Thursday, September 26, 2013

Torn by Kim Karr

ARC provided by Kim Karr in exchange for an honest review.


Torn is the perfect sequel…..Really.

The review below contains spoilers for "Connected".

The minute I read the last sentence of “Connected”, I could not wait for “Torn”. I was obsessed.  The last chapter blew my mind, ripped the entire book apart, turn the story upside down and left me craving more… More River, more Ben, more Dahlia and the incessant need to answer the burning question: How does the existence of Ben factor into their lives??  Needless to say, “Torn” has given me the worse case of book hangover I’ve suffered, EVER.  This is not your typical love triangle.  It is a love story about two men who are deeply in love with and fight for the same woman. 

At the end of “Connected”, Dahlia’s phone is ringing…answering a call that will change her world forever.  Dahlia, a woman who has seen enough heart ache to fill several lifetimes, has finally moved beyond the loss of Ben.  She had witnessed his murder, which tore her life apart.  She mourned his death for over two years and is managing to piece a new life together with River.  Continuing her life without her best friend turned fiancée was not easy.  Ben was her rock and has carried her through the emotional trauma of losing both her parents.  The twist in Connected…it turns out Ben is alive, hiding from some really bad people who posed a threat to both himself and Dahlia.  Ben, an investigative reporter, took on a dangerous assignment, which put them both at risk.  Making a selfish decision to put his career before his relationship with Dahlia, he faked his own death and starts his life anew.  When there is no longer the threat of danger, Ben returns to his former life, ready to reclaim Dahl’s heart while disrupting her plans to marry her current fiancée River.  WOW!

River, a hot and damn sexy singer in a rock band, met Dahlia during her college days. The two become reunited and their relationship turns into a full-blown romance. River becomes an important part of Dahlia’s life by helping her move on from darkness to a bright future.   He is her soul mate and protector.  I could feel his undying love for Dahlia throughout the story.  With Ben’s return, River begins to doubt his relationship with Dahlia and fears she will be lost to him forever.  This doubt tears River’s heart. I ached for River and his devotion to Dahlia swelled my heart.  He longs for assurances, longs to believe he is her true love and not a consolation prize. 

“ I love you, Dahlia, I love everything about you.  You’re perfect, really…. And I will love you more, forever.” SWOON!!

He is a white knight, a dream lover and one hell of a sexy beast.  When these two get together, they have some of the most sensual, panty melting, sexual encounters. From a good old fashion backyard banging, to a birthday striptease, their passion is never ending. 

With the return of Ben comes the discovery of his past secrets, his betrayals and how they involve the people in her life.  These secrets have the potential to crush Dahlia.  But, Dahlia is by no means a damsel in distress.  Despite being plagued by so much sadness, she is a strong and determined woman.  She has made her decision as to whom she loves and will continue to spend her life with.   She is not a weak willed, fickle girl who bounces between the hearts of two men.  The man she has chosen to love feeds that strength and helps her to persevere. Dahlia is rock solid.  Her strength is what I loved most and she is one of my most favorite female lead characters.

Ben has torn my heart apart.  With the masterful writings of Kim Karr, I abhorred, pitied and adored his character.  I wanted to both strangle and coddle him (at certain times).  I am perplexed as to how I could feel compassion for him. But I did, despite the fact that he is an arrogant, cocky, selfish, lying son-of-a-bitch.  His betrayals are many to both Dahl and his family.  He thinks himself noble, believing his decisions were made with Dahl’s safety in mind... I call BULLSHIT.  Ben had choices and Dahlia was not a priority. And I love…LOVED how she rips into him… calling him out on what he has done.

“Do you have any idea what I’ve been though?  What you put me though?  You died in front of me… you didn’t disappear, Ben – you fucking died in front of my eyes. I saw him – the asshole who shot you. I saw the coroner take your body away.  I went to your God damn funeral… I cried for you, mourned you, missed you. At times I just wanted to die without you…” Love a chick with CAJONES!

But there are times when you see that Ben truly loves Dahl.  A tiny piece of my heart bleeds for him, for he too has suffered losses in this story, mostly by his own self-destructive hands.  I pity Ben for what he did and what he endured.  But make no mistake, he adores Dahl and is persistent in his fight for her love.

“Through everything, after all this time, you need to know…I have never stopped loving you, not for one second…” Ah Ben, you are a conundrum. I both love and hate you.

Both men love Dahlia. Both are loved by Dahlia.  Ben and River, regardless of their faults, believe they have the right to own her heart and will fight for her future.  Following Dahlia’s journey there’s the discovery of which man, either her past or her present love, she surrenders her heart too.  From the pain in Dahlia’s heart comes the beauty in her soul. Torn is truly an exquisite love story.

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