I adore second chance romances, so Toxic was right up my alley. I was expecting Toxic to be an angsty but sweet romance about two people reconnecting, but it was surprisingly so much more than that. Kim Karr tells an excellent story about both the highs and lows of a relationship, and yes, the toxic parts of it, too. Kim Karr really nails the second chance romance aspect of the story as well – I was rooting for Phoebe and Jeremy to get their much deserved HEA.
Through everything, all the heartache, the loneliness, the sadness and sorrow, the one thing I never regretted was meeting him.
He wasn’t just any boy–he was “the boy.” The one I never should have met, and the one I’d never trade meeting for the world.
Five years ago, Phoebe and Jeremy were very much in love, despite being complete opposites. Phoebe was the rich, high society girl while Jeremy was the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Phoebe, however, keeps the fact that she comes from a wealthy family a secret from Jeremy so that he won’t turn away from her. In the flashback scenes, I could easily feel the connection Phoebe and Jeremy had all those years ago. They formed a sweet romance that unfortunately didn’t last after the lies and misunderstandings.
I’d loved him once, even though I never told him I did. And as I looked at him, everything I’d ever felt for him came rushing back.
Now, just as Phoebe is in the midst of saving her family’s hotel empire, Jeremy comes back into her life, but now this bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks is a successful, wealthy businessman. Phoebe never truly got over her lost love, and it seems like neither did Jeremy. The connection they had five years ago is still going strong, if not stronger once they reunite. I loved how passionate Phoebe and Jeremy are together – they want each other like no other and the chemistry between them is explosive. They bring out the best each other, but they also bring out the worst. They both have to deal with their jealousy, self-doubts, and past mistrusts before they can ever truly move on and be in a relationship again.
Normally, I wouldn’t have enjoyed a book like Toxic – there’s a whole mess of misunderstandings and miscommunications, which made for a toxic relationship. But somehow, it worked for Phoebe and Jeremy. The misunderstandings and miscommunications weren’t gratuitous – they were very real issues that both Jeremy and Phoebe have to overcome. These characters have a history of distrust and uncertainty in their relationship, and throughout the course of their reconnected love, they find a way to get past these issues to form a stronger relationship.
“You know things won’t be the same as they were. They can’t be. Too much has happened.”
He sighed what sounded like relief. “I know. They’ll be better this time.”
“What if they’re not?”
“It’s not possible.”
“How do you know that?”
“I just do. I can feel it.”
There are lots of twists and turns in Toxic, which had me on the edge of my seat. I really couldn’t put this book down. The best part about this is the intense chemistry between Phoebe and Jeremy – their past relationship really heightens their connection and made me want them to get their HEA. The love between them comes so clearly off the pages, which did sometimes make me feel frustrated when the misunderstandings and miscommunications started up. These were two people who are clearly meant to be together, but the journey to their HEA is not an easy one. I definitely recommend this book to those who like sexy, angsty romances with a little twist to it.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.
One paperback copy of Toxic by Kim Karr
Open US/CAN only