Title: Release Me by J. Kenner
Stark Trilogy Book One
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, Romance, BDSM
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
For fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You comes an erotic, emotionally charged romance between a powerful man who’s never heard “no” and a fiery woman who says “yes” on her own terms.
He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist.
Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.
Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past—and risk breaking us apart.
But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him—and us—forever.
Release Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.
If you are a fan of erotic novels with BDSM elements, then you are going to LOVE Release Me by J. Kenner. It is a well-executed, deliciously sensual romance between two emotionally wounded yet surprisingly well-adjusted protagonists. While there are some similarities to the Fifty Shades and Crossfire series, Release Me is much less angsty and the characters and their relationship are MUCH more realistic.
Nikki Fairchild and Damien Stark are wonderfully developed protagonists with dysfunctional pasts. Damien is a former tennis star turned bazillionaire entrepreneur. He is intense and domineering but he is also quite charming. Damien is a very private person who goes to great lengths to keep his personal life out of the limelight but he does reveal certain aspects of his past in order to maintain his relationship with Nikki.
Nikki is a delightful breath of fresh air. She is a strong character that is self-sufficient and independent. While she does have submissive tendencies, Nikki is no shrinking violet. She stands up for herself and she does not allow her relationship with Damien to interfere with her career goals.
Although the story takes place over just a few days, Nikki and Damien’s relationship never feels forced or rushed. They take the time to get to know one another outside of the bedroom and there is not a creepy obsessive quality to their burgeoning relationship.
The sexual relationship between Nikki and Damien is slow growing and full of exquisite anticipation. While Damien takes the dominant role he is willing to relinquish control to Nikki. The BDSM aspect is fairly light and consists of bondage, role playing, phone sex and spanking.
Release Me by J. Kenner is an entertaining romance that is quite captivating. Nikki and Damien have their share of flaws and insecurities, but their characters are three dimensional and fully fleshed out. Not all of Damien’s secrets are revealed and an intriguing and vaguely threatening exchange at the end of the novel sets the stage for Claim Me, the next installment in the series.