Title: Mafia Captive
Author: Kitty Thomas
Published: April 2013
Format: Ebook provided for review
Faith Jacobson was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After witnessing a mob hit, she’s only moments from death when Angelo Raspallo decides to give his brother an unlikely gift.
Leo has avoided involvement with the family business, but it doesn't make him a saint. He’s troubled and ashamed by his darker sexual desires, one of which is to own a slave. But when his brother throws Faith at his feet, repainting the scenario to make Leo the hero rescuing her from certain death, his moral fortitude will be tested. If Faith were kinky, it would be easy to live out his fantasy, but she’s not—not even a little bit. Even the mildest spanking sparks terror in her that Leo can’t bear.
The gift soon becomes a burden as he fights with himself over how to handle the addition to his home. He could release her, but his brother doesn't do loose ends. The only thing keeping her out of the bottom of the harbor is Leo’s mercy. She’s like a beautiful piece of art he keeps in a glass case but can never touch. Is possessing her enough?
Author’s Note: Mafia Captive has more of a love theme than many other Kitty titles, though the work is still quite psychologically dark. Readers may also notice a “new adult” flavor as Faith is just out of college and trying to find her place in the world when she is thrust into Leo’s life and home.
Kitty Thomas has done it again. She has created another book that I just adored, even when it made me mad at it. This woman is just a phenomenal writer. If you are looking for a book that is a bit different from the norm, then you should check out her backlist. I’ve read a few, and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them. But when you do, make sure you read the warnings. Some definitely deal with sensitive issues that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
As for Mafia Captive, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. I had heard several people rumbling about how it was so different for Kitty. The main character, Faith, wasn’t even kinky. Then I just found it amusing that so many people had just boxed Kitty into this kinky corner and rebelled when she wrote something different. Come on people!? Take the time to read this book, see it for what it is, and not compared to her other work. Ok, off of my soapbox.
Faith. That’s who this story is mostly about. She was on her way home one night after going out with some friends when she witnessed a murder. But not any murder, a mob hit. And the man saw her. He was about to kill her, too, when he decided he had a better plan for her. As it turns out, his twin brother, Leo, has an affection for redheads and has a dream of actually owning someone. Angelo thinks this will solve his problems. For one, he gives his brother an unusual Christmas present; two, he makes sure this girl is unable to report him; and three, I think it kind of serves his own sadistic side.
This is the part where I like Faith – she fights back with both Angelo and Leo. She still has that spark of survival when she thinks there is something to fight for. I really liked that. And as for Leo, at first I didn’t like him. Something seemed a bit off with him, like maybe he’d been hit in the head a few times. As the story went on, I quickly changed my stance on both of these characters.
Leo does decide to keep Faith. But she is so reluctant and fragile that he lets her off easy. Guilt had him in its grips as he was concerned about losing the actual person inside the body. Even though he feels she ultimately has a submissive inside of her, he doesn’t want to break her into nothing. I thought this was pretty generous of him, given his desires and the situation itself. But of course, Angelo does something that adds a big twist to the whole thing – he tells their mother that Leo has a girlfriend. Seriously, Angelo? What the hell? Angelo was beginning to strike me as the boy who acts out because he didn’t get the attention he wanted. He was an interesting character, and he definitely added in shots of adrenalin several times throughout the story.
And as for Faith, she began to annoy me. It became very difficult to remember she was just a young girl of 21 or 22, she’d just witnessed a hit, and she became a slave, all within a matter of hours. Her entire life, which wasn’t fabulous - but it was hers, was gone. But her constant thoughts about how she couldn’t give Leo what he wanted, she couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that. Gah! It became too much for me. Why? Well because she had developed feelings for this man. This man who had showed her kindness under extreme and unusual circumstances, who had agreed to keep her and leave her alone just so she could live, this man who sent people to get her friggin cat for Pete’s sake, this man who promised not to hurt her. Yes, she was his captive. But if she left, Angelo would kill her instantly. So her refusal to make the best of a horrible situation just kind of ground on me. She began to care about Leo!! That was the rub for me. I mean, if he was brutal and mean, and she had no attraction, I could see the need for her constant cowering. I don’t know… she just wasn’t the strong woman I initially thought she was, and I felt betrayed for that.
But here is the weird thing – I still cared for Faith. She was making me angry, and the logical part of my brain knew that her situation was taxing in the most simplest of terms. So even while my emotional side was angry, there was a big part of me that cared for this young girl. I still wanted to protect her, myself. I wanted her to be happy. And Leo is a predator at heart, he really is. But he has a conscience and a heart that keep him on track. So the two of them mix, and they are fighting the situation, fighting their own emotions, and lack of communication even adds its own seasoning to this combination.
And THAT is why this book is so great. It’s not because Leo is into BDSM, because he is in a big way. It’s not because he forces the lifestyle on this young girl, because he doesn’t. As I’m sure you know, Kitty Thomas is Zoe Winters. And when Kitty is Zoe, she has a terrific voice and her stories grab you. But when she is Kitty, she grabs you and doesn’t let go. She crosses the lines and flips the critics off from the other side. This story was complex. It was very emotional at times, sometimes even a bit funny. There are things that happen that will make you gasp and get angry at this person or that person. Sometimes you might feel like justice happened. And at others, you will fear for what’s to come. And that is why I loved Mafia Captive.