Publishing Date: May 7, 2013
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice?
Suffering from a past full of tragedy, Dahlia London’s soul has been left completely shattered. Happily ever after is a far cry from reality in her world. But, when she is reconnected with her past, the bonds that form are irrefutable.
When River Wilde, lead singer of The Wilde Ones, comes back into Dahlia’s life, the intensity that fires their relationship combined with underlying feelings that have never died lead her to believe she has met her soulmate.
Struggling with confusion as old connections fade and new ones begin, Dahlia’s grief begins to lift–but guilt remains. River wants to be the one to mend all that is torn within her.
But with a past that is never really gone, can their future survive?
Dahlia London’s life was a roller coaster of ups and downs. Her parents were wonderful people. Her father gave her his love for music and took her to concerts at The Greek where he worked. Her mother gave her a love for fashion. Dahlia doesn’t know what she would have done when she lost them in a plane crash if her life-long friend and love, Ben, hadn’t been there to be her rock. They have been friends since childhood. Ben was her first lover and they would soon be married.
Dahlia had her future all planned out at least until the night that Ben was killed in a carjacking gone wrong. Without her rock to help her through this storm, Dahlia retreats from life for almost two years. If it were not for her friends, she doesn’t know if she would have survived at all.
When she finally emerges from her depression, her friend Aerie, the editor of Sound Music assigns her to do a photo shoot of up and coming band, The Wilde Ones, and get an interview with singer, River Wilde. Aerie knows that Dahlia hasn’t forgotten that night five years ago when she met River at the bar near her college. His band was on a break and he zeroed in on her standing alone at the bar. They only talked for a few minutes before he had to play again, but the chemistry between them was legendary. Dahlia knew if she actually waited for River after his set like he had asked, she would have done something that would have destroyed her lifelong relationship with Ben. She had to leave before he came back, because she was too tempted to stay.
Of course, River wouldn’t remember her. She was just a girl he talked to at a bar five years ago. She was sure he met lots of woman at bars over the years. Yet she is surprised to find out that River did remember her and was still upset that she didn’t wait for him that night. He even wrote a song about the girl who walked away from him that night.
River also felt that magical connection to Dahlia that night. He never understood the pull she had on him after only a few minutes, but this time River isn’t going to let Dahlia walk away.
Dahlia London is the most beautiful woman to walk the earth since Helen of Troy. I know this because I counted and the author used the word beautiful 103 times in this story. Both Ben and River go on and on incessantly throughout the novel of how beautiful Dahlia is…how sexy…how gorgeous. River constantly calls her Beautiful Girl, and tells her how sexy she is when she pouts. (Let see how sexy that pout still is 10 years from now, River.) Ben became caveman-boyfriend whenever another man even looked at Dahlia, even though his own fidelity is questionable.
She is so beautiful that they throw treasures at her. Ben hunts the world for an antique bracelet and River has a necklace and jewelry created just for her.
And if she wasn’t giggling, she was crying, or wondering if (after two years) she is betraying Ben’s memory by having feelings for River.
So you might ask why would I give a book four stars that obviously made me vomit a little in my mouth as I was reading? That’s because Kim Karr had some great plot ideas. Now there was a point halfway through the book that made me put in a bookmark and race to the beginning to check on something that I thought I had read and made me go “Oooo, interesting. That’s gonna be a problem.” Then there were questions that I had of things that didn’t make sense to me and presumptions that I had of where the plot would take us. And at the end of the story, there’s a great big WTF?? moment that filled in all the blanks and made me have to rethink much of what happened in the story. I now understand why there is so much clamor over Book #2, Torn.
I have a copy and I will be back with a review of Torn. I am very interested in how Kim is going to lay out the second half of this story, but I do need a bit of a break to quiet the nausea before I have to hear more of how beautiful Dahlia is. I am quite surprised that there are not fist fights breaking out in the streets when she is in public from the men that must possess her great beauty. Oh, no. I’m queasy again.
Kim Karr has a nice flair for story outlines, but let’s hope her next story involves a heroine who is maybe funny and a good cook, and not so bad to look at.
Received ARC from netgalley.com courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Driving out of the parking lot, he pulls his car over ot the side of the road and cocks his head toward me. “Did I tell you how amazing you look?” His voice is soft with a rough whispering, raspy tone.
Losing myself in his green eyes, I answer honestly, “Yes, actually, you did, but I don’t mind hearing it from you again.”
With his eyes locked on mine, he nods his head. “Just wanted to make sure you knew.” Grinning, he turns back to face the road and pulls out of the hotel parking lot.
“Mind if I change before we head out?”
He pauses a second to look at me, and when he see me shake my head, he continues, “You can grab a drink while I take a quick shower.”
Then thumbing to the backseat where his guitar is, he says, “I have to drop my guitar off anyway, I had a photo shoot before our meeting and they wanted pictures of me with her.”
I giggle, despite myself. Her? He calls his guitar “her?”
“What?” he asks in mock offense.
Still giggling, I ask, “Does your girl have a name?”
Laughing back, he answers, “Stella, her name is Stella, and don’t make fun. She’s the only girl I have ever really counted on.”
Having stopped my giggling and replaced it with appreciate, I say, “I’m not making fun, I actually get it. I feel the same way about my camera.” And for good measure, I laugh a little and say, “Maybe I should name him.”
The humor having entered back into our conversation, he chuckles along. “Him?”
“Him, her, I don’t know. I’ve never given it that much thought, but having a girl sleeping my room with me every night isn’t my thing.” I know this will elicit a reaction.
He’s full-out chucking now. “Hmmm…you should see the picture I have in my head right now, no pun intended.”
Pouting my lips, I raised my eyes upward. “I’d rather not.”
“That look was hot,” he says after letting out a soft groan.
We stop at a red light and my gigglefest is over. As I glance over at him and he’s looking at me, I wonder if he can see into the future because the look he’s giving me tells me he sees what I see.
His phone rings again from his pocket, and he ignores it again. He slowly reaches over, grabs a strand of my hair, and very slowly tucks it behind my ear, sending shivers down my spine. Circling his index finger around my ear, he lightly tugs on my lobe, sparking a heat within my body that I have only felt once before. My body starts to quiver. I look up to meet his hooded eyes and decide to just come out and ask him if he remembers me but before the words can come out, horns start honking. The light has turned green and I close my mouth.