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***This is not a cliffhanger!***

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.

Make sure you grab FLOW, the FREE prequel first! FLOW is chronicling the week of magical days and nights that will haunt Grip & Bristol for years to come. GRIP is the full-length conclusion of their story.

382 pages, ebook

First published March 2, 2017

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About the author

Kennedy Ryan

57 books22.4k followers

BOOKBUB: bookbub.com/authors/kennedy-ryan



INSTAGRAM: www.instagram.com/kennedyryan1/

KENNEDY RYAN BOOKS - https://www.facebook.com/groups/68160...

I write contemporary romance and women's fiction. I always give my characters their happily ever after, but I love to make them work for it! It's a long road to love, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

I am wife to the love of my life, mom to a special, beautiful son, and a friend to those living with autism through my charitable foundation.

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5 stars
6,397 (51%)
4 stars
4,101 (32%)
3 stars
1,459 (11%)
2 stars
346 (2%)
1 star
187 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,978 reviews
Profile Image for SueBee★bring me an alpha!★.
2,417 reviews14.2k followers
February 23, 2018
FREE Prequel! | AMZ US | AMZ UK |

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️! Grip, book 1 of 2. Grip & Bris fight their connection, delve into their past & face turmoil & prejudice!

“There’s a web that traps us together, silky and fine, tensile and fragile. A sticky mess I’ve never wanted to escape until now.”

Books in the Grip duet should be read in order:
Book 0.5: Flow - FREE!
Book 1: Grip
Book 2: Still

In the FREE Prequel Flow college student and heiress Bristol Gray, Bris met rapper and poet Marlon James aka Grip while visiting her brother. A friendship was forged that blossomed into more only to be crushed by circumstances, omissions and poor timing.

Grip (book 1) picks up eight years later with now rapper Grip on the verge of music super stardom with Bris as his ambitious manager. Alternating between flashbacks and unfolding current events, it details the aftermath of their brief affair and their increasingly strained professional relationship.

One week, etched in their hearts, has inspired poems and lyrics!

Could-have-beens and regrets mar their journey. Not wanting to let go have kept them balanced in an odd in-between. Two kindred spirits from different worlds facing prejudices, jealousy and set-backs, yet the biggest battle will always come from within. The time has come to forgive and forget or accept and move on.

���The trickle of applause swells to the loudest it’s been all night in here, and now, my smile is real. That dream I sketched in the air with Rhyson, suspended above a theatre, to be a voice for my generation, that just happened.”

Nine words to describe Marlon James aka Grip: patient, loyal, honest, reflective, noble, remorseful, possessive, captivating and oh so sweet!

“I won’t be getting over you,” he says softly.”

Nine words to describe Bristol Gray, Bris: Strong, fierce, motivated, strategic, closed off, stubborn, broken, secretive and focused.

“I want you so much it scares me,” I say in a rush before my fear stops me.”

Grip, told from dual POVs, is an against-all-odds love saga. It ends as poetically as it started. I am happy to report that the epilogue will be extended to a full-length novel in book 2, Still, the conclusion of their saga.

Heart-breaking! Suspenseful! Epic!

“You’re everything I wanted before I even knew what I was getting.”

Hero: ★★★★★
Heroine: ★★★★
Plot: ★★★★
Storytelling: ★★★★★
Sexual tension: ★★★★★
Sex scenes: ★★★★★
Story ending: ★★★★
OVERALL RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Angst: | HIGH FOCUS |
Darkness: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Humor: | LOW FOCUS |
Kink: | LOW FOCUS |
Romance: | HIGH FOCUS |
Sex frequency: | MEDIUM FOCUS |
Suspense: | HIGH FOCUS |

FREE Prequel! | AMZ US | AMZ UK |
Profile Image for Christy.
3,917 reviews33k followers
March 22, 2023

“My heart broke loose on the wind.”

Poetic, inspiring, brilliant, and SO ROMANTIC, it’s no wonder Grip will be sitting on my favorites list of 2017. I absolutely loved this book!

Bristol and Grip met eight years ago and connected right away. Everything came together in the one week they spent together (read the prequel, Flow and you’ll see), then it all fell apart. Their entire relationship changed. It’s been complicated ever since. Grip is now Bristol’s client, she’s his manager. He’s also her brother’s best friend. Even though it seems impossible for them to be together, they are always a part of each others lives.

Bristol and Grip both fell for each other the moment they met, but Bristol is terrified to be with Grip that way. She’s terrified to love anyone that much.
“I want you so much it scares me,” I say in a rush before my fear stops me. “The way I feel about you terrifies me.”

Bristol does everything she does to push Grip away, but Grip won’t let her. Their relationship isn’t easy. But their love can never be doubted, even through it all. The love that Bristol and Grip shared was truly inspiring. They loved each other so deep, so hard, it was powerful. I love reading romance books where I can fell that love and connection so deeply.
He hasn’t met a love like mine. My love is Pandora’s Box. Grip snapped my hinges and pried me open. He let this love out. My love has a wild streak. Good luck trying to tame it.

This story was so much more than a romance. It was a story of friendship, of family, and it had deeper, more complex themes. I loved that Bristol and Grip’s story wasn’t the most conventional love story. It made it that much more intriguing. Grip was a poet. He had such a way with words. He’s such a beautiful man. Bristol is stubborn, stressed you out a bit, is vulnerable, but also has so much strength. I loved them both!

Grip is one of those books that gripped me from the start and never let go. Kennedy Ryan’s writing is truly brilliant. I listened to the audio book and the narration was fantastic. This book is so stunning, so memorable, and all around amazing. I loved the way it ended, but I want so much more! I can’t wait to read Still and I’m so glad the wait isn’t too long!
I want to spend the rest of my life feeling this way, like I’m only half alive when she isn’t here. There’s nowhere she could go I wouldn’t chase her.

Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
1,018 reviews2,086 followers
October 17, 2020
4 Stars

Where do I start?

I suppose that, first, I need to make it clear that I loved this book.

PS: This does not end in a cliffhanger but if you don't read the second book.. you're losing out! Big time, cause, while this book was great to establish the couple and the individual leads. The second book is the one that really knocks it out of the park. That's the one you have to devour.

Why does it only get 4 stars? Because it was not perfect. And just so that I can save the best for last, I'm gonna be specific as to why this didn't hit all the right notes.

- It was kinda slow for the first 60%. The couple doesn't get together until that point (but when they do.. oh boy, you wanna stick around for that)
- I was often frustrated with Bristol and how stubbornly she kept refusing Grip over and over while pining for him in secret. I mean, I tried to understand her reasons but I guess I couldn't get on board with her actions because if it was me, you couldn't keep me away from that man. (and what a man .. to say I have a crush on the guy, would be an understatement) So yeah, the fact that for 8 years she managed to ignore him and push him onto others, it was baffling to me. Like, who is this unicorn of a woman?
-Some of the drama with Parker was kind of OTT and generally I felt like the story was a bit melodramatic.

Now that I got all that out of the way, I can tell y'all why I'm so so very obsessed with this story. I got one word that will explain it all: "GRIP"

So yeah, the male lead was ..well, not perfect, but perfect for me,*cough*, Bristol, I meant for Bristol.
The guy was so smart, inquisitive, loyal, loving, cool, talented, I gotta search for some more adjectives cause there's more to describe him. I mean sure, he's also a bit of a w***e but, I mean, he was single and rejected every day by the girl he loved so really I can't fault him for that (I can be bothered by it, but I can't really resent him for it).

Ok, now let me get serious for a second.
This book had so many amazing themes which it explored with such eloquence! I was left thinking about a lot of things in its wake.

To enumerate a few : it explores the topic of racial inequality, police brutality, the hardship of starting and supporting an interracial relationship in the public eye, the struggle of making it in the music business, the politics of shaping public imagine, I can go on and on (some of these themes are only hinted at and are fully explored in the second book - which is why you have to read it)

And also, the poetry! Man, the poetry! The only poetry I loved and kept on my shelves is by Mary Oliver, but right after finishing this duet, I downloaded some Pablo Neruda and Emily Dickinson ebooks. Grip's artistic influence comes from poetry and gahh, I've never been an avid reader of it, here and there I'll read some BUT this book made me discover an appreciation for it and I'm hooked.

My favourite from the book is this one:


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Tell me this wasn't beautiful and deep and thought provoking !

And the scene in which we have Grip reciting it.. so freaking heartbreaking, I bawled my eyes out..

Flow - Review

Still - Review
May 26, 2018
**2 STARS**

I should have never read this damn book. https://wp.me/p7ZSCH-47x

Here's the thing book lovers. . . I don't know how most people will receive my review and I'm sick of being reported for my thoughts and opinions. Because of this, I will not post my review here because the whole thing is pretty messy . Instead, I'm going to leave the link to my review on my blog if you want to read it.

Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,565 reviews1,249 followers
March 27, 2019
I haven't read all of Kennedy Ryan's books, but I have read many, and I've got to say that both FLOW and GRIP were her BEST works to date!!

My review of FLOW (the prequel novella): http://bit.ly/2lIiiGz

I LOVED GRIP!! Lordy, Lordy, I loved that man!!

Grip was everything you could possibly want in a hero: kind, considerate, patient, understanding, sympathetic, intelligent, talented, passionate, protective, possessive, loyal and loving. Not to mention handsome and sexy as hell. He was also Black. Born and raised in Compton, his musical gift took him out of the hood and gave his life purpose.

Bristol was his best friend's twin sister. Eight years ago a connection sparked between them and within a week they were in love. Unfortunately, due to a misunderstanding and a devastating homecoming, they were over before they could even begin. For 8 years Grip has been chasing Bristol and sharing his feelings while for 8 years Bristol has been continuously shutting him down. Bristol's fear of love ended up causing A LOT of angst and drama and she was constantly breaking both of their hearts. One heartrending decision has her questioning whether it is better to continue living in fear or to finally put her trust in Grip.

Although I'm mixed race and acknowledge my fantastic mixed heritage, I identify as a Black woman and I feel that the author broached the many instances of racism within this story with compassion and understanding. She didn't make light of it or treat it as a "their" problem. She called it out as an "our" problem and I loved her so much for that. Many times I forgot that this was even a story about an interracial couple and I think that's just one more reason why this story was so successful. Yeah, it covered quite a few hot-button issues and I'm sure it will spark a debate amongst its readers. It might even open the eyes of what Bristol and Grip called "the privileged", but at its core it was a story about love, romantic and otherwise, regardless of the color of one's skin.

My one and only complaint was that I wanted more. I wasn't ready to say goodbye to Grip AT ALL , despite their happy-for-now ending.

Release Date: March 2, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
POV: Dual - 1st person
Steam: 3.5 out of 5
Book Type: Must be read after FLOW (GRIP Prequel)
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
797 reviews2,829 followers
September 25, 2018

(My insomnia hates me. I've been up for 36 of the past 39 hours. Sorry the review is so short, but my brain is barely functional. Lol )

What can I say about this story to let you know how amazing it really is? I am finding myself at a loss for words and if you know me, you know that doesn’t happen often. Grip is so much more than a love story. It is a love story, yes, but it focuses on so many other topics that make it even more complex and compelling.  When I finished Flow, I already knew that I was probably going to love this book. Intelligent, thought-provoking, and fantastically written, Grip did not disappoint!

Eight years after the events in Flow, we see that Grip is set to release an album and that Bristol and Rhyson are managing his career. Aside from their business relationship, Grip and Bristol are just friends, but that doesn’t mean the fire between them has gone out. The feelings they have for one another are as intense as they were all of those years ago. In fact, they are probably stronger. Bristol denies herself the man she loves, so she doesn’t turn into her mother, and he hangs on to the idea that one day she will give him a chance even though it has been almost a decade since their first kiss. Even if they can move beyond their past and decide to be together, they still have to worry about judgement from family, friends, fans, and the world.  

Grip is a beautiful love story that deals the topics of race and social injustice. It is breathtaking, passionate, and raw. The focus on skin color and social issues are heavy in this book, and that is not something you come across every day in the romance genre. I think coming from a family with plenty of interracial couples and mixed family members made me appreciate this book even more. The topics in Grip may not be ones that are easy to discuss, but they are ones that cannot be ignored either. I think books like these are important, and I loved the way the author handled everything. This is a book that at the very least will make people think. As I said in my review for Flow, I recommend this story to all fans of the romance genre.
October 6, 2020
GRIP is now part of the - 𝗚𝗿𝗶𝗽 𝗧𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗼𝗴𝘆 𝗕𝗼𝘅 𝗦𝗲𝘁
Read all 3 books? There's NEW CONTENT!

My review thoughts for GRIP:
#5+++ STARS

GRIP is a love story with a prequel called FLOW and a follow up book entitled, STILL.....It's a bravely written, intelligent story that has completely grabbed my heart, made me feel and attacked my sensibilities in the best possible way. This is the Kennedy Ryan affect. Her writing is beyond brilliant in the manner that it resonates, the way that it makes me think deeply. The key themes of Grip are ones not often tackled in the romance trope, of course, primarily it's a love story with all the facets of a developed and engaging swoon-fess: engaging beautiful protagonists, a dynamic supporting cast and a plot with light and shade in an eloquent and lyrical prose. In addition, the exploration of sensitive complex issues concerning race take this multifaceted Contemporary Romance to a whole higher level of breath-taking and powerful brilliance. Kennedy Ryan shows unapologetically and honestly the inequality and injustice of our times in a non-judgemental measured manner raising the profile positively.

Grip is the hero at the heart of the story, a sexy hip hop poet, a wordsmith who I have utterly fallen in love with. He has a crazy good aura that springs vividly from the page oozing personality and a vibe that I totally bought into. I wanted to read his thoughts, hear his words, listen to his music and see him interact with Bristol his co-star whose personality equally shone through the narrative, her strength, her mind and her words. Her honest thought process and dialogue at certain pivotal moments in both FLOW (the Grip Prequel) and GRIP enhanced my understanding of the relevant-to-our-times social issue making me feel like my own understanding developed with hers.

The sexual tension that ignites between the protagonists creates an inferno as they dance their way through a working relationship, a friendship of sorts and a palpable need for each other that has been repressed since an incident in FLOW. There are so many elements that I could wax lyrical about not least the imagery created by this author as she peels away the layers of her narrative showing me the action, thought and feeling of her characters creating a world in which I became totally invested. I laughed, I shed a tear and my heart ached for Grip and Bristol as their authentic dialogue, their motivation and lyrical prose completely hooked me into their romance and made me root for them as a couple. I felt the angst and the power of the richly vivid narrative that surrounds this glorious story and no matter how much I write, no matter the words I use I cannot even begin to do this wonderful story the justice it deserves. I cannot recommend highly enough to my romance reading friends.


My review thoughts for FLOW--> https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
My review thoughts STILL --> https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

FREE in Kindle Unlimited
➙ Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheGripBoxSet
This enhanced box set includes Flow, Grip and Still - all 3 books of the groundbreaking Grip trilogy.
🎡 PLUS "All", the Grip short story previously published in the Cocktales charity anthology
🎡 PLUS two BRAND NEW "glimpse into the future" chapters.
🎡 PLUS surprise audio elements EXCLUSIVE to this box set!

𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗚𝗿𝗶𝗽 𝗕𝗼𝘅!
We're accepting pre-orders for Grip boxes, which will have signed paperbacks and Grip-themed items until October 14!
Pre-Order Info Here: http://bit.ly/GripBox

**Beta read**

★GRIP & FLOW graphics created by me with stock photos I purchased from deposit photos ★
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,232 followers
May 11, 2022
Grip was characterized as, what we in the Black community call, an “apologist”. This is someone who lives daily with systemic racism but doesn't blame anyone because then we would be as bad as the racists. Lol. No. Just fu@king no. Also, Bristol was such an entitled whiny brat who viewed others through a prejudiced prism.

The more I read the more I knew they deserved each other. Good riddance.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,208 reviews19.7k followers
February 12, 2021
I’m emotional!!!

A reread but of course, I forgot everything that happened, because my brain is just incapable and fails me on that front.

Which I appreciated because I got to enjoy this story all over again as well as for the first time.

So, thank you, brain.

I get why everyone adores Kennedy Ryan now.
This story wasn’t perfect by any means - things got slightly cheesy at times - but there’s something about her storytelling that grips you. (I fell into that one...)
It’s addictive in the best way possible. I was pining for these characters! The way Kennedy Ryan fleshed out their character and relationship was beautiful to read about.

On top of that we get discussions surrounding familial relationships and the lingering trauma they leave you with, race, police brutality, white privilege and racial profiling and see the affects it has on interracial relationships.

The discussions aren’t sugar-coated. They hit you where they’re supposed to hit you. They’re uncomfortable but honest. And I think honesty is what Kennedy Ryan seems to do best.
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,516 reviews816 followers
November 10, 2021
Trust me when I say, I'm torn up inside and my eyes are leaking tears right now as I see the injustices subjected on POC, regardless of their financial or social status.
I remember Chris Rock once said,"not a single poor white person will swap places with me. And I'M RICH!!"This statement and Kennedys prose are not mere words to be taken lightly. Trust your life to be changed, your perspective widened, your viewpoint will agin another dimension. Such prolific writing, such meaningful dialogue, literature has always been a catalyst that drives a society to become better and Kennedy is an important cog in this gigantic wheel. And I'm so honored, so thrilled get to read them in real time.

"If I judge all officers by the actions of one, how is that any different than them profiling us? Than them expecting the same thing from all of us because of what they encountered with one? We can’t give up on each other. We have to keep trying and keep trying and keep trying. Because the alternative is unacceptable. Assuming the worst only divides us more.”

The background is music, the foreground is love and the in-between prejudices, cast apart, social rungs and colours of skin.
Eternal love that started on the giant wheel in a carnival, becomes ahaunting memory in Marlon "Grip" and Bristol's lives forever

“You are the perfect verse over a tight beat.”

Time passes, water flows under the bridge, but two wounded souls remain in their corners, always in eyesight but never beyond. It's tragic love at its best. Pining, craving, yearning because insecurities chain their feet and souls

"We all BRUISE,
It’s that black and blue
A dream deferred,
Nightmare come true
In another man’s shoes,
Walk a mile or two Might learn a couple things
I’m no different than you!"

And I'm officially Dessicated of all tears, all emotions. I've poured them all during this read and I invite you to do the same.
Loved the narrators, they brought the book to life
10 stars for EWB- Existing While Black
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Profile Image for Jessica .
2,129 reviews13.8k followers
January 14, 2022
I really can't say anything about this book that everyone else hasn't said already. This book is amazing. So emotional and such an epic romance. Grip and Bristol are literally meant to be and I loved how there was just no other woman for Grip. Bristol is dealing with not wanting to be like her mom, though, so she is terrified of being with Grip and opening herself up to the kind of hurt and pain her mother endures. This book also includes what it's like to be in a public relationship since Grip is a famous musician. It also deals with what it's like to be in an interracial romance and how Bristol has no idea what it's like to be Black in America. There are so many emotional and important scenes and conversations in this book, which made it that much more emotionally gripping and impactful. I just loved this romance so much and definitely cannot wait to read Still!
Profile Image for Jay Crownover.
Author 108 books14.1k followers
March 6, 2017
this is hands down one of the BEST romance books I've ever read. it's relevant and smart. it's engrossing and romantic. loved it. everyone should read it
Profile Image for Deanna❤Pink Lady❤️.
819 reviews842 followers
September 25, 2018
The GRIP series is on all platforms for the first time! And GRIP is FREE!!!
➜FLOW: http://bit.ly/FLOWkr *
➜GRIP: http://bit.ly/GRIPkr *
➜STILL: http://bit.ly/STILLkr

A signed PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY here--> https://goo.gl/92zxKk

5 "A Best of 2017" Stars
 photo IMG_2685_zpsh1blpiru.jpg
WOW WOW WOW......this story blew me away. Besides being a love story, it was a story that crossed race and social issues that are alive and well in this country. It was emotional, it was heartbreaking, it was thought provoking, it was loving and it was HEALING. Stories of interracial couples have stereotypes and stigmas but this author traverses the issues and displays them in a real, raw, captivating way. While the story is not all about racial difference, the love story of Grip and Bristol is full of meaningful feelings from past and present that all intertwine into a magnificent book.

Grip is a sexy, talented musician who is black. Bristol is his manager who happens to be white. This story is deep and beautiful because this couple, Grip and Bristol, never saw color. They saw each other for real. When each spoke, they listened, truly listened to one another. Their story spanned 8 years and they fell in love in year one but fate, timing, and fear kept these two from being a real couple.

Over the years, a true and beautiful friendship developed between Grip and Bristol yet there were underlying feelings of longing and sensual desires. A plastic watch, a whistle and a book......so trivial yet so meaningful to each other. While being together should have been an easy solution, Bristol had baggage that kept her from fully committing, only offering friendship. Grip and Bristol's relationship was filled with beautiful imagery and poetic flow that captured a struggling journey of two people completely in love but at a crossroad. One ready to jump and explode on the wind and the other fearful that she would fall and drown.

Bristol and Grip's family are ever present in their lives. Their love and support isn't always positive and encouraging. Each side coming at it from different angles, but both being honest and forthright with their opinions. At times it made me uncomfortable but it did open my eyes and shed light on issues that I never really put too much emphasis on. I applaud the author for writing a story with an honest integrity concerning such sensitive issues involving race, racism, the N word, loving within your own race and true love.

In the end, Kennedy Ryan writes stories full of passion and conviction. They are not simple, they are complex in emotion and rich in dialogue. Flow, The Prequel to Grip, and Grip are two books that everyone should read. They will make you think about issues, some that make you flinch, some that will make you sad and some that will leave a lasting impression. I promise that you will #GetGripped #BeMoved and #LoveLove.

*advanced copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Rachel  L.
1,867 reviews2,240 followers
April 6, 2018
5 stars!

“I fell for her before the beat dropped.”

First things first, before you read Grip you need to read the book Flow, which is FREE. So go and download that first. I’ll wait……….. You’re done now? Okay keep reading then.

This is the story of Bristol and Grip, two people who met and fell for each other years ago. Now Grip is one of the top rising musicians in the world and Bristol is his manager, but they aren’t together. Grip wants to be with Bristol, and she wants to be with him, but she still holds back for reasons she keeps to herself. But Grip may be done waiting, and Bristol needs to figure herself out.

“He’s dictating my heartbeat, governing my pulse, holding my next breath cupped in his hands.”

I loved this story! Kennedy Ryan is a new favorite author of mine and I cannot wait to read the next book Still. Grip is an angsty and emotional rollercoaster ride (or should I say ferris wheel ride?) with ups and downs, twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I loved both of the characters equally, Grip with his determination and Bristol with her inner struggle. I loved that both characters knew themselves well, that they are driven and kind people.

I cannot say enough good things about this book! This needs to be put on your tbr, or bumped up ASAP! You don’t want to miss out on this beautiful story.

“If I break your heart, I break mine.”

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April 18, 2022
YALLLL SEND HELP IMMEDIATELY. I AM WAY TOO OBSESSED, I DONT EVEN HAVE THE RIGHT WORDS!!! this book owns my soul. Bristol and Grip have become one of my fav book couples, there I said it. everything about this was amazing. the slow burn, the longing, the friendship, the connection, the plot, the important conversations.. goodbye. i’m sent. like I said, the right words haven’t been created yet to portray exactly how I feel about this book… so i’ll just leave you with this quote:

“you alone are my dream, and I alone am yours.” <3
Profile Image for Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog.
337 reviews1,006 followers
March 12, 2017
5 million stars!!!

Review at Of Pens and Pages.

Review for Flow.

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.

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.

*ARC received in exchange for an honest review."

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Profile Image for EmBibliophile.
532 reviews1,355 followers
December 17, 2019
Re-read #2 (12/17/2019) The reason why I decided to spend this last month rereading my old favorite books is because I’ve been so busy with my studying and I didn’t want to read a new book and get “attached”! How stupid and naive was i to think rereading my favorite books is the answer! I mean they’re my favorite for a reason!! This is my second time reading this book and I couldn’t put it down. Still don’t know why it’s so special to me, I just love it so freakin much! It’s such a thought-provoking brilliant poetic book!

All the 5 stars it could get!

"I fell for her before the beat dropped.”

Oh my poor heart! That was over the top. This book was written in such a poetic, lyrical, romantic, and brilliant way that would make you feel! My heart couldn’t handle all these emotions! I’ve been an emotional mess while reading this book. I smiled, I cried, I screamed, and I felt my heart slowly melting. Those two characters are amazing. Their love is inspirational, mind blowing, and so true. Those two are so compatible.

Every time I’m near her I want to pour accelerant all over my anger so it burns us both to ash.

This book follows the story of Bristol and Grip 8 years later after where the prequel ‘Flow’ stopped. Note that you must read flow before this one to understand everything more. After everything that happened at the end of of ‘Flow’ things hadn’t been the same. Now Bristol is Grip’s manager as he’s now a successful artist/rapper. Grip didn’t hide how much he still want Bristol, and how much he feels for her. However, Bristol for her own reasons has been pushing him away wanting nothing more than their partnership.

"She doesn't deserve you,” she whispers.
“But she has me.”

Grip is so loyal, loving, intelligent, and patient. He loves fiercely. His relation with everyone around him is amazing. He adores his mam and respect her which is so sweet. He has been through a lot but he remained as loyal and as pure as he could. He knows how to TALK, how to LOVE, and how to BREAK YOU HEART. He’s one of the most amazing characters ever.

"I want you so much it scares me,” I say in a rush before my fear stops me. “The way I feel about you terrifies me.”

Bristol gray is his match. She’s one of the strongest heroines ever, but a little broken at the same time. She’s a strong woman with the soul of a broken little girl. She’s fierce, loyal, motivated, and driven. I love how strongly she loved that it became too much sometimes. How far she’s willing to go for those she loves.

"I warned you that I'm not like other girls. I don't have those limits. I'd do anything for you. It sounds romantic until it crosses your lines, huh? Until it goes too far.”

This is a slow burn romance that’s full of angst. It was so emotional and heartbreaking. This is my first book by Kennedy Ryan and I absolutely love her. Her writing is amazing. It’s just so effortless, poetic, and so emotional. This is more than just a romantic book, it’s also so inspirational. And that song ‘Bruise’ was beautiful! And the cover of the book? Its so damn beautiful. This was such a memorable book that I couldn’t put down. I finished it in one day!! I feel like I can’t describe how much I loved it! Every part and every single thing about it!

”My heart broke loose on the wind.”

Song recommendation:

I wanna be your lover by prince
Breathing by Jason Derulo
Grip by Bastille
Profile Image for TheCrazyWorldOfABookLover.
362 reviews880 followers
October 2, 2017
“If I break your heart, I break mine.”


I’m apologizing right now for the amount of gushing coming your way and the amount of quotes I’m about to share. But I can’t help it. It’s very rare for me to pick up a book or series with the hype I have seen for this one and for me to actually understand what all the fuss is about. But WOW. Kennedy knocked me off my feet. The romance, the steam, the humor, the issues regarding race she delves into. Kennedy's story telling and prose is off the charts amazing.

Grip picks up 8 years later from where Flow leaves off, with Bristol managing Grip’s musical career. Bristol has kept Grip at a distance, stubbornly ignoring the insane pull they feel toward one another while trying to forget the intense week they spent together and that kiss under the stars. But their infatuation for one another is INTENSE.

“And you watch me.” He dips his head until he traps my eyes. “You watch me all the time. You can’t keep your eyes off me any more than I can keep my eyes off you.”

Try as she may, Bristol isn’t fooling anyone, especially Grip. He knows deep down, behind all that bravado and her well-guarded heart, Bristol wants him just as much as he wants her.

“It makes me want to set the world on fire.” His words come softly, but the truth roars in his eyes. “To think of you with them.” There haven’t been nearly as many men as he probably assumes, but I don’t reveal that. I can’t offer him any relief. “You wanna know what consoles me, though?” He looks up at me, calculation in his eyes. Before I can tell him I don’t want to know, he goes on. “For one, I know when we’re together, it’ll only take once for me to fuck their memory out of you.”

Even though on the surface Grip & Bristol seem so wrong for each other, their connection runs deep. And despite what society and friends and family might tell them, despite the years apart, the other people they saw, they know there is no one else for them.

“A fiery chord bridges the distance between our bodies, and I want to pull her close enough to burn me, to hurt me, to destroy me. Sometimes I don’t think I care as long as she’s close. I just want to feel her, even if it burns me alive.”

O M G just typing these quotes is giving me goosebumps all over again.

Without breaking rhythm, I bend to her ear. “You have nothing to be afraid of.” I press her hand to my chest, over my heart. “This is yours. No one else’s.” I dip my head, slowing to nothing, but keeping her eyes.
“I’m yours. No one else’s.” I scatter kisses over her cheeks. “Even when we fight, I feel you. Your anger, your frustration. I feel your pleasure like it’s mine. Your emotions like they’re mine…

Don’t you feel how connected we are?” I ask. “If I break your heart, I break mine.”

I’m not going to lie. This book was tough.
It hurt.
SO many scenes hurt my heart.
But god damn it, it HURT. SO. GOOD.
Kennedy Ryan is a goddess and I want to bow at her feet for creating one of the best and most influential romances with such well thought out characters and dynamic relationships I have read.

Her words are poetry, her characters are flawed and real, and the angst and tension leapt off the pages and GRIPPED ME from page one and didn’t let go until the end. You know a book is good when you have to go back and re-read scenes over and over because you can’t get over how beautiful the words are.

“Her tears come even as our bodies resume a ferocious pace. We splinter into a thousand pieces in her kitchen, becoming more together than we were apart. More than we were alone. With whispered promises and words of love, we exchange hearts.”

I was hooked from Flow. My infatuation with her words just grew in Grip. And I am freaking ecstatic this story isn’t done and I get to read one more book about this complex and amazing couple.

I CAN NOT recommend this series enough. READ IT!!!!!!!

FLOW, Prequel ➜ (FREE!) http://amzn.to/2xVguDa
GRIP (Grip #1) ➜ (#99cSale) http://amzn.to/2wCUMDG
STILL (Grip #2) ➜ (LIVE!) http://amzn.to/2hrQRij

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Profile Image for warhawke.
1,331 reviews2,013 followers
November 22, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Type: Book 1 of 2 from Grip Series
POV: First Person - Dual

In eight years since they first met, a lot had happened that changed both Marlon (Grip) James and Bristol Gray's lives. He's a rapper on the verge or superstardom and she's the manager that would propel his fame. But behind their professional facade, there were still hurt and longing from the past that they needed to face for any hope of a future together.

He’s been brave. He just kept coming after me like a tank, even when I refused. Even when my brother told him he shouldn’t.

Grip had matured from his chocolate charm era (lol!) and I still love him as much. His sexiness, paired with intelligence and heart was hard to resist.

Whatever existed between us, even the friendship I’ve grown to treasure over the years, will never be the same.

I really like Bristol in the prequel novella, but now not so much. I understand her fear and pain but she took too long to open up her eyes and heart. Also there was one incident where I really wanted to smack her around real good lol!

There were a lot of things that went on in this book which I like, but the first half was a little slow for me. It took a while for things to move to a different direction, but once it happened the story became more engaging.

“Just because I love someone of a different race doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about my own,” Grip disagrees sharply. “About the causes that affect my community or the things that need to be said on our behalf.”

Beside the love story, this book also tackled racial and social status issues. I like how the author presented it from both sides of the spectrum

We can’t be in the same room for five minutes without fighting anymore, so we can’t be friends. And I’ve made sure we’ll never be lovers. And why the hell not?

Grip is a story of a couple's resilience in standing up for their love. It would appeal to readers who like story of romance paired with real world issues.

Books in the series:
Flow (Grip, #0.5) by Kennedy Ryan Grip (Grip, #1) by Kennedy Ryan Still (Grip, #2) by Kennedy Ryan

🎙 🎧 🎙 . . . (F)BR With Loyda . . . 🎙 🎧 🎙

Copy won from Shhh... Donations

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Karla.
1,075 reviews244 followers
March 12, 2018
5 stars!

If I thought “Flow” the prequel to “Grip” was a good start this it had nothing one this one.

We start 8 yrs after the what happened in “flow” with Bristol/Grip now in their new relationship not just as friends but working together.

This series is turning up to be so addictive I was so caught up with the complex relationship between these characters. But even loving it I have to say a good part of this book I found myself frustrated with Bristol the constant pull she had with Grip. I did understand though where she was coming from, her past, the way she was brought up, and the miss understanding she had with Grip it all added up. But I was glad that once she risked her heart for love she was all in, she stood by her man and what she was willing to do for him left me in awe.

Grip, I adore this man, so strong and talented, sexy and passionate who loved Bristol so dam much. Who was patient for her but not a martyr if that makes any sense lol. I guess you’d have to read it to understand what I’m saying, because these two did not even have an easy relationship as friends.

I loved everything about this story like I said it was addictive. The way Bristol/Grip handle the bumps along the way how their love grew more and more with each page I read. I hated it that it took them this long but I think they needed it to be able to appreciate it more. It was heartbreaking to see all the prejudice they had to endure to be together even from loved ones. But they showed those who doubted them that they fell in love not with the color of their skin but the connection they felt in their hearts. This series is definitely going to be a favorite. Back to reading book 2 ♥️

Shelved as 'cheating'
September 29, 2017
Careful with this one my safety gang.


I can't take this trope so common in adult "romance".I hate the double standards of the "romance" self-pub authors. Why it's always the "boy will be boys" "men can't live without sex for 8 years, but women can" I mean. If he's in love with heroine why would he become remotedly tempted by another woman?

I don't care if that's "realistic" The best romance out there is never realistic.
Profile Image for Kennedy Ryan.
Author 57 books22.4k followers
July 24, 2022

"Find time to read this book. Don't put it on the TBR and get to it later...make time for it NOW. It was amazing... something important and special. When romance is relevant that is when it shines the brightest. I haven't read anything this compelling and unput-downable in a long time." –- Jay Crownover, New York Times Bestselling Author

GRIP, A STANDALONE love story, is LIVE!!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2lKfZVt
Amazon Universal: myBook.to/GetAGrip

#FREE in #KindleUnlimited

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.
Profile Image for Arini.
857 reviews1,767 followers
May 4, 2023
#0.5 Flow — 4 stars

to be honest the first 50% to 60% of the book was a little slow, and the rest was too cliched for my taste. but you know what?? i was not bored at all. i think the audiobook helped a lot. Grips narration was — “BRAVO!!” salute to Mr. Jakobi Diem!!

(!!!) i got carried away with the review and couldnt seem to grasp the meaning of spoilers. so, be careful for some minor ones. (!!!)


in case it isnt apparent, IM OBSESSED WITH GRIP!! like this sansa gif kind of obesessed ...

press → click → select “naughty little miss Janes collection of innumerable fictional boyfriends” → done

seriously, the man is ... indescribable. love his chocolate charm, his poetry, his patience, his loyalty, his passion for music, his compassion for the black community, his love for his mom and the people he cares about, his kindess, and so on. i mean, you get it. i could go all day talking about his mouth alone. and what he can do with it. *wink, wink*


obviously, hes not perfect cause nobody is. im just too blind to see what his flaws are. i loved him in this book. if it were up to me, i wouldnt have paired him with Bristol bcs she was obnoxious here. fine, she was amazing!! shes strong, fierce, hardworking, and stubborn. but when it came to Grip, she was so clossed off.

i dont get how someone could work in a professional environment with the person theyre attracted to and have feelings for and not do anything about it for eight damn years. especially when their feelings are reciprocated and that person has, not so subtly, been chasing them too.

i mean, that mustve been some stone wall she casted her heart in. i know, she was afraid to love. *eye roll* — shes not the only one with a broken home family, you know. so i can sympathize. it was just frustrating to read. but once she was together with Grip, their relationship was so gratifying.

like romantic, electric, and orgasmic kind of gratifying...


just to be clear, i DONT like the OW/OM trope in books. its effective but also really shady and messy and complicated and stupid. there are some instances where i dont mind having it in my books though. one of them is this one.

i think the reason i wasnt that much bothered by it was bcs the author managed to “humanize” Qwest and Parker's characters that i believed in their roles. they had their own set of personalities and i was able to see it in the interactions they had with Grip and Bris respectively.

the conflict with Parker and how it was resolved at the end of the book was quite predictable but also satisfying. i loved how everyone who was initially against Grip and Bris relationship come together to help deal with the problem.


the family dynamic in this book wasnt exactly warm. Grip and Bris were at odds with their parents bcs one wasnt accepting of the others social status and backgrounds. i loved seeing how the family relationship slowly progressed over time.

now this book also discussed many prevailing and provocative issues, mostly about race, police brutality, and the black community in the us. i cant speak for the accuracy of all the representations this book had bcs im neither an American nor do i live there.

however, i loved the fact that the author put so many efforts and research in incorporating all of the race related social and political issues into this book. it didnt make the story tedious. if anything for me it was enlightening and stimulating. i learned a lot.


GRIP was one of the most mesmerizing, unforgettable, and all around beautiful romance books that featured an interracial couple. despite the lack of originality in some of its plotlines, it was unique and intense on some level. it had grit and packed a lot of punch. not to mention, the writing was just superb and realistic. it was the kind of writing that sucked you in and tugged at your heartsrings.

(Note: Originally Read as an Audiobook in 2019, but Shelved on the “2018 Reading Challenge”)
Profile Image for Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword.
569 reviews438 followers
February 10, 2021
5 “The chemistry” Stars
“ We only had a week together, but the conversation, the connection—I never had it with anyone else before or since. It is real, and real is so rare, you can’t ignore it when you find it. You don’t give up on it.”

After keep hearing from this series in Steph’s Youtube Channel (If you love romance, seriously check her out, you will find about books you had never hear from before💕) I had to read and verify if it was as good as she says it was. Spoiler alert: IT WAS.

Profile Image for RentasticReads.
699 reviews176 followers
September 16, 2017
OH MY GOD, THIS BOOK!!! There's not enough stars in the galaxy of this world to give Grip and Bristol any justice. I'm drowning in feels. I'm an ugly mess of emotions. This will most definitely be one of my top favorite books and couples of all time. I am shook. I can't even form the perfect words to describe how this book truly made me feel. I just knew I never wanted it to end. *sniffles*

Full review to come! (A review worthy enough for GripStol.)

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Profile Image for Hulya Kara Yuksel.
933 reviews1,095 followers
October 10, 2017
"Don’t you feel how connected we are?” I ask. “If I break your heart, I break mine.” A sweet smile spreads over her lips and she nods. ❤

OMFG 😍😍😍 I'm literally on the pink clouds right now... MARLON *sigh* 😋 I loved everything, I mean every freaking thing about him. ❤

Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,548 reviews3,982 followers
October 12, 2017
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: The prequel had sucked me right in, and I was eager to find out what happened with these two. I liked the push/pull dynamics...for a bit — but then they got old. I wanted to shake the h! The H was awesome, and he obviously cared so much about her! I connected enough to get emotional, and I was happy when they finally got together. They were pretty hot together too! I guess I was being greedy again and wanted more of them together. I understand that there is another book, but tbh I’m not jumping at the opportunity to dive right into it 🤷🏻‍♀️ I might read some trusted reviews and make the call then, because this was only a little above “just okay” for me.

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Bristol and Grip’s story. It starts ~8 years after the prequel. Bristol is managing Grip’s up and coming career as a rapper, and they have a friendship even though they both can’t let go of the potential relationship from the past. Bristol pushes Grip away because she doesn’t want to repeat the same mistakes her mother made, and Grip is patiently waiting for her to give in. There are some hot sexy times and some career, societal, and ex drama...and they get a HFN ending.

POV: This alternated between Bristol and Grip’s POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well.

Instalove: No, but strong feelings are already present from the prequel when this starts.

H rating: 4 stars. Grip. I liked him. I know his sleeping with OW while being hung up on the h will bother a lot of readers, but I didn’t mind it so much. I liked how he pursued the h and accepted his mistakes.

h rating: 3 stars. Bristol. I was torn about her. On one hand I liked her loyalty and how much she cared, but on the other hand I was frustrated with how she pushed the H away!

Sadness level: Moderate. I teared up a bit, but I never needed any tissues.

Push/Pull: Yes!

Heat level: Hot. They have some hot tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

Safe sex: Yes

OW/OM drama: Yes

Sex scene with OW or OM: Yes

Cheating: Not IMO

Separation: Not really. Once they become a couple they stay together.

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This had what I would call a HFN ending, but it ends with then in a good place and some major closure with some of their issues.

How I got it: It was part of my kindle unlimited subscription.

Safety: This one is probably either Safe with exception or Not Safe for most safety gang readers depending on personal preferences.
Profile Image for Katy Loves Romance ❤️.
434 reviews724 followers
March 5, 2017
6++++ Gripping beautiful Stars

 photo AAA04B7C-4A82-4929-AB24-BA05CF6A3BF2_zpsaj9tpafs.jpg

Can I just say Contemporary Romance has got to be one of my favourite genres, the storytelling I love love love everything about it. Add that with Kennedy Ryan's mind this one ticked all my boxes and gave me the flutters in my stomach I thrive on feeling when I'm reading an epic read.

In the best possible way I'm not going to tell you what it's about in a matter of speaking cause frankly you as readers need to HOLD ON WITH BOTH HANDS AND HEARTS and enjoy the ride that's Grip and Bristol. But I am going to share with you my thoughts.

 photo B03FCDD3-D718-40D0-BCD2-F70A6771A3B5_zpsaao1e5pc.jpg

This is a book deals with the colour of your skin and about who you are and where you come from be that privilege or a Boyz in the hood community where your colour dictates how your labelled in the world. Yet throughout this journey, reading these beautiful pages Grip really makes you see the world through his eyes. The journey he's taken. Also how brave, unique and special he is. I just loved WHO he is, who is was and who he became. I loved the gentle, caring man he is because his mum brought him up in the best possible way. I truly loved his ethos of family, how he welcomes people in whom he loves with his whole heart. But then how he settles for nothing less than what he deserves. That in a nutshell is why I LOVED and ADORED GRIP.

This book spans over a period of time where Grip and Bristol met 8 years previously (and why you need to read Flow first) then in current times how they worked towards gaining something for themselves. Where Bristol is concerned, she's a badass fighter meaning she fights for her right to be a manager in the music business. Against all the odds of her family structure, she fought for her place in the industry, and she's worked hard for it.

 photo ADCFF24F-746F-41E0-AEC6-183D89F66A4A_zpsivmilye5.jpg

She though also fell HARD for a man she thinks she can't have. That deserves more because of her background, how maybe she worries about how people will think they don't mould together BUT FOR US THEY DO. I really don't want to spoil this for you, I just want you to pick it up. So I'm finishing there but on an end note this is such a profound thought provoking and heartfelt romance.

 photo 8D9F78EE-E93E-4C7D-97C9-5CF2378CB7D8_zps0g6jqinb.jpg

To sum up this is an epic romance about two halves that fit a whole, about self love, about the love for your family and your community. To LOVE the right person FOR YOU. I absolutely thrive for these kind of books and will recommend this series for EVERYONE really you just need to read it for yourself.

Enjoy and sorry for the ramble.. #SlightlyEmotionalHere ❤❤

YOU MUST READ Flow which is a prequel to Grip before to start this

ARC generously gifted in exchange for a honest review

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