Hostage by Skye Warren & Annika Martin
Publication Date: January 30th, 2018
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Completely BRILLIANT and CAPTIVATING, Hostage enraptured me from page one with the intensity of Stone and all he encompasses. THIS! This is how suspenseful romance should be written.
Stone’s character throughout the entire novel simmers with anger, always this barely contained rage dangerously close to erupting. Readers and Brooke see him do unthinkable acts, and yet it doesn’t change our perception of this man, who while committing criminal acts still has the bravest and most caring soul. His way of taking care of those he loves is not traditional by any means, but neither is all they endured, making it hard to find fault in the choices he makes. Stone is so make more than his anger, though. We get to see him struggle with his feelings for Brooke, his unworthiness, his loyalty to her and the guys, and his perception of himself. He struggles with all of it, and in the end he evolves into the man who can truly have it all, the justice/vengeance her yearns for and the woman he loves.
Brooke, from the time we meet her as a teen, is so incredibly strong. Even when she is wearing her metaphorical mask and playing her role in high society, she exudes an immense amount of fortitude. What I ultimately love about her is her ability to see Stone for who he is and to fight to keep him from receding into the darkness. She is also vital in his distinction between justice and vengeance. Like Stone, I love her character development as we see her progress from scared teen to strong-willed and good woman, one worthy of Stone.
Hostage is so much more than I ever would have expected. The backstory of the men is heartbreaking but is really on ever alluded to versus being discussed in full detail. Could they have gone into detail, sure, but it doesn’t define these men. It is the motivation for what they do, but they aren’t victims anymore and the authors’ choice not to go into detail about is brilliant. Readers are also going to enjoy watching Brooke and Stone. These two seemingly opposite characters are perfect for each other, both bringing the other to life for the first time ever. The chemistry and love between them is dynamic. The final part of the story that is enthralling is the contemplation of revenge versus justice. The authors get readers thinking about which is right, can they go hand in hand, and how each affects the psyche, and I love how they answer every single one.
Once you pick up Hostage, you won’t be able to put it down. It is absolutely mesmerizing with its tale of love and vengeance, and readers will not only fall in love with the stories and characters but with the artistry of the story. Annika Martin and Skye Warren have created a gripping series I cannot wait to get more of.
I never knew when he’d come to me. Only that he would.
I’d never even kissed a boy the night I met Stone. The night I saw him kill. The night he spared my life. That was only the beginning.
He turns up in my car again and again, dangerous and full of raw power. “Drive,” he tells me, and I have no choice. He’s a criminal with burning green eyes, invading my life and my dreams.
The police say he’s dangerously obsessed with me, but I’m the one who can’t stop thinking about him. Maybe it’s wrong to let him touch me. Maybe it’s wrong to touch him back. Maybe these twisted dates need to stop. Except he feels like the only real thing in my world of designer labels and mansions.
So I drive us under threat, until it’s hard to remember I don’t want to be there.
Until it’s too late to turn back.
HOSTAGE is a dangerous standalone romance by New York Times bestselling authors Skye Warren and Annika Martin. It’s set in the same world as PRISONER, but can read separately!
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He seethes with raw power the first time I see him–pure menace and rippling muscles in shackles. He’s dangerous. He’s wild. He’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
So I hide behind my prim glasses and my book like I always do, because I have secrets too. Then he shows up in the prison writing class I have to teach, and he blows me away with his honesty. He tells me secrets in his stories, and it’s getting harder to hide mine. I shiver when he gets too close, with only the cuffs and the bars and the guards holding him back. At night I can’t stop thinking about him in his cell.
But that’s the thing about an animal in a cage–you never know when he’ll bite. He might use you to escape. He might even pull you into a forest and hold a hand over your mouth so you can’t call for the cops. He might make you come so hard, you can’t think.
And you might crave him more than your next breath.
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It’s him or me. It’s stand here and let a man die, or do something—for once in my life, do something that’s not wearing a dress and smiling and getting it all wrong.
So I run out there. I watch myself do it, like a movie almost. “Stop it,” I yell.
The attacker just keeps on, a dark storm, all fists and fury. My presence means nothing to him. My words don’t touch him. It’s as if I’m yelling at thunder.
My heart beats out of my chest. I’ve risked everything, come out in the open, but it’s not enough. I stamp my foot to get his attention, crushing gravel beneath my mother’s Louboutins.
“The cops are coming,” I say.
The man stills and looks up. It’s a shock when it happens, even though I’ve been trying to get him to see me. His eyes seem to blaze into my chest, hot and bright.
Breathless, I back away.
He stands, leaving the man in a groaning, whimpering heap.
I retreat slowly, showing him my phone, as though that might protect me. “Cops are coming,” I say again. A lie. I couldn’t punch in the code.
He’s coming at me, expression unreadable. He’s a few years older than I am—late twenties, maybe.
My back hits something hard. The van.
He keeps coming. I try to spin and run, but he grabs my arm and slams me back into the van. “Where do you think you’re going, little girl?”
I stare up at him, panting.
His warm breath is a feather on my nose; the heat in his eyes invades me. He grabs my hair and tilts my head back, forcing me to stare into his face, as if he’s trying to read my eyes.
A moment later, he looks up at the night sky. He seems almost wolfish, and I’m conscious, suddenly, of my bare neck so close to his snarling mouth. I wonder if he’s staring at the moon. It’s like he’s going to howl or something.
Then I get it. He’s listening for sirens.
“You’re a little fucking liar.”
Meet the Authors:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance such as the Endgame trilogy. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.
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Annika Martin loves fun, dirty stories, hot heroes, and wild, dramatic everything. She enjoys hanging out in Minneapolis coffee shops with her writer husband, and also likes birdwatching at her bird feeder alongside her two stunningly photogenic cats, especially when she should be writing. She’s heavy into running, music, saving the planet, taking long baths, and consuming chocolate suckers. She’s worked a surprisingly large number of waitressing jobs, and has also worked in a plastics factory and the advertising trenches; her garden is total bee-friendly madness and her most unfavorite word is nosh or possibly fob. A NYT bestselling author, she has also written as RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.
Connect with Annika:
Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnnikaMartinFabulousGang/
Stay up to date with Annika by joining her mailing list: http://www.annikamartinbooks.com/newletter/