Tag: Julie Kenner

Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): J. Kenner Blog Tour

Posted December 22, 2012 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 16 Comments

Who Needs a Billionaire?

In a lot of erotica, including Release Me, our sexy, swoon-worthy hero has money.  Often lots of money.  And not “lots” as in his retirement account is sweetly on track, but “lots” as in he could fund the retirement of every citizen of a country the size of, oh, Austria.

The other day, someone posed the question to me of why? Why is the billionaire hero popular?

It wasn’t a question I answered at the time, but it stuck with me, and I think the answer is both simple and complex.  

The simple answer is the most basic:  the fantasy.  

To me, the basic allure of erotic romance is the emotional, physical and sensual connection between the hero and the heroine.  The relationship may be tumultuous, but that only makes the fantasy sweeter when the problems are resolved.  And that rocky path doesn’t change the fact that as a reader, we want to slide into a sensual fantasy.  

Call me shallow, but there’s more of a fantasy surrounding a billionaire sweeping me off my feet than the guy working overtime so that he can make the mortgage and cover his property taxes.  After all, what woman doesn’t want the fantasy of a guy who can afford to whisk her away for a spur-of-the-moment romantic weekend?  I don’t know about y’all (that’s my Texas girl showing) but in my family, sexy weekend trysts are not a line-item in the budget.  Too bad for me …

So that hits the element from the reading side of the equation.  The reader (and for my purposes, I’m considering the author a “reader” simply by virtue of experiencing the story) wants to get lost in the fantasy, and a billionaire hero is definitely fantasy material.

But there’s also the question of control.  While it certainly doesn’t have to, a lot of erotic romance either touches upon or falls well within the framework of BDSM.  And that world comes with an element of control.  Assuming our hero earned his billions, it’s a pretty fair bet that he’s a guy who’s not only used to being in control, but expects it.  And it’s a reasonable jump to move those expectations from the boardroom to the bedroom.  From the moment that character appears, the reader knows about him, even if only on a subconscious level.  

So that’s reason number two:  the money fits the character.

In Release Me, I had a third reason, and it centers around Nikki.  She needs money.  She’s working, she’s saving, and she has a very specific goal in mind.  I don’t want to get into spoiler-land, but if Damien weren’t fabulously wealthy, he could never have made the proposition to Nikki that is so central to the story and the relationship that develops between these two.  He had to be rich for this story in order for Nikki to be this heroine.

So there you go: the answer to the 64 billion dollar question.  At the end of the day, for me, a character’s net worth depends on so many factors.  In this case, Damien’s stinking rich.  He just is

How about you?  Do you love a hero with the power and money to really make things happen?  Or do you root for a hero who’s overcoming obstacles to succeed (and get the heroine, of course!)

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.  
You can hang out with J.K., learn more about Release Me and her other novels, or just poke around and see what catches your eye at her website, www.jkenner.com, and also at her J. Kenner Facebook page, www.facebook.com/jkennerbooks and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliekenner

Giveaway Alert: Leave a comment on this post answering Julie’s question from above for a chance to win a copy of Release Me. Please Note: Contest is open to residents of the US only. You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible. Contest ends 12/31/12 @ 11:59pm.
Release Me by J. Kenner (an excerpt)

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Guest Review: Holiday Hideout by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis, and Julie Kenner

Posted March 11, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Holiday Hideout by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis, & Julie Kenner

Three couples experience sexy holiday romance at the same Lake Tahoe cabin during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s getaways in this anthology by Thompson, Jill Shalvis, and Julie Kenner. 

Here I am again, reviewing an anthology–a confirmed don’t-want-to-read-anymore-anthologies reader, but being drawn to one that features at least two of my favorite authors. What can I say? I thought it looked really good and so I got it, and when all is said and done, I’m glad I did.

A quiet, out-of-the-way mountain cabin in the Lake Tahoe region was the scene of a marriage reclaimed by Ken and Jillian Vickers.  They rented it, of course, and their renewed marriage meant so much to them and was so identified with this particular place, that they ended up buying it and using it as a holiday retreat for years.  As both of them were sociology professors at the University of Nevada, Reno, they began to realize that every couple that had rented the cabin over the years has either found a new love or had seen their relationship renewed.  Unlike some who would have tried to prove that the property was “magic,” these two set out to prove that the property was very ordinary.  So our three couples were a part of a larger experiment.

One of the biggest complaints that I have had with anthologies is that the stories are usually so short that the stories seem incomplete or that the story itself my be good but the ending seems tacked on.   I must confess that such didn’t seem to be the case here.    Certainly there was insufficient space for a long, drawn-out tale of one sort or another, but since the context for all three stories was the mountain cabin,  the task of developing a backdrop and the space it usually absorbed was not necessary and more of the character development could take place.    Each of the couples were brought to the cabin as a kind of “set-up” by Jillian and one or both of the individuals has known Jillian and her husband through their connection with UN Reno.  

The Thanksgiving Fix was probably my favorite and which brought together two individuals who had decided that marriage was probably not for them and were confirming their belief that single living was best, with the understanding that such a choice did not exclude some good sex along the way.  And good sex became their reality before too long.  Both of these people were mature and had lived for quite some time with the pressures of a family who spent a great deal of time and energy finding potential mates for them.  They had enough of that!!  This is a delightful and charming tale that will warm the reader’s heart, no matter what time of year it may be.

The Christmas Set-up brings together two architects, both of whom work for a very important architectural firm and both of whom are competing for an important promotion that will not only beef up their professional resume but will also bring in some much needed income.  Through the manipulations of Jason’s brother, Jason and Zoe find themselves snowed in on Christmas Eve, finally having to acknowledge their strong attraction and getting honest with each other.   These are two high-powered people who are lonely, who really need to let some Christmas love and cheer into their lives, and who need the push and shove of a new relationship to help them re-order their personal priorities.   And that is the message at the core of this story:  what is really important in life.  

The New Year’s Deal involves a bit more back story in that Cleo and Josh are lovers who had been together and planned a life together since about their second week in college.  Now it has been five years since they went their separate ways and it is time to see if they have each remembered their promise to meet at New Years in the old motel where they first became lovers.  The old motel is burnt down so Josh moves the assignation to Jillian’s cabin and sends an invitation to Cleo.   He is CEO of his family’s mining operation and she is an attorney with a firm that practices international law.   There are a few more complications between this couple and true love has quite a ways to go before it can make its appearance between these two.  But I think at the heart of this story is the need for the survival of one’s dream–what every person needs to consider when making those important life decisions.  And for Cleo and Josh, it is indeed the big question they must answer before their mutual destiny can become a reality.

All in all, this is a delightful holiday anthology, but the stories are larger than just their holiday context.  Each brings some important life issues into the discussion these couples have, and each story touches on the reality of human loving and relationship that most of us have faced at one time or the other.  Even though this anthology was released in November, 2011, it is timely in its own way no matter the time of the year.  

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Harlequin. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted May 24, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 10 Comments

It’s Monday again. Why does this keep happening every stinking week? lol
Well, I’d love to say that my life is so exciting and I’d love to regale you with many a fun and funny anecdote but the truth is, nothing happened this past week of any import. Just a normal week in Tracyland. Maybe this week will be so exciting I’ll be bursting at the seams next Monday to share things with you. Let’s hope. lol
I read a lot of books for The Book Binge this week in a desperate attempt to catch up. I’m almost all the way through the books from May so I’m making headway! lol Only a few more to go and I’m all caught up – yay! 🙂
So what I read this week:
I started off the week with a new to me author, Marie Sexton, by reading Promises. This was an m/m story about Jared who had lived his whole life in a small town in Colorado except for his years in college. He is gay but pretty much resigned to living on his own for the rest of his days. Then Matt comes to work at the Coda police department and Jared and Matt become instant friends. Jared falls for Matt, but Matt’s not gay…or is he? This was such a damn good story. I liked it so much. I enjoyed the writing and could really feel the things that were happening between Matt and Jared. Good stuff and highly recommended. 4.5 out of 5
Next up was Impulsive by Cathryn Fox. The story of a woman whose lover is killed and she’s turned into a werewolf. 100 years later and she’s scented her dead lover – who’s been reincarnated into Kane…a werewolf hunter. Wow, what a couple. This was read for The Book Binge. 3 out of 5

Next up was Tracy’s TBR Challenge read as well as an FTSP read – Destined For An Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost. I bought this one the day it released and yet it’s sat on shelf til now. I think I was a little leery to start it as I wasn’t a huge fan of book 3. This one was a good read though with Cat running from a man who claimed to be her husband. It was a very emotional book between Cat and Bones and was hard to read at times but it was a good one. 4 out of 5

Next was Out of Bounds by TA Chase. This was the story of a professional basketball star who is gay – but he’s not out (except to his family) because he doesn’t wanted to take the chance that he might be removed from the team. Despite his qualms he begins a relationship with a nightclub owner. Kasey has real feelings for Gram but is hesitant to reveal his personal life to the press. The is a novella and I almost wish it had been a longer book. I felt kind of let down that what Kasey worried about the whole book was almost minimized because the book ended so soon after things happened. Beside that it was good. There was more sex than story imho but the sex was definitely steamy. 3 out of 5
Next up was Line of Fire by Jo Davis. This is book 4 in the Firefighters of Station 5 series – Tommy’s story. He’s pretty much in love with nurse, Shea Ford. She is afraid to get close to him because she’s afraid he is similar to a man in her past. She finally breaks through her misgivings and they fall in love. I really liked Tommy and Shea and they were so cute together – but almost too cute at times but it worked. The suspense part of the story was a little much but a pretty good story. Another Book Binge read. 3.5 out of 5

My next read was a short by Julie Kenner called Wrapped and Ready. I’m not sure what prompted me to pull out a Christmas short in May but I did. The story of Annie who’s had a thing for Brent most of her life – but they come from different lifestyles and she doesn’t think that Brent knows she exists. Oh, Brent knows and when Annie proposes that she get Brent as a Christmas present he’s definitely game. Cute. 3 out of 5

Bonded Souls by Nina Pierce was next. This is a prequel in her Shifting Bonds series. This tells the story of Jayda and how she met Cole (a wolf shifter) and became his mate. She is part of a prophecy and until she went on vacation to get some peace and quiet didn’t even know she was a shifter. Not only a shifter, by a polymorphic shifter – part wolf, part cougar, part human. A Book Binge read. 3.75 out of 5

Next I picked up Sucker for Love by Kimberly Raye for part of my FTSP. This is book 5 in the series and I got about 1/2 way through the book and realized I just didn’t care. I didn’t care about Lil, her family, Lil’s missing friend. Sorry to say the series has run it’s course for me. DNF
Another book I started and just couldn’t get into was Once a Bride by Shari Anton. I don’t have a clue where I got the book but it’s been on my shelf for a while. The story was about a man who accused of treason so goes into hiding and leaves his daughter (age 17) to face his accusers at their home. The man the king has sent to oversee the property while the matter is dealt with knows that he should have nothing to do with the daughter – and she’s pissed off at him for taking over the property – but that doesn’t stop their attraction. Again, I got about halfway through the book and nothing was clicking with me. DNF
Last but not least was another Tracy’s TBR Challenge read. This was The Runaway Princess by Christina Dodd. Though I read all of Dodd’s Darkness Chosen series I wasn’t thrilled with it. I definitely liked this historical book better. It was pretty simple – an easy read with some silly parts but very cute. The story of a prince who finds his runaway princess – only she’s not the princess – just someone who looks like her. No matter her protestations that she’s an orphan from England and her guardian was the one who taught her about their respective countries, he thinks she’s fabricating it all to get out of marrying him and won’t believe her. So was she the princess or not? As I said – pretty cute. 3.75 out of 5
Some of my Book Binge reviews that have posted:
Happy Reading!

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