Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Keep Me by Anna Zaires

It's Release Day for Anna Zaire's Keep Me! This is one book that I have so looked forward to. And I was not disappointed.

If you have not read the first, book Twist Me, then you need to start there. Click on the title for buy links and the blog's book review! You can also read our interview with Anna Zaires.
If you've already read Twist Me and are anxiously awaiting Keep Me, then wait no more...

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.

*For ages 17+ due to sexual content, language, and violence*

Book Review: Keep Me (Twist Me #2) by Anna Zaires

5 Stars
“Love is for those who are noble and selfless, for people who still have some semblance of a heart. That’s not for me. It’s never been me. What I feel for Nora is nothing like the soft, flowery emotion depicted in all the books and movies. It’s deeper, far more visceral than that. I need her with a violence that twists my guts, with a longing that both demolishes and uplifts me. I need her like I need air, and I would do whatever it takes to keep her with me.”  —Julian
Keep Me picks up right where Twist Me left off. If you need a quick refresher, Julian is alive, having barely survived the terrorist’s explosion, but now healed and returned for Nora.

Nora goes with him willingly this time. After all, he might be her kidnapper but he’s hot, emits some kind of animal magnetism, and she’s been miserable without him for four months. Hey, I’d have gone with Julian Esquerra too. ;-)

But the dynamics have changed. Not only does Nora desire to go with Julian, but now the world, or most specifically Julian’s criminal world, knows about Nora, and so some additional precautions must be taken, most of which Nora is not on board with. 

For one, before they reach their new destination together, they make a little pit stop to make things…well…legal. Ah, this is the devilishly delicious part of Julian as he makes things happen and gets his own way. 
“This is exactly what I want, what I need—this deep, twisted connection that exists between us.” –Julian
Nora’s parents are notified this time right off the bat, and Julian certainly makes an impression on them. I found myself smiling at Julian as he eavesdropped via BlueTooth and provided his commentary to the reader. Yes, being in Julian's head this time is quite a treat! 

Nora settles into domestic bliss Julian-style at her new home at the compound in Colombia, resuming her painting, taking on-line college classes, and bonding with her man via martial arts training and afternoons at the shooting range.  And of course, there are plenty of hot and steamy encounters that have nothing to do with the climate or their close proximity to the Amazon rain forest.
 “I feel both empty and exhilarated at the same time, wrung out, yet invigorated by the maelstrom of emotions.” –Nora
Once again, Nora consciously questions her sanity as she embraces her love for the man that was once her kidnapper and still is a violent, illegal arms dealer. Nora must confront darkness and evil again, and this time she must also confront it in herself. In this strange twisted way, they become more like partners, closer to equals, though Julian remains in command.  But told via Nora and Julian’s alternating point of view, we see that Julian too wrestles with feeling he doesn’t believe he has and questions the changes that Nora has unconsciously made to him.

Is Julian capable of love?  Will he recognize it once he has fallen in it? And by falling, will he be unknowingly relinquishing some of the control? As Nora learns more about his past, businesses, and childhood, will it chill her affection for him or endear him to her even more with understanding? 

Meanwhile, there’s still the matter of Al-Quadar, the terrorist group who tried to stranglehold Julian into a weapons deal by kidnapping Nora and murdering Beth in Twist Me.  And when Julian’s business plans go awry, the action shifts from the bedroom to the dark and dirty details of Julian’s dangerous profession.

Who can be trusted? Who will be a captive? Has Julian's plan to keep Nora safe actually made her the perfect bait?

There’s danger; there’s deception; there’s action—both the adventure and sexual kind. There's a bit of role reversal this time, not of the sexual kind. (Come on, you didn't really think Julian would suddenly become submissive?) We see a brief return of Nora’s friends Jake and Leah as well as meet Julian’s associates Lucas and Peter, who make interesting supporting characters.

As with Twist Me, there isn’t a cliffhanger, but the story hints at what could be to come in their next adventure or stage of lives.  I know I closed the last page itching for more of Julian and Nora’s intense, insanely hot, and twisted love affair, and in 2015 we’ll get another dose with a third book, Hold Me!


Stay tuned.

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Anna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works.

After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics, Anna spent eight years on Wall Street analyzing stocks and writing research reports. In 2013, she became a full-time author, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing romance novels.

Dima Zales is the love of her life and a huge inspiration in all aspects of her writing. Every book Anna writes is a product of their unique collaborative process.

In addition to reading and writing, Anna enjoys drinking tea (coconut oolong, anyone?), watching addictive TV shows, and discussing book ideas during long walks with her amazing husband.

She loves hearing from her readers, so please don't hesitate to contact her through her website or connect with her on Facebook, where she hangs out way too often. Also, please visit her husband and collaborator, Dima Zales, at www.dimazales.com and check out their fantasy & science fiction books.


  1. Thank you so much! Love your review!!!

    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed the book, and Nora and Julian have become one of my favorite book couples!