Bad boy billionaire Roman Castell is growing up. The real question is whether he’ll mature quickly enough to avoid losing his heart’s desire.
Golden Shana: The Capture is the sequel to Golden Shana: The Chase, which I reviewed last year. The novel continues the story of how dominant, arrogant, irresistible Roman Castell, used to having any woman he wants on his own terms (and to discarding her, when he gets bored), is thunderstruck at first sight of the remarkable Svadishana Lindqvuist, the “golden Shana” of the title. Shana is exquisite, exotic, cultured, brilliant, self-assured, as unrelenting as Roman when it comes to business; she’s also deeply damaged by an early sexual experience that has eroded her ability to trust any man. Still, she feels an overwhelming attraction to Roman. Though she has avoided men for more than a decade, satisfying her sexual needs with her close female friend Alyssa Lenz, Shana dreams of a love that will complete her, the way her parents complete one another. Some intuition tells her that Roman might be the person she has been waiting for.
The Capture follows the rocky development of Roman’s and Shana’s relationship. Gradually, with a patience and sensitivity he’s never exhibited with any other woman, Roman leads and comforts Shana, encouraging her to open her heart and body to him. When she finally does allow him to make love to her, that only strengthens their bond. The sex scenes in this novel are scaldingly hot, with an emotional authenticity that really grabbed me. Shana and Roman are so thoroughly compatible, physically, that it’s a bit scary. Indeed, in the midst of their ecstatic connection, they’re (rightly) a bit frightened themselves.
As the story unwinds, both external forces and their own insecurities threaten their unique love. To avoid revealing too much of the plot, I won’t go into details, but as a reader I had the sense that, as fulfilling as it is for both of them, their relationship hangs by a thread.
The first volume of this series really pulled me in. I devoured the second. The characters are rich, complex, and realistically flawed. At first glance Roman might seem the classic alpha hero, but his desperate need for Shana reveals the cracks in his polished facade. He’s terrified he’ll lose her; when she appears to choose Alyssa over him, he’s so shattered he runs halfway around the world to escape from his own despair. This sort of intense feeling is totally new to him. He needs to grow and change in order to keep Shana—indeed, to be worthy of her.
Near the end of The Capture, however, he reverts to his earlier self, making a choice that is bound to end badly. I wanted to shake him, to yell at him as one does in a horror film, “No! No, don’t go in there! Don’t do that!” I found that I really cared what happened to him and to Shana. I was appalled that he could be so stupid.
Alas, the book ends without any sort of resolution. After two hundred and fifty pages, I really wanted a happily ever after. However, there’s clearly a lot left to Roman’s and Shana’s story, which continues in a third volume, Golden Shana: The Untouchable. There’s a sneak peek at the end of this book, but as far as I can tell, The Untouchable has not yet been released.
I really hope the third book will come out soon. I need to know what happens next.