I stumbled across the author J. Kenner by chance in June. She was a random advert on my Facebook page. I read the synopsis and the excerpts of the first two books in the Stark Trilogy and was intrigued. So I purchased book one – Release Me – and devoured it in a day. I immediately purchased book 2 – Claim Me - and devoured that in a single day. The ending of book two left me needing book 3 and I had never been so glad that I stumbled across a series of books late, as in this case it left me only 6 weeks to wait on the final instalment… BUT! I didn’t need to wait 6 weeks on the final instalment as the lovely publisher granted me an ARC! I was so happy! And this book did not disappoint. It was quite simply wonderful.
* This review contains minor spoilers *
Claim Me begins the night before Damian’s trial begins, 3 weeks after the end of Claim Me. It is wonderfully written, you really feel Nicki’s pain, anger, frustration, fear, despair and her desperate longing for it all to go away, for Damien to be safe, for her future with Damien... As I read I felt like I was Nicki. I wanted to cling to Damien and never let go, I wanted to run away, I wanted to kick, to scream to smack Damien upside the head… I hated him for being so stubborn and I loved him for holding fast to who he was when it would have been easier to bow to the pressure of others to take his route to salvation… I often put myself in a characters shoes when reading a book but with Nicki I was jammed into her shoes the minute I started reading and I couldn’t pull back if I wanted too. An author that can do that to her reader has a true gift.
Once of my concerns before I started reading the book was that the trial would dominate the story, but it doesn’t. The trial is wrapped up before you are even a quarter of the way through and the lead up to the trial is dominated by Nicki and Damien’s relationship.
The manner in which the trial is ended (and later threats towards Nicki) provide a nice little bit of mystery that keeps the book moving along nicely and is are beautifully wrapped up in the last few chapters.
The relationship of Damien and Nicki throughout the book is as intense and sexual as in the first two novels. I’d actually say the sex was hotter in this book than in the first two of the trilogy.
I REALLY want to comment on the ending but it really would be too much of a spoiler to give any kind of detail so I’ll just say that I am glad it ended the way it did as it was the only way I could see them both living their lives together truly free.
I just wish there was an epilogue! I love seeing what becomes of characters a few years down the line... but oh well, you can’t have everything!