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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

REVIEW: Toxic by Kim Karr

I won this book on Goodreads! Thank you to Berkley/NAL!

Toxic chronicles the tumultuous relationship of bad boy entreprenuer Jeremy McQueen and socialite turned CEO Phoebe St. Claire. These two have a steamy past which ended in ruin some five years before based on jealousy and deceit by both parties. Much has changed when they cross paths again.

Phoebe is the CEO of her family's financially collapsing empire after her father's imprisonment.  She's woefully lost, having recently broken things off with her fiance, Dawson.  Jeremy has found success as a club owner and by marketing an elite membership to those willing and able to pay the price.

These two rekindle their relationship, vowing, albeit unsuccessfully, to put the past aside. Together they just might find true happiness and save Phoebe's family business but old habits of distrust die hard and despite best intentions and the powerful physical and emotional chemistry between the two, their relationship just might remain too toxic for it to last.

Overall, I liked the book. It certainly is steamy; however, I didn't think the eroticism paired with the writing style flowed all that smoothly.  The writing was repetitive, which I noticed not only while reading this in print but more so while listening to the audiobook narrated by Lucy Rivers.  It might be that Rivers' isn't how I pictured Phoebe might sound in my head.  Also, I think this is a book that would have benefited from a different POV.  I would have liked to see alternating narrated chapters from Phoebe and Jeremey. Ultimately, I think my real inability to engage was that I just didn't like Phoebe all that much as a character.

Normally I love a good book that can make me feel all the feels.  However, it was a bit too much of an emotional rollercoaster for me to remain fully engaged with this couple and all the added twists and turns in the narrative.  In fact, these two make Anastasia and Christian seem normal. I soon grew tired of the petty jealousies and the emotional turmoil. While it is a romance that gets a happy ending, Phoebe and Jeremy probably really shouldn't end up together.

Other characters showed promise and I wouldn't mind a few spin-off books or a series to continue their stories. I was elated when Dawson was revealed as a shady character.  I just can't like or trust any fictional character named Dawson--I just cant.

Final rating: 3 out of 5 stars

#toxic #KimKarr #EroticRomance #bookreview #Angst #realisticfiction

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