Captivated (Phantom Corps Novel) Paperback – 1 May 2012
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"Hot, hot, hot... Don't walk, run to read!"--Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author
"Hot, hot, hot... Don't walk, run to read!" -- Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author
About the Author
As a stay-at-home mom, Lauren Dane had lots of conversations in a singsong voice but no real outlet for adult thoughts and words. Armed with a secondhand laptop, she decided to "give that writing thing a serious go." Eight years and several dozen books later, she's well aware of her good fortune and is loving every moment of it, even when she has to edit and put Barbie's dresses back on over and over again.
Top Customer Reviews
Hannah although been through a lot is a fighter and easy to like, Vincenz and Julian protect her and help her overcome her torture and being held for so long without human contact and this develops into a realationship between the three,
( hot male male scences as well as male/male/female sex scences) .
Lauren Dane as always does a great job of writing these scences and romantic moments between the trio.
the war continues and it then becomes clear why Hannah was taken and she begins to help against Vincenz father. I wont give too much away with the plot but Lauren Dane wraps the series up well, previous characters are here and the ending wraps up everything this was a good series that was always refreshing to read.
It features Vincenz Fardelle aka Vincent Cuomo (worth noting, as this threw me a couple of times), the estranged & exiled son of evil dictator Ciro Fardelle, Vincenz's lover, and fellow operative, Julian Marsters, and rescued scientist and doctor Hannah Black. The blurb on the back is as follows:
**************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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Hot... hot.... Hot... ! Did I mention this read is muy caliente?! Holy hot cheese on a hot cracker, on a hot plate, on a hot day. By the first 20 pages, I was already fanning myself. Not exaggerating, she takes the gloves off and shows you just what a ride you are in for from the very start, and I looved it.
Captivated is a love story where a loving and passionate couple find a third partner and the three become a solid unconditional relationship. And, it is my first m/m/f romance to ever read (I had no idea because as I mentioned above, I like to dive in to a book without reading a blurb about it). Vincenz and Julian are truly dynamic in their ability to nurture one another, so when they find themselves both drawn to wanting to protect Hannah, it fees very organic. I automatically fell in love with these two heroes. The mutual respect and admiration between the two of them, and then with Hannah was beautifully done and why Captivated worked for me.
After a year of torture, the heroine Hannah is scared of her own shadow and feels safest sitting in a corner with the wall behind her back. From the moment of rescue, she immediately clings to Vincenz as her protector, and gradually finds comfort and safety in both Julian and Vincenz together, and they home they open to her. She agrees to undergo treatment that will help speed up the process of healing emotionally and mentally from the ordeal, and they help her find her way back to who she was. Julian and Vincenz both immediately feel as though she fits in to their family and home, and they are very honest and open with her on that.
"I know you're scared." Julian stood and moved to her. He slid his palms from her shoulders down her arms, holding her hips. "And I can't tell you not to be. I'd be scared too. But you're not broken. And you're brave. So very brave."
Momentarily Vincenz was there hugging her from the side. "We'll be with you. Every step of the way."
The emotional foundation is laid so well that when the physical aspects are added, it is nothing other than intense and smoldering. The characters are very complex and interesting and I couldn't put the story down. Captivated is the third book in her Phantom Corps series and the fifth book in her The Federation Series, but I did not feel like I missed out by picking up here, as it read beautifully as a standalone novel. It definitely made me want to go back and read the first books in the series and I am looking forward to it!
Hannah Black had a beautiful life before being kidnapped and tortured all for the futherment of the Imperial government. She has no idea what they want from her. She counts days by scrapping the back of her neck since they cover up her attempts on the wall. The brush of her hair on her face, her blanket and a corner are the little things that are allowing her to hold on to some semblance of sanity. When a man approaches her in her room saying he is going to save her, she clings to the hope and allows him to help her escape.
Vincenz Fardelle is the exiled son of the leader of the Imperialist Universe. Having barely escaped his father, he helps the Federate in their fight against an oppressive regime. After years of doubt, he has won over the people who matter and now is a full member in the Phantom Corp, a group of special soldiers protecting the Federation.
Julian Marsters has only known a hard life, but the Phantom Corp saved him from himself. When his best friend is murdered in the war, he turns into himself almost destroying himself. But Vincenz sees his pain and the two grow close as lovers and friends, becoming a team for the Phantom Corps.
When Vincenz shows up with Hannah, Julian feels a need to protect her from all the harsh realities the healing process will bring. The two men start off with only Hannah's best interest and a brotherly concern to help her heal that grows into a deeper appreciation for her and eventually into passion and love.
While Hannah has been saved, she has endured a lot of pain and sensory deprivation. The healing process could take months or even years, but with the help of a doctor and his experimental treatment, they speed up parts of the healing process to just a two months. As Hannah starts to heal, her personality starts to show to the men. The small two member family grows to three with little hesitation.
When I read about Hannah, I wanted to go in and destroy everyone that hurt her, just like the men. It broke my heart to see the things she had to do to retain a part of herself. A blanket, hair brushing her face, a corner so no one could come at her from the back. She fought hard to retain some part of herself. It was hard to read about, but you see how the men are extremely protective of her. In now way were they inappropriate to her as she was healing. They did speed the healing process because they needed to debrief her and quickly since they were at war. Eventually they do find out why they had detained her.
The depth of the characters was refreshing. It was not a book based totally on sex. Each character had their own demons to overcome. Hannah her center of being, Vincenz being the son of a homicidal dictator and Julian over the loss of his best friend, Marame. The war is ever present as each character had a vested interest to save lives and end the war. There was no one dimension to them. They were caring and hard at the same time.
One thing that confused me was Hannah's need to be dominated during sex. I don't know if this was a symtom of the captivity or if she was submissive before the event. She just took to be restrained very easily, and even to the BDSM elements that were thrown in. While there were scenes for all three of them together, they never breached her anus, which was a relief because I don't think Hannah could have taken that kind of intimacy. A big turn on for this ménage was that the male characters had a relationship. In most it is just the men loving the woman, but here Vincenz and Julian love each other and add Hannah to that love. There was no exclusion. Everyone was involved in a very loving way.
While I loved this entire series, I felt it came to and end very gracefully. It was kind of a let down some of the events in the end, but it all came out in the end. A great series that I will have to re-read in the future as it is always be on my favorite list.
Reviewed by Ann & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
Lauren Dane crafts an emotionally-charged story that brings a broken woman named Hannah Black from the confining net that total isolation by the Imperialist troops have casted over her. Eleven months she was held captive, but when Vincenz Fardelle rescues her from them, readers see the spine of steel hidden beneath the abused woman.
It was easy to like Hannah. Despite being emotionally sensitive, she is a strong woman who does what is necessary to survive and return to her previous state. She undergoes treatment that is uncomfortable for her, but with the help of Vincenz and Julian Marsters, the slow steps they take towards recovery have shown her resilience and a core strength that cannot be denied.
Vincenz and Julian are also great characters that show sympathy and kindness towards Hannah. But they are also very passionate people. It was clearly evident that Vincenz and Julian love each other and Dane does a great job of making that known on the first few pages of this book. Dane then adds Hannah into that mix and it was interesting to see how this protectiveness extended towards her too. I must comment on the sex scenes in this book. Dane incorporates a variety of sex scenes - there are M/M scenes, M/F/M, and M/F scenes. There's a lot of goodness in it, but I know some are more hesitant about M/M scenes so this is a fair warning. For me, this was a perfect balance. I loved that Dane did scenes with Hannah and the men separately as well as together because it shows how well they are together as a threesome.
Again, the world building is interesting and engaging, giving the story a natural push as the war approaches and Hannah takes a more active part in the role. I have to say that I was really impressed by this book and hope to read more from Dane because not only was it emotionally gripping, but it was hella hot too!
*ARC provided by author
I had no idea what I was getting into with this book. I started reading and quickly realized that Julian and Vincenz were a couple, then Hannah entered the scene and I realized I was going to be reading my first menage relationship. That was a surprise, a good one as it turned out.
When Hannah enters the book she is a prisoner, she had been kept in isolation for a year and was tortured during the time. To say she is barely functional and emotionally broken is an understatement. It takes months for her to begin to emerge from that state and as she did I realized how much I loved her character. She is smart, has an endearing vulnerability, and an incredible amount of courage. She's everything I secretly wish I could be.
Vincenz is the one to discover Hannah in the prison. He sees what has been done to this woman and becomes fiercely protective. He's caring but tough, the perfect alpha male. He has a complicated past and had to make some tough choices in order to do the right thing. I love him for that.
Julian came from nothing but managed to overcome his past. He has a tough guy exterior but underneath he is emotionally damaged yet so loving. He doesn't give his love easily but once he gives it he is loyal and protective.
Vincenz and Julian are in a relationship when the book begins. It's a committed, strong and loving relationship. Hannah comes to live with them and in this environment she begins to heal. It's purely a platonic love between the men and Hannah in the beginning and I was thankful for that. It gave Hannah time to heal and the support to do it with no other complications. Strong bonds among all three of them develop and slowly transition into another type of relationship. They all have some personal demons they are trying to work through. It's almost as if they can see and understand the pain the others are feeling and that is what draws them together. I loved how the relationships developed over the course of months and they never felt rushed. At times the relationships seemed to meld together a little too seamlessly but the romance is so hot that it doesn't really matter.
The backdrop of the story involves a war between universes which is fabulous on its own. Vincenz and Julian are soldiers in the war. That helped to integrate the war and romance really well. It introduced the obstacles and challenges the romantic relationship was missing on its own which made the overall story much more interesting.
This is book 3 in the Phantom Corps series and the first one I've read. That made it a little difficult for me to get familiar with the world and the war taking place. The side characters were thrown into the story with no introduction which told me I should have met them in previous books. As much as I enjoyed the book, I know I didn't pick up on everything. I will definitely get book one, read the series in order and then read this book again. I think on the second reading I'll enjoy it even more.