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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Interview and Review: Toxic by Kim Karr!

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not...
New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new novel that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.
In Toxic, Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur goes after what he wants—the woman he left behind years ago. Phoebe St. Claire, a put together, in control socialite-turned-CEO has been drifting through life searching for something she thought she'd never find again—the right man to share her future.
Our passion was boundless. Our lust untamed. And our desire endless. He was the only man who ever made me feel alive. Then, I betrayed him.
When he reappeared, I didn’t question it. Trust rarely survives the wrecking ball, so when he let me in back in—I didn’t hesitate.
Maybe I should have.
What began as a bid to save my family business, turned into a second chance at love. It felt so romantic. Working together, side by side, with the man I loved. My dream come true.
Nothing is as good as it seems.
We had our issues, but then again, every couple does. It wasn’t jealousy, or our too-hot sex life that I should have been worried about.
It was his darkside.
I never saw the end coming, until it slammed me in the face. The question is—did he? 
Was revenge his plan all along?
Sometimes you have to wonder if your life is too good to be true.
Is it real or just an illusion?
Does the man lying beside you really love you like he says he does?
If the answer is yes, you’re meant to live happily ever after.
If the answer is no, you’re living my life, and nothing will ever be the same.
What you do about it—that’s up to you.
Me, I’m in too deep and there’s no getting out.
I’ll take whatever I can get for as long as I can because I know when it’s over…
I’ll never find another man like him.

Kim Karr is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author.

She grew up in Rochester, NY and now lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She's always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, she wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. She went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise her family. Kim currently works part-time with her husband and recently decided to embrace one of her biggest passions--writing. 

Kim wears a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of her family. However, she always finds time to read. One of her favorite family outings was taking her kids when they were little to the bookstore or the library. Today, Kim's oldest child is seventeen and no longer goes with her on these, now rare and infrequent, outings. She finds that she doesn't need to go on them anymore because she has the greatest device ever invented--a Kindle.

Kim likes to believe in soul mates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. She loves to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.

I’ll be 49 soon and can’t believe I’m one year away from 50. I don’t feel old at all and I hope to stay that way. I grew up in Rochester, NY and now live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I have 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 write romance books because I love to watch love blossom.

How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them? 

My goal in writing is to create stories that the reader can get wrapped up in and whisked away to another place. I want the reader to feel a wide range of emotions. And most of all, I love strong, smart, savvy women and confident, hot, sexy men. Hopefully when you read my books that is what you will get.

How did you get the idea for Toxic?

I’d read an article about underground nightclubs and thought it was such a cool idea. People show up in the oddest of places to party and then move to another. That transformed into Jeremy’s business in a more legit way. As for Phoebe and friends, I wanted to create a group that was somewhat against the grain of how we think of socialites.

Do you have a favorite scene or line from Toxic? 

Yes I do. When Phoebe sees Jeremy after 5 long years. 

My vision began to blur at that point and I knew I had had way too much to drink.

Lars’ mouth was at my ear before I could move away. “Your outfit makes it look like you have curves in all the right places though, don’t worry.”

I thought I might vomit.

Was he for real?

Words flew out of my mouth at lightning speed. “You’re such a dick. Go find some other woman to harass who’s into your kind of foreplay.”

An evil grin formed on his lips. “A dirty mouth too, just the way I like them.”

“You like them anyway you can get them,” I spat back.

Bile rose in my throat and I wasn’t sure if it was his attention or the alcohol causing the sick feeling.

“Feisty,” he grinned. “What was Dawson thinking letting you go? I bet you’re an animal in the sack.”

“Get lost,” I told him and turned to walk away.

He grabbed my wrist. “Now that you’re all worked up, what do you say we get out of here? I won’t tell Dawson.”

I tried to free myself of his grip but he wouldn’t let go.

Someone stepped between us. The distressed leather was the first thing my eyes were focused on when my skin started to tingle with a sense of familiarity. The tingling quickly turned into trembling as my gaze lifted and I saw the bluest of blue eyes.

They were soft, concerned, knowing.

They were the eyes of my past.

It was him.
I was surprised.
I was shocked.
I was mesmerized.

My body started to tremble even more and I downed the glass of wine I had been holding to help calm my nerves.

Still, I couldn’t stop staring. He looked the same. No, he looked better, if that was possible. His hair was shorter but his devastating good looks were even more striking.

This time I knew he was real—he wasn’t a figment of my imagination. Just that one look into his eyes and all the hurt was forgotten. It was as if the last five years had never happened. And we’d just met.

How would you describe Phoebe and Jeremy in three words? 

Like two magnets.

What are you currently working on?

I am in the process of editing my next two books, which I haven’t announced titles yet. Both center on a secondary character from Toxic but the story is in no way like Toxic. It takes place in Boston and is different from anything I have ever written.

What inspired you to start writing? What age did you start? 

I have always dreamed in romance. I’ve made up stories in my mind since I can remember. In college I started down the lit path but then changed direction. After I read 50 Shades, I decided to give it a try on paper.

What's the hardest thing about writing? The easiest? 

Breakup scenes and conflict are the most difficult. Tearing my couples apart kills me. I often find my heart stilling and tears escaping from my eyes.

The HEA’s are the easiest of course. I love to write epilogues and last chapters. In fact, most of the time I write those right after I write the first chapter.

What genres do you enjoy reading? 

I love romance, of course and mystery is also one of my favorites. 

How has your life changed since you began writing? 

My priorities have completely changed. If I’m immersed in a scene, I no longer care if I have laundry that must be done or a house that needs to be cleaned.

Is there anything special you need when writing- music, food, etc? 

No, I like quiet mainly. 

Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite? 

River Wilde from Connected because he is a rockstar!! A little extra note: he was inspired by Adam Levine’s first season on the voice.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?

My latest venture has been trying to get fit. I started watching American Ninja Warrior with my 6 yr. old and want to be the fittest I have ever been before I turn 50. I have one year. ;) But I also enjoy reading, going to the beach, and hanging out with friends.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? 

Write what is in your heart not what you think people want to read because if it’s written full of your emotion people will want to read it.

This was an enjoyable read. I didn't love it, but I liked it.

One of my favorite things about this story is the role of social status throughout the novel and how it plays a part in each of the character's lives. I haven't read many stories with that aspect, so I found it really intriguing. I also liked all the friendships between the group members. It was believable- with there being some characters drifting away from one another while others were super close. These characters, though they were not exactly main characters, made the story more enjoyable.

However, I am still undecided about the main couple. I like Phoebe and Jeremy as separates and the progress their characters made as individuals. I did enjoy their happy ending and their backstory. I loved how this was a second chance at love story and appreciated all the emotions the author stirred up as I read, but at the same time I felt maybe there was a little bit too much back and forth at the end- not trusting or believing in each other and lots of jealousy. They really did seem to have a toxic relationship and not in a good way. But then there would be a really sexy scene and I would go back to being okay with the relationship because they have great chemistry in the bedroom. 

I think what really saved this book for me was the writing and way it is written. The book was an emotional read and I was able to get through it quickly. The author is a good storyteller and I am wanting to try something else by her. 

This is a good book to check out if you like stadalones, second chance romances, and dramatic reads!


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