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.
For the most part, I’m not much of a fan of futuristic romances that are set in space. However, Lauren Dane’s Federation and Phantom Corps series (which are related) held my attention right from the start with compelling characters and a highly engaging plot about civil war in the universe. When Lauren Dane offered up review copies of “Captivated,” I jumped at the opportunity to win one. I couldn’t wait to read about Vincenz, Julian and Hannah. And boy did Lauren Dane deliver a winner. The emotional romance brought tears to my eyes, and the end to the civil war was wonderfully satisfying.
Vincenz Fardelle (who happens to be the son of the villain) and Julian Marsters have been an established couple throughout this series. This fact definitely made me wonder about their story. What could Dane do to make theirs a compelling happily ever after? I should never have wondered because her solution came in the form of Hannah Black, a woman that Vincenz rescues on one of his missions.
Hannah had been taken hostage and thrown into a cell. She had no human contact while incarcerated and was punished when she tried to keep track of how long she had been held. By the time Vincenz rescues her, Hannah has been badly traumatized both mentally and physically. Vincenz becomes her savior, and she can’t bear to be parted from him.
Vincenz takes Hannah to his home, the one he shares with Julian. Fortunately, Hannah takes to Julian just as quickly – this may have something to do with the fact that she sees the two together and is calmed by their intimate relationship. As they two men help Hannah heal and recover her memories, the three start to bond becoming a strong unit. While she is a bit confused by the attraction that she begins to feel for both Vincenz and Julian, she soon learns that they both return those feelings.
One of the things that I loved best about “Captivated,” is the way that Lauren Dane develops the relationship among the three characters. Hannah is very fragile and close to being broken at the beginning of the book, and I would have had a hard time believing in the romance if the three had moved too quickly. But Dane gives the three time to bond before they get intimate.
And Hannah blossoms under the love of Vincenz and Julian, becoming a stronger woman who wants to be a part of Vincenz and Julian’s missions – especially since they involve going after her kidnappers. It isn’t easy for her to do and she does falter, but she has a wonderful inner strength on which she can rely. Overall, Hannah is a fantastic character. She tugged at my heartstrings from the beginning and brought life to Vincenz and Julian’s already established relationship.
The other aspect of this book that captured my attention is the resolution of the war that the Phantom Corps have been fighting throughout the series. It has been a long and devastating battled against the Fardelle family. Admittedly, I wasn’t quite prepared for Vincenz’ ultimate role in this, but I was convinced by the time I was done reading. Well played Lauren Dane, well played!
While outer space is one of my least favorite venues for romance, Lauren Dane has more than proved to me that it can work splendidly. In “Captivated,” Dane delivers an unputdownable erotic romance. The intimate moments that Vincenz, Julian and Hannah share are beyond hot and add so much to the threesome’s developing relationship. If this is the last book of the Phantom Corps series, then Dane is ending it on the highest possible note. This book (and the whole series) is erotic romance at is best.
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Book Disclosure: A book was provided by the author.