Review: Release Me by J. Kenner

Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner Nikki Fairchild, former pageant queen, has moved to California to start a new life.  She has a new job that has given her a foothold in an industry she very much wants to thrive in.  Her boss has given her the directive to woo a major player, Damien Stark, and get what she can out of him.  Nikki will do what she can to capture his interest business wise, because she wants to be successful.  When she sees him at a party she realizes they have already met in her former life.  He was a judge at a pageant and they shared a moment, a moment that would be memorable  for her, for the rest of her life.

Damien is a former tennis pro turned industry billionaire.  Although he was very successful he quit tennis at a young age and built a very successful empire.  He is very secretive and does his best to stay out of society and the public eye.

Damien and Nikki seem to be at cross purposes because Damien wants to pursue the sexual side but Nikki needs him to focus on the business side.  Damien agrees to meet with her boss but gives her a proposal of his own.  He will give her a million dollars if she allows an erotic painting to be done of her.  She will model for him for one week, a week which she will belong to him and then they will move on.  Nikki is very hesitant to model because she has some deep secrets of her own but she is unable to resist the pull of Damien and agrees to his offer.

Release Me has a very similar theme to a lot of the current erotic offerings; billionaire, tortured hero and young, innocent girl.  Both Damien and Nikki have some pretty destructive secrets they hide.  The secrets slowly make their way out as the story progresses.  What made this book a little different for me was Nikki’s attitude.  She wasn’t just the type to roll over and accept Damien’s issues.  There were times when she rightfully pushed back and questioned certain things.  She didn’t have the level of blind acceptance that we see in some of these heroines.

Another part of the story that intrigued me was their connection to the past.  Nikki very much remembers their first meeting at the pageant but because the story is first person from Nikki’s point of view we do not know what Damien remembers.  It was very interesting to see how that part of the story played out.  I will just say that there was more going on that what I first suspected.  For me, it added a bit of suspense to a overdone plotline.

There aren’t many secondary characters in the story.  There is the normal best friend to our heroine, an ex for Nikki and then the real piece of work, Nikki’s mother.  Nikki’s mother provided the catalyst that brought Damien and Nikki together on several occasions.  So while she is a pretty heinous character there are reasons for why she is involved in the story.

While Release Me is similar to FSoG and the Crossfire series, I think there are still some plots twist involved that make it interesting and different enough to stand out.  I have left some things out in my review or been purposefully vague in order to not ruin the overall plot.  Certain things should be read and enjoyed as you go along.  The title hints at elements of BDSM but the sex would mostly fall into BDSM light, at least when compared to other offerings out there.  The sex is still hot and plentiful but not necessarily ‘scene’ type sex.

This isn’t a standalone story as the ending is left open.  It wasn’t what I would call abrupt but it definitely leaves some questions for the reader.  I will be interested to see where Ms. Kenner takes the plot if we get a follow-up.  Final Grade- B-

 Favorite Quote:

“Possess. Have. Hold. Enjoy. Control. Dominate. Pick your verb, Ms. Fairchild. I intend to explore so very many of them.”


Rating: B-
Release Me by J. Kenner
January 1st 2013 by Bantam
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Comments

  1. says

    Sigh I just don’t know about this one. Many people have said they coudn’t even bring themselves to finish the book. I guess I’m tired of this new style of erotica which is really plain. I miss the old books from a few years ago where when the author said it was steamy, emotional, and erotic you knew you were going to be in for one hell of a ride. This stuff is just tame from where the erotica genre use to be. Now this crap is just all toned down “mommy porn”. So sad what has happened to this genre.

    thanks for the great review though.