“…one of the most engaging and well-written romance books I have read…It’s like nothing you’ve read before. It touches the issues no one talks about in our community. And it’s a MUST-READ.”
—LJ Shen, Amazon Bestselling Author
GRIP, Kennedy Ryan’s sexy, emotional Amazon Bestseller,
is available now for only 99¢!
Scroll all the way down for an excerpt and to enter the $25 Gift Card Giveaway!
Grip by Kennedy Ryan, hands down, deserves all the crowns, every single one available. Bristol and Grip’s story is raw, heartbreaking, and beautiful. But it is more than a romance that will get affect your soul, it is story that reflects the social issues that plague society today, making this book exponentially more powerful and relevant than the average romance novel.
Grip is still the man readers fell in love with in Flow, incredibly passionate about music, its ability to change the world, and Bristol. Readers watch him try to win Bristol back, to show her how he feels, and to get her to admit her feelings for him. As with all people, he has a breaking point, and when he reaches it, when he chooses another path, he shattered my heart right along with Bristol’s. Even with the heartbreak inflicted by his choices, readers cannot fault Grip. He has been pushed there, he has been hurt, and he is trying to keep his own heart from completely shattering. Grip, however, doesn’t stay down for long, and he comes back for the woman he loves with gusto, forcing her to break down her walls. What will really solidify readers’ love of this man is his dedication to their relationship. With the numerous social issues that plague their relationship, he stands firm beside her, reinforcing the idea that you love someone for who they are not the color of their skin, their social status, etc, but who they are as a person. Grip’s character is so complex, deep, socially conscious, passionate, protective, just everything a reader wants in a hero.
Bristol will break readers. They will want to scream at her, beat her, and throttle her, because they see what she is doing. They know the outcome of her choices, and, just like Grip, it shatters them. Readers, although so angry with her, feel nothing but compassion for this emotionally damaged woman. Knowing her background and her relationship with her family makes the reader fully understand the choices she makes, but it doesn’t make the pain hurt any less. It makes readers want her to wake up and see what she is doing, to see the irrevocable damage she could be causing. When she finally realizes what her actions have created, she is at a loss for the destruction she caused, and although she could be angry and lash out, she accepts responsibility for her actions. As much as Bristol’s choices destroy readers, they will rejoice when her walls crumble. Seeing her own up to what she feels and what she wants is one of the most rewarding parts of the book. What I love most about her though is that what she once thought was her weakness, her open heart and willingness to sacrifice everything, she finally recognizes as her strength, as the one thing that makes her perfectly suited for Grip and the many social issues that will weigh on their relationship. In addition to that, Bristol is the epitome of how society should be in regards to social issues. She doesn’t hide behind her ignorance. She embraces it, asks Grip to call her out on it, and wants to understand and be better. She doesn’t use her ignorance as an excuse, but educates herself in order to be a better person for not only herself but also Grip.
From the opening pages of this book, readers will feel that pain and anguish Bristol and Grip endure as their relationship is in a constant state of uncertainty. It is clear to the reader that they both still love each other, but there is so much that has happened between Flow, the prequel to Grip, and the beginning of this book that prevent them
from reconnecting. Bristol’s familial relationships, particularly with her mother, and certain revelations pertaining to her family have forced her to raise her walls. She fears that her open heart, her endless capacity to sacrifice for the people she loves makes her weak, makes her easy to destroy. Grip is on the brink of success with the release of his debut album, and while he has endlessly pursued Bristol in hopes of winning her back, his determination and belief in them as anything more than friends is dwindling. Neither can truly hide their feelings for the other, and every single scene with them together is charged with emotion, feelings so powerful that I felt my heartbreak several times throughout the novel. Each decision they make, while painful to witness, is completely understandable. They are hurt and broken and struggling to find their way back to each other, but their journey is so much more than this. It is about breaking down walls, facing their world as couple, refusing to yield to societal and familial expectations, and supporting and sacrificing for each other. Their relationship becomes one to emulate, and their journey while painful is ultimately rewarding.
More than the characters and the plot, which I am absolutely in love with, this novel is filled with poignant social commentary, and not at all in a preachy way. The many social issues she addresses in the novel, lack of understanding of social issues between both races, lack of acceptance over interracial relationships, lack of social justice for African Americans, as well as the many issues facing inner city kids, are all presented to the reader. Just like Grip does in Flow, Ms. Kennedy offers up these ideas to readers and allows them to wrestle with the concepts, whether previously known or not, to draw their own conclusions. More than anything, though, Kennedy Ryan expresses the idea of tolerance, of acceptance, of trying to understand each other versus reaching for hate and clinging to preconceived notions of each other. And for this reason, Flow and Grip will be novels with staying power.
These two books are going down as my favorite reads of 2017. That is right, the number one spot! Ms. Ryan has woven together a beautifully raw examination of the plights of society while delivering one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve ever read. This book, these characters, the author’s words have burrowed into my soul, and I feel as though I have been altered by being immersed in this world, which is not just a sign of a great romance but fantastic literature!
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
FLOW 5 CROWN Review