Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Say My Name (Stark International Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner

Title: Say My Name
Series: Stark International Trilogy #1
Author: J. Kenner
Publisher: Bantam
Published: April 7th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 368
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Erotica
Source: NetGalley/Publisher
★★★★★ (5/5) Stars!!!

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New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner kicks off a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new erotic trilogy that returns to the world of her beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. Say My Name features 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 an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating!

It always baffles me when I read a book and I absolutely love it and yet when it comes time to write a review I'm at a loss for words. It's been two days since I finished Say My Name and I'm still having difficulty getting my thoughts down. I was hooked from page one. It was sort of emotionally beautiful and wasn't what I was expecting in a heart wrenching and yet wonderful at the same time kind of way.

First and foremost this book has a deeply intense storyline. Everyone has secrets, hell everyone has lots of secrets. Some were easy to figure out and a lot of them haven't even been revealed yet. I love how much this book twisted and turned and kept me guessing and yet even though I'm down one book I know that it's not even close to being done messing with my heart. With just this one book this series has done a proper job of keeping my heart and my gut all twisted up.

The storyline though would have been nothing special if not for the complex and highly intriguing characters. Sylvia is who we really get to know in this book. Sylvia is pretty messed up. When I say messed up I mean that I don't even think broken would begin to describe her. Her secrets and her past, as they were slowly revealed, had me on the brink of being physically ill. It was tragic and my heart hurt for her so much. The more that comes out about her the easier it is to understand her actions and reactions to certain situations or her fears. She's kept so much locked inside of her for, like, ten years, not even her best friend knows the whole story. And the way she deals with all of the demons inside her isn't exactly healthy.

Which is where Jackson comes in. We've just barely scratched the surface when it comes to him and he's still a huge mystery for the most part. He's got lots of secrets of his own, only one of which has been revealed so far. I really like this guy so far, even though he has the very real possibility of breaking Sylvia's heart, and even mine for that matter, with the things that he's still keeping from her. The thing is Jackson does this amazing job of not letting Sylvia run and hide from what's going on in her head. He won't let her draw into herself. He pulls her out and gets her to open up. He's very dominant and alpha and yet with Sylvia he's so sweet and tender and loving. I'm actually pretty worried of what his secrets will do to all my feels!

One thing this book is not lacking in at all is the hot and steamy! It is erotica and so there was a lot of sex. A lot. And you know how sometimes that's all these kinds of books are? Just two people constantly falling into bed and lacking any real substance? Definitely not the case here. It had such a good and heartfelt storyline to it that the sex never once overpowered or overshadowed it. I loved the chemistry between these two characters and nearly every single time Jackson and Sylvia are together their heat and intensity was positively scorching. I will say though that the one thing that bothered me, and it's so ridiculous of me when you think about it, was the fact that Sylvia always, constantly referred to her lady parts as her sex. Which I mean is okay but the moment she said it out loud to Jackson when he was having her be vocal about what she wanted...it just felt awkward to me. I could never picture myself or anyone for that matter actually saying the words my sex out loud and having it be sexy. I don't know though. That's just me.

So this was my first book by J. Kenner and I feel like I started off on the right track. Since I have a bit of a wait until book two comes out this summer I plan on buying and devouring the Stark Trilogy that this spun-off of. Since Damien Stark is Sylvia's boss we get to see quite a bit of him in Say My Name and I have to admit...what I've seen so far I think I like. I want to get to know both him and Nikki a whole lot better. I'm loving the intensity and the mystery of this series so far. Lots of emotions and depth. It was a perfect start to the Stark International Trilogy and I can't wait for more!

Thank you Bantam for the opportunity to read and review this book!!

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