Guest Author & Giveaway: J. Kenner featuring Release Me

Wednesday, December 19

I have a confession to make. I haven't read Fifty Shades of Gray, nor have I read Bared to You. There I've said it. Please don't revoke my romance reader's card. Since I had heard such good things about Bared to You I decided I would read that and had every intention of reading it this year. But as the end of the year closes in on us, I've come to the realization that that may not happen. I'm resolved. Now I've got a plan though. I'll read all three together back to back :)

I have to wonder though with so many books insinuating "if you liked Fifty Shades & Bared to You, then...." if that deters or encourages other readers like myself who are romance readers, but haven't read them either. Or maybe I'm like the only one left, LOL. Would you buy it because of that association? I won't, BUT I will take a look at it and find out more about it. Which is what I did when I first learned about Release Me by J. Kenner.

Author J. Kenner is my guest today to share with us her favorite scene from Release Me, the first book in her Stark Trilogy, a book and series that I'm immensely interested in learning more about. Enjoy!


Put the privacy screen up, please … I have a scene to write!

When I confirmed the date for today’s stop on the Release Me blog tour, I asked if there was any particular topic that the folks at Seductive Musings would like me to write about, and I was told that the slate was wide open, but that they had a few suggested topics if I wanted to pick one.

As a matter of fact, I did.  The topic “Favorite scene” jumped out at me because I had been thinking of my favorite scene not that long ago when I was picking segments to post on my blog in the days leading up to release.  (As it happens, I’m going to be posting two or three pages from Release Me each day, in order, starting this coming weekend, and beginning where the Scribd excerpt leaves off.)

So that’s what I’m choosing:  My favorite scene.

And if you’ve had the chance to read the book, you may be able to guess the scene from the headline.  Yup, the limo scene.

If you haven’t read the book, I don’t think it’s a spoiler in a book like Release Me to tell you that it’s a hot and steamy scene.  But what makes it different is that Nikki’s in the car alone.  Damien’s not even there.  Well, at least not in person…

Now, there are a lot of scenes between Nikki and Damien that I love.  Sometimes, it’s a challenge to get a character to fall in line and reveal their voice and their wit.  Not these two.  They were made for banter, and I love the way their sparkle made my keyboard fly.

But that limo scene … well, it definitely heated up my keyboard.  Here’s a taste:
“I—I like coffee,” I admit. I take a deep breath. “But I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Thousands of coffee bean growers across the globe would disagree with you.”

“Dinner. Coffee. A date. With you. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Really?  I find it exceptionally appealing.”

“Mr. Stark…”

“Ms. Fairchild,” he says, and I can hear the smile in his voice.

“You’re exasperating.”

“So I’ve been told. But I prefer the word persistent. I don’t take no for an answer.”

“Sometimes, that’s the only answer there is.”

“Perhaps. But this isn’t one of those times.”

I can’t help but smile as I settle more comfortably back against the soft leather upholstery. “Isn’t it? You forget that I’m the one who has to say yes or no, and I’ve already told you my answer, and I don’t intend to change it.”


“Sorry. But I’m afraid you’ve met your match, Mr. Stark.” 

“I certainly hope so, Ms. Fairchild,” he says.

I frown a bit as I try to guess just where he’s shifting the conversation. Because I know damn well he’s not giving in. To be honest, I’d be disappointed if he was giving in.

“I asked you this once and you evaded the question. Let me try again—are you attracted to me?”

“I—excuse me?”

His laugh is low and soft. “I’m quite certain you heard me, but in the interest of fair play, I’ll repeat the question. Slowly, and clearly. Are you attracted to me?”

I open my mouth, then shut it again because I have absolutely no idea how I should respond.

“It’s not a trick question,” he says, though of course I know it is.

“I am,” I finally say, because it’s the truth and I have no doubt he knows it. “But so what?  What straight female on this planet isn’t attracted to you?  I’m still not going out with you.”

“I get what I want, Nikki. You should know that about me right from the start.”

“And you want dinner with me?  I’d think a man in your position would want something a bit more impressive. Like to colonize Mars.”

    “Dinner is just the beginning. I want to touch you,” he says, his voice low and commanding. “I want to run my hands over every inch of you. I want you wet for me. I want to finish what we started, Ms. Fairchild. I want to make you come.”


It is suddenly very, very hot in the limo, and I seem to have forgotten the basic steps required for breathing.

I don’t think …

I realize the words are only in my head and try again. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“It’s an extremely good idea. Hell, it’s all I’ve been thinking about since I put you in that limo. Touching you again. Stroking you. Kissing you.”

I squirm, determined to hold it together. But I am weak and well-liquored, and my determination is fraying around the edges.

“Tell me you haven’t thought of it, too.”

“I haven’t,” I say.

“Don’t lie to me, Nikki. That’s rule number one. Never lie to me.”


“Is this a game?” I ask.

“Isn’t everything?”

I don’t answer.

“Simon Says, Nikki. Have you played before?”  His soft voice is like a caress.


“Is the privacy screen in place?”

I glance up. I’m at the very back of a very long limo. I can see the driver in the front, his shoulders in the black jacket, the stark white of his shirt collar. He has reddish hair, mostly hidden by a black cap. It seems to me that he is a million miles away. But he’s not, he’s right there, probably listening to every word we’ve been saying.

“He’s very discrete,” Damien says, as if reading my thoughts. “But why torment the man?  The silver button on the console behind you controls the screen. Do you see it?”

I twist around and see a bank of buttons set into the paneling behind me. “Yes.”

“Push it.”

“You didn’t say Simon Says.”

His low chuckle delights me.

“Good girl. Are you suggesting you’d rather leave it down? Think before you answer, Nikki. For what I have planned, most women would like some privacy.”

I lick my lips. If I push that button I’m saying yes to so much more than the damn screen.

Did I want that?
  He’s talking about seeing me naked. About touching me. About kissing me. About running his fingers over my skin.

I rest my finger lightly on the button, remembering the feel of his hand. Remembering how I almost let him get too close, how I almost revealed too much.

But he’s not in the car. I can do this. I can lose myself to the champagne and the night and the allure of Damien Stark.

But am I leading him on? Making him think that fantasy will become reality? 

I swallow again, because I don’t care. I want the release. I want this man’s voice in my head and the fantasy of his hands on my body. He’ll deal. He has rules?  Screw that. Right now, I’m making my own damn rules.

I press the button.

Needless to say, the scene gets steamier.

I love that scene.  I love the back and forth between Nikki and Damien, and most of all I love the fact that it’s a sexy, romantic, physical scene without actually being physical.  And I wanted that.  More important, the characters needed that.  (And, yeah, I think readers will enjoy it.)

But that early in the game, there was no way in hell that Nikki would let Damien touch her like that.  She’s just not ready for it, not with the secrets she has.  And so the limo phone sex is a fabulous choice for her.

But why is it my favorite?  Well, for that very reason; the scene let me move the story forward the way I wanted, but still keeping the characters true to themselves.  But more than that, the scene is a favorite because of the way the characters ran the show.  I knew I wanted a phone-sex-in-the-limo scene.  I knew why (the reasons I’ve mentioned) and I knew where it would go in the story.  But I didn’t know the details of how it would come to pass.  I can remember smiling as I wrote it, as the characters flirted and bantered and came to life on my computer screen. 

Nikki and Damien did that a lot for me, so I probably could have fairly said a dozen others were my favorite.  But those scenes didn’t involve limos and phones and panties and ice.  So of course I had to choose this one!

How about you?  What’s your favorite scene from a book you’ve read or a story you’ve written?  What buttons do favorite scenes push in you?

For fans of Fifty Shades of Grey and Bared to You comes an erotic, emotionally charged romance between a powerful man who’s never heard “no” and a fiery woman who says “yes” on her own terms.

He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist.

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past-and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him-and us-forever.

Release Me by J. Kenner (an excerpt)

J. Kenner is the pen name of USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner (who also writes as J.K. Beck).  Release Me, an erotic romance, will be available in the U.S. and the U.K. on January 1, and in over a dozen other countries later in 2013.  

If you'd like to learn more about J.K., or the books she writes you can find her at her website, her blog, as well as on Facebook,  and on Twitter.

To celebrate the upcoming release of Release Me, the first book in her Stark Trilogy, her publisher Random House is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky Musings follower (US only). Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Answer the question J. Kenner asked readers in her post (good for 1 entry)  
How to enter:
  • Leave a comment :)
Rules and disclaimers:
  • The winner(s) will be selected randomly from among all of the comments of the blog tour by either the author or by Random House who will also be responsible for contacting the winner(s).  Please contact the promoter for all the official rules and disclaimers.
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


J. Kenner December 19, 2012 at 2:39 AM  

Thanks so much for having me! And just so folks know, YES, the book that will be given away is RELEASE ME. Woot!

Elizabeth H. December 19, 2012 at 6:20 AM  

WOW!!! That was a hot excerpt!! I've heard great things about the book! Thank you for the chance to win!

ehaney578 at aol dot com

Anonymous,  December 19, 2012 at 9:33 AM  

I would have to say one of my favorite scenes in a book is Reflected in you by Sylvia Day there is the scene where they are in the air and Eva joins the mile high club. Reading your snippet I wanted more, I like the fact that it is a physical scene with out them touching it makes it so much better. Self gratification and that is HOT. You dont see to much of that any more.

shellbelle December 19, 2012 at 9:38 AM  

Wow.... I can't wait to read this book. Just reading the small part of the scene has my temperature rising. The characters definately seem to clever banter between them.
I read so many books and there are so many different scenes that come to mind...
Kate Pearce's Raw Desire - the scene between Rob and Jackson while at home watching a game.
Elle Kennedy-Feeling Hot- the scene between Cash, Jen, and Dylan
Sophie Renwick- both books - Velvet Haven- Bran & Mairi phone sex and Velvet Mists- Rhys, Wraith, & woman chosen for Wraith's feeding.
Rachel Gibson's- Simply Irristable- Nick & Delaney in cleaning closet at wedding reception

Anonymous,  December 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM  

one my favorite scenes in a book would be in fifty shades of grey when "Christian trails a spoonful of ice cream down the center of my body, across my stomach, and into my navel … He kisses each of my breasts and sucks each of my nipples hard, then follows the line of ice cream down my body, sucking and licking as he goes … ‘This way,’ he murmurs and abruptly is inside me … He leans over, releases my hands, and pulls me upright so I am practically sitting on him … He nuzzles my neck, biting down, as he flexes his hips, deliciously slowly, filling me again and again. He smiles against my neck, and his fingers curl around my jaw and throat, holding me fast for a moment.

erin December 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
erin December 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM  

Thanks for a great post and congrats to Ms. Kenner on the new release! It sounds fantastic and it was already on my want list :) I can't think of a specific scene, but I love all of the small, intimate scenes that we get with Eve and Roarke from JD Robb's In Death series.


Cassandra December 19, 2012 at 12:16 PM  

One of my favorite scenes is Mariketa & Bowen from Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series when it's the full moon and they are in the rain forest :)
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

J. Kenner December 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM  

Loving the comments ... and adding to my TBR list!!!

Tracey,  December 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM  

One of my favorite scenes takes place in 'Bared To You,' when Eva 'runs into' Gideon at a club (his, of course), and the conversation and realization that she's ready to move forward with him. Having recently read 'Devoured,' I also love the ending scene between Lucas and Sienna.

'Release Me' sounds great; I can't wait to add it to my list of 'books that make me happy I read them'!

Sandra Dillon December 19, 2012 at 7:48 PM  

Gosh...too many scenes in books that I love....I looking forward to your new will be different from what I usually read from you!

Di December 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM  

I always enjoy the part where the couple admits that they love each other, especially if they are happy about it.

sallans d at yahoo dot com

misshalim December 21, 2012 at 5:53 PM  

When I first heard of Release Me about a month ago, I got so excited and started stalking Julie's Facebook page (Yup, all 3 of them! Haha!) So I'm proud to say I'm totally stoked for the release of Release Me and I can't wait for Jan 1! I can't think of a better way to start the year! The limo scene is hot, hot, HOT and you are such a tease for ending it there! ;) I need more... Love me some Damien already please!

p.s. I'm never going to think of Simon Says the same way again.

misshalim December 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM  

Sorry, I got all excited and forgot to share my favorite scene! It's from one of my favorite reads of the year - Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. After finally overcoming all obstacles to be together, Gabriel and Julia consummate their love for very first time (and Julia gave her virginity to him):

"When I am an old man and I can remember nothing else, I will remember this moment. The first time my eyes beheld an angel in the flesh. I will remember your body, and your eyes, your beautiful face and breasts, your curves and this. He traced his hand around her navel before dragging it lightly to the top of her lower curls. I will remember your scent and your touch and how it felt to love you. But most of all, I will remember how it felt to gaze at true beauty, both inside and out. For you are fair, my beloved, in soul and in body, generous of spirit and generous of heart. And I will never see anything this side of heaven more beautiful than you."

It's the most beautifully written sex scene I've ever read because you can feel so strongly the love they have for one another. You want it so badly for them because they've went through so much and when they finally made love (at the end of the book) it was so so sweet!

Thanks for the giveaway and Happy Holidays! :) I really can't wait to read Release Me! *fingers crossed*


Maris December 21, 2012 at 9:48 PM  

I can't read this. It sounds so good. Thanks for the giveaway. Damaris dsr002(at)gmail(dot)com

donnas December 23, 2012 at 10:19 PM  

I cant think of a favorite scene at the moment. But I will say that was a fantastic one. Looking forward to more.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Maureen December 28, 2012 at 9:14 AM  

My favorite scenes usually involve little things that the hero or heroine does for the other that shows that they care even if they haven't said the words.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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