Series: Flow #1
on March 2nd, 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Resisting an irresistible force wears you down and turns you out.
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
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Flow and Grip completely blew me away. It’s been days since I finished this beautiful, beautiful story, and I haven’t been able to pick up a book and enjoy it. I’m still reeling in my seat at how beautifully written was this book! This lyrical prose is brutally honest, and everything was painted so vividly and real; it was inevitable I fell in love with it. Definitely a top read this year. I’m 100% sure Bristol and Grip’s story will stay in my brain and heart for a long time.
Eight years has passed since Grip and Bristol first met, and a lot of things have changed. Bristol flew back to Los Angeles after she finished her business degree to manage her twin brother Rhyson’s musical career. His career booms, and they start Prodigy, their record label, together. In Prodigy, Bristol manages talents including Grip, who’s as passionate to his music as ever. Things didn’t end well with them in Flow, but Grip is still hoping to win her heart. Bristol is doing everything in her power to resist Grip, but eight years is a long time. A girl could only take so much until she gives in.
This book is full of complex characters who are likable and relatable. We have Grip who is loyal, hardworking, and passionate. He puts 101% effort into everything he does, including wooing Bristol, and gah. I love him for it! We also have Bristol who is just as loyal, hardworking, and passionate as Grip. She gives so much to her loved ones even though she barely got enough from them. She persisted to be where she is, and will fight for the most important things in her life.
Both MCs have made decisions that I didn’t agree with, but as you can see, my five stars stay. I don’t condone their actions, and I would have done things differently, but I could see where they were coming from.
The narrative is just… I have no words. It reminds me of Olympic skaters gliding effortlessly across the ice. You watch them skate and perform complicated spins and jumps, and it looks easy and just effortless. That’s how it felt reading this book. Mix the poetry and romance with the hard truth, and you have Grip. It’s longer than some of the books I’ve read, but time breezed by. I went on page after page without stopping once.
I am in love with the lyrics of the two songs/poems in this book, Bruise and Top of the World. I keep going back to these two songs and reading them over and over again. They’re both poignant stories of Grip, his feelings for Bristol, and what he’s been through when he was a child.
The world could learn from Bristol and Grip and how they talk about the issues in life. It was my favorite part about them. They could have different beliefs or perceptions, but they would listen when the other speaks. Really listen. They’re open to new ideas, criticism, and admitting their ignorance and doing something about it. It would be wonderful if we could be more like them.
Grip is so much more than a love story between Grip and Bristol. It shows the love of a mother to a son, a brother to a sister, a friend to a friend. It’s a dialogue of prejudices and the injustices people of color experience in their day-to-day life. A story of families, race, and gender. It is a book that makes you think. A book that changes you.
Grip is a full-length contemporary romance told in alternating POVs. It is sweet, wonderful, and eye-opening. The story is full of love, sexual tension, an intense slow-burn, and talks about the relevant social issues in the modern age. Recommended to readers age 18 and above due to strong language and explicit sexual content.
*A bit of warning since I know some are particular about this: the MCs engage in sexual encounters with other people when they weren’t together.
Grip leans into me, pushing back my hair and rolling his still-icy beer bottle over my neck. I swallow, but don’t dare look at him, hoping he’ll drop it, but he doesn’t.
“When you grow up on the streets, you don’t just develop a sixth sense.” He captures a lock of my hair and tests it between his fingers. “You have six, seven, eight, nine of ’em, because those instincts could be the difference between death or life. My mom and Jade have so many senses they almost know what you’re thinking before you think it. And even though I’ve never told her, Jade only had to be in the room with us for a hot minute to know I want you.”
I clench my eyes closed and pull in a stuttering breath, trapping my bottom lip between my teeth.
“Don’t do this, Grip.”
“Jade’s right,” he continues as if I hadn’t spoken, hadn’t asked him to stop. “My mom would flip if I brought a white girl home. If I brought you home. Maybe it is bigoted and ancient, but that’s just her. You know better than most that we don’t get to choose our family, but we still gotta love them.”
I don’t respond to that. He knows how contentious things have been between my brother and my parents. Beyond the headlines everyone else has seen, he knows how hard I’ve worked to reconcile them. I moved to LA to help Rhyson with his career, yes, but also to bridge the country-wide chasm between the two factions of my family.
“Like you, I’d do anything for my family.” He comes in an inch closer, caressing under my chin and tilting it up with his index finger. “But if you’d ever give me a shot, I wouldn’t give a fuck what anyone thought. I’d take you home to my mama.”
I’m a little too high and a lot too horny for this conversation, for the stone-hard thigh pressing against me, for the heat coming off his body and smothering my resistance. I try to sit up, hoping it will clear my head so I can make my escape, but his hand presses gently into my chest, just above the swell of my breasts, compelling me back into the cushion. His lips hover over mine, and I will him to kiss me because I’ll make the first move if he doesn’t. After years of not moving, I have no idea how I’ll explain that once the smoke clears.
Sometimes at night after the chaos dies, I think about our first kiss at the top of a Ferris wheel. Just like then, his lips start soft, brushing mine like wings in sweet sweeps, coaxing me open and delving into me. Sampling me, he groans into my mouth and chases my tongue. The rough palm of his hand cups my face, angling me so he can dive deeper. He doesn’t come up for air, but keeps kissing me so deeply I can’t breathe. He tastes so good, I’ll choose him over air as long as I can. Why is it never like this with anyone else? I want it to be so bad, but it never is.
He releases my lips to scatter kisses down my neck. My back arches, and my nipples go tight. He knows that’s my spot. After all this time, he still knows. My neck is so incredibly sensitive, a gateway to the rest of my body.
“You taste exactly the same.” His words come on a labored breath in my ear. “Do you know how long it’s been since I kissed you?”
“Eight years.” He shakes his head, eyes riveting mine in light lent by candles and the moon. “And you taste exactly the same.”
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