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Showing 1-10 of 1,279 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,575 reviews
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon March 30, 2013
I guess we can thank E. L. James for mainstreaming BDSM-laced erotica, because it seems as if a new series crops up (no pun ... okay, pun intended) as often as vampires sprung from Stephenie Meyer.

Stop me if you've heard this before: a young, career-oriented woman meets an older, searingly attractive multimillionaire as drawn to her lush innocence as she is to his sexual (and entrepreneurial) allure. They embark on a relationship, made a bit more challenging due to the battles he wages with his demons. But she is convinced she can "cure" him, even if doing so means allowing him to dominate her sexually.

Sound familiar?

Sure, it does.

A recent entry is Release Me, which is the first of what appears to be a trilogy. (Yes, a trilogy. I'm sure you're shocked.) Young Nikki is fresh off the plane from Texas, trying to use her corporate ambition to help her succeed in business in Los Angeles. She attends a cocktail party and meets Damien Stark and immediately feels a pull toward him. He's hot, no doubt about it, and he makes his interest in her known. The pursuit begins, and, over the course of about four days, the two embark on a romance.

Unlike the Fifty Shades heroine, Nikki actually has something of a backbone. She's feisty, and her reluctance to give into Damien has less to do with moral superiority than with a need to be independent and prove herself. She also has her share of Issues, namely her not-so-loving mother. As for Damien's struggles, you need to keep reading. We get hints, and we get bits of information, but clearly his go much deeper than hers.

What you really want to know about is the sex, though, right? OF COURSE YOU DO. We don't read stories like Release Me because we crave literature or Pulitzer-prize winning writing. We read them for the sexy times, and in that respect J. Kenner does not disappoint. These two scorch up those sheets and rock that headboard straight into the stratosphere. The sex scenes are HOT, people. If for no other reason than that, I look forward to Capture Me.

So here's where we are with this book: it's hot, fun, and has a hot hero. Kenner seems to embrace what she's got on her hands, even if Damien's turmoil seems a bit forced at times. (Just like Christian Grey's, but I need to stop comparing everything to him.) If nothing else, Nikki is a LOT more enjoyable than Ana Steele ever was.

Like I said, the sex scenes are hot. Bring on Capture Me.

Published on cupcake's book cupboard.
Thanks to edelweiss and NetGalley for the preview.
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on April 9, 2014
There can only be two types of reviews of this book, those written by people who have not read FSoG and the Crossfire series, and reviews written by those of us who have, I fall into the second category. However, I have a slightly different perspective from some of the other "2nd Category" reviewers. I chose the series because of it's comparisons to the other two popular series, not because I was looking for something completely different. My problems with this book are the unnecessary ways in which it directly and unnecessarily (in my opinion) imitates FSoG and Crossfire in certain technical aspects. For example, one of the most annoying literary quirks of E.L. James in the FSoG series was her use of the word "Oh." Perhaps no one else noticed but that damn word showed up everywhere as an expression of everything and it drove me insane by the third installation. Imagine my extreme dissatisfaction at seeing the same two letter antagonist pop up everywhere in "Release Me." I also found the "dark and dangerous" references to the male protagonist in Crossfire irritating so I was similarly displeased to see the same references appear in "Release Me." I provide two examples here but there are others. I'm not sure if the author is aware of the technical similarities between this book and the other popular series in this genre but I don't see how they added anything to the book. In summary- I prefer Nikki to Ana from FSoG but not to Eva from Crossfire. I prefer either Gideon or Christian to the Damien character. FSoG and Crossfire are better books but this will satisfy you if you're like me and you just need a fix from the erotic fiction genre.
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on August 6, 2014

I have had this book for ages...heard good things about it..I must say, I'm a bit disappointed. To me it's a cross between FSOG and the Crossfire series..Both of which were better than this one. The limo scene was HOT..the rest of the sex?? Again disappointed...don't get me wrong there is some really good sex, but it seemed to be over very quickly.

The heroine (Nikki) got on my nerves. She seemed childish at times, and then mature at others, without a really good balance. And I'm sorry, but when I hear something along the lines of "do I really know him" after only knowing him for less than a week, I'm rolling my eyes and thinking NO YOU DO NOT KNOW SOMEONE AFTER ONLY A WEEK!!!.

I did like Damien (the MC). He is confident, strong, a little mysterious, and definitely HOT. But I do kinda wonder what he sees in Nikki. After all he [ "wanted her" after seeing her at a beauty pageant he was judging a few years ago, and they had only said a few words to each other. That felt a little flat for me.

I will probably read book 2 because there does seem to be a something that Damien is hiding. However, Im not aching to read it at the moment..
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on January 7, 2016
The review that said if you have read 50 Shades or Bared to You then don't read this series. But I didn't listen. And now I'm out $7.99 for a book that I absolutely don't like, feel like I have read before (because I have - its THAT similar) and am forcing myself to finish because I paid that ridiculous price!!
I don't mind reading the same type of story again. Example - after I read 50 shades and started the Bared to You series I immediately noticed the similarities but it didn't bother me because the writing was so good that it drew me in. This book is not written well, at all. I can't put my finger on what exactly it is, or maybe it is a bunch of things. Bottom line is that has I not paid as much for this book I wouldn't even be finishing it.
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on March 5, 2013
I really enjoyed the novel Release Me. Unlike the 50 Shades, Bared and Blackstone Series the main characters Nikki Fairchild and Damien Stark are a bit more realistic. Bared made me nauseous with all the references to everyone's beauty. Yeah, we got it the first time you wrote it Ms. Day! I think a lot of women can relate to Nikki's problem, though it doesn't necessarily have to be exactly what Nikki had going on. I think J. Kenner did a great job on some of the triggers that set Nikki off. Obviously she seemed to still need counseling. (I'm trying not to spoil the story for those who have yet to read it.)

The unrealistic parts that don't work for me, but don't detract so much from the book is the instant fixation the two have for each other. As some of the other reviewers stated, Nikki worked hard to overcome her issues, is intelligent and ambitious. It would have been nice to see her have more of a back bone. The recurring theme in all of these books seems to be, rich man 30 years or under, meets woman 24 years or under; he quickly wears her down with his dominance and bank account, she squawks a couple of times, and then they both totally succumb to what the authors think is mind blowing sex. Huh? Whatever happened to a woman knowing her worth and making a guy work for it? Never mind the guys always come off as stalkers. The only choice seems to be will he be mild or intense? Doesn't seem to matter to the heroine though does it?

It will be interesting to see where J. Kenner takes the characters in the next two books. Especially Damien, whose dark past has yet to be revealed but most readers may have a good idea where the story-line is headed. I can't wait.
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on November 24, 2014
Damien – he’s full of that dark, sexy, mystery, always in control (no, needs to be in control) feel about him that makes it hard to put this book down. He’s a former tennis star turned to a billionaire with his technology investments business that is his empire. He is a powerful billionaire with a secret past that oh so slowly reveals part of itself in this installment.

Nikki – she’s a former beauty pageant queen that has relocated to California from Texas to start a new live with her BFF Jamie and to place distance from her controlling, crazy mother. Nikki has a few “scars” of her own to deal with. With a double major in electrical engineering and computer science, she’s pursuing her own career and goals.

Together - they have hot chemistry that heat up in this page-turner!!! Damien makes Nikki a proposition that she cannot refuse; one that will help make her dreams come to light. With their growing attractions and intermingling, their pasts have a way of working itself onto the surface. Lots of twists, turns, off, on and really hot sex scenes!!
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It took me a few chapters to get into this story but only because the author was building the characters and story line. The author has left me wondering and waiting for the shoe to fall. Maybe it won't and maybe it will. With two more books in the story I can only imagine what comes next.

I love Nikki. Found myself cheering her on and proud of her strong character and staying true to herself. Not a dumb blonde withe low self esteem. Yes, she has issues but don't we all? She is overcoming her own personal struggles and is not dependent on a male character for her strength to carry on. She stands on her own two feet.

Then there is Damien. So dark and broken, full of secrets. I am hoping he is capable of truly loving someone one day, but... Maybe I am just tainted by all the other rich male characters that are written these days. Are there any good guys left? He sure has his secrets and I can only imagine what they are.

Ms. Kenner has written a wonderful book. Left me wanting to devour her other two as well. Sadly, I must wait for them to come. The character development was wonderful. I love a strong independent female. There are challenges in the book that show you the strength of the characters willing to leave their comfort zone for the other person, give and take in a gracious form.

So glad I was turned onto this book. Actually saw it at Target, intrigued by the cover and bought it then a friend told me it was a must read, so...I did. And I am so glad I did!
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on February 13, 2015
However, I had difficulty with some things. First, book is too similar to Crossfire series and reading it after really did nothing much for me. Then there are parts of the book I felt was gross or terrible. Gross - toward end of book Nikki did not bathe for 2 Days and so that sex scene turned me off especially the anal part ( the imagined scent). Terrible - earlier in the book when Nikki was talking about Kurt to Damien and said sex with ex was good. Really! That's not something to admit to current boyfriend about an ex, especially one that treated u like Sh... Anyway, I am not sure that I will be reading others. Just does not live up to Sylvia Day Crossfire, yet price is the same.
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on November 14, 2013
Note: Crude language that somehow does not conjure up romantic images.
Sex in the books is predictable between Damien and Nickki, Nickki's BFF is an actress wanna be who spends her time in the book going horizontal with everyone she knows/meets. Her other BFF is a guy she grew up with who is suppose to be in love with her but spends his time in the book cheating on his fiance with the horizontal wanna-be actress friend.
Plot: the plot of this story is lackluster and not really anything new. In fact I thing the Stark Trilogy was written while having the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy open beside the authors laptop.

That said:The billionaire hero Damien grooms a mother hating beauty pageant participant (Nikki)to be his one and only as he feels an "electric connection" whenever he is in her presence. It isn't long until he is dating her on a regular basis, offers her a million dollars to pose nude for a mural at his new house, encourages her to launch her new ap business, leases one of his offices spaces to her, buys her a new car after someone throws paint on it ( too much of a borrowed idea from 50 Shades) all the while professing his need to keep her all to himself. Damien is not without damage himself and the plot that unfolds is the abuse he suffered as a child while climbing the ladder to be a world class tennis player. Having shed the tennis world he builds a business empire that has tabloids constantly trying to unearth his past.

Recommendation: read the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy and skip this disappointing wanna-be!
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on October 29, 2013
This book was a nice read and I enjoyed reading it and I like the storyline and the character development. I don't see how people compared this to 50 shades because to me it wasn't anything like it to me. The only similarity was that Damien was very well off like Christian and that Nikki was smart and didn't dress/act like all other women like Anastasia. I mean other than that this book isn't anything like 50 shades but I digress this book was nice and I liked the way it was written. I liked both Damien and Nikki's characters I must confess that I didn't like Damien's controlling ways but once we dived deeper in his layers we saw why.....and I must admit I liked him more for it. There isn't anything sweeter than a man that doesn't know how to love or used to caring learn/find his way to caring for others. I like how in this book there wasn't any mention of Nikki falling in love with Damien and vice versa it talked about feelings but not the insta-love that most books do. I love how this book is all about them getting to know one another and helping the other realize what they really need. I like how Damien was there for Nikki even when she didn't know she needed him. I liked how Nikki was there for Damien when he didn't want anyone to be I just liked the way everything fell into place I also loved how this book didn't end with a cliffhanger. You don't HAVE to buy the next book to see what happens because you were left hanging you buy the book because this book was good enough for you to want to know what happens next with them.
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