Book Review : Twist Me (Twist Me #1) by Anna Zaires
Kidnapped. Taken to a private island.
I never thought this could happen to me. I never imagined one chance meeting on the eve of my eighteenth birthday could change my life so completely.
Now I belong to him. To Julian. To a man who is as ruthless as he is beautiful – a man whose touch makes me burn. A man whose tenderness I find more devastating than his cruelty.
My captor is an enigma. I don’t know how he is or why he took me. There is a darkness inside him – a darkness that scares me even as it draws me in.
My name is Lora Leston, and this is my story.
WARNING : This is NOT a traditional romance. It contains disturbing subject matter, including themes of questionable consent and Stockholm Syndrome, as well as graphic sexual content. This is a work of fiction intended for a mature, 18+ audience only. The author neither endorses nor condones this type of behavior.
A Sneak Peek Into The Story :
I must say, after reading through a lot of half-baked dark erotica books, and rolling my eyes though way-too-cheesy dialogue, I was practically weeping in joy when I found Anna Zaires’ books. To my surprise, I have actually put this book in my to-be-read list for almost two years and only now that I got around to read it, which is quite regretful in my part.
The story starts with Nora, a soon to be 18 years old High School graduate. One night, when she goes out to a club with a best friend Leah, Nora meets Julian. His striking pale blue eyes and extreme good-looks captives her immediately. Although Julian is drop-dead gorgeous, Nora senses something about him that spikes an undercurrent of fear in her. Her senses telling her that he doesn’t play by the normal rules, that Julian might be the most dangerous creature she has ever met. While she feels attracted to Julian, she also feels ridiculously frightened at the same time. Despite what she feels, Nora is a smart girl, and she knows danger when she sees one. Deciding not to act on her desires, she turns around and leaves.
She sees him again 3 weeks later, at her high school graduation ceremony. This time, he is siting in the back, silently watching the graduation ceremony, watching her. Nora tries to play it of, chalking it off to him being here for someone else who is also graduating today. Obviously, he could not be here for her, could he? They barely even know each other, other than that one exchange in the club. Nora keeps trying to convince herself that it is just a coincidence that Julian is also here on her graduation day, thinking to herself that it is impossible that he is here for her. Even though deep down inside she knows, that she is lying to herself.
Jake is the quarterback in the school’s football team, and also – according to Nora – the hottest guy on the planet. She has had a crush on him since she was 17, always watching from a distance, but never manage to have the guts to go and talk to him. Jake is popular, and Nora knows that she will never stand a chance against all those long-legged cheerleaders climbing all over him. She has always been content with just observing from the distance, just watching Jake from the shadows. Her best friend Leah however, thinks otherwise, as she constantly pushes Nora to talk to him. Heeding Leah’s advice, she decides to go to Jake’s post-graduation party and give it a shot.
At Jake’s party, she eventually get the chance to talk to him and to her surprise, Jake too is actually interested in her. He soon asks her out on a date, which she giddily agrees. On the day of her date with Jake, it went way better than she expected. They talk and discuss about their future plan after high school, with Nora planning to go to community college and Jake going straight to university. Nora can feel that they truly are clicking, that Jake is also interested in her. The date goes on without a hitch, however it all changes when Jake – who she was kissing only a few seconds ago – is suddenly lying unconscious on the ground. And before Nora can even scream, she feels a sharp prick on the side of her neck and everything turns dark.
When she come to, she is in a totally different surroundings. And with one man to blame, Julian. Possessive. Controlling. Ruthless. Julian is a sadist and a control freak. He knew, from the moment he saw Nora at the club, that he will stop at nothing to have her, to claim her, to possess her, to make her his. In the island where he holds Nora captive, he trains and molds her, twists her own conviction against herself and manipulates her to accept him and crave his touch. He confuses her, toys with her mind and overwhelms her, pulling all these tricks to make Nora grow more and more attached to him despite her hatred for what he did to her.
“He stands in the doorway like a dark angel. His hair curls a little around his face, softening the hard perfection of his features. His eyes are trained on my face, and his lips are curved in a slight smile. He’s stunning. And utterly terrifying. My instincts had been right – this man is capable of anything.”
And just like Nora, I tried to dislike him, tried to fight from the compel of his charms. And yet, just like Nora, I find myself inevitably drawn to him, to the way he is able to twist everything to a certain way until you have no choice to succumb to his wants and desires. And believe me, I know it sounds absolutely horrifying to be this enthralled by Julian, who constantly does unforgivably sick and twisted things, but just like Nora, I can’t help it despite myself.
I am pretty sure you know by now that I am a big fan of dark erotica books, and since I finished reading Captive In The Dark, I find myself constantly and relentlessly looking for books that resembles that series. It is as if that series ruin any other dark erotica book for me, it set the bar so high that it is hard for any other books to try and top it. I find myself continue to look, yet also never quite satisfied with what I have found, until this book. At first, I was a little bit skeptical going into the book, as with the case of recent dark erotica books that I have read, which started off great and then just flopped after a few chapters. But with “Twist Me”, before I know it, I was already halfway through the book and was unable to put it down.
The one reason why I enjoy dark erotica so much is because of the emotional development between the characters, the author’s ability to paint what the character is feeling vividly in the reader’s mind. I swear it is rush unlike any other whenever I read a book with a good emotional development between the main characters.
And it was exactly what I found in this book. “Twist Me” is based on Nora’s POV, and through her eyes, we feel her emotions and reactions – from when she was kidnapped, and slowly manipulated and molded by Julian – you can feel her confusion, her desire to try to out win Julian in his own game, her hatred towards Julian and herself from succumbing to his will, all the while being undeniably mesmerized by him. And also the inner war she has with herself when she feels herself slowly but reluctantly come to trust her captor. Anna Zaires painted the character and her emotion so vividly in my head that it comes to a point where I feel as if me and Nora are one.
Not only that, despite her dislike to Julian’s ways and how he treats her and how possessive he is of her, she still finds herself unable to deny him. The chemistry between the two of them is basically through the roof with the way they interact with each other, physically and mentally. I also enjoy that she has that spunk in her, she knows how to pick her battles, knows when to fight and when to yield. Although what I enjoyed most about her character is the fact that she is not just all a bundle of emotions and recklessness. She is logical – while she might be afraid and angry, she doesn’t let her emotions control her – which a lot of dark erotica heroine lacks.
While I would have been satisfied with just Julian and Nora and their lives in that island, the author surprises me even more by adding action into the mix, pulling me even deeper into the dangers of Julian’s world. While this is not as dark and twisted as other books that I have read, “Twist Me” is definitely mind-fuckery at it’s best. Throughout the book, you will find your emotions toyed and played with, the characters stimulating your feelings on so many levels.
The Verdict :
Throughout the story, I find myself ping-ponging back and forth from hating to loving Julian, from wanting to kill him for being so heartless and twisted, to wanting to cower in a corner because of how terrifying he can be. It is still mind-boggling how Anna Zaires managed to evoke emotions in me I didn’t know exists and send me in into a roller-coaster of emotions. There are a lot of twists and turns in this book that totally takes me by surprise, which makes it all the more interesting and harder to put down.
Needless to say, this book is downright amazing, very well written and engaging, I promise you – just like how Julian captivate Nora – once you pick up this book, it will ensnare you in it’s charm and never let you go.
“ A moment of wordless communication passes between us, and I know.
I know what he can’t say right now.
I know he would always come for me.
I know he would kill for me.
I know he would die for me.”