Wednesday, 2 April 2014
Review: Dazed - A Connections Novella by Kim Karr
Released: April 1st, 2014
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 needs to make a change, and the last thing he’s looking for is love… Aerie Daniels is a woman in control … until she meets Jagger. Her surprising connection with him leaves her stunned, and it’s unlike anything she’s ever felt. But just when she lets her walls fall, she makes a startling discovery about him that breaks her fragile heart into a million pieces. To keep from losing the one woman he can’t bear to be without, 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 novella that takes place within Kim Karr's New Adult Connections series, and does tie in to previous plots. I'd never heard of this author prior to reading it, but I've now bought the two full-length Connections novels after enjoying Dazed so much. I don't think you need any prior knowledge of the series before diving into this one; the characters are new in their leading role and any important backstory is quickly filled in.
Dazed is a novella, about a hundred-and-thirty pages in length, but it's not rushed or unnecessary. It's a complete story about two people - Aerie Daniels and Jagger Kennedy - and the ups and downs of their new relationship. Unlike some novellas, it has a satisfying conclusion and for this reason can be read as a standalone or as part of the Connections series. It's brilliant either way.
Initially, when Jagger was first introduced, I'll admit I rolled my eyes. I mean, who has Jagger as a first name? Not anyone I've ever met. I quickly overcame my distaste though and completely fell for him, just as Aerie does. He's a model and aspiring actor, about to get his big break in the industry via the possibility of a coveted movie role. He's a great guy: thoughtful, fun and completely, unwaveringly loyal. He's a one-woman man, and that's made clear from the get-go. Hurrah for nice guys!
Aerie is also pretty fantastic, full of life and not afraid to go after what she wants. She also has a proper, important job that is actually featured in the novella, instead of just being mentioned once and forgotten about. Aerie's career is important to her, a huge part of her life, and that's reflected in her personality and attitude. She's a hard worker with life goals and the perfect match for Jagger. Together they make quite a formidable team, and their relationship is one grounded in realism.
I'm impressed with Kim Karr's writing and how she managed to hook me in less than half the page count of an average novel. By the end I truly felt like I knew Aerie and Jagger, which is unusual for me and novellas. The only others I've encountered like this are those by Cora Carmack, who also tells a full story. I wasn't going to read Dazed at first (the cover put me off a bit) but I'm really glad I did. I'm always on the lookout for new NA authors and I've been lucky to find a few this week. There must be more hidden gems out there too!
Please note: this title is intended for older readers.