#BlogTour “Still” by Kennedy Ryan

“Grip is my ultimate…If I was forced, gun-to-the head, to make one book boyfriend real to be mine, it would be him. No questions asked.”

— Adriana Locke, USA Today Bestselling Author

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STILL, the sexy,emotional final installment of the GRIP series,

is available NOW!


 My musings…

5+ Take All the CROWNS I Have to Give

-DISCLAIMER: I am going to try to articulate how amazing and inspiring STILL is. I will; however, I’m sure, fall short. So, basically, what you need to know is BUY THIS BOOK/SERIES. It will change you. It will inspire you. It will make you yearn for real romance, not the stuff of fiction, but the stuff of real life.

Kennedy Ryan begins her book with quote from Nina Simone, “An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times.” There is no truer example of this than the Grip series (Flow, Grip, and Still) from Kennedy Ryan. The social concerns she infuses with the romance of Grip and Bristol is evidence that romance can have a real voice in the world of literature, that it can speak of social issues that need to be fixed and inspire people not only to find real love that survives the trials and tribulations of life but also to seek change through understanding and acceptance at the hands of love.

It is always scary for readers and authors, I’m assuming the author part, to do a sequel, especially when it is a book they didn’t really plan on writing. Readers fall in love with these characters and their stories, and inevitably, a new story will bring up conflicts and issues because every story needs a conflict. We don’t want our beloved characters tarnished or ruined in our ways, and I, personally couldn’t have been any happier with not only her development of Grip and Bristol, individually and as a couple but also the whole host of secondary characters, new and old ones alike.

Grip is a special character, probably my favorite hero EVER. I know that is a crazy claim, considering I’ve read almost read 300 romances in 2017 alone. It is, however, completely true. He is the one hero who I love completely, not one aspect of his character is a turn off. His love and devotion to Bristol is unparalleled, especially in this novel, and he loves her in a way that we all want to be loved by a person. He accepts her fully, never trying to change her or push her for something she doesn’t want. Grip also exudes passion in all parts of his life: his love for Bristol, his work for change with Iz, and his love music. What really pushes him over the top in STILL, though, is the end and how he chooses to handle every aspect of their awful and unimaginable ordeal. After STILL, I respect this man more than I ever did, and I can say with absolute conviction that he is the type of person I not only want, but he is the type of person) I dream of for my daughters one day.

Bristol has been one of my favorite heroines from the beginning of this series. The way Kennedy Ryan was able to suffuse this vulnerable and broken girl with this fierce warrior of a woman astounded me. The dichotomy of her character gave her a richness that is often lacking in heroines. Throughout STILL, though, readers get more of everything they love about her. She is still vulnerable and insecure at times, but these emotions are fleeting, and the confident strong woman who stands beside Grip appears quickly. In these moments, we get to see her love and passion for Grip, personally and professionally. With this novel, particularly, readers will absolutely connect with this her. Her struggles, the strife, the unimaginable decisions she faces all serve to connect readers to her in a way I have, personally, never felt connected to a heroine. My heart broke for her and yearned for Grip and her to come together to make it better, and while they do, her courage and and fortitude and her unselfish choices make her among my top heroines of 2017.

STILL has it all! The romance between Grip and Bristol is inspiring, because it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. They fight and let their insecurities creep in, but they also love without limits. They chase their dreams together, supporting and sacrificing for one another. They are honest and intimate, not just in the bedroom, but with their words and feelings. They are the epitome of what a relationship should be, and while this would be enough for any romance reader, Kennedy Ryan gives us more. She, through Grip and Bristol, poses ethical and moral questions to readers, making them ponder their positions on societal issues plaguing our world, the ones we see play out on social media and the news. Through her words, we get to see a better way for everyone, catapulting STILL and the whole series into a must read piece of literature. With the addition of STILL to the series, Kennedy Ryan adds a new aspect to the story, which for spoiler reasons, I will not share. But she, once again, examines ideas and choices that aren’t so clear cut, ones that live in the grey area. As always, her characters talk about all options and stand up to others for their convictions and choices, even when it threatens to break them. Like all people who are in love like Grip and Bristol, these unimaginable issue only makes them stronger, even if it seems to tear them down at first. And that ending that Kennedy Ryan gives readers encapsulates every single thing I love about this series and this couple, showing them living and loving each other fully and wholly, still willing to tackle any and all obstacles life throws their way. Their whole journey is inspiring and beautiful.

So ask me in a hundred years if the GRIP series is a must read, a foundational piece of romance that speaks volumes and should be read worldwide, and my answer will always be the same. Always, evermore, even after. STILL.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.


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Synopsis:

I’ll be there.

Through thick and thin.

Ride or die.

You can count on me.

The promises people make. The vows we take.

Assumptions of the heart.

Emotion tells us how we feel, but life…life has a way of plunging us in boiling water, burning away our illusions, testing our faith, trying our convictions.

Love floating is a butterfly, but love tested is an anchor.

For Grip and Bristol,

Love started at the top of the world

On a Ferris wheel under the stars

But when that love is tested, will they fly or fall?

Add to Goodreads

Get your copy of Still today!

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US ♦ Amazon UK


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Excerpt

“Mmmmm, that looks good.”

The comment grabs my attention, and I find myself smiling for the first time since I left Bristol. As she walks toward me, the approaching sunset paints the roof in shadows, but I see her clearly. Dark hair, burnished in places, falls around her shoulders. She has already discarded the dress she wore at lunch today in favor of a T-shirt and nothing else; it’s the one I just tossed into the hamper.

She tugs at my HABITUAL LINE STEPPER T-shirt, the hem landing at the top of her thighs. Where the T-shirt stops, my eyes keep going, past the lean muscles of her legs and the cut of her calves, the delicate bones of her ankles and to her bare feet. I love this girl, head to toe. Beyond this gorgeous packaging, it’s everything beneath that makes me beyond grateful she’s mine. The loyalty, the bottomless pit that is her heart, her sense of humor. The toughest girl I know is also the most tender, and I’m so honored I get to see both sides, all her sides.

“You out of clean clothes?” I nod to my T-shirt. “You gotta wear my dirty stuff now?”

An impish smile tugs at her bare lips. She’s washed away her makeup, and with it, all the sophistication she wraps around herself for her job. Up on this roof in my T-shirt, she’s just my girl. I love her in every iteration, but this is the one only I get to see, so it’s probably my favorite.

“I have clean clothes.” She steps close enough for me to smell her scent and mine mingling in the fabric. “I like the way this shirt smells.”

I drop a look over her, my eyes resting on the curves of her breasts in the soft cotton, where her nipples have gone taut under my stare.

“How does the shirt smell?” I ask, my voice as smoky as the steaks I should be paying attention to.

“Like you.” She leans forward until her breasts press into my chest. “It smells like you.”

My hands are twitching to touch her, and I finally surrender, slipping under the shirt to grasp her waist, pulling her up the few inches until our lips meet. I’ve been thinking about these steaks all day, and before Bristol arrived, I thought I was starving—but this, what I feel having her in my arms after hours apart, this is starving. It starts in my balls and tunnels up through my chest, infiltrates my heart, and presses its way to my mouth, which is open and devouring in a lips-searching, tongues-dueling kiss. I grip her by the ass, grinding our bodies together until the texture of her skin and mine, the scents of her skin and mine meld into this one panting, voracious thing that never seems to get enough.

“You better not burn my steak,” Bristol pants in between kisses.

I angle my head to send my tongue deeper into her mouth, holding her still, teasing her until she’s straining up, open and begging when I pull back.

“Grip.” My name is a whimpering complaint. She cups my neck and tugs my head back down.

“Oh, no.” I resist, laugh, and turn to the grill. “You were so concerned about me burning these steaks, Ms. Medium Rare.”

“I am.” She slides her arms around me from behind and I feel a sweet sting, her teeth gently biting my shoulder through my T-shirt. I love it when she bites me, but I’m not giving her that satisfaction yet. “But that doesn’t mean you get to stop kissing me. You have to multitask.”

One slim hand slides over my abs and past my belt to cup me through my jeans.

Damn. Not sure how long I can keep up this charade that I don’t want to screw her into the wall on the roof where anyone with half a telescope could see.

“Wow,” I say, keeping my tone unaffected, though she’s gotta feel me getting longer and harder in her hand. “Somebody’s horny as hell.”

She makes a sound that’s half outraged laughter, half indignant grunt before stepping around to stand in front of me by the grill.

“I will not be slut-shamed by my own boyfriend.” Amusement lights her eyes, turning them to quicksilver.

“Shamed?” I put down the grilling fork I’m using for the steaks and reach for her again. “No shame in being horny for me, baby. I wanna give you a gold star.”

Her eyes slide down to the erection poking her in the stomach. “Is that what we’re calling it now? Should we name it?”

“Guys who have to name their dicks probably aren’t using ’em right.”

“So I ask again . . . should we name it?”

I cock a brow and press our hips together.

“Are you implying that I don’t know how to use mine? Because that’s not the impression I got this morning when you came so hard you were singing like a bird.”

She tilts her head, her eyes wide and considering. “Did you say like a bird?” A small smile plays around her lips. “What made you say that?”

“I don’t know.” I give a careless shrug. “Why?”

“It’s silly,” she says, rolling her eyes in self-derision. “I was thinking today when I laughed it sounded like . . .”

Bristol blushes about once every Halley’s Comet, so the color washing across her cheeks makes me wonder.

“What?” I probe. “Your laugh sounded like what?”

“Like a happy bird,” she mumbles, peering up at me like I’m going to laugh in her face.

Which I do.

“Stop laughing at me.” She narrows her eyes in mock warning.

“Right.” I dip my head to catch her eyes and tease her. “Because when you tell me you laugh like a happy bird I’m just supposed let you get away with that.”

“I’m not telling you things anymore.” She narrows her eyes and folds her arms over her chest.

“Yeah, right. I’m your best friend.” I pull her back into me. “You’ll tell me everything like you always do.”

“You are, you know.” Her voice softens. “My best friend, I mean.”

When she looks at me like this, her eyes stripped of every defense, no guard in sight, completely honest and open and vulnerable, I feel slightly invincible. It’s a trick of the heart, I know, but I can’t help but think that as long as she looks at me like this, there isn’t anything I couldn’t survive, that our love is the stuff of legends, rolled in Teflon, disaster-proof. I’m as fanciful as Bristol, my laughing bird.

“You’re mine, too,” I echo her sentiment. “My best friend.”

“I won’t tell Rhyson,” she promises with a grin.

“I’m pretty sure he spits the same line to Kai.” I keep a straight face. “We have to say that shit to get laid.”

“I hate you.”

“Orrrrrrrrr do you love me and want to blow me after dinner?” I shrug and lift my hands, my palms up. “Just saying. Listen to your heart, Bristol. Listen to your heart.”

“I’m listening to my belly right now, smartass, and it’s growling. Feed me.”

“Like my mama used to say, ain’t no freeloaders in this house. What’ll you give me for feeding you?”

“Um . . .”

“I do have a suggestion, if you’re searching.”

“Let me guess—you have a ‘Will fuck for food’ sign up here somewhere?”

“I used bubble letters.” I laugh and give her ass a light smack. “You can barter that booty.”

It’s so damn easy with Bristol—our banter, the chemistry, the perfect rhythm of our conversation. It was one of the first things I noticed when we met all those years ago. We didn’t read each other’s minds or finish each other’s sentences. It wasn’t cosmic, but it was a connection that seized me by the brain and grabbed me by the balls. She was as smart as she was sexy, as curious as she was forthcoming. There were years in between when we made things complicated, when things were strained, but now with our hearts settled on each other for good, it’s simple.

This.

Her.

Us.


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http://bit.ly/StillLIVEGive


Start the Series FREE Today!

FLOW, the FREE prequel, MUST BE READ before GRIP!

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(Not until you’re done!)


About Kennedy:

Kennedy Ryan.jpgKennedy Ryan is a Southern girl gone Southern California. A Top 100 Amazon Bestseller, Kennedy writes romance about remarkable women who find a way to thrive even in tough times, the love they find, and the men who cherish them.

She is a wife to her lifetime lover and mother to an extraordinary son. She has always leveraged her journalism background to write for charity and non-profit organizations, but enjoys writing to raise Autism awareness most. A contributor for Modern Mom Magazine, Kennedy’s writings have appeared in Chicken Soup for the SoulUSA Today and many othersThe founder and executive director of a foundation serving Georgia families living with Autism, Kennedy has appeared on Headline NewsMontel WilliamsNPR and other outlets as a voice for families living with autism.

Connect with Kennedy:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KennedyRyanAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kennedyrwrites

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kennedyryan1/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KennedyRyanAuthor

YouTube: http://bit.ly/2gsAGkp

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2x0qCtC

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kennedy-ryan

Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/681604768593989/

http://kennedyryanwrites.com


Happy reading,

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