He's the most dangerous man she's ever met…and she's falling in love with him.
Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who's present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.
Now she's being held captive by a man who's as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn't know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he's not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.
But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.
"A vulnerable but indomitable heroine and a hero who will haunt your dreams long after the last page. Raw, sexy and unexpectedly tender, Captive is a powerful, gripping story." Kit Rocha, New York Times Bestselling Author
"With character so real I feel like I've known them all my life…a pure, sweet, hot romance. It's a must read!"M. Leighton, New York Times Bestselling Author on Caged In Winter
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.13(d)|
About the Author
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By Brighton Walsh
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 Brighton Walsh
All rights reserved.
Sometimes I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. I'd lie awake in bed, wondering, wishing, hoping that I'd close my eyes and then I just ... wouldn't open them ever again.
Sometimes I wanted to wake up but wake up someone new. Someone different with a different life and a different family in a different city with a different future mapped out for her.
And every morning when I actually did wake up, when I looked around this room that was too grand, too elaborate, too luxurious with its vaulted ceilings and silk curtains and canopied bed, I felt guilty for daring to think like that at all.
No matter how crushing that guilt, though, I couldn't help but feel like I had the weight of the world on my twenty-year-old shoulders. And then I felt like a spoiled brat—like I personified every cruel, hate-filled whisper uttered about me by people who were never really my friends—because I thought of all those who had it so much worse than I did. Of those who maybe had an absent, workaholic father and a lush of a mother, but who were living my life in a one-bedroom apartment on the south side instead of the mansion in Kenilworth I called home. Maybe they were completely alone, fighting with the demons of their life, and as much as I hated that others sometimes had to help, the fact of the matter was there were others around if I needed them. People my father employed, people who were paid to keep their mouths shut and forever keep hidden the secrets behind these walls.
I wasn't truly alone.
But I always felt like I was.
I sighed and glanced at my alarm clock, seeing I had an hour before I needed to be out the door to make it to my first class on time. It never took me long to get ready—I'd learned long ago not to bother much with my appearance—but the other responsibilities I had always ate up a good chunk of time. I threw back the covers and forced myself out of bed, robotically going through my morning routine.
Once I was showered, my hair brushed out straight and left to air-dry, I rummaged through my clothes to find something I wouldn't feel self-conscious in all day, though I knew that was futile. No matter what I wore, the judgmental whispers of my subconscious would crowd my head. I finally settled on a pair of jeans and a shirt I hoped was flowy enough to distract from all the parts of me I wanted to hide.
I slipped my MacBook into my messenger bag and slung it over my shoulder, tugging at the hem of my shirt, trying in vain to make it a little longer, a little looser. I didn't know why I let any of this bother me. I could show up to my classes wearing a potato sack and no one would bat an eye. I wasn't someone people paid attention to, and I simultaneously reveled in and begrudged that fact.
My door clicked shut behind me, and I walked down the long hallway and across the catwalk until I got to my parents' wing of the house. I knew before I opened the master bedroom door what I would find, but I never failed to hope for something different every time I reached for the doorknob.
The overwhelming stench of alcohol filled the stuffy room, the heavy curtains all drawn closed to cloak it in near-blackness. The light from the hallway illuminated a path so I could see inside. My parents' bed was obnoxious in its grandeur, the massive, dark wood four-poster frame standing prominently in the middle of the room. Expensive linens made of silk and Egyptian cotton lay crumpled in heaps on top of the mattress, no doubt concealing my passed out mother.
I dropped my bag by the door and shuffled inside, cleaning up the scattered things I found along the way. Just because my father employed people to do this didn't mean they should be subjected to my mother's complete disregard for anyone else. She didn't care what she left in her wake or who had to clean it up. All she cared about was getting drunk enough to escape her life for a little while. The day I found vomit all over the Persian rug below their bed was the day I decided no one else needed to see this and took it upon myself to clean up after her.
The empty bottles I gathered from the nightstand—she didn't even bother with a glass anymore—clinked together as I tossed them in the trash. I wasn't concerned with being quiet, of masking my presence. I knew from experience nothing short of a bomb going off would wake her until she was good and ready.
I shuffled back over to the bed, adjusting the blankets so she wouldn't suffocate under the piles. As I pulled on the bed coverings, expecting to come across the slumped form of my mother passed out in all her splendor, I found nothing but rumpled sheets and heaps of blankets. My eyes darted to every corner of the room, even though I'd already walked through the entire space picking up after her. I knew she wasn't in here, and my anxiety spiked, my heartbeat thumping against my chest so loudly, I swore I could hear it in the too-quiet room.
By the time I noticed the light spilling out from the closed door of the en suite bathroom, every worry I'd had this morning, every anticipation of what I might find when I got in here, had flown through my mind, and my palms grew sweaty at the possibilities. In all the years I'd been checking on her in the mornings, I'd been greeted with this sight too many times—an empty bedroom, a closed bathroom door, and God knew what beyond it. My stomach churned as the memory of the last time came to me unbidden, when she'd nearly drowned because she'd passed out in the bathtub and was frozen to the bone from being in there for hours before I had found her.
Anxiety clawed at my insides as I reached for the handle, not bothering to knock before attempting to turn the knob. Locked. Of course. Knocking several times, my fist slamming harder with each pass, I worked to keep my voice level. "Mom, open the door." I waited for several moments before I pressed my ear to the solid wood, hoping to hear something, rattling the knob as I tried it again. Louder this time, my voice shaking, I said, "Mom! This isn't funny. Open up."
When I heard no movement on the other side, my instincts kicked in, forcing me away and toward her freestanding jewelry chest against the far wall of their bedroom. Last time I'd had to break into the bathroom, I'd hidden a key in here, in a drawer I knew she never went in, because I'd always known that wouldn't be the last time I'd be in this situation.
Once I had the cold metal clutched tightly in my shaky hand, I rushed back to the closed door, steadying myself enough to fit the key in the lock, and pushed through into the bathroom.
The scene before me was too much to take in at once, my eyes flitting to every corner as I absorbed what I was seeing. Prescription bottles littered the countertop, the tub was filled to the brim with water, some having spilled over to the floor, and my mom was collapsed in a heap in the middle of the pristine white marble tiles, her hair obscuring her face, her legs bent at an odd angle.
"Mom ..." I couldn't help the shakiness of my voice as I rushed to her side, slipping on the flooded floor in my haste to get to her. I crashed down hard on the tiles, but I barely felt the pain radiating up from my knees. I grabbed her, probably harsher than I should have, and brushed her hair back from her face. A bold slash of red broke up the weathered skin of her forehead, the blood in the gash long since dried, the skin around it already bruising. "Oh, God. Mom!"
I leaned down, pressing my ear to her chest, and prayed to feel it rise and fall with her breath. In those brief seconds I waited for confirmation, I hated myself. Hated every bad thought I'd had in my twenty years—every time I'd wished to be alone, wished to be born into a different family, wished to be anywhere but here. Even though logically I knew it wasn't my fault, I couldn't help that whisper from creeping up and making me wonder if my harsh thoughts had somehow caused this to happen.
After concentrating, I finally felt her chest rise and fall, albeit shallowly, against my ear. I slumped against the wall, pulling her head into my lap, uncaring of the cold water from the overflowed tub as it seeped into the back of my jeans.
I let my head fall to the wall and closed my eyes, exhaling for the first time in what felt like a year. She was fine. Everything was fine. It was all going to be fine.
Except it wasn't. This was the norm—this crazy, screwed-up morning was the start of just another day in the life of Madison Frost. Daughter to one of the most prominent businessmen in Chicago, who didn't have time for anyone but shareholders and CEOs, and a woman who loved vodka more than she loved her only child.
Sister to no one.
Friend to no one.
Confidante to no one.
And though there were no doubt half a dozen people milling about in the house, I felt how I always did.
Completely and utterly alone.CHAPTER 2
My fear got the better of me, and the tears I fought hard to keep at bay clogged my throat, making my voice shaky as I called out for our longtime housekeeper, the only other person I could trust to see something like this.
By the time Sylvia came rushing in, my throat was scratchy from yelling for her, my body exhausted. Her eyes were wide, taking in everything, and I looked up at her, feeling like I was ten years old again and completely lost. Except I wasn't. Of course I wasn't. I'd done this before. I'd been in this situation a dozen times, and I knew the drill by now. Clearing my throat a couple times, I swallowed and attempted to make my voice even. "Can you help me clean her up?"
Her eyes, solemn and full of pity, landed on me. "Oh, Maddie. What happened?" She stepped carefully inside to avoid slipping on the wet tiles and knelt in front of me.
"I don't know. I found her on the floor. I think she must've slipped and cracked her head on the vanity."
Sylvia tenderly touched the broken skin on my mother's forehead, then moved to stand. "I'll be right back. We'll get her fixed up and moved to the bed."
She was back before I could blink, all the supplies she needed clutched in her arms along with a few fresh towels. With some cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide, she made quick work of cleaning up the cut, making it look less ghastly in the blink of an eye. "It doesn't look too deep. I don't think she'll need stitches."
She glanced up at me, and a thousand things were spoken between us in those few seconds. She knew as well as I did that going to the hospital was only to be a last resort. Heaven forbid we show the public anything less than perfection, especially when my father was finessing a buyout.
As I sat, staring off into space, Sylvia got my mom situated with little help from me. She pulled away the soaking wet robe clinging to her petite frame, toweled her off, and redressed her in a dry nightshirt.
"Okay, do you think you can help me lift her to the bed?"
Numbly, I nodded. It wouldn't be a problem. My mom weighed all of a hundred pounds—as if our differences weren't already glaringly obvious, it was just another reminder how we were polar opposites.
Once she was settled back in the now neatly made-up bed—Sylvia must've straightened out the crumpled bedding when I'd zoned out—she continued to sleep peacefully, as if she hadn't tipped my whole world upside down with her behavior. I stared at her, hating her more than words could say, knowing all the while my love for her held me prisoner.
She looked haggard, her mouth hanging open, the fine lines on her face showing her to be so much older than the forty-three years she was. She used to be pretty. In my childhood, I remember her as this gorgeous, glowing woman with her long, blonde hair, her bright blue eyes, and her free-flowing smiles. The antithesis of everything I was. My hair, my eyes, even my build came from my father. Where she was rays of sunshine, I was a slab of concrete. As if I didn't feel enough of a freak for being so much younger than everyone in my class, so much smarter than everyone in my class, they made sure to remind me just how different I was from my beautiful mother.
Except she wasn't beautiful anymore. Her hair, once shiny and lush, had turned lackluster and brittle. Her eyes, once always sparkling, had grown tired and dull. Her smiles had come less and less frequently until I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen one. It seemed like it'd always been like this—like she'd always been like this, even though I knew that wasn't true. It never used to be this bad. And I didn't know what made everything change.
Sylvia's soft voice interrupted my reverie. "I'm sorry, honey. I hate that you have to do this. You shouldn't have to do this."
I shook my head before the words were even out of her mouth, because really ... if I didn't do this, who would?
She heaved a deep sigh and stood beside the bed. "Maddie, how many times am I going to have to help you with this? How many times will it take before you get out? Before you go off and live your life?"
"When my father is here enough to take care of his wife."
She scoffed. "Is that your plan, then? To stay here for the rest of your life? Because you and I both know your father's wife is his business, and your mother is second place. She has been for a long time. He's not going to be here to look after her any more than I'm going to fly to Paris tomorrow."
"I can't just leave, Sylvia. I can't leave her behind. She's my mother."
Her voice was barely above a whisper and beseeching as she said, "She left you a long time ago, Maddie. And now she's draining the life from you. I wish you could see it. I wish I could say something to make you see it."
I turned away from her, from the desperate eyes pleading with me to see her point of view.
But I did. I saw it. Every day, every morning when I woke up dreading my life, when I walked down the hall and checked on my mother, every night when I put my earbuds in to drown out her drunken escapades. I saw it and yet I was helpless to stop it, trapped in a life I never wanted because I loved someone who didn't love me back.
* * *
Since I was already late for my first class, I took my time as I peeled off my wet jeans and changed into dry clothes. With my mother tucked safely in bed, none the wiser of the scare she'd given me, the overwhelming sense of resentment I'd been pushing away hit me like a tidal wave, washing over me until I was nearly consumed by it. The hate I'd felt guilty for not even an hour ago was back in full force, and this time, I didn't attempt to stop it.
Sylvia was right. Just like she'd been right the dozens of times before when she'd told me the same thing. I shouldn't have to do this, and I hated that I was the one who did. That my father slept in another room most nights and never bothered to check on his wife before he left for work. That I was the one who had to walk over every morning, feel for the pulse in her neck to make sure she was still alive, that she hadn't died of alcohol poisoning or choked on her own vomit or drowned in the bathtub. That she hadn't slipped on the wet floor of the bathroom and cracked her head open on the corner of the vanity.
I resented both of them for everything I sacrificed in my life because of their selfishness. That I never made friends easily because I was too embarrassed and ashamed to bring anyone home to see my mother in all her drunken glory, dancing on coffee tables or singing too loudly to music better suited for a strip club. That I couldn't go away to school, to start a new life somewhere else, because despite how much I hated her and the mockery she made of my life, I still loved her, and I wasn't sure anyone else would look after her the way I did. I knew no one would.
I'd give up the too-large home, the fancy electronics, the drivers and chefs and housekeepers if I could just have a moment—one single moment—of an ordinary life. Where I could be a carefree college student whose only worry was passing her next exam.
Excerpted from Captive by Brighton Walsh. Copyright © 2015 Brighton Walsh. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't really even know what to say except that I loved this one. LOL. I knew I would because it's Brighton, but I will admit, I originally had some hesitancy about it. I wasn't sure I would enjoy the captive/captor relationship. It seems a bit sadistic and I'm not really into those dark, twisted romances. Rest assured my friends. Brighton makes this WORK. There was never a time where I felt uncomfortable by the direction this book was taking. I think this is in large part due to the fact that we get Ghost's point of view as well as Madison's. We get to see his thoughts and what he's feeling in regards to the situation. He is NOT a bad guy at all. Sure, he kidnapped a girl for money, but he has his reasons for doing it. Honestly? I was glad he did it. Madison broke my heart in just the first couple of chapters. She isn't living. Her life isn't a life at all. For being so young (20), she hasn't experienced so many things and I hated that for her. She's a sweet, selfless girl and it wasn't right that she was put in the position she was. While I liked Madison, I did have trouble remembering her age. She seemed so much younger than she was, so when THINGS started happening it almost felt wrong until I remembered she was plenty old enough. She has a backbone though which was awesome. I love that she wasn't some simpering damsel in distress. While Ghost may call her 'Princess', he really couldn't be more wrong. She has steel in her veins and I liked that. She wasn't perfect though. She is human and Walsh does highlight her insecurities, which only ended up endearing her to me even more. Oh Ghost. I am so in love with that man. He is so much more than meets the eye and I loved that. He has depth and I liked watching Madison unravel him. He made assumptions about her and stereotyped her because of her family, so I loved when she showed him who she really was and he started to understand that the two of them might not come from such different worlds after all. Their chemistry is SMOKING HOT. Oh my goodness. I knew Brighton could write sexy scenes, but good grief these were off the charts. The kissing alone was enough to melt me into a puddle. I give mad props to Brighton for crafting such well developed kissing scenes! So many romances just gloss over them and forget the true power a really good kiss can hold. I had a few theories as to who Ghost was working for and one of them was correct, but it was still intriguing to find out the WHY behind it all. The tension between Ghost and Madison was so spot on. I loved it. It was hard to watch Ghost deal with his conflicting feelings, but completely necessary at the same time. I am really excited that the next book will be about his brother Riley! I love the blurb for Exposed already! So, yeah. I definitely loved this one. Oh and for those of you like me who don't like characters with strange names... you do find out Ghost's true identity, so don't worry about that. This is one super sexy read and I already can't wait to reread it!
Captive By Brighton Walsh Madison Frost is a good daughter. She takes care of her alcoholic mother and attends the local college so that she can always be near her family. Her family is wealthy; her father’s real family is his business; he is never home. . She has practically been raised by her housekeeper, Sylvia. She feels like an outsider; she has no friends and she is ridiculed and called hurtful names like ugly and fat. Those words have always made her feel that way. Her entire life is monotonous, never ever changing, with no excitement. Until one day, she is kidnapped and held captive, forced to fight for her life. She will struggle between her growing feelings for her captor and her own sense of survival. Ghost is the hired muscle who kidnaps Madison from college. He takes the job to kidnap the rich girl for an easy pay day. It is supposed to be a quick kidnapping, hold for one night and return her home, safe and sound. When plans change and he is forced to stay with her longer, little by little, she will confront him, causing him to question everything about himself and his life. The spoiled rich girl is not the person he kidnapped and her captivity will cause him to examine his lifestyle. My thoughts: I liked this book. I was concerned it was going to be more about the victim who falls in love with her kidnapper; but I was pleased that is was not that transparent. Ghost is used to being obeyed and she challenges him. Madison may be a rich girl, but her life is full of heartbreaking drama taking care of her alcoholic mother and living with an absent father. She is strong and she is smart and finds ways to show that she will not just stand by and be a victim. She takes matters into her own hands. She is a strong, willful, female lead. Disclosure: I was provided an ARC from in exchange for an honest review.
Dark romance books are, in my opinion, a difficult genre to do well. They can really go into “too much” territory when it comes to violence and that I am not a fan of. When done well, though, they can make you sympathetic towards a character that you have every reason to hate and that is when the genre really shines. Madison is from a wealthy family, and she seems to have it all. But really, she’s lonely and in a gilded cage. Her father is a workaholic, her mother is an alcoholic and Madison is at rock bottom. Then she gets kidnapped and it changes her whole world. She is taken to a cabin in the middle of nowhere by a man named Ghost. He’s a professional criminal and is doing this job just for the dough, but this job turns into more than he could have anticipated. Ghost has some surprising redeeming qualities. He’s a criminal, sure, but kidnapping women has never been something he was willing to do…until now. He and Madison find that they have a lot in common and what I really liked about Ghost was just how incredibly real he came across. These kinds of books have a really tendency to go way far out into lala land when it comes to the leading men, but I found Ghost to be troubled, sure, but he’s not actually a bad guy. I also really liked the buildup between Ghost and Madison. It was slow and it really worked for me. It built anticipation and overall I thought this was a fantastic read and a great addition to the captor/captive dark romance. Give it a try! 4 stars. Reviewed by Sara Squared for Crystal’s Many Reviewers *Copy provided for review*
As the popularity of captive-theme books have been on the rise the past few years, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Captive – a dark romance, a Stockholm syndrome romance, a romantic suspense, or a poorly executed story because the author couldn’t pick a direction. Ms. Walsh had no problem with her execution of Captive and delivered a well-written new adult romance that actually showed how two people can be trapped in similar situations despite huge disparities in their socioeconomic status. Captive is not a dark romance nor is the relationship that develops between Madison and Gage (aka Ghost) the result of Stockholm syndrome, and while there is a bit of suspense regarding who is behind Madison’s kidnapping, it is ultimately a romance. From the outside, it looks as though Maddie leads a charmed life as the daughter of a wealthy businessman. But the reader learns almost immediately that Maddie’s life is not as perfect as it appears when she discovers her mother passed out drunk on the bathroom floor and it’s clear it’s not the first time Maddie has faced the prospect that her mother didn’t survive her night of drinking. As his corporation is more important than his family, Maddie’s father is of no help and she must call on Sylvia, their housekeeper, to help with her mother. Despite her family’s wealth, the only person in Maddie’s life that cares about her is Sylvia and she’s paid to be there, and that just made me feel sad for Maddie. I must admit that even knowing that Maddie was going to be kidnapped, I really didn’t expect it to occur so soon in the book. After all, the girl had a craptastic morning and to have her day end with being kidnapped just seemed to be too much for anyone to have to deal with. But I will say she handled it far better than I would have expected, especially when faced with the outright intimidating Ghost, particularly when she attempted to escape. One of the things I enjoyed about Captive is that it is told from both Maddie and Gage’s points of view and having access to Gage’s inner thoughts helped a LOT because knowing that he had no interest in harming her made it easier to enjoy watching the romance unfold. Because we’re looking at a captor-captive relationship, there are no grand gestures or slow seductions that we would see in a typical romance, but rather it is the simple acts of human kindness on Gage’s part that leads the affection-starved Maddie to look beyond the tattoos, muscles, and cold eyes to the man inside – the man whose actions cause her to feel safe. I appreciated that there were no proclamations of love from either party after being together for only a few days; rather they spoke of connections, feeling safe, and feeling protected. There is a definite suspense element to the storyline as Gage refuses to tell Maddie who is behind her kidnapping but it is not the driving theme of the book and although I didn’t consider it predictable, I did have a very strong suspicion as to who the responsible party was before the reveal confirmed it. Captive is a fast-paced read with a bit of action, a bit of suspense, just the right amount of sexy fun times, and a whole lot of romance. It was a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Exposed, for Riley’s story. I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!
Wow. *shakes head* I’m still reeling from this book, so it’s a little hard for me to put my thoughts into words. I had heard of Brighton Walsh, but had never read one of her books. When I first heard of this book, it felt a little nervous. When I was young, I had this irrational fear of being kidnapped. I was terrified of it. I’m not really sure why, since I never knew anyone that was. I guess it was the whole Stranger Danger stuff they pushed on us so forcefully in school. Either way, I’ve always been a bit hesitant reading about the topic. On top of that, I was worried about a Stockholm Syndrome type of feel. Since I chose not to fully read the synopsis and just go into this story based solely on others’ recommendations, I was honestly a bit hesitant, but excited at the same time. And what a WIN this book was! Captive starts off pretty intense, and right from the first chapter my eyes were as big as saucers and I was flipping those pages so fast. I even had to tweet Nick and Danielle all of my “OMG!”s and “GEEZ”s and “WHOA!”s! Yeah, I was quickly impressed and knew this was a book I was going to love. First we meet Madison, who’s our stereotypical naive rich girl, living the life. She’s got money and brains. Yet her home life is anything but perfect. With a father who is rarely around and a mother who spends her time either working or passed out from drugs and alcohol, Madison is left feeling alone and unloved. The last thing she expects is to be kidnapped and held hostage at an undisclosed place for an undisclosed period of time. *cringe* My most favorite this about Captive was that we didn’t only get Madison’s point of view… we also were able to get into the mind of the captor, Ghost. (Creepy, right?!) This was such a fantastic addition. And let me tell you, Ghost will surprise you. I thought there was no reason I would ever like this guy… but trust me, he’ll weasel his way into your little heart. All of a sudden… BAM! You love him. I guess some would say this is your typical NA book with broken characters, etc. But honestly, that’s why I love NA so much. So for me, this book was pretty close to perfect. It reminded me quite a bit of the Burying Water series by K.A. Tucker. It had that same level of intensity and pain of the characters, but also included the steamy, hot encounters we all love so much. Brighton Walsh really impressed me with her writing and story line. I’ll DEFINITELY be reading more by her. This book completely blew my mind. I didn’t expect to read it in the first place, and once I started it, I had no idea I was going to be as invested in it as I was. This is one of those “gems” that gets overlooked, for whatever reason. For the life of me, I have NO IDEA why more people aren’t reading this book. I, myself, didn’t know anything about it until I read Nick’s review. And from that point forward, I wanted to read it. So when I was emailed about the blog tour, my immediate response was YES! I will now make it my goal this month to get the word out about Captive. This book MUST BE READ!! And, oh my, then I find out there’s a book 2! Though we all know I DO NOT like series, my one and only exception is companion novels. And guess what… Exposed is a companion!! I’m definitely looking forward to getting my hands on Exposed asap. So I’ll end it with this… READ THIS BOOK! Thank you. *cheesy grin*
This isn't the first time I've read a book with a similar setup, but this is one of the best of the bunch. Everything about Captive, ahem, captivated me. The characters are what made this book so special for me. I related to Madison immediately. No, I didn't grow up a rich girl in a dysfunctional family, but it didn't matter. Her self-esteem issues and need to put others in front of her own well-being are things I understand well. Ghost/Gage was incredible in his own right. He might have been tough on the outside, but he was caring, protective and sweet underneath. I adored them at the beginning, but felt so much more for them at the end. Their character growth was wonderful. As fantastic as Madison and Ghost/Gage were on their own, together they were that much better. I loved how, despite their unconventional situation, they bonded with each other easily. The more they got to know each other and realized they weren't quite as dissimilar as they might have thought. While from different sides of the track, so to speak, they both knew what it was like to be abandoned by their parents. The situations were different, of course, but the outcome still the same. Watching them open up to each other and truly begin to trust and care for each other was one of my favorite things about this book. And, most of all, I loved how their time together shaped each of their futures. I might not have cried during this book, but that doesn't mean there weren't plenty of feels. The sexual tension and eventually romance was swoony and sexy. (And, my word, their encounters were HOT.) I enjoyed the added suspense and unexpected twists and turns that kept me on my toes. I definitely finished this book with a big, goofy grin on my face. I'm just gonna go ahead and add Brighton Walsh to my "can do no wrong" author list. I fell head over heels for her characters and storytelling in her Caged in Winter series and the same happened here with Madison and Ghost/Gage. While I'm anxiously awaiting her future books, I'll be working her backlist into my reading schedule. She's absolutely one of my go-to authors now. If you're not reading her, you're missing out. Is it time for Riley's book, Exposed, yet? I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
5 stars So many feels... I loved Captive! He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him. Captive is one of those books you can't put down, I read it in one sitting. Loved the characters and the storyline held my attention from beginning to end. Madison has dealt with so much in her short life and anyone looking at her would have no any idea what she goes through everyday. An alcoholic mother who doesn't know what day it is, a father who leaves notes because he can't take a few mins out of his busy work day to talk to his only child and the pressure of portraying a happy family to the outside world. Madison was such a strong, lovable and relatable character. I really connected with her. Her insecurities about her body and self doubts made me want to reach into my iPad to give her a hug. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen. I never imagined I would fall in love with a kidnapper. I loved reading Ghost's POV. We got to see what drove this quiet, tattooed man to live the life he's living. Ghost had a horrible home life, to escape the abuse and to provide his younger brother with a better future he's made some tough choices. While not proud of his profession at the time he needed to make money to provide food and a roof over their heads. I enjoyed seeing these two connect and slowly open up. They had amazing chemistry and while they came from different social worlds their childhood pasts drew them together finding comfort and inner peace, something they've never felt before. I loved how the author Brighton Walsh took the time to bring this story together, there was no quick HEA and riding off into the sunset. Her characters needed to find themselves and make some serious life changes before getting their HEA. While this book is darker than previous books I've read by Brighton Walsh I loved it and I highly recommend it.
Just read it for the second time after a few yrs. I must say the only offensive thing about it, and many books I’ve read, is using the name of Jesus Christ as a curse. Very insulting. Four letter words don’t bother me. But as a Christian, I don’t think using God’s name adds anything to the storyline.
Just good enough for a simple read.
Everything I have read by this author has blown me away. I loved Caged in Winter and Tessa Ever After. Both are just so darn good. But this one is a totally different animal. It's not a normal kinda love story. And I must admit to being a bit nervous about reading it. After all, how do you fall in love with someone holding you against your will? Yeah, about that. It's pretty darn easy to do when the guy is Ghost (I would call him his real name, but I'm feeling like you should learn that for yourself). He may be holding her captive but the reasons why he took the job broke my heart. And as he learns to respect and care for her, his protective side has me all kinds of tingly. And lets just say that being kidnapped may have been the best thing that ever happened to this girl. Madison's life has sucked for a very long time. Homeschooled and struggling socially, she has an image issue. She's prisoner to her circumstances. Only the housekeeper seems to ever care about this girl. So sad to be surrounded by money but none of it doing one bit of good. It certainly wasn't buying her family any happiness. The full story of who and why was a puzzle that I had figured out most of but how that knowledge would effect Madison and Ghost was a bit of surprise. I wanted to step into the book and stop some of the pain before it happened. I saw the train wreck coming. I just had to hold on and keep reading. Because I needed a happy for these two. They deserved it so much. This story is different. It's compelling and addictive. I gobbled it up in an evening. But with so much New Adult out there to choose from these days, it had to find what to choose. I recommend anything by this author. She has NA down.
This could have been awesome.. But it just wasn't. Madison became boring to me. Didn't feel the connection between Ghost/Gage and Madison. He really did not seem to do anything to protect them. Book fell short for me.