Release Date: October 7th 2014
Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Love & Romance, Paranormal, Young Adult
Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.
Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.
Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?
Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.
After reading and enjoying I’LL MEET YOU THERE by the same author, I had to have more of Demetrios’ writing. EXQUISITE CAPTIVE did have the descriptive writing that was easy to fall into from I’LL MEET YOU THERE, but every other aspect couldn’t have been more different.
A romance-centric plot can work. It worked fantastically in THE WRATH AND THE DAWN and A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, particularly because the two still had other elements and the romance itself was enjoyable. It definitely did not work here.
There is a love triangle. It can be argued that it’s not a true love triangle, but due to the main character’s swaying feelings, I think it was. Due to this setup, there was just too much angst, jealously, and confusion. One love interest is abusive and the other, while nice, seemed based on insta-love. Well, hatred then insta-love. Which is still insta-love to me even if she first hated him.
Still, the romance wasn’t even my largest issue with the book. What bothered me the most was the huge focus on materialism and the constant parties. Having brands in books, particularly one like this that is supposed to be fantasy, really takes me out of the story. I understand that there are two worlds and one is modern society but I couldn’t care less about what type of fancy car the characters drive or what brand of suit the love interest wears or how much something costs. Especially when it happens all the time.
I didn’t really connect to the main character, Nalia, that much either. She makes poor decisions and doesn’t seem to learn anything from them. Although I do have sympathy for her because she has been through some hardships, she still came off as somewhat of an immature and hesitant protagonist that doesn’t really do anything, despite the fact that she is “all powerful.”
Add in cringe-worthy moments and some poor attempts at humor, and this one just wasn’t for me, which really was a shame because I enjoyed the author’s contemporary books and this one sounded so good.