J. Kenner (aka Julie) has plenty of writing talent, and most of it probably goes unnoticed within the erotica genre. Before you paste a “kick me” sign on my back, and I run up and down the halls trying to figure out why feet are constantly being tossed in my direction and my ass is suddenly and inexplicably sore, just hear me out for a minute. While erotica has reached mainstream level (thanks Fifty Shades), I can’t help but feel it’s whispered about at parties in the dark, men may, or may not, be reading it, but most of whom certainly aren’t going to admit it, and if you sat on an airplane next to someone who was reading a book with a half-naked man or woman on the cover, who may, or may not, have her legs wrapped around the waist of some hunk of burnin’ love, you’d probably cringe and turn away, even if you had the same damn book at home on your shelf. That’s just the way it is. We’re a society of Puritans, while Europeans laugh at us from the other side of the ocean.
And so it goes for J. Kenner. She isn’t praised for her writing talents, even though they are displayed for the masses. But she’s probably not complaining, because the six figure advances show up like clockwork, her erotica trilogies are pushed out on a conveyor belt, and she’s smiling every time she cashes one of those paychecks. But the character development is there. Angelina Hayden Raine (aka Angie or Lina) has scars as long as a country mile to go with her body built for sin and an ass that keeps on giving. She’s tainted as all get out, but there’s still purity and innocence to her, and it creates layers people. Layers. Evan Black has abs that could bounce quarters and nickels and dimes all at the same time. But he’s not just some rich billionaire who is damaged goods, although he does have his own issues. Again, we have depth, and it makes for a more enjoyable ride in the saddle.
Sure, there’s sex, but it never feels overt or dirty or forced. These are just two people exploring the depths of their relationship, who just happen to fuck more than normal couples do. It’s natural damn it!
What I really liked about WANTED, and which made me want it even more, was that the story was self-contained. It doesn’t drag out or implode or create additional complications, just for the sake of conflict and complication (thanks again Fifty Shades). It doesn’t extend out to additional books, and there aren’t unexpected blips just so we can watch a man drink himself into a coma. When the curtain drops, it drops. And I’ll stand up and applaud.
While this is a trilogy, the second book HEATED revolves around Sloane Watson, an undercover cop posing as a stripper at Destiny, who may, or may not, grow rather attached to what Tyler Sharp has going on in his pants. It sounds like a winner. I just hope I can get a front row seat, because I’ve got my stack of ones ready.
I received this book for free through NetGalley.