REVIEW: Say My Name by J. Kenner

Posted June 22nd, 2015 by in Blog, HJ Recommends, Review / 8 comments


In Say My Name (Stark International Trilogy #1) by J. Kenner, Sylvia Brooks, assistant Say-My-Nameto business mogul Damien Stark, has been given the go-ahead to take on a huge project for the first time. All is well until the lead architect backs out leaving her scrambling for a replacement. The only architect that would be able to take on a project of this magnitude, a private-island-turned-resort, is her former flame Jackson Steele. But Sylvia promised herself five years ago that she would never let him back into her life after their passionate weekend in Atlanta ended.

‘Jackson had come into my life like a storm, fast and wild and unexpected, and I’d been so overwhelmed by his power and intensity that I forgot to consider just how dangerous he was to me.’

A painful childhood has left Sylvia unwilling to allow herself to love someone and completely give herself, mind and body. That makes Jackson both a huge temptation and a risk. The brilliant and seriously handsome man wants everything she has to give, even now, five years later. Sylvia is not sure she can do so without losing the precious control she has managed to hang on to. Will bringing Jackson onto the project and into her life again be her downfall? Or can she divulge her secrets and find peace in his strong arms?

“Did I want your submission? Did I want you naked and willing beneath me? Hell, yes. I still do. But that’s not the whole of it. I want to make you feel. To make you laugh. I want to see that fire that burns in you. I want you to look at me the way you did five years ago. And, Sylvia? I want you to stay.”

Say My Name was a soul-searching, powerful erotic story that had deeply emotional moments for our protagonist, Sylvia. Some were agonizing, some were joyous, but all were so expertly written that I was right there with her, every step of the way.

I really love how J. Kenner wrote this story as a narrative from Sylvia’s POV. It worked so well, seeing inside her mind and completely understanding what happened in her past to drive her to leave Jackson five years ago. And why she was reluctant to go to him for the island project now. Sometimes it bugs me when we don’t get the male’s perspective, leaving me to guess what in the world he’s thinking. But I was so engrossed in the memories and emotions Sylvia was dealing with, that I didn’t even think about it. Although I will give you a heads up: the last couple of pages at the very end were from Jackson’s POV!

Like I mentioned earlier, this is an erotic story, and one that does contain light BDSM. So…if it’s a genre that you’re not comfortable with, a couple of scenes may be too intense. Overall though, this had more of a feel of women’s fiction in some ways as it was about Sylvia’s journey to reconcile her past and to move forward with honesty. This was definitely a complex story that also pulled in characters from the original Stark novels. I thought all of the characters, even secondary, were very well developed and had an important role to play.

Incredible dynamics between two former lovers. Shocking revelations. Painful childhood issues to overcome. This story was just the beginning of the Stark International Trilogy and I personally cannot wait to see how it continues.

Book Info:

4SPublished April 14th 2015 | by Bantam | Stark International Trilogy #1

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.




8 Responses to “REVIEW: Say My Name by J. Kenner”

  1. marcyshuler

    Thanks for the review, Michele. I like second chance stories. I’m also glad to hear that there is a little of the male POV at the end of this book.

    • Michele H

      Thank you, Marcy! Lots of intense emotions (some based around trauma) in this book. I know…that little glimpse into Jackson’s mind was such a tease.

  2. Tammy Y

    Love Julie’s books and I was lucky enough to meet her last year. Thanks for your wonderful review.