Series: Stark International Trilogy

Divider

Under My Skin by J Kenner

September 18, 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.

Under My Skin by J KennerUnder My Skin by J Kenner
Series: Stark International Trilogy #3
Published by Bantam on September 1, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: the Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars
He’s the only man I’ve ever loved, and the one man I can’t bear to lose.
 
Jackson Steele is my light in this world. Charismatic, bold, and always in control, he knows what he wants and how to get it—and absolutely nothing stands in his way. His hold on me is magnetic, his claim on me complete, his kiss my ultimate escape.

We both harbor dark secrets that could tear our lives apart. Though we’ve tried to bury our pasts, there are certain people who won’t let us forget. But the closer danger comes, the brighter the fire between us burns—our ecstasy consuming and soothing us both.

There’s no telling what lies ahead, but I know that Jackson never gives in without a fight. I’d do anything he wants to keep him safe, give him anything he needs. And now that we’re in deep, nothing can make me run.

Before we begin this review, I must state – You need to read this series in order!  Each book builds upon the plot and character development of the previous novel.  Before reading UNDER MY SKIN, please read SAY MY NAME and ON MY KNEES first.  As such, this review will make reference to – but not spoil – plot points covered in prior novels in the series.

After the bombshell dropped at the end of the last novel, Sylvia and Jackson are reeling.  Everything around them is falling apart – the Cortez resort, Reed, Ronnie.  Nothing is going right and the stress is beginning to put a strain on their relationship.

Sylvia must learn to face her long-held fears with Jackson rather than continually pushing him away.  Yet she must then turn around and also push Jackson to channel his own fears and frustrations into a healthier, more sensual outlet.  This constant push-pull which has plagued Sylvia and Jackson culminate in the final installment of the series.  Unfortunately, Sylvia spends a lot of this book internally whining to herself (and sometimes Cass) about whether or not Jackson really loves her and if she is “good enough” to be with him and Ronnie.  After three books of Jackson constantly showering her with love and affection, you’d think Sylvia would have realized this by now.  However, I had to keep reminding myself that Sylvia is the victim of decades long emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, which went a long way towards explaining her self-recrimination and doubt.

I loved the bonding between Damien and Jackson.  After being at odds for so long, it was heart-warming to see these two powerful men finally become brothers.  Ronnie is an adorable ball of sunshine and I would love see see future novellas featuring this precious child.  And, of course, I liked that we found out who the killer and saboteurs were and that Jackson and Sylvia finally got their HEA.

A little rushed towards the end, but overall a great finish to another fantastic trilogy by J Kenner!  I sincerely hope this is not the last we see of Sylvia, Jackson, Damien, and Nikki.  The characters are complex, the sex is scorching hot, and there are just so many possibilities to explore.  Loved it!

Divider

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.

Divider

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!

Divider