April 7, 2014

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: Torn (Connections #2)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

Torn (Connections #2), by Kim Karr
Published October 1, 2013
Berkley Romance
e-book, provided by the publisher via NetGalley
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads)
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?

Following the conclusion to Connections (Connections #1), I knew I was going to have to read Torn almost immediately. Connections ended in a most unexpected and cliffhangery way (the good kind of cliffhanger, not the bad kind). And, based on the description of Torn and what I could glean from the end of Connections, I expected Torn to include a ton of love triangly angst. So I was super thrilled when that didn't end up being the case. 

River and Dahlia have finally found their way to each other, through years and tears and lots of hard work. And now a blast from Dahlia's past has the power to single-handedly destroy the life they're working so hard to build, but only if Dahlia allows it to. Meanwhile, River has to stand back and let the chips fall where they may, and when it comes to the woman he loves, patience is not a virtue in his arsenal. The question is whether he can hold it together while Dahlia figures things out. 

Holy moly - if I thought Connections was emotional, I definitely wasn't prepared for Torn. River's hard work to win Dahlia over in Connections endeared me to him in a big way. So, I was always solidly on Team River. When Dahlia has a choice to make between him and someone else, I was still all, "Go Team River!" I never wavered. 

The really awesome thing about Torn was, Dahlia's reactions to a situation that presents itself were not what I had expected, especially given her response to her fiance's death in the beginning of Connections. I wouldn't have been a bit surprised if Dahlia had waffled a bit - wavered in her loyalties to River just a smidge. I maybe wouldn't have even blamed her for it. But, for once in a new adult book, our heroine made the smart choice from the get-go. Although shocked and dismayed, her dedication to River and her new life with him never faltered. So, now I'm all, "Go Team Dahlia!" 

River has a ton of reasons to be wary of his future now. In Torn, he's the one who has the most trouble dealing with the fallout of Dahlia's haunting past. Despite her constant reassurances, he struggles in some pretty bad ways with what he sees as potentially the end of his charmed life with the woman he loves. He drinks a lot. He stops communicating. And this is a far cry from the River we met in Connections. He had no trouble communicating then. The thought that Dahlia might not choose to be with him terrifies him and turns him into a different person. 

Despite his trouble talking about what his hang-ups are, River's love for Dahlia never wavers even for a second. 

I can't even explain to her what I see what I look at her. I must look at her a hundred times a day and each time I find something else, something more beautiful, than the last time I looked. It's not just her physical beauty that captivates me. Honestly, I don't care if she's wearing a ball gown or sweatpants; her beauty is all of her - it's who she is. And I want to spend the rest of my life looking at her, pulling her to me, loving her. I will spend the rest of my life doing all of those things - of that, I have no doubt. 
Once again, Torn is written in dual POV, so we have the delicious experience of being inside Dahlia's and River's head while dealing with their issues. There's also a third POV, told in a unique way (but, I won't give that part away). It's another hot, sexy read from Kim Karr, and one that has definitely solidified me as a fan. I'm well and truly hooked on the Connections series now and can't wait for the next book to come out.  

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