Claim Me (Stark Trilogy Series #2)

Claim Me (Stark Trilogy Series #2)

by J. Kenner


$14.40 $16.00 Save 10% Current price is $14.4, Original price is $16. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 28


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From J. Kenner comes the second novel in the fast-paced trilogy that started with Release Me. This sexy, emotionally charged romance continues the story of Damien Stark, the powerful multimillionaire who’s never had to take “no” for an answer, and Nikki Fairchild, the Southern belle who only says “yes” on her own terms.

For Damien, our obsession is a game. For me, it is fiercely, blindingly, real.
Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.
I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.
But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.
Claim Me is intended for mature audiences.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345545831
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/23/2013
Series: J. Kenner's Stark Series
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 104,828
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

J. Kenner is the author of Release Me. She spent more than ten years as a litigator in Southern California and central Texas, using her rare free time to indulge in her passion of writing. She lives in Texas with her husband and daughters, where she is at work on her next novel, Complete Me.

Read an Excerpt


“Almost done?” I ask. “The sun’s been down for at least five minutes.”

Several yards away, Blaine tilts sideways, partially emerging from behind the canvas. I don’t move, but in my peripheral vision, I can see his shoulders, bald head, and shocking red goatee. “In my mind, you’re still bathed in light. Now stand still and be quiet.”

“No problem,” I say, and hear his growl of irritation at my blatant flaunting of his rules.

Despite the fact that I am standing naked in a doorway, our exchange seems perfectly normal. I am used to this now. Used to the way the chilled ocean breeze causes my nipples to peak. The way the sunset stirs something so deep and passionate in me that I long to close my eyes and abandon myself to the violent tapestry of light and color.

I’ve become blasé about the way Blaine’s eye sweeps critically over me, and I no longer flinch when he leans in so close that he almost brushes my breast or my hip as he adjusts my stance to the proper angle. Even his murmurings of, “Perfect. Shit, Nikki, you look perfect,” no longer make my stomach tighten, and I’ve stopped imagining my hands closing into tight fists in protest, my nails digging into the soft skin of my palms. I am not perfect—not by a long shot. But it no longer makes me crazy to hear those simple words.

Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that I could feel so at ease despite being so fully on display. True, I’d spent most of my life parading around on a stage, but during my pageant days I was always clothed, and even during the bathing suit competitions, my girl parts were modestly covered. I can imagine my mother’s mortification if she saw me now, chin lifted, back arched, a red silk cord binding my wrists behind me and then trailing between my legs to twine gently around one thigh.

I have not seen Blaine’s canvas for days, but I know his style and I can imagine how I look captured in pigment and brushstrokes. Ephemeral. Sensual. Submissive.

A goddess bound.

No doubt about it—my mother would have a cow. I, however, am enjoying it. Hell, maybe that’s why I’m enjoying it. I’ve shaken off Proper Princess Nikki for Rebel Nikki, and it feels pretty damn good.

I hear footsteps on the stairs, and I force myself to remain in my pose even though I want nothing more than to turn and look at him. Damien.

Damien Stark is the one thing about which I’ve not become complacent.

“The offer stands.” Damien’s words drift up the marble stairs to the third floor. He hasn’t raised his voice, and yet it is supported by such strength and confidence that it fills the room. “Tell them to take a good long look at their P and Ls. There isn’t going to be any profit, and by the end of the year, there won’t even be a company. They’re in free fall, and when they crash and burn, every one of their employees will be out of work, the company dead, the patents tied up in litigation for years as creditors fight about the assets. They take this deal, and I’ll breathe life back in. You know it. I know it. They know it.”

The footsteps stop, and I realize he is now standing at the top of the stairs. The room is open, designed for entertaining, and normally someone climbing the stairs would be treated to a view of the Pacific Ocean spread wide across the far side of the room.

Right now, what Damien sees is me.

“Make it happen, Charles,” he says, his voice now tight. “I have to go.”

I have come to know this man so well. His body. His gait. His voice. And I don’t need to see him to know that the tension in his tone isn’t tied to the thrill of chasing a business deal. It’s about me, and that simple fact is as intoxicating as champagne on an empty stomach. An entire empire needing his attention, and yet in that moment, I am his whole world. I am flattered. I am giddy. And, yeah, I am turned on.

I’m also smiling, which draws a sharp censure from Blaine. “Dammit, Nik. Get rid of the grin.”

“My face doesn’t even show in the painting.”

“I can tell,” Blaine says. “So stop it.”

He’s teasing me now. “Yes, sir,” I say, and then almost laugh when Damien coughs, obviously hiding a chuckle of his own. The “sir” is our secret, our game that we play. A game that will officially end tonight, now that Blaine is putting the final touches on the painting that Damien has commissioned. The thought is a melancholy one.

True, I’ll be happy not to have to stand stock-still anymore. Even the thrill of flipping the imaginary bird to my mother’s overbearing sense of propriety pales in comparison to the way my legs cramp at the end of these sessions. But I will miss the rest of it, especially the feel of Damien’s eyes on me. His slow, heated inspections that make me damp between my thighs and force me to concentrate so hard on remaining still that it becomes sweetly painful.

And, yes, I will miss our game. But I want more than a game with Damien, and I can’t help the eagerness with which I face tomorrow and the knowledge that it will simply be Damien and Nikki with nothing between us. And as for any lingering secrets . . . well, with time, those will be brushed away, too.

Hard now to believe that I’d originally been shocked by Damien’s offer: one million dollars in exchange for my body. For my image, permanently on display on a larger-than-life canvas; and for the rest of me at his command, whenever and however he wanted.

My shock had been replaced by blatant pragmatism laced with equal parts of ardor and outrage. I’d wanted Damien as much as he’d wanted me, but at the same time I’d wanted to punish him. Because I was certain that he saw only the beauty queen, and that when he got a peek at the damaged woman beneath the polished veneer he’d reel from the affront to his expectations as much as from the lightening of his wallet.

I’ve never been so happy to be wrong.

Our deal had been for a week, but that week turned into two as Blaine buzzed around his canvas, the wooden tip of his brush tapping against his chin as he squinted and frowned and mumbled to himself about wanting just a little more time. About wanting to get everything—that word again—perfect.

Damien had agreed easily—after all, he’d hired Blaine because of his growing reputation as a local artist, and his skill in handling erotically charged nudes was undeniable. If Blaine wanted more time, Damien was happy to accommodate him.

I didn’t complain for less pragmatic reasons. I simply wanted these days and nights with Damien to last. Like my image on the painting, I was coming alive.

I’d moved to Los Angeles only a few weeks ago, intent on conquering the business world at the ripe old age of twenty-four. The thought that a man like Damien Stark would want me, much less my portrait, was the furthest thing from my mind. But there’d been no denying the heat that had burned between us from the moment I saw him at one of Blaine’s art shows. He’d pursued me relentlessly, and I’d tried my damnedest to resist, because I knew that what he wanted was something that I wasn’t willing to give.

I wasn’t a virgin, but neither was I widely experienced. Sex is not something that someone with my history—with my scars—rushes into. I’d been burned by a boy I’d trusted, and my emotions were still as ragged as the scars that marred my flesh.

Damien, however, doesn’t see those scars. Or, more accurately, he sees them for what they are—a part of me. Battle scars from what I have overcome and what I continue to fight. Where I thought my scars reflected a weakness, he sees an indication of strength. And it is that ability—to see me so fully and clearly—that has drawn me so irrevocably and completely to this man.

“You’re smiling again,” Blaine says. “I don’t even need three guesses to know what you’re thinking about. Or who. Do I need to kick our personal Medici out of the room?”

“You’re just going to have to live with her smile,” Damien says before I can answer, and once again, I must force myself not to turn and look at him. “Because nothing’s making me leave this room unless Nikki is beside me.”

I revel in the velvet smoothness of his voice, and I know he means what he says. We’d spent this entire afternoon window-shopping on Rodeo Drive, celebrating the new job I will start in the morning. We’d walked lazily down the pristine streets, holding hands, sipping calorie-laden frozen mochas, and pretending no one else in the world existed. Even the paparazzi, those vultures with cameras that have become uncomfortably interested in every little thing Damien and I do, paid us little heed.

Sylvia, Damien’s assistant, had tried to put several calls through, but Damien had flat-out refused to take them. “This is our time,” he’d said to me, answering my unspoken question.

“Should I alert the financial papers?” I’d teased. “Doesn’t it affect the market when Damien Stark takes a day off work?”

“I’m willing to risk global economic collapse if it means a few hours with you.” He drew my hand up and kissed the tip of each finger. “Of course, the more shopping we do, the more we support the economy.” His voice was low and sultry and full of enticing promises. “Or maybe we should go back to the apartment. I can think of several interesting ways to spend the afternoon that have no fiscal impact whatsoever.”

“Tempting,” I’d retorted. “But I don’t think that I could stand the guilt knowing that I traded an orgasm for fiscal ruin.”

“Trust me, baby. It would be more than one orgasm.”

I’d laughed, and in the end we’d managed to avert global economic disaster (the shoes he bought me are truly awesome) and let me have my orgasm as well. Three, actually. Damien is nothing if not generous.

As for the phone, he’d been true to his word. Despite the constant vibrations, he’d ignored it until we’d pulled up in front of the Malibu house and I’d insisted he take pity on whoever was being so persistent. I’d hurried inside to meet Blaine, and Damien had lingered behind, reassuring his attorney that the world hadn’t collapsed despite Damien’s temporary absence from the cellular airwaves.

I am so lost in my thoughts that I don’t realize that Blaine has approached me. He taps my lower lip with the end of his paintbrush and I jump.

“Damn, Nikki, you were in the zone.”

“Are you done?” I do not mind posing, and Blaine has become a good friend. But right then, I just want him gone. Right then, all I want is Damien.

“Almost.” He holds his hands up, looking at me through his makeshift frame. “Right here,” he says, using the brush to indicate. “The light on your shoulder, the way your skin glows, the mix of colors . . .” He trails off as he walks back to the portrait. “Damn,” he finally says. “I am a fucking genius. This is you, kid. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear you could walk right off the canvas.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Claim Me 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 326 reviews.
FranJessca More than 1 year ago
"Claim Me" is the second installment to J. Kenner's Stark Trilogy and it definitely answered a few questions that I had from the first book.  The second book picks up from where the first book left off at, so if you have not read the first book, I definitely recommend it. Nikki Fairchild is obsessed with Damien Stark and in the second installment the obsession has become even worst for her.  In fact, Damien has now become her pain reliever and Nikki has become his source to let out some stress.  They both are amazing together though.  Damien is finally opening up on what is going on in his life in "Claim Me" and Nikki is proving to be the strongest of the two.  I have come to admire Nikki even more in this book.  Here the woman is put through a whole lot of mess and she overcomes it all.  She almost stumbles, but she has proven she can overcome anything thrown at her. If you have read "Release Me", you probably had a lot of questions on what was happening in Damien's head and what made him have so many secrets.  Slowly, but surely he begins to open up in the second installment. He showed his possessive side more in this book as well, which could be found to be annoying to some people, but his motive behind it all will make your realize his intentions are for the greater good. I loved everything in the second installment and now I look forward to even more the final book.  J. Kenner leaves you hanging at the end which makes me wonder what is going to happen next.  Are the characters going to ever have a happily ever after? I want to know who is causing all the issues and I have a funny feeling I know who it is. Poor Nikki not only goes through so much in this book, but her best friend, Jamie did as well. Her other best friend, Ollie, I cannot figure him out, but in this book I did not like him.  I feel he is up to no good. I loved how J. Kenner made Nikki stronger though in this book and made me hate Damien at points in the book where I wanted to hurt him for Nikki.  Damien though is nothing like Gideon Cross from the Cross novels by Sylvia Day.  In fact, Damien, is not one who plays games, he admires and loves Nikki.   He just has a very particular way of showing it.  I cannot compare him to Christian since I have not read the FSoG books and really tend not to read them anytime soon so I will not compare Damien to him. J. Kenner's writing style is definitely different from other contemporary authors I have read, which makes me adore her even more.  She has a way of describing in detail that will make you feel you are there. She also makes you feel the emotions of the characters.  That is one writing style that makes it more appealing for me to read since I feel like the characters are real. This book has a lot of angst, friendship blow ups, and lots, lots of HOT sexual scenes between Nikki and Damien.  The purple scarf on the cover of the book plays a very significant role in the book.  =) I give this book 4.5 full moons and highly recommend it to contemporary romance and erotica readers out there.  This book is intended for 18+ mature audience though...just to warn you. I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
luv2ReadLR More than 1 year ago
When I first read Release me, I thought it was going to be another, more cheap version of Fifty Shades.  I was so wrong. It was so much more. Then I had to wait what felt like forever  for Claim Me to be release. My world stopped for about day and half while I devoured this book. I so enjoyed the story between Damien and Nikki. There was NO boring parts in this book. It was well written, well developed and very detailed. The sex scenes were hot  and erotic and to me, not too outlandish. I can't wait for the next book. Ten thumbs up!!!
mharvey816 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful middle book that improves on its excellent predecessor       Nikki Fairchild and Damien Stark began their relationship as a game, where in return for one million dollars, Nikki agreed to not only pose for a nude portrait but to also belong to Damien, body and soul, for the span of time it takes for the portrait to be completed. But now that the time, and presumably the game, has ended, is their emotional connection strong enough to continue?  “Release Me”, the first book in the Stark trilogy, was the story of how two reinvented people found the one person who could help heal past emotional wounds. “Claim Me” shows what happens after the artificial boundaries of their original agreement fall away and how what remains will either make their love stronger or break them apart forever. We found out in “Release Me” how Nikki had been emotionally and physically scarred by her mother’s relentless pursuit of molding her daughters into vessels for her own ambition. That ambition had killed Nikki’s sister, and had taken all of Nikki’s determination and will to survive on her own. As she became more open and trusting with Damien, he was able to show her that love didn't have to hurt, at least not permanently. As “Claim Me” begins, we see how Damien’s past secrets are even more damaging and painful to him, and by extension, to Nikki as their relationship becomes public. Secrets this awful can’t stay buried forever, and as they emerge, it will be Nikki who provides her hard-won strength to Damien in a way that neither he nor the reader could have possibly predicted. Once again, J. Kenner has moved the Stark trilogy well beyond the BDSM Billionaire trope into something more compelling and meaningful. “Claim Me” is a tale of two strong willed personalities who may have come together under somewhat less than noble circumstances but have since cemented a mutual love partnership where each holds the other up when they fall, no matter what. The previous foreshadowing of terrible events to come was nothing compared to what Damien and Nikki suffer, yet the growing strength of their love and trust kept me confident that they would ultimately prevail. I especially loved how the author handled the one giant moment of doubt that I could see coming toward the end of the book, and she earned every one of my sad/happy tears by the final page. “Claim Me” is that rare and wonderful middle book that actually improves on the excellent predecessor in a romantic trilogy. Once again, J. Kenner pulls off the unlikely feat of providing a cliffhanger with closure, where the reader is still keen to know what happens next, but not angry at being left hanging in the middle of an incomplete scene. I’m fully vested in Damien and Nikki’s future, and trust that the final book “Complete Me” will provide the Happy Ever After ending they and we deserve. Ratings: Overall: 5 Sensuality level: 4 (light BDSM, semi-public sex, discussion of child sexual abuse)
ReadingOverTV More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the series about Damien and Nikki. You don't need to have read the first to get emotionally involved with this couple. Yes, there are several erotic scenes but there are also a few strong personal issues going on. Nikki continues to grow as a confident woman in this book. Damien is a little disappointing because he struggles with sharing and opening his life to her. They have some issues to work out between them. And most importantly, I want to know how this turns out, so am looking forward to reading the third book in this trilogy.
hcollins1 More than 1 year ago
Claim Me, the second book in the Stark Trilogy has officially hooked me on this series!! I love how we are slowly getting to know Damien's secrets and in this book we get a HUGE secret revealed and it leads the way for a great opening to book three, which I will have to wait (not so patiently) for. One of the things I am enjoying the most about this series is how Damien and Nikki's relationship is solid. There is really no back and forth/on again off again with them. Yes, they have their fair share of problems but they for most part stand side by side and face them, like a couple in a real relationship should. On a side note, I also want to mention that while most of the secondary characters in this book are pretty easy to like, Evelyn is my absolute favorite!!! I love her and would love to have someone like her that I could talk to! Definitely, definitely recommend that you give this series a try, but make sure you start with book 1, Release Me!!! I received an ARC from Netgalley for an honest review.
Mich_Mc More than 1 year ago
This is the second instalment in the Stark Trilogy and it was just as good as the first one, I can't wait to find out what happens in the next one - thankfully the release date has been moved forward a little so I don't need to wait. Yes this is another trilogy that fits into the deviant billionaire being paired with a more innocent female, dark pasts & lots of angst and commitment issues. To me, this is one of the good ones! Damien is sexy and rich with a dark and troubled past - in Claim Me we get to know him a little better, his secrets are starting to unravel and to be honest I enjoyed getting to know him a bit better. Nikki, is a very bright girl who has mastered the art of hiding herself behind a mask. Her perfect mask is starting to crack thanks to all the hits she has been taking publicly, in private she is starting to crumble a little too, it's nice to see her backbone strengthen a little. I did enjoy this one, there was a good amount of character development and I love the way the plot is going. It will be interesting to see what happens in book 3, I have a few idea's about who may be behind recent goings on and I can't wait to see if Julie can surprise me!
Mami4Life More than 1 year ago
The Second Book in the Stark Trilogy, just as great as the first. This book was hard to put down. I absolutely loved it and look forward to  the next in the Trilogy.  Damien Stark as we know has a past that hurts him and he's used his pain to make something of himself. He's actually become quite the billionaire. But all the money in the world couldn't prepare him for Nikki Fairchild.  Nikki fled from her mothers grasp as soon as she could. All the things her mother did robbed Nikki of her childhood as it did her sisters. With the passing of her sister Nikki couldn't hold herself together anymore and dealt with her pain in a much different fashion than did Damien. But Nikki is smart. She has the ability to make something of herself and has just begun to work towards that goal and with the help of Damien she might just be able to succeed and finally believe in herself. But can she deal with the truth of Damien's past? Will the truth break her and push her away or will it only strengthen their very powerful love that they have yet to even realize during their times of need.  They use each other for what feels good. They are each others backbone with things get tough. But will Damien let Nikki in so she can be there for him as much as he is for her, or will he ultimately push her away losing possibly losing the one person he has come to love so much.... This book contains a large amount of sexual content and is in my opinion based around the very sexual and powerful relationship of Damien Stark and Nikki Fairchild.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy the story of Damien and Nikki. If you liked bared on me you will love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters in this secondbook lacked story, it was all repetative sex. It never got back on track until 3/4 through the book. Book one was so good building there characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a little slow going for me at first, but then the story took off. Part of the reason it felt so impersonal was that I just couldn't feel a strong enough love connection with the characters. Plus, Nikki came across as weak unless she had a Damien.Towards the middle and end, I finally felt it, although I would've liked even more. In the next novel, I hope Kenner rewards Nikki's fierce loyalty and I hope Nikki's strength extends to herself as well. Because while I loved that Nikki stood by her man,many people have wronged her too. I'd like to see Nikki kick a little ass of her own in the final novel. I'd also like to see her own successes, without the help of Damien. A little girl power would impress me.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
A sensual story of love and hate/betrayal and trust:  REVIEW: Claim Me is the second storyline in J.Kenner’s erotic romance Stark Trilogy focusing on billionaire Damien Stark and his obsession and need for Nikki Fairchild. In the previous storyline, Damien had offered Nikki one million dollars to pose for an erotic portrait that was to be kept in the privacy of his home, but Damien’s need and passion for the beautiful but scarred woman turns his private and public world upside down. Where once he offered Nikki one week of exclusivity he now wants a lifetime of promises that neither one may be able to keep. And when the art world is turned on its head with innuendo and rumors, Nikki and Damien will become the center of controversy and tabloid fodder filled with lies, deceit, murder and revenge. Throughout Claim Me, we follow as the relationship between Damien and Nikki fast approaches a need so strong that Damien fears that without his Nikki he is less than worthy. But there are secrets from each of their pasts that threaten the relationship. Nikki accepts that Damien needs time but time is not necessarily on their side. When the walls begin to crumble, Damien will reveal that there is much more to his life than acquisitions and mergers. The pain and anguish from his childhood continue to haunt him and will become the focus of an international investigation that could spell the ruin of Stark Industries and the end to Nikki and Damien. J. Kenner brings together a storyline in the similar stylings of E.L.James, Sylvia Day and Lisa Renee Jones. The bad boy billionaire with a secret life of family problems and abuse; and a heroine who is scarred both inside and out will again be familiar to fans of this genre. We are pulled into a fairy tale of the rich and famous only to discover that being rich and famous comes with more heartache and sorrow than anyone could ever have imagined. A beautiful mask does not necessary hide a broken heart and proves that no one is safe from the ugliness of abuse and greed. Everyone deals with pain in a different way. Plenty of background information into Nikki and Damien’s lives is revealed as they are both forced to confront the demons from the past. Sometimes it is better to say goodbye than to allow family to bring you down. But it may be too late for Damien when his father sets into motion a blackmail scheme that will force a face to face confrontation between father and son, open up a decades old investigation and necessitate a last minute confession that takes Nikki by surprise. J. Kenner has written a sensual story of love and hate, betrayal and trust, revenge and greed. Claim Me will pull the reader into a storyline of dark family secrets, vengeful parents and open our eyes to the truth about what goes on behind the scenes when a successful child becomes a parent’s key to fame and fortune. It is a story of love between two people so badly damaged that no matter what you are rooting for them to stay together-forever. “You are my blood.” “Without you, I’m nothing but a shell.”
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MaryJoMI More than 1 year ago
Jump on the roller-coaster of Nikki and Damien's relationship and hang on tight. Julie Kenner continues this fabulous intense relationship the same way it started in Release Me. Nikki gets pushed into a corner to deal with her past and the actions she used to cope. The road isn't easy as both Nikki and Damien have to works toward trusting each other by being open and honest. The intense chemistry remains with inventive sexual encounters. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J kenner's stark series are a great read HOWEVER, the book has alot of "I say" in it. Only thing annoying!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So disappointed it picked up where they were painting Nikki and the rest of the book was a repeat of the first book not happy at all and I love j keener I get every one as soon as they come out but not happy at all with this book