Series: Condemned (#1)
Genre: New adult/dark romance
Word count: 43,000
I was fifteen when I sent the love of my life to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
Rising MMA star.
My brother’s best friend.
The guy I destroyed with a single lie.
Now eight years have passed, and Rafe is free. And he only wants one thing.
Me, at his mercy.
And I am. I’m a prisoner on his island, held captive by his deviant desires, bound by his justified fury. Even worse, I’m a hostage of my own treacherous heart.
But Rafe is a man obsessed.
A man whose darkness is bigger than the both of us.
A man who will stop at nothing to get the answers he deserves.
Even if it means breaking me.
NOTE TO READERS: TORRENT is a dark romance with disturbing themes and explicit content, including sexual scenes and violence that may offend some. Intended for mature audiences. Part 1 of the Condemned series.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“This is a hard-to-put-down captive empowerment story, with the kind of offbeat cliffhanger you will never expect. It’s as vicious and unpredictable and rapid as a…well, a torrent. Brilliant!” — Pam Godwin, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Gemma has blown me away with part one of this story. The characters she wrote are twisted enough to make the story explode off the pages.” — Devlynn, Give Me Books
“Ms. James takes us on a wild, twisted, powerful journey. Brutal and honest at times, you will not know where your heart will lie until the very end.” — Shayna Renee’s Spicy Reads
“The story left my jaw on the floor with my tongue hanging out…I need more!” — Naughty Books and Bits
“Torrent was so devastatingly and deliciously dark, with a BIG OL cliffy at the end…so don’t be surprised if you’re left with a HUGE hangover and salivating for Rampant.” — Rachel, Bound By Books
“Torrent definitely ranks up there within my top five favorite reads of 2014, thus far. It blew my mind out of the freaking Milky Way!” — Books Over Boys
“Yet again Gemma James proves that dark is the new black! This intricately woven tale of love under extreme circumstance left me with tingles.” — Cariad, Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews
“Gemma James has managed once again to shock me, twist my psyche, and force me to fall into submission with the anti-hero.” — Kathy Reads
“Rafe is one of the most dangerous but most sympathetic characters I’ve come across in a long time. I can absolutely see why Alex has been in love with him since she was a young girl.” — Ellen, The Book Bellas
“Don’t you dare tell me you’re sorry! You’ve had eight fucking years to be sorry, but you left me there to rot.” The belt slid to his feet, and he kicked my legs apart before shoving a finger inside me.
My eyes grew wide as he probed me, though his jerky thrusts were far from gentle.
“I rotted while you dated that jerk who probably doesn’t know the first thing about setting you off.” He added three more fingers, wrecking my concentration, his touch stretching and reaching higher. “Did he make you feel this good?”
I squeezed my eyes shut and began counting. Five in, hold, five out. Repeat.
“He didn’t.” Lucas’ kisses and wandering hands had made me feel nothing, but Rafe…he made me feel everything. I swallowed past the self-loathing constricting my throat, tried to ignore the slippery plunder of his fingers, but a strangled moan escaped anyway.
“Do you want me to stop?”
“No.” I extended to my toes, fingers gripping the bars for support, and barely breathed as his thumb rubbed circles on my clit. “Rafe!” I pushed my pelvis against his hand even as tears leaked down my face. His mouth opened over my throat, and I inhaled sharply, my pulse throbbing an erratic beat underneath his tongue.
This wasn’t happening. My body wasn’t betraying me again. No, no, no, no…
“I still remember how to touch a woman,” he said. “I bet my fingers are the best fuck you’ve had. Can you imagine my tongue on your pussy?” He licked up my throat, and I whimpered, imagining it all too well. I saw myself on my back, legs spread wide and his dark head disappearing between quaking thighs. The visual was too much, and I hurtled into deep space. I saw the celestial heavens.
“I’m coming,” I sobbed.
“Yes, you are, sweetheart. Enjoy it because it won’t happen again.”
I clawed at his dark T-shirt, my spine bowing and knees threatening to give. The orgasm came in waves around his fingers, each one more intense than the last, and each one filled my heart with so much shame my chest was heavy with it. Riding the waves, I howled his name, my cries resembling a cat in the throes. Afterward, as my heartbeat slowed, I collapsed to the floor.
“You’re at my mercy,” he said, crouching to eye level. “You don’t eat unless I allow it, you don’t drink. You don’t get clothes or a shower or even a bed to sleep in unless I say so. I control every piece of you, including your fucking pussy.” I wrenched my head to the side, pained by the hardened features of his beautiful face, but he pressed his fingers into my jaw and forced me to meet his gaze. “You’re going to earn every damn privilege known to man. Do you understand me?”
“Yes.” The force of his fury penetrated deep, and I would have agreed to anything in that moment.
“You are nothing to me, Alex. You will never be more than a piece of ass.” My heart cracked as he let go, forming a jagged chasm I feared would forever remain. I watched him walk away, tears sliding down my cheeks, one after the other in an endless stream of regret. He exited the prison without looking back and the lock clicked into place with an unsettling echo. He bent to retrieve a pile of neatly folded clothing—my clothing, by the looks of it—and then climbed a staircase. An instant later, the light shut off.
I couldn’t stop crying. Not because I was scared. Not because he’d just humiliated me. I muffled heaving sobs into my palms because his utter contempt sliced to my soul. And now I knew.
He was going to break me.