I was asked by Random House to review this book and host J. Kenner on her blog tour because I tend to review erotic contemporary romances, and books to read if you enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey and The Crossfire Series. Release Me by J. Kenner is definitely for the audience that enjoyed those books, and the many other trilogies that have been coming out since.
Well, I will say this, it was way closer to Bared To You than Fifty Shades. The theme is the same…rich, young, dominant, gorgeous, possessive, closed-off, never had a serious relationship, probably abused billionaire meets and pursues a young woman (with a best guy friend and a wild roommate) until she can’t refuse. I’m not saying this is really a bad thing, but the theme is getting a little worn out. Still, I enjoyed this book.
“Possess. Have. Hold. Enjoy. Control. Dominate. Pick your verb, Ms. Fairchild. I intend to explore so very many of them.”
The story is told in the first person POV of Nikki, former pageant queen trying to make it on her own merits in the science and technology field in L.A.. In fact, she has recieved fellowships for her aptitude in college in those fields, and has already released a few smart phone apps. Nikki is the product of an awful mother who saw her as a pageant queen only, and cared nothing about her. It became so bad, that Nikki resorted to some awful things to deal with the pressure.
…she hasn’t met the real Nikki Fairchild. She’s met social Nikki who, much like Malibu Barbie, comes with a complete set of accessories. In my case, it’s not a bikini and convertible. Insetad, I have the Elizabeth Fairchild Guide for Social Gatherings.
I have it all down, every trick, every nuance, And I wear my practice pageant smile like armor against the world.
Damien Stark is the professional tennis player turned billionaire tech whiz who’s foundation granted the fellowship, and many others. He and Nikki met briefly at an event 6 years earlier while she was on the pageant circuit and he was on the tennis circuit. They meet again at a party for an erotic artist, where Nikki is supposed to “woo” Damien to secure a meeting for her boss.
He’s tall and so handsome that the word is almost an insult. But it’s more than that. It’s not his looks, it’s his presence. He commands the room simply being being in it, and I realize that Evelyn and I aren’t the only looking at him. The entire crowd has noticed his arrival he must feel the weight of all those eyes, and yet the attention doesn’t faze him at all.
“No, Damien Stark is just one of those dark quiet types. He’s like an iceberg…The deep parts are well hidden and what you do see is hard and a little bit cold. “
They hit it off almost immediately, and the sexual tension oozes off the page.
“I’m smart enough to know that you feel it, too. This isn’t just heat, it’s a goddamned conflagration. Not Chemistry, but a nuclear fission.”
Damien has an indecent proposal for Nikki–he wants a nude painting of her and will pay her one million dollars to pose and be his completely for one week (I’ll do it!!!!). Nikki has scars from her past that she thinks will drive him away. But the million can go a long way to help finance her new apps. And after all, the heat between them can’t be denied.
There are some really hot scenes, but no full-on sex till about halfway through. This story was BDSM lite. There was no red room, and it was more about control than about punishment.
‘You’re mine,’ he says.
‘I know,’ I reply, and I mean it completely.
Though I must say, I want a pair of these:
Damien and Nikki actually have a lot in common. Both were forced by parents to compete at a young age, and they had no say in the issue. Both are strong characters as well.
“Sorry. But I’m afraid you’ve met your match Mr. Stark.” “I certainly hope so, Ms. Fairchild,” he says.
But there is no question about who has control in the bedroom.
“Tell me, Ms. Fairchild. What should your punishment be? What should I do to a naughty girl who touches herself when she’s not supposed to?”
- I liked both Nikki and Damien very much. Nikki was flawed and dealing with her problems. Damien has some mystery surrounding him, but he clearly sees that Nikki is his match and will do anything for her.
- This was more about the relationship than the BDSM sex.
- There is a little mystery.
- Though it’s the first in a trilogy, we aren’t left with a huge cliffhanger, just some loose ends.
- Way too many similarities with the other books it is compared to.
- They both use the word “cunt” all the time.
- I didn’t connect as deeply as I have to other similar books.
“That wasn’t just nice. That was rocket ship to the moon. That was fucking amazing. Guinness World Records quality. Hell, that fuck was a thousand times better than those shoes you were wearing the night we met.”