on August 23, 2016
Genres: Adult, Crime, Dark, Erotica, Romance, Suspense
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When I opened my eyes, I was in a cell, my body covered in bruises.
Not a jail.
I’d been kidnapped and imprisoned.
I wasn’t alone. I shared the cell with Garin Woods, the man I’d loved since I was a kid.
The man I couldn’t be with because of the secret. A man who would kill me if he found out what that secret was.
Someone wanted to torture me.
One of us deserved it.
It wasn’t Garin.
WARNING: Prisoned is an extremely dark novel. There are strong sexual themes, drug usage, physical abuse and torture that could trigger and/or cause emotional suffering. You have been warned.
** ON SALE FOR ONLY $0.99 UNTIL 28/08/16 **
I really don’t know where to start, so brace yourselves. Also, if you’re offended by large amounts of profanity, maybe skip this review and find another. I apologize in advance for this but I’m kind of beside myself and am anything but calm while writing this. You should probably just imagine the entire thing is in capital letters and that I’m actually running around shrieking because I don’t even know what to think or do with myself. You’ve been warned. 🙂 **Nothing I say is meant to offend anyone or belittle abuse/trauma. **
I’m not a huge dark romance reader, meaning I’ll only read a handful or so a year. I think Prisoned is even my first this year, possibly second, but regardless, I was captivated immediately. When I received the info on this book, I only had the synopsis, no cover. It sounded intriguing, I’ve never read anything by this author and thought I’d give it a shot. I then promptly forgot about it, because sometimes I have a memory size equivalent to a gnat. When it showed up on my kindle with the cover, I was honestly a little taken aback because I couldn’t remember anything and was honestly a little scared (LOL), so this is what I do. I go back and read the synopsis, then start dancing in my seat because even though the cover scared the crap out of me, it’s perfect. And the synopsis is so damn exciting you can’t help but have a billion questions at once. I’m so happy I got the chance to read this – dark romance, grit, twists and all. I really, really enjoyed this book.
“The only thing we have inside this cell is words, Kyle. Don’t hold them back from me.”
Disclaimer: Given the subject matter, this book deals with some extremely graphic content and scenes. As for a trigger warning, I don’t usually give them but here you go (and if you haven’t figured this out from the synopsis, why don’t you go back and have another read): if you’ve ever been abducted and held captive, this might trigger some issues for you. <— That sounds slightly snarky but really, if you’ve come this far, I’m assuming you are okay with dark novels. If you can’t deal with reading extremely graphic content (torture, substance abuse, sexual scenes, etc.), maybe don’t read this book…….. I feel like this is implied but nonetheless, had to address it. Some people will dislike Prisoned because of this, so I’m warning you now. Do not start this book if you might not be able to see it through. This story is not for the faint of heart but if you can handle it, buckle up, enjoy the ride and pay attention to those small details. You’ll be rewarded big time!
I wanted to be devoured.
I wanted to devour him.
I reached for his cheeks but stopped before I got too close.
As though he could sense it, he pulled his lips away. “Touch me.”
I glanced over the spots that had been tortured. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
“You won’t,” he repeated. “The only thing that will hurt is not having your hands on me.”
Fuck. Holy fuckity fuck. Fuuuuuuccckk. I’ve always heard the expression ‘mind fuck’ and thought I knew what it referred to, thought I had even read a few mind fuck books on my own but alas, I am a poor, naive, little soul. Prisoned is like nothing I’ve ever read. I have never experienced a mind fuck like this; I’m reeling, my mind is still spinning, I don’t know where to go from here or what to think. After I read and reread the last page, I let out a long string of explicit language that just kept going. I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS AND I’M STILL FREAKING OUT! Is this meant to be a cliffhanger or is Marni just the wicked witch of excellence who screwed me out of even thinking about another book for days. Book hangover anyone? I’m thinking this’ll be a big one.
There’s something’s about this story that I won’t talk in detail about in this review. The characters and plot being the two main ones, but the romance is another. Since I won’t talk about it, instead I’ll give you little morsels, also known as quotes, to know that it’s very much alive, even if I won’t talk about it. Enjoy Garin <3.
“I didn’t have time to prepare myself before his lips crashed against mine, his tongue filling the space in between. It wasn’t just passionate. It was the kind of kiss someone gave before they said good-bye.”
I’ll be honest, I don’t even want to tell you about the characters. I’ll let you experience that ride all on your own, without my thoughts and opinions giving you any hints. Just know this: I liked Kyle for the most part. I’m thinking like, 90% of it. And with Garin, I went from loving him, to over the moon, to confused, to in love with him, to so angry I couldn’t give a flying fuck about him, back to being confused, to angry, to liking him, and so on. I really wish I could explain that in emojis because I think it might go over better. Anyways, they are definitely a dynamic duo, and there’s plenty of other characters as well to keep you going.
“It was just us.
It was a moment I had been waiting for most of my life, and it was finally here.
And it was either the start of something monumental that would change me permanently, or it was the terrifying conclusion of our story.”
Did I mention anywhere that this book is smoking hot? Like, hotter than hot? Seriously, it’s hot. Erotica hot. Excellent little surprise there, because I definitely didn’t know that going in! And I know you’re thinking “But Shannon! They’re being held captive! How could this possibly be hot? How do sexy times fit into the story line?” Trust, my good friends. Trust me, trust Marni, it’ll all be good.
When I was about 50% in, I was picking up on some small hints and figured out the ‘main’ twist. I was snickering to myself, giving a big ol’ pat on the back for being smart and figuring it out before it was revealed. LITTLE DID I KNOW, that this seems to be what Marni wants you to do. Maybe? She draws you in with a false sense of satisfaction and right when you think you know what’s about to happen, BAM! She changes direction and throws another curveball. I might have suspected the first twist, but twists 2-4 subsequently smacked me in the face and left me speechless. There was no way I could’ve expected or possibly prepared for those things to happen. I was blindsided in the best possible way. I was quite literally on the edge of my seat, gasping any and all of the following “Oh fuck, no this isn’t real, what just happened, WTFFFFFFFFFF, no no no no no, OMG, fuck fuck fuuuck, he did WHAT,” and the like, over and over and over. I was (quite understandably, I’d think) LOSING. MY. EVER. LOVING. MIND. Right when everything calmed down for five seconds, something else happened to send me over the edge. I have never had a reading experience quite like this one!
“My soul mate,” I whispered.
He turned my cheek, so I looked at him over my shoulder. “What did you call me?”
“You’re my soul mate, Garin. For some reason, we were put in this cell together and given a second chance.”
“You believe in that?”
I nodded. “I believe our soul mate is revealed only once during our life. Maybe it’s a glimpse of a stranger. Maybe it’s our best friend. The timing may not always be right. But, when they’re shown to us, we know it’s them. Then, life happens. We grow. We age. We develop scars. And we remember that glimpse. Some are lucky enough to spend the rest of their lives with that person. Some, like me, have only memories.”
With not being a huge dark novel reader (but still loving suspense), I’m surprised by how much I liked this book. I think I also need a round of therapy, but that’s a topic for another day. I went through so many emotions, Marni Mann can definitely take you to the extreme end of the spectrum. With this being said, I have a high tolerance and can put up with a bunch of shit in novels (except surprise babies, don’t even get me started), but there was one scene in particular that did make me feel uncomfortable. Granted, I’m assuming that’s the point, but with how I was feeling, that scene was the one to really push my limits and I contemplated whether I wanted to continue reading or not. I had no clue how the rest of the book might go but I had so many questions, I simply had to.
There’s two reason that I rated Prisoned as 4.5 stars instead of 5. The first being the uncomfortable issue, and the second being a bit about pacing. I loved how I never knew what twist was coming or when. It seemed like every time I calmed down, something else would come and drag me right back into a frenzy. With this being said, near the end there was a point were about 15 or 20% just started to completely slow down. With twist after shocking twist, I get that this is important to tie up loose ends and bring in a conclusion, but I was a little disappointed that after all that excitement, it was a slow ending. Until that last page…
The structure of Prisoned is quite an interesting one. You get dual POV, which is perfect for the situation, and it’s also told from a variety of timeframes. You have present day, back when Kyle and Garin were teenagers and something happens, days leading up to the funeral [(a week or two prior to present day)(I’m not considering this as a spoiler, more so a catalyst. Plus it happens in the first chapter or two so move along, spoiler police.)], 8 days after the funeral, etc. It seems like a lot when I’m saying it now but trust me, it’s easy to follow along.
“I never planned on letting you go, Kyle.”
I looked up slowly, my arms squeezing my stomach. My knees were shaking. I knew my chest would be next, that my breathing would only get worse.
“I was going to bring you to Vegas with me, get you into college out there, and take care of you. I was going to love you.” He turned me to face him. “Fuck, Kyle, I did love you.”
All I can say is the devil is in the details — for the love of God, pay attention to the details!!! Marni scatters little breadcrumbs of hints throughout and at first I was really confused and couldn’t figure out what the info had to do with anything, but then it hit me. It hit me like I ran into a damn wall and holy crap guys, she’s good. And sneaky!
“Some things were worth the punishment. Garin was one.”
So, about that ending… Oh, I’m sorry, did I not mention the ending yet? Well… WHAT THE HELL MARNI?! WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME? Do you know how much stress this will cause me? How I’m questioning everything I read? How I have absolutely zero answers and don’t know what the fuck to do about anything? THIS IS WHY I’M RUNNING AROUND SWEARING LIKE A SAILOR! I have so many questions! WHYYYYYYYYY! I’m freaking out, I can’t be calm. Please, no one expect me to be calm. OMFG.
As for final thoughts, I have two of them:
1. Buy this book now.
2. I’m going to seriously have to censor this review for Amazon
*An ARC was received in from Sassy Savvy Fabulous PR in exchange for an honest review.