Well, That Was Screwed Up!

Prisoned: A Dark Twisted Erotic StandalonePrisoned: A Dark Twisted Erotic Standalone by Marni Mann
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dark, suspenseful stories with some romance thrown in are my absolute favorites. I crave the kind of anti-hero that you love to hate and hate to love. Kidnapping/captivity? I can hardly contain myself, I’m so excited!

Naturally, when I saw the blurb for this book I was sure it’d be an instant hit with me. After all, it had so many of my favorite themes and story elements. I was sure that I’d love it.

However, ‘Prisoned’ failed to live up to my expectations, much to my disappointment. That isn’t to say it was bad. It was actually a pretty good story with a few twists and turns along the way. It just didn’t end up being everything I had built it up to be in my head.

The story is told in alternating POVs, which I thought worked well for this story. It does jump between past and present-day, but it does so in a logical manner and doesn’t cause unnecessary confusion. The structure of the story worked well for me. I didn’t have any issues with the “technical” aspects.

The main characters, Kyle and Garin, have loved each other since they were children. Along with their other best friend, Billy, they grew up on the rough streets of the inner city, in a neighborhood known as “The Heart”. Organized crime, drugs and violence was just a part of their daily lives.

Over a decade later, Kyle and Garin are reunited when they both return to their hometown for Billy’s funeral. It is clear that the relationship between the two has been irrevocably changed. They are both keeping secrets from each other.

Following the funeral service, Kyle and Garin go out for drinks to catch up and clear the air. The chemistry is still there and soon they’re heading back to Garin’s place. Only, they never arrive.

The two wake up in a cell, suffering from the after-effects of being drugged. Despite Garin’s ties to the Mafia, Kyle knows that it is her secrets that are to blame for their abduction. She knows that her past has finally caught up with her. In some ways, she’s relieved. She’s only sorry that Garin got wrapped up in her mess.

Although this is a dark, erotic story, it didn’t have that terrifying, suspenseful feeling that I’d expect from this type of story. I felt like there was a lot of downtime during Kyle and Garin’s captivity, when I was just waiting for something to happen. Then when things did start to happen, it was disturbing, but not as much so as I would’ve expected. The author kind of hints at some of the more gory interrogation tactics used on Kyle, but doesn’t come right out and tell you what is being done.

When Kyle’s big secret is revealed, I wasn’t surprised. I think most people would’ve seen it coming. Even so, it made an impact. I just didn’t think it warranted any of the things that were done to her. Living with the guilt seemed to be punishment enough. She was a child and she didn’t do anything wrong.

I couldn’t reconcile the blame and anger that was directed toward Kyle with the facts. Garin’s behavior was especially hard for me to swallow. This was the crux of the matter for me. He said he loved her, but what he did was so much worse than anything she ever did.

In the end, I couldn’t get past it. I wanted a sense of justice, which never came. Kyle fessed up, but Garin carried on with an entitled air that rubbed me the wrong way. An explanation and an apology was long overdue, but never came. It ended with a “happily” ever after, but really it just irked me.

Overall, I give it 3 1/2 stars. It had potential to be phenomenal, but there were too many problems for me with the direction this story took. It was good, but it left me wanting. This was the first book I’ve read by this author and I’m sure I’ll check out more of her work in the future. Hopefully, the next anti-hero will do some groveling when it’s appropriate.

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