Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Torn (Connections, #2)Series: Connections #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: 4/1/14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars

Rock star River Wilde brought Dahlia London back from the brink of hopelessness with his unwavering love and devotion. But their entangled history is about to test the strength of their relationship…

Dahlia was certain she had found true love and met her "Once in a Lifetime’ when she reconnected with River. But Dahlia’s world comes crashing down when someone from her past resurfaces, and all of River’s carefully hidden secrets are exposed.
River wants to show Dahlia that life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass—it’s about dancing in the rain. But how many times can one broken heart be mended?  Will River and Dahlia be able to stay together or will they be torn apart?
Oh sweet mother. Torn was quite the emotional roller coaster and I enjoyed every single moment. This is coming from a woman who hates roller coasters, both figurative and literal. To fully review Torn without spoiling Connected is near impossible. I can either assume readers have already ready book one and know what's up, or that you don't mind spoilers. But I also don't want to chase away those who are unfamiliar or curious about the series.  So I guess I'm going to try for spoiler-free. Here goes.

River and Dahlia had reached bliss at the end of Connected. He loved her, she loved him. Dahlia had finally moved past the tragedy of losing Ben, and was ready to start a life with her true love. She'd found a once in a lifetime love twice, it seems. But then....the epilogue came, with a shocking cliffhanger. When Torn picks up, we get a recap of the ending, then it's full steam ahead. Dahlia and River are slapped with a face from the past. (And sorry if I'm not bring vague enough. I'm trying here!) So now we have this huge shock for Dahlia, which also begins a steady chain of revelations. Everyone around her has been withholding the truth. Yes, even River.

When I learned the direction of Torn, I was very worried. I wasn't sure I was ready for them to face upheaval from an outside source. Would Dahlia become conflicted, indecisive, would she make the wrong choices? I held my breath the entire time, but as it turns No she doesn't waver, become torn. Dahlia knows who she is, what she wants, whom she belongs with. I loved her conviction in the face of so many lies and betrayal.

What does drive a wedge between River and Dahlia is... River. He loves his beautiful girl. So, so much. River, though, has often felt he's competing with memories of a perfect love. He can't face the thought of losing Dahlia; his doubts, sadness and anger are what work to drive them apart. But also, River is at a crossroads with his career. Xander (and his father's memory)is pushing him to begin touring with The Wilde Ones. But what River wants is to write his music, develop new talent, and live a quiet and peaceful life with Dahlia. I really admired River's convictions on what was important to him.

Torn also deals several shockers for the supporting characters, particularly Bell. I've always liked her, and had an inkling her part in the story arc was more than it appeared. Wow, was I right. This turn made me angry, sad, but also has me dying to read her book.

I have to say again how pleasantly surprised I was by Torn. So often, when you have a book with this much drama, and so many dangling plot threads, the entire story can go off the rails. Somehow, Karr held every thread tight, and in the end pulled all the pieces together. Every question was answered, every small piece was tied up. I remember calling out a specific moment in Connected, one that had Xander being a complete ass to Dahlia, for no apparent reason. I was wrong, even that seemingly insignificant moment was brought back around, with an explanation that made sense and left me shaking my head in amazement.

I may have gone into Torn with hesitation and worries, but I left it with a lot of love. I'm sure there are some areas I could pick apart if I really, really tried. But I don't want to. Once I picked this story up, it was heart-pounding, jaw-dropping love and I enjoyed every single moment.

Favorite Quotes

   Watching him and feeling the weight of his body on mine makes me tremble. I can't touch him and somehow that only makes my need for him more intense. I know what he's doing--he's marking me, but I don't care. He already owns every piece of me. If he needs this to remind him, I'll give it to him.
  Taking her face in my hands, I kiss her hard. She wraps her arms around my neck and I feel lost in her, lost in her touch, her soul, her love.
  But it's not a kind of lost where you want to be found.
Dazed (Connections, #2.5)Series: Connections #2.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Intermix
Publication Date: 4/1/14
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
3.5 stars

A Connection Series Novella featuring Aerie Daniels and Jagger Kennedy (River Wilde's cousin)

Jagger Kennedy never went looking for fame, he just fell into it. After scoring a major modeling contract, his clean-cut good looks and charm catapulted his career. But when his actress girlfriend breaks his heart, he moves to L.A. to try his hand at acting. He needs to make a change, and the last thing he’s looking for is love…

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her stunned, and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about him that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.

To keep from losing the one woman he can’t bear to be without, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

After finishing Torn, with its crazy-intense plot and romantic love story, Dazed felt a bit anti-climatic. There's really no comparison between these stories, but I did like Dazed, a sweet story about Aerie and the man who finally melts her heart.

I've always felt Aerie was a good supporting character, a good friend to Dahlia. I wasn't especially dying for her story, but I was curious. The first half of the novella was a bit slow, not so much the plot, but there was a lot of internal dialogue from Aerie, and a lot of it was trivial details. In hindsight, I can see that it helps set up her actions and feelings, but at the time, I was thinking to myself "Why are you telling me what Dahlia and River's cabinets look like?" I

Once we hit the second half, the story picked up in intensity and I found myself caring a lot more. Jagger was an interesting character with an apparently exciting backstory. I would have loved if Dazed had included his point-of-view. I liked that he was kind and thoughtful, not afraid to love Aerie. Given that he's River's cousin, it seems that being a good guy is a family trait.

The big conflict in Dazed is the relationship between Aerie and Jagger. Obviously. Due to a past relationship that went bad, Aerie is wary and untrusting. It doesn't help that Jagger's past is right in her face, pushing those insecurity issues. I believed in the conflict, and I believed in Aerie in Jagger. Fans of the Connections series will likely enjoy Dazed.

Favorite Quote

  The heat of his hand against my neck flares within me and a strange urge runs through my body. It's not a need for human contact; it's a need for him, for his body to meld to mine.

Connections Series
  Connected (Connections, #1)  Torn (Connections, #2)  Dazed (Connections, #2.5)  Mended (Connections, #3)
(covers lead to GoodReads)

Purchase Links
About the author
I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don't need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There's nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore--it's time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart. <3

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  GoodReads



  1. Oh Torn sounds like such an emotional roller coaster Andrea! I actually love books which play with your emotions, so would be really curious to find out, what's going on with these two characters. Thank you for putting this series on my radar! :)

  2. Reviewing Torn without spoilers really is so hard! I had such a hard time with that lol. I agree with you on Torn, loved it and loved that Dahlia never wavered. And that whole thing with Bell! Crazy pants, even though I kinda guessed lol. Loved Dazed too but mostly because I share a brain with Aerie. Great reviews!

  3. I so love River. Torn was wonderful. You are so right about the shocks and the feels.

    I still need to read Dazed. I'm a little worried now, though. I hope I like it.

  4. *ha* I love roller coasters, Andrea...both literal and figurative! ;) So Torn sounds like my kinda read. I've been meaning to read this series forever! Looks like I better get to it. ;)

  5. I'm so glad you're loving these and yay for shockers :D It's great when books aren't predictable and manage to surprise you every now and then. Sorry Dazed wasn't as amazing as Torn, but I'm glad you still enjoyed the companion.

  6. Are these books about the same couple? I haven't read the first and don't want to spoil it

  7. Great reviews Andrea! I loved both Torn and Dazed. Yes, Aerie's story was a lot more anti-climatic than Dahl's, but I still really enjoyed it. I agree that having Jagger's pint of view would have been pretty awesome as well. I have mixed feelings about Bell based on her past, but am really looking forward to reading her story, and knowing the details of everything that came about. I'm excited to read Mended, and learn more about Xander and his first love, Ivy.

  8. Man, I really need to get with this series, everyone is talking about it and loving it! Sucks Dazed wasn't as exciting as Torn, but good to know it picks up. Def need to make time for this series.

  9. Eeep! I'm like Vi, I need to read these already! Everyone is raving about them! I'm pretty sure I bought the first two, so I'll have them to read whenever I get some free reading time. I'm glad you really enjoyed Torn though!

  10. I still hate Ben. LOL I loved Dazed. Aerie has always a chick I liked though, so I wasn't surprised to like her story. Glad you've enjoyed these!


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