LoveFest Connected & Torn by Kim Karr

What if a “Once in a Lifetime” could happen twice?

In Dahlia London’s world, happily ever after is a far cry from reality. Her soul has been left completely shattered by tragedy. But a surprising reunion with someone from her past is about to give her a reason to love again…

When rock star River Wilde comes back into Dahlia’s life, their super-charged connection runs deeper than either of them ever expected. The more time they spend together, the more intense their relationship becomes, and Dahlia believes at last she has found her soul mate.

But as old bonds fade and Dahlia’s grief begins to lift, her guilt and confusion remain. River desperately wants to be the one who mends what’s been broken—but with a past that refuses to stay buried, is it possible for their future to begin?
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Excerpt Chapter 2 from CONNECTED (Connections #1)
Written by Kim Karr
Time is Running Out

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

Rachel's 5 Star Review of Connected

Oh Holy Hotness...I was  pretty sure I was gonna enjoy Connected when I first glimpsed the playlist. I am a sucker for music, so if a book has an awesome playlist, I'm interested. I knew for sure at the end of the prologue that I couldn't go without reading this book. The mystery of WHY someone is standing outside, in a place now despised, with thunder and lightning crashing down, crying was one that needed to be solved, so I read on.  I laughed, smiled, and cried. That was all within the first five chapters. I didn't even know the main characters name until the end of chapter 3 and I didn't even care, I was that engrossed. Oh, by the way, her name is Dahlia!
Can't forget hot surfer boyfriend Ben, and super hottie rocker, River...

~Moving a little closer, he places his leg in between mine. With a strained voice he whispers, "Those lyrics tell the story, Dahlia-our story. I wrote that song five years ago and even now when I sing it, your face is the face I see."

~My body quivers as he leans in and lightly kisses my forehead, sliding his lips down my temple to my ear. "I just wanted you to know because I felt connected to you that night in a way I've never felt connected to anyone. Then today, when I saw you again, that connection I felt years ago instantly returned."

The feelings and emotions that Kim Karr evokes is just amazing. I read this morning, noon, and night...really, I had my kindle hidden at work and I continued to read...I NEEDED to.  The story flows, you don't know how much time is passing...You are engulfed in the world that Kim Karr has created and you don't want to be anywhere else. The characters, all of them are so well rounded and realistic, with their personalities so utterly come to life.  Dahlia has the epitome of loving husband in Ben, ugh I was so jealous.  Then, in the blink of an eye, it's gone.  Everything that has made Dahlia who she is, just gone...
 I get to the epilogue and OMFG...I can't believe it! I was looking for a twist, but with everything that's said, kinda expected a certain boy/girl relationship, and WHAM! out of the blue something else entirely. I am crying like a baby, big fat tears rolling down my cheeks...TORN, here I come!


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?
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Torn Prologue
Close your eyes and you can imagine what it was like. Hot, sticky, crowded. Smoke,

flashing screens, and lighters flickering. Fans screaming, laughing, clapping, and crying.

Bodies pushing, shoving, trying to catch a glimpse. Everyone wanting to see the stage—

the lights, the equipment, the musician himself.

He was running back and forth singing, headbanging, and playing his guitar. The

lyrics were jumbled. His movements out of sync. The sound of the bass thumped through

the crowd so loud my body vibrated with every wrong note played. I just wanted it to


Nick Wilde had opened for the Counting Crows at the Hollywood Bowl. It was his

second chance— and he blew it. The crowd was exhilarated at the start of his first song

and he owned the stage but it didn’t last long. By the third song he was improvising,

pulling notes, and forgetting words. He was lost in his own trance, soaked in alcohol, and

no one could help him…not Xander, not my mother, and definitely not me. “Mr. Jones”

started playing before he even finished his fourth song…and he never played onstage


Music was his soul. Music was in all of our souls. When we were younger he taught

us everything he could…how to play, to sing, the right way to command a stage. We

knew every song by every artist. We traveled to concert after concert. Music was his life

and it became ours.

But he wasn’t happy just playing. He had a dream—he wanted to be famous. And

somewhere along the way his dream became an obsession. I’ll give it to him, he got

further than most do. By the age of nineteen he had been signed by a label and cut his

first album. But after a disappointing run they released him. He spent the next fifteen

years working the circuit—clubs, churches, weddings, birthday parties, as he waited for

another big break. And then, just like that, he blew his golden opportunity.

Everything in our life changed after that. The drinking got worse, Grandpa came

around more to check on us, and Mom went back to work. Every day left another kink in

his chain as he lived in his own world. I was sixteen when his plan A became my plan B

and, just like him, at a young age, I cut my first album. But unlike him I had Xander. He

wasn’t going to let me fail. The band’s album had a slow start but after a year of touring,

it started to gain popularity.

I remember the first time the Wilde Ones graced a real stage. We were restless. We

had been sitting around for hours waiting. When we were finally up we strutted

confidently across the stage like we had in rehearsal, but, really, we were nervous as hell.

The lights were much brighter and the audience so much bigger than we were used to.

When the guys started to play, soft, barely audible words flew out of my mouth so fast I

forgot to breathe. The band was drowning me out and I knew it. Looking around, I

adjusted the microphone height and took in the crowd. They were cheering me on with

such enthusiasm that my voice finally soared over them. It was the same voice I’d grown

up with, the one my dad had fostered. It was raw and present and soulful, and, in that

moment, my music came alive. The crowd went crazy and just like that my life changed


Xander struck while the iron was hot. He arranged to go on tour. That was the

beginning of the end for me. We started out small. Smaller venues, shitty hotels, crappy

food, and a lot of drinking. We opened for band after band and the relationships I

made…they kept me going, that and being up on that stage doing what I loved…it kept

me going, wanting to make my dad proud…yeah, that, too.

But touring was a constant infringement on my personal space. I hated the cramped

quarters, lack of privacy, constant strict schedule, never being in the same city for more

than two nights, people following you everywhere, people always wanting something

from you. Even the girls throwing themselves at you got old. It was the longest year of

my life, but I did it for him because somewhere along the way his dream morphed into

mine. What I came to realize was that his dream wasn’t mine—my dad thought being on

tour meant you had made it. His dream was about being famous. Mine is about the music.

As the venues got bigger so did the crowds, the fanfare, and I could see how you

could get lost in it, caught up in it—but I was determined not to end up like my father. He

was addicted to the fame. I’m addicted to the creative process. I hope that difference

between us is enough. The tour ended and we wrote, we played around LA, and as time

passed life was good. But I had managed to put off cutting another album long enough.

This time I was doing it for the band and for my brother and for me—because I love the

music. Cutting the album—that’s the fun part. It’s the promoting I dreaded, at least until

the day I saw her through the glass. The girl who inspired our song “Once in a Lifetime,”

the girl Xander always referred to as my muse, the girl who stole my heart one night and

then crushed it at the very same time.

She was as beautiful as I remembered and with one glance she took my breath away.

She walked my way, pulling a suitcase behind her, and my heart skipped a beat. I knew

immediately she was the one sent to interview me and suddenly any negativity I had

about doing press was gone. I couldn’t help but watch her. I wanted her unlike anyone I

had ever wanted before. I had to stifle a laugh when her briefcase fell off the top of her

suitcase and she glanced around to see who saw. I wanted to yell, “Only me and don’t

worry because everything about you is sexy as fuck.”

I rushed to grab the door for her, but she pushed it forward and fell into me—not that

I minded in the least. I’d catch her over and over. There wasn’t a thing about her that I

didn’t remember from the first time we met and even the awkwardness of the moment

brought me to full attention. When her body pressed against mine, I knew in that

instant…this time I wasn’t letting her get away so easily. I’d go on a thousand tours to

have her in my life—there was just something about her, a light in her eyes that made

everything wrong feel right. And just like my dad, I got a second chance—it was her. But

unlike him, I wasn’t going to blow it.

When she extended her hand and said, “Hello, I’m Dahlia London from Sound

Music. I’m so sorry I’m late,” I knew she had to be mine.

 Rachel's 5 Star Review of Torn~

Torn begins right where Connected ends.  Dahl is in the hospital recovering from the attack.  Once they get home, River decides enough is enough and he wants to marry her NOW!  So Dalh agrees and they are just about to leave for Vegas when "Amazing Grace" starts playing on her phone.  She answers...and that, my friends, is where the gut-wrenchingly emotional, angst fueled story Dahlia London and River Wilde really begins...

 "Dahlia, River, we have something to tell you, I know it's going to be a .. " I try to listen but can't help but tune her out as I see a shadow walking toward us from the kitchen. When I look up I see an image of Ben.  I gasp and my stomach clenches.  Am I dreaming? This can't be real.  He's dead.  I know he is.  What's wrong with me?  I clench River's hand even harder and start to worry that maybe I'm suffering from a head injury.  I close my eyes hoping my hallucination will be gone when I reopen them, but it's not.  I am so confused.  I'm also really scared.
He stops moving and stands on the other side of the table.  I hear voices, but no words.  I hear River's voice. I hear Ben's voice.  I hear someone crying.  Wait-this can't be Ben.  I remember crying when he died.  I remember sitting in the pew between Grace and Serena, gripping both their hands while listening to Father John recite the Final Commendation and Farewell.  Grace leaned against me and I leaned against Serena.  I remember the tears they cried, the tears I cried.  They were all cried for him--because he was dead.

Oh my God, I loved every tear soaked chapter...All the Kleenex I went through...Torn comes down to Ben, Dahlia, River and all the secrets that have been kept.  All the half truths and plain out lies.  I loved reading Ben's journal entries and Ben's POV absolutely made this book for me.  Can you imagine having to pretend you're dead and leaving all your family?  The only girl that you've cared about your whole life?  And what it would do to them if you suddenly came back years later?  I feel so sorry for Ben, actually more than either for Dahlia or River.
And poor Dahl, on the day she decides to marry the man that made her live again, the man that completes her, the man that she doesn't know is keeping all these secrets from her, she is confronted with the first Love of her Life...  Just when she's been pulled from the brink of despair and started to live and love again.  And all of  his lies...which road does Dahlia's life head down?  Can either man keep her?  How can she choose?  Who does she choose?  How will this all end?  Wow, just read it already!  and then you can wait for the next with the rest of us.
Thank you Kim Karr for the emotional trauma I have personally suffered while reading this series..the makers of Kleenex  thank you also, along with the makers of waterproof mascara.  Can't wait to see what happens next!
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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for the amazing reviews! ~Kim xoxo