Review: Claim Me: J. Kenner

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For Damien, our obsession is a game. For me, it is fiercely, blindingly, real.

Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.

I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.

But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.

Release Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Book one: Release Me: Goodreads/Amazon/B&N
I want more than a game with Damien, and I can't help the eagerness with which I face tomorrow and the knowledge that it will simply be Damien and Nikki with nothing between us. And as far as any lingering secrets between us...well, with time, those will be brushed away too.

This takes place right as Release Me ends. Damien and Nikki are still exploring their relationship after he has learned her secrets. But he is still holding onto his. But they are getting deeper and deeper into each other and both have strong feelings as well as passion. A lot of the beginning of the book is more about their continued sexual relationship, his need for control, and the end of their initial agreement. They are trying to figure out what happens next, enjoy alone time, and continue to learn more about one another.

"But you're the one in control."
"No....That's an illusion nothing more. It's you , Nikki. You have captured me utterly, and you hold my heart in your hands. Be gentle with it, It's more fragile than you might think."

I am Damien's. Bound to him. Marked by him. Claimed by him. And right now, that is all I want to be. 

They are facing attention from the paparazi initially for just being with Damien but the media attention continues to increase as more information is leaked to the press about them. So they are holding together while fighting the outside world. But Damien is still secretive even though he is also sweet and protective with Nikki. And Nikki is growing stronger with Damien, but still is insecure and has a tendency to want to fall back into old patterns at times when pressure gets to be too much. 

On the contrary, he is a gift. A rescuer. A knight upon a white steed, though he would scoff at the image and insist that the horse must be a black one. Perhaps so, but to me there is nothing dark about Damien Stark. There is only the light that he brings to my world. And that is why I feel all the more helpless when I see that he is hurting. And why I feel all the more lost when it is not me that he turns to. 

The first part of the story was a little slow, but then towards the last part of the book we start to finally get to see them get really challenged as a couple. They are constantly scrutinized and It seems to be the two of them  against the world. Their friendships and loyalties are tested, and the stress gets to both of them. And in the midst of all the chaos,  then we finally start to find out the secrets that Damien is hiding and it eventually all comes crashing down. The twist did surprise me.

And Damien has to decide if the best way to protect Nikki is to take her out of the spotlight. And Nikki has to decide if she is strong enough to stick by Damien during a very difficult time. So it leads right into the plot for the 3rd book Complete Me as Damien faces one of his biggest challenges yet.

I have to say that I was a little disappointed in this book. I missed some of the humor, witty rapport and foreplay from the first one...although they still had some in this story. The beginning revolved a lot about sex and control. And it seemed like it took a long time to get to the drama. But I still  love Damien Stark. He is sexy, dominant, intense, passionate, sweet and loving. He really tries to protect Nikki and do what is best for her most of the time. Nikki showed some personal growth and strength and I started to like her more as the book went on.  And I did enjoy the last part of the book and the premise of the next one is promising. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing-Bantam Dell for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

J. Kenner Website/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

J. Kenner spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge her passion for writing. California born, she now lives—and writes—in Texas, with her husband and daughters.


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