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Say My Name

by J. Kenner

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983236,072 (3.94)2
"New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner kicks off a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new erotic trilogy that returns to the world of her beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. Say My Name features Jackson Steele, a strong-willed man who goes after what he wants, and Sylvia Brooks, a disciplined woman who's hard to get--and exactly who Jackson needs. I never let anyone get too close--but he's the only man who's ever made me feel alive. 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. Say My Name is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences"-- "From New York Times and internationally bestselling author J. Kenner, the kick-off to a new compelling, emotional erotic trilogy connected to her blockbuster Stark series"--… (more)
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I was immediately pulled in, everything was super intriguing. The story is laid out well with great development. So many things are learned but at just the right time so there is this fantastic "what's going to happen next" build that makes it a page turner. There are lots of different layers and things going on, it was great. ( )
  Hanneri | Dec 4, 2017 |
This is one of those books that you will finish in one sitting. You know, you keep saying "just one more chapter" and all of a sudden it's 2am and you only have 10% left so you might as well finish it. Sleep is overrated anyway.

J. Kenner is extremely good at writing sexy rich brooding alpha males. First, Damien Stark, and now, Jackson Steele. She picks great strong names, which just add to the overall fantasy. I haven't finished the Release Me trilogy, but I jumped at the chance to participate in the ARC promo because I knew it had to be a steamy offering and well-developed plot if it was even remotely like Ms. Kenner's other books. I also love that we get to follow the same couple over a trilogy instead of just the one-and-done story that is so popular in the new adult genre these days.

So getting to the story, we have Sylvia Brooks, Damien Stark's executive assistant, and starchitect, Jackson Steele. Sylvia and Jackson have a hot history, one that ended abruptly and badly due to some horrible things that Sylvia was living with from her past. Right away, I empathize with Sylvia. We learn what she is dealing with early on, and why it ended her relationship. She is existing, coping with her past the only way she knows how. Part of her coping mechanism is having her friend, Cass, give her tattoos as reminders. This resonated with me because I have a few reminder tattoos myself. (I also loved Cass, Sylvia's crazy crass BFF.)

Unfortunately, Jackson does not know about Sylvia's past. So when they meet again, he is all about revenge. Part of that revenge includes getting Sylvia back in his bed... thru the use of some very alpha male behavior and steam-up-the-kindle-screen dirty talk. Wow.

That being said, it was painful to read the interactions between the couple, knowing what I did about Sylvia's past sexual abuse. And this served to create a strong emotional connection with Sylvia and the story in general. Jackson was like a hammer and his every intent was to nail Sylvia, so much so that he missed obvious warning signs despite them being permanently inked on her body. However, once Jackson opens his eyes, the gets Sylvia to open up to him, he does a complete 180 and things start moving along from there without losing an ounce on the sultry scale.

However, the past has a way of coming back to haunt you, and secrets don't stay secret forever. So there are some great plot twists, drama, and possible betrayals that this couple will have to face before their HEA is set in stone. I look forward to following their journey throughout this trilogy. ( )
  Bambi_Unbridled | Mar 19, 2016 |
4.5 "Empowering Via Trust" Stars for the Story and Narration! Lovers of hot, controlling, powerful Doms rejoice, there is a new spin-off to the Stark Trilogy, and Jackson Steele is shaping up to be as alphalicious as Damien Stark. In addition, to the hot, erotic action, there is also an element of suspense to this read, culminating in a groundbreaking twist that ensures that we will be getting plenty more of Damien too in future books in this series.

That said, this series does stand on its own. So if you haven't yet had the pleasure of reading The Stark Trilogy (or haven't finished it), you can still enjoy Say My Name. However, please note that in order to get the Jackson's and Sylvia's full story, you will need to commit to reading the entire Stark International Trilogy. Two more future books are planned. The next one, On My Knees, is currently planned to be a June release.

For those of you who have read or listened to the Stark Trilogy, Sylvia Brooks is Damien Stark's assistant, and his wife's friend. Due to an unfortunate past, Sylvia has lived a very disciplined life. Preferring to control the world in her own ways in order to stave off the demons of old. Unfortunately, this has rendered Sylvia generally incapable of having a true relationship or even falling for a man . . . all except for the one man that she walked away from five years ago when her feelings for him, after a very intense affair, threatened to cause her to lose all of her hard earned control.

Today, Sylvia's main focus is on career advancement. In that regard, she has found the perfect project for Damien (an island that they can build into a family friendly resort). Damien, in turn, is so happy with this find that he gives Sylvia the career opportunity of a lifetime by allowing her to manage the project. When the world famous architect that they have recruited falls through though, the project's future is jeopardized. There is only one other architect, whose signing on to the project, could potentially convince the investors not to pull out. Unfortunately for Sylvia, it also happens to be the one man that Sylvia walked away from all those many years ago, Jackson Steele.

When Jackson conditions his aid on an ultimatum, Sylvia is forced to confront her demons. The one thing that is clear though is that their chemistry is explosive, but can a HEA possibly be in the cards when both Sylvia and Jackson are concealing dangerous secrets?

I was fortunate enough to get to experience this story in both e-book and audiobook format. I loved both reading and listening to this title as the fabulously sexy narration by Abby Craden greatly helped me form the total image of Jackson and Sylvia. Once I had that image in mind, I could easily hear her voice enacting the passion, suspense and anguish of this well written erotic romance in the passages that I read.

My favorite part of Ms. Craden's narration is Jackson. Her husky voice easily makes him sound like a real male voice, a feat that sometimes is not completely accomplished by female narrators. Moreover, she accurately infuses his depiction with an authoritative, alpha, sexy nature which is true to his personality as written by J. Kenner.

Ms. Craden also performs an equally convincing Sylvia. Varying her pitch for Sylvia's dialogue to a slightly higher pitch, so that she is easily distinguishable from Jackson. I also enjoyed the breathless quality that Ms. Craden lends Sylvia in the numerous bedroom scenes. Perhaps my only observation is that as part of this effect, at times, the dialogue was delivered in a somewhat slow fashion. While this had the desired effect of heightening the feel of the erotic scenes, it also prolonged the listen somewhat.

All in all, I highly enjoyed Say My Name. Both the writing and the narration kept me engaged and wanting more. Moreover, I definitely got the feeling that there are more secrets to come and that Sylvia's and Jackson's relationship still has plenty of room to continue to evolve; thereby making this a series that I definitely want to follow to its conclusion.

Source: Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  B.J.O. | Apr 8, 2015 |
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"New York Times bestselling author J. Kenner kicks off a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new erotic trilogy that returns to the world of her beloved Stark novels: Release Me, Claim Me, and Complete Me. Say My Name features Jackson Steele, a strong-willed man who goes after what he wants, and Sylvia Brooks, a disciplined woman who's hard to get--and exactly who Jackson needs. I never let anyone get too close--but he's the only man who's ever made me feel alive. 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. Say My Name is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences"-- "From New York Times and internationally bestselling author J. Kenner, the kick-off to a new compelling, emotional erotic trilogy connected to her blockbuster Stark series"--

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