Here we go again. Another erotic romance trilogy about a gorgeous too hot for his own good billionaire businessman and the girl he sets his sights on. I picked these up of my own free will partly because I was curious to see how many variations of rip off could be achieved but partly because they had attracted some decent reviews with favourable comments.
This time the story is set in Los Angeles and the surrounding area and the obscenely rich entrepreneur is Damien Stark, a former top of his game tennis star and now wealthy business man. Damien is handsome, magnificent you know the usual thing and like the other exceptionally rich leading men in similar stories he has a dark side. I have to say though I did like Damien’s love interest Nikki Fairchild. She is a refreshingly original character who is well educated with degrees in both electrical engineering and computer science. A former child beauty pageant participant, Nikki is a straight A student who has plans for her future and those plans involve launching her own company, but despite that ambition and strength there is a vulnerability to her and it’s that vulnerability which manifests itself in some dark and distressing behaviour.
I really wish this story had been written before Fifty Shades of Grey, because it is actually reasonably well written and has a degree of intelligence to it. Both characters are strong and likeable, the back story is that they both endured hideous childhoods of varying degrees and were forced to do things which neither of them really wanted to do, leaving them both with scars (mental and physical). It is undeniably head and shoulders above FSOG and the equally nauseating Crossfire series. The sexy scenes were hot and the characters had chemistry together, BUT it feels formulaic, this premise has been done and done to death with the market being saturated by similar books jumping on the now overcrowded bandwagon. Obscenely rich but dark billionaire with secretive and troubled past (are there any other kinds?) meets young college graduate with equally troubled past and mental health issues, some hot and steamy moments ensue, a little kink is thrown in for good measure, there is the inevitable appearance of a bad person who causes trouble for the couple not to mention a misunderstanding that causes a temporary break up, they get back together, even more steamier sex scenes, and a happily ever after.
If you loved the Fifty Shades trilogy and are looking for something similar, then Release Me and its sequels are books you will most likely enjoy. If you are looking for a nice, well written romance with a touch of kink and a few dark moments, you may also like these books Although this was a very good readable story and you find yourself rooting for the couple, it inevitably had a sense of deja vous surrounding it and that is a real shame.