Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review: Frayed, by Kim Karr




Synopsis
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.







Review
4.25 out of 5 stars

Consider Frayed your first opportunity to see Ben as the star of the story.  Let's be honest, up until this point he hasn't always been our most favorite character.  But his story is also a hard one, and he's had a long road of what I would consider self-discovery.  It's not always easy making sense of the circumstances in life and figuring out what truly makes a person happy.  Sometimes what we think will make us the happiest isn't always the right answer.  Plans don't always work out exactly the way we hope, it's what we do when things fall apart which determine what kind of person we will be and what kind of life we will lead.  In my opinion that sort of summarizes Ben's story up until the point Frayed begins.

From day one 1, Ben Covington has tried very hard to mold and shape his life to fit perfectly into a box he crafted.  He's made decisions which have affected not only himself but those he loves and oftentimes those decisions lead down roads ending in pain and heartache.  He may have thought he was considering Dahlia, Belle, his sister and mother and doing what was best for them, but in reality he was making decisions based off what would be best for him.  See why I've always considered him a little self-absorbed and definitely selfish?  Eventually all those life altering decisions caught up to him and before long he was spiraling out of control, turning to women and alcohol to numb his own heartache, his own depression over the fallout of life not turning out perfectly.  I couldn't help but feel sorry for him, I desperately wanted him to catch a break, for things in his life to turn around, for him to let go of the past and move forward into the future.    

I continually found myself frustrated with Ben for the majority of this story.  I saw potential in him to  be the kind of book boyfriend we all love to read about and the type of man who deserved the love of a lifetime, which was waiting for him in Belle.  Getting to his HEA was a hard road, but eventually he did get there and I couldn't have been more excited.  And yes, in the end I fell in love with him!  Maybe not as much as River, but I was still proud of him for overcoming everything, for being responsible, for finding the courage to go after what truly made him happy.  I was jumping up and down when he finally got over himself and quit over thinking EVERYTHING!  Yes, this may have been a frustrating story, but it was beautifully executed and when the conclusion came I had a smile on my face and a peace in my heart for both him and Belle.

Before Frayed, I don't think I realized the strength of Belle, but to go through such pain, loss and heartache and still come out of it with a positive attitude and a driving force to do better, to be stronger...it's just amazing.  Honestly I think it's why I loved her so much.  One out of character night, one mistake and suddenly her life was turned upside down.  But instead of allowing her past to hold her back she instead uses it as motivation to move forward.  She may never forget, but she doesn't have to repeat it.  I respected her so much and loved she demanded the same from Ben, even when it broke her heart.  When together Ben and Belle bring out the best sides of each other, thus giving us everything we love from a book couple!

Frayed is a great addition to the Connections series.  I feel like it may have moved a bit slower than the other stories, and I do think there was a little too much time spent re-hashing the details of the past.  But I did enjoy the introductions of some new characters as well as some appearances from our favorite couples of the past.  I always love seeing old faces and getting glimpses of what's currently going on in their lives.  One-click this book today and fall in love, maybe for the first time, with Ben Covington.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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