Monday, November 16, 2015

Release Day Blitz & Review: My Soul to Keep (Soul #1) by Kennedy Ryan

My Soul to Keep

Soul #1


Kennedy Ryan


Nov. 16, 2015

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eARC from author in exchange for a honest review

GR's Summary:

It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold... 


I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music. Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music's brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray. 


I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can't get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything - I will. And once she's mine, I won't let go. 

Lindy's Thoughts:

My Soul to Keep is the first book in the Soul Series by Kennedy Ryan.  I've been reading Ms. Ryan's, The Bennetts Series, and love how she vividly brings her characters to life, and makes it easy to relate to and empathize with them.  I will read anything by Ms. Ryan; so when I heard about this new series I was excited to fall in love with a new set of amazing characters.

The story is told through the dual perspectives of Kai and Rhyson.  Kai's mother recently died from ALS.  She's had the dream to be a star and has pursued her passion and talent for singing and dancing, ever since she was a little girl.  However, when her mother's disease progressed, Kai put her dreams on hold to take care of her.  Now she's in Los Angeles working three jobs, trying to survive, pay off her mother's medical bills, and get noticed.

Rhyson is known for being a piano prodigy.  He is extremely successful and well known.  He sings, writes his own music, and can play a variety of instruments.  He is not interested in a relationship, and only engages in fleeting one night stands when the urge strikes.  However, everything changes for him, when he is playing piano and singing for his uncle's voice students.  Kai (one of his uncle's student's, catches his eye.)  He can tell that the music he played moved her, and touched her very soul.  Kai is a beauty, and Rhyson decides to pursue her.  However, Kai poses quite a challenge for Rhyson when she tells him that they can only be friends.  

Rhyson agrees to friendship, but hopes to eventually win Kai over.  Challenges arise, due to the fact that Kai wants to stand on her own two feet, and not depend on a man.  She has trouble trusting, and to top it off doesn't want to become famous just because she is with Rhyson.  It doesn't help that Rhyson gets jealous easily, and his wanting to protect her comes across as controlling at times.  Is it possible for Kai and Rhyson to have a successful relationship while pursuing their dreams?

I love stories that involve music.  Sometimes stars can be hard to relate to, but Ms. Ryan made Rhyson so very real.  We got to know his many complex layers, troubled childhood, and the essence of who he was.  Kai was dedicated and persevered, no matter what obstacles arose.  She was such an interesting character.  I understood her reservations about having a relationship with Rhyson, and why she had trust issues.  However, I loved his character so much that I felt bad for him, and how she kept resisting the strong connection and physical chemistry that they shared.

This story was a real page-turner filled with authentic and complex characters, surprising plot twists, and life lessons.  The end was a to be continued, and I am dying to continue Kai and Rhyson's story.  These two brought red hot passion, sensuality, and a chemistry that was palpable to each page.

My Rating:

I give, My Soul to Keep, by Kennedy Ryan, 4 Magnetic, Provocative, Passion Filled Stars!  What an excellent beginning to the Soul Series!

If at First You Don't Succeed...

I have been a fan of Ryan’s writing since the Bennett Series. My Soul to Keep does not disappoint. Get ready to fall in love with Rhyson and Kai. From cover to finish we are taken through sweet love and drama that will keep you glued to the pages. Mrs. Ryan knows her way around characters that are sure to capture your heart. This is a read infused with music that I just love. Job well done Ryan! Job well done! I didn’t want to put this read down and when I was away I kept thinking what would happen next with these wonderful characters. I recommend this for anyone that wants to escape for an afternoon of fun and captivating love. This was a highly entertaining read that kidnaps the reader. 

The Story, My Soul to Keep is about a girl trying to make it and a guy who has already made it. From the moment these two meet there is a chemistry in the air that is undeniable. While Kai is trying to mourn the loss of her mother and make her dreams come true, Rhy is pursuing what he knows these two can really be. The setting is mainly in Los Angeles but there are several other cities mentioned throughout. As I mentioned before everyone knows there is something special between Kai and Rhyson but Kai is too afraid to fall for him. There are many moments full of drama and tantalizing tension between these two. What is all too clear is Kai’s determination to make it on her own. Watching their love unfold was a wonderful treat the author really captivates true emotion throughout these pages. 

The Characters, this might be my favorite part of the story. It is told in dual perspectives Rhy and Kai and this is my favorite style because I really get to know the main players. Rhyson is a child prodigy but his life was hard and there were many pressures put on him by his parents. He holds some darkness in his soul that amplifies the recentness he feels towards the people that were supposed to love and protect him. I love his heart though, he is guarded but rightfully so and yet there is a certain gentleness that Kai brings out. He loves fiercely and I doubt he has ever felt for anyone the way he feels for Kai. She brings out a side of him that he has kept locked away since he was young. Kai’s past is full of hurt and abandonment these are the things that drive her towards achieving her goals without help. Mistakes are part of life but one of Kai’s regrets will come back to haunt her. I love her strength although sometimes its unnecessary. The pain of her childhood creates a lot of doubts in her mind and I loved watching Rhy break down each barrier. I hope these two find a way to be together because what they have is special. Regardless of who tries to get in the way I want their HEA. The side characters were all wonderful additions even the downright bee-yotchy ones added another level of intrigue. 

The End, so many things get in the way between Kai and Rhyson its very hard to imagine them surviving it all. Rhyson’s fame brings a lot of attention and undue stress to their situation. Kai’s past forces her to put up a wall around her heart. Just as she learns to let go another mistake or miscommunication threatens what they have. There was a bit of a cliffhanger but nothing dire. Just enough to make the reader hungry for more. I think I’ve got it all figured out so I can’t wait to see if I’m right. This is a series I will be following closely and recommend you do too.

My Rating
4.0 First Sight, Love Igniting, Lust Fulfilling, Pure Connection filled Stars!

Book Teasers:

Book Excerpt:

I shouldn’t have come. All the things I felt and fought, the things I suspected he felt too, he just spewed all over me. And as much as I want to be, I’m not sure I’m ready. I’ll never forget seeing my Mama in bed for days after Daddy left. And even though she got up, I suspect a part of her never left that bed, but just stayed there, waiting. We had to leave the house where she grew up and where I spent my first years, because Daddy left us with nowhere to go. Mama learned to stand on her two feet, and I’ve done the same. I just didn’t count on Rhyson sweeping me off of them. 

“We’re obviously on different pages about this.” I pull my hands free and turn to leave, but he steps in front of me, blocking my grand exit. “Let’s talk later.” 

“Enough talking.” The heat of his body grabs me before his hands do. He traps my chin between two fingers, taking my mouth in a paradox of rough and tender. I want to move. To slide away from his body pressing me into the pool table. But I can’t. Not with his hand caressing my back. Not with his tongue in my mouth. Not with his erection pressing into my stomach. I can’t. I won’t. I have been denying myself this, and I’m so damn hungry. My mouth opens under his, ravenous and wet and hot. His groan vibrates against my lips. 

“Yes. Good God, yes, Pep.” His words slip down my throat. 

I strain up on tiptoes, clawing my fingers into his dark hair, forcing him closer. He lifts me onto the pool table, planting himself between my knees. His fingers skim my bare thigh, working up my leg until he reaches a damp patch of silk. He pushes my panties aside, rubbing his hand into the wet flesh there before sliding one long finger and then another inside of me. I rock into these fingers which have awed millions with their skill. They own me. I’m the instrument in his hands. He’s playing me. Plucking at me. Strumming me. 

He tugs at the wide neck of my sweater until it falls away from my shoulder, slipping his hand in and cupping my naked breast. He brushes his fingers over my nipple, and I lose my mind and every inhibition. My head flops back and I stretch my legs wider, offering him anything he wants.

“Are you kidding me?” His question burns the vulnerable curve of my neck as he drags his lips to my shoulder. “You come here wearing no bra and think I won’t…” 

He abandons the words, his dark, untidy head disappearing under my sweater, and before I have time to regain even millimeters of sanity, my nipple is in his mouth and he’s suckling me. Not gentle. Not soft. My breasts are so small, he almost eats me whole. Every draw, every suck, every bite sends a power surge to my core until my knees hold his hips in a desperate grip, and my nails rake across the flat surface of the pool table behind me. 

His mouth at my breast. His fingers inside me. His clean scent surrounding me. I have nowhere to hide anymore. I am exposed. I want to spread myself wide open for him. That voice that has been telling me I can’t rely on him. I can’t trust him. I can’t need him—that voice is stunned into silence by his thorough possession of my body, by the inferno between my legs, blazing a hole right through my soul and scorching my heart.

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About Kennedy Ryan:

I just can't write about myself in third person for one more bio! I'm a wife, a mom, a writer, an advocate for families living with autism. That's me in a nutshell. Crack the nut, and you'll find a Southern girl gone Southern California who loves pizza and Diet Coke, and wishes she got to watch a lot more television. You can usually catch me up too late, on social media too much, or FINALLY putting a dent in my ever-growing To Be Read list!

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