Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Review of Captured by Julia Rachel Barrett

Julia Rachel Barrett
Sirene Publishing, 2010

Mari never expects to find herself in a cage in a cargo hold on a spaceship. She quickly learns from her captors she's headed to the meat market. When they try to return her to hypersleep, she resists. After allowing her to stay awake, Mari realizes her survival depends on connecting with the male in charge, Ekkatt. She must make him see her as a sentient being or she will end up as dinner.
Ekkatt has never spoken to any human. They are valued for one thing, the money they bring at auction. The Attun race is vegetarian, but other species prize human flesh and bring in good money. Then the female with red hair speaks to him and forces him to admit she has a name. Mari throws Ekkatt's entire life into question, the biggest question...can he watch her sold to the highest bidder?

Genre & Keywords:
SciFi Romance, violence, kidnapping of humans, survival

Why I read it:
The author sent me the book as a present to cheer me up

A woman bonds with one of her male kidnappers who’s from another planet and never knew much about her race before. Mari shows Ekkatt that humans are sentient beings like him. She surprises him in more than one way and she on the other hand learns to see his softer, kind side. Together they run from the authorities of Ekkatt’s planet while they fall softly for each other.

My opinion in short:
I’ve hardly read any SciFi romances, but the ones I read I liked. Captured included. Mari’s and Ekkatt’s story drew me in like a moth to a candle. I was eager to learn more about this other world and Ekkatt’s and Mari’s romance was very addictive. I enjoyed switching from her to his perspective and thoughts from time to time so I could equally sympathize with both protags. All in all, Captured was a surprisingly believable, sweet love story that I adored. When all SciFi romances are written as well and convincingly as Julia Barrett's Captured, I might have discovered a new love.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 2 out of 3 flames

What’s more to know about this book:
Mari is a feisty, smart and witty woman. I like how her survival mode kicks in and brings out her good qualities. She seems delicate and breakable to Ekkatt but she is very strong in fact. On top of that she has a good sense of humor and never complains. No wonder Ekkatt is at first intrigued and later totally smitten with her. She’s almost too perfect, but I loved her. Ekkatt is something else, he’s not human, does look a bit cat-like with his yellow eyes, and is huge. At first he doesn’t seem to be nice at all, but from the moment he risks his own life to save Mari he stole my heart. He’s a fun character because he doesn’t react as expected in a lot of situations and in the conversations with Mari. They make a sweet love couple that I would love to read more about.
I think Ms. Barrett is working on a sequel, but that'll tell Ekkatt's brother's story. I'm hoping we'll get a glimpse of Mari and Ekkatt as well.
The story is told in third person, alternated from Mari’s and Ekkatt’s point of view. This suits this story well. It makes both characters three dimensional and easy to empathize with, which is not unimportant when you’re dealing with an alien. ;)
The plot is well developed and takes us from a dangerous situation, via some suspenseful moments to a happy ending, in the right pace. There are no annoying time gaps or huge jumps and all is told in chronological order. The world building is done gradually, nothing too overwhelming, but very convincing. And although a few questions remain unanswered, everything is totally credible, within the frame of the story. New developments and little twists and turns keep you reading until you’ve finished the book. The ending was maybe a bit abrupt, but that probably has more to do with the fact that I didn't want to say goodbye to this couple yet.
M/F. Human female and alien male, with a different but comparable anatomy. I was curious as hell how that would work out. But I had to wait, their attraction wasn't rushed and anticipation was built. Eventually they had really steamy sex and although Ekkatt turned out to be huge in every department, it did fit! Thank heavens that this difference in anatomy didn’t become cheap or putrid at all, because it easily could have. The smexy scenes were hot as well as tender and showed the H/h growing love.
Writing style
It’s vivid and a nice variation of descriptions, thoughts and dialogues. It shows a good sense of humor and renders the characters feelings in all depth. Ms. Barrett’s writing kept me cleverly invested in her hero and heroine and produced an enjoyable suspense which kept me reading and reading. Her dialogues are witty and made me laugh out loud more than once.

Favorite scene/quote:
I enjoyed Ekkatt’s process of realizing that the leaders of his planet are not necessarily to be trusted. Their laws mean nothing to him anymore when he discovers they are based on false assumptions of the human kind. The next quote says it all:

“He’d come to enjoy the sensation of her beneath his fingers. He’d found pleasure in the silk of her hair, and he’d taken comfort in the smoothness of her skin. Ekkatt knew his own religious leaders would call such feelings a sin against nature. Their opinion on the subject had come to matter nothing to him. The little human, on the other hand, had come to matter a great deal.”

Julia Barrett’s website | on Goodreads
Buy Captured here

Other books by Julia Rachel Barrett:
- Beauty and the Feast
- My Everything

PS: Julia posted about her new SciFi series, Daughters of Persephone, at her blog yesterday. The first two books will be released in July and I look forward to them. You can read an excerpt at Julia's place here.


  1. Ohhhhhhhhhh I so agree. So happy you like it. I can't wait to read his brother's story.

    I looked at her Daughters of Persephone novels yesterday on Julia'S Blog and oh my I can't wait to read them.

    Great review hon!

  2. The author sent me the book as a present to cheer me up.

    That is so sweet!

    Great review Janna - thank you. It's nice to have a romance set...elsewhere (as in space). Scary premise though...I kept thinking 'doesn't taste like chicken, doesn't taste like chicken' *grin*

  3. Great review Janna.

    I can't wait for Julia's new Daughters of Persephone books either.

  4. Ohh sci-fi stuff, I wish I could read more books like this one. I always did like space and aliens

  5. I really need to read this one! Thanks for the review.

  6. @Susi: We're fellow stalkers.. eh.. fan girls now ;) I'm looking forward to the brother's story and the new series as well! Thanks, hon. :)

    @orannia: Julia is sweet like that :) The SciFi setting surprised me pleasantly. *grin* chicken or beef, what's the difference ;) it's all yuk. :D

    @Amber: Thank you! Me neither :)

    @Blodeuedd: I think there are plenty out there. Maybe not as well written or sexy, but alas. :)

    @Mandi: You're welcome! I look forward to your thoughts :)

  7. I loved Captured! I reviewed it not long ago and was pleasantly surprised.

  8. Thanks so much for the lovely review. It's a nice good morning. As I wrote this story, I totally fell for Ekkatt. He's complex, and he learns that humans are equally complex.
    As my husband says, he already knows Mari, he's married to her! Potty mouth and all! LOL!

  9. I loved "Captured" and I'm so happy to see it getting the attention it rightly deserves. I want to read more from Miss Barrett! Thank god there's a lot more on the way...
    Janna excellent review! It was done in a such a refreshing way.
    XXOO Kat

  10. Oh, yeahhhh....wonderful book. I couldn't put it down, either!

  11. @LynnMarie: I'll swing by to read your review tomorrow (it's way past my bedtime now ;)). Thanks for leaving a comment! xoxo

    @Julia: Glad you liked it! :) I admit I had to get used to Ekkatt a bit. OhBoy, am I glad I didn't dislike Mari. You, and especially your hubby, would've hated me, LOL! Your/Mari's potty mouth is absolutely delightful! :)

    @Katalina: Great to see you here, Kat! Welcome at my place. :) I so agree with you on Julia's work!
    And thanks for the compliment on my review *blush*

    @Fran: Hey Fran! It's a sign that it's a great story when you can't put it down! Wonderfully written. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  12. This is definitely on my list if I ever take up reading m/f again. :)

  13. Thanks for your comments all, and Chris - I won't hold my breath - you got that M/M juju bad!

  14. My fantasy is doing overtime how cheap the human/alien sexing could have become *eek* Sci-Fi isn't my main genre either but this sounds like such an accessible word with a great romance...I'm hoping over to fictionwise, my wishlists everwhere I growing more and more each day LOL I think I need to start entering the Lotto or something *wink*

  15. PS: Are my fingers drunk or what?? hoping=hopping and my wishlists everywhere are growing....

  16. @Chris: What Julia said ;)

    @Julia: Thanks you too!

    @Leontine: Lol, keep your imagination in check, sweets. It's done very tasteful here. Sorry (not really *grin*) for making your wishlist longer and longer, you know your reviews have the same effect on my wishlist/tbr, don't you? :D

  17. Bad or good? Who can say? ;)


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