The Barbarian’s Captive
by Maddie Taylor
Primarian Mates Series
Light years from home, science officer Lieutenant Eva La Croix and her all-female exploration team land on a planet they believe is a perfect substitute for the dying earth. Set upon by huge alien hunters, Eva is captured by the barbarian leader. Tossed over his shoulder, she is carried back to camp, tethered to his bed, and claimed as his own.
In spite of her fear, she is captivated by the gorgeous, human-like male with his long, gleaming, black hair; smooth bronze skin; and glimmering, golden eyes. Expecting her complete compliance, he strips her for an intimate and very thorough inspection. Horrified, Eva protests, but she quickly learns he is in complete command and resistance will be met with swift consequences, including a trip over his knee for a bare-bottom spanking.
Deemed compatible, Eva and her teammates are whisked away to an alien world where they are mated to these powerful, dominant men. While pampered and protected, the women are expected to submit to their mate’s authority and breed their young.
Can Eva learn to adapt to their unusual beliefs and old-fashioned ways? Will she sacrifice her independence and surrender to this dynamic, all-consuming, highly sexual male who has conquered her body and, perhaps, her heart? Or when escape is imminent, will she flee with the others, forever leaving him behind and the rampant desire that now surges through her blood for her compelling barbarian?
Please note: The Barbarian’s Captive is an erotic romance audiobook containing elements of BDSM, spanking, and sexual scenes. If this subject matter is offensive, please do not buy this book.
Well hello, faithful readers! I’m venturing out of my writing room so you know I’m still alive…kinda. It’s been a while since I did a review, so when my publicist sent an audio review over to the blog, I grabbed it. As some of you know, the only way I’m able to read and write is by listening to audiobooks. In fact, most of the time when I have my headphones in, it’s what I’m doing. That way, I can save my music for when I’m actually writing. Anyway, as I was saying, I grabbed this title and did let the others know it had come in. Trust me. I had my reasons.
Before I dive completely into the review, let’s talk about my heading. Why? Because it’s very informative about The Barbarian’s Captive. Erotic science fiction is not something I normally pick up, and in the back corners of my mind, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly, I was imagining something like the 2004-2007 cartoon series my husband used to watch called Tripping the Rift. The Barbarian’s Captive wasn’t Tripping the Rift, however, there were a few similarities.
Now, I don’t really consider myself a science fiction girl. I say this while looking up to see if I’m going to be struck by lightning. True science fiction is not something I read. I’m normally into urban fantasy, but I have always been a Trekkie. At least for the original series and Next Gen, so I can’t say I don’t get into science fiction. And let’s be honest…there was a lot of hooking up implied in the shows. So why am I talking about Star Trek in my review? Because the book actually makes reference to the “old twentieth-century” shows, and before I even read the first reference, I thought, This is so Star Trek. Mind you, there are a lot of differences, but the bottom line is it’s an awesome head nod to a favorite show.
The biggest difference in The Barbarian’s Captive is that Eva’s crew is all women, and she’s a science officer. Another is that the earth is dying thanks to us humans and the wars we keep having – among other issues. Honestly, that part of the story seems plausible because let’s face it – how many of us haven’t wondered what might happen if we had another world war? Now, I’m not going to sit here and tell you I was in love with this book from the beginning. I wasn’t. In fact, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep listening to it or not. I will say I’m glad I did. I would’ve missed out on all the chuckling I ended up doing, not to mention the questions it conjured up.
So, I’m not sure if Maddie was intending to make a statement with this book or not, but she did. It’s not in your face but the undertone is there. Before I get too much into my thoughts, I’m going to ask a couple of questions, and I’d love you – the reader – to really think about them. 1) If you got captured in a foreign country, would you expect them to treat you as you’d be treated back home? 2) If we erase our history, how will we ever learn?
Let’s start with question two and how it relates to The Barbarian’s Captive. Eva’s crew is off-world trying to find another world for the people of Earth to live because we can’t stop killing each other. They have had WWIII, and it practically destroyed the world. In fact, on Eva’s Earth (and I’ll go so far to say in America the draft has been reinstated but it now includes women). Which I’m not opposed to that as it is because if women want to be treated exactly like the men, then we also need to be included in the draft if it ever starts back up. But what shocks me is that while some of our technology has advanced a bit, we couldn’t figure out how to save the Earth. Instead, we are a war-hungry planet that can’t learn from its history. Which is why history is so important as long as we actually learn from it and don’t try to recreate what we think should’ve happened. You can’t always make everyone happy because human nature doesn’t work that way. Someone is always going to have their feelings hurt. It’s the nature of our beast. Just because we evolve doesn’t mean the past was wrong nor is the new way right; it’s a balancing act which is what Eva has to learn after she is captured.
This brings us to my first question, just because you have been treated or have rights in your part of the world doesn’t mean you’ll have those same rights somewhere else. To think so is crazy. This also has to do with history in a way. Women have had to fight for rights for centuries, yet we still have always held power. This is something Eva has a hard time coming to terms with. She doesn’t like being told what to do because she’s had all these freedoms and rights back on Earth and mostly in America. But again, not everyone has those same rights nor are you going to get them if you’re caught in a foreign country. Yet Eva isn’t willing to accept change, and one of her crew is so against change that it could cost her and Eva more than just their freedom. Change does not happen overnight, and no one should expect it to which is why you have to remember your history and realize change happens over time.
For example, Maddie explains at the beginning of The Barbarian’s Captive why the alien planet will always remain a male-dominated world. They lost over half their female population, and the ones that survived became sterile. What male in their right mind would let the remaining women do much? Yes, this kind of goes back to our 1940-1960 history. While the men where off fighting, the women were out working, but when the men came home from war, they were expected to go back to work, and the women would run the household. I’ve seen first hand what that family looked like. My grandparents had it when Grandpa was alive. I was more afraid of my grandmother than my grandfather. They had a partnership, and even though Grandpa made the money, Grandma ran the house. Now, I realize that was not every household, but this is where were you can’t just look at the bad; you have to look at the big picture. And I think Maddie does this well. While Eva has a hard time conforming to her new surroundings, some of her shipmates do not. It’s not that they are weak, but they are willing to compromise when it’s to benefit the greater good. Sometimes you need baby steps to make a change, and that is one of the lessons I saw throughout The Barbarian’s Captive.
I will say some of Maddie’s forms of punishment were interesting, and if you’re into kink, you’ll enjoy those, as well. I really want to know all the positions one tool can move into. And I wonder if we were to re-implement some of the medieval forms of punishment if the crime rate would go down. I will say the alien probe scene, which is at the beginning of the book, made me think of all the tales we’ve heard about being probed, and like Eva, reminded me of going to the doctor, so I cringed and chuckled all at the same time.
So this review is not exactly what I was expecting, but neither was the book. Read this with an open mind and be prepared for a lot of spanking with a bit of BDSM. It will make you think long after you read or listen to the story. I sure did.