Review & Giveaway: Dazed (Connections #2.5) by Kim Karr

Posted April 5, 2014 by bookstobreathe in Book Review, Giveaway, New Release / 0 Comments

Review & Giveaway: Dazed (Connections #2.5) by Kim KarrTitle: Dazed
Author: Kim Karr
Series: Connections #2.5
Published by Penguin Group USA
Release Date April 1, 2014
Genres: Erotic Romance, Mystery/Suspense, New Adult Romance
Pages: 141
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase From: Amazon US
Purchase From: Barnes & Noble
Purchase From: Amazon UK
Purchase From: iTunes
Purchase From: Kobo
Purchase From: Amazon CA
Purchase From: Amazon AU
five-stars
A Connection Series Novella featuring Aerie Daniels and Jagger Kennedy (River Wilde's cousin)

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 needs to make a change, and the last thing he’s looking for is love…

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her stunned, and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about him that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.

To keep from losing the one woman he can’t bear to be without, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

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Book 2.5 Dazed

 Excerpt

Aerie Daniels

There’s something deliciously perverse about staring through the clear glass. All of my senses engage as I wait in line—the fragrance that fills the air as the fire crackles beneath the foil wrapped treats wafts under my nose, the beauty in each and every small package as they line the shelves with tiny dots and colored sprinkles mesmerizes me, the sound made as the silver sheet is peeled back to reveal the magnificence it holds captivates me, and the anticipation of the taste makes my mouth water. Ummm… just thinking of the first bite into the moist brown exterior with its bittersweet Belgian chocolate complimenting the flavor of the Madagascar bourbon vanilla that oozes from its inside has me trembling. The black and white cupcake—it’s simply perfection.

Amidst the skyscrapers in Los Angeles’ South Park neighborhood, Sprinkles is a gem tucked away for those of us who seek out a small piece of heaven. I don’t come here often, but when I do it’s for that one special treat. The menu describes it as, “Yin and Yang.” An ancient proverb that says, “Complementary opposites, such as light and dark, day and night, and masculine and feminine, seemingly may exist as contrary forces, but  are actually interconnected.” Simply put, it says one gives rise to the other and it’s true—opposites attract. Without the vanilla inside, one could not possibly crave the chocolate outside—looking at the two parts united has me drooling.

“You know what they say about staring through the glass,” a deep husky voice says from behind me.

His words tingle my skin and my gaze snaps up. “Excuse me?” I stop short, in a daze, not even sure what he just said I was so lost in my thoughts.

He chuckles. “You know what they say about staring through the glass,” he repeats.

My eyes blink and come into focus on the upward tilt of his full lips. Then my eyes move to his smooth pale skin flecked with a light stubble, his nose seemingly sculpted even with a slight imperfection in its slope, large eyes with the most unusual gray color swirling from within, and chocolate brown colored hair framing his face in pieces—I’m not sure if he has just rolled out of bed or if product molds it just so. Either way, he is utterly beautiful.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Just be careful so you don’t fall in like Alice.” He smiles, displaying his bright white teeth.

“Again, I’m sorry but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I notice his eyes sweep over me and my heart starts pounding.

“Through the Looking Glass,” he responds in a dangerously husky voice.

This time when he speaks I catch an accent, ever so slight but extremely sexy. It reminds me of how Robert De Nero talks, just not as loud or fast. I continue to stare, unable to respond. I notice that his physique is long and lean. He’s dressed in worn jeans
that fit him perfectly. His orange laced hiking boots scream I don’t conform. A pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses hang from the V of his gray sweater, which clings to his body perfectly. And an outdoor vest tops the outfit. It throws me off. It makes him look more
like an Abercrombie model than a James Dean type. It’s a navy blue down and quilted one with a silver zipper. I don’t know why, but something about his outfit, about this man, captivates me.

“Number 98,” calls the girl from behind the counter.

He steps closer. His warm breath whispers across my neck. “Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. When Alice gets too close to the glass, she falls in and starts on a crazy journey,” he tells me as his arm waves in the air with a green
ticket on display. Stepping closer, his gaze cuts from mine to the glass case as he hands his number to the clerk whose wearing a cute brown apron with the word Sprinkles scripted across it.

“Can I have a dozen of the black and white cupcakes?” he asks.

Suddenly alarmed, my eyes dart to the case as I watch the single remaining row of beautifully crafted cupcakes diminish until there are none left. My irritation flares as I glance at my number—97.

The beautiful stranger hands the clerk his credit card and waits to sign the slip.

“I was number 97, my number was before yours,” I say as he’s handed the bag that holds his treasure.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Here let me get the sales clerk’s attention so you don’t have to take another number,” he says.

I want to stomp my feet. I want to scream. I don’t want her attention. I don’t want another number. I want the cupcakes that he stole from me.

“Miss,” he calls draping his perfectly fit body over the case. She looks his way and with a charming grin he says, “Can you help this lovely lady? She missed her number being called.”

“Of course, I’m so sorry. How can I help you?” the girl asks averting her eyes from the man who looks like he should be on the cover of GQ magazine, over to me.

He smiles at me with a face that belongs on a billboard. “Don’t fall in.”

I swear he’s goading me. But then he tips his chin and a sexy, smoldering grin passes over his lips and I’m not so sure anymore.  He turns to look at me one more time before he exits, and excitement flushes over my face. I nod a slight cursory  acknowledgement, then he disappears and disappointment washes over me—he’s gone. Crap. The cupcakes are also gone. Double crap. And now I’m left wondering if he saw me staring at that flavor? Did he distract me on purpose so he could purchase them first? Urrr…I’m so angry right now I consider walking out, but when the clerk asks me what I’d like I settle for the Vanilla Milk Chocolate cakes—they are the mirror reflection of the black and whites, with vanilla cake and chocolate frosting, but they are not nearly as good.

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 Trailer

My Review:

Staring at him, I think: this man is my version of perfect.

They say great things come in small packages and this was never truer than with Dazed. The latest installment in the Connections series, this story follows Aerie (Dahlia’s best friend) and Jagger (River’s cousin) as they stumble flawlessly into new beginnings. With a need to be in control and burned my past relationships, the last thing Aerie wants or needs is love. Having just moved across the country for a fresh start after a bad break-up, Jagger is focused on reclaiming his life. These two are thrust together in the most delicious of ways, quite literally, and it was a breath of fresh air to read!

“I watch him in the same dazed state I’ve been in since the first time I laid eyes on him and think…if Alice hadn’t been curious she’d have never fallen, so I’ll lean forward every time because I know he’s the one who will be there to catch me.”

There was something so honest and pure about their relationship. I loved how even though Aerie had her insecurities, for good reason, Jagger called her on her crap and fought for her. I loved that they were unabashedly honest and vulnerable with each other. I loved that even though this was a novella, it read like a full-length novel. It takes a great author to pull that off and Karr does it effortlessly. She pulls you into her storylines and you feel as if you have always known the characters. You aren’t merely a voyeur in their lives; you are an active and willing participant. For however brief time you are with them, your life feels richer for having been involved. I loved everything about this book and eagerly await the next installment!

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 Giveaway

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Series

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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?

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Excerpt

Final

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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?

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 (6.3.14)

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MUSIC HAS THE POWER TO HEAL ALL…BUT NOT ALL BROKEN HEARTS CAN BE MENDED.

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….

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About Kim Karr

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I’ve always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don’t need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There’s nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore–it’s time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart. <3

So, what did you think? :-)