Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CLAIM ME by J. Kenner

Stark Trilogy #2
Random House Publishing, April 2013
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN  9780345545831
Contemporary Erotic Romance


The second book in J. Kenner’s Stark trilogy, CLAIM ME, is the continuation of the love story of tortured millionaire Damien Stark and emotionally damaged Nikki Fairchild.  The erotic portrait Nikki has been posing for in return for one million dollars to fund a start-up down the road is finished and the viewing has arrived.  Their little game has come to an end.  But neither wants their relationship to end.  Damien still has many secrets that he is afraid to share with Nikki and that distance continues to cause Nikki many sleepless nights. 

As much as this reader enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Release Me, this reader has to admit to being somewhat disappointed by the first two-thirds of CLAIM ME.  The real story hook doesn’t appear until the last maybe third of the story.  Fortunately, that last third of the book really does make up for the lackluster first two-thirds. 

Nikki has been trying to have a deeper relationship with Damien than just sex, even if it is incredible sex.  She really wants to know Damien and have him share his deepest, darkest secrets with her, the way she has opened up to him.  But when the public finds out she is the model for Damien’s erotic portrait and that he paid her to pose for it, all her insecurities come rushing back and her need for pain is palpable.  Damien understands what is happening to Nikki and wants nothing more than to shield her from anything that will hurt her, including him.  In the last third of the book, Nikki is forced to make a giant leap of faith which in turn causes Damien to take one as well.  But his secret is a big one and while Nikki plans to be at his side throughout the aftermath, it just may not be enough.

Like Release Me, CLAIM ME is a very sensual read and easy to follow.  Ms. Kenner’s descriptive writing style has her readers easily empathizing with her characters.  Though the storyline doesn’t really ignite until the last third of the book, when it gets moving, it really demands reader attention.  This reader can’t wait to see what comes of Damien and Nikki in the final installment of this series.  While we expect they will live happily ever after, when CLAIM ME ends, that happily ever after ending is anything but certain.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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