Torn by Kim Karr
Publishing Date: October 1, 2013
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Our giveaway winner is Mary Jo. Congratulations.
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?
Connected introduced us to all the characters and gave us an insight into the connections between them. In Torn, Kim Karr amps up the storyline and makes everyone re-think whether those connections would truly hold up under the pressures that life will throw at them.
Dahlia London and River Wilde were just settling into their new relationship. A simple phone call stops them from the getting on a plane to Vegas that would begin their new life together as husband and wife. A simple phone call that turns their world upside down and they fear that their fragile new bond might not weather this storm.
Dahlia’s past has re-emerged from the shadows and will shake River’s confidence in Dahlia’s love for him. But it is not just Dahlia’s past that is the problem. The pressure from River’s future is causing undue stress on their already straining bond.
River’s brother Xander has set up a tour with a new record producer. Making music is River’s passion but going on tour is one of his worst nightmares. He hates the crowds and the bus and lack of privacy. Living on the road and standing in the spotlight are not what River wants. It is what his Dad wanted. River just wants to write songs.
If River won’t go on tour, the record company could destroy the band’s career and after years of trying, River doesn’t know if he could do that to his friends and to his brother. His relationship with his brother is strained, his friends know their careers depend on River coming on tour, and Dahlia is being left to fight her past all on her own. River needs to decide between the band and Dahlia and choosing one over the other is tearing at his soul.
River is cracking under the pressure of choosing between his friends and his one true love and if he doesn’t make a decision soon, he just might loose everything.
Connection was an interesting romance with some nice characters. I would even go as far as to say it was even a bit hokey with how much the five minutes of flirting with Dahlia in a bar rocked River’s world, causing him to write a hit song about their chance meeting. Although we do know that Dahlia is so beautiful she cannot be forgotten. If it wasn’t for the last few pages that completely rocked the story, I would have judged it as a ho-hum, okay romance which was slightly gag-worthy with the obnoxious use of beautiful to describe Dahlia.
BUT–it is that last few pages that made me need to dive into Torn and see where Kim was planning on taking the story. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant that Torn would turn out to be the typical “what should I do” because Dahlia’s character was very wishy-washy in the beginning of Connected. She was interested in moving on with River, but afraid she was betraying the memory of her dead fiance (dead two years at that point), back and forth for quite awhile.
I don’t want to delve too much into the plot of the story here and risk ruining the surprises, but I was quite surprised to see that Dahlia grew a spine between Books #1 and #2 which made her a much more enjoyable and likable character, and that the story didn’t give in to typical romance storylines. Dahlia and River’s relationship was being tested on so many levels, but they fought hard for each other.
River and Dahlia go through more than your typical “does he love me like I love him” relationship stress and both bend under the pressure, but their relationship grows stronger because of it. The secondary characters were given enough story time to draw your interest to the upcoming stories in the series and if she continues to improve her series as we see between Connected and Torn, I have no doubt that she will increase her fan base as the Connected series continues.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.
The next morning we’re back outside in the yard and I love how River’s green eyes sparkle in the sunlight as I watch him from the lounge chair. I have my coffee in one hand and my Kindle in the other. He turns to me and shoots me his full-blown smile. His dimples always make my heart flutter. Even with a black eye, he still takes my breath away.
“You’re really not going to help me, are you?”
I shake my head from side to side. “Nope. You have to learn your lesson.”
“What lesson would that be?” He walks over to me with the broom still in his hand.
Setting my book down, I hold my hand over my eyes to block out the sun and say, “Why, the ‘you break it, you clean it up’ lesson, of course.”
He lets the broom fall to the patio and pushes my knees up toward me as he straddles the lounge chair.
“Hey, watch my coffee!”
Taking my coffee from my hand, he sets it on the side table. His mouth is on mine before I can say another word. Then pulling away, he runs his hands up the inside of my thighs and says, “I have a few lessons I wouldn’t mind teaching you. And I bet mine are much more fun.”
I wrap my arms around his neck and pull him back to me. He presses his mouth to mine and with the taste of his lips, the feel of his breath, everything seems perfect. Suddenly he sits up, his hand comes to my cheek, where he cups my face for a long moment, and then just stands up.
“Where are you going?” I protest.
With a sexy grin he says, “I have to finish cleaning up.”
I pout my lips. I wasn’t done kissing him.
He laughs. “I’m getting too turned on siting here like this, but if you want to help me, we could finish a hell of a lot faster and start on one of those lessons.”
I giggle. “Nah, I’m good.”
He slips his Rolling Stones T-shirt off and tosses it at me. “It’s hot out here.”
He grabs the broom and walks back over to the shattered green glass.
My eyes scan his perfect back–the way his muscles flex and move with every sweep of the broom, the way his skin glistens in the sunlight. “I know exactly what you’re up to and it’s not going to work.”
He smiles darkly. “Oh, you have no idea what I’m up to. Trust me.” He winks before turning back around. Bending over, he attempts to push the glass into the dustpan with the broom. He manages to get about a quarter in each time and the more I watch, the more I feel bad. He really could use some assistance. I finally stand up and walk over to help him.
When I’m standing next to him, I place my hands on my hips and let out a deep exaggerated sigh.
“Hand me the broom and I’ll sweep the glass into the dustpan.”
His eyes peer up at me as a smirk crosses his face. “You sure?”
I nod my head and his smirk grows wider.
But instead of handing me the broom, he drops it to the ground and lunges forward to hoist me over his shoulder.
“Put me down! What are you doing?”
“Lesson number one, beautiful girl–never feel sorry for the person who looks incapable of cleaning up because more than likely it’s just a big act.” And with that, he tosses me into the pool. Surfacing, I sputter water out of my mouth and yell, “You suck.”
“No, I’m just good,” he says smugly.