Tuesday, April 1, 2014

***Blog Tour Stop and Giveaway*** Dazed (Connections #2.5) by Kim Karr

Jagger Kennedy never went looking for fame, he just fell into it. After scoring a major modeling contract, his clean-cut good looks and charm catapulted his career. But when his actress girlfriend breaks his heart, he moves to L.A. to try his hand at acting. He’s not looking for love—he just needs to make a change.

Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her dazed and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about Jagger that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces.
To keep from losing the woman who’s changing his world, Jagger is willing to give up anything—including his career. But even that might not be enough to regain Aerie’s shattered trust…

Dazed is a Connections Series Novella but it not necessary to read Connected and Torn prior to reading this. Also it has a beginning, a middle, and an end :)
 Excerpt from Dazed 
 Connections #2.5 by Kim Karr 
© 2014 by Kim Karr 
Published by the Penguin Group 
Release date: April 1, 2014 

Aerie Daniels 
There’s something deliciously perverse about staring through the clear glass. All of 
my senses engage as I wait in line—the fragrance that fills the air as the fire crackles 
beneath the foil wrapped treats wafts under my nose, the beauty in each and every small 
package as they line the shelves with tiny dots and colored sprinkles mesmerizes me, the 
sound made as the silver sheet is peeled back to reveal the magnificence it holds 
captivates me, and the anticipation of the taste makes my mouth water. Ummm… just 
thinking of the first bite into the moist brown exterior with its bittersweet Belgian 
chocolate complimenting the flavor of the Madagascar bourbon vanilla that oozes from 
its inside has me trembling. The black and white cupcake—it’s simply perfection. 

Amidst the skyscrapers in Los Angeles’ South Park neighborhood, Sprinkles is a 
gem tucked away for those of us who seek out a small piece of heaven. I don’t come here 
often, but when I do it’s for that one special treat. The menu describes it as, “Yin and 
Yang.” An ancient proverb that says, “Complementary opposites, such as light and dark, 
day and night, and masculine and feminine, seemingly may exist as contrary forces, but 
are actually interconnected.” Simply put, it says one gives rise to the other and it’s true—
opposites attract. Without the vanilla inside, one could not possibly crave the chocolate 
outside—looking at the two parts united has me drooling. 

“You know what they say about staring through the glass,” a deep husky voice says 
from behind me. 

His words tingle my skin and my gaze snaps up. “Excuse me?” I stop short, in a 
daze, not even sure what he just said I was so lost in my thoughts. 

He chuckles. “You know what they say about staring through the glass,” he repeats.  

My eyes blink and come into focus on the upward tilt of his full lips. Then my eyes 
move to his smooth pale skin flecked with a light stubble, his nose seemingly sculpted 
even with a slight imperfection in its slope, large eyes with the most unusual gray color 
swirling from within, and chocolate brown colored hair framing his face in pieces—I’m 
not sure if he has just rolled out of bed or if product molds it just so. Either way, he is 
utterly beautiful. 

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” 

“Just be careful so you don’t fall in like Alice.” He smiles, displaying his bright 
white teeth. 

“Again, I’m sorry but I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I notice his eyes 
sweep over me and my heart starts pounding. 

“Through the Looking Glass,” he responds in a dangerously husky voice. 

This time when he speaks I catch an accent, ever so slight but extremely sexy. 
It reminds me of how Robert De Nero talks, just not as loud or fast. I continue to stare, 
unable to respond. I notice that his physique is long and lean. He’s dressed in worn jeans 
that fit him perfectly. His orange laced hiking boots scream I don’t conform. A pair of 
tortoiseshell sunglasses hang from the V of his gray sweater, which clings to his body 
perfectly. And an outdoor vest tops the outfit. It throws me off. It makes him look more 
like an Abercrombie model than a James Dean type. It’s a navy blue down and quilted 
one with a silver zipper. I don’t know why, but something about his outfit, about this 
man, captivates me. 

“Number 98,” calls the girl from behind the counter. 

He steps closer. His warm breath whispers across my neck. “Through the Looking 
Glass is the sequel to Alice in Wonderland. When Alice gets too close to the glass, she 
falls in and starts on a crazy journey,” he tells me as his arm waves in the air with a green 
ticket on display. Stepping closer, his gaze cuts from mine to the glass case as he hands 
his number to the clerk whose wearing a cute brown apron with the word Sprinkles 
scripted across it. 

“Can I have a dozen of the black and white cupcakes?” he asks. 

Suddenly alarmed, my eyes dart to the case as I watch the single remaining row of 
beautifully crafted cupcakes diminish until there are none left. My irritation flares as I 
glance at my number—97. 

The beautiful stranger hands the clerk his credit card and waits to sign the slip. 
“I was number 97, my number was before yours,” I say as he’s handed the bag that 
holds his treasure. 

“Oh, I’m sorry. Here let me get the sales clerk’s attention so you don’t have to take 
another number,” he says. 

I want to stomp my feet. I want to scream. I don’t want her attention. I don’t want 
another number. I want the cupcakes that he stole from me. 
“Miss,” he calls draping his perfectly fit body over the case. She looks his way and 
with a charming grin he says, “Can you help this lovely lady? She missed her number 
being called.” 
“Of course, I’m so sorry. How can I help you?” the girl asks averting her eyes from 
the man who looks like he should be on the cover of GQ magazine, over to me. 
He smiles at me with a face that belongs on a billboard. “Don’t fall in.” 

I swear he’s goading me. But then he tips his chin and a sexy, smoldering grin passes 
over his lips and I’m not so sure anymore. He turns to look at me one more time before 
he exits, and excitement flushes over my face. I nod a slight cursory acknowledgement, 
then he disappears and disappointment washes over me—he’s gone. Crap. The cupcakes 
are also gone. Double crap. And now I’m left wondering if he saw me staring at that 
flavor? Did he distract me on purpose so he could purchase them first? Urrr…I’m so 
angry right now I consider walking out, but when the clerk asks me what I’d like I settle 
for the Vanilla Milk Chocolate cakes—they are the mirror reflection of the black and 
whites, with vanilla cake and chocolate frosting, but they are not nearly as good. 

Lesley's Review:
In Dazed, we catch up with Dahlia’s neurotic but supportive best friend, Aerie. Aerie is invited to Dahlia and River’s for dinner and is to be introduced to River’s cousin, Jagger Kennedy. These two don’t get off on the right foot. It all starts with a cupcake and all of a sudden Alice in Wonderland. They don’t necessarily dislike each other. They just seem to bump heads. Or in Alice’s….. I mean Aerie’s, case he messes with her DAILY routine and STRICT rules that she goes by. Sensing that Aerie is a bit up tight, Jagger sets out to shake things up. Among all that he just so happens to be auditioning to play her uncle in an upcoming movie. Her famous Uncle. The one people used her to get to before. This automatically puts Aerie on guard.

Aerie and Jagger both have things in their past that effects their budding relationship. With Aerie pushed out of her comfort zone, she realizes that her comfort zone may have been inhibiting her life instead of helping it. She can’t help but think though, that Jagger is too good to be true. When the past comes a knocking can Aerie look through it to find the truth?

Dazed was a cute novella. Jagger and Aerie were a sweet couple. I really like how he cracked Aerie’s shell. He seemed like sex on stick. One thing is for sure, I need to find some of Jagger’s cologne. I need to inhale that sexiness.

I liked reading this short story but I was not head over heels with it. It was almost too short and moved to slow in beginning. The last 20% was where I got into it more and was sucked into the story. Or through the rabbit hole as Jagger would put it. I was pleased with how it ended and I’m glad to have caught some more time with Dahlia and River. I’ll be looking forward to the next in this series...  “Mended”. River’s brother Xander will take the main stage. I rate this Novella at 3.5.

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