Twenty-two year old Lily has lived a very sheltered life under her father’s rule for most of her life. Unlike her sister, Lily doesn’t put up a fight to their father’s restrictive rules such as not being allowed to attend college or going out without an escort. Except for her older sister, she has no friends and spends most of her time at home reading.
One night their father sits Lily and her sister down to tell them that they will be on lock down in their home (more than usual) until further notice because there’s a threat. Daddy Dearest doesn’t elaborate as to exactly what the threat is and shortly thereafter, Lily and her sister are kidnapped from their home.
I found Lily unnecessarily bratty and Nox unnecessarily unpleasant at first. Lily’s attitude made sense based on her rather sheltered life up to that point. Although the she is in her early 20s, it’s not surprising she acts more like a teenager than a grown woman (considering she’s been treated as such by her family).
Furthermore, I was able to forgive her because she was completely in the dark as to what was going on and the reasons behind what is happening. OTOH, Nox was hired to protect Lily from a death threat yet acts more like her captor. At one point, Nox tells Lily she needs to grow up but her attitude could have been easily remedied by telling her what was going on with her family, the need for the “kidnapping” and stay at the safe house early on. I just couldn’t reconcile all the secrecy beyond to add drama and tension between Nox and Lily. Once Nox loosens up, I began to enjoy Willing Captive a lot more. Nox isn’t the jerkwad we met in the beginning and is quite sweet in his own special way.
Lily’s inner musings about her situation and her interactions with Boo and Rocky add a good dose of levity to Willing Captive. Boo and Rocky were great additions to the story, especially when there’s no meaningful interaction between Nox and Lily for at least a third of the book. I wanted more of both of these supporting characters.
The relationship between Nox and Lily is a very slow burn happening over several months while they are at the safe house as Nox and his team try to figure out where the threat is coming from. Overall, I found Willing Victim to be a delightfully entertaining story with humor and more emotional depth than I expected in the latter part of the book.