Author Interview, Review & #Giveaway: ★Toxic★ by @authorkimkarr

Interview & Giveaway

Last week I read this book that made me want to rip my hair out and throw my kindle at the wall. If I could have done both at the same time, I’m pretty sure I would have. I was enraged…and I was entranced. Phoebe and Jeremy together was a train wreck that you just couldn’t tear your eyes away from. I loved each agonizing, made me want to curl into a ball of rage and scream to the ceiling second. I have the super fabulous Kim Karr on the blog today for an interview where I got to pick her brain about all things Toxic. Read on to read that along with my full review below. And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a paperback of Toxic!
About The Book
TOXIC
Author: Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 7, 2015
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The New York Times bestselling author of the Connections novels turns up the heat in a sexy new romance about money, power, danger, and passion…

Sometimes you have to wonder if your life is just 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.

I know I should walk away, but I can’t.

I’ll take whatever I can get for as long as it lasts.
I know when it’s over…
I’ll never find another man like him.

Buy Links

Amazon / iBooks / B&N / BAM / IndieBound / Google / Kobo 

Author Interview

If you haven’t added this deliciously angsty book to your TBR yet, I’m pretty sure this interview just may convince you 😉

DGR: Can we start out with a quick introduction for any readers out there that haven’t heard of you yet (if those even exist?)

KK: 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.

DGR: I’m a HUGE fan of the second chance romance. Do you have a favorite trope to write? Or is it more about when inspiration strikes you?
KK: I love second chance romances as well. That feeling you get in your stomach when it flips the first time they see each other again—it’s priceless.

DGR: Did you have any inspiration behind the story and/or the characters of Toxic?

KK: 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.

DGR: Jeremy McQueen. The blurb describes him as a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur that goes after what he wants. I have to admit I was sold on the book from that alone. What else can you tell us about the brooding Jeremy?

KK: He was always the hired help’s son. A guy from the wrong side of the tracks so to say that turned his life into something good. He, like everyone, has issues and his stem from his childhood, from believing he was a bastard and then learning that wasn’t the case. All he wants is for someone to believe in him. However, sometimes his darkside makes it hard to do that. I just love him. Can you tell?

DGR: If you had to describe Phoebe St. Claire in 6 words or less, what would they be?

KK: As bold and delicate as a rose. I think that’s 7, oops.

DGR: What was your favorite part about writing this book?

KK: The intensity these two characters felt for each other. I felt it on every page. They were meant to be together.

DGR: Now without giving away any spoilers, what was one of your favorite scenes from Toxic?

KK: When Phoebe sees Jeremy after 5 long years. Here’s a peek: “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.”

DGR:  If you had to describe the book to us in a twitter size type sum-up, what would you say?

KK: #Toxiclove I’m so not good at twitter. Sorry.

DGR: Any little teasers or excerpts you can entice us with? Pretty please?

Phoebe St. Claire
————————
Feeling a bit drunk and overwhelmed with so many and so few choices at the same time, I needed some time alone and snuck off toward the beach path.
I ran toward the ocean and twirled in the sand as the wind blew around me. Once I started to feel dizzy from twirling, I still wasn’t ready to head back to the party, so I took the path that would lead me to the large Olympic-sized pool. I tugged my sandals off with thoughts of putting my feet in the water to rinse the mud and sand away. As I approached the pool, I noticed how it glowed like it was lit by small pale fires. Lost in the enchantment of it, the sudden movement beneath the surface startled me.
A fair-haired boy emerged from the water. He pulled himself up and out so quickly that I was momentarily stunned. And then when he drank me in with his eyes, I shuddered.
I couldn’t help it, the way he looked at me just made me shiver. No one had ever looked at me like that before and I found myself gazing back into his intense eyes.
He was utterly beautiful. His bare chest was sculpted but not overly bulky like Danny or Jamie. They worked out every day pumping obnoxious amounts of iron to look the way they did. In contrast, the boy standing before me had a swimmer’s build.
He stood stoic and a cautious look crossed his face. He was long and lean in a pair of bright green neon swim trunks.
Right away I could tell he didn’t care what anyone thought about him.
I loved the idea of that.
So I smiled at him.
He shook his head and his hair fell into his eyes.
I wanted to reach out and push it away. It wasn’t long, but it wasn’t short. It was perfect.
“Hey,” he said, grabbing a towel off the ground.
It didn’t belong to the club. It was small, beige, and a bit worn—not the large hunter-green fluffy ones monogrammed in white I’d always gotten when I used to come here to swim as a kid.
“Hey,” I said back, swinging my sandals nervously.
He grabbed a pair of jeans that lay next to where the towel had been and walked right by me.
I turned to watch him as he strode into one of the cabanas and dropped his trunks. I froze and squeezed my eyes shut, thinking I shouldn’t be watching him but then opened them quickly when I couldn’t resist maybe catching a glimpse.
“Didn’t your parents ever tell you it isn’t polite to stare?” His voice was low and sexy, and it tugged me out of my own head.
I put my hands on my hips. “Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to get dressed in mixed company?”
He pulled his jeans on and laughed. “My mother might have mentioned that once or twice but I’ve never been good at following the rules.”
And it didn’t escape my notice that he didn’t put any underwear on first.
Hot. Totally and completely hot.
I didn’t see anything I shouldn’t have seen, it was too dark, but something inside me electrified at the thought of seeing him naked and I stepped closer. That’s when I noticed the scuffed-up black work boots on one of the lounges with a T-shirt thrown next to them.
I raised a brow. “Is this your changing room?”
He laughed again but this time added a smile and put his hands up. “Okay you caught me. I better get out of here before anyone else does.”
He was adorable and charming and my heart skipped a beat or two.
Then I stepped even closer and entered the cabana entrance, effectively blocking his way. “Why? You’re not doing anything wrong.”
He shrugged but he didn’t try to move around me. “I usually swim in the ocean but when the water is too rough, like tonight, I come here.”
I bit my lip in contemplation before speaking. “Does it really matter if you get caught?”
He crossed his arms over his bare chest. “Let’s just say it’s not just the swimming. It’s more that I’ve been caught doing a few too many things that I shouldn’t have been doing in the past.”
A bad boy.
The thought made my pulse thunder. “So you’re not a member at this club?”
He cleared his throat and shifted from foot to foot. “No,” he laughed but his laugh was anything but genuine. “Are you?”
I hesitated as I considered my answer. “No, I was just walking the beach and wanted to rinse my feet. I’m Phoebe,” I said extending my hand. Technically, I wasn’t lying. I wasn’t a member, my parents were. I hadn’t even been here in years. And I was out for a walk.
Amusement danced in his blue eyes. “Jeremy,” he said back.
When I chewed on my lower lip, I noticed how his eyes focused on it.
Mine focused on the entirety of his mouth—his strong, firm jaw, his sensuous lips, and his tongue that had snuck out to lick his lips.
That mouth.
It was almost too much.
Almost.

DGR: Anything else you’d like to leave the readers with?

KK: I hope you read Toxic and fall in love with Jeremy and Phoebe’s world. Enjoy!

Review

4 stars

Toxic-DGR

Jeremy McQueen.
He wasn’t just any boy- he was “the boy”. The only one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.

It’s been over a week since I read Toxic and it’s taken me this long to be able to sum my feelings and clear my head enough to rate it. If I can describe this book for you in one word, it would be exhausting. I was absolutely emotionally spent when I finished it. I spent a good 40% of it feeling like I want to rip my hair out. And this is coming from a self-professed angst whore, mind you.
But then here’s the thing; I liked it. Even though the constant back and forth between Phoebe and Jeremy left me feeling like they’re going to give me whiplash, I still liked it and gobbled it up like the angst starved junky that I am. Was it delicious? Heck no! I thought I may choke on it. But god help me, I still liked it. My favorite trope is the second chance romance and Toxic delivers it in spades.

It was emotionally draining, erotic, touching, and rage inducing all at once. Yeah. Try wrapping your head around that.

I loved him once, even though I’d never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.

Toxic1-DGRPhoebe and Jeremy first met as teenagers years ago. Phoebe was the rich girl with the golden spoon in her mouth and Jeremy was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Their connection was instantaneous and burned hot and bright, but then lies tore them apart. While Phoebe never got over the boy that once made her entire body and heart burn, she moved on. Now years later fate brings them together again, but he’s no longer the boy she once knew. He’s successful and rich but still invites everything in her like they never spent any years apart.

He took all my air away. I didn’t care- I didn’t need to breathe.

While both Phoebe and Jeremy know they may be toxic together, they can’t stay away from each other. Their chemistry practically crackles in electricity. There’s one thing that’s certain, Kim Karr can write some scorching sex scenes. But the lies between them are like poison that won’t leave. Much as they try to purge it from their relationship it remains that one toxic factor that brews the way for mistrust and mistakes. I think it would be safe to say that neither of these characters are perfect, far from it in fact. These two fuck up so many times it made me want to throttle them and chuck my kindle at the wall. It was rage inducing.

That’s the thing with jealousy- it festers and builds until there is nothing left.

There’s a wealth of secondary characters that were introduced that added to the story in a very significant way. Maybe that’s what helped dilute the angst between Jeremy and Phoebe? It made the book evolve like a movie in front of my eyes and it made me really connect to the characters’ lives. I’m not sure I’d be able to say the same thing if this happened in any other book, but in this one it just worked.

The focus of the story of course are Jeremy and Phoebe and their romance and road to forgiveness and maturity.

We were frantic for each other- time hadn’t done anything to quash what we felt physically for each other. In fact, it only fanned the flames and the fire was bigger than ever.

Toxic2-DGRI think I felt every emotion along with them and that really helped connecting with them. Kim Karr did an amazing job creating two imperfect characters that were imperfectly perfect together. Does that even make sense? In my head it does, but then again I’m still getting over this book. As much as I wanted to rip my hair out for the last 40% of the book, I also secretly loved it. I guess I’m just a masochist that way.

With my eyes closed, I felt the earth move and the sky shift. In my own darkness, I felt a million different things but I didn’t feel lost in him. I knew then for certain, I wouldn’t get lost in him. There was no way I could. Not when I had found myself in him.

If you’re looking for a book that will enrage you and enrapture you all in one, Toxic is that. It’s a make you want to rip your hair out while still rooting for the characters kind of second chance romance. It was far from perfect, but yet it worked. It may not be for everyone, but if you’re a reader that enjoys your angst in rage inducing proportions while getting an unforgettable second chance romance, Toxic is definitely a must read.

ARC courtesy of publisher in exchange for an honest review

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