Friday, October 11, 2013

Torn Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway


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?


 ***

4.5 Steamy, Emotional Stars! 

I loved the first book, Connected! I adored the journey that the two main characters went through, the discovery of a 'once-in-a-lifetime' kind of love. I loved watching Dahlia bloom, go through something so painful and emotionally challenging to finding the strength to open up again. I loved seeing her thinking she'd never find love again to her crossing paths with River and finding that fairy tale romance with him. There was so much personal growth in the characters, and I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom into something oh, so real. It was passionate and explosive, sweet and lovable. I fell in love with River Wilde, and I fell in love with the story that Kim Karr so eloquently crafted in Connected.

But Torn was so much more than its predecessor; more angst, more passion, more drama. And more love. <3

***

When Dahlia met River, it was like she'd been given a second chance at love. Here was someone with whom she'd connected to instantly when she met him years ago. But because of Ben, she'd never been able to explore what would have happened had she stayed in that bar. And after her fiance died, she'd given up on love. But a chance encounter with River again makes Dahlia realize that the connection has not been severed and that she's being given another chance at love and happiness. So, she takes it. And the rest is pretty straight-forward. Dahlia and River fall in love, get engaged, buy a house, and are excited to spend the rest of their lives together. But life has a way of throwing you curveballs...

Ben is alive, and he wants Dahlia back. Okay: A) Ben is a jerk, B) He doesn't deserve her back, and C) He's a jerk. ...oops, I already said that. But seriously, I actually really dislike him. And it's not just because I believe that River and Dahlia are meant to be together, and I don't want Ben in the way of their happiness. It's because he's a jerk, a cheater, and a liar. He also ruined her life and the lives of his family. He made a decision that altered the course of so many lives, and when he comes back, it's like a domino effect. One thing after another starts to fall apart for Dahlia. And Ben's claims that he did it all for her have absolutely no effect, and it just makes things worse.

I thought Dahlia acted very maturely in that situation; a situation she never thought she'd find herself in. While everyone else tried to put in their two cents, it gets on her nerves and sends her spiraling. Everyone wants something from her. Ben wants forgiveness. His mom wants her to forgive him. River wants her to not talk to him. Arie wants her to look at the situation from Ben's point of view. But what does Dahlia want in all of this? 
"The word forgive means something different to each of us and we each choose whether we can do it or not." 
You're damn right, Dahlia! It is HER choice to forgive him, and no one else's. Through all of this indecision, hurt, and confusion, I applauded how she handled everything that was thrown her way in such a short time. Sometimes her decisions made me cringe, but ultimately, I don't know how someone could have handled it any better than she did. I don't know as I would, considering I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive a guy who did that to me. Ben thought he was doing the right thing, that he was protecting her, but the way he went about it was cowardly. And the repercussions of his decision will be felt for a long, long time. 

Not only was it affecting Dahlia, but it was affecting her relationships with everyone in her life. Especially River. And the lack of honest communication between her and River is starting to take its toll. They're fighting; the sex is more aggressive (and more HOT, I should add), and it makes them both question whether that connection between them is strong enough to make it through this. 

Want to know why I loved the drama so much in this book, when I usually, absolutely can't stand it? I thought River and Dahlia needed this! See, their relationship in the first book was nearly perfect. That connection had never been severed since that first night they'd met, and the love that they found with each other was new and exciting and romantic. There were no obstacles, no dead ex-boyfriend showing up out of the blue. It wasn't tested, and THAT'S why I enjoyed watching them unravel, because I know that you never know the true strength of a relationship until it's challenged.
"A beautiful thing is never perfect." -River
Their love is beautiful, but it will never be perfect. And that's okay! No relationship is perfect, and no couple is happy all the time. I think, that this "obstacle" with Ben (and really, that's all Ben was--an obstacle), showed a new depth in both Dahlia and River. It also made them realize that relationships take work, trust, and honesty, as well as actual communication about their problems, worries, and concerns. They never questioned their own feelings, but they questioned each other's, and it leads them down a path that they're not sure they can back away from. 
Isn't that what love is--knowing someone can crush you, but believing they never will, trusting them not to?
Dahlia trusted Ben, and he hurt so badly I'm surprised she could forgive him. But it's scarred her, and it leaves her questioning whether River would do something like that to her. And then she realizes she's stupid for even thinking along those thoughts. River is NOT Ben, and it takes her awhile to see that. Make no mistake, though, for this is not a love triangle. Sure, Ben shows up and wants her back. And, I have to admit, I did wonder myself if Dahlia would entertain the idea of getting back together with Ben. But she is sorely underestimated as a strong, female character. God forbid she takes a look at her relationships with both men and compares them! Like I said, I can't classify this as a love triangle. It does take Dahlia a little bit to step back and look at her life. Everyone's trying to tell her what to do and how to feel that she doesn't take the time to figure out what she wants.

And what she realizes is that what she has with River is so much more than what she ever had with Ben. She also realizes that River would never hurt her like Ben did and that he will always have her best interests at heart. Because, let's be honest, River is amazing. He's perfect, really. ;) Honestly, I wanted to see this new side of him, the guy who isn't always perfect and romantic. He showed a little possessiveness and jealousy, got angry. It's not that I love that side of him; I just wanted to see him unravel a bit. Call me crazy, but I wanted to see that perfect façade drop.

Once Dahlia figures out what her heart wants, she goes about fixing her relationships with everyone, including Ben. She can stop listening to everyone else and just make decisions on her own. She has such incredible strength. From finding out her first love isn't really dead to a terrible, painful tragedy, Dahlia never let herself give up. Not on her loved ones, or herself. It was this personal growth that I was missing in Connected. She'd never been truly tested until her life and her relationships started to unravel. 

The way Kim Karr crafted this story of strength, passion, tragedy, and love had me giddy with happiness. I was so invested in Dahlia's and River's relationship, and I absolutely loved the end result! The conclusion to their story was effective and downright perfect. <3 Though I'm still a bit on the "hate" side of my feelings for Ben, I'm excited for what's to come in the rest of the series! And that sneak peek into Xander's novel has me anxiously awaiting the release of Mended. :)

***



Dahlia and River's first meeting from Connected in River's POV!

Next Lifetime

The set ends so I walk over behind Garrett to lean my guitar against the wall. I pull my shirt up to wipe the sweat off my forehead. It’s hotter than shit in here and I need a drink. Garrett laughs, tipping his head back to swallow the beer he somehow already has.
“You going to grab a drink? I’ll take another,” he says as he downs the rest of his beer. “And, dude, wear this. Seriously man, your hair looks like shit,” he says throwing his beanie at me.
I move closer and shove him a little and put the hat on my head. “Shut the fuck up, you should talk.”
I hop off the stage and my sister rushes over to me. “River, I need you to take me home as soon as the last set is over. I have someone meeting me back at my apartment.” 
I shake my head, knowing it must be a guy. “Yeah yeah, I will Bell, but really can’t you get a boyfriend that has some manners? You know, like actually picks his date up and maybe even takes her out? And at a decent hour?” 
She rolls her eyes. “All guys aren’t like you, big brother. Nice beanie,” she teases before disappearing back into the crowd.
As I walk through the jam-packed room, some brunette chick I think looks familiar asks me if I want to grab a drink in private. I kindly refuse, telling her I need to refuel before my next set. She’s still talking when I motion toward the bar to signal that I’m moving away. As my eyes flash across the bar, they’re suddenly drawn to a beautiful girl standing against it. And she’s looking directly at me. 
I start walking toward her, leaving behind the brunette who is still talking. As I stare at the beautiful girl, I think, “I want her.” Tall, slim, long blonde hair that’s pulled away from her face. But it’s her eyes that get me—the way she’s looking at me. Shit, I’ve talked to about a dozen chicks tonight, but she is the only one who has me interested. 
As I stare back at her I’m feeling like she’s not just any girl. Not just a girl to have sex with. I’m actually having a fucking conversation with myself. I can’t figure out what’s going on in my own head.
I try not to smile, but I know she’s checking me out. Fuck, why’d I put this hat on? I quickly pull it off and comb my fingers through my hair. I can’t take my eyes off her and I feel like I want to knock everyone out of my way to get to her.
When I finally reach the bar, I stand right in front of her. For some weird reason I feel the urge to touch her, but instead I shove my hands in my pockets. She’s smiling at me and I smile right back. This girl is hot. Her eyes still haven’t left mine this whole time, so I decide to break the ice by calling her out. “Were you staring at me?”
She pouts her lips and rolls her eyes. Shit, that look gets me. 
“No, I was just looking for my friend while I waited on my drinks. You just happened to be in my line of vision.” 
I stifle my laugh and say, “That look was hot.” I want to say, “You’re hot,” but I don’t—not yet anyway. 
I can tell she’s trying not to laugh. If she does, I know I have her. Her phone rings and her smile fades. “Why would you think I was looking at you, anyway?”
The person beside her walks away and I secure my place next to her. I toss my hat on the counter and lean against the bar, my eyes never leaving hers. I answer in the most honest way I can. “Because I was staring at you, hoping you were staring back.” 
I don’t want to fuck this up so I decide to be the guy Bell always tells me I am—the
guy with manners. Then I say what I should have said first. “With all this talk about who was staring at whom I think we forgot the basics, I’m River,” I say as I extend my hand.
She reaches hers out. Hey, I get to touch her. But she quickly pulls her hand back before I get to grasp it and accidentally knocks a dude’s beer over. The asshole gives her a dirty look and swears. I know I have to step in because this guy is out of line. I gently guide her out of my way and try to control myself as I say, “Sorry man, just an accident, but let me buy you another.” I hand him a ten, “Buy two.” I hope he takes the money and leaves. Lucky for him he does, because otherwise I might deck him.
I turn around to find the girl smiling at me and sliding one of her beers my way. I start to drink it and she says, “Thank you, that guy sure as shit wasn’t happy with me. In fact he kind of acted like an asshole.” I can’t help but laugh mid-sip, almost spitting the beer out of my mouth. Not cool. 
Not able to resist any longer, I run my finger over her smooth bare shoulder and lock my eyes on hers. “You’re more than welcome.”
She just barely shudders and steps back. I’m pretty sure she’s interested in me so I step closer, not wanting to break our connection. “Now, where were we? Do we need to start over?” I ask, looking into her eyes.
“We were introducing ourselves,” she says smiling.
“Okay, so let’s try again. I’m River and you are . . .?”
“I’m not sure you need to know that information right now. I’m kind of thinking you might be a stalker,” she teases.
I laugh. I’m all about game playing but I’m not ready to play. I really want to get to know this girl, and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual, so I avoid dropping the canned line I might have used on another girl and say, “You’re not serious, are you beautiful girl?”

***


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 soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.
***

***GIVEAWAY!***
 1 Kindle copy of Torn is up for grabs! This is INTERNATIONAL! :) 

8 comments:

  1. Yes I have read it and I loved it! Can't wait to read Torn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Connected, too. And you'll LOVE Torn. :)

      Delete
  2. I have connected and am very excited to read Torn! Thanks for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes, I've read Connected and loved it! Can't wait for Torn!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you'll love Torn as much as you did Connected. I sure did. :)

      Delete

Comments always make me smile. :) Seriously. Even if you comment on the post weeks or months later, it makes my day! So don't hesitate to leave your thoughts even if it's been a long time since the post was published. I'll try to reply to you, especially if you ask a question, but sometimes life happens. But I do read and appreciate every single one of them because I know how hard it can be to find the time or energy to comment. So a heartfelt THANK YOU for brightening my day when you do. <3