy to break her down so he can gain her trust to discover who was involved and called the orders on the hijacking? But what will become of her after? Will she then see the full wrath of what this cruel enforcer is known for?
Further complicating matters is that she really enjoys their heat filled nights together. But is she only deluding herself in believing there could ever be a future together? And what will happen when he realizes that she will never betray her former handlers? Even if she wanted to accept Julian's offer of protection, the safety of someone who means the world to her is tied with her handler's fates and she will do anything to make sure he remains safe.
Shirl Rae and Roberto Scarlato continue their skilled narration in Bind Me. Having become used to the voices that this narrating duo used in book 1, Capture Me, I was pleased to see that they were able to maintain consistency in the voices in this book. This consistency really helped me fall back into the story very easily (even after having listened to a number of other unrelated books in between).
In addition to using distinguishable, character appropriate voices for each one of the characters, the dual narration style that the narrators used works great in this series as it helps the listener easily discern whose point of view is being shared with Ms. Rae narrating the chapters from Yulia's perspective and Mr. Scarlato the ones from Julian's perspective. Both narrators also do a good job of imparting emotion into their scenes making the dialogues believable.
All in all, I enjoyed the personal developments both in and out of the bedroom between Yulia and Lucas in Capture Me. It was interesting to watch two inherently suspicious, distrustful people learn how to meld their spy-trained ways with their undeniable desires and wants for the future. But this story ends in one big cliffhanger, so listeners will need to wait and see what the future holds for Yulia and Lucas until they listen to Claim Me, the final book in the trilogy.
Book 3: Claim Me
4.5 "True Love or Obsession?" Stars for the story and narration!
What a fitting conclusion to another captivating, captor romance! As truths are finally revealed hard decisions must be made. Can a relationship between a dominant captor ever evolve to a true HEA? Or is the Dom/Sub role forever tied to obsession without more?
Book 3 picks up where book 2 leaves off. Yulia has run away fearing for the life of her brother. To protect him she decides to come clean to her former handlers. However, her reunion is anything but happy when she discovers several secrets they have been withholding from her.
Lucas meanwhile can't let Yulia go and resolves to find her. When he does, he finally discovers the truth. But will he come to her and her brother's aid? Moreover, can Lucas keep Yulia safe from the one man who can destroy them both and who will never forget Yulia's betrayal (his boss, Julian)?
Even if he can capture her again physically, will Yulia ever decide to stay willingly? Is she just Lucas' obsession or more? Is a man who has been through what Lucas has been through even capable of more?
From the heat level to the plot development, Claim Me definitely had me panting from start to end. What a way to end it and for those fans of the Twist Me Series there is even a great Nora and Julian Epilogue at the end!
The narration was fab as always with remarkable consistency between characters voices both from the Twist Me Series and Capture Me Series. Shirl Rae and Robert Scarlatto really make you feel both the erotic energy and angst of this story making this a great series to experience in audio format.
All in all, the Capture Me Series is a must listen to romance for gray romance fans!