Title: CAPTURE ME
Author: Anna Zaires
Genre: Dark Romance
Release Date: December 8, 2015
A new dark romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Twist MeShe fears him from the first moment she sees him. Yulia Tzakova is no stranger to dangerous men. She grew up with them. She survived them. But when she meets Lucas Kent, she knows the hard ex-soldier may be the most dangerous of them all. One night—that’s all it should be. A chance to make up for a failed assignment and get information on Kent’s arms dealer boss. When his plane goes down, it should be the end. Instead, it's just the beginning. He wants her from the first moment he sees her. Lucas Kent has always liked leggy blondes, and Yulia Tzakova is as beautiful as they come. The Russian interpreter might’ve tried to seduce his boss, but she ends up in Lucas’s bed—and he has every intention of seeing her there again. Then his plane goes down, and he learns the truth. She betrayed him. Now she will pay. NOTE: Capture Me is the first book about Lucas & Yulia and has a cliffhanger-ish ending. It’s a long novella/short novel of approximately 45,000 words (about 200 pages) and is a spin-off from the Twist Me trilogy. It’s not necessary to have read that trilogy to enjoy Capture Me, but the book does contain major spoilers for books 2 and 3 of Twist Me.
ExcerptAuthor’s Note: This is from Yulia’s POV. For those of you familiar with the Twist Me series, this scene takes place in Moscow, when Lucas & Julian were there to meet with the Russian officials. He steps into my apartment as soon as the door swings open. No hesitation, no greeting—he just comes in. Startled, I step back, the short, narrow hallway suddenly stiflingly small. I’d somehow forgotten how big he is, how broad his shoulders are. I’m tall for a woman—tall enough to fake being a model if an assignment calls for it—but he towers a full head above me. With the heavy down jacket he’s wearing, he takes up almost the entire hallway. Still not saying a word, he closes the door behind him and advances toward me. Instinctively, I back away, feeling like cornered prey. “Hello, Yulia,” he murmurs, stopping when we’re out of the hallway. His pale gaze is locked on my face. “I wasn’t expecting to see you like this.” I swallow, my pulse racing. “I just took a bath.” I want to seem calm and confident, but he’s got me completely off-balance. “I wasn’t expecting visitors.” “No, I can see that.” A faint smile appears on his lips, softening the hard line of his mouth. “Yet you let me in. Why?” “Because I didn’t want to continue talking through the door.” I take a steadying breath. “Can I offer you some tea?” It’s a stupid thing to say, given what he’s here for, but I need a few moments to compose myself. He raises his eyebrows. “Tea? No, thanks.” “Then can I take your jacket?” I can’t seem to stop playing the hostess, using politeness to cover my anxiety. “It looks quite warm.” Amusement flickers in his wintry gaze. “Sure.” He takes off his down jacket and hands it to me. He’s left wearing a black sweater and dark jeans tucked into black winter boots. The jeans hug his legs, revealing muscular thighs and powerful calves, and on his belt, I see a gun sitting in a holster. Irrationally, my breathing quickens at the sight, and it takes a concerted effort to keep my hands from shaking as I take the jacket and walk over to hang it in my tiny closet. It’s not a surprise that he’s armed—it would be a shock if he wasn’t—but the gun is a stark reminder of who Lucas Kent is. What he is. It’s no big deal, I tell myself, trying to calm my frayed nerves. I’m used to dangerous men. I was raised among them. This man is not that different. I’ll sleep with him, get whatever information I can, and then he’ll be out of my life. Yes, that’s it. The sooner I can get it done, the sooner all of this will be over. Closing the closet door, I paste a practiced smile on my face and turn back to face him, finally ready to resume the role of confident seductress. Except he’s already next to me, having crossed the room without making a sound. My pulse jumps again, my newfound composure fleeing. He’s close enough that I can see the gray striations in his pale blue eyes, close enough that he can touch me. And a second later, he does touch me. Lifting his hand, he runs the back of his knuckles over my jaw. I stare up at him, confused by my body’s instant response. My skin warms and my nipples tighten, my breath coming faster. It doesn’t make sense for this hard, ruthless stranger to turn me on. His boss is more handsome, more striking, yet it’s Kent my body’s reacting to. All he’s touched thus far is my face. It should be nothing, yet it’s intimate somehow. Intimate and disturbing. I swallow again. “Mr. Kent—Lucas—are you sure I can’t offer you something to drink? Maybe some coffee or—” My words end in a breathless gasp as he reaches for the tie of my robe and tugs on it, as casually as one would unwrap a package. “No.” He watches as the robe falls open, revealing my naked body underneath. “No coffee.”
Capture Me had me captivated. This read much more like an international thriller than a romance novel. This was surprising and wonderful to me. We meet beautiful blonde haired, blue-eyed Yulia who is a translator at a dinner between arms dealers. At the end of the dinner, Yulia does everything within her power to try to seduce Julian Esguerra. Esguerra is a newlywed and is not giving Yulia a second thought. However, when Esguerra’s bodyguard, Lucas does a frisk on Yulia, her body responds in ways it should not. Yulia is actually working as a spy employed by a Ukrainian organization. Since she wasn’t able to seduce Esguerra she thinks her mission has failed. Until Lucas arrives at her apartment then she creates a second chance to complete her mission, but at what cost?
Once Lucas arrives at Yulia’s apartment the pace of this novel increases tenfold. The descriptions used by the author had me watching a movie in my mind. The torture, the survival instincts, the interweaving of characters really had me holding my breath. I do want to point out that the author was great a knowing just how detailed to be with the torture descriptions. There were no over the top gruesome descriptions, just the author walking that fine line of enough to create a mental picture in the readers’ mind and then leaving enough up to the imagination.
This is the second book in a series, but definitely a standalone novel. After reading Capture Me I could not one-click Twist Me fast enough. I felt like I needed to know this story as well. Not to help me understand Capture Me better but because I wanted to dig deeper into the entire series. Can’t wait to see what happens next.
Coming February 2, 2016!
Bind Me (Capture Me, Book 2)
About the AuthorAnna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics, Anna spent eight years on Wall Street analyzing stocks and writing research reports. In 2013, she became a full-time author, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. Dima Zales is the love of her life and a huge inspiration in all aspects of her writing. Every book Anna writes is a product of their unique collaborative process. In addition to reading and writing, Anna enjoys drinking tea (coconut oolong, anyone?), watching addictive TV shows, and discussing book ideas during long walks with her amazing husband. She loves hearing from her readers, so please don't hesitate to contact her through her website or connect with her on Facebook, where she hangs out way too often. Also, please visit her husband and collaborator, Dima Zales, at www.dimazales.com and check out their fantasy & science fiction books.
Connect with Anna