The story immediately grabs you into a high point of action in the exotic tourist destination of Belize. Nico thinks he’s in a water taxi until the other passengers seize him, tie him up, and deliver him to a sailboat, which takes him out to sea. Furious, scared, and fighting like hell, Nico recognizes the captain of the boat. Patrick is a young man about his age. The previous day, Nico had stumbled into him while they were touring some ruins in the jungle. At the time, Nico had wondered at Patrick’s angry attitude. Now he learns that yesterday he had accidentally derailed Patrick’s plans to smuggle some priceless jade out of the country.
In Belize, no one, including Patrick, recognizes that Nico is a famous and wealthy rock star on vacation. So obviously Patrick isn’t going to ransom Nico. Instead, he wants Nico to earn his freedom by impersonating Patrick’s ex-girlfriend Grace, who trapped Patrick into a life on the run as a smuggler. Nico is slender and androgynous with long dark hair. If Nico poses as Grace, Patrick has a chance to intercept a different shipment of jade that Grace plans to collect. This will offset the earlier smuggling mission that Nico blundered into and ruined.
I enjoyed reading Captive, which is smart, funny, fast-paced, realistic, and sexy. The vivid Belize setting is a breath of fresh air in our gay romance genre, which tends to fixate upon generic North America. Meanwhile, the story unfolds in one third-person viewpoint (Nico’s), but makes both main characters appealing and strong. Nico is a dynamic character with ferocious intelligence. In one scene that had me smiling in admiration, Nico accurately pieces together Patrick’s entire backstory from subtle clues gleaned from Patrick’s demeanor, remarks, and surroundings – and recites it to him just to intimidate him. At first, Nico tries to make some daring escapes from the ship. He also wonders exactly how he will be expected to earn his freedom. This enables the author to have fun with the classic romance situation of the swashbuckling pirate who might threaten his captive’s virtue. (I’ll admit I laughed when Nico says to Patrick, “If you rape me, you are so going to jail for the rest of your life.”)
The appealing and attractive Patrick is hardly a rapist – but another crewmember (used very effectively in the story) is more the type, and Nico must steer clear of him. Meanwhile, the hot enemies-to-lovers chemistry between Nico and Patrick continues to rise. Soon Nico is wondering just how much he needs to misbehave to force Patrick to retaliate. The rest of the story matches the fast pace and satisfyingly twisty plotting of the beginning while giving us a happy ending. I had no problems with Captive (other than a brief scene of sightseeing and storytelling between Patrick and Nico on land, which slowed the pace slightly as compared to everything else in the story).
Type of Romance: LGBT Gay Romance
Author: Remy Jensen
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Subgenre: Romantic Suspense, Enemies-to-Lovers
Length: 18,000 words
Sex Scenes: Level 3 - Medium. See Levels of Explictness in Related Links below.
Viewpoint: one third-person (Nico)
Note: I received this book via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation for this review from author or publisher. Look on Amazon.com for Captive.