Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a review for a M/M space opera adventure romance from A.C. Thomas. CAPTIVATED is the second book in The Verge adventure series and I couldn’t put it down. Check out my review for RESTRICTED, the first book in this series. So good!
Dr. Theophrastus Campbell leads a comfortable life, along with his twin brother, buried in academia. His unique gift for obscure languages goes unnoticed as he teaches University students to conjugate Latin. Everything in his world is just as it should be; restrained, understated, boring. He would give anything to break away. In all his daydreams of adventure, Theo never expected it to arrive in the form of an outrageously attractive Outlier covered in intriguing tattoos. And Theo never thought the price he might pay for adventure would be his own freedom.
Captain Park Jun-Seo leads a dangerous life, running a Crew of misfits through Restricted space as he desperately searches for the key to completing his parents’ work. Work that could mean the difference between life and death for countless others. In all of his frantic searching, Jun never expected to find the key in the form of a beautiful professor with more brilliance than good sense. And he never thought the price he might pay for knowledge would be his own heart.
Stoic Jun and irrepressible Theo must work together to break the code before their time is up. Falling into bed together is effortless, but their growing connection wasn’t in the plan. Theo charms his way beneath Jun’s skin with every nonsensical move he makes. Jun must decide if he can make room in his harsh, goal-driven life for the unpredictable force of love. Theo begins their journey as a lighthearted adventure—until he cracks Jun’s tough facade to reveal the hero within. Theo must decide if he can risk his battered heart when Jun is risking everything.
In the lawless depths of space, can two captive hearts set each other free?
Dr. Theophrastus Campbell is a resident of Brittania, one of the Core planets stuck within the Verge, a force field that prevents marauders from attacking the main planets. He’s an extroverted linguist–one of the best in the Core–and that’s my Captain Park Jun-Seo, from the Restricted Section beyond the Verge has come to his office to kidnap him. Theo scribes out a hidden message to his twin brother, Dr. Aristotle Campbell, a pre-eminent geologist, and decides to take Captain Park’s kidnapping as a bit of an adventurous lark, one that could net him some fascinating linguistic opportunities as well as some sexy-time with the delicious, if gruff, man.
Jun is a beast of a man, tatted and augmented to help keep him alive in the desolate and dangerous areas of space he’s grown up in. But, there might be a way to bring a new energy source to the planets beyond the Verge, which would open trade routes and perhaps help those of his family still exist beyond the Verge. If only Dr. Campbell wasn’t so lithe, and clean, and verbose about his sexual desires. Jun needs Theo’s help deciphering the dead language that hides these galactic secrets. If only the young, gorgeous academic could keep his sexy, tempting mouth shut.
Well, all of Theo’s suitors had felt the same, so he’s going to make the most of his forced proximity to the virile and forceful captain.
This is a unique and engaging world that’s a bit of a mix with Victorian sensibilities and the space exploration tech. As with the first book in the series, I really loved the story, and the originality of the plot twists. Theo is cheeky and fun, absorbing his captivity with salty aplomb, and teasing the heck out of Jun. He’s brave and bold and unashamed of his attraction to Jun. They develop a rapport that feeds the sexual tension growing between them. Jun is really a decent man, stressed to all lengths to achieve independence for himself and his followers. Their part of space is continually ravaged by marauders, and he wants to level the playing field, so there can be more than a subsistence existence beyond the Verge–where plenty of beings live. Even his initial resistance to Theo’s overtures is admirable, if frustrating!
Their adventures are risky, putting Jun in position to be captured by his former captain/owner and maybe scuttle the entire mission. For those who’ve read the first book, you know that Ari is doggedly trying to save Theo from his captors–and their reunion is so joyful. Captains Jun and Orin (who helped Ari locate Theo) are outmatched, but never outclassed, by this dynamic duo of intelligence, the Doctors Ari and Theo Campbell. It seems that the stage is now set to liberate the energy needed to power the planets and outposts beyond the Verge, but the story ends pretty much with a plan to go on. I flew through both RESTRICTED and CAPTIVATED, adoring the adventures and the romances, and I SO HOPE we will have a third book to complete the story arc. If so, I look very much forward to reading it.
About the Author:
A.C. Thomas left the glamorous world of teaching preschool for the even more glamorous world of staying home with her toddler. Between the diaper changes and tea parties, she escapes into fantastical worlds, reading every romance available and even writing a few herself.
She devours books of every flavor—science fiction, historical, fantasy—but always with a touch of romance because she believes there is nothing more fantastical than the transformative power of love.