After losing the only woman he has ever loved, Ben is left feeling as though he has little left to live for. He heads to Australia to avoid his heartache and try to find himself again. When he must return home to help out with the case that once sent him away from Dahlia, he struggles with being back in California. As Ben continues to try and pick up the pieces of his life, he fills his life with alcohol and women. But when the one girl who tempted him while with Dahlia suddenly reappears in Ben's life, he finds himself feeling something for the first time in as long as he can remember. But will his downward spiral ruin any chance he has at a future with her?
We have seen Ben in the previous books of this series, but I felt like we never really got to know Ben fully. He had loved Dahlia for the majority of his life, and both Ben and Dahlia had always planned on a future together. But Ben left after putting her in danger and Dahlia moved on. We found out some things about Ben's past and what Dahlia had thought was an almost betrayal was actually a night spent with Bell. It was hard for me to get behind parts of this story because Ben relives that night and has never stopped thinking of Bell or fantasizing about her and their night together. He cheated on Dahlia and tried to get her back, and his betrayal still stings for me on behalf of Dahlia. So to see it almost glorified in this novella was not an easy thing to witness. I do think that Ben deserves to find happiness, and that he and Bell have a lot of chemistry and possibly even a connection. But it is really hard for me to get behind anything between them at this point. I was glad to see Ben working on himself though, and I think that it was really nice to see him finally accepting that Dahlia has moved on and is happy.
While I think that this novella was good and added to the series, so far it was my least favorite story in the connections series. It was slow and focused on Ben, so it didn't have that connection between the hero and heroine that has been such an integral part of each Connections book so far. I missed that relationship and felt like the brief bits we got of Ben and Bell just didn't satisfy as I am still trying to come around to the idea of them being together. They started out as such a betrayal to Ben and Dahlia's relationship and caused so much hurt and I always believed that I wouldn't be happy if they ended up together. But after reading Blurred, I am starting to see them in a different light and part of that is due to Dahlia herself. I am hoping that with Frayed we continue to see some growth from Ben and that we also get to see Ben and Bell take things slowly. There is a lot they need to overcome still, and I just hope that it is done in a way that will be respectful to Dahlia and everything that she went through.
**ARC Provided by Penguin Group Berkley/Signet**
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