A Diamond in the Rough or Not?: Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios

 

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

Source: GoodReads

Maybe this is a case of over hype.  Part of this book really worked for me, but part of it.  Not a fan.

Also, what probably makes me even more bias is that I really enjoyed Demetrios’s debut.

So, obvious this book should be awesome.

Wasn’t though.

But it wasn’t terrible.

It really did have a lot of things going for it.  I really enjoyed the world building.  Not only was it wonderfully woven in throughout the story, but the map and info sheets were actually helpful.  There were a flew blips there and there that lead me to think plot holes, but I tried to avoid thinking of them and for the most part they weren’t that annoying.

I also enjoyed the main character.  Nalia seemed like a fully developed character and even though I’m not a huge fan of third person it was alright here.  I feel like for the story it was probably  a good idea, and it is something different for Demetrios.  Something Real  was written in first..  I really was sort of surprised how much I liked Nalia because a lot of things in the novel should’ve added up to Mary Sue (she had purple eyes and is the last of her kind), but surprisingly she’s not.  She’s oddly flawed.

However, even though Nalia can defy cliches doesn’t mean her men can.

Both male leads are douches.  Though, I’m actually rooting for the technically bigger douche of the two.  Mainly because at least he admits he’s a douche.

As for Raif…

Barf.

Barf.

Barf.

His douchey actions are “noble”.  It’s okay he treats the lead like crap when he doesn’t even know her.

Of course, he has pretty green eyes to makeup for it and that’s all that matters.

Barf.

Barf.

Barf.

Besides, being a self righteous twat, he really lacks a personality.  Which is odd, because we actually have scenes that take place in his POV.  But he is Edward Cullen bland I cannot care less.

Now, Malik on the other hand.  Sadistic bastard, yes, but actually an interesting character. You know, I actually hate shipping the sadistic bastard ship because I know it is grossly unhealthy.  Especially since I took a human trafficking course in law school and I know how much power and control the sadistic bastard exerts over the main character.  But Jesus…it’s a more compelling relationship.

And maybe he can be reformed like a certain beastly Disney character.  All the seeds are there.

And now I feel like I have to bathe in bleach for rooting for said sadistic bastard.

Shudders.

Thank you, Raif.  Thank you for being such a banal character that I have to ship the sadistic bastard ship.

Other than the male leads, the other minor characters were just sort of there.  The best friend character made such an insignificant appearance, I really could care less about what happened to her.  And Banal Raif’s sister was just an Alice Cullen wannabe.

Overall, this one wasn’t bad, but I did definitely overhype it in my head.  I’ll probably read the sequel see how things piece together.  I think the next two installments could be really good if it breaks out of some of the YA tropes it used, but at the same I could see it failing as well.  A solid B.

 

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