Captive by Brighton Walsh: Excerpt, Review & Giveaway



He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.


Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.
Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.


Published March 24th 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin

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 Excerpt:
His lips parted when his name left mine, his eyes dropping to my mouth, and it felt like he’d sucked the air right out of my lungs. Suddenly we were closer than we were a second ago, his shoulder flush against mine, and I let my eyes flutter closed the moment I saw him lean toward me.

In the back of my mind, my conscience was screaming at me, telling me this was a bad idea, I shouldn’t be doing this—not with him. But my body had other ideas. My body wanted this, and right now, I was letting that part of me lead.

I met him in the middle, the first brush of our lips tentative. Only a whisper of flesh upon flesh, and when I didn’t pull back, he leaned in again, pressing his mouth firmly to mine.

And his kiss . . . his kiss was an unexpected contradiction of the man I’d come to know. The softness of it surprised me, con- sidering the rough edges of him. His lips were tentative, question- ing in their exploration, and I answered every unasked question, moving with him without hesitation. When my tongue licked against the seam of his lips, he groaned, a deep sound resonating from his chest, and then his hands were on me. He cupped my face, pulling me closer to him as he opened his mouth to me, slid his tongue against mine.

It was everything I’d ever imagined and yet nothing I’d ever experienced. He was consuming me, every single one of my senses honing in on him. The scruffy whiskers of his beard were long enough that they didn’t chafe so much as brush softly against me. His hands were rough, the tips of his fingers marred by calluses that ran across my cheeks, down my neck. He smelled like fresh soap and laundry detergent and the scent I’d grown accustomed to that was all him. Every time a groan echoed in his chest, I felt it against my own, and I could barely hold in a reply.

My Review:
Madison Frost, daughter of a wealthy Chicago businessman and an alcoholic mother, gets kidnapped after class at Northwestern. Her captor? Ghost. Lifelong criminal, doing what he needs to do to get by. Complete opposites in almost every way.

We didn't fit, didn't mesh. We came from two very different places and barely had anything in common. It was wrong, this attraction I felt towards him. But the more I repeated those things to myself, the less I believed them.

We get both Maddie and Ghost's POVs in this book which I loved. Being able to see both prospectives, male and female, captor and captive, really made this story more enjoyable than just a single POV would have. We got to know some of the secrets Ghost had, but I was still pleasantly surprised at the twist at the end. It was something I had thought in the beginning but then I assumed that I was wrong. And then BAM! Mind = blown.

What did I love most about this book? The character growth. I won't lie, I had a hard time liking Maddie in the beginning, she was meek, mild and a push-over to the extreme.  She lived at home and went to a college close by because she was afraid of what would happen if she left her mother to her own devices. Living and taking care of an alcoholic can't be easy, but when it's your mother I imagine it's really difficult to do. Add the fact that her father cares more about business acquisitions than what's going on at home, life would be pretty bleak. I like my characters to stand up for what they believe in and most importantly to have a backbone, so as the story went on and she grew I liked the person she was becoming. Stronger, more confident, making decisions for herself for once.

"I guess when something's been burned into your brain enough, it's what you start to believe — it's all you see"
"Well, it might be all you see, but it's not what you are."

I loved the relationship that grew between Maddie and Ghost. It wasn't insta-love. It wast't forced. Sure, there was sexual tension from the very beginning but neither of them wanted to act on it. They were in a truly messed up situation. We didn't have to see Ghost abusing Maddie and her forgiving him because she has Stockholm Syndrome, which is common in kidnapping stories. Ghost isn't an angel, and while he may do somethings that are definitely against the law, we learn he isn't a bad guy. Especially not the asshole he thinks he is. Even though he has guilt for bringing his brother Riley into this business..

I looked at him — really looked at him. He was like me in so many ways. Same hair color, same eyes, same mannerisms. His hair as longer, though, his eyes not as haunted as mine, and out personalities were the complete opposite. He was less intense, light where I was dark. He was supposed to be everything I couldn't be, and yet here he was, right fucking next to me, in this life I never wanted for either of us. 

The pacing of this story was done really well. The secrets came out at just the right times. The romance wasn't forced, but felt natural and genuine. While the fallout was sad, it was necessary to the story and that epilogue! I absolutely loved the connection the cover has to the book. Gimme more, Brighton! Riley's book is next and I. Cannot. Wait. That blurb was everything! If you want to read a sexy NA that is full of danger and romance, then this book is for you!

Could it really be this easy? In all the years I'd been holding back, telling myself that I didn't make friends easy, had I actually been sabotaging myself? Had it been a self-fufilling prophecy? because while therapy had helped me grow, helped me develop into the kind of person I wanted to be, deep down I was still just Madison. And maybe that was the key all along.

* I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


About Brighton:
Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible.


Giveaway:
1 Copy of Captive US and Canada Only

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