July 23, 2015

REVIEW: Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1)

Release Me (Stark Trilogy #1), by J. Kenner
Publish Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Bantam
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4 STARS

(From Goodreads) He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist.

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past—and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him—and us—forever.

Release Me is another book that's been on my TBR for an unreasonably long time. I had just finished reading Grey, and then re-reading the entire Fifty Shades series, and the Stark Trilogy is one that many people have told me to try if I enjoyed books like FSOG. Now, I know - most people HATE when others say... "If you liked Fifty Shades of Grey, then you'll love..." I even get why. But, that doesn't take away from the fact that they're probably right. 

Release Me is no FSOG - I'll say that right now. I can definitely see the similarities, but it just didn't have the same feel to me. It's not a bad thing or a good thing. Well, I guess it is a good thing. It means that the Stark Trilogy can stand on its own feet. It has its own merits and flaws and individuality in spite of the correlations that can be drawn between the two series. 

Damien Stark is stupid rich and extremely secretive and enigmatic. And, he's shadowed and a little dark, too. It's all these things that drawn Nikki Fairchild to him like a moth to a flame. I get that - those tall, dark and mysterious types are completely fascinating to we females. Apparently, those characteristics blind her good sense, because their first meeting at a party was anything but above board. Damien was a forward ass to Nikki, and what was intensely frustrating to me was that she allowed it. 

Heroines like that frustrate the hell out of me. I know that we're supposed to understand that Nikki was very affected by this man, and that caused her to perhaps act out of character. But, still. I wanted her to find her lady balls, grab them like a redneck and give Damien the finger. Instead, she sputtered around, feigned indignance, and then proceeded to answer his all-too-personal questions anyway. *rolls eyes* 

Despite my frustration at Nikki, I really did enjoy this book. Damien's secrets are still locked up tight by the end of the book, and those alone would cause me to pick up the next book. It's clear they are doozies, and I'm dying to know what happened to him in his past. 

Nikki's secrets come out in Release Me, and her upbringing and the fall-out from it broke my heart. After everything that happened, I couldn't believe that Nikki still communicated with her mother at all. And, when Damien found out, he was amazing. I fell a little in love with him in that scene. 

Nikki and Damien are definitely a hot couple. Although Nikki resists him for awhile, for her own reasons, it was inevitable that they would eventually give in to their intense attraction to one another. Damien initiates things under the pretense of asking Nikki to sit for a painting for his new house. A nude painting. and everything after that is history. 

At the end, everything is still very much up in the air for Damien and Nikki and for their very fragile peace. I'm sure it will be disturbed again soon. Should be fun.

1 comment:

Eva @ All Books Considered said...

This one was okay for me -- definitely the best in the series because it really goes down hill from here with the secrets and jealousy and cliche.

Great review!