There aren't words for how completely captivated I was by the Dark Duet series. Unflinchingly erotic and hedonistic, the Dark Duet series follows the kidnapping and abuse of Olivia Ruiz by captor Caleb. Even though I have a relatively clear definition of right and wrong, these books made me question my own ideals. Every revelation made me even more curious. What could make a man into such a monster? What would he have had to live through to rip him of his humanity? And even more interesting, what would it take to redeem him? CJ Lewis is a phenomenal wordsmith. The ability to handle such a sensitive topic with such mastery is astounding. Caleb beats, abuses, and rapes Livvie, but in spite of that her loving him is believable and that is what is so amazing. I feel that, I can see that, understand it; that's how well this series is written. The material, outrageous and sickening as it may be, is delivered with supreme accuracy in a no-holds-barred manner. This is who Caleb is, period. Love him or leave him. And she makes you love him. Captive in the Dark revolves around the abduction and abuse of Livvie. Caleb, a former sex slave and now master, has been tasked to find a woman to sell into slavery as a part of an elaborate revenge scheme for the person that stole his life and innocence from him. In order to do so, he's spent the last decade and some change shaping himself into the type of person he needs to be to exact this revenge. This first book is completely in your face with the lengths that he's willing to go. Make no mistake, Caleb is not a nice guy. There's no way that you can go through what he went through and be a nice guy. “This isn't a romance. You're not a damsel in distress and I'm not the handsome prince come to save you.” ― C.J. Roberts, Captive in the DarkIn spite of the horrific acts Caleb subjects her to, Livvie doesn't give in. I think it's part of her fire, her will to live, that attracts Caleb to her in the first place. That and her compassion and understanding. Which is fucking amazing considering what he puts her through. She's definitely a strong woman. She spends a lot of time confused about her own reactions to Caleb. He's sadistic and fucked up, but he has moments of extreme kindness and caring. “I wrapped my arms around him and held on as hard as I could. He was my tormentor and my solace: the creator of the dark and the light within. I didn’t care that he would undoubtedly hurt me at any moment, right now; I just needed somebody to hold me… To tell me these exact words. Its going to be okay. It wasn’t of course, I knew that. But I didn’t care, I needed the lie.” ― C.J. Roberts, Captive in the Dark“Caleb was a strange person, cruel and inhuman; a monster, and yet, at other times, he seemed so capable of something like caring. He made me cry and scream and shake with fear and nearly a split second later he could make me almost believe he wasn't responsible for any of it. He could hold me and make me feel safe. How was that possible?” ― C.J. Roberts, Captive in the DarkThroughout the entire book I couldn't tear my eyes away. I was constantly wondering what was going to happen? What was he going to do next? Does he love her? Hate her? Like her? Despise her? Could she possibly feel anything for him? Was it right? Wrong? What was he going to do with her? I ate this shit up. “For what it's worth Livvie, I never thought of you as a whore. And you are...the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.” ― C.J. Roberts, Captive in the DarkSerious mindfucking going on. TOTALLY worth it. “Once upon a time, Caleb held me captive in the dark, now he used it to seduce me.” ― C.J. Roberts, Seduced in the DarkSeduced in the Dark picks up a few months after the first book, but make no mistake it doesn't hold anything back. If the first installment were gripping, the second left me absolutely breathless. The whole time if felt like I was alternating between abject horror and the swoons. It was schizophrenic to the max. The sequel is ten times more jaw dropping than the first. Compared to this, Captive in the Dark was just the tip of the iceburg. Here we delve into the world of sex-trafficking. A world of slaves and Master's with relationships infinitely more crazy and depraved than that of Caleb and Livvie's. The intensity of the experiences Livvie has to endure multiply with each page turn. I spent most of the experience gasping in disbelief. My respect for her resolve and perseverance reached all time highs. The last quarter of the book revealed so much. I was tearing through each page basically freaking out. Horror, excitement, fear- this is how you know you have a good book on your hands. I experienced such a tumult of emotions. I wanted them to be together, I wanted Caleb to have justice. I wanted Livvie to have a normal life, but how could she possibly do that when she was in love with her rapist/kidnapper/Master? How could they possibly have a well-adjusted relationship when their experiences are so no where near well adjusted? Gah! EMOTIONS. “I've been doing this a long time- manipulating people to get my way. That's why you think you love me. Because I've broken you down and built you back up to believe it. It wasn't an accident. Once you leave this behind..... you'll see that. -Caleb” ― C.J. Roberts, Seduced in the DarkEpilogue, which I literally just finished, was almost even better than the other two. “I’m writing this because you begged. You know how I love the begging” ― C.J. Roberts, Epilogue“Wait until you get inside. It's my favorite part.' And yes, gentle readers, I am that fucking smooth.” ― C.J. Roberts, EpilogueWe aren't subjected to the pain and torture of the sex trafficking because that's no longer an issue. Livvie is free and in the witness protection program in Barcelona. For the past year Caleb has been hunting down his former slaves, righting the wrongs that were within his power. That alone to me has a lot to say about who he is at this point. Not only did he try to give Livvie the opportunity to chose for herself what she wanted, her freedom, but he tried to be a better person for her. “Everything is in the process of becoming something else. It’s the law of change.” I briefly kissed Livvie’s eyelids before she could open them. “I’m in the process of becoming something else, Livvie. I hope it’s something good, something far removed from the monster you knew.” ― C.J. Roberts, EpilogueI mean, who wouldn't love that? He is by no means a good person. He is who he is. He needs control, has a hard time with social situations, and cannot escape his past. I fucking loved his point of view. Tortured, in love, and even with a bit of teh funny. I would say this is a lot more lighthearted (if possible) than the previous books, which I think Livvie and Caleb fully deserve after all they've been through. “Yeah, but I’m the second most fucked up person I know, and when you put two negatives together, you get a positive. That’s math, Caleb. Math is the language of the universe. You can’t argue with the universe.” ― C.J. Roberts, EpilogueEpilogue revisits all of the things in the two previous books that made me cringe. Her abuse, rape, abandonment at his hands is all discussed and, to my end, resolved. We get to see them for the first time relatively unencumbered by their circumstances, striving to fit together in a somewhat normal life. The sex in this one is so much more amazing because of all they've been through. Livvie has been changed, defined, by her experiences with Caleb and it reflects here. Caleb will always be someone who needs to control, needs someone to submit and they have to work through this as well. All in all, it was an extended and entirely welcome epilogue to the duet. It was absolutely lovely to see the two of them working out their issues, coming back together. I couldn't have imagined a better ending to their fucked up story than this. “Love does not always begin or end the way we wish it would.” ― C.J. Roberts, EpilogueCJ Roberts, kudos! Visit my blog for more reviews and recommendations!Join the Miss Construed Review's Facebook community!