Review: Wicked Torture (Stark World #3) by J Kenner

Title: Wicked Torture
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  EverAfter Romance 11/14/17
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  Stark World #3

Overview

He’s very good at being bad…

Outwardly, Noah Carter is riding high as Stark International’s newest tech genius. Inside, he’s still reeling from the death of his wife and daughter. For years, he’s thrown himself into his work, cutting himself off from emotional ties because they hurt too damn much. But when an old girlfriend walks back into his life, Noah realizes three things: That it’s time to heal. That Kiki is the woman he wants. And that he’ll do whatever it takes to convince her.

Aspiring singer Kiki Porter remembers Noah only too well. He’s the man who ripped her heart into tiny shreds—and then stomped on it. She’d believed he was the love of her life, but then he left, and his departure left her confused and reeling. Now he’s back, and pursuing her with a sensual relentlessness that leaves her breathless.

She wants him—she does. But even though she melts in his arms, how can she trust that this time he’ll stay? Especially when long buried secrets threaten their hope for a future together…

My Thoughts

I love this series – even the larger series and i think that there was so much build up to Noah’s background that it’s great to see it play out here.  His past continues to haunt him with the kidnapping and murder of his wife and child, but what we see is that his past was even worse.  He has another love – a true love that he had to walk away from because Darla had gotten pregnant.  So that’s where we are in this third book in the series.  their paths cross in Austin and life is turned upside down.

Kiki is back – and in Noah’s life in so many forms that he can’t even function.  He sees her in a bar singing, which was her passion back when he knew her, and now she’s doing it again right in front of him.  then there’s the fact that a day later she’s in front of him in his office of Stark Enterprises pitching a marketing plan.  They can’t seem to stay away from each other but know that being near each other is bad.  She’s got everything at stake here and he’s under a lot of pressure from Damien Stark to perform.

The story from here goes on a few different paths.  Everyone is afraid for Kiki that she will get sucked back into the world of Noah and get hurt again – get her heart broken and find herself beyond repair.  Noah on the other hand is as sure now as he was before that Kiki is for him, but he’s got so much baggage from the loss of his family that it’s hard to open up.

When they do allow themselves to try – we see that true to form of Ms Kenner our amazing author, that they are intensely connected.  There’s so much heat and passion there, the past speeds up and meets the present so fast and furious that it’s combustible and that’s exactly what happens.  So of course when things are going well and someone returns from the past, it all blows up.  Poof – gone.

I think that it’s one of the great things that our author is able to do.  She’s weaving this story that gives you hope up to a certain point and knows exactly what is needed to rip the rug out from under us.  There’s so much uncertainty in their lives and there’s even more with this past bit creeping in.  You want to root for them, but you also know that there’s so much more being discussed now.  So on that note, cold shower needed and i can’t wait to see what’s next in the series.  enjoy!

 

Review: Wicked Dirty (Stark World #2) by J Kenner

Title: Wicked Dirty
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year:  Ever After Romance 9/19/17
Length:   300 Pages
Series:  Stark World #2

Overview

Sometimes bad isn’t good enough…

On the outside, Lyle Tarpin is a clean-cut Hollywood actor whose star is on the rise. Inside, he’s battling his own demons, shunning relationships and finding solace in the arms of a string of anonymous women paid very well for their discretion.

But when he’s photographed in a compromising position by an over-eager reporter, the only way to save his career is to say that the woman he was with is his fiancée. And now Lyle has to play a very public game with the only woman who’s ever managed to get under his skin.

Struggling waitress Sugar Laine agrees to spend one night with Lyle—but only because she’s desperate to save her family home. She never expects that a night of passion will turn into a pretend engagement … or that the heat between them will blossom into love.

But sometimes love has a price.

And now the only question is—can Lyle and Sugar afford to pay it?

My Thoughts

One of the great things that Ms Kenner does is continue to create amazing stories to keep this world alive.  Each time we meet a new character in another book, we know that we’re going to get something beyond amazing when it’s time for their own story to come out.  Now it’s time for Golden Boy Lyle to shine.

There’s such a sweet undertone in this installment.  There’s so much under the surface with Lyle that we never knew before, that when we start to uncover why he is so elusive and why he makes the unattached choices that he does – well it all comes into place.

Then of course our leading lady is a bit damaged as well and we get to see how that meshes with Lyle.  Sugar has her own struggles – her mother and brother were killed leaving her to some how pick up the pieces of their home so she doesn’t lose everything.  It’s a chance opportunity that turns in to so much more that brings our story together.

A theme that pulls through just about every J Kenner story is that there are secrets that you know you can’t keep from the world and they will come out when you least expect it.  often shared by someone who has revenge or jealousy at the core.  That’s exactly what comes to play in this story, and it’s how the mains handle it that really shapes where the story closes.

The other nice thing here is that chemistry is definitely off the charts, but like the other story in this series as well as the others in the main series, sex isn’t the necessity on every other pages.  the way that the heat and romance and passion is written in, well it makes it that much more powerful and i think that when we get to the steamy scenes, well they are beyond hot.

So all in all you can tell that i really enjoyed this one.  I can’t wait to see how book 3 turns out since we finally get to learn more about the haunting ghosts of Noah – since there are quite a few.  On that note – have a great night all!

Review: Wicked Grind (Stark World #1) by J Kenner

Title: Wicked Grind
Author: J Kenner
Publisher/Year: EverAfter Romance 7/11/17
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  Stark World #1

Overview

Sometimes it feels so damn good to be bad

Photographer Wyatt Royce’s career is on the verge of exploding. All he needs is one perfect model to be the centerpiece of his sexy, controversial show. Find her, and Wyatt is sure to have a winner.

Then Kelsey Draper walks in. Stunning. Vibrant. And far too fragile for a project like this. Wyatt should know—after all, he remembers only too well how their relationship ended all those years ago.

Desperate for cash and frustrated with her good girl persona, Kelsey sets her sights on Wyatt’s show. But only the show. Because she knows too well that Wyatt Royce is a danger to her heart.

But when Wyatt agrees to give her the job only if he has complete control—on camera and in his bed—Kelsey can’t help but wonder if she’s in too deep. Because how can a good girl like her ever be enough for a man like Wyatt?

My Thoughts

So it says that it’s a stand alone novel, but while this story is, it’s also tied to the greater series which is nice.  I mean, we’ve spent so much time over the course of the full series with Wyatt to know that he’s close to Nikki, and Damien, so it’s great to get his story as well.

Then there’s Kelsey, the girl who got away, but who also ran and she’s fighting her own demons.  She’s grown up now sure, but she’s still at the mercy of her family – the ideas that her father embedded in her head while she was growing up, and the reprocussions of something that happened 12 years prior that she’s trying to make right.

The way that our amazing author writes this story is a series of present day scenes with a bit of history from 12 years ago peppered in.  There’s something nice here about getting the back story in the way that we do, without getting all the details of the ‘right after’ since that’s something that i think we need to see the present day characters puzzle out.

This is such a sweet story – Wyatt deserves to have all the successes in the world, especially since he’s trying to create his own reputation, not live off that of his famous grandmother.  He’s about to step over that threshold, yet he needs his muse – and lucky for him, she pops into his studio, subbing in for her friend.

There’s nostalgia here, amazing romance and chemistry that overcomes everything, heat that’s leaping off the pages, and self doubt that makes you wonder if they are strong enough now to even be who they want.

I’m so glad that we get glimpses now into the lives of some of the supporting cast of the main series – they are so amazing and really help important roles when they were introduced before that it’s only fair that we get it in a full story now.  I can’t wait to see Lyle’s story since i believe that’s next.  Enjoy!