on 31 July 2013
I'm at a bit of a loss with this book. I loved Release and Claim Me, but something fell a bit short this time. Don't get me wrong it is a perfectly good book, with a perfectly good ending but I feel a little short changed, I didn't have any "OMG" or "WTF" moments this time like I did before.
One of the main reasons I loved the first two books was because they didn't feel like I was reading something that had already been done and rehashed again, Damien and Nikki's story was developing nicely and there were a lot of aspects to be tied up in book 3. Julie did tie all those things up some of them extremely quickly if I am being completely honest, it was like "huh, is that it". But the continual de-ja vu moments I had while reading eventually couldn't be silenced, the first few times I was like OK, it stands to reason you will have a few similarities, but sadly, they literally continued right the way up to the end, it was also pretty easy to spot the villain (for want of a better word), as soon as they appeared.
Let's face it alot of authors have jumped on the FSOG and Crossfire bandwagon, some good some bad, and at no time did I feel that with Release/Claim Me. I can't really say that for Complete Me, it was one after another after another. I don't post spoilers in my reviews, but when you read it you will understand what I mean. Again, I want to clarify that the book is still pretty good, just not up to the high standard that was set with the first two.
I also have to say that there was so much sex going on in this book that the storyline completely disappeared at times. It got to the point where again it felt like I had read the same scenes in previous books. Damien's Dom side seems to be a little more prevalent in this book, but, and I honestly never ever thought I would say this the constant boffing, got a bit old as things went on, conversation was pretty minimal in some parts of the book because of it.
Author bashing is not my thing, and I respect each and every author/book I have the opportunity to read/review. I still love Damien and Nikki, and I think their relationship as a whole became fully defined in this book, Nikki realised exactly what it was she gave Damien by being with him. As well as the full extent his support, emotional and sexually gave her the confidence to believe in herself and to fight her own demons.
Damien - "I'm never letting you go,Nikki," he says, taking my hand and pulling me close. "I'd never forgive you if you did".
You'll want to read this book to see how their journey ends, as I said it ends well, but it's more of a sparkler than a roman candle this time.
ARC was provided by Netgalley, and I am pleased to provide the above honest review as thanks.
on 31 July 2013
I really enjoyed the first two books but the long awaited trilogy was a big disappointment for me. There is so much repetition with regards to Nicki's feelings and sex scenes that I ended up skipping pages.
on 31 July 2013
Complete Me - J Kenner
Damien Stark is backkkkk, this book carries on from the other two, Damien is in Germany sorting out his legal problems, he and Nikki are couped up in their hotel room whilst Damien is awaiting his court case to start. They are both still madly in love with each other and we are left hoping that the strain of this does not ruin what they have. Damien is being his usual self and keeping everything close to his chest trying not to worry Nikki, but Nikki knows him better than that and she keeps him talking and getting him to vent. She tries to persuade him to do whatever necessary to keep himself out of prison and as we know, Damien does not want to do this.
Nikki is still being harassed but she keeps it to herself as she feels that Damien has enough on his plate to deal with, she feels that these are the least of her problems. They still have the sizzling chemistry and the bedroom scenes or wherever else scenes are seriously smoking as usual...as we know, these two do have a lot of sex so be prepared...I am not a fan of gratuitous sex for the shock factor but as we know, for these two it is their coping mechanism and it tied into the story beautifully, but it is there in abundance so get your fans ready, you will need cooling down!!
Here are some of my favourite quotes...
"I want to hold you close. To cherish and protect you. To draw you in until we are so close that I am lost within you. I want to take you to bed, to watch the way your skin tightens beneath my fingers, the way your body awakens under my touch. I want to trail kisses over you until you are lost in so much pleasure that you don't know where you end and I begin. I want to tie you up and f you until there is no doubt you are mine. I want to dress you up and take you out, and show you off, this beautiful, vibrant, brilliant woman. Everything I've built? All my companies? All my billions? They have no value compared to you."
"You're what gives me strength. If I am what centers you, Nikki, then you are what anchors me. Every time I touch you, every time I bury myself deep inside you-Nikki don't you see? You are the talisman of my life, and if I lose my grip on you, then I have lost myself."
"I love you Nikki. I will always fight for you."
We do get answers in this book and they are revealed slowly so you never know the whole story until the end, I must admit I was shocked when the stalker was revealed, I never saw it coming. I do feel that these two deserved an epilogue as I am anxious to see how it all pans out for them going forward. I have already harassed J Kenner and all I got was "nothing planned but never say never"...well I am begging for the never to never happen and for her to get writing some more Damien and Nikki. It is a natural ending for the two so don't think their story is not complete, but I was just not ready for it to be finished.
A brilliant ending to a fab series!
on 31 July 2013
I won't go into the plot as that has been well covered but this final instalment was absolutely worth waiting for.
Both Damien and Nikki find themselves with a whole lot more drama but they both grow into their relationship more although at times I wanted to yell at Damien to not keep the truth from Nikki even though he always did it with her best interests at heart.
I loved how much they loved each other and their passion ignited the pages till I was also hot and wanting! Oh yeah...
Broke my heart towards the end when Nikki made a truly heartbreaking decision to spare her true love ...does Damien though come through for her ? Read it and see, you won't be disappointed.
I loved this book and the whole trilogy, we all want a Damien in our lives and this book did not change my mind....sexy...passionate...hot as all hell.J Kenner I love you!
Complete Me. J. Kenner.
ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I've loved this series so far, the first two books were full of drama and sex, but written in an intelligent way. There seems to be a faction in writing that deems words of more than two syllables are not acceptable :( Which is a shame as the English language is so versatile and its so much more interesting to read works that use it to the fullest extent.
Anyway- book three. This picks up where book two left off with Damien on trial for murder in Germany. Nikki knows he's worried but he's withdrawn back into that shell he has where he tells everyone he's fine. She's knows through her own experience that "I'm fine" can meant anything but fine, and feels that getting Damien to open to her and share emotions and problems is one step forward and two steps back much of the time. They're both people damaged by their pasts and fighting current demons. With Damien's help Nikki has managed not to cut again but its an ongoing struggle and the dramas in this book prove very testing to her. Damien's need for control escalates to match the tension he's going through. Nikki gets annoyed when she finds out some of the things he's done in the name of protecting her. I can understand how she feels and yet, Damien is feeling his life is spiralling away and he needs to exert control over the parts he can, and his love for Nikki means he wants to defend her against anything he thinks might cause harm to her and he'll use any method needed to do so. It leaves Nikki feeling deceived at times and they argue, and then...lots of make up sex. That man has a way with words and body :) I said before J Kenner write sex that's erotic and sensual, sizzling and steamy not the dire, endless , dull stuff that passes for erotica in so many books, and once again she's pulled out all the stops to write lots of sex, but not in a repetitive manner.
We meet many of the characters from past books in this one, along with some new people. As always J Kenner's characters almost jump off the page they feel so real, its as if you can touch them. Jamie is still the same ditzy, loving friend seeking and wanting love but in reality just constantly bed hopping. Nikki worries over her and tries to support her, but with her own problems there's limited time to do anything for her. Ollie, I said in last book he needed a kick up the ar$e - well, finally he redeems himself in this book. He's still the same man whore, still engaged to poor Courtney but towards the end he really pulls out the stops! There's sex - lots and lots of hot, steamy, erotic sex but at times I felt that Damien was using sex as the answer to everything he didn't want to discuss and ....and I got annoyed at him. I wanted more than just sex, some action other than in the bedroom - and kitchen, living room, bathroom, on the desk...you get the picture? It was as if sex was the answer to everything and I got fed up of it. :( I'd been so gripped by the first two books that I didn't understand why this one seemed to be going so slowly. It was exciting, erotic and everything seemed plausible so why wasn't I feeling the love? Dunno - but - by 60% it began to pick up to race into a finale that I had no clue was coming. I cried, the angst Nikki and Damien was feeling was palpable. I was "oh no..." but couldn't see what else Nikki could have done. The identity of the person behind the drama was one I'd never have suspected. Fantastic wrap up to a sizzlingly sensual trilogy.
As always I'm pleased to get to end and find out what happened but sad to let go of characters that feel they've become friends. Still, its definitely a trio for the keepers file, and it'll be great to re read them without having to wait for instalments.
A well done too for J Kenner for keeping price the same throughout. I've noticed a creeping trend for book one to be free or 77p, book two to be around £2.50-3.50 and book three to be £4.99. To me that's deceiving. I want to know what I'm going to spend before getting sucked into a new trilogy and with variable prices it leaves we readers feeling a bit suckered. Keep first one free or low price but 2 and 3 ought to be priced the same :)
Stars: Slow start I felt, but a fantastic ending that made up for that so five.
on 31 July 2013
COMPLETE ME is the third storyline and final installment in J. Kenner's erotic contemporary Stark Trilogy. There is no time lag between Claim Me (book 2) and this story, and therefore the stress and anxiety of Damien's upcoming trial is still at the forefront of the reader's mind.
Complete Me focuses on Damien's trial and the people trying to bring down the billionaire. The reader experiences the heartbreaking revelations and painful past of a young boy who is forced into some unspeakable acts only to have to relive it over and over through memories, nightmares and the reality of courtroom drama and the press.
Nikki is the strong, independent woman who continues to stand by his side, knowing that man that she loves is bordering the edge of control on an emotional void. She is there to pull him back and help him deal with the demons that threaten to suck him in and take him down. Without Nikki, Damien is only a shell; he is a man without purpose and a heart without soul. But Damien's need to defend and protect Nikki will force an unpleasant impasse when he refuses to open up and talk about the past.
The storyline is rife with physical intimacy, sexual heat and sensual talk. The sex is abundant and often, explicit and hot, and at times overwhelming to the story and plot. There was so much sex that I started to skip-read through these passages. Although this is written in the erotic/romance genre, after awhile the sex felt like `filler'-no pun intended.
There are moments of fear and concern, heartbreaking sorrow and loss. And there is the mistaken belief that to walk away, is the only solution when the world threatens to destroy the person that you love. The couple continues to struggle with their individual personality quirks and needs; Nikki's need to be independent and Damien's need to protect will forever be on the peripheral boundary of their love.
"I want to hold you close. To cherish and protect you. To draw you in until we are so close that I am lost without you. I want to take you to bed, to watch the way your skin tightens beneath my fingers, the way you body awakens under my touch....Everything I've built? All my companies? All my billions? They have no value compared to you."
COMPLETE ME is a detailed and wonderful final chapter in the Stark Trilogy but there is still some room for short stories and novellas. The series ends with a HEA, but in my opinion it is another beginning for Nikki and Damien. J. Kenner has written a series that will make you smile and cry; you will feel the anxiety, the pain and the love; you will experience the fear of loss, the anguish of betrayal and the satisfaction of one man finding his heart and his soul in the woman who is willing to endure the suffering alongside the man that she loves.
see all of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
on 31 July 2013
I really enjoyed books 1 and 2 and pre-ordered this a few months ago, the story of Damien and Nikki was bubbling along nicely and left on a great cliff-hanger at the end of book 2.
I must admit that I actually skipped pages of book 3 thinking 'I'm a bit bored of these drawn out, samey sex scenes, can we get back to the story please, I want to know what happens'. I can't recall ever feeling like that reading books 1 & 2. Loose ends were tied off certainly, but quite abruptly in some cases. The whole Germany thing left me feeling a bit short-changed. Other key elements/characters kind of fizzled out a bit (Jamie?).
I sussed the main crunch point about half way through and it was pretty well done in the end, but I do think this could have been a more storming conclusion to a really enjoyable trilogy if there had been less sex and more story development. The plot elements were good but could have done with more build-up; the sex kind of side-lined a really good story line in this book which it hadn't in the previous two.
Still I did enjoy it, and would recommend the trilogy but would have liked it to end with a bit more oomph and a few less 'Oh Damien!' s. :D
on 30 July 2013
This had me hooked from the start. It felt like ages waiting for this to come out but i have to say the wait was thoroughly worth it! Damien and Nikki are brilliant characters together. They went through so much together but thankfully got their happy ending. Everything came out in this book, ending all speculation on all the dramas they had to face. Some i guessed, some i didn't. I have to say that J Kenner certainly knows how to write HOT scenes, there were plenty in here to get you fanning yourself!lol Loved the conclusion to this series, Damien Stark is gorgeous and the ending had me smiling so much! Definitely recommend this series!!
on 28 August 2013
Complete Me is the final and third installment in J. Kenner's Stark Trilogy. I have to admit, that I quickly read the first two books in the series in order to review Complete Me and I fell in love with J. Kenner's writing style. Complete Me is well written romance, where erotica is compellingly combined with mystery.
The third book picks up right on the spot. Nikki has followed Damien in Germany for the trial. Even Damien is released from all charges, it seems, that somebody is aware of Damien's past and neither Nikki nor Damien can relax and enjoy each other's love. Someone starts to threaten Nikki and while Nikki is building up her own business, both Nikki and Damien need to find out who is behind the threats.
I enjoyed how skillfully J. Kenner is building up the tension and keeps it until the very end of the book. I think she brilliantly mixed different genres. Erotica can become quite one-sided reading, but the author manages to balance the suspense and mystery into the story line, so erotica is nicely balanced with the plot. It's not only about the sexual relationship, but also about how the characters deal with their demons, how their past is catching up with them and I have to say, the result is a novel which is complete - a story where one genre is not overwhelming the other. I loved that!
I think Nikki is a fresh breeze. She is scarred, independent and she does have her own opinion and strong will. I admired that the author created a protagonist, who can be submissive in bedroom, but who definitely knows how to take charge in her personal and business life.
I liked Damien a lot. I mean what id there not to like about him? But what I liked even better was the relationship and dynamics in their relationship. They challenged each other and also balanced each other and I have always loved relationships where there is a win-win results in a love story. Not only emotionally, but also that both characters can stand alone as well.
Complete Me was a very strong and fascinating finale for the Stark Series. I highly recommend it!
on 13 August 2013
I received my copy from Random House through NetGalley and rated it 3.5 stars.
Damien and Nikki are in Germany where the powerful man has to face murder charges. When an unexpected development stops the trial almost before it starts it should mean the end to their problems, but life is rarely that simple and this isn't one of those rare occasions. Damien is determined to keep his past the secret it has been for so long, but it appears that suddenly that decision is no longer in his hands. Somebody out there can make those sordid secrets public at any time. The fact that nobody knows who that somebody is only makes the problem bigger.
And there is more. Gossip about Damien and Nikki is regularly leaked to the tabloids and Nikki has acquired a stalker who is getting more threatening with each encounter. Facing so many threats together should bring Damien and Nikki even closer than they already were but Damien's instinct to protect Nikki keeps on getting in the way:
"I believe with all my heart that Damien loves me. What I fear is that love isn't enough. Not when he's determined to push me away in some misguided attempt to protect me."
Damien may tell Nikki that:
"At the end of the day, it's just you and me. We make our own reality, Nikki. And no one can take it from us."
But that doesn't stop Nikki from worrying that they are living in a bubble; a bubble that could all too easily be burst by the very real threats the rest of the world still possess.
Despite the threat of disclosure hanging over Damian and the stalker issue Nikki is facing, there doesn't appear to be a whole lot to this story except for the sex Damien and Nikki seem to engage in as a reaction to everything that happens to them.
"Between Damien and me, sex is as necessary as conversation. It is our method of discovery. Our sharing of trust. And our ultimate surrender."
Do not get me wrong, I love a good erotic novel and can easily get caught up in descriptive and imaginative sex-scenes. And some of the scenes in this book really hit the mark. It is just that there were too many of them in this book. After so many scenes I reached saturation point and found myself skimming over the sexy bits to get to the little bit of background story that had to be hiding somewhere.
As much as I loved passages like the following:
"You're what gives me strength. If I am what centers you, Nikki, then you are what anchors me. You are the talisman of my life, and if I lose my grip on you, then I have lost myself."
It wasn't quite enough to make this book a truly satisfying read. It seems to me that the characters could have grown more. The Damien and Nikki we end this trilogy with are not so very different from the personalities we met in the first book. In the last paragraph of my review of "Claim Me" I said that I would read this third and final book not so much because I was worried about whether or not there would be a happily ever after but because I wanted to know if these two characters would be able to resolve all their issues. I really am sorry that I have to end this review with the observation that while I was right about the relationship I was also right about those issues. This happily ever after has come to a couple that appears to be unable to truly come to terms with their pasts. If Damien and Nikki were real people I would be very worried about their future together.