Review: Claim Me (Stark #2) by J. Kenner

Claim Me (Stark #2)
by J. Kenner
Random House Publishing/Bantam Dell
Release Date – 4/23/13

Recommended Read!
Rating: 5 Stars

BlurbFor fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You comes the second novel in the erotic, fast-paced trilogy that started with Release Me. This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and Nikki Fairchild, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.

For Damien, our obsession is a game. For me, it is fiercely, blindingly, real.
Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.
I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.
But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.
Claim Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Brynna’s Review: As Claim Me opens, Nikki is at her final sitting for Damien’s painting. Her time with him is seemingly coming to a close, or at least her contract is. She’s landed a new job, gained the seed money to start her own business, and…fallen in love with Damien. (*sigh* who could resist the spell of Damien Stark?) Still, her contract isn’t up until midnight. The couple go out for a very private and sensual dinner at his friend’s restaurant, where they are hounded by the press. Doubts regarding the permanency of Damien and Nikki’s relationship lurk in the shadows. 

When the sun rises, it is clear neither is willing to end their passionate encounters. Damien has become Nikki’s rock and it’s clear she is the same for him. There are still issues for them to work out; Damien’s secrecy and Nikki’s insecurities. She wants him to confide in her and needs to feel secure enough to let go of the reins. He has a need to control; to know he holds all the power. When he finally does open up with tiny snips of his past, it is all the more special. 

I absolutely loved this book. The emotional growth of these characters is tangible. Yes, the sexual scenes are very hot,  but regardless of what takes place between the couple, it is clear they have a deep affection for each other. 

I would love to point out all the moments I cheered and teared up, but there would be so many spoilers you might skip reading the book and I wouldn’t want that. Just one spoiler: I wanted to kick Damien for the very stupid, if noble action he pulled near the end.  (Okay so I actually yelled “jerk” out loud) Something good did come out of it. (Which had me yelling “Go, Nikki!”) I’ve read many, many declarations of love in my time, but Damien takes the prize. Ms. Kenner had me in happy tears, a rare feat I can assure you. I’m both anxious and dreading reading the next installment Complete Me. I want to read the last story, but I don’t want to stop reading about these characters. 

Start with Release Me, but go ahead and pick up Claim Me. You’ll want to add Complete Me to your pre-order list.

Read my review of Release Me (Stark #1) here.