Hostage Woman Falls for Captor

Tanner's Scheme - Lora Leigh

I have no idea why I keep picking-up books by Leigh. Every time I do, I end up nearly frothing at the mouth in rage and go on a mental Hulk rampage.

I think I'm drawn to Leigh because her writing style is so nice and easy to slip into. The Breeds universe is also extremely interesting with a group of genetically altered people who recently escaped confinement and are fighting for their rights within the human world. Where the books always go wrong for me is in the way Leigh portrays the romantic relationships, which are disturbing as hell. 

 

Scheme, the heroine, avoids near assassination only to be kidnapped by the Breed, Tanner. She is then held hostage for days. Throughout Scheme's captivity, Tanner grills her about various personal matters, admits to having watched her have sex and masturbate in her own bedroom, and forcibly undresses her to go to bed with him every night. By the time they leave the cave, Scheme is convinced that she loves him. Tanner was not in the least bit attractive to me. He is an abusive control freak. He holds Scheme, captive throughout almost the entirety of the novel (for her "protection", of course), humiliates her, and spends most of his time trying to force her into giving up what little control she has left over her life. Good lord, for most of this book I felt like I was reading a very disturbing hostage suspense novel, not an erotic romance.

My other problem is the whole hormone/mate thing. Basically, the Breeds' excrete a hormone when coming into close contact with their destined mate, which sends both parties into a sexual frenzy. I have two problems with this. First, it takes away the free will of the heroines. They pretty much go bat crap crazy with lust to the point where it hurts if they don't boink their mate every couple of hours. The second is that it becomes physically painful for the heroines to be touched by anyone else. I would be kind of alright with the hormone thing if both parties were portrayed as equal or if the heroine was completely okay with the situation. But that never seems to be the case. Instead, we get a heroine (and sometimes hero) who doesn't necessarily want to have sex but is compelled to by the hormone. This often leads to some very uncomfortable sex scenes that really dip a toe into non-consensual
.

So, while Leigh's style and world are interesting, I just cannot get over the extremely disturbing aspects of the romantic relationships to truly enjoy the stories.