Twice as Nice: Paula's Take on Release Me by J. Kenner


Release Me by J. Kenner
Contemporary / Erotica  
Bantam (January 1, 2013)

Rating: B-
Heat: Sizzling

Heroine: Nikki Fairchild – Smart, Starting Over 
Hero: Damien Stark – Billionaire, Ex-Tennis Star
Setting: California, USA



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

Nikki Fairchild has just moved to California to start a new life. She recently graduated from graduate school and is trying to get her foot in the door for her business ventures. But, in order to get started, she decides to take a job as an assistant for experience and to learn the business side, so she is successful when she does decide to go off on her own.

On her first assignment at a cocktail party/art exhibit, where she attends with her boss, she meets billionaire, ex tennis player, Damien Stark. However, this isn't the first time these two have met. In Nikki's old life, where her mother controlled her every move, she used to compete in beauty pageants. At one of these pageants, Damien was a judge and Nikki briefly met him. Upon seeing Damien again, Nikki felt the spark she felt the first time she saw him. But Nikki isn't sure he remembers her.

When he asks her stay behind instead of leaving with her boss, with the excuse that he needs help picking out a painting, Nikki suddenly finds herself making out with the billionaire. Thinking that there is something between them, as they walk out to his limo, he puts her in his car, and sends her on her herself. Confused, and a little embarrassed by her actions, Nikki finally decides that she is glad their encounter doesn't go any further, since she may have to work with him in the future.

But that is definitely not the last encounter between Nikki and Damien. With a lot of persistence and relentless pursuing from Damien, Nikki finds herself in a whirlwind, erotic romance with the very sexy billionaire.

Nikki is a very intelligent and driven woman. After losing her sister, and escaping her mother's control, she's determined to make it on her own. So when Damien proposes a very extravagant offer to Nikki, she couldn't say no. But this offer means she will have to divulge a secret to Damien that she is ashamed of. A secret that could either make or break this relationship before it even begins.

Damien is a controlling, ruthless businessman who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Nikki. However, he has met his match in Nikki. She doesn't just roll over for the billionaire. But Damien is not easily scared away. He knows how to wine and dine this woman that he strongly desires to possess. And the little surprises and notes were very convincing. Damien had me at the massage! Oh, but Damien also has his own secrets. Secrets that have Nikki doubting her relationship with Damien. As she uncovers the truth, will she trust Damien and stay with him?

I'm going to go straight to the elephant in the room. Yes, this story has been done before. I haven't read 50 Shades, but I have read the first two books in the Crossfire series. And yes, this book is a tad similar to the Crossfire series....the controlling, stalking, dominate, billionaire with secrets who is determined to have the submissive woman with secrets of her own. But the more I think about it, the more I see the differences. Damien is possessive but he isn't over-the-top possessive. Nikki definitely has some issues that stem from her childhood, but she's no wilting flower so she doesn't shy away from telling Damien exactly what she wants or doesn't want. There are secrets but most of them are divulged in the story. Not all of them, but most of them. Damien didn't exactly come clean with all his secrets. But if he told them all, then there wouldn't be any mystery left to try and figure out who Damien Stark is.

The story is passionate and sensual. Damien and Nikki definitely have intense chemistry. The sex scenes were on fire. The BDSM isn't extreme but the bondage scenes were hot and steamy, which makes me think the author has only given us just a taste of what's to come with this couple.

I really did like this story, even though the story did lull in some places. The ending isn't exactly a cliffhanger but it does leave some questions unanswered for the next book. Will I continue with this series? Yes, I will. Release Me has some great qualities about it that are different enough to give the rest of the story and the characters a chance.

Thoughts While Reading:



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