Torn - Kim Karr 3.5 Stars

After reading and loving Connected, and nearly sobbing over the cliff-hanger ending, I was incredibly anxious to get my hands on Torn. Over all I really liked Torn and thought that it was a beautiful ending, or should I say beginning ☺, to River and Dahlia's story. Though the story didn't quite ensnare me like Connected did, it was still powerful. I especially liked the range of emotions that River struggled through, there was a lot more dimension added to his character in this installment. *Insert swoon here*

Torn starts where Connected ended, Ben is alive and Dahlia is torn. She love's River but she has spent a lifetime with Ben. But how could she forgive this ultimate betrayal? Understandably, River is a mess. Dahlia is his life and now that Ben is back he doesn't know whether her feelings for him will change. He struggles with some major insecurities and it affects his relationship with Dahlia, making it even harder for her to grasp this new situation with Ben. But though she feels a loyalty towards Ben she never once thinks about ending it with River which was something I appreciated in her character. She is confused, but never about her future with him. And like I said, River doesn't make it easy for her. I think Dahlia could have been more understanding towards River in this situation but there were so many emotions that both of them were coping with, I could easily understand how they could flounder. Their journey to happiness was profound, shattering and in the end, gratifying. And though I really wanted to because of his and Dahlia's past, I found it very hard to sympathize with Ben. Especially after more and more bits of his duplicity were revealed.

There were a few things that I was a bit disappointed with though in the story...
1. Dahlia was reasonably upset by Ben's deception, so upset that she refused to be around him. Period. I get this, I do. But, I was baffled by the fact that she didn't demand any answers from him. I suppose that I was looking for more communication between them considering their history.
2. Dahlia's reaction towards Bell when certain, major, indiscretions were brought to light. I understand that she is family to Dahlia, but I just didn't see that instant forgiveness that Bell received from her. And I can't imagine one big happy family ever coming from that pair though that seems like where they are headed in future books. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

All in all, I was happy with the outcome of River and Dahlia's story and the growth between characters. There were many more threads left hanging with secondary characters that have me interested in future books and I look forward to seeing where those lead.