Stolen from a bright life full of colors, happiness and youth, Nicole Reed is dragged into a pit of pain and depravity where all she can hope for is a quick end. But her captors don't want to kill her. They want to use her to teach a little boy whom they plan to mold in their image.
She must free him before that happens. Only, she can't stand against those who hold him, not alone. Her only hope is Vince, one of her tormentors, who may still show a glimmer of humanity.
Or maybe that's just a trick of the light.
Warning: BDSM, graphic violence, dubious consent, forced sex, forced M/M sex, less than willing participation in edge play, content that some readers will consider objectionable including hot sex with a drool-iciously evil man.
As I mentioned in my review of Book 1, Deadly Captive, I made the mistake of reading Collateral Damage (Book 2 in the series) first. Though this might have affected my review for the first book, it in no way reflected in my enjoying Collateral Damage, which until the extreme end of the book could very well be a stand-alone book.
We begin Collateral Damage in Nicole Reed’s classroom as she reads a story to her grade school students. After work, she joins her co-worker, Amanda, for some drinks. But as the two friends make their way to town, they come across a child running alone in the street – whom they almost run over with their car.
As they see the child (who was no more than five years old) dart into an alley, the two teachers decide to park and see if they can help the boy. Ultimately, this leads to their undoing as the women quickly find out they were lured into a trap. Before Nicole can figure out what is going on, she is captured by some men and Amanda is killed before her eyes.
Nicole believes the end has come for her, but little does she know it it is only the beginning of her ordeal. Repeatedly raped before she even knows where her captors are taking her, her mental stability is hanging by a thread. When she finally arrives at her destination, Nicole learns she and several other teachers have been abducted to educate Alrik, the young boy she saw running in the street.
The captured teachers have to compete amongst themselves to become Alrik’s teacher and those who are not chosen will be dismissed (permanently). Of course, being ‘chosen’ not only entails that Alrik takes a liking to the teacher, but the teacher must also be obedient to all her captor’s whims.
From the first book, Deadly Captive, Cyrus (the sadistic vampire) reappears and we learn he is the mastermind behind all the abductions. If you read Deadly Captive, you would know Alrik is the son of Joe, who Cyrus abducted in retaliation for how Joe and Lydia escaped his compound. In Collateral Damage, Cyrus reveals it is his ultimate plan of revenge to raise young Alrik as his own and turn him into a vampire when he is of age.
Nicole has no knowledge of this backstory; all she knows is she must teach Alrik and hopes he likes her, as well as obey her captors at all costs if she is to survive. Thoughts of Amanda’s death constantly plague her and she struggles to stay sane in the maddening atmosphere Cyrus has created.
Then there’s Vince, a vampire in Cyrus’ retinue. Vince was once under Cyrus’ direct command, and we learn Cyrus is now ready to see if he has adequately molded Vince to his image. Cyrus ‘gifts’ Nicole to Vince and tasks him on making her an obedient slave.
At first resistant to her fate, Nicole quickly learns that things are not as they seem with Vince and she finds herself seeing a side to the vampire he rarely shows anyone. It seems a similar fate like Alrik’s befell Vince and he was also the victim of Cyrus’ sick games when he was younger.
Nicole wonders if she can convince Vince to help her rescue Alrik and break away from Cyrus, but this will not be an easy task as Cyrus controls every aspect of their lives. Will Nicole be successful, or is her fate sealed forever?
My Personal Thoughts:
Collateral Damage blew me away! Once I started this book, I did not put it down and read it in one go. Nicole’s story is harrowing and raw, and Bianca Sommerland does an amazing job evoking so many emotions as you read how Nicole struggles to survive.
I loved the dynamic between Nicole and Vince – how Nicole sees the advantages of him being a vampire to aid in their escape and how Vince values Nicole as a last tie-in to his humanity – something Cyrus has done everything in his power to strip from him. I think this is why I had a such a problem with Deadly Captive and how in that book, the captive, Lydia was so reliant on Joe, a human, to escape.
It just didn’t make sense how Lydia thought Joe was going to make it past all of the powerful vampires. In Collateral Damage, however, Nicole allies herself with Vince, a vampire who has the means to take on Cyrus – a more believable and engaging storyline. Or maybe I’m biased and only loved Collateral Damage more for the paranormal pairing.
It wasn’t until the very last scene of Collateral Damage that Lydia and Joe from the last book make an appearance and Joe demands Cyrus gives back his son. This confused me and made me ask: Who are these people? LOL And it wasn’t until that scene when I realized I had read the books out of order. *head desk*
I was shocked at what Cyrus does at the end, and since this book was released in December of 2011, I scoured the net and set to find out when the next book of the series will be released. My heart sank as I could not find any information and it seems the author is working on another series. I hope we see a sequel in the near future as I just need to know what happens next!
Please head the warning labels in the book as the subject matter is extremely intense. You’ve been warned!
"Deep breath." He said as he settled his weight on top of me. When I sucked in a lungful of air he smiled. "There we go. That's my girl."
My girl. I gave him a tremulous smile and decided I wouldn't kick him out first thing in the morning. I moaned and rose up as he slid almost all the way out, closing my thighs against his hips to keep him from going too far. He circled his hips and shook his head, eyes twinkling.
I released him, and his expression softened as he eased his way past clenching muscle, his shallow thrusts teasing until I gave in and relaxed. He rewarded me with longer strokes, sliding in and out, faster and faster, massaging the muscles of my thighs as I quivered and fought not to tense up as I plunged into pure, liquid pleasure. He pistoned in and out, making it last.
"Jesus." He groaned and lifted my hips right off the bed, slamming in one last time before his strength seemed to leave him. "Good. Very good."
No. Perfect. The urge to hold him had me tugging at my arms. I couldn't move them. Of course, he hadn't untied me. And then I remembered. Those aren't ropes.
"Well done, Vincent. I'm sure once she realizes she's not behaving as a captive should, the shame will tear her apart more than any pain I could have dealt out." Cyrus' grip on my hands loosened, and then left completely. "Now hold her. After watching that, I need some release myself."
Shit! I bit my lip, still too far gone to even consider what I'd just done. All that I could think was I didn't want Cyrus anywhere near me. Even though he was near me.
And wasn't going anywhere.
"She's had enough." Vince's chest blocked me from the room as he covered me with his body and cradled me against him all at once. "We don't want to push her too far."
"If me fucking her pushes her too far, we don't really need her, do we?" Cyrus said. "Don't make me ask again. I'm feeling generous. I'll be quick. If you annoy me, I'll bring Darryl and a few of the others in, too. You know they'd usually all have their turn after an attempted escape."
"She didn't want attention. She wanted to see Alrik."
"I really don't give a shit. Move."
The shield of flesh and bone and man disappeared. Moved behind me, useless. In a half-seated position, I watched Cyrus fit himself between my thighs . . .
Rating: 5 Kisses