Stone and Brooke’s story is a dark romance full of mystery and suspense. Annika and Skye take being a hostage and give it a whole new delicious twist.
Stone Keaton’s sole purpose in life is to seek vengeance on those who wronged him and the group of friends he calls his brothers when they were children.
Brooke Carson has been raised in a life of privilege, it is her sweet sixteenth birthday when she witnesses Stone beating up a man from her party, she intervenes and in turn becomes his hostage.
Thinking Stone would kill her Brooke was surprised when threatened to hurt her family if she was to tell anyone about him and then he let her go.
Some years later Stone returns and an unconventional relationship grows between the two as secrets are shared and truths exposed. We see the development of the characters throughout the story.
Stone is a broken and guarded man, he’s a fierce protector of those he loves and committed with his desire for justice. Brooke was an innocent young girl desperate to break free from her suffocating life, together they somehow shared something beautiful, raw and real.
This has a bit of everything suspense, chemistry, mystery, hot sex. It’s emotional, it’s questionable, it’s unexpected and a well collaborated story.
This was not as dark as I was anticipating, although it was a bit gory at times the darkness level was quiet mild. Some parts were a little slow for me but there was enough intrigue in the story to surpassed that.
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 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 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.