The Connection Series , Book 1
New American Library
ISBN: 978-0-451-46827-7
February 2014
New Adult Romance

Southern California, the Present

Dahlia and Ben met when they were five years old and remained friends until they became even more. Dahlia never once looked at another man…except for one night when they were in college, and Dahlia and her friend Aerie went to a bar to hear a new band. It was a classic “eyes meeting across a crowded room” scenario. Dahlia and the singer-guitarist River Wilde made a magical connection that went nowhere; Dahlia loved Ben and walked away. A few years later, Dahlia and Ben are living near the beach in Laguna and engaged to be married. But one night when the couple is on their way to a ceremony where Ben is to receive a journalism award, he is shot to death. It was like Dahlia died that day, too. She had already suffered through the deaths of her parents and a favorite aunt. It took her months to even start to heal. Still later, when Aerie asked her to go to Las Vegas to interview and photograph River Wilde for her music magazine, Dahlia had begun to feel alive again. She remembered that long ago encounter. She wondered if he did, too.

This is a difficult review to write. While the heroine's sad life and her faithfulness to Ben make her a sympathetic character, it's hard for me to accept her hard drinking and potty mouth. I don't mind the very long and explicit passages of lovemaking for that's what they are—lovemaking, not just sex. The magical connection between Dahlia and River has survived the years apart. There are also many references to recent music and contemporary musicians unknown to me. Guess I'll just have to limit my strongest recommendation to readers younger than I: the “new adult” generation that many novels are aimed at these days.

One more thing—spoiler alert—the ending has a shocking revelation that will be explored in the next book, TORN, out now in electronic version and coming out in print in April.

Jane Bowers