~USA TODAY BESTSELLER~ Abducted at eighteen. Held captive for 15 months. It reads like one of those headlines. And yes, I did it. I stole her. Nora, with her long dark hair and silky skin. She’s my weakness, my obsession. I’m not a good man. I never pretended to be one. She can love me, but she can’t change me. I can, however, change her. My name is Julian Esguerra, and Nora is mine to keep. ***Keep Me is the sequel to Twist Me, told from Nora & Julian’s POV.***
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I was one of the fans who bought the 2nd book immediately when it was released. I didn't think I would get the audiobook, but I'm sure glad I did. It was like the difference of watching a film in black & white with no sound, to watching a vivid blue ray on an HD television. Seriously!!! Roberto Scarlato was freaken amazing! He brought warmth and a soft side to Julian, plus add the sexy. OMG, his voice is gorgeous & he did a wonderful job. Now, Shirl Rae, I can't say enough about her narration. She is amazing! She is one of my favorite narrators. These narrators brought this gripping, visceral, dark story to life.
Julian and Nora's story has fully captivated me. Friends have described this book as "moderately dark" and I think that is why I was taken aback by this story, because when the horror of how Julian had ensnared Nora is pulled away, well, at the heart of it, they both want each other. This love story is pretty intense, and I think, "moderately dark" is just about all I can handle (I'm a light weight when it comes to dark romances, I suppose).
This book takes place where "Twist Me" has left off. It has wonderful twists and turns, and very shocking situations that I was NOT expecting…..CRAZY SHOCKING, but the best part of this book was all of the "Julian and Nora" time. Their relationship is still visceral, fire-invoking, and far from traditional. Julian continues with his pain/pleasure sex with Nora. And, there were times I just wanted Nora to give him a smack down for being a psycho with her. (Yet, that is all a part of this story and Julian's progressive development as a character.) In terms of loving-making, he is an outrageously unpredictable lover in the bedroom. At times, he's sadistic and too much, other times he's a sweet, sensual lover. The bottom line is that Nora is lost to him, and Julian can't get enough of her.
They have some issues to resolve with the inequality of their relationship, and I like how Nora did develop more strength in dealing with Julian. I loved how Nora became stronger, as a person, and her level of bravery astounded me toward the end. OMG, she was fierce & badass!!! That fierceness that resided within Nora is what made her a fit partner for Julian-- like a missing puzzle piece. Of course, she still deals with inner conflict about loving a man like Julian, but it's evident, especially at the end of this book, that she adores that man.
On that note, in terms of Julian's feelings for Nora, you can see that his need and obsession for Nora is something that he is processing continually, and trying to improve. I love that Julian is faithful to Nora and his need/love for her is singular. He still struggles to categorize his feelings as "love" since he is not a good man. In fact, Julian can be a monster. So, getting into that......How to describe what kind of man Julian is--Well, what is the level that comes above an "alpha male?"--Because Julian is in a total different pond when it comes to alpha males. In fact, he's a friggen shark in the ocean when it comes to defining his power, strength and dominance. Julian is an independent arms dealer, creator and manufacturer who has both good and bad relationships with nations in the world, and an enemy in Al-quadar (a terrorist network) that proves to be his only challenge, but a close to deadly one. In that respect, if you have hated Julian along the way, well you might feel his outcome was a just consequence for the type of life he lives, but let me say that I was shocked!! I won't say more because that would give a bit away!!!
I will be waiting very impatiently for the release of the final installment. I did love the alternating POV's of both Nora and Julian and I hope the next book is the same.
Anna Zaires did an incredible job with this installment, and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for Julian and Nora.