Saturday, 17 January 2015

Book Review; The Stark Trilogy

After reading the Fifty Shades Trilogy and the first 3 books of the Crossfire series, I decided to do a little hunting for books on the erotic/erotic romance genre while waiting for the 4th book of the Crossfire to be released - and up popped the Stark Trilogy by Julie Kenner. This has a sort of similar plot to the other 2 series, but it does have its difference.

Release Me (Book 1)
When you first start reading this book the first chapter and a bit you find out all about Nikki and it kind of sets the scene of why she's in LA, her new job, why she's at this specific party. Then a little while later (I think about the latter of Chapter 2/chapter 3) Nikki meets Damien. She kind of explains what she knows about him, about his celebrity status etc. So we get to know the basics.

I won't give away too much, but for me at first I thought Damien was a bit of a prick, until I kind of warmed to him as I got to know him. But I also kind of wasn't sure if I liked Nikki at first either, although I grew to like her as the book went on and began to see a little of myself in here!

What you realise first of that these characters aren't clean cut, unlike the Crossfire series (which I personally love, but thought everyone kind of looks beautiful no matter what) these characters having exterior and interior beauty, along with a lot of pain. And that's what I found intriguing in these books more then anything - was trying to figure out what had happened to the characters and how it may effect the story plot - which it kind of does, a lot.

If you are expecting straight into sex with this book, you are definitely going to be disappointed, unlike Fifty Shades and Crossfire, this book makes you wait until chapter 20 - just over 200 pages in. Despite it being worth it, and you'll see why once you read the book, it did make me just want to say "get into bed already" with the sexual tension. They do have an encounter earlier on in the book but nothing physical between them goes on - I'd personally say its more emotional and verbal.

I did enjoy this book despite having to wait, and it did intrigue me what the second book would cover.

Claim Me (Book 2)In book 2 we sort of carry on where we left off from the first. This book had a little more sex in it, but there wasn't much more, which did leave me a little disappointed. I also did prefer Damien's character in the second book then in the first, but I still wasn't on Team Damien just yet. I adored Nikki's character in the second, I found she had gained a lot more inner strength but

still showed that she had her weaknesses no matter how much she tried to fight and hide from them.

In the second book, Nikki has a bit more of a 'celebrity status' and this does change Nikki's overall outlook, but her personality is very much the same and she's very insecure about things.

Towards the end of the second book though, I couldn't decide if I hated Damien or if I liked him. I'm not one for secrets - and he did spring out a huge one, and lied to Nikki. Which, with the entirety of the lie, pissed me off with the character (I know its not real, but I get very immersed when I read!)

I did feel for Nikki on the job front though, as she didn't really have much luck. But she did have amazing sex...

I did find this book focused a lot on the romance and developing feelings between the two characters. Although I did like the fact that her friends weren't always at the forefront of the storyline, but did add to it in dramatic effects as well. It was perfectly balanced.

Complete Me (Book 3)
Well, out of all three books I found this one the most emotional. To me it had the most impact, and quenched my desire for the characters to become more true to themselves and to each other. I personally thought in this book we saw the raw'er more real side of the multi billionaire, universe running, sex god who played tennis - and it was refreshing.

I also liked how when Julie Kenner wrote this trilogy, that Nikki's character didn't drastically change overnight since being with Damien, which I found in Fifty Shades and a bit in the Crossfire series, that the characters just miraculously adapted to the new life a lot easier then what someone in reality would.

I think this book also had a rather dramatic, yet adorably sweet ending. Admittedly, I cried and definitely got wound up into all the drama.

My only fault with this book was, the sex was phenomenal - when we had it. I personally thought in the third book, we didn't get a lot of the thoroughly detailed sex, only Nikki's want/desire for Damien and to have it. I think had there been a few more detailed times, it would have improved the book slightly.

AND... What a cliffhanger, yet absolutely amazing bombshell at the end of the book!!!!

I really enjoyed the Stark Trilogy, I still personally have the Crossfire series as my number 1, but this does par up well with Fifty Shades. I think there could've been a few improvements here or there - but I really liked how the characters developed and I did like how Nikki's character changed, but only slightly as time went on. 
My only main fault with the whole Trilogy is the fact that I don't hardly recall Nikki ever having a period?! Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was all the sex and none of mother nature popping her head in? The only other fault is that, I know there are mini little follow up Novella's about Nikki and Damien which Kenner has written BUT if you don't own a kindle you can't read them, as I can't find them in paperback (annoying).
However I do know there is a spin off about Jamie called Tame Me - so if you want to find out more about Nikki's best friend/roommate this is meant to be a good read!

I would totally recommend this if you enjoyed Fifty Shades and want a storyline very similar with a mix of the Crossfire series and Fifty Shades.

Emma Victoria