Grip by Kennedy Ryan

❝ I was right to be cautious. This heart of mine that has no borders, no bottom, no ceiling, would be crushed by the wrong man. I could easily end up a shell bent to his will and settling for leftovers and reheated affection, but Grip is not the wrong man. He may be the only man I can trust with a heart like mine.❞

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Title: Grip
Author: Kennedy Ryan
Series: Flow
Publication Date: March 2, 2017
Publisher: Self-published

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads: Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.
I know.
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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It’s not very often that I read a book that leaves me at a loss for words, but Kennedy Ryan’s newest release did just that. It’s been well over a week since I finished Grip and I’m still struggling to find the words to describe how much I love it. It also doesn’t help that this book gave me the worst case of a book hangover so bear with me as I try (try being the operative word here) to find the words to accurately express my love for a book about a guy who fell for a girl long before the beat dropped. 

Eight years ago, Marlon James and Bristol Gray shared a kiss that would ignite a spark and forever change both their lives. But a misunderstanding complicates their relationship, putting a pause on what could’ve been. Now eight years later, the spark is still there, but their relationship is not what it once used to be as Bristol is now Marlon’s manager. Better known as Grip to his fans, Marlon is making a name for himself with sold out concerts and hit singles. But all that success means nothing if he doesn’t have the one thing he wants most and it’s only a matter of time until Bristol gives into her own desires, letting that spark that ignited so many years ago finally become a flame.

Right from the beginning, I knew Grip was going to be one of those stories that stayed with me long after I read the last word and that’s because it’s so much more than just your typical romance. Grip is a thought-provoking and insightful story that touches upon a number of social issues that are relevant in today’s society. From racial profiling and Blue Lives Matter, to white privilege, interracial relationships and the importance of family, Kennedy Ryan tackles these issues in such a unique way because she doesn’t just provide us with one perspective, she provides us with both sides of the story. She addresses the prejudices and frustrations that both sides feels to help readers to see that in order to fix these issues, we as a society need to come together instead of letting the hate continue to divide us. It’s raw, it’s realistic and everyone will be able to relate to this story in some way, shape or form. The writing is perfection and I loved the inclusion of both poetry and lyrics. It was such a struggle to detach myself from my eReader because this story literally grips you (pun intended) from the beginning and makes no promises to ever let go. That’s how you know Grip is the real deal!

These characters are everything! Bristol may be a smart, independent and successful woman, but she has her flaws and weakness and they are what make her so hesitant to commit. She is perfectly imperfect and that’s what I loved most about Bristol. Marlon on the other hand is a rising star who has a big heart and wants to make a difference. He’s passionate about his music and helping the kids in his community realize that they too can be successful with a little hard work. The romance in this book is by far one of the most complex romances I’ve ever read. It’s slow-burning at its finest. While I did find myself frustrated at times, there were a number of issues that these two had work out before they could take the next step in their relationship. Outside factors also affected their relationship. Being an interracial couple, not many were accepting at first of their relationship, including their own families. Despite others trying to discount their love, Bristol and Marlon didn’t let it keep them from being together. The chemistry is amazing, explosive and I literally cried all the tears for these two.

Grip hands-down is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year and I’m sure I’ll re-read it a few more times before the year is over. I know that this is supposed to be the conclusion to Marlon and Bristol’s story, but dammit I need more! I want a wedding. I want babies. I just want more of these two together because I’m not ready to let this story go just yet. If you don’t already have this book on your TBR yet, add it. Grip is a romance that everyone should experience at least once, although I guarantee you that once won’t be enough!

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