I found it very difficult to review this one. The storyline was gripping but I found that the content left me more than a little horrified at times. So, the difficulty lies in writing a review without revealing or giving too much away. This is a story that will not only hold your attention and have you flying through the pages it will also make you feel heart sore, uneasy, sickened and overwhelmingly sad. But, then at times a little sunlight pokes its way through and makes for such a fantastic read that I found I was still so much involved with the characters that I was still thinking about them long after I’d turned the last page.
Hostage is the second book in this series, but I think it can be read as a stand-alone, even though the characters are repeated only some of the story from Grayson and Abby comes through. Stone is the leader of the crew but when Grayson is framed, he starts searching for answers and finds some in an alley. Brooke trying to be a good honest citizen steps forward to stop Stone beating this poor man in the alley but gets herself kidnapped as well. Story spans over a four year period but a definite must read and the ending was unexpected, I’m not sure if there will be more books in this series, I was hoping there would be but who knows.
So let me start with this is freaking amazing! So well written, amazing character development and emotional depth. The story is dark and full of horror, while angst and true love blossoms in unlikely places.
The anti hero is dark and dangerous(the way I like it) and has me rooting for him even after all the bad things he does.
The heroine is put in scary places and still manages to find beauty and hope in her captor.
I can’t recommend this book enough. It was simply amazing and I’m glad I came across it.
Hostage had me hooked from the first few chapters and I read this in a day, simply could not put it down. Upon finishing I have already purchased Prisoner which explains Grayson and Abby who we meet towards the end of this story.
One favourite component of this story is the relationship of the men living at The Bradford Hotel. What a harrowing way to grow up and their bond and sense of family was one of my favourite parts.
The first half is a slow build to the secrets and realizations of the background story. As the story builds in relation to the retribution, the characters develop and you get a sense there are more connections.
The interactions between Stone and Brooke take place over a few years. Given their age difference, it is interesting to following the development. Consequently, In the end, it is built honestly and in a believable manner.
Brooke & Stone’s sexual moments are built slowly in line with the innocence and done respectfully but provide great heat and anticipation.
Many characters at the beginning will evolve and have you second-guessing your instincts and perceptions, it will make you think. Detective Rivera and Brooke’s dad were two surprising standouts that forced me to change my beliefs.
Hostage left me satisfied with the outcome for Brooke, Stone and their extended family.
Finally, if you enjoyed The Endgame series by this author you will enjoy Hostage like I did.
Hostage is book 2 in the Criminal & Captives series, but can be read as a standalone and I haven't read book 1, Prisoner, yet but rest assured I will definitely check that out soon. I love sinking my teeth into dark romances every now and then, I love being taken out of my comfort zone and perhaps even be a little disturbed. Hostage wasn’t as dark as I was expecting, but I still really enjoyed the plot, characters and dark elements contained within.
Most sixteen year old girls want nothing more than to bask in the glory of their big birthday party and celebrate with family and friends. Brooke’s birthday bash was not like that at all, it consisted of constantly disappointing her parents, starvation in order to keep up appearances (fitting into a second hand designer gown two sizes two small), suffocation and bouts of anxiety.
In an attempt to escape her party and get some much needed air, Brooke witnesses a man being beaten to a bloody pulp. Knowing she can’t just stand there and do nothing, watching a man die right in front of her very eyes, she attempts to intervene with dire consequences. She becomes a hostage.
“I look up at him. His face is cast in shadows by the moon. Demonic. Unforgiving. I wonder how I look to him, down on the ground in a dirty alley.”
Stone Keaton is on a quest, a quest for revenge. He is bitter, angry and wants nothing more than to torment and kill the people responsible for holding himself, and his brothers captive in a basement. Stone however did not anticipate a sixteen year old girl witnessing him maim and kill.
Stone did what he felt he had to do in order to protect himself and his crew, he abducted the witness to his brutality, sixteen year old Brooke. What Stone didn’t expect though was that he would take her down to the river, scare her and then let her go free. She was a witness to his violent crime and witnesses need to be kept silent, don’t they?
From their first horrific encounter, Brooke proceeded to consume Stone’s every thought. He became a man obsessed and would risk everything just to be near her.
“I’ve never felt so helpless, so alone. I’m a sacrifice, kneeling at the feet of a beautiful, brutal demon.”
One of the things I loved most about this story was the dynamic way the characters interacted with each other. Two different worlds that collided with each other, with catastrophic outcomes. I loved the way they interacted and dealt with their feelings along with all of the events happening around them.
This was my first Skye Warren and Annika Martin story and I really enjoyed it. I will definitely be diving in for more. The intensity and hot chemistry worked. I was a little worried at first with whether they could pull off such a dark vengeful character with a traumatic past and young privileged elitist who has been taught image is everything. Well, I can tell you that that they did pull it off, because the plot line worked as did the characters and their well thought out development. The mix of dark themes like, brutality and violence, along with romance was meshed really well together and I can’t wait to see what this dynamic duo come up with next.
Hostage swept me up into Stone and Brooke’s world of secrets and lies from the very first page. I was consumed by the violent hunt for mysterious men. Intrigued by sweet innocent yet very broken Brooke. But mostly I was in awe of Stone and everything about him. His character was undoubtedly the stand out. Crafted in a way that shined through and complimented what appears to have been a carefully constructed tale. Every facet of his character was brought to life on the pages in front of me and I appreciated every moment of Skye Warren and Annika Martin’s brilliant storytelling.
Hostage left no rock unturned; no detrimental mystery unsolved which I’m grateful for. The first time I read Prisoner, (Grayson and Abby’s story and the first standalone novel in the series) I found myself with unanswered questions I had hoped would have been addressed before the end of the novel. I’m so glad to be able to say that isn’t the case this time around. Stone and Brooke really brought this series full circle in regards to the major plot line filling the pages of both Prisoner and Hostage. Will we see more of the other brothers in future novels? I definitely hope so. In Hostage and also Prisoner, Skye and Annika divulge enough fragments into the lives of Stone’s brothers to have you craving more of them, that’s for sure.
While I breathed every moment of Hostage like I was right there with Stone and his brothers when they were blood thirsty, or Brooke and her overbearing parents. I can’t say I finished Hostage thinking, “Oh my god! I loved it all!” Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the story in its entirety. I mean, is it even possible to not feel strongly about a Skye Warren novel? I wouldn’t know. Her stories always provoke a lot of feeling from me. BUT… yes, here’s the but. I personally struggled to connect with Brooke and believe in Brooke and Stone’s connection. Shock horror. I know. If it’s one thing Skye Warren is amazing at it’s building an undeniable connection between her characters. This took me by surprise too. I will say this, it definitely wasn’t because of the age gap or the fact Brooke was sixteen when her and Stone first met. I struggled believing in our unlikely couple because I couldn’t fully understand why Stone was so drawn to Brooke. With Brooke, I got it. But early on in the story this wasn’t portrayed with words or actions that led me to believe in Stone’s strong feelings for Brooke.
The only other reason to bring my rating down is I felt the ending was rushed. Maybe I’m being selfish because I simply didn’t want the book to end. I could live in this world with Stone, Grayson and their brothers forever. (Skye, Annika: I’ll take a room at the Bradford, thanks!) But personally, I felt the tying up of lose ends and everything coming full circle, overshadowed the romance and happily ever after for Stone and Brooke as a couple. Everything towards the end happened so fast, rather than unfolding like the rest of the story. And as I said, I’m selfish and wanted more words, more romance and well, just more. But you know what, you might love that ending. And if you’ve read and loved Skye or Annika’s work before you should definitely dive into Hostage because it’s so them. The vivid storytelling. The twisted mysteries. The men you should probably hate but can’t help but love. And let’s not forget their strong women.
Skye and Annika have once again delivered the goods in the form of an unlikely family on a path of revenge and one girl who could change everything for them.
Oh wow this book was everything that I expected and then some. We follow Brooke, raised with privilege, decorum and a social upstanding that is requested of her at all times. On her sweet 16th birthday her whole world is turned upside down.
Stone, a man with absolutely nothing to lose. He was "broken" a long time ago (as a child), in a dark and dingy basement with other kids that he refers to as his brothers and he would done anything to protect them. Out for venengence one night he stumbles upon Brooke in a dark alley, getting some air and trying to compose herself after not meeting the so called requirements that her parents, particularly her mother, requires of her.
As the years pass Stone and Brooke's so called relationship, as unconventional as it is, grows. Each one learning more about oneself and each other. Not everything has to be black and white, rules can be broken and just perhaps two complete opposite individuals can come together and be united for the greater good.
This is a fantastic story. Being a "hostage" takes on a whole new meaning
Wow!! I absolutely loved this dark and twisted tale. It is book two in the series but I haven't read book one and I wasn't confused.
This one is definitely not your average love story. Stone and Brooke meet under the worst possible circumstances and I admit I was kind of scared at times of the level of violence and horrific history of some of the characters. But, and it's a big but, the horrors covered in this story are very much a reality for people and the authors were brave to explore such a dark subject.
Amongst the violence and fear is a really beautiful love story. A broken man who falls for an innocent. It's a raw slowburn kind of story and not for the faint of heart.