By: Amber Hart
Releasing May 19, 2015
Raven, a college girl from Michigan, came to the jungles of Cameroon searching for closure. Falling for Jospin, a handsome, charismatic hunter with dark secrets of his own, was never part of the plan.
But despite their differences, their attraction is addictive, as exhilarating and wild as the rain forest itself—and also as dangerous. For the sake of both their lives, their heated affair must remain a secret.
Raven wants justice for her conservationist father’s death; to help her, Jospin must turn his back on his own father and the only life he has ever known. Together they risk being hunted by a band of ruthless poachers, but they take the chance anyway, working to bring down their enemies between each stolen kiss. But when one slip puts Raven’s life at stake, Jospin knows he must act.
He has captured Raven’s heart—now can he set her free.
Goodreads Series Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/132345-until-you-find-me
Chloe finally left me alone yesterday. It took me only a minute to unpack my clothes onto the fixed shelves against the wall. I put my weapons—aside from the ones strapped to my body—in my bag and stuffed the bag under the bed. Tried to find sleep in a place entirely foreign to me, with an uninviting melody of gorilla sounds playing in the background. The door does have a dead bolt. Enough security to feel safe to dream in a place like this. A place where they could hurt me, though they claim to be peaceful.
I’m awake now. Wondering how I managed to sleep at all.
This is how Raven lived.
I now know what it was like for her. The small room and no space and people always milling about. I hear their voices down the hall, mixed with a longer, farther-off sound of apes. Sometimes doors shut with a thud that shakes the walls. Every now and again a laugh penetrates the controlled chaos around me. They laugh here. Like it’s something free.
I didn’t laugh often at home.
I was either at my place, alone, or around the pack, where I had to be on my toes. Or I was with Father, which was never about laughing, always about business. Maybe that’s why he has his house parties, to allow the men to see him in a different light. As the alpha who lets his men have a good time. Plenty of games, alcohol, and women. The best relief.
These are the thoughts I’m left with as I lie in bed alone, wishing Raven were here. Raven made me laugh sometimes. I wonder if we would laugh more if we were both here.
I can’t stand missing her this badly, so I get up and get dressed. I decide to walk. I have no idea where I’m going, but I move, down a hall, through some sort of corridor. I don’t want to head in the direction of the gorillas, where the noise is the loudest, so I take another route. It leads me to a cafeteria. A couple of people are sitting inside. Both Cameroonian. Volunteer workers, probably.
I’m not in the mood to talk to people, so, even though they’ve spotted me, I move on. Some doors are shut, some open. I see another bedroom like mine, then a room with buckets, a few sinks, an island, and long countertops, like a kitchen. I see another room, with a group of chairs —a lounge perhaps.
It’s not here, whatever it is I thought I’d find by walking around.
I make my way back to my room. Once inside, I pace back and forth. Try to process everything. Raven is at the compound and I am here. Our lives have reversed. I glance out the window longingly. The forest is alive with sounds and colors. Stalks of flowers reach for the sky. Branches bloom with leaves, and creatures crawl about—like the worm inching his way along, the butterfly resting on bark, nearly camouflaged if not for the fluttering of its wings, and the ants that march down the tree trunk to the ground.
I grab a few extra rounds of ammo and stuff them in my pockets. Though I’m playing with fire, I decide to head outside. It’s not safe. It’s surely not ideal. But I need a release and I’m not getting it here.
I find the front door and brace myself for the forest. The smell of wood, sap oozing from trees to infuse the air with a sweet fragrance. The sounds.
Chirp, chirp, tweet.
Thump, thawk, shhh.
I smile. I don’t mean to. It’s just that the jungle does this to me. Makes me come alive, makes my blood thrum and my muscles tighten, and I know that I’ll find what I need here. I’m at peace. This is my real home.
I search my line of sight for the highest tree and find it. My boots attach easily to the bark, and I climb to the top. From here, I can see everything. I peer down at what looks like a field of grass and bushes. Reality: It’s the tops of trees. It’s what the ceiling of the forest looks like. This is my vantage point.
From here I smell wind. Not dank earth and wooded forest but clean, refreshing clouds. It’s a special thing. To smell clouds. To be so high that you can touch them. Breathe them in, a little heavy and sort of wet.
I love this feeling. I hold on to it for a few breaths. Let my eyes settle over the expanse of green. From here, only birds can see me. A few, some yards off, are puffing their feathers up and down. Trying to attract a mate. What a place to do it, on a branch so far up and away from it all.
I want to bring Raven here one day, let her see the world from this view. It looks different. It puts things into perspective. I’m so small down there. Up here, I’m king.
Unfortunately, I’m too high up. I won’t see into the forest from here, so I have to work my way down. But first I wanted this. A breath of the freshest air. A calm stealing through my veins so I can think clearly.
I need to get Raven back.
I love her. I miss her.
I was doing the happy dance when I saw Captured By You was offered on Net Galley. I couldn’t wait to dig in, seeing as I absolutely feel in love with the first book, Until You Find Me, and with Raven and Jospin. The book definitely didn’t disappoint, and I fell more in love with Raven and Jospin. The story picks up literally where the first book ended. This will be a review in which I won’t elaborate on too much. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read the series yet. The only thing I will say is that there is more danger, and Raven and Jospin have to keep their relationship secret, or both of them won’t survive.
Even though the couple spend time apart from one another out of necessity not by choice, it strengthens them thus making the story stronger. They really mature, and it forces them to become the people they were meant to be. It was incredible seeing the strong, fighting side of Raven, and my heart melted more when a softer side of Jospin is revealed after being groomed his entire life to become a heartless poacher. As in the first book, my real hero is Leachcim, the gorilla. He’s a beautiful, intelligent creature who moved me to tears again as he was able to teach the characters a lot about life. Hart engaged all my senses again as I was reading, and that really helped me feel a part of the story. I could feel the humidity and heat of the jungle. I could hear the sounds and see the beauty. I felt like I was there! She did a great job of conveying the danger and the beauty of the jungle.
If you are looking for a unique book that perfectly mixes adventure, love, heartbreak, and healing, you should really read this series. It’s a book that helps you escape reality for a little while, yet it’s a great lesson on the importance of conservation! But, be forewarned…once you start, you won’t be able to stop! It’s highly addictive!!!!
**ARC was provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
Hi! Thanks for having me!
I don’t often listen to music while I write. I prefer quiet in order to hear my characters speak, but I do sometimes listen to music before I write for inspiration.
Do you have any favorite snacks/drinks when you’re writing?
Absolutely! I’m not the type of person who pauses my writing to cook big meals, so usually I’ll snack on things like chocolate and fresh fruit. I’m a big fan of coffee and tea too.
Do you have a writing cave? If so, what does it look like?
I have a room of books J Walls of novels, a rickety desk and chair, old typewriters. I love feeling like I’m surrounded by stories.
Who are your must read authors?
Good question! Mine would be Francine Pascal, Julie Kagawa, Susane Colasanti, Rachel Vincent, Sophie Jordan, and J.K. Rowling.
What do you love most about your fans?
I love hearing that my novels made a difference in their lives, or that my novels opened their eyes to something they’d never considered before.
What/who inspired you to start writing?
My love of writing spawned from a love of reading. If it weren’t for R.L. Stine and Francine Pascal, I never would have fallen in love with books. To them, I owe thanks.
Are any of your characters based on someone you know?
Not directly, no, though I do sometimes “borrow” from my environment—maybe a character trait, a physical attribute, an odd habit—to add a sense of depth to my novels.
How do you (or do you) do research for your characters?
For my contemporary YA romance novels, Before You & After Us, I took a trip to Miami to experience the Cuban culture, and I grew up in the Florida town where the book takes place. I ate Cuban food. I listened to the music. Also, my husband is Latino, so I learned the Spanish language.
For my adult romantic thrillers, Until You Find Me & Captured By You, I researched Africa online, I spoke with people who had visited and lived there, and I interviewed a native Cameroonian, who helped me understand the culture immensely. He even spoke their language (French) to me so I could understand the speech inflections. As for the gorillas and information on conservation and poaching, I have been a long time supporter of the Jane Goodall Institute. They share global understanding of the species. I watched videos of gorillas online, and I visited them in person.
Who is your favorite character from your books?
Jospin’s character was the scariest to pen, and incidentally my favorite. Usually whatever scares me is what I’m most proud of, what I look back at and say, “That was fun.”
Do you have a character, if given the chance, you would push in front of a bus?
Haha. Maybe Jospin’s father? If I had to pick J
What can we anticipate to see from you in the future?
I’m currently almost finished writing two very different (separate) novels. More to come on that soon!
Thanks for having me!!! I’m often on social media. Meet you there?
Amber Hart is the author of Before You and Until You Find Me. She grew up in Orlando, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia, and now resides on the Florida coastline with her family. When not reading, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or dipping her toes in the sand.