Review: Carnal Captive
Carnal Captive by Vonna Harper
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Heat Rating: Spark
Kink Rating: 4 Paddles
Review Rating: 2 Stars
Human trafficking is a popular theme as of late. I’m not sure if it is because it titillates or because it is a reflection upon our current society. In Carnal Captive, we meet Shari Isle who is a struggling artist with c-cup boobs and a runner’s body. She’s the one who is captured by Carnal Incorporated to be turned into a sex slave. Bay Dennan is the rich man who wants a plaything to control. His life consisted of being told what to do and someone else calling the shots. Now he finally possesses the power to control someone else’s life.
This concept is good. The non-consensual theme is a favourite of mine to read. Ms. Harper creates some plausible scenarios in which a woman can be kidnapped. The breakdown and training of Shari is detailed and graphic at times. This story is less about the BDSM lifestyle and more about using sexual torture and beatings to force dehumanize of a woman. The woman is nothing more than fuck meat. She exists as three holes for her Master to poke.
I rated this book as four paddles for the Kinky factor because it definitely delivers in the sexual scenes. The humiliation and sexual training Shari goes through is pretty hot. The two male breakers, Reno and Damek, used different yet effective styles to force a desired behaviour from Shari. The cage, whippings, nipple clamps and edging where all lovely. A couple of them did come across as more clinical than carnal. I would have enjoyed the bad cop and good cop routine from them. While Reno was the one more controlled and Damek was the barely suppressed enraged monster, the distinction between the two was not enough. Or perhaps I should state, not as much as what I think Ms. Harper was trying to show.
My overall rating ends at two paddles because this story was just okay for me. The constant changing point of view from Reno to Damek then to Shari was distracting. I recommend the point of view switch only once per chapter. Personally, I prefer only one point of view, at most, two. This pulls me out of the story as I had to re-read to ensure I understood who thought was being presented. Adding in Bay with his thoughts increased the jumble of voices fighting to be heard. What mainly brought this book rating to okay where two items.
First, this book is supposed to be non consensual with a guilty pleasure feeling. There was a distinct line between good versus bad. Or at least it could have been. It seemed to me Ms. Harper was trying to create characters that were dancing in the grey - not fully bad and not fully good. This is a hard character building technique. It didn’t quite work out this way in the book. From what I could see, Reno and Bay experienced guilt for what they did. They had to keep rationalize in their head that it was okay. This guilt didn’t do it for me. If Ms. Harper was trying to bring the grey shades in, my recommendation is writing the character with plausible justification for what is clearly wrong can be shown as right. This is what would have made me shiver in delight. Reno had to believe what he was doing was right and show how it can be good. It probably would have made me like Reno better.
Second, the ending of the story made me go WTF. It ended abruptly for me and the resolution or should I say, Bay’s guilty conscience killed my libido. It basically completely invalidated the storyline for me. What I would have liked to see is Bay using Shari’s passion for life against her. Basically control her in this manner and doling out sweet torturous sexual pleasure in exchange for good behaviour. My recommendation may be predictable but it would have been more satisfying for me. I recommend this story for those who enjoy non consensual.
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