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?
If you have not read Connected, book 1 in this series, stop! Look no further. Seriously, stop reading this review. I don’t want to spoil anything for you. You’re going to want to read Connected to the very end before diving into Torn.
Torn picks up a little bit before the end of Connected. This story was packed with angst, sex, emotion, sex, betrayal, more sex, and a couple of gut wrenching surprises I did not see coming.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love River Wilde. He captured my heart in the last book, but I have to be honest here. Ben stole the show. He was a complete arrogant ass from the moment he appeared on the page and I ate it up. Could not get enough of him. He has balls the size of Texas to fake his own death, screw around with meaningless women in a feeble attempt to get over Dahlia, and return THREE years later thinking he has a right to claim her as his. Unfortunately, for him Dahlia has moved on. River is cemented in her heart. But, that doesn’t stop him from trying.
Dahlia and River are not as strong as they were in the last book. There are some cracks in their relationship. Ben has a huge impact on them, but lack of communication, secrets, insecurity and doubt all play a part on casting a shadow over their love. River has things he’s kept from Dahlia since early on in their relationship. He’s done it with only her feelings in mind, but that doesn’t soften the blow when they come to the surface. Dahlia in return is dealing with the what and why of what Ben did. She has questions she wants and needs answered. She knows all these things combined are causing a rift between her and River, but instead of having a heart to heart they cling to their physical attraction to one another as means of dealing with the issues. Sex. Lots and lots of sex. For me, I think there was a bit too much sex. There’s more to them. I know there is because I saw and felt it in the last book. In Torn what I felt was a desperation for them to hang on to what they had, but neither one of them would talk about it.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It kept me on edge. When I thought one thing was settled Ms. Karr was throwing something else at us that I did not expect. I admit she made me cry a few times. By the end I was pleased with the outcome and am happily awaiting the next one.
1. What inspired you to write Connected and Torn?
The night The Voice premiered on NBC in April 2011, I watched it and fell in love with the show and Adam Levine. I started to think about his journey with Maroon 5 and the number of years it took him to gain fame. I had been thinking about writing a book but hadn’t come up with a storyline that intrigued me enough. For some reason, that night the story of Dahlia, River, and Ben came to mind. The name of book was different as well as character names, but the plot never veered. I always intended for these two books to be a duet and the ending of Connected was the very first thing I wrote.
2. Discuss your inspiration for Dahlia, Ben, River. How did they transpire?
Character inspiration for Connected evolved as soon as the concept of the book came alive in my mind, I knew I wanted a strong heroine and two heroes that loved her but in different ways. I created the characters from within, who they were, and then conveyed their personalities and appearances to the reader.
In my head, Dahlia had to be strong to weather the circumstances life threw her way, but I wanted her to be funny and loving with quirks and habits.
Ben’s personality, as well as his name, actually transpired from a character on a TV show I used to watch years ago. The character on the show was an avid basketball player and swimmer, but since Dahlia and Ben lived near the beach, I decided he should be a surfer. A surfer who has difficulty expressing his feelings, hasty in decision making, temperamental, and contemplative, somewhat of a contrast to Dahlia. But, Ben has true depth and sensitivity that Dahlia admires.
River’s character didn’t transpire as much—he just happened. He is who I would consider to be the perfect guy. I took all the traits I love and admire about men and lumped them into him.
3. Did you plan for your first book to turn into a series?
Yes I did. Just as I planned Connected and Torn to be a duet, my original plan was The Connections Series would consist of three duets for a total of six books. I have since changed my mind and the remaining books in the series will be stand alones. Of course they are part of a series and all characters will appear in all books.
4. You left Connected hanging with a major cliffhanger—will you do that in your next books?
Since I wrote the end of Connected before I wrote the beginning, I don’t regret the ending. Would I do again—absolutely! Would I write another book with a cliffhanger hanging—that I’m not sure about!
5. Do you have a specific writing style?
I think all writers do. We have a certain flow and sentence structure that rarely varies book to book. I have already plotted out the remaining books in the Connections Series and I’ve written the endings for each one.
6. What book are you reading now?
I try to keep up the latest releases as well as read releases in my favorite series. When I’m writing it’s hard to read but I try to set aside at least an hour a day.
7. What current project are you working on?
I am writing Mended. This is Xander’s Wilde story and his brother does make an appearance.
8. What can readers look forward to in the future?
My plan is finish Mended then decide if The Connections Series will consist of 5 or 6 books. I am considering cutting one. The book after Mended is Frayed and I have already started that story. It was actually suppose to be released before Mended but I changed my mind.
9. Please explain the importance of music to you in books. You said something in your Author’s note about how important it was to you in writing and that the chapter titles have significance.
All chapters in my books are named after songs that inspired me. Bob Marley said, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” As a listener, I couldn’t agree more. As a writer, I think it’s better to say music is what feelings sound like when those feelings are written in print.
Music and writing are different, yet similar arts. They both tell a story. They both convey emotion. Yet, one can be heard and the other seen. If you can write a story and put music behind it, I believe you can convey feelings in a more impactful, raw, and emotional way. When trying to express written emotions, the tone of a certain song can allow the reader to feel the sentiments that the character is feeling.
I chose to have each chapter be titled by a song that best represented the events occurring within. My goal is that the reader will listen to the song before reading each chapter so they will feel the full impact of the scene.
In the words of Billy Joel, “I think music in itself is healing. It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.” I couldn’t agree more. Listening to the lyrics of a song and truly understanding them tells such a beautiful story. So, combining this with an emotional novel just helps bring it to life.
10. Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice to new writers: plan out your story before you begin. It is so much easier to fill in the chapters than sit there with a blank screen trying to figure out what to write. Also, reach out, make friends, share your work, find a support group, and always have faith in your work.
With so much pain and anger welling up inside me, I know I can’t have this conversation with him right now. Feeling strangled, out of breath, I take a step back and free my hand from his. I trusted him completely—and he kept this from me. I have to calm down and figure out what that means. At the same time I can’t help looking into his mesmerizing green eyes. I can’t handle seeing my own fear and anger reflected in his eyes any longer. His stare intensifies and he’s looking at me, and I mean really looking at me, as if willing our connection to fix all of this.
I swallow a few times before forcing myself to look away. “No River, I can’t talk to you when we’re like this. I know we will both say things we don’t mean. We need time to figure our anger out before we sit down and have a conversation.”
He tries to yank me flush to his body. His voice shakes with fury. “I don’t need time to figure anything out. I get it. You left me a note. You ran here the first chance you got to see him! Was it a happy reunion or were things just getting started?”
I have never heard this kind of furious tone from him before, and, without any control, I pull back and slap him. “I told you I’m not having this conversation right now. Listen to yourself!”
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