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I am Lover of romance, who indulges in the romantic adventures of literature

My name is Renee, and I am the host of this site. I am a 34 year old woman, on the prowl for her mate, searching out the best of books, exploring the wilds of the imagination and delving into the heart of a beautiful love story.

 

Triple Romance Review-Stark International Trilogy by J. Kenner

by | Jun 16, 2022 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

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 MeSay 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.

Time and distance haven’t lessened the desire any more than hurt and anger have. I want his touch. I want his hands. I want everything he has to offer.

My Review

First Impressions

Say My Name is the first book in the Stark International series and I have been wanting to read this series quite a bit, I really loved the original Stark series where we got introduced to the infamous Stark novels. And when I saw that this trilogy was available at my local library, I was beyond ready to delve into J. Kenner’s work. Her books will always work for me and I am always stunned by the level of intensity and addictive nature of her writing. I am not sure why I haven’t read this author more to be honest. I have always wanted to read more of her work but I think I got stuck not finishing her series in the original series but I realized how much of a mood I was into for these books and I am so happy that I decided to pick up this trilogy and seeing the journey of Jackson and Sylvia. There is a level of sophistication and class to her writing style and we definitely see that in abundance within these books. And if you prefer this style within your contemporary, then get ready to kick back and indulge in these two.

I have seen joy and rapture. I have held him close and felt his heart, and I have been burned by the intensity of this man.

Summary

Jackson Steele has a commanding presence and then he met Sylvia who was a woman of beauty and grace and they had an intense sensual connection. And then they both fell in love with each other but there was a dark skeleton in Sylvia’s past, one that she has kept hidden from the world and most especially from Jackson. But she knew that she couldn’t keep moving forward with a relationship with him without telling him and she couldn’t bear to reveal the shameful truth of her past, one that has cost her dearly and still haunts her nights and days. So she ends things with Jackson and forced him to let go of her. But now Sylvia is working as the primary assistant to Stark and there is a dream opportunity to build an island into a masterpiece and she knows the one architect that would make it a goldmine and it happens to be the man of her past, the man she has never forgotten. And when Sylvia goes to Jackson, the past and present will collide in ways that she never imagined and she will need to learn to adapt to opening her past and her heart to Jackson…

Look at me, Sylvia. Because I’m not going to say this again. I told you once that I’m a man who goes after what he wants, and I want you in my bed. I want to feel you naked and hot beneath me. I want to hear you cry out when you come, and I want to know that I am the man who took you there.

What I Loved

This was such a solid beginning to their story and we see such a growth of journey within their story and I was all hands on deck with this book. I was so curious to see where this author would take this one here and I can safely say that I am more than satisfied with where we got with the story and don’t worry the first book has no cliffhanger but it does have an HFN type of ending, which makes sense with three books featuring this couple. I was easily swept away by this story and most especially their romance. I really didn’t mind the flashback that we got within this story as it wasn’t back and forth. We get to see them in the present and then we get taken back in time to when they first fell in love and see their relationship and then we see what breaks it and then see them come back together and it was so epically beautiful and poignant in all the right moments. There is definitely a great level of chemistry that is built within this relationship and we also see how they both are so driven towards each other and there is a level of kink in this relationship. I would call this light to medium BDSM, it’s mostly a dominant play in the bedroom with some toys which I really enjoyed. J. Kenner is brilliant in how she builds these dynamics between the couple without overwhelming the storyline or their actual romance. There is a deep level of emotion that the author builds within this story that will work for many and will draw you into her writing more. You will find that her writing is very challenging to put down, it has an almost addictive quality to it.

Did I want your submission? Did I want you naked and willing beneath me? Hell, yes. I still do. But that’s not the whole of it. I want to make you feel. To make you laugh. I want to see that fire that burns in you. I want you to look at me the way you did five years ago. And, Sylvia? I want you to stay.

What I Struggled With

There wasn’t too much that I struggled with to be honest, this was pretty much close to a five-star read, it is off by a half star due to the ending as it was just an HFN, not that its a complaint, it worked for the series but as a story, I just prefer a HEA in my books.

I want to hold you while you sleep and stand guard against your nightmares. I can’t change your past, but I will stand with you to fight your battles now.

Overall View

Overall I found Say My Name to be a breathtaking installment that sets the tone of the story in an entrenching way that will captivate the reader and have you eager to delve into book two. I guarantee that Jackson and Sylvia are a couple that will touch your heart!

Oh, baby. They can’t hurt me. Don’t you know that you’re the only one who’s ever managed to tear me to shreds?

Title: Say My Name

Author: J Kenner

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Library

Length: 337 Pages

Amazon| Barnes and Noble| Kobo| Goodreads| LibraryThing| StoryGraph| Literal Club

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4.5

Character Development: 5

Writing Style: 4.5

World Building 4.5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 4.5

Pacing 5

Plot 5

Cover Art 4

Ending 4

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.


This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks continue to thrill in the second novel of a scintillating, emotionally charged trilogy that returns to the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

I never thought I’d lose control, but his desire took me right to the edge.

Powerful, ambitious, and devastatingly sexy, Jackson Steele was unlike any other man I’d ever known. He went after what he wanted with his whole mind, body, and soul—and I was the woman in his sights. One touch and I surrendered, one night together and I was undone.

Jackson and I had secrets, dark pieces of our pasts that threatened to swallow us both. We couldn’t outrun our demons, or the people trying to tear us apart. But in our passion we found salvation, and in each other’s arms we found release.

I was scared to trust Jackson fully, to finally let go. Yet no matter the dangers that lay ahead, I knew I was his—and now that we’ve laid claim, there’s no more holding back.

Intimacy’s not a key, you know? You don’t just get close to someone and expect that to open a door and everything comes tumbling out like an overstuffed closet.

My Review

First Impressions

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks return in the continuation of the Stark International series and this one is where we get to see some twists and turns that will build into a crescendo for the finale of the series. In this book we get to see our beloved couple explore their sexual chemistry and the emotions that lay just beneath the surface, we also get to see some conflicts arise both in their careers and their personal lives that build in the conflict I know many would consider this a “filler’ book and while it has some of those aspects you also will see some aspects of other characters and their drama and how they connect with Jackson and Sylvia. We definitely get some fun Stark delights so if you are a Stark original fan, then this is definitely a series for you

They could find their demons together. Yin and yang. Control and submission. Pleasure and pain. And on and on until they send each other spiraling over that invisible line where it all became the same. Where pain gave away to pleasure, and control revealed itself.

Summary

Jackson and Sylvia continue on straight after book one, where they are working on rebuilding their relationship, establishing trust, and learning to forgive the past and to embrace their future. But it isn’t as easy as they think that it will be. Jackson is working on trying to fit into the Stark realm, as there is great animosity between him and Stark. Then we have Sylvia who is trying to work on overcoming what haunts her past while also trying to work with Jackson and give her full trust in the bedroom and explore their explosive chemistry and a new level of dominance and submission that is explored in the bedroom (and many other locales). But while they are learning on establishing what their relationship means, there are secrets that are unfolding, and will their relationship be the tidal wave that is about to crash down upon them?

What I Loved

Despite the fact that this one could be seen as a “filler ” installment, I found that this one was really crucial as it built their relationship in just the right way that seemed to fit this pairing. I really enjoyed seeing the way that these two are working their relationship and seeing them explore their sexuality on deeper levels. J Kenner definitely knows how to write her sex scenes because this book was smokin’ but in all of the best of ways. There is also such a deep level of intimacy that is slowly built throughout the story that you can help by cheer this pair on., I will say that this book ends with a cliffhanger, and I won’t reveal what that cliffhanger is, but just make sure you have book three ready in hand to continue on with. There is also a manner in which we see the involvement of side characters and the way that they impact our characters. I really enjoyed seeing how it ended up fitting all together in the end. You definitely won’t be disappointed in seeing Jackson and Sylvia continue on with their story and seeing their love deepen.

You are mine, Sylvia From the first moment I saw you in Atlanta, I knew there was no other woman for me. Not before and not ever again. You are the light that rfills my days and illuminates my nights.

What I Struggled With

There could have been more build-up of the plot in some areas, but other than that, was a solid installment.

Overall View

On My Knees is such a well-earned romance that crosses boundaries, opens the eyes to family secrets, and builds into a climax to prepare the reader for the grand finale~ truly a BREATHTAKING story to tug at your heartstrings and with enough heat to fog up the windows!

I need this, and I know that he does too. This connection. This union. It’s power and strength and solidarity. It’s proof that we can get through everything that has and will happen. That we can weather the gathering storm. It’s torment and treasure.

Title: On My Knees

Author: J. Kenner

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Library

Length: 304 Pages

Amazon| Barnes and Noble| Kobo| Goodreads| LibraryThing| StoryGraph| Literal Club

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 5

Story Itself: 4.5

Character Development: 4.5

Writing Style: 4.5

World Building 4.5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 4.5

Pacing 5

Plot 5

Cover Art 4

Ending 4

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.


This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks are back in the powerful finale of a provocative, sizzling-hot trilogy set in the world of J. Kenner’s beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me.

He’s the only man I’ve ever loved, and the one man I can’t bear to lose.

Jackson Steele is my light in this world. Charismatic, bold, and always in control, he knows what he wants and how to get it—and absolutely nothing stands in his way. His hold on me is magnetic, his claim on me complete, his kiss my ultimate escape.

We both harbor dark secrets that could tear our lives apart. Though we’ve tried to bury our pasts, there are certain people who won’t let us forget. But the closer danger comes, the brighter the fire between us burns—our ecstasy consuming and soothing us both.

There’s no telling what lies ahead, but I know that Jackson never gives in without a fight. I’d do anything he wants to keep him safe, give him anything he needs. And now that we’re in deep, nothing can make me run.

Jackson is not a man to let circumstances get the better of him,and he is not a man who will let an injury go unavenged.

My Review

First Impressions

Under My Skin is the third book and the finale of the trilogy and this is where we see all the build-up of the first two books really build into the climax that has been teased and it’s also the story that has the most intensity with the plot building and will keep you at the edge of your seat all the way through it. I was really interested to see what this author would do in this book especially with the ending that we experienced within the second book because what a cliffhanger to deliver me into the hands of this book here. And yeah it had plenty of tension, drama and intense emotion and I was all for it and I loved all of the reveals and seeing how the plot was built was worth every moment. Jackson and Sylvia just hold a special place in my heart and I was all in for this story here. If you are wanting answers and seeing all the secrets revealed, then buckle up because it’s going to be a wild ride!

Summary

I won’t be sharing the summary of this book other than that this is the third installment and there are many secrets revealed and their relationship is pushed to the limits. All the other details will spoil it for you.

What I Loved

Under My Skin was such a story that it had me wrapped up in knots and I am not complaining at all. J. Kenner took me to the edge and back and I was more than happy about it. She has a way about her writing that especially in her trilogies that the third book just delivers in every way and Under My Skin definitely brought everything to the surface and more. I honestly couldn’t get enough of this book and was so thrilled to finally see all the truths come out and seeing the culmination of their struggles and seeing their relationship really shine in this book. You definitely see how they go through a contemporary version of the refiner’s fire and it was so brilliant to see it happen. I was so touched in the way it delivered in all the aspects from plot building, to character development, and to levels of all the feels and intimacy. You definitely will be easily swept away and there was such an intriguing element of seeing Stark’s connection to this story and how well he relates to these books but most especially this installment. There are so many secret reveals that are delivered and it had such a satisfying feeling to the trilogy. We also see plenty of relationship beauty in this book and seeing how much Jackson and Sylvia are connected and how it gets them through the rough patches that they are faced with and no worries the heat is TOP NOTCH! But there is more focus on the plot and other aspects of their relationship. You will be given depths to their relationship that will work for you, and the ending will deliver a satisfying sweet moment to leave you with a smile.

Decide how you want to play the game, sweetheart. But know that I’m only willing to play by my rules.

What I Struggled With

There was nothing…it was everything I expected and more!

Overall View

I found Under My Skin to be a worthwhile read that was packed with an edgy feelin’ that manifested all the way through, it delivered in its sensual sweetness and thrilling takes of the plot reveals to leave you fully satisfied in the end!

I want to reduce you to ashes, to discover all your secrets.

Title: Under My Skin

Author: J. Kenner

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eBook

Source: Library

Length: 352 Pages

Amazon| Barnes and Noble| Kobo| Goodreads| LibraryThing| StoryGraph| Literal Club

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 4.5

Story Itself: 4.5

Character Development: 4.5

Writing Style: 4.5

World-Building: 4.5

Feels + The Romantic Heart 5

Pacing 5

Plot 4.5

Cover Art 4

Ending 4.5

Book Ratings

Overall Rating of the Book

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Series Order

Stark International

Say My Name-Pub 2015 #1 in the Series

On My knees-Pub 2015 #2 in the Series

Under My Skin-Pub 2015 #3 in the Series

Steal My Heart-Pub 2016 #3.1 in the Series

Take My Dare-Pub 2016 #4 in the Series

About The Author

J. Kenner (aka Julie Kenner) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal and #1 International bestselling author of over one hundred novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Though known primarily for her award-winning and international bestselling erotic romances (including the Stark and Most Wanted series) that have reached as high as #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, JK has been writing full time for over a decade in a variety of genres including paranormal and contemporary romance, “chicklit” suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal mommy lit.

JK has been praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations” and by RT Bookclub for having “cornered the market on sinfully attractive, dominant antiheroes and the women who swoon for them.” A six time finalist for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA award, JK took home the first RITA trophy awarded in the category of erotic romance in 2014 for her novel, Claim Me (book 2 of her Stark Trilogy) and in 2017 for Wicked Dirty in the same category. Her Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series (as Julie Kenner) is currently in development as a television show.

Her books have sold over three million copies and are published in over twenty languages.

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1 Comment

  1. shygirl19748

    Yay! I’m so happy you loved Jackson & Sylvia! Kenner writes such emotional connections with all of her characters but this couple reminded me so much of Damien & Nikki in how intense they were together. The steam factor was perfect. And the plot, especially in the third book, was on point. Love it!!

    Reply

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