A blast from the past threatens to tear Dahlia and River’s relationship apart. Is their love strong enough to survive the ultimate test?
What’s it About?
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 face the turmoil together or will they be torn apart?
First things first, it’s pretty much impossible to discuss the major plot points of this novel without spoiling the surprise twist ending of book one. Therefore, if this is a series you’re considering, I’d recommend that you stop reading this post right about now. That being said, if you don’t really care, or if you’ve already finished book one, then thanks for sticking around! Now that’s out of the way, let’s continue. So at the end of the first novel we discovered that Dahlia’s fiance, Ben, who she’s thought dead for over three years is actually alive. Here she is ready to start her forever with River, when who should walk back into her life demanding a second chance, but Ben.
Needless to say, his reappearance throws everyone for a loop. Not only Dahlia and Ben’s family, but River as well. To say the two lads aren’t fond of each other is an understatement. Ben sees River as his substitute, not his replacement. He’s convinced that if he can get Dahlia away from River, he can remind her of everything they once shared, and pick up where they left off. River sees Ben as the ultimate nuisance. He worries that Ben’s intrusion in Dahlia’s life will cause her to abandon him. And what about Dahlia? The poor lady is understandably overwhelmed both mentally and emotionally.
Get it Together
This is a man she’s mourned for three years. His death made her question if life was even worth living anymore. And just when she’s finally found love and happiness with someone else, Ben walks back into her life alive and healthy. He’s not just come back for a quick hello though. No, he tries to convince her to leave River, and go back to the way things were. Imagine how much of a mindf*ck that would be. The thing that frustrated me the most with this read, was that nobody else seemed to acknowledge how difficult of an adjustment this would be for Dahlia.
When Ben first comes back, she’s confused and angry at him for leaving, especially when Ben admits that he chose to leave her all those years ago in an attempt to protect her. While Ben saw this as a selfless act of devotion to her safety, Dahlia viewed it as a selfish choice by Ben because at the end of the day it was in fact a choice. He chose to leave her in the dark. He chose to fake his own death rather than admit to her what was going on. She doesn’t want to talk to him, and feels she needs time on her own to process everything. But that doesn’t stop Ben from pressuring her to talk, River throwing a hissy fit any time she mentions Ben’s name, or others who are close to her demanding she “get her shit together”. Are you kidding me?! I would need massive amounts of therapy to get over that kind of emotional stress, and yet everyone expects Dahlia to figure things out on her own and make a decision right away in regards to what she wants in life. Leave the poor girl alone!
Even though Dahlia constantly tries to push away Ben’s advances, and never once seems to contemplate the idea of getting back together with him, River immediately questions her any time she mentions Ben’s name or spends any time alone with him. What I found most interesting with this read was that Dahlia’s primary dilemma with Ben’s reappearance was the question of whether or not to forgive him for his deception, and if she should accept him back into her life as a friend. After all, they were were friends long before they were ever intimately involved. It’s a complicated thing to consider, and when she tells River she needs time to figure things out, he takes offense, thinking that she’s asking for time to consider their own relationship, rather than her friendship with Ben.
What follows is a plethora of scenes involving River and Dahlia failing to communicate their fears, concerns, or true feelings. This is amplified by the fact that these two seem to forget or lose their cell phones at the most inopportune moments! They start to question if they can trust each other, and when they can’t express themselves verbally they result to using sex to try and communicate. Which…obviously doesn’t work. River questions if he can trust Dahlia to spend any time alone with Ben. Dahlia starts to question if she can trust River to spend time alone with his female publicist, a side plot which felt absolutely unnecessary in my opinion considering everything else that was going on. When it is revealed that River was keeping secrets about events from Ben’s past, Dahlia seriously starts to question if she can trust him. Is he just like Ben by using deceit to keep her in the dark? Gosh darn-it Ben do you see how much trouble you’ve caused by coming back into everyone’s lives??
Series: The Connections, book 2. It looks like this is one of the last full-length novels to deal with River and Dahlia. Some aspects of the story were left a bit open-ended, but it seems like they’ll come back into play with different characters in a future novel. I would be interested to continue on and see what might come next.
Final Impressions: Overall I think I liked this second book better than the first one, but it still had some faults here and there. The constant question of how Dahlia might deal with Ben’s reappearance in her life was very intriguing. However, it was hard to believe that everyone around her would be pressuring her so much to make a decision so quickly. Give the girl some space! It was also interesting to see the conflict between River and Dahlia, specifically when Dahlia compared River and Ben’s previous deceit, and how it might impact her relationship with both of them. That being said, the constant back and forth between her and River over their lack of ability to communicate, and jealousy over their external relationships got tiring rather quickly.
Smut Level: The physical connection between River and Dahlia never goes away, no matter how much they might fight and argue about Ben. Their sexual interactions start to adopt a sense of desperation, like they’re both trying to convince each other through their bodies how much they don’t want to let go of each other.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $5.99 Kindle Price. Berkley Publishing. 354 Pages.