Saturday, July 26, 2014

Christie's review: Frayed by Kim Karr


Title: Frayed
Series: Connections #4
Author: Kim Karr
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Rating: 2.5 stars
Cliffhanger: No

The Connections series continues with this spin-off novel.

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 fiancée, Ben Covington is unsure he’ll ever love again. But when he sees Bell Wilde, he’s so deeply drawn to her, that he’s thrown for a loop. Maybe it’s purely sexual chemistry that’s igniting this spark between them...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.

In this companion novel to the Connections series, we get Ben and Bell's story. If you've read the other books in the series, you know that these two characters are shall we say, less than desirable-cheaters, both seemed selfish and made a whole lot of mistakes. So why, do you ask did I read this? Curiosity. It's an author's most difficult job to take two characters that they've made unlikeable and wave their wand and make them (believably) likable. If they can do that, I can truly appreciate their writing skills. I loved River and Dahlia in the first book and I'm pretty loyal to that couple. So now the question Ben and Bell deserve a second chance? Have they grown and learned from their mistakes and only become better from them?

We know from reading Connected and Torn that Bell and Ben committed the ultimate betrayal against Dahlia. Ben cheated on her back in college with Bell. Not only that, even though Bell and Dahlia didn't know each other, she knew he had a boyfriend and she selfishly pursued him anyway. Years later, Ben and Bell run into each other again and they find that that same attraction that they were unable to fight in the past is still there and just as strong.

I am, as always, completely under the spell that is Ben Covington-whenever he is near me now, then, and dare I say forever?

But attempting to form any attachments past a few sexual encounters would be insane...impossible....doomed. Their history is too shameful and too many people they love wouldn't accept them. So why do they keep circling back around to each other?

We find out that there were some sad events that occurred between Bell and Ben back in college. But there was one person who was left in the dark-Ben. And Bell isn't ready to tell him her secret. Because despite their attempts to keep things casual and friendly, the more time they spend together, the more they realize that the feelings they have can't be rationalized. They understand each other in a way no one ever has before and the connection they have won't allow them to lie to themselves. They begin to believe they can try to make this work.

Happiness fills me, all of me, every part of me. I never thought two people so lost in this world could make each other feel found, but we have.

They have to make this work...only, can it ever work until she's completely honest about their past? Could it ever work if she is honest about their past? I wasn't so sure.

Once she decided to come clean and the bomb is dropped, there are hurt feelings and lots of anger on both sides. This couple had so much to overcome I wasn't sure they could plausibly make it. Disapproving family members, secrets, shameful all added up to some considerable conflict. All these things kept me engrossed in the story, but I never truly cared for them as I should have. I saw change and growth on both their parts, but Bell got it more right than Ben and I would have liked to have seen more regret over their part in what happened with Dahlia. Ben seemed just as selfish as ever through most of the book but he did realize the error of his ways and try to make amends. I wish I could say that this couple was redeemed in my eyes by the end-maybe they were somewhat, but I didn't fully sink into their story and fall in love with them. They had a great chemistry, they were trying to redefine themselves and start over-I admired that, but it fell shy of completely absolving my past feelings for them.


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