Title: Say My Name
Author: J. Kenner
Series: Stark International #1
Received for review from Bookbridgr
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
At last, a romance/erotica novel that wasn’t just ‘cutesy’ or plain stupid! I really enjoyed this – lots of good angst and tension, believable interplay between characters and a plot set-up that gave lots of interesting opportunities for the characters to explore, but wasn’t utterly ridiculous and unbelievable.
There does seem to be an abundance of dominating billionaires in the romance scene at the moment. They’ve always been a popular staple, but the rise of interest in BDSM has added a new dimension to the trope. This is BDSM of the most vanilla fashion – a little bit of light spanking, a blindfold or two and some dressing gown ties – but if you enjoy that sort of thing, there’s enough here to titillate, but not so much as to put off other readers.
What I liked most about this is the fact that, while the romance and the sex are very central in the story, both Jackson and Sylvia have things going on outside of each other. Their passion for each other stems a lot from their shared passion of architecture and the business they do. Which makes the intense relationship all the more believable – it’s totally plausible that their passion for their work and for buildings could spill over into passion for each other. So while the romance is necessarily fast moving, it doesn’t feel like ‘insta-love’ like so many relationships in this genre do.
And as this is the first book of a trilogy, there’s no way the ‘will-they-won’t-they’ thing could have been sustained. I like that Kenner has moved the drama outside of the issues between Jackson and Sylvia. While they likely still have a way to go in resolving everything between them, there’s other stuff going on that will throw hurdles and obstacles in their way so the conflict isn’t always internal.
I’d be interested to read the next book in this series, which is more than I can say of a lot of this sort of thing that I’ve read lately. I’m invested enough in the characters and their situation to actually want to know what happens next. Always the sign of a good book, I think.