Release Day Post, Review, and Giveaway: Frayed: Kim Karr

Frayed (Connections # 4)
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Release Date September 2, 2014

He didn’t think, he didn’t question—he just acted.
What she wanted, she took—without regard.
It was only one night, but it changed everything.

After losing his fiancĂ©e, Ben Covington is unsure he’ll ever love again. But he’s so deeply drawn to Bell Wilde that he’s thrown for a loop. Maybe it’s purely sexual chemistry that’s igniting their spark… or maybe it’s his second chance at love. 

Bell has just gotten her life back on track and may not be up for the challenge of Ben Covington. But once they’re reunited, there’s no holding back—even if a secret from Bell’s past just might shatter them both.

I was a dead man, a man who then lost sight of what mattered and then fell over the edge. but somehow after everything I went though, I was tugged back up by life and able to land on my feet.

We have seen Ben and Bell throughout all of the books in this series. We have been given pieces of their past all throughout the series and a bit more with them in the novella Blurred. They have had a convoluted history: one night of forbidden passion in college, a re-start to a friendship that ended badly, and unresolved sexual tension. And now they are about to come face to face again. Their attraction and chemistry is undeniable. But they have baggage and family issues that make "them" a bad idea. But neither has much willpower when the other is involved. 

Now I have to admit that I have had a love-hate relationship with Ben. I turned the corner in Blurred and now that he is not a threat to River and Dahlia's relationship anymore, I can look at him with new eyes. He is not a bad guy. But he has made some questionable choices at various times, he got in over his head and had to suffer the consequences, and basically returned to a life no longer his own. He had to figure out all over again who he was, who he wanted to be, and what would make happy. He is now trying to find new purpose and returning to things he enjoys. And I can admire the man that has gone through it all and has finally decided that he needs to move forward and is starting to make positive changes. 

I have an urge to fill the empty void of loneliness that has loomed within the depths of my soul for far too long. 

Bell has her own set off issues. She is sassy, stubborn,  and strong, but also insecure and vulnerable. Her past demons haunt her and she often needs validation. She has suffered guilt and loss. She is not really sure what she wants to do with her life, but has been trying to succeed at something even if it does not really make her happy. Her life is full of stress and toxic people that she has to keep at bay.

I could really feel the chemistry between Ben and Bell. It had always been there, but their timing was horrible. And there were outside influences always affecting them. She tries various tactics to keep Ben from getting too close, but it is hard to avoid their natural heat and the fact that the more time they spend together, the more they actually want to. 

But Bell continues to push him away from anything more. She frustrated me at times as she held him at arm's length while he was really trying. But she had concerns and secrets that she worried would ruin it all. They both had trust and miscommunication issues that affected them as well. So it seemed at times they would take one step forward then two steps back. They both have such baggage that there is a lot to deal with. 

Lies, half-truths, what he doesn't know. What I'm afraid to tell him--not only because I have no idea how he'll react but because reliving our past is just too painful. It's the very reason this, him and me, can never work. 

As their bond continues to grow will they break from the pressure or come together and go for it all?

Just as the rest of the series, this one is full of little details, connections and cross overs. There are twists that sneak up on you. We see many of the characters from the other books including both of their family and friends. We get to see progression with some of the other couples that we have come to love. And we revisit with some of Ben's newer friends from Blurred: Kale, Beck and Ruby. And of course there are always some negative characters that you love to hate that cause tension and drama. I love how this series ties the characters together and how seemingly small details can have a ripple effect. Their lives are all intertwined in various ways. 

This was told in both Ben and Bell's point of view allowing us to know more about their feelings than even they realize about each other. I was not sure before reading it if Ben was going to be able to win me over to be a swoony leading man like River, Xander, and Jagger, but I have to admit that HE DID!

A lot of little hints and clues from the other books finally come together so Ben and Bell's full story is told. I enjoyed this installment more than I thought I would and was engaged throughout. It was funny, sexy, emotional, sweet, and intriguing as all of the pieces came together and some new tidbits were dropped for possible future stories Coupled with the novella Blurred, this completes Ben's journey of learning to live and love again. I am looking forward to more in this series especially more with Ben's best friend Caleb in Flawed

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from ARC and subject to change.
Connected (Connections #1)
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What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice? 

Suffering from a past full of tragedy, Dahlia London's soul has been left completely shattered. Happily ever after is a far cry from reality in her world. But, when she is reconnected with her past, the bonds that form are irrefutable.

When River Wilde, lead singer of The Wilde Ones, comes back into Dahlia’s life, the intensity that fires their relationship combined with underlying feelings that have never died lead her to believe she has met her soulmate. 

Struggling with confusion as old connections fade and new ones begin, Dahlia's grief begins to lift--but guilt remains. River wants to be the one to mend all that is torn within her.
But with a past that is never really gone, can their future survive?

Torn (Connections # 2): 
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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?

Dazed (Connections #2.5)
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Kim's 4.5 star review
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Jagger Kennedy never went looking for fame, he just fell into it. After scoring a major modeling contract, his clean-cut good looks and charm catapulted his career. But when his actress girlfriend breaks his heart, he moves to L.A. to try his hand at acting. He’s not looking for love—he just needs to make a change.

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her dazed and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about Jagger that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.
To keep from losing the woman who’s changing his world, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

Mended (Connections #3)
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Always in control, Xander Wilde considered life on the road to be a perfect fit for him. But when disaster strikes on the Wilde Ones’ latest tour, fate intervenes…and a newly single Ivy Taylor, the only girl he has ever loved, steps back into his life.
After moving past her painful breakup with Xander years ago, Ivy was poised to become the next big name in pop music…when suddenly she withdrew from the limelight—the same day she announced her engagement to her controlling agent, Damon Wolf.
Xander knows he should keep his distance. But once they’re on the road, he can’t resist pursuing her for a second chance. Yet a jealous Damon can’t let her go—and he’s keeping dangerous secrets that could destroy them all.  
When the three of them come together, everything falls apart. But if Xander and Ivy can hold tight to the bond that connects them, they just might have a chance at reclaiming the powerful love they thought they had lost forever....

Blurred (Connections #3.5)
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A Connection Series Novella featuring Ben Covington

The story before the love story….

When he lost the only woman he’d ever loved, it seemed there was nothing left to live for.

Even as a boy, all Ben Covington ever wanted was to spend forever with Dahlia London, the beautiful girl next door...then one life-altering decision tore them apart and he was forced to leave her.

Now, despite having returned to win her back, he’s still alone. She’s with someone else—someone she’s never going to leave.

Resigned to a future without his former girlfriend, Ben numbs his broken heart in a haze of liquor and women. But then the only woman who ever even turned his head while he was with his girl reappears unexpectedly. And he’s never forgotten their one incredible night together. But will Ben’s destructive behavior destroy his future with her before it even begins?

Flawed (Connections #5)
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Expected 2015

They each had a plan.
They knew what they were doing.
Until love got in their way.

This is not a romantic suspense novel. It’s a novel about learning to care for more than just yourself when it’s the last thing you want.

Gemma Ross is a woman who knows loss. She’s a woman of strength and determination. She has a plan—to get back what was taken from her. The cost is irrelevant even if it means losing who she is.

Caleb Holt is a man driven to see justice served, the only problem is his drive has no boundaries. He’s intense, short tempered, and sometimes brooding. His life is his work and just like his work, his personal life he has no boundaries. He’s a lot like James Bond, when it comes to women —love them and leave them is his motto. He leaves women in his wake. He says he has to because of his job, because he’s a ghost. That is until his next assignment leads him into the arms of Gemma Ross, the kept woman of the man he’s trying to take down and the woman who steals his heart.

When two people who are used to counting on only themselves collide, can they open themselves up enough to let the other in? And even if they can, the biggest question they have to prove to each other is, “Is this real or just a game?”

Is Caleb willing to risk it all for her? And even if he is—is Gemma willing to do the same? Can a relationship built on lies survive?
Kim Karr Facebook | Twitter | Website |Goodreads

Kim Karr is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of romance, including her sexy New 

Adult romance series, Connections. She describes herself as wearing a lot of hats–writer, book-lover, 

wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all-around go-to person of the family. However, she always finds 

the time to read. She believes in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends and Happily-Ever-Afters, and 

loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart. Kim lives in Florida 

with her husband and four kids.

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