Book Review : Keep Me (Twist Me #2) by Anna Zaires
Book 2 in the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Dark Romance Trilogy
Abducted at eighteen. Held captive for 15 months.
It reads like one of those headlines. And yes, I did it. I stole her. Nora, with her long dark hair and silky skin. She’s my weakness, my obsession.
I’m not a good man. I never pretended to be one. She can love me, but she can’t change me.
I can, however, change her.
My name is Julian Esguerra, and Nora is mine to keep.
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 :
This book picks up right after the first book, Twist Me, left off. So if you haven’t read my review on the first book, I strongly suggest to go check that one out first before proceeding to read this review as there might be some spoilers from the first book.
In the second installation for Twist Me Trilogy, believe it or not, “Keep Me” is even more action packed and way more emotionally consuming than the first book. In this second book, we go deeper into Julian and Nora’s story, and a little bit deeper into Julian’s world.
Nora believes Julian was killed in the explosion after he saved her from the terrorist group who kidnapped her to get to him. Returning back home, she spends her time trying to piece her life back together. Trying to get back into her normal routine before Julian kidnapped her, and most importantly, trying to forget Julian. After all, is this not what she asked for all this time when she was Julian’s captive? Now that Nora is getting what she had desperately wished for, why is she not happy? Why is it now that her wishes has been granted, and that she is finally back to her old life, all she can think about is Julian?
Nora tries to fill her day with activities. Keeping herself busy, trying to get back into drawing, picking up self-defense classes, hanging out with her best friend Leah. And yet, all those activities that she does can’t seem to fill the emptiness festering inside her. Whether or not Nora wants to admit it, she is not the same girl as she was 15 months ago. She has changed. Into someone that neither her parents nor her friends can understand anymore. And she goes through everyday feeling as if she has lost a part of herself, Julian’s absence like a wound that refuses to heal. At night, she would wake up to nightmares. She would dream about the incident over and over again in her dreams. Only to cry herself back to sleep.
“When I’m not reliving his death, my dreams are disturbingly sexual. I dream of his mouth, his cock, his hands. They’re everywhere, all over me, inside me. I dream of his terrifyingly beautiful smile, of the way he used to hold and caress me.
Of the way he used to torture me until I forgot everything and lost myself in him.”
Sometimes, instead of reliving the incident, she also dreams of Julian. She dreams of him touching her, kissing her, and when she wakes up, she would be panting and sweating, missing him even more. Yet that night, something feels very different about her dream. It feels way too realistic, yet she knows that is all just her imagination playing with her, toying with her head – that is, until she opens her eyes. At first, she can’t seem to believe that it is truly him, staring down at her, but as she fully wake up, she sees for herself that it is Julian, and he is alive.
As she continues to become more deeply immersed into Julian’s world, she also realizes just how powerful and capable Julian actually is. Julian, knowing that he has no qualms of ever letting her go ever again, has also started to open up to her. While he is still the same ruthless and twisted man, he does start to tell her more about his world. Such as by letting her into his office and see for herself what and who he deals with on daily basis. And he also starts answering her questions that he would have ignored before.
What I love about this book is that the author, Anna Zaires, decides to tell the story in Julian’s POV as well. I have been curious about what is going on inside his head since book one. He has always been such an enigma to me – always very demanding, in control and unpredictable. In “Keep Me”, it is truly amazing to be able dive into his head and see for myself the extend of his feelings and obsession for Nora.
In this book, readers are brought along on this roller coaster ride as Julian also struggle to figure out his feelings for Nora. Which only grows more and more intense as time passes, as his addiction with Nora. Although Julian does begin to open up more and reveal his growing feeling for Nora in this book. The cold, calculating and remorseless man is still very much the dominant personality. He still takes what he wants, when he wants it, and shows no guilt. Nor does he feel sorry for it.
“When I abducted Nora, I knew that I crossed a line, that I sank to a new low. I did it with the full knowledge of what that makes me: an irredeemable beast, a destroyer of innocence. It’s a label I’m willing to live with to have her.
I would do anything to have her.
I want to be her everything: her protector and her tormentor, her joy and her sorrow. I want to bind her to me physically and emotionally, to brand myself so deeply on her mind and soul that she will never think about leaving me.”
In this book, while Nora is still consistently the same character as we saw in Twist Me, she seems to have also have grown some claws as she does try to fight Julian on some things and will stand her ground against him. While it is futile when we already who will win in the end, it is still very refreshing to see that she is still very much the strong-willed girl. A girl who will still fight for something when she truly does not agree to it despite the odds. Rather than just being turned into this meek character who agrees to everything.
Moreover, Anna Zaires really does an amazing job narrating the Nora’s thoughts. How she struggles with her attraction to Julian and her desire to submit to him, yet at the same time hating him for having such control and power over her life. While there are no big drastic character changes in Nora nor Julian, you can still see how the subtle changes in their attitude towards each other slowly affect their relationship. Eventually, their feelings for each other.
And as I mentioned earlier, Keep Me is even way more action-filled than the first book : Twist Me. As Julian decides to go after the group that has kidnapped Nora for revenge. With that added into the mix of their scorching chemistry together, this book is as unputdownable (if not more) than Twist Me. Anna Zaires truly has done above and beyond with her ability to continue to maintain to same dark, twisted and intriguing feel from the first book, Twist Me, yet at the same time introducing thought-provoking situation which will not only pull you in deeper into the story, but will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire read.
“ I need her with a violence that twists my guts, with a longing that both demolishes and uplifts me. I need her like I need air, and I would do whatever it takes to keep her with me.
I would die for her, but I would never let her go.”