arc · new release · review · romance

Enthralled by Giana Darling

Enthralled (The Enslaved Duet #1)
by Giana Darling

Rating: ★★★★★
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It was the biggest day of my life.
I know most people say that about something joyous; a graduation, a wedding ceremony, the birth of their first child. My situation was a little different.
Sure, it was my eighteenth birthday, but it was also the day that I was sold.
Sold to a man with hair like a crown of gold and eyes blacker than the darkest pits of Hell.
He bought me to own me, to control me, and to use me as a means to an end.
I was his tool and his weapon.
And through it all, somehow, I also became his salvation.

*ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

You can also read this review on Goodreads

Giana Darling’s poetic prose is my absolute favourite thing to consume—a seamless flow of enchanting sentences and enthralling moments weaved together to create an evocative narrative that will captivate your attention, entice your senses and summon an array of diverse emotions to surface. I’ve been charmed by every facet of this author’s writing since devouring the emotionally raw and passionate affair between Giselle and Sinclair.

But the true interest that truthfully attracted me lied with Alexander Davenport, the enigmatic and detached man who appeared beside Cosima Lombardi, screaming hushed tones of wicked deviance and unsolicited desire without needing to utter many words. Beautifully wretched, devilishly enticing and sinfully haunting, Enthralled will lure you into its darkened depths of servitude and dubious consent, unveiling the severe complex threads that bind, together in irrevocable ways, a slave and Master.

Five years might pass, the contract between us might dissolve into dust with time, but I would always be, elementally and crucially, Master Alexander’s woman.

I’ve been enamoured with Cosima, a delightfully aspiring woman with endearing vibrance, wise self-preservation and intense fierceness, its earnestness unrivalled by anyone else, since she was introduced in Giselle’s equally intense story. Cosima’s harboured secrets created an aura of mystery beyond her beloved daughter, loving sister and flourishing model persona, leaving me desperate to discover more of what lies beneath this fascinating woman’s carefully crafted facade. Reading Enthralled magnified my unsatiated curiosity, meanwhile satisfied my burning interest to understand this secretive woman better. Her poignant romanticist view on life is an endearing albeit heartrending quality that stands against the darkening atmosphere creeping and lingering throughout this narrative and contrasts beautifully with Alexander’s domineering character.

“Some monsters are made and some are born. You could say that I’m the worst of both worlds.”

Without doubt, Alexander is an enigma—comprised of an unfathomable series of hidden facets and untold secrets threaded together to manifest itself into a hardened and unreadable seeming gentleman. Promises of lascivious domination, debauched servitude and the bindings of an inescapable relationship demanding give and take without remorse burns bright within his shrewd irises, obvious in rare smiles he grants. I can’t stop myself from gravitating towards this commanding man’s intimidating yet alluring persona, despite his rough touches and all-consuming kisses that aren’t gentle or loving.

His controlling nature shouldn’t have been so intoxicating, but I knew myself well enough to admit, I was in his thrall.

Realistically, I shouldn’t be drawn towards the darkness of forced servitude or the exacting attitude of dominance, but there’s something powerfully seductive and fascinating about submission. Witnessing Cosima’s inevitable subservience, the way her body and mind, in its own unique method, commands Alexander is an act of reverent strength and dominance in itself. I adored her transformation from sheltered and sexually uncertain to blossoming into this liberated, wanton woman without hesitation.

Enthralled is sexually wicked and morally corrupt, however the darkness so blinding and compelling in deliverance, the juxtaposition between dominance and submissiveness written beautifully, it is hard to resist being drawn towards this narrative. I didn’t want to disclose much information regarding this duet because walking into this unaware with an open mind amplifies the sensations you experience, the emotions you undergo, the conundrum your thoughts will have to overcome.