Epilogue: The Dark Duet (The Dark Duet, #2.5)

Epilogue: The Dark Duet (The Dark Duet, #2.5) - C.J. Roberts Rating: 3.5 starsCaleb, where do I begin? I met Caleb on one of the hottest days of 2012, July 4th to be exact; a day of BBQ’s and family togetherness to celebrate our countries independence. I peeked in on him in Captive in the Dark just to see that the story loaded correctly and after a few paragraphs was hooked. His mind, his beautiful fucked up mind as he stalked a young girl waiting for her bus, deciding on when he would take her enthralled me, I became his captive at that moment. Which moment to be exact? I fell for him when he “saved” Livvie on the street. Those eyes got me. I kept reading, not knowing if I hated him or felt something for him. I read Captive that day, forgetting about food that needed to be made, showers that needed to be taken, kids that needed wrangling or trips that I needed to be a chauffeur for, I just read. I had to stop at a crucial point to make our trip and a case of voluntary tourettes erupted from me with my tick being the repetitive use of the word “fuck” and “he’s gonna be so pissed when he finds her!” Once I arrived at our destination, I sat down to finish the story. After that last page I looked up the second book, found there was a Kickstarter project for it and promptly pledged my money to get Seduced in the Dark published. I needed that book. I became part of a great group (you know you who are..meow!) of readers who all had one goal; we needed the rest of the story.When my physical copy of Seduced in the Dark arrived in the mail, I was afraid to touch it but of course had to open it to read the autograph which made me giggle and hug my book. I turned the page to the prologue; those few lines from Caleb had me instantly in tears. I was terrified, anxious and just a mess worrying about what would happen. See, I had read the first chapter of Seduced before and it turned me into Rain Man wondering what the hell was going on. Why was Livvie that way saying Caleb was WHAT? I had no idea where Seduced would take me and I was thankful for my support group when I finally submitted and gave into reading it. I was so lost in this story, so IN the story with Caleb and Livvie that everything stopped while I was reading it. Sleep did not matter, just those words on the page did. There was a moment, at the end of chapter 15 where I was so distraught and sobbing that my husband had to hold me a good 20 minutes before I could calm down, and then that end? That epilogue? It was beautiful and perfect; a total package in two books that I adored and loved. The image of Livvie asleep at Caleb’s feet while he finally read her story is engraved in my mind.A few months back, the wickedly fabulous CJ put a few lines out there from Caleb’s POV. Say what? Didn’t we already have the end of the story? What was this? A new Epilogue? We got one at the end of Seduced in the Dark and I loved it. I cried over it and I savored what we got. I was torn on if I wanted this version or not. I loved what was put out there but Seduced had wrung me out and strung me out on the biggest book hangover that I was unsure I could handle anymore. What WAS this going to be? The end but told via Caleb; but we got the epilogue in Caleb’s POV already. Trusting Ms. Roberts I went in with new eyes, let’s see what happened from the time Livvie meets Caleb at the Paseo to the end of Seduced where she is at his knee while he reads her version of the story.What we get is a NEW Epilogue, a new version of what happened told by Caleb. Is he Caleb or is he James that told us briefly what went on after he watched Livvie run from the café when she read his note?I’d been called Caleb most of my life, and were it not for Livvie, the name would be lost to me. Caleb had done horrible things – he’d been a monster – but he’d also allowed James to survive. Caleb deserved to live. I could be both men. I am both men. This, this is not the same story we got in the epilogue of Seduced, this is retold, reworked and reignited. Caleb and Livvie find each other again after a year apart. What the hell are they going to do? How do you move on from him leaving her in Mexico after she told him she loved him? Can they move on? Well, we know they do from Seduced but HOW they move on is the question. It’s a good thing Caleb has become chatty as of late isn’t it? With this new found talkative Caleb, Livvie is full of questions for him.“Ask me anything you really want to know. But only if you think you can handle the answer.”I can handle it, can you? Do you want to know the truth? YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Sorry, I need a stress reliever after reading this.Is this the story I wanted to read, the way I wanted to see Caleb/James and Livvie /Sophia. I am still unsure about that. For me, the epilogue in Seduced was beautiful, it was gorgeous and it was perfect. That image is engraved in my head, my heart and my soul. It cannot be replaced for me, ever. I don’t know that I needed more but I got it. I will say there are bits of further redemption via Caleb that I really liked, I liked his playful side as he grew into James and left the harsher side of Caleb behind. Not too far behind, he is Caleb after all.My final thoughts on this book I will leave to Caleb himself since it’s all about him and he does say it best…How can anyone understand what love is without experiencing it? It would be like trying to describe color to a blind man. Some things you have to see for yourself. To understand love, you have to feel it for yourself. Will this be the story you want, the ending you want for Caleb and Livvie? You will just have to find that out yourself. ~A word from CJ:~ I always planned for this story to be told in two parts. Well, one part, but then it just got bigger than me. LOL! Did I have my fears about writing Epilogue? Yes. However, the blank page has always been my canvas and my place to express myself. This time I expressed myself through Caleb. He’s grown as a character as much as I have as a person over the years. Whether or not everyone is going to love this new epilogue is a question only the readers can answer. For my part, I’ve cried and said my goodbyes. I’m always a little sad when an avid fan of the Dark Duet doesn’t enjoy part of a story. However, I have always prided myself on the fact this series BEGS for open discussion, dissention, and debate. I don’t expect my fans to be mindless drones, nodding their heads, and telling me every word I write is brilliant. For this reason, I love this review. I still love you, Red.***ARC provided by the author for an honest review.***