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 Chapter 2 from CONNECTED (Connections #1)
Written by Kim Karr
Time is Running Out
The set ends so I walk over behind Garrett to lean my guitar against the wall. I pull my shirt up to wipe the sweat off my forehead. It’s hotter than shit in here and I need a drink. Garrett laughs, tipping his head back to swallow the beer he somehow already has.
“You going to grab a drink? I’ll take another,” he says as he downs the rest of his beer. “And, dude, wear this. Seriously man, your hair looks like shit,” he says throwing his beanie at me.
I move closer and shove him a little and put the hat on my head. “Shut the fuck up, you should talk.”
I hop off the stage and my sister rushes over to me. “River, I need you to take me home as soon as the last set is over. I have someone meeting me back at my apartment.”
I shake my head, knowing it must be a guy. “Yeah yeah, I will Bell, but really can’t you get a boyfriend that has some manners? You know, like actually picks his date up and maybe even takes her out? And at a decent hour?”
She rolls her eyes. “All guys aren’t like you, big brother. Nice beanie,” she teases before disappearing back into the crowd.
As I walk through the jam-packed room, some brunette chick I think looks familiar asks me if I want to grab a drink in private. I kindly refuse, telling her I need to refuel before my next set. She’s still talking when I motion toward the bar to signal that I’m moving away. As my eyes flash across the bar, they’re suddenly drawn to a beautiful girl standing against it. And she’s looking directly at me.
I start walking toward her, leaving behind the brunette who is still talking. As I stare at the beautiful girl, I think, “I want her.” Tall, slim, long blonde hair that’s pulled away from her face. But it’s her eyes that get me—the way she’s looking at me. Shit, I’ve talked to about a dozen chicks tonight, but she is the only one who has me interested.
As I stare back at her I’m feeling like she’s not just any girl. Not just a girl to have sex with. I’m actually having a fucking conversation with myself. I can’t figure out what’s going on in my own head.
I try not to smile, but I know she’s checking me out. Fuck, why’d I put this hat on? I quickly pull it off and comb my fingers through my hair. I can’t take my eyes off her and I feel like I want to knock everyone out of my way to get to her.
When I finally reach the bar, I stand right in front of her. For some weird reason I feel the urge to touch her, but instead I shove my hands in my pockets. She’s smiling at me and I smile right back. This girl is hot. Her eyes still haven’t left mine this whole time, so I decide to break the ice by calling her out. “Were you staring at me?”
She pouts her lips and rolls her eyes. Shit, that look gets me.
“No, I was just looking for my friend while I waited on my drinks. You just happened to be in my line of vision.”
I stifle my laugh and say, “That look was hot.” I want to say, “You’re hot,” but I don’t—not yet anyway.
I can tell she’s trying not to laugh. If she does, I know I have her. Her phone rings and her smile fades. “Why would you think I was looking at you, anyway?”
The person beside her walks away and I secure my place next to her. I toss my hat on the counter and lean against the bar, my eyes never leaving hers. I answer in the most honest way I can. “Because I was staring at you, hoping you were staring back.”
I don’t want to fuck this up so I decide to be the guy Bell always tells me I am—the guy with manners. Then I say what I should have said first. “With all this talk about who was staring at whom I think we forgot the basics, I’m River,” I say as I extend my hand.
She reaches hers out. Hey, I get to touch her. But she quickly pulls her hand back before I get to grasp it and accidentally knocks a dude’s beer over. The asshole gives her a dirty look and swears. I know I have to step in because this guy is out of line. I gently guide her out of my way and try to control myself as I say, “Sorry man, just an accident, but let me buy you another.” I hand him a ten, “Buy two.” I hope he takes the money and leaves. Lucky for him he does, because otherwise I might deck him.
I turn around to find the girl smiling at me and sliding one of her beers my way. I start to drink it and she says, “Thank you, that guy sure as shit wasn’t happy with me. In fact he kind of acted like an asshole.” I can’t help but laugh mid-sip, almost spitting the beer out of my mouth. Not cool.
Not able to resist any longer, I run my finger over her smooth bare shoulder and lock my eyes on hers. “You’re more than welcome.”
She just barely shudders and steps back. I’m pretty sure she’s interested in me so I step closer, not wanting to break our connection. “Now, where were we? Do we need to start over?” I ask, looking into her eyes.
“We were introducing ourselves,” she says smiling.
“Okay, so let’s try again. I’m River and you are . . .?”
“I’m not sure you need to know that information right now. I’m kind of thinking you might be a stalker,” she teases.
I laugh. I’m all about game playing but I’m not ready to play. I really want to get to know this girl, and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual, so I avoid dropping the canned line I might have used on another girl and say, “You’re not serious, are you beautiful girl?”
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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From Chapter 1
A Thousand Years
A glimmer of light catches my eye through the partially open curtains across the room as I wake.
It must be dawn because the sky is turning various shades of pink, red, and orange. Before I know
it, the sky blazes with color; it’s as if it’s on fire—just like my body, but I push my pain aside. It’s
a glorious new day. And I’m here to share it with him. I look at the gorgeous lines of his body
slumped over in the chair next to my hospital bed. He’s asleep, but not very soundly. I study him,
taking in his strong jaw, sculpted nose, and toned body. But it’s his soul, his playfulness, and his
amazing personality that made me fall in love with him. He’s so much more than I could ever
have asked for—he’s my soul mate in every sense of the word.
Carefully removing my hand from his, I try hard not to wake him. Then I slowly ease myself
up from the bed and make my way to the bathroom. When I return, the sun has fully risen and so
has he. He’s staring out the window with the curtains now completely open. I sweep him with my
eyes so that I can appreciate every little thing—at just over six feet he’s glorious. Strong
shoulders, a lean waist, abs that seem to flex with his every movement. Arms crossed, his head
cocked just so, his T-shirt tucked into his jeans haphazardly, and his stance so straight and sure.
The soft bluish-gray sky of the early morning is almost as breathtaking as the sight of him.
Trying to see what he’s looking at, I only notice the fluffy clouds drifting by. They appear so
white against the morning sky; they make me start to smile. But I know that’s not what he’s
seeing right now, when a bluejay flies by and he turns around I want to erase the pain I see in his
sorrowful expression and sad green eyes.
I don’t want to dwell on the events of yesterday’s incident, but he seems to be preoccupied
with it. His mood has been somber ever since it happened. He calls it an attack—I prefer incident.
After all, I’m here alive and merely bruised. I’m not going to waste my time thinking about one
bad day—I’d rather celebrate the good things in each new day. But he blames himself. I haven’t
been able to convince him that if anyone was to blame it’s me. Then again, a random act of
violence couldn’t have been prevented and, thankfully, I’m all right. I just want to leave the
hospital and go home.
Grabbing my clothes from the chair, I throw them on the bed. I’m standing in front of him
on the cold linoleum floor in nothing but a hospital gown. I make a twirling motion with my
finger impatiently. “Do you mind turning around?”
Sighing, he runs his hands through his already-messy hair. “I’m not turning around. I want to
help you. Seeing what he did to you can’t make me feel any worse. Believe me.”
I swallow the lump in my throat and try to gather the right words to respond, and help put his
mind at ease. “River, it was not your fault. Some perverted animal, looking to get his kicks by
attacking women, that isn’t your fault.”
He can’t hide his shudder from my eyes. “Dahlia, it wasn’t a fucking incident. You were
attacked. If I had been with you it wouldn’t have happened. I shouldn’t have been sleeping. It’s
really just that simple.”
I stand there shocked by his tone, even though I know he doesn’t mean to be so harsh. “No,
it’s not just that simple . . . ,” I start to argue, but he cuts me off.
His shoulders sag. He promptly diverts his eyes to the ground and shoves his hands in his
jeans pockets. “I’m sorry, Dahlia. I don’t mean to yell. I just can’t stand that you got hurt. It kills
me to see you like this, to know what could have happened to you. It just kills me.”
We’ve had this conversation twice already. I already know my reassurances will go nowhere.
So I repeat myself and contemplate making my way to the duffel bag lying next to the chair to get
my socks and shoes and then go into the bathroom to change. But I plead one more time, “River,
please turn around.”
He’s standing in front of me with only the bed between us but for some reason it feels like
we’re miles apart. He doesn’t move toward me, but I can see the overwhelming emotion in his
face and in his eyes. He’s hurting. I can also hear it in his voice and his sorrow not only makes me
sad, it tears at my heart.
I’ve never been shy around him. I just know that I’m covered in bruises and I want so badly
to spare him the heartache of seeing me this way.
“No, let me help you,” he whispers. His tone is barely audible.
With a deep sigh I resign myself to his plea and pointing near the chair I ask, “Can you
please hand me that?”
Grabbing my bag, he sets it on the bed.
As I untie the ugly green gown and slide it down my arms, he watches me. But not in an Oh,
I want to see you naked kind of way, more like an Oh God, I might be sick way.
The gown puddles on the floor and I stand there completely naked in front of him. I watch as
he looks at me. He scans my body from head to toe before his eyes drift back up to meet mine and
In an attempt to lighten the mood, I pick up the hospital gown and playfully toss it at him.
“Your turn to play dress-up.”
His lips finally turn up in a semblance of a smile, but his eyes are still filled with sadness. “I
think I’ll pass this time, if you don’t mind,” he says, holding the gown up to him. “Green isn’t my
About the Author
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
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