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Guest Blog: J. Kenner, Author of Release Me

By Kat @ ARe on December 18th, 2012

Please welcome guest blogger J. Kenner, here to talk about her newest book! Please comment here to be eligible to win a copy of Release Me!

Sexy Men, Strong Heroines … and the good stuff between the covers…

I’m thrilled to be here at ARe Café as part of the blog tour leading up to the on-sale date of Release Me.

I’ve been working on the next two books in the series, Claim Me and Complete Me, and that’s had me pretty immersed in a smexy, steamy world (I know, my job is so hard, right????)

But here’s the thing:  It’s not the sex or the heat or the intensity of the love scenes that make a book for me.  Even a book that I’ve bought because I know it’s going to be a steamy, bone-melting kind of read.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not about the sex, it’s about the characters.  And what I love are strong characters.  Frankly, I think that the stronger the characters, the smexier the bedroom (or, you know, wherever) scenes.

Strong, however, doesn’t mean perfect.  Strong characters can and should be flawed.

The thing about flawed characters is that they are real.  Single dimensional people don’t exist, and neither should single-dimensional characters.  And multi-layered characters are so much easier for a reader to relate to than a character that feels cardboard.

Nikki, for example is a lot like me.  Like Nikki, I’m goal oriented and tend to go after what I want.   But while I’m strong in a lot of ways, I’m weak in others.  I may not cut like Nikki does, but I battled anorexia in my youth.  I understand her weakness and her fears.  Everyone has fears.  Everyone has secrets.  Everyone has regrets.  And that makes flawed characters relatable.

As a reader, one of my favorite strong-yet-flawed characters is Eve Dallas in J.D. Robb’s In Death series.  (If you haven’t read this series, you are missing out.  Trust me on that.)  She’s almost like a candy—a hard shell on the outside, but sweet meltiness inside that shell.  The other characters, however, have to work to get there.

That’s the kind of character I wanted to bring to life on the page with Nikki and Damien, and I’ve been thrilled by advance reviews show that readers are really getting these two.  They’re seeing Nikki’s strength surrounding a core filled with some truly serious issues.  And as for Damien, he’s so much more than a guy with a ton of money and great cars (and sexy as sin).  He has a soft side—not to mention a soft spot for Nikki—and deep, dark problems of his own.

But they’re both strong enough to recognize their weaknesses and to come together despite them. And when there’s that much tinder ready to spark beneath the surface, you just know that when they get together it’s going to be explosive!  (It is! I promise!)

Strong heroine + sexy hero + flaws beneath the surface = a fabulous time between the covers.  For the characters and for the readers!

How about you?  Do you like flawed characters? Do you understand them? Identify with them? Root for them? Who is your favorite literary character? (Be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway!)


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 atwww.twitter.com/juliekenner

Filed Under: Cafe News


8 Responses to Guest Blog: J. Kenner, Author of Release Me

  1. Profile photo of Sue Webster Sue Webster says:

    Ooh, I love Eve Dallas too – also envious of her diamond pendant! I think she’s at her flawed best when dealing with Bella and suffering make overs by the girls!

  2. Pingback: Beautiful, rich, and a just a tad messed up - Blog Tour for Release Me, Erotic Romance by J. Kenner

  3. Profile photo of julie kenner julie kenner says:

    LOL! Me, too, Sue! And yes, that pendant … Wow.

  4. I truly like to see characters with flaws… it gives more depth into who they are for us to find out between the pages of a book.
    Eve Dallas definitely is one of my favs… knowing her past and seeing what she has done for herself… how she still copes with certain things in her life… great character…
    Thank you for sharing with us today… Happy Holidays!

  5. Profile photo of Dawn Murphy Dawn Murphy says:

    Yeah, Eve is one of my favorite characters, but it’s a fine line to draw. I remember despising the early Anita Blake character, first because she was frankly a bit of an overly perfect prig. Then because of all the internalising she was doing over being such a slut. I like the character a lot better now.

  6. Profile photo of Tess Halim Tess Halim says:

    Hi Julie!

    I hope I’m not too late to comment because I would very much like to read Release Me! I enjoyed Carpe Demon from Julie and I’m a huge fan of FSOG and the Crossfire series, so this is right up my alley! 🙂

    To answer your questions, yes, I love flawed characters! I may not always understand them, but that’s what makes them interesting. I’m curious to find out why they are broken, what happened and I find them more endearing. They tug at your heartstrings and you can’t help but love them, feel for them and want so badly for them to heal and succeed. I’m a huge cheerleader for them and I think everyone deserves a chance no matter what happened in the past. I believe that there is no bad person, they just need someone to love and guide them. They maybe 50 shades of fucked-up-ness, but you just need to search deep down and you’ll find good in them 🙂

    My fav literary character? Woah, you can’t expect me to choose! 😛 That’s like choosing a fav child! Haha! How about I name my top 5 in no particular order? (I don’t want to be accused of favoritism here!) They are:

    – Christian Grey from FSOG series
    – Gideon Cross from Crossfire series
    – Gabriel Owen Emerson from Gabriel’s Inferno/Rapture
    – Ethan Blackstone from The Blackstone Affair series
    – Jesse Ward from This Man series

    Thank you so much for the giveaway and Merry Christmas! Wishing you success on the release of Release Me!


  7. Profile photo of Cathy Vernon Cathy Vernon says:

    I haven’t started J.D. Robb’s In Death series… Yet!
    I prefer characters to have flaws, otherwise I can’t relate to them. I don’t’ need to have or fully understand a character’s flaws in order to relate to them. Who is perfect? A character without flaws would be uninteresting, boring and not realistic.
    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  8. Pingback: #Follow, Author Events | Romance at Random

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