Publishers: Signet Romance
Published Date: May 7 2013
My rating: 3 out of 5
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?
Hmm. Its hard to write a review when others have praised a book to such extent and you didn't quite like it as much. Dahlia London experienced an epic tragedy. Her boyfriend Ben is shot right in front of her and slowly she builds her life back. But it takes time. Over a year goes by and she's only just about to embark on a new beginning. Five years previous she had an encounter with a really hot guy in a bar. The experience left an impression on her so when her friend asks her to do an interview and a photoshoot at first she's not interested. Then she finds out its River Wilde, the same guy she met in the bar. Still unsure about whether its the right thing to do she agrees to do the job. He wouldn't remember her anyway, it happened five years ago. From the moment they meet again River and Dahlia are both aware of each other, desire unfurls but they both keep it in check. Until River asks her for dinner.
My first impressions were that I liked this book. The story of Dahlia and Ben, their romance, the aftermath of college, it all came across as meaningful and wonderful living in their world. Some of Ben's comments annoyed me such as his repetative swearing when giving a compliment. Big turn off for me. But it was clear they were devoted to one another. However the minute Dahlia 'fell' into the conference room I got annoyed. Why do authors always insist on the MC making a complete idiot of herself at the first meeting. Fifty Shades had Ana falling on her knees, Eva fell on her ass in Bared to You. Dahlia crushed her wrist again the glass door and everything about that moment felt too contrived especially when River said the lamest line afterwards, "No apology necessary, that's the kind of collision I wouldn't mind having every day." Ugh, gag much? Then a little later she drops her bag again and her contents fall all over the floor. She's on her knees picking her stuff up and he's on a chair looking down at her. Again! Too contrived. The author is clearly trying to set the tone that this will be a steamy romance but of dominant/submissive status but actually the book isn't anything like that. So these scenes to me had no meaning or purpose for the feel of the book which is a romance not an BDSM story.
After this scene everything goes badly and is poorly executed. If someone held my hand half an hour after meeting them I would yank it away. Very awkward and uncomfortable. Dahlia is doing a job, she's supposed to be professional and is apparently vulnerable, but in the next couple of chapters she all but throws herself at him and he obliges. Yes, he's giving her steamy eyes and licking his lips a lot so he's getting a vibe that she wants something. Once they do reach THAT moment the romance does come over as sensual and romantic. then the story really starts being good. Dahlia all but ditches her life and heads back to LA with River, lives with him for a while, meets his family. The undercurrent tones suggest that his sister is hiding something that we'll find out in the next book. The brother clearly has designs on Dahlia. And Ben's secret at the end revealed more of what could be a great intrigue.
So, I enjoyed it mostly. Once the initial 'Connection' (see what I did there!) was out the way, the different characters held form and Dahlia started acting like a human being not a horny teenager claiming self doubt when she projected nothing like it.
You can reach Kim Karr here: