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.
I don’t read blurbs, and while I am familiar with Lauren Dane’s other series like the Brown Siblings and Bound By Magick, this was a new-to-me series. I jumped at the chance to win an ARC of it, and I did! I knew what I was in for, familiar with her other series, and boy was I not let down. And now that I have that over with, let me tell you about Captivated…
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!
More about this series, taken from Lauren Dane’s website: The Federation Series is a futuristic erotic romance series set in different ‘Verses within the Federation and their enemy territory, the Imperial ‘Verses. Each story is a standalone, but there is a story arc spanning the books dealing with the unrest within more democratic Federation territory and a war brewing between the two sides. The mini-series: PHANTOM CORPS focuses on the impending war with the Imperialists as an ultra shadowy special ops team is charge doing whatever they have to to prevent full scale war. Click on the links to learn more about each book below: