Series: Connections series

Guest Review: Frayed by Kim Karr

Posted November 12, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: Frayed by Kim KarrReviewer: Tracy
Frayed by Kim Karr
Series: Connections series #4
Also in this series: Mended
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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four-stars

He didn’t think, he didn’t question—he just acted.What she wanted, she took—without regard.It was only one night, but it changed everything.

After losing his fiancée, Ben Covington is unsure he’ll ever love again. But he’s so deeply drawn to Bell Wilde that he’s thrown for a loop. Maybe it’s purely sexual chemistry that’s igniting their spark… or maybe it’s his second chance at love.

Bell Wilde has just gotten her life back on track and may not be up the challenge of Ben Covington coming back into it. However, once the spark is reignited…there’s no stopping it. But even if they both manage to pull together their frayed hearts, a secret from Bell’s past just might shatter them both.

 

Tracy’s review of Frayed (Connections #4) by Kim Karr

Six years ago Ben and S’Belle had a one night stand. Ben had a girlfriend at the time and even though S’Belle called him a couple of times he never responded to her.

Now Ben is running into S’Belle all over the place and he can’t get her out of his mind. To be truthful he hadn’t been able to get her out of his mind from the moment he met her. Now he’s ready to take things further with her but she tells him she just wants a relationship that consists of sex only. That’s fine for a time but then Ben decides that he wants more. They have their ups and downs but things seem to be going well. That is until S’Belle breaks news to him that causes him to run away. He comes back but he’s not the same man.

The story of Ben and S’Belle is really a story about two people kind of growing up together. That sounds odd I’m sure if you’ve been reading the series because really, Ben has grown tremendously in the past three years. But Ben and S’Belle have so much more growing to do as people and they find that they can do that when they’re together. They are so good together but they aren’t perfect. I think I liked that about their relationship. They certainly kept each other on their toes, that’s for sure.

I felt the story did drag in the second half of it. It seemed like all would be worked out and then the story kept going which then led to more strife. It was good but I felt it could have cut a bit of that out and still been just as good.

In the end I think it was my favorite book of the series. I didn’t like Ben at all in the first few books so the fact that his book is my favorite is kind of shocking…but there you have it. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

This title is available from NAL. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars

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Review: Blurred by Kim Karr

Posted July 31, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Blurred by Kim KarrReviewer: Tracy
Blurred by Kim Karr
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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three-stars

The story before the love story….

When he lost the only woman he’d ever loved, it seemed there was nothing left to live for.

Even as a boy, all Ben Covington ever wanted was to spend forever with Dahlia London, the beautiful girl next door...then one life-altering decision tore them apart and he was forced to leave her.

Now, despite having returned to win her back, he’s still alone. She’s with someone else—someone she’s never going to leave.

Resigned to a future without his former girlfriend, Ben numbs his broken heart in a haze of liquor and women. But then the only woman who ever even turned his head while he was with his girl reappears unexpectedly. And he’s never forgotten their one incredible night together. But will Ben’s destructive behavior destroy his future with her before it even begins?

If you’ve read the first two books in the Connections series you’re quite familiar with Ben Covington. He was Dahlia London’s first love until she met River Wilde. Ben went through a really tough time in his life while he was away from his family, (I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to give too many spoilers if you haven’t already read books 1 & 2 in the series) and returned to find his one true love in love with someone else. That really messed with his head.

This book continues months later and Ben is messed up yet again as he deals with the death of his mother. She was an anchor in his life and when she dies he just can’t handle life in general. He starts drinking heavily and screwing around with women which, of course, doesn’t help at all. He makes a decision to get out of the country and heads to Australia for a while for some much needed head-clearing.

Unfortunately all good (and life avoiding) things must come to an end and he is called home to testify in a trial. He heads back to California but is again at a loss. He has no job, no car, no place to live and not many friends. This story takes us on Ben’s journey while he reminisces about his life, his friends, the women in his life and how he’s handled all of it – the good and the bad. It also show Ben dealing with his current life and the positive and negative things that happen to him.

The story is a decent read and gave me some much needed background on Ben. I can’t say I particularly liked him all that well in the first two books and while this novella didn’t have me falling in love with him, I can say that I liked him a hell of a lot better than before. By the end of the book he seemed to have gotten his shit together and started moving into a more positive part of his life which I was quite happy about. I’m actually looking forward to reading his full novel, Frayed, to see where he heads next with Bell Wilde.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Kim Karr

three-stars

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Guest Review: Mended by Kim Karr

Posted June 19, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Mended by Kim KarrReviewer: Tracy
Mended by Kim Karr
Series: Connections series #3
Also in this series: Frayed
Published by Penguin, NAL Trade
Publication Date: June 3rd 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
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three-half-stars

Music has the power to heal, but not all broken hearts can be mended.

Always in control, Xander Wilde considered life on the road to be a perfect fit for him. But when disaster strikes on the band’s latest tour, fate intervenes…and a newly single Ivy Taylor, the only girl he has ever loved, steps back into his life.

After moving past her painful breakup with Xander years ago, Ivy was poised to become the next big name in music…when suddenly she withdrew from the limelight—the same day she announced her engagement to her controlling agent, Damon Wolf.

Xander knows he should keep his distance. But once they’re on the road, he can’t resist pursuing her for a second chance. Yet a jealous Damon can’t let her go—and he’s keeping dangerous secrets that could destroy them all.

When the three of them come together, everything falls apart. But if Xander and Ivy can hold tight to the bond that connects them, they just might have a chance to reclaim the powerful love they thought they had lost forever....

Xander and Ivy were once in a relationship that had all the elements of a life long commitment. They were inseparable and had made plans for the future. Unfortunately, in their senior year, Xander’s father committed suicide and it changed Xander’s life. Instead of going to Chicago to go to college with Ivy he would be staying home with his family. He didn’t know how to tell Ivy but she made that easy when she made some assumptions about him, dumped him and it tore them apart.

Now it’s 12 years later and Xander is the manager of his brother’s band, The Wild Ones, who are on tour. The lead singer they got to replace Xander’s brother, River, suddenly can’t perform and the band is stuck and may have to cancel the tour. Ivy, who has become somewhat of a star, steps in when they need her the most and the tour continues.

Xander hadnt seen Ivy for 12 years and when he did he was struck by how much he still loved her. She was engaged to her agent, Damon Wolfe, however, so he knew she was off limits. When Ivy steps up to take the lead singer’s place the band is excited – so is Xander. Unfortunately, Ivy is still living under that assumption she made about Xander all those years ago and it makes things tense for everyone. Xander finally comes clean and all is well. The couple looks like they’re going to live happily ever after and glide off into the sunset…except, they don’t. When Xander heads home for a few days to be with his brother and Dahlia, things with Ivy hit the skids and neither Xander nor Ivy can figure a way out of it.

Though I wasn’t a huge fan of Xander’s during books 1 and two in the Connections series I was really interested to read his story. I always like reunited lovers stories as well so the fact that his book contained that trope made me want to read it even more.

The book starts out when Xander and Ivy are just 17 years old and getting ready to graduate. The prologue shows us how strong and wonderful the relationship between the two are and it’s incredibly sweet. They are a great couple and it makes us believe that nothing can tear them apart.

We cut to 12 years later and apparently something COULD tear them apart. They are not together nor have they been since the summer after they graduated high school. We don’t figure out the exact details of what happened between the two until later, but it obviously has something to do with the fact that Ivy believes that Xander cheated on her. Right off the bat, knowing how much Xander is so torn up about Ivy being engaged to another man, makes me think that the cheating never happened. She starts to sing and tour with the band, the couple works out their issues and all is good. Xander and Ivy are pretty great together and I loved seeing them reunite and hope for the future. That is until Xander has to leave New York due to a family emergency. When he returns things are FUBAR like he never believed they could be.

It is at this point in the story that the author started to lose me. What Ivy does because of Damon Wolfe, her ex-fiancé and agent, is so unbelievably stupid I almost put the book down permanently. Ivy was much smarter than that and I couldn’t believe that her character would fall for Damon’s lies. I was happy that Xander didn’t give up on Ivy but then again did I want him to be with a woman who could betray him like that? IDK. Supposedly it was for Xander that she did what she did but it didn’t gel with me.

As the story moved on there were several events in the book that I didn’t care for. The band, after the tour is finished, just kind of gives up on the band. They move into other jobs and there’s not really a discussion about ending the band but it happens. That was just odd. There was also a portion about Xander and his family parentage that was interesting but I couldn’t really see how it worked into the story other than to cause sensationalism. A character in the book had previously give Xander leverage against Damon but yet…there was more to the whole story of Damon and Xander and Xander’s father. Again, it was interesting but didn’t really move the story along. The last part of the book seemed like a big love fest and I found that it just filled pages and didn’t really move me one way or the other.

So…in the end I found this book to have it’s ups and downs. While I was plowing through the first part of the book and found it quite compelling the second part of it left me wanting, I’m sorry to say.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

three-half-stars

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Review: Dazed by Kim Karr

Posted March 26, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Dazed by Kim KarrReviewer: Tracy
Dazed by Kim Karr
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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…

Aerie Daniels is the kind of woman who uses organization to keep herself grounded. She can easily get caught up in things and the structure of her life helps keep her level. She doesn’t really date as she had a bad experience when she was 16 and never really recovered from it.

Enter Jagger Kennedy. He’s beautiful and hot as hell. He wants to get to know Aerie better but she’s not sure that’s wise. Against her better judgment she lets Jagger into her life and next thing you know she’s enjoying life in a whole new way. She’s trying new things and opening her heart to possibilities. That’s until she finds out that Jagger has been hiding the fact that his ex-girlfriend, the one he was going to ask to marry him, is not only in LA but that she’s up for a huge acting role opposite Jagger in a movie. Now Aerie’s not sure what she was thinking but she’s not about to stay open and risk getting her heart broken once again.

This was a great little story. We got to meet Aerie in the earlier Connections books but we never got to know her that well. That’s because really, no one gets to know Aerie that well, except her best friend, Dahlia. Finding out about Aerie’s past – not only with her parents and her beloved uncle, but also the boy she thought herself in love with when she was just 16 – shed a whole new light on her and how I viewed her. She was definitely a private person but she lived almost in a self-induced prison. Sure she was out and about but she never truly opened up to anyone. With Jagger she could let the walls come down and see a whole new life. Now when she loses trust in Jagger I thought it was a bit sudden and a bit overboard but I was happy with the resolution of it all and that made up for it.

I loved Jagger. He was just a care-free kind of guy. While some might think he was lazy and irresponsible what I saw was a guy who came from money but refused to rely on his parents for their money. I highly admired his determination to do it all on his own and though it hadn’t always been easy he’s managed to keep an optimistic view of life and that made me love him even more.

This was a novella so it wasn’t all that long but it got across all of the messages it needed to and gave us a wonderful glimpse into the romance of these two great characters. Definitely a satisfying read.
 
Rating: 3.5/3.75 out of 5

Kim Karr

three-half-stars

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