Reviewed by Jenny
5 Stunning stars!
“Who am I?
Am I Caleb?
Am I James?
I’ve often asked myself this very thing and have always come up with a different answer. Perhaps the only answer that can be truthful is to say, “I am both.”
Such was the beginning of Epilogue and with these words I was drawn back into the Dark Duet series. Those words crushed me for the man who was, and is, Caleb/James.
Being up close and personal with Caleb felt……. intimate. I experienced a connection and a love for Caleb the like in which I never have before – it was as if Caleb was narrating his story to me personally. As if this beautiful, dangerous and damaged man was laying his inner most thoughts, fears and feelings bare… to ME.
“Tell me I don’t deserve you. Tell me all the things I already know.”
Caleb’s telling of his story touched me deeply and had me laughing with him, feeling happiness and sadness for him, whilst also experiencing a sense of anger both at him and with him. Stripping his emotions bare for all to see rendered me to tears and made want to reach out, touch his cheek, offer him assurance and urge him to continue. His humour charmed me and the power of Caleb’s voice culminated in emotions of every description to course through me.
“She wanted me. She wanted me as much as I wanted her…..”
Caleb’s story always demanded to be told. Well I know I wanted to hear it – and who else but Caleb could make us understand and give us the answers we so desperately craved. There was much I desired to hear. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I was completely satisfied at the end of Seduced, but if I was going to be privy to Caleb’s narrative on how Livvie and Caleb arrived at the point at the end of Seduced …well, the opportunity was one I wasn’t going to miss!! From that point, a want to know became a need to know.
“Fear is part of it.”
Why Livvie? Why did he choose Livvie, and how was she to have such an effect on Caleb……how was she able to enter his heart and break down his defenses where others hadn’t. Who was Caleb now? Was he very different to the Caleb then? What feelings did he experience that night in September of 2010, the night he met Livvie at The Paseo. I needed to know it all!
“It was only natural for her to wonder about the ways I hadn’t changed.”
Well, I could not have been more impressed with the execution and conclusion of Caleb’s words in Epilogue if I tried. CJ Roberts has indeed done Caleb, and her readers proud.
Caleb is an engaging, charming, sexy and witty narrator who completely captivated me. His is a story peppered with humour, inner conflict, cheekiness and honesty.
Did Caleb slip effortlessly back into Livvie’s life or did he have to fight like he has never fought before? How had Livvie coped without Caleb during his absence and how did Livvie move on and make a life for herself?
“I always wondered—before—if you craved me like this. Did you?”
We are afforded so much more than mere “answers” in Epilogue. CJ Roberts has written a raw tale in what I feel is an absolute must read for those of us who took Livvie and Caleb into our hearts. To bear witness to the struggle, the turmoil, the fun, the sensuality and the absolute passion between these two really is compelling reading and in no way constitutes “an alternative pov” tag.
Epilogue does not simply fill in the gaps. It manages to give us an extension of the story where the reader experiences a journey so different and intoxicating it’s akin to feeling a new phase in the lives of Livvie and Caleb. Epilogue is a frank, gritty, passionate and emotional read where feelings are stripped raw and the narrative is told in an almost voyeuristic manner. Oh yeah, I admit it….there was a time or two I actually answered Caleb, such was the intimate nature in the way he conveyed his thoughts, as if he were conversing with me personally.
“No one knew who we were or what we had been through to get to that moment.”
The sex is kinky and very, VERY hot …..oh and very, very consensual…..VERY consensual. These two have been programmed in such a way that sex, the sex they enjoy, is very much a part of them as breathing. How they express and feel, so much is sexual and experiencing the emotion built into these scenes will leave you breathless. Yep readers, these two definitely know how to get your pulse racing!
“No questions, Pet. You’ll like it. I promise. Or at the very least, I will.”
As I said, the manner in which this story is told really does make one feel like a voyeur watching two people in their most private, intimate moments and with this came the heart crashing feelings of witnessing Caleb attempting to assimilate into Livvie’s life, trying to understand the woman she was to the woman she is, addressing his guilt and desperately wanting to be part of Livvie’s life.
“My feelings toward her were on the tip of my tongue. I’d been holding the words in since the moment I had watched her walk out of my life…”
Livvie was a revelation. This girl who we all empathized with, hurt with and who made us feel so desperately for the girl who lost her youth and her innocence and who, at the hands of Caleb experienced the most harrowing, confusing and conflicting of situations and emotions…..how did Livvie survive and maintain the capacity to forgive and love? Or did she? Hers is an inner strength we admire greatly.
“I want to ask you a few questions, Caleb, and I need for you to be completely honest with me. Can you do that?”
I cannot urge readers enough to pick up and devour Epilogue as I did. To refer to Epilogue as merely “Caleb’s pov” would so far off the mark because Epilogue is, in fact, an extension of the story and an absolute MUST READ.
CJ Roberts is an author who knows how to deliver a story. This author loves, deeply loves her characters and it shows. She has never shied from telling Caleb and Livvie’s story the way “they” want it told and has always remained true to her characters, even if that has been at the discomfort of the reader and for that I admire and respect her greatly.
As a reader I love nothing more than to be tested. To be taken out of my comfort zone, to question my thought process and feel emotion to the point of tears and anger, to have my gut twisting and my heart aching….it’s what reading is all about for me and it’s bloody exhilarating. There’s nothing better, and I can tell you that has been my experience with every book in the Dark Duet Series and Epilogue is no exception.
“Tell me I’m a sick bastard and you want me out of your life forever.”
Epilogue is Caleb’s story and who better to trust with his story than the person who loves him most. CJ Roberts….. Caleb and I commend you. What a truly sensual, beautiful, emotional, provocative, passionate and raw story you and Caleb have given us.
“I know, Pet. We’ve come a long way from there. Yet, here we are….”
Caleb spoke, CJ answered and I listened. Caleb and Livvie, you own my heart.
ARC Supplied by author for an honest review
THE DARK DUET SERIES by C J ROBERTS