Review: Lost With Me by J. Kenner
There is just something about Damien Stark that makes me totally weak in the knees. If I could, I would bribe JK to never stop writing these Stark novels. Each and every story is beautifully written, deliciously complex and totally captivating. Lost With me is no exception.
Story Line: Stark #5 picks right up where book 4 left off (Anchor Me). Nikki and Damien are happily married with two beautiful little girls. Damien still has to travel for work on occasion, taking him away from his girls, but the fire and the heat is still there. But so are Nikki's fears and struggles. I won't go into a ton of detail, but think back to the previous Stark novels. Nikki struggles with something incredibly heartbreaking. And her battle becomes unbearable in this installment. So unbearable I personally wept for her. I felt her pain deep in my bones. It's been a long time since a book had that sort of affect on me. But I should expect nothing less from JK, right?
This story is much more than just what happens after happily ever after. It's proof that with happy endings, there is always going to be times of trial. And sweet lord, is there ever a trial. Or two. Nikki and Damien prove that although they may have it all, they are still human. Trust is a funny thing. Once it's broken, and once it's earned back, there's still a certain amount of fear that lingers. And for Nikki, that fear becomes a reality. But I related to her on such a deep level. Old wounds resurfaced and I felt the soul shattering pain she felt. I know that sounds awful, but honestly it just made me love her and even Damien more.
Interaction: Damien is still Damien. He definitely does not take "no" for an answer. It's his way or the highway, as always. Until my worst nightmare comes true for them. And then it doesn't matter how much money they have, what resources are at their fingertips or who they know. And it's drama like that, that makes a husband and a wife put their relationship to the test. It made me realize that in times of complete despair, the most important thing is to work together and remain a unit. When Nikki hits her lowest, she has to cope alone, and that was so freaking hard to read. Because trust me on this, you will relate to her. You will know why she shuts down and why she does what she does. And you will want to kick Damien in the shins for his actions. But in the end, everything works out as it should. Thank God.
Laundry: Damien and Nikki have never had a problem in this department. Their laundry chemistry is literally off the charts hot. They use it as a way of communicating when words fail them. They let their bodies and their actions do the talking and that in itself is absolutely beautiful. It helps that Damien is probably the most skilled fictional character in the bedroom - ever.
Depth: As always, I refuse to give away any spoilers here. I want you to go into reading this Stark novel with the same back story that I had. So, please read the previous books first. If you don't, you'll still be able to enjoy Lost With Me, but not to its full potential. Because this book is absolutely incredible. A giant wrench is thrown in the story line and I legit had to set the book down and take a little walk. Because 1) I didn't see it coming and 2) like I said before, it's my worst nightmare come true. What Nikki and Damien go through continually broke my heart. Page after page I was a nervous wreck for them. I didn't know if they could come out of this together, to be honest. And it wasn't until the final chapter that I felt confident things would be alright. So yes, y'all get your happily ever after. But it comes with a lot of nail biting, heart pounding and even a few colorful words. However, they are all worth it. Because Damien and Nikki? Their love story is greater than anything thrown at them.