Posts Categorized: Contemporary Romance

Bind Me Before You Go by Harper Kincaid

July 24, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bind Me Before You Go by Harper KincaidBind Me Before You Go by Harper Kincaid
Series: Serve #8
Published by Entangled Publishing on July 21, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 132
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
His heart is bound tighter than the bondage he craves...

Determined to put her past behind her, Cassidy Peyton moves to the Big Apple. But New York has a few dark secrets of its own, including Serve, an exclusive BDSM club. It's a place she isn't sure she's ready for, until she sees him watching her. Hot. Intent. Knowing. With eyes that leave her stomach tied in knots, because the loneliness he's trying to hide matches her own.

Security expert David Cavill has more secrets than any man should. Secrets that forever shut down any possibility of love, marriage, or family. Yet Cassidy draws him in, an intoxicating combination of strength, candor, and sensuality that David can't resist. But as their bond deepens, Cassidy must decide if she can love a man whose heart is bound tighter than the form of bondage he craves...

An easy afternoon read that is pure fantasy and sensual excitement, BIND ME BEFORE YOU GO is the eighth installment in the Serve series.  And also the shortest.  While this makes for a quick read on a lazy Saturday afternoon, the shortness of the novel(ella?) means that our hero and heroine – David and Cassidy – didn’t really get a chance to fully develop and shine.  I would have liked to see more exploration of their backstories and how their past relates to their personalities and present desires.

Regardless, this novel was still good.  David and Cassidy explore their desires together in the safe environment of the Serve BDSM club.  Though the novel does involve BDSM, it is light and instead focuses more on the emotional connection between David and Cassidy which in turns plays into their club scenes together.  Theirs is a student/teacher relationship as David teaches Cassidy about the intricacies and art of Shibari, a form of Japanese rope bondage.  David is very considerate of Cassidy, both physically and emotionally, which is precisely what sweet, people-pleasing Cassidy needed.

The plot was a little rushed and the couple’s love of the “insta-” variety, but I did enjoy the book and would pick up another by this author in the future.

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My Obsession by Cassie Ryan

July 21, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Obsession by Cassie RyanMy Obsession by Cassie Ryan
Series: Club Desire #1
Published by Random House on July 21, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 268
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
Running from a troubled past, Sandra Barry spent years hiding out in New York City’s BDSM scene, finding satisfaction and even a sense of community as a sub at a large dungeon. But when a stalker joins the dungeon posing as a Dom, he crosses her personal boundaries, giving her no choice but to return home to Arizona. Seeking refuge once again in the kink lifestyle, Sandra meets a sexy new Dom whose tutelage drives her wild—although there’s something familiar about him she just can’t place.

As a teenager, Brent Weston was a nerd. Now he owns the hottest dungeon in Phoenix, enjoying the power and success he’s always craved. All that’s missing is the right woman to share it with. Then one day Sandra, his secret high school crush, walks into his club. She’s just as beautiful as he remembers. She’s also scared as hell. Brent has been waiting for this moment, and now that Sandra’s in his sights, he’ll do anything to protect her, pleasure her—and prove that he’s the only master worthy of her devotion.

On the run from an abusive Dom, Sandra Berry leaves her New York dungeon and travels back to her Arizona homeland in hopes of creating a fresh, new life for herself.  With a glowing letter of recommendation from her former dungeon master, she petitions for membership into the exclusive Club Desire.  There she meets Brent, the club owner and Dom whom Sandra feels an immediate and intense connection.  That attraction is mutual and soon Brent is pushing Sandra pleasurable boundaries while soothing away the fears instilled her previous, sadistic Dom.

If you read any BDSM novel, let it be MY OBSESSION!  This has everything I could ever hope for in a great BDSM erotica novel.  The sex is sensual, sure, but the focus is really on the “safe, sane, and consensual” motto of the BDSM lifestyle and the love scenes actually center around the sensations, emotions, and feelings the D/s relationship brings to Sandra and Brent’s life together.  A reader is given great insight into the thoughts of both Sandra and Brent and their growing relationship, but this doesn’t detract from the plot of the story.  In fact, there were times I felt like I was one of the voyeurs at Club Desire!  The scenes suck you in and you just can’t put this book down.  Well-written, great pace, a good cast of characters (whom I hope to see more of in future books), I finished this novel in just a few short hours and highly recommend you check it out too!

A fantastic erotica novel that I thoroughly enjoyed – this series has been placed on my automatic buy list!

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On My Knees by J Kenner

June 23, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

On My Knees by J KennerOny My Knees by J Kenner
Series: Stark International Trilogy #2
Published by Bantam on June 23, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 305
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars
I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge.

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone.

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release.

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back.

J. Kenner is on my automatic-purchase list and with very good reason.  Her eloquence and command of the written word is truly stellar.  She crafts well-rounded, flawed characters with secrets and passions that make you just want to reach into the pages and give them a hug.  Or smack some sense into them, whichever is appropriate for the moment.  And, of course, she delivers scorching hot erotica that sizzles with both sensuality and a complex plot-line!  Porn WITH plot, if you will.  My favorite combination.

Since their whirlwind weekend of passion ended in heartbreak, Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks have lost five years to avoidance and building their own business platforms.  Jackson is a star architect, sought after by all the best in the business and hounded by Hollywood.  Sylvia is Damien Stark’s assistant who just landed herself a pet real estate project all her own building a island resort getaway for the rich and famous.  Picking up where the last book left off, the resort project is progressing but Hollywood is hounding Jackson to green-light the movie based on his infamous house and Sylvia’s dark modeling past is starting to catch up with her.  Jackson and Sylvia each have their own ways to dealing with pain and frustration, but they will need to learn how to work out their problems together if there is to be any hope of making their relationship last this time.

Wow, so much happened in this middle-novel that I do even know where to start!  Jackson and Sylvia finally opens up to each other about their past demons, but they have both been so used to dealing with those demons on their own that neither knows quite how to handle the information.  Sylvia needs time to process and Jackson just wants to fix everything.  Watching these two work out real-life relationship problems lead to some scorching hot sex scenes, but also a handful of heartbreaking ones too.  Some of the sex scenes in this novel actually made me blush – and that’s very hard to do!  Sylvia begins to rely on Jackson more than before and Jackson refuses to live without her.  Their romance is fierce and passionate, but also sweet in that I’ll-do-anything-for-you sort of way.

There is a lot to process in this second installment.  Many secrets are revealed (so many!), but sometimes this leads to even more questions.  And this *does* end on a cliffhanger, so be prepared.  But definitely pick up a copy of ON MY KNEES as soon as possible!

ON MY KNEES is written within the Stark trilogy universe (Damien & Nikki), but you do NOT have to have read the Stark trilogy to enjoy this novel.  However, I DO recommend reading the first novel in the Stark International trilogy (Jackson & Sylvia) – SAY MY NAME – before reading this second installment as the plot of ON MY KNEES builds heavily upon the plot of the first novel and there are major plot points that you will not understand without having read SAY MY NAME.

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Turning the Tables by Joan Kilby

June 16, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Turning the Tables by Joan KilbyTurning the Tables by Joan Kilby
Series: Italian Connection
Published by Entangled Publishing on June 9, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 147
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Tina Borlenghi is a billionaire businesswoman, heiress to the Borlenghi fortune, and living la dolce vita. She's also a magnet for men who crave fame and celebrity. So while in New York City launching a new fashion boutique, Tina is more than intrigued when sports bar owner Luke Pederson mistakes her for a sales assistant. He's sexier than sin and only interested in her. What's the harm in a little steamy role-playing?

Luke can't get enough of Tina. And yet, something feels…off. Why is she so secretive? As their role-playing encounters become more erotic, Luke’s suspicions grow. The woman rocking his world is hiding something. Something big. He’s ready to play for keeps, but finding out who Tina really is may just turn the tables on everything he thought he knew about love.

Betinna Borlenghi is one of the famous Borlenghis.  Her family is known for excelling in their chosen fields and together generate the prime capital of the Borlenghi fortune.  Tina herself is best known for her innovative and exciting fashion designs.  But with this fortune comes doubt – who is a true friend and who just wants to be close in order to feed off of the fame and fortune?  Tina protects her heart with an iron wall, but when she encounters Luke Pederson in her NYC boutique, she discovers someone she may just wish to lower that wall for.  Determined to enjoy a relationship that is strictly about Tina and not about her money, Tina hides her identity from the charming Luke.  But lies, even by omission, are no way to start a relationship and eventually the truth will come out.  Right?

This was pure, fantasy fun.  Tina and Luke hit it off right away and the instant attraction leads to some scandalous encounters right there in the middle of Tina’s fancy boutique!  Tina has lots of cute little Italian phrases that weave into her everyday language, which I thought made her a rounder, more relatable character.  (I have foreign friends who do this regularly, so it was a charming, well-planned addition to Tina’s character.)  Luke is no stranger to the lime light either, having played professional hockey.  His heart-of-gold and involvement with the disabled children’s hockey team skyrockets him firmly into the “hero” category and is sure to make your heart melt.

Together, Tina and Luke must decide if what they have is worth the agony of maintaining a long-term relationship and makes each of them seriously consider what they need in their lives to make them happy.  Tina’s excellent relationship with her family highlights the problems Luke has with his mother and Tina’s ability to mend that relationship helps balance out the fact that she lies (by omission) throughout most of the book as to who she really is.

This book is full of charming, well-thought-out characters.  I really enjoyed the plot and so this made for a very entertaining read.

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Revenge Best Served Hot by Jackie Braun

June 12, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Revenge Best Served Hot by Jackie BraunRevenge Best Served Hot by Jackie Braun
Series: Men of the Zodiac #6
Published by Entangled Publishing on June 9, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 189
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Sign: Virgo

He’s all business…until he’s all hers

Brody Flynn waited years to get his revenge on Douglass Shipping for his parents’ accidental deaths. Now the company is fumbling, profits are down, and it’s the perfect time for a hostile takeover. Vengeance. But the former CEO’s daughter Kate Douglass has other plans…

Kate’s been waiting for her chance to take on a real role at Douglass and prove to her family that she’s not the fragile piece of glass they all think she is. There’s no way she’ll give up without a fight. All she has to do is convince the gorgeous new CEO to hire her…and not fall for him.

But Brody was never supposed to feel attracted to the daughter of his enemy. He was never supposed to want her as hard as he does. And the only thing stronger than his hunger for revenge is his hunger for her…

When Brodie Flynn was a young boy, the reckless truck driving policies of the Douglass Shipping company caused the deaths of both of Brodie’s parents.  He has spent years planning his covert revenge and it has finally come to fruition – a hostile takeover of the majority of Douglas Shipping shares and the systematic dismantling of all its assets.  What Brodie didn’t count on was the wicked business acumen of Katie Douglas, daughter to the former CEO.  Despite her stellar background in business, Katie has been relegated to glorified gopher and trophy figurehead of her father’s company.  But when the company is taken over by Brodie Flynn, businessman extraordinaire, Katie seizes the opportunity to prove to the new boss exactly what she can do to turn around the failing business.  And ends up losing her heart in the process.

Katie and Brodie are a perfectly matched couple.  Their personalities and intelligence make them both sharks in the boardroom.  After reading about such well-developed characters, it’s easy to imagine Katie and Brodie ruling at the head of a vast business empire as their employee-subjects look on in awe at this power couple.

The plot of this novel had me glued into my seat all afternoon.  Intrigue, betrayal, corporate politics (which may sound boring but was actually very interesting the way everything played out) and layers upon layers of subplots make up REVENGE BEST SERVED HOT.  The pacing was clipped and the characters dynamic.  Nothing seemed rushed or forced – this was the kind of novel that made me feel like I was watching a really good tv episode or movie.  Everything flowed so well and the ending leaves you with pleasant tingles of happiness that you expect from reading a romance novel.

This is #6 in a series, but you do not need to read the other novels to fully enjoy this one.

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Playing Dirty by C. L. Parker

May 19, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★½

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Playing Dirty by C. L. ParkerPlaying Dirty by C L Parker
Series: Monkey Business Trio #1
Published by Bantam on May 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
For fans of Bared to You and Beautiful Bastard comes the start of an irresistible new erotic romance series in which competition is the ultimate seduction.

Shaw Matthews plays to win, and he intends to snag a coveted partnership at San Diego's hottest sports agency by signing America's top athlete. Only one woman stands in his way: rival agent Cassidy Whalen. But eliminating the competition will be Shaw's pleasure when he concocts an ingenious plan to seduce Cassidy and show the beautiful ballbreaker who's the better man for the job. That is, until Cassidy turns the tables—and their steamy encounters start breaking all the rules.

Cassidy has worked hard to make it in a man's cutthroat arena, and she isn't going down without a fight, not even against the six-two alpha hunk whose rock-hard body awakens desires she's never known before. As Cassidy shares night after night of unending passion with Shaw, the game begins to change. Now Cassidy stands to lose everything—unless a fiery contest of wills can become a winning proposition for two people who keep raising the stakes.

PLAYING DIRTY pits two alpha-personalities against each other in an all-out, no-holds-barred competition to snag the coveted sports representation of superstar Denver “Rocketman” Rockford. Cassidy Walden and Shaw Matthews are the top recruiting agents for a major sports representation firm.  They bitten, clawed, and scraped their way to the top and are now poised to take over the single partnership opening – whoever lands Denver lands the job.

Like any alpha, Cassidy is a competitive, almost-arrogant perfectionist who stops at nothing to get what she wants.  Shaw is her complete male counterpart – equally arrogant, equally competitive, and just as willing to get his hands dirty getting what he wants.  In this respect, I thought these character were TOO alike.  There was little to no balance between them.  They didn’t bring out the other’s good qualities as much as I’ve come to expect from romance and erotica.  Instead, the fighting came across as mean and even childish.

That said, once these two pulled the walls down and let their mutual attraction flow – wow!  The passion, fire, and chemistry almost ignited my e-reader!  I believe the phrase I’m looking for here is “hate-f*ck” – when characters take all that hate and anger and channel it straight into lust. That’s exactly what happened in PLAYING DIRTY.  And over the course of their many love scenes, we learn a little bit about why Cassidy and Shaw act the way they do and get a hint of deeper feelings lingering below the surface.

Shaw and Cassidy’s story is not over!  This novel ended on a cliffhanger that will have you screaming and scrambling to push that “pre-order” button.

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The Master by Kresley Cole

April 28, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

The Master by Kresley ColeThe Master by Kresley Cole
Series: The Game Maker #2
Published by Gallery Books on February 17, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
five-stars
Everyone fears the Master...

Rich, irresistible politician/Mafya boss Maksimilian Sevastyan prefers tall, obedient blondes to fulfill his... complicated desires. That is, until the icy Russian encounters a disobedient brunette whose exquisite little body threatens his legendary restraint.

Except her.

Catarina Marín was a well-off young wife until her world fell apart. Now she’s hiding out, forced to start working as an escort in Miami. Her very first client is beyond gorgeous, but when he tells her what he plans to do to her, Cat almost walks out of the door.

If pleasure is a game, play to win.

After their mind-blowing encounter burns out of control, the lovers crave more. If they escape the deadly threats surrounding them, can Maksim overcome his past—to offer Cat his future? Only then will she tempt him with what he really wants: her, all tied up with a bow.

I never in a million years thought anyone could write a book that turns a escort-ordering mafioso into a drool-worthy, enticing hero, but that is exactly what Ms. Cole has managed in THE MASTER.  From the first couple of chapters, I was honestly thinking that there was no way I was going to enjoy this book – the heroine just agreed to become an escort with no discernible reason to do so and the hero is one of those uber-macho, control-freak types who (at that point) has no redeeming qualities.  Boy was I WRONG!!  This book was amazing!

Cat is a quick-thinking, loud-mouthed heroine with a big, fat secret.  Call it bluster or bravery, she isn’t afraid to stand up to Maxim and take precisely what she wants.  Maxim is a man used to getting exactly what he wants – tall, blonde, and compliant – so when Cat shows up on his doorstep, he’s thrown for a loop.  He’s a no-nonsense business man who definitely doesn’t do romance.  Until Cat.

The chemistry between these two is off the charts!  Sex comprises a hefty portion of this book and the scenes are smoking hot.  Yet I never felt like the sex scene compromised the plot – Cat and Maxim’s sex sessions always made sense within the narrative (not like some books which just seem to have a sex scene for the purposes of having a sex scene).  In fact, sometimes it seemed like sexposition – important plot points told through the action of the sex scene.  And, of course, these characters engaged in one of my favorite romantic tropes, the love/hate dynamic.

Incredibly hot and such a fun read!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys this genre.  And you don’t have to read the first book in the series to enjoy THE MASTER.

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Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren

April 17, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★½

Beautiful Beloved by Christina LaurenBeautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard #3.6
Published by Pocket Star on February 2, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Format: Audiobook
Goodreads
three-half-stars
The seventh work in the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling series that started with the Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, and Beautiful Player novels. Featuring all the Beautiful characters...plus one tiny new addition to the group.

In Beautiful Stranger , finance whiz Sara Dillon met the irresistibly sexy Brit, Max Stella, at a New York City club. Through the series we’ve watched them learn to balance commitment with their less than private brand of playfulness. In Beautiful Beloved, Max and Sara take it to the next step. But the question is: Will they be able to find a balance between the wild sexcapades they aren’t ready to retire, and the demands of parenthood that come along with their new Beautiful bundle of joy? Parenthood: it’s not for the weak of heart.

This was a very sweet story about a couple navigating the waters of new parenthood and trying to find a balance between the quick, but satisfying romp in the sheets and the all-night kinky sex session at their beloved BDSM club.  Though part of a long-standing series, BEAUTIFUL BELOVED can be read as a stand-alone, but I get the feeling that the experience would have been much better had I read the previous installments in this series.

The emotional aspects of this novella really pack a punch – I was so touched by Max’s expressions of his love for Sara that I cried actual tears!  But never fear – the more kinky sides of Max and Sara come out to play too, which really heat up the pages.

I loved everything about this novella.  The deep connection and love between Max and Sara, the wild kinky sex, great secondary characters whom I’m eager to learn more about – I just wish this novella was longer so all of these great elements could be explored further!

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Unbound: Colours of Love by Kathryn Taylor

April 14, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 1 ★★★

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Unbound: Colours of Love by Kathryn TaylorUnbound: Colours of Love by Kathryn Taylor
Series: Colors of Love #1
Published by Bastei Entertainment on April 13, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 242
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
three-stars
Grace is young and has led a sheltered life. She hasn't yet taken much of an interest in men. It's only while doing an internship in London, where she meets the alluring Jonathan Huntington, that our sleeping beauty is awoken from her slumber. Jonathan is rich, incredibly attractive, and stems from British royalty - but he is a far cry from Prince Charming. He lures Grace ever deeper into his world of sinister passion, and she is sucked further and further into the maelstrom of her own growing desires. But when Jonathan demands she do the unthinkable to prove her love for him, she realizes just how dangerous her feelings for him are.

I hesitate to put this book in the “erotica” category as I found it rather mild and not very boundary-pushing.  That said, I could tell from about the 20% mark that this was the first in a series, so perhaps things will spice up in the subsequent books.  Unfortunately, the reason I could tell this was part of a series was because things took So. Darn. Long to get started – the real meat of the narrative didn’t begin until after the 60% mark.  But what came after was intriguing and I’m eager to learn more.

Grace is a young intern working for a large investment company in London.  Upon arrival at the airport, she stumbles upon her boss, Jonathan Huntington, and mistakenly believes he is there to pick her up in person.  As you can probably tell from that sentence, Grace is a little too naive for my tastes (though she does show Jonathan that she has a spine of steel!) and I hope she will mature and develop in the next installment(s) into someone I can truly root for.

As for Jonathan, I can’t really say much about him.  I don’t like or dislike him yet. Grace hasn’t penetrated through his shell to discover whatever characteristics might be hiding underneath.  He’s a billionaire CEO of his own company and is accordingly quite aloof and used to getting what (and who) he wants.  I look forward to seeing more of his “Hunter” persona.

Overall: a decent first installment.  The narrative pacing needs tightening and the main characters need to be developed further, but this was an enjoyable read that laid a good foundation for the next installment(s).  I’m left with lots of questions that I look forward to seeing pan out in the next book(s).  I am also excited to see more of the fun cast of secondary characters, especially Jonathan’s sister and business partner!

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Say My Name by J. Kenner

April 7, 2015 Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Reviews 0 ★★★★½

I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Say My Name by J. KennerSay My Name by J Kenner
Series: Stark International Trilogy #1
Published by Bantam on April 7, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Goodreads
four-half-stars
I never let anyone get too close—but he’s the only man who’s ever made me feel alive.
 
Meeting Jackson Steele was a shock to my senses. Confident and commanding, he could take charge of any room . . . or any woman. And Jackson wanted me. The mere sight of him took my breath away, and his touch made me break all my rules.


Our bond was immediate, our passion untamed. I wanted to surrender completely to his kiss, but I couldn’t risk his knowing the truth about my past. Yet Jackson carried secrets too, and in our desire we found our escape, pushing our boundaries as far as they could go.

Learning to trust is never easy. In my mind, I knew I should run. But in my heart, I never felt a fire this strong—and it could either save me or scorch me forever.

J. Kenner is on my automatic-purchase list and with very good reason.  Her eloquence and command of the written word is truly stellar.  She crafts well-rounded, flawed characters with secrets and passions that make you just want to reach into the pages and give them a hug.  Or smack some sense into them, whichever is appropriate for the moment.  And, of course, she delivers scorching hot erotica that sizzles with both sensuality and a complex plot-line!  Porn WITH plot, if you will.  My favorite combination.

SAY MY NAME is written within the Stark trilogy universe, but you do NOT have to have read the Stark trilogy to enjoy this novel (the first in its own trilogy!)  Since their whirlwind weekend of passion ended in heartbreak, Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks have lost five years to avoidance and building their own business platforms.  Jackson is a star architect, sought after by all the best in the business and hounded by Hollywood.  Sylvia is Damien Stark’s assistant who just landed herself a pet real estate project all her own building a island resort getaway for the rich and famous.  But when the resort’s architect decides to suddenly retire, Sylvia has little choice but to approach Jackson for the job or else she will lose all the resort’s investors.  Now that Jackson and Sylvia are thrown back into each other’s presence, will passion rekindle itself or is revenge the only thing they care about?

Jackson and Sylvia are deeply flawed and carry significant emotional baggage.  Each battle their own demons and still have quite a lot to deal with in the next two installments.  (Don’t worry, there isn’t any major cliffhangers at the end, but you’ll definitely want to pre-order the next book as soon as you’re done with this one.)  But to watch these two emotionally-wrecked characters find love and passion with each other is a beautiful experience.  Jackson is a little cold-hearted through the first half of the novel, but with his background you have no problem understanding why he does and says the things he does.  Likewise, Sylvia is a bit of a loose-canon and you worry a bit about her mental safety, but thankfully there is an excellent cast of secondary characters to look after and support her through the turmoil.

The erotica portions of the novel are exceptionally written, as always.  Ms. Kenner’s ability to create scenes that carry both emotional character development and seductive intensity is astounding.  The scenes are numerous, but kept exciting and fresh.

I can’t wait to read what’s next in the Stark International Trilogy.  SAY MY NAME was a fantastic read and there are so many questions left to answer in the next two installments.  Highly recommended!

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