Monday, April 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Christie's review: Say My Name by J. Kenner

saymynameBTbanner Say My Name comp final 35fe1-add-to-goodreads-button31 button synopsis

New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner kicks off a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new trilogy that returns to the world of her beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. Say My Namefeatures Jackson Steele, a strong-willed man who goes after what he wants, and Sylvia Brooks, a disciplined woman who’s hard to get—and exactly who Jackson needs.

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. Say My Name is intended for mature audiences

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J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York TimesUSA TodayPublishers Weekly,  Wall Street Journal and International bestselling author of over seventy novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, Victorian-era thrillers (coming soon), and paranormal mommy lit.

Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, has been consistently in development in Hollywood since prior to publication.  Most recently, it has been optioned by Warner Brothers Television for development as series on the CW Network with Alloy Entertainment producing.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swopn for him.” A three time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy).

Her books have sold well over a million copies and are published in over over twenty countries.

In her previous career as an attorney, JK worked as a clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and practiced primarily civil, entertainment and First Amendment litigation in Los Angeles and Irvine, California, as well as in Austin, Texas.  She currently lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and two rather spastic cats.

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Having been a fan of J. Kenner's Stark trilogy, I was intrigued to see what she's imagined for this new couple and what their erotic exploration would entail. I'm a big fan of this author's way with words-her eloquence and crisply flowing pace always keep me completely fixed on her characters. I had almost forgotten the sophistication and intelligence in her layered plots. Not only was I hooked for the duration of the book, but I'm strongly committed to a full three book series-and that's saying a lot these days. Unlike other erotic books out there overstuffed with sex, J Kenner has managed to create erotica fueled with a strongly plotted story base. There's no danger of a thin plot stretched to the breaking point for the sole purpose of increasing sales. I'm more than willing to see what's in store next.

Jackson is a rising star in the field of architecture. His confidence, sculpted good looks, and success are magnetic to the opposite sex. He mingles with the hollywood crowd and the elite in business, and it seems just about everyone wants a piece of him. But no one is more desperate than Sylvia Brooks. She is equal parts eager and panic-stricken at the thought of coming face to face with this man again. They shared a brief, powerfully consuming weekend that shook her so deeply, she ran and regretted it ever since. She never wanted to give the promise of him up, but her past was eating away at her, and the dominance in Jackson's sexuality made her believe her fear of the loss of control would eventually ruin them.

Now he's her only chance to save the project that could be the turning point for her career. If he refuses to step in, the entire plan will have to be deserted. But can she set her pride and fear aside and face his anger and wrath?

Time and distance haven't lessened the desire any more than hurt and anger have. I want his touch. I want his hands. I want everything he has to offer.

Give me a story that has even a morsel of revenge in it, and I'm pretty well ready to devour the book at first glance. Our hero sees the opportunity to enact some retribution and he isn't the type to hesitate over something he wants. He's still holding onto a lot of resentment over Sylvia's flight from him years ago, and now it's time to not only take what he wants from her body, but make sure she's so addicted to him that her heart is left raw and bleeding when he turns the tables on her.

"What is it you want? I gasp, as spirals of pleasure seem to burst around me.
"You," he says. "At my mercy."

Seem cold hearted? Yes, I'd have to agree with that. Jackson isn't the most lovable person at first. Sylvia on the other hand appeared to be haunted, and floundering in her struggle to deal with the appalling situation she was forced into as a young girl. She never recovered and never had any guidance in dealing with all the pain that built up ever since. The only thing that keeps her grounded is the stability of feeling in control of all aspects of her life-most especially her sexuality. Jackson leaves her feeling anything but grounded.

"My rules, remember? And right now, I own you," he says as his fingers dance over my skin, highlighted by the sensual tones of his voice. "You're mine to pleasure. To take. To fuck. And right now I want you to experience nothing but the feeling of me touching you," he adds as my body clenches with need in response to this new seduction.

So when she's given the choice to save the project but surrender herself, it tears her apart. She has a feeling that even if it would be a relief to seek the release he offers, he may just end up destroying her in the end.

The path that these two embark on is charged with angst and bristling with intensity and heat. He pushes her boundaries to the limit and back again. I wasn't sure what to think about everything based on his unclear intentions at first, I'll admit. But it doesn't take too long for him to discover what's behind all of her fears. At this point, I completely fell into the the story and luxuriated in the frenzy.

The erotic elements were completely on point-as always, this author masterfully builds the intensity and power through some richly descriptive scenes. I appreciated that it wasn't just straight BDSM, I'm not exactly clamoring to this type of erotica anymore. It's more about trust and finding freedom in submission.

I'm looking forward to continuing on with the next book. Though there isn't really a difficult cliffy at the end, you're left with a revelation that makes you reevaluate everything and leaves more questions to be answered. If you liked J. Kenner's Stark series, you'll most likely enjoy these and you'll even get to visit those characters again, as they are secondary characters and connected to these MCs.


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