Hold Me

(A Stark Ever After Novella)

by J. Kenner

My life with Damien has never been fuller. Every day is a miracle, and every night I lose myself in the oasis of his arms.

But there are new challenges, too. Our families. Our careers. And new responsibilities that test us with unrelenting, unexpected trials.

I know we will survive—we have to. Because I cannot live without Damien by my side. But sometimes the darkness seems overwhelming, and I am terrified that the day will come when Damien cannot bring the light. And I will have to find the strength inside myself to find my way back into his arms.

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An Exclusive Interview With J. Kenner:

~ with Jillian Stein of Read Love Blog

I loved this peek into Nikki and Damien’s life. It deals with a pretty rough spot for Nikki and I love that you showed that side of her. Why did you choose to write this particular slice of their life?

A couple of reasons. First, it made sense, because Hold Me comes on the heels of Anchor Me, which ends with, ah, um, stuff that happens a few months before Hold Me starts (she says, coyly avoiding spoilers), and I knew readers would want to see these moments in their lives.

But more than that, I wanted to show the challenges Nikki—and all women—face juggling working and being a mom!

I’m always curious about character names. How did you choose Nikki and Damien’s daughter’s names?

Oh, good question! Sometimes I don’t choose the names, they choose for me. But in this case, there are reasons:

For Lara Ashley Stark, the Lara is a name I saw when I was looking at Chinese adoption websites to refresh my memory as to the process for adopting (it’s been 10 years for me!) and to make sure I knew the details of how Chinese adoptions have changed since my daughter came home. I saw a little girl’s picture with the name Lara, and it grabbed me!

Her middle name, Ashley, is the first name of Nikki’s sister, who died before the series begins.

Their youngest daughter, Anne, is also named after Ashley (Anne was her middle name).

Mother’s Day was just this past weekend and I‘m dying to know what you think Damien had planned for Nikki!

Pampering. And sex. And more pampering.

And then they’d get out of bed and start the day with the kids …

Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing with your time?

Do I have extra time? (Just kidding! Sort of!)

Seriously, I have tons of things I love to do. I’m especially fond of traveling, though lately I’ve been traveling so much that lazing about the house with the family is very, very, very appealing! I love SCUBA diving, though I have precious little time for it. Bicycling. Working in my yard (I’m a terrible gardener, but it’s fun), exploring small towns on day trips, playing board games with my family, trying cool restaurants, and (biggies) reading and watching movies and binging TV shows!

Can you give us an idea as to what you’re working on now?

Hehehehe. Well, at this exact moment, I might be doing final tweaks on a book that might be a surprise that might be coming soon. Like really soon. Like OMG soon.

And in addition to that, I’m working on some cool promo (can’t wait to show the book trailer!) for Wicked Grind, a book that is set in the world of Stark International (yes, there is a Damien cameo!) and features Wyatt Royce, who Stark fans have met! But the thing I’m most excited about is that it’s a true standalone. Readers completely unfamiliar to the Stark world can jump right in!


Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

Visit J. Kenner’s website and follow her on: