May 26, 2015

say my name, by j. kenner


say my name Say My Name is the first in a trilogy that’s a spin-off of the Stark series by J. Kenner. While Damien and Nikki Stark from the Stark series do appear in this book, its focus is on Jackson Steele and Sylvia Brooks.

Jackson is a world-renowned architect and Sylvia is Damien’s assistant. Sylvia’s star is on the rise with Damien’s real estate subsidiary and she’s doing far less assistant work and managing the build of a resort on a beautiful remote island. The only thing she needs is the most talented architect you can find to make the resort the best in the world.

Jackson and Sylvia have a history, a short but intense history and that’s only the beginning. Jackson harbors a lot of serious resentment towards Damien, so getting him to agree to work on Sylvia’s project is going to be next to impossible, especially since he’s already turned down the offer to Damien himself.

But there are secrets… Secrets that Sylvia withholds from Jackson about her abusive past and the symbolism of the many tattoos covering her body. And a life-altering secret that Jackson is keeping from everyone…

 tara’s take:
It’s taken a me a while to figure out just how I feel about this book. I won’t make you wait, I liked it. I’m definitely anxious to read the next in the series, On My Knees, which will be released on June 23rd.

Jackson is your typical rich, alpha, dominant in bed–we’ve seen that in plenty of books. Sylvia, however, is deeper. Her abusive past and the way she subsequently deals with it is intriguing. And the secret that Jackson is about to reveal to the world is going to impact so many, not the least of whom is Damien. It makes me wonder how long Kenner had this story arc up her sleeve.

The sex scenes, while on the steamy side, are a bit ‘tired.’ They add to the plot and bring the characters together that’s meaningful to the overall story, but Jackson’s dialogue during the scenes is rather dull and unbelievable.

Overall, I think this is the start of an interesting trilogy. The first book in a story that’s going to be extended beyond a stand-alone read needs to do the heavy lifting in laying the foundation and this book does that. This isn’t the most unusual plot and there’s a level of predictability but you still want to know what happens. And of course, we’re all looking for the HEA (happily ever after). I’m in for the ride.

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