Book Review: My Soul to Keep

My Soul to Keep (Soul #1)
by Kennedy Ryan

It seems the things worth keeping are often the hardest to hold...


I had two things in life that mattered. My mother and my music.
Mama was taken from me too soon, and now music is all I have left. It’s the thing that’s pushed me right out of backwoods Georgia into Los Angeles, where the line between fantasy and reality shimmers and blurs. I’m finally making my way, making my mark. I can’t afford to fall for one of music's brightest stars. Not now. Music is all I have left, and I’m holding on tight with both hands. I won’t let go, not even for Rhyson Gray.


I had one thing in my life that mattered – music. The only constant, it’s taken me to heights most people only dream about; a gift dropped in my lap at birth. I thought it was enough. I thought it was everything until I met Kai. Now she’s all I think about, like a song I can't get out of my head. If I have to chase her, if I have to give up everything - I will. And once she's mine, I won't let go.

TeriLyn's thoughts: **My Soul to Keep generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**

As a fan of Kennedy Ryan’s previous Bennett series I was really excited to learn she had something new and self-published releasing soon. For me, as an already established fan, she elevated her story-telling game tenfold. 100-fold, if you will. She hit all my favorite romance story buttons creating a unbreakable connection to these characters - so strong I couldn’t stop reading. Friends-to-romance, angst-ridden, music industry culture, independent heroine, eccentric hero – this book has it all and is brilliantly pieced together providing an extraordinary reading experience. To say I’m excited about this book would be an understatement. I hope you’ll all read this new contemporary romance as My Soul to Keep definitely lands on my TOP 5 “Books of 2015” list.

My expectations for this book, well honestly I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I was going to be reading about two music students trying to make it big in the industry. I was so very wrong. And what I actually received from this story completely blew me away. As always, to preserve the plot and allow a reader to really feel and understand these characters for yourself, I give nothing away and instead will try and convey how I felt while reading. The main characters are truly the feature of this story for me, as they should be, however the secondary characters really play well into the overall tone of their lives at the present time. Who Rhyson and Kai are and where they came from is fully represented by the secondary characters – whether they be likable characters or not. 

From the very first, poignantly real, and moving chapter I was hooked on the story of Kai Pearson and Rhyson Gray. Through alternating first person points of view, Kennedy Ryan digs deep into the souls of both characters. She eloquently exposes their deepest vulnerabilities through the up-front, immediate honesty they both share with only each other. The trust and connection they feel from the minute they meet drives their relationship as well their connection to the reader. With a beautifully constructed “slow-build” where they transition to the best of friends while fighting an attraction to each other to the epic romance you feel forthcoming, so many moments between these two stand out in my reading heart as I reflect on the book. Kennedy Ryan moved the plot by being totally main character-centric, the focus constantly on them even as outside forces sweep in to disrupt them. 

I just can’t express enough my love for both Rhyson and Kai. So polarizing their connection to each other, so perfectly structured their “moments” thanks to the great story telling of Ryan. She easily builds up the angst and carefully moves beyond it before arc’ing again. I understood their plights, empathized with their feelings, and thought each of them so pure in their honesty to each other that this nagging feeling of self-destruction kept looming. The results of that are fantastic. Something about the two of them together and as individuals resonated so completely with me throughout the book. Maybe each of their fierce ambition, the way they couldn’t resist each other even though they should, the way they rocked each other’s worlds at first sight or rather, first note. The feral temptation hidden beneath an immediate trust. Maybe the very real, human qualities in them to realize their mistakes and move forward, their honesty and compassion for another. 

Kennedy Ryan wrote a brilliant story. Connecting all the elements of her love story to my reading soul with characters for whom I want to spend more time. Her writing here is crisp, fluid, and cohesively masters the plot and the souls of her characters. Her enticing word choices and the descriptions she uses to drive home their connection and their feelings so vivid easily creating moving pictures in your mind as you read her words. It weaves together so many great romance elements while giving you a story with depth and emotion. I was a Kennedy Ryan fan before, I’m a SUPER fan now. Rhyson Gray and Kai Pearson catapulted My Soul to Keep to my Top 5 list and that’s in no small way thanks to the excellent story telling of Kennedy Ryan. I’m so excited about this book and where this author plans to take us. I’m urging to you to read it!

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Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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