Something horrible happened to Elijah Dunne when he was only twelve years old—something horrific enough for his grandfather to take him away from his grasping, selfish stage mother and have him leave what was a promising movie career to grow up in the quiet Montana countryside. But after his granddad’s death, Elijah’s mother, who is nicknamed Lucifer, returns and they go together to Hollywood where Elijah wins his first Oscar and is seemingly on his way to superstardom. Then he gets outed—naked pictures hit the media and threats toward the young man roll in. There’s more to it though, for Elijah also begins to get presents from the very person who ruined his life years ago. Nowhere feels safe—until Shep arrives. The bodyguard is different; something about his reactions or lack thereof doesn’t seem quite right to Elijah and yet, despite that, Elijah finds Shep’s strange behavior makes the man all the more intoxicating.
Shepherd has been different all his life, but he’s learned to hide it, to put on a mask that makes him charming, approachable—almost normal. The only problem is when he finds something that actually touches him and sparks an interest inside him, he wants to take it apart and examine it, to discover why it causes such an anomaly within him. Elijah causes that spark and once he does, Shep decides the young man will be his, no matter what. No one messes with what is Sheps’, not unless they wanted to bear the consequences. Shep isn’t worried that Elijah will turn him away; after all, they are so alike—both wearing a mask to keep those on the outside from seeing too much.
Captivating, book two in the Elite Protection Services series by Onley James, has shaken me up and blown me apart. Captivating is thrilling, intense, and a little bit twisted. I so wish I could tell you everything about Shep and Elijah, but we all know that might spoil any readers their WTF moment and, trust me, there are more than one of those in this book. There is a happy ever after, never fear, but it’s what leads up to that moment that will make you reel back in shock. Honestly, it will either potentially horrify you or make you just laugh at the complete insanity of it all—either way it will definitely elicit something from you, I guarantee it.
What I can tell you is that I really loved how Shep simply wanted to make Elijah happy and that my heart just broke when the younger man admitted he wasn’t even sure he knew what real happiness was. I can also tell you that there is a special place with burning fire for Lucifer, aka, Elijah’s mother—that woman was just pure evil and aptly nicknamed. I also really enjoyed seeing Wyatt and Charlie again—they were both in the first novel as you may remember and they are back and just as outrageous as they were before. Fans of the first book hopefully will delight in how happy Wyatt is now—I know I did. This novel had lots of kink in its own special way and the chemistry between Shep and Elijah is spot on. The age gap—several years—just seemed to disappear and instead I got the sense of both men filling the gaps within each other as only someone in love with you can do.
Captivating is an incredible novel—there is healing from past trauma and abuse, finding the soul mate you always hoped was out there, and some really wild twists that made this book stand out as one whose ending I never could have imagined in a million years. The characters are well-developed, intense, and perfect for each other. This book was fascinating from beginning to end.