March 6, 2017
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“The story reads like a movie . . powerful and intoxicating … and sinfully sexy. GRIP has everything—dynamic characters, soulful plot, and a lesson at the end that will change the way you look at life. One of my favorite reads this year. Maybe ever. 5 massive, gripping stars from me!” — Adriana Lock, USA Today Bestselling Author
Grip leans into me, pushing back my hair and rolling his still-icy beer bottle over my neck. I swallow, but don’t dare look at him, hoping he’ll drop it, but he doesn’t.
“When you grow up on the streets, you don’t just develop a sixth sense.” He captures a lock of my hair and tests it between his fingers. “You have six, seven, eight, nine of ’em, because those instincts could be the difference between death or life. My mom and Jade have so many senses they almost know what you’re thinking before you think it. And even though I’ve never told her, Jade only had to be in the room with us for a hot minute to know I want you.”
I clench my eyes closed and pull in a stuttering breath, trapping my bottom lip between my teeth.
“Don’t do this, Grip.”
“Jade’s right,” he continues as if I hadn’t spoken, hadn’t asked him to stop. “My mom would flip if I brought a white girl home. If I brought you home. Maybe it is bigoted and ancient, but that’s just her. You know better than most that we don’t get to choose our family, but we still gotta love them.”
I don’t respond to that. He knows how contentious things have been between my brother and my parents. Beyond the headlines everyone else has seen, he knows how hard I’ve worked to reconcile them. I moved to LA to help Rhyson with his career, yes, but also to bridge the country-wide chasm between the two factions of my family.
“Like you, I’d do anything for my family.” He comes in an inch closer, caressing under my chin and tilting it up with his index finger. “But if you’d ever give me a shot, I wouldn’t give a fuck what anyone thought. I’d take you home to my mama.”
I’m a little too high and a lot too horny for this conversation, for the stone-hard thigh pressing against me, for the heat coming off his body and smothering my resistance. I try to sit up, hoping it will clear my head so I can make my escape, but his hand presses gently into my chest, just above the swell of my breasts, compelling me back into the cushion. His lips hover over mine, and I will him to kiss me because I’ll make the first move if he doesn’t. After years of not moving, I have no idea how I’ll explain that once the smoke clears.
Sometimes at night after the chaos dies, I think about our first kiss at the top of a Ferris wheel. Just like then, his lips start soft, brushing mine like wings in sweet sweeps, coaxing me open and delving into me. Sampling me, he groans into my mouth and chases my tongue. The rough palm of his hand cups my face, angling me so he can dive deeper. He doesn’t come up for air, but keeps kissing me so deeply I can’t breathe. He tastes so good, I’ll choose him over air as long as I can. Why is it never like this with anyone else? I want it to be so bad, but it never is.
He releases my lips to scatter kisses down my neck. My back arches, and my nipples go tight. He knows that’s my spot. After all this time, he still knows. My neck is so incredibly sensitive, a gateway to the rest of my body.
“You taste exactly the same.” His words come on a labored breath in my ear. “Do you know how long it’s been since I kissed you?”
“Eight years.” He shakes his head, eyes riveting mine in light lent by candles and the moon. “And you taste exactly the same.”
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There’s a lot to say about Grip. The man and the book. Yes, he’s a fictional character, but he’s the voice of a real man. We learned how Grip and Bristol met in Flow and now we get to see the conclusion to their love story. Kennedy Ryan is a fabulous writer. Her words always suspend time for me. I get so caught up in her prose that I forget where I am and everything in the world fades around me. It’s one of those books I wish I could unread so I could read it again for the first time. Grip was especially consuming for me as I’ve had a thing for him for a while now. He is the greatest secondary character in the Soul series and I always knew he was something special. Now that we know how Grip and Bristol met and how they’ve gotten to this place of him constantly asking her out and flirting and her denying him. For years! We know more about their backgrounds, what they were thinking. That adds a special note to this story. The missing piece to the puzzle. But, eight years hasn’t changed anything. Bristol finally caved in and is now representing Grip, but she hasn’t given in. She put up a wall all those years ago and she can’t even find her way around it. Grip is just so…I’m having a hard time putting into words how I feel about this man. This poet. This gorgeous creature. And not just his physical beauty. His words, his spirit. His soul. He’s waiting for Bristol to admit her feelings but he’s not exactly waiting around. He’s one of the most famous rappers in the industry. Everyone knows his name, his face, his words. But he hasn’t forgotten where’s he’s from. What his mother sacrificed so he could go to a better school, have a better life. Grip and Bristol are friends. They are attracted to each other but Bristol can’t go there. Her fears and insecurity run too deep. Will one kiss remind Bristol to take a chance? Can Grip finally prove to her that they are worth the risk? I can’t even express how much I loved this story. Their love story is epic. Epic. Grip is the perfect hero. Sexy, funny, talented, smart and ready to give all his love. Bristol is fierce, beautiful, smart and will do anything for those she cares about. This isn’t an easy topic. Racism is a hard thing to write and read. But, Kennedy Ryan writes the social and ethnic issues perfectly within this romance. I wish we had a Grip in our music industry today. I believe he could cover a lot of ground getting people to have intelligent discussions and truly try to walk in each other’s shoes. Grip is one of the best books I’ve read in years. I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe, I laughed out loud and got hot and bothered! Kennedy broke my heart and put it back together only to fully heal my broken soul in the end.
“You don’t have me yet.”
“Keep telling yourself that, Bris.”
We splinter into a thousand pieces in her kitchen, becoming more together than we were apart. More than we were alone. With whispered promises and words of love, we exchange hearts.
Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.
I’ve been doing it for years.
I may not have a musical gift of my own, but I’ve got a nose for talent and an eye for the extraordinary.
And Marlon James – Grip to his fans – is nothing short of extraordinary.
Years ago, we strung together a few magical nights, but I keep those memories in a locked drawer and I’ve thrown away the key.
All that’s left is friendship and work.
He’s on the verge of unimaginable fame, all his dreams poised to come true.
I manage his career, but I can’t seem to manage my heart.
It’s wild, reckless, disobedient.
And it remembers all the things I want to forget.
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Flow is the prequel to Grip by the fantastic Kennedy Ryan. If you haven’t read the Soul series, you need to do that now because that’s where I fell in love with Grip. He’s Rhyson’s best friend and I always had a thing for him. Anyway…Flow is the story of Grip and Bristol. We always knew there was something between them. You could feel it and I loved seeing how their relationship started. Grip is a poet. He wants to make music and he’ll do just about anything to make his dream come true. Sweep floors for studio time, anything. He’s tasked with picking up Rhy’s twin sister from the airport for her spring break eight years ago. Little did he know, his life would be changed forever with just one look. The air around them was charged. I could feel it! They fell into an easy friendship in a few hours. Their attraction just simmered in the background as they talked, ate and got to know each other. It was magical. Truly. It was the start of something beautiful with a sinful kiss on the top of the world. But, when Bristol’s insecurities crept in, she ran. She ran from the man who stole her heart. Grip was devastated. My heart broke for them! Thank God, Kennedy didn’t make us wait for the rest of their story. This was a prequel but it packed the punch of a full length novel. I never felt cheated and I loved every second of it!
He stops my heart for a beat with a stretch of white teeth and full lips.
Wow. That’s just not fair.
“I don’t care what color a girl is. I like the color of smart, the shade of funny, and sexy is my favorite hue.”
“Ryan continues her streak of amazingly accessible and authentic romantic fiction. Grip is a bold and unapologetic look at interracial romance and does not shy away from any of the ideals and prejudices that most of us are too polite to acknowledge – head on- amidst one of the sexiest, and most provocative true love romances Ryan has penned to date. Break out the fans folks, Grip is aptly titled and sure to make you need a grip! — Sheena, Smexy Books
In 8 years, Marlon James will be one of the brightest rising stars in the music industry.
Bristol Gray will be his tough, no-nonsense manager.
But when they first meet, she’s a college student finding her way in the world,
and he’s an artist determined to make his way in it.
From completely different worlds,
all the things that should separate them only draw them closer.
It’s a beautiful beginning, but where will the story end?
FLOW is the prequel chronicling the week of magical days and nights
that will haunt Grip & Bristol for years to come.
GRIP is the full-length conclusion of their story available NOW here: http://kennedyryanwrites.com/grip/
About the Author:
Kennedy loves to write about herself in third person. She loves Diet Coke…though she’s always trying to quit. She adores her husband…who she’ll never quit. She loves her son, who is the most special boy on the planet. And she’s devoted to supporting and serving families living with Autism.
And she writes love stories!
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