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Release Me (Stark) Paperback – Unabridged, January 1, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Stark (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1st edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780345544117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345544117
  • ASIN: 0345544110
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


PERFECT for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You. Release Me is a powerful and erotic romance novel that is sure to make adult romance readers sweat, sigh and swoon Reading, Eating & Dreaming Blog Release Me sucked me in from the very beginning. I started cheering for the heroine, Nikki Fairchild on the first page... An emotional roller coaster, full of tenderness, love mystery sex - Release Me is definitely one you'll want to add to your TBR list Scandalicious Book Reviews Blog Release Me...just made the top of my list with Damien and Nikki...the way in which J. Kenner tells the story, how vulnerable and real Damien and Nikki feel, makes this story so good, and re-readable many times over In Love With Romance Blog This is deeply sensual and the story packs an emotional punch that I really hadn't expected... If you enjoyed Fifty Shades [and] the Crossfire Books, you're definitely going to enjoy this one. It's compelling, engaging and I was thoroughly engrossed Sinfully Sexy Blog I will admit, I am in the "I loved Fifty Shades" camp, but after reading Release Me, Mr Grey only scratches the surface compared to Damien Stark Cocktails and Books Blog I couldn't put this book down. I HAD to know what happened next... If you liked Fifty and the Crossfire series, you will love Release Me Bungalow Books Blog Damien Stark...belongs with some of the greatest fictional characters...what makes Release Me stands out from the crowd is the fact it has such memorable was good, very good Book Passion for Life Blog 'It is not often when a book is so amazingly well-written that I find it hard to even begin to accurately describe it... I recommend this book to everyone who is interested in a passionate love story' Romancebookworm's Reviews Along with the wave of new erotic romance novels, came this, Release Me by J. Kenner...I really wasn't expecting it to be as mind-blowing as this was. Release Me was SO MUCH MORE EMOTIONAL and DEEP and complex than I was expecting, I loved it...simply amazing Romance Books Forum The story is one that will rank up with the Fifty Shades and Crossfire trilogies. I am impatiently awaiting book two! A definite read for those who enjoyed Fifty Shades and Bared to You Incubus Publishing Blog Release Me by J. Kenner will undress you and leave you breathless! Kenner's erotic story, brings two souls together, where a love that has been elusive is suddenly craved. The attraction between Damien and Nikki is palpable, they are two strong personalities with past demons to contend with. Release Me gives readers tantalizing pages of sensual delight, leaving us reeling as we journey with this couple and their passions are released. Release Me is a must read...! Readaholics Anonymous J. Kenner has written a sensually seductive storyline that catches your imagination and pulls you in The Reading Cafe J. Kenner's evocative writing thrillingly captures the power of physical attraction, the pull of longing, the universe-altering effect one person can have on another. She masterfully draws out the eroticism between Nikki and Damien... Claim Me has the emotional depth to back up the sex... Every scene is infused with both erotic tension, and the tension of wondering what lies beneath Damien's veneer - and how and when it will be revealed Heroes and Heartbreakers Claim Me by J. Kenner is an erotic, sexy and exciting ride. The story between Damien and Nikki is amazing and written beautifully. The intimate and detailed sex scenes will leave you fanning yourself to cool down. With the writing style of Ms Kenner you almost feel like you are there in the story riding along the emotional rollercoaster with Damien and Nikki Fresh Fiction --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

J. Kenner spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and Central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge her passion for writing. California born, she now lives—and writes—in Texas, with her husband and daughters.

More About the Author

When Julie was knee-high to a grasshopper (an expression that she would like it known she has never, ever used in real life) she informed her parents that she was going to be a novelist, and proceeded to write Kitty Claws, a bestselling book about a cat as Santa. (The book sold out its entire print-run of one, so lets not split hairs about that "best-selling" thing, okay?)

After that stellar start, Julie continued to dabble in the literary arts, writing short stories on yellow pads that she forced her mother to type, scribbling poems on ruled notebook paper that she forced her mother to type, making up skits and songs that she forced her mother to watch and listen to, and diving head-first into high school journalism, at which point, mom finally got a break.

In college, she continued with the journalism thing, picking that as her major and working at The Daily Texan, the student newspaper for the University of Texas. The idea that she could actually write novels and, oh, buy food too, completely eluded her.

The journalism thing cranked along nicely for about one semester. Then Julie got a job as a production assistant on a movie originally called Splatter, but which was released as Future Kill (and can still be found in Blockbuster and through Netflix), with really great Giger poster art. Julie worked her tail off, appeared as an extra, had a great time, and promptly switched her major to film.

Graduating at the ripe old age of 19, Julie chickened out and didn't move to Los Angeles to become the next Steven Spielberg. Instead, she stayed in Austin and worked as a media assistant until she decided that perhaps law school was the better way to go because, hey, a degree in film slides so seamlessly into law. (Or, more likely, grad school was inevitable and the LSAT seemed doable.) Not one to waste time, Julie took the LSAT in December, and was admitted to Baylor Law School on a full scholarship the following February. Law school and Julie got along great, and after graduation, Julie went to work as a law clerk on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where she had a fabulous time drafting legal opinions, preparing the judge for court, and taking regular trips to New Orleans on a government per diem. During her two year stint as a clerk, the writing bug bit again, and Julie wrote a stage play that will never, ever see the light of day. Really. So don't even ask.

After her clerkship, Julie decided she could handle moving to the Big City, and she took a job with Skadden, Arps in L.A., where she worked on a variety of cases with some very smart lawyers. After a year, she moved on to smaller and smaller firms (and had a short stint as a production exec at a small film company, thus justifying all those credit hours in college). She continued to work with very smart lawyers, one of whom introduced Julie to Julie Garwood (her books, not the woman herself), and the writing bug bit again.

Though Julie had been dabbling with writing in her limited spare time, she'd lacked focus. Now, she'd found it, and she was determined to write an historical romance. You may, after reviewing Julie's book list, note that there are no historical romances on there. Let's just say that she didn't succeed at that task. Julie did, however, discover that while she has a head for contemporary nuances, the ins-and-outs of historical detail are enough to make her head explode.

The in-progress historical was promptly shelved, and Julie turned her attention to fleshing out a contemporary romance, having decided that category romance was the way to go, since with the demands of a legal job, she'd be much more likely to finish 240 manuscript pages than 400.

Finish them she did, and though she got nice feedback on the voice, the novel didn't sell. One editor, Harlequin's Brenda Chin, returned a rejection letter with a note that the hook wasn't enough of a "sexy premise."

Always up for a challenge, Julie came up with the opening line, "You need a man," which she thought had oodles of sexy premise potential. She just had to find a story to go with the line. Eventually, she did, and Nobody Does It Better, Julie's first published novel, was born. She entered the first few chapters in contests, finaled, and was ultimately judged by that same Brenda Chin, who ended up buying the manuscript. (Which is not the reason Julie thinks Brenda is a really cool person. Truly.)

By that time, Julie had realized that 400 pages were manageable after all, and she'd almost completed a paranormal romance along the lines of The Little Mermaid about a cat who is in love with her master. The Cat's Fancy sold just a few months after the original sale. Both books came out in 2000, along with a second Temptation, and Julie has had at least 3 books hit the shelves annually every since, and now has well over twenty books to her credit, crossing over a multitude of genres, most of which are represented in some way by the clever pictures in the collage at the top of this page.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a "flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations," Julie's books have hit lists as varied as USA Today, Waldenbooks, Barnes & Noble, and Locus Magazine, all of which has made Julie a happy camper. Julie is also a two-time RITA finalist, both times for books about strong women (a superhero and a demon-hunter). There's probably some deep meaning there, and if you know what it is, feel free to drop Julie a line.

Julie was also the winner of Romantic Times' Reviewer's Choice Award for Best Contemporary Paranormal of 2001, the winner of the Reviewers International Organization's award for best romantic suspense of 2004 and best paranormal of 2005, and the winner of the National Readers' Choice Award for best mainstream book of 2005. Not that she's keeping track or anything.

Julie writes a range of stories including quirky romances, sexy contemporaries, young adult novels, suspense, paranormal mommy lit, and (soon!) darker urban fantasy.

Her initial foray into the urban fantasy mommy lit genre--Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom--proved especially successful, resulting in a Booksense pick, a Target break-out book, other accolades and honors, and a movie deal. Specifically, Carpe Demon, is in development as a feature film with Warner Brothers and 1492 Pictures. Julie frequently pounds on her battered wooden desk (Salvation Army, $25, gotta love it) in order to urge the project from development to screen. (In Hollywood, these things are never certain until you're watching the movie and eating popcorn.)

Julie and her husband moved from Southern California back to Texas in 1995, and Julie quit the practice of law to write full time in 2004. Now, she lives and writes in central Texas with her husband, two daughters, and several cats. She is an active supporter of Love Without Boundaries. Click here to learn more about the charities Julie supports.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

106 of 115 people found the following review helpful By K. Branfield TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you are a fan of erotic novels with BDSM elements, then you are going to LOVE Release Me by J. Kenner. It is a well-executed, deliciously sensual romance between two emotionally wounded yet surprisingly well-adjusted protagonists. While there are some similarities to the Fifty Shades and Crossfire series, Release Me is much less angsty and the characters and their relationship are MUCH more realistic.

Nikki Fairchild and Damien Stark are wonderfully developed protagonists with dysfunctional pasts. Damien is a former tennis star turned bazillionaire entrepreneur. He is intense and domineering but he is also quite charming. Damien is a very private person who goes to great lengths to keep his personal life out of the limelight but he does reveal certain aspects of his past in order to maintain his relationship with Nikki.

Nikki is a delightful breath of fresh air. She is a strong character that is self-sufficient and independent. While she does have submissive tendencies, Nikki is no shrinking violet. She stands up for herself and she does not allow her relationship with Damien to interfere with her career goals.

Although the story takes place over just a few days, Nikki and Damien's relationship never feels forced or rushed. They take the time to get to know one another outside of the bedroom and there is not a creepy obsessive quality to their burgeoning relationship.

The sexual relationship between Nikki and Damien is slow growing and full of exquisite anticipation. While Damien takes the dominant role he is willing to relinquish control to Nikki. The BDSM aspect is fairly light and consists of bondage, role playing, phone sex and spanking.

Release Me by J. Kenner is an entertaining romance that is quite captivating.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By loveless on April 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I had a hard time trying to figure out how many stars to rate this book and after some thought I eventually decided on an one. This is the lowest I have ever scored any novel and here's why. To start the author takes a group of interesting characters and but does very little with them. There is neither depth nor growth for these characters. Whenever there is opportunity to show any sort of depth for these characters the author runs the other way. The side characters are all but forgotten due to Damien and Nikk's romance. In fact after the beginning they only ever make an appearance in the story to help with NIkki's increasing relationship with Damien.

At some point we find out NIkki's two best friends (who have been there for her countless times) end up sleeping together even though one of them is currently engaged. Afterwards we hear nothing about them because NIkki doesn't want to be caught in the middle and instead chooses to put her focus on Damien. At the very least this makes her selfish and a bad friend for ignoring something that in so many ways is a big deal.

Still even though this is annoying it is not why I gave only one star. Nikki and Damien's relationship (in my opinion it should be called a business transaction) begins when Nikki accepts Damien's proposal to do a nude painting for a million dollars. She stipulates that it must be done within a week so its fair to say the story takes place in about a week and a half. So we're clear Nikki sells herself to Damien and he makes sure that she knows he owns her. So as a reader I am supposed to be ok with two people suddenly falling in love in the course of a week given the way the basis of their relationship. This I find annoying.
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93 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Jonetta (Ejaygirl) on January 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Nikki Fairchild is a recent business school graduate from Texas, now living in L. A. and working as an assistant for a successful businessman who is a rainmaker for technology innovators and he's a bit of a sleaze. Damien Stark is the head of a powerful business empire and educational foundation. When Nikki and Damien meet at a party, which is a business function for her, their first contact was emotionally charged and bizarre.

The comparisons to the 50 Shades and Crossfire trilogies by E. L. James and Sylvia Day, respectively, are unfortunately true. I deliberately didn't read any of the reviews so I could form my own, unbiased opinion and still ended up with the same conclusion. At times, I thought of the main character as Eva, the heroine in Bared to You, since the first-person narrative was almost dead on to her. If I hadn't read these two series, I might have enjoyed this book more but there was nothing new or fresh here to keep me engaged or invested in Nikki and Damien.

Putting aside the likeness to the other trilogies (and that's difficult to do), I at first found Nikki to be a potentially interesting character. She's a former participant in the beauty pageant circuit who escaped her mother's insensitive clutches to pursue her educational goals and is pretty smart in her own right. Nikki has lofty goals and is right thinking in her approach to achieving them. This all seems to fall apart when she meets Damien at the party and from there on out she seems to be in a lust-filled haze anytime she's around him. Damien was a former tennis star who was also (surprise) damaged as a young child and has transformed into a brilliant, mega-rich, beautiful, controlling business mogul.
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