Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Review: Say My Name by J. Kenner

Series: Stark International Trilogy #1
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Copy provided for honest review
Rating: ★★★ ½

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 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 intended for mature audiences.

I have to say, I loved being back in the Stark world.  Say My Name has so many of the elements that made us fall in love with Damien and Nikki, with just a slightly darker feel.

Sylvia Brooks has demons. Demons she never dealt with. Demons that have shaped the course of her life and kept her in a constant state of running from true intimacy.  Never more so than when she ran from the man she believed could be the love of her life.

Now Jackson is back in her life, as the career life line she desperately needs. But Jackson isn't the man she fell for all those years ago. He's hard, cold and determined.

Jackson starts off Say My Name as noting more than an infuriating, controlling asshole.  I was not a fan, but that changed quickly and I found myself very intrigued, yet still a bit wary of the man. On the other hand, I found myself really liking Sylvia at first but had a couple moments of pause with her.

She was so determined at certain points to stay closed off, she ran across the country to keep from getting to close to Jackson after all. Yet, only a small push from him had her spilling so many of the things she had been previously terrified to reveal.  I would have bought into more of a struggle or fight there.

What I really loved was the battle of wills between the two. They both deeply struggle for control of all things and the tug-of-war that happens there was steamy, passionate and at times, heartbreaking.

In Kenner style, the story unravels in such small measures but all those little things that she peels away, are so hugely integral to the story as a whole. I found myself constantly trying to work out the characters, the reasons for their actions, where the story was going next.  Even though some of those clues made reveals fairly easy to guess, the story never suffered for that.  You become engrossed in these peoples lives and lies and secrets, making it difficult to set the book down.

There isn't a real resolution at the end of this story, yet there isn't someone dangling at the edge of a cliff either. There is, however, still some large issues and secrets to untangle and I, for one, am excited to read more in On My Knees, due June 23, 2015.

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