Series Review: Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:


Synopsis for Grip (from 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.


Author: Kennedy Ryan
Series: Grip

Connected to the Soul Series.

# of Books: 2 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Music
Heat Rating: Smokin’
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: March 2017 – September 2017
Source & Format: Own–eBook (#0.5-#1) | Public Library–Audiobook (#2)


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I think Grip (#1) was the first Kennedy Ryan book that I picked up (it was an Amazon freebie one time) but not the first one I read. Instead, I read the Hoops Series — which is a very emotionally charged — but I think that got me ready for Kennedy’s realistic stories and complex characters. Fun Fact: the characters in this series do make a brief cameo in the 3rd book in the Hoops Series.

When to Read Flow #0.5:

I highly, highly recommend that you read Flow (#0.5) before you read Grip (#1). It does a much better job of highlighting the connection between Bristol and Grip and truly makes you fall in the with them. I don’t think I would have been as invested in their relationship in story if it wasn’t for this prequel novella.

The Plot:

One of the best aspects of Kennedy Ryan’s stories is her ability to have hard conversations and explore tough, polarizing topics in her books. She isn’t afraid to tackle race, abuse, eating disorders and women’s rights. And I appreciate that she shows both sides or all angles. It brings a depth and realism to her stories that I haven’t really seen in other contemporary romances. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever not cried reading one of her stories.

However, some parts of this series were a little too melodramatic for me. I think it’s mainly because the pacing seemed to be a little off throughout the series. The first half slowly builds and explores the characters and then it makes things seem rushed when the dramatic plots reach their climax and shift to the main focus of the story.

The Characters:

I liked Bristol’s character growth a lot. The woman we meet in Flow (#0.5) is not the same one in Still (#2). She’s a complex character, and often stubborn. I appreciate that she has flaws and doesn’t always have the right always get things right. But she tries and she learns.

Grip is also very layered. Torn between his love of his family, community and for Bristol – it was interesting to see him navigate that all. He’s intelligent and knows his way with words. I totally understood why Bristol couldn’t resist his pull all those years.

The Romance:

I adored these two together. I think they are the perfect example of “love is patient” and what it means when you find your “ride or die”. As they learn to be a couple with all the societal pressures on them, it truly strengthen and highlights their connection. However, I really don’t think that Grip (#1) shows it all that well. You really need the context of Flow (#0.5) to help you understand why these two need to be together.

My Audiobook Experience (Still #2):

I didn’t realize my library had the audiobook versions until I went to look for a copy of Still (#2). I wish I read the whole series as an audiobook because it was a great listen. When a book series is this emotionally charged, listening to someone emote the words you would otherwise reads highlights the characters’ struggles and feelings.

Series Rating: 4/5

[Flow 4/5] | Grip 4/5 | Still 3/5


A great contemporary romance series about finding your soul mate and navigating all the obstacles that can get in your way.

Read if You Like: interracial romances, music
Avoid if You: dislike contemporary romance

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