Release Me


Release Me
J. Kenner
Published by Bantam
352 pages
Genre: erotica, some BDSM
4 / 5 cupcakes

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.

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Filed under BDSM, erotica, hot headboard rockin', not another excuse to bring up Christian Grey again

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