Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Toxic by Kim Karr {+Giveaway!}

By 8:00 AM , , , , ,

    by: Kim Karr

Publication Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Physical copy received via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 368 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not...

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new novel that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.

In Toxic, Jeremy McQueen, a sexy, intense, sometimes brooding entrepreneur goes after what he wants—the woman he left behind years ago. Phoebe St. Claire, a put together, in control socialite-turned-CEO has been drifting through life searching for something she thought she'd never find again—the right man to share her future.

Our passion was boundless. Our lust untamed. And our desire endless. He was the only man who ever made me feel alive. Then, I betrayed him.

When he reappeared, I didn’t question it. Trust rarely survives the wrecking ball, so when he let me in back in—I didn’t hesitate.

Maybe I should have.

What began as a bid to save my family business, turned into a second chance at love. It felt so romantic. Working together, side by side, with the man I loved. My dream come true.

Nothing is as good as it seems.

We had our issues, but then again, every couple does. It wasn’t jealousy, or our too-hot sex life that I should have been worried about.

It was his darkside.

I never saw the end coming, until it slammed me in the face. The question is—did he?

Was revenge his plan all along?


Sometimes you have to wonder if your life is 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.

What you do about it—that’s up to you.

Me, I’m in too deep and there’s no getting out.

I’ll take whatever I can get for as long as I can because I know when it’s over…

I’ll never find another man like him.


Ooh boy. This book. It's so raw and messy and yet.... I couldn't get enough of Phoebe and Jeremy. The book is so aptly named because they really do have a toxic relationship. But as unhealthy and toxic as it could be, there is a lot of passion and love between these two as well. It's pretty explosive to be honest and I loved seeing them at their most vulnerable where it's as simple as wanting the other.
Phoebe and Jeremy have a history together and I liked that Karr showed us a bit of that. I liked that we got a few chapters in the past, but the book was mostly focused on the present. We got just enough of an idea to glimpse their 21-year-old personalities in the past to show us how far they've come now in the present. You just know that things are doomed from the start because they start an affair based on lies. Add in the jealousy factor and it's game over.
Lack of communication and jealousy were the two things that drove me a little crazy about this one. I get the jealousy, I do. I am a very jealous person by nature (and I hate that), so I can understand both Phoebe and Jeremy's reactions, especially since some of their situations don't exactly look good. However, they are both so stubborn. Instead of talking things out, they assume the worst and run away from the issue at hand. That is one of the things we do see them trying to work through and is a part of their growth so I did like seeing that transition.
I liked the overall feel of this one a lot. I was interested in Phoebe, her friends, and her different relationships. Her friendships with both Lily and Jamie were great and I adored something that happened to Jamie in this book. It was a completely surprising situation and it ended up working so well. I did NOT care for Phoebe's ex, Dawson, though. She should have been more assertive towards him from the beginning. I don't know if that would have changed some of the issues that arose later though, as Dawson just can't seem to get it through his head that they are done and can only be friends.
My favorite part was seeing the evolution of Phoebe and Jeremy's relationship. They both make a lot of mistakes and assumptions with the other, but the one constant was how they felt for one another. Even when Jeremy would act a bit harsh and cold, you could still tell how he felt about her and his shutting down was to protect himself. I loved the tension between them and how desperate they could be for one another. That volatility really worked here for them. It's a very thin line they walk, which is why when they hurt one another, it was hard to read because of how much it destroyed them. Karr writes some very sexy scenes and they do sometimes use sex as a means of avoiding a conversation which, (while hot) could be a bit irritating.
Toxic is a steamy, sexy read and even though it could be frustrating at times, I still really liked it. I did feel there were some parts that read a bit slower than others, but otherwise I was pretty engaged and caught up in the chaos and passion of their relationship.

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've 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 currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don't need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There's nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore--it's time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart. <3

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  1. Man, I really don't like that their relationship is so toxic. The jealousy and the lack of communication would drive me so crazy I think. I've tried reading books like this one in the past but they never work for me because I just can't get behind the relationship.
    I'm still glad that all that passion worked for you, Jess and all the sexy times! Haha! Sexy times always works. :D
    Great review, Jess!

    1. It's definitely one of those books that can drive you crazy. But I ended up liking the angsty back and forth in this one. LOL.

  2. I think I read this book wrong because I seem to be the only one who just couldn't get into it haha maybe I was in the wrong frame of mind. So glad you enjoyed it though and as always great review!

    1. Aww. Bummer Teresa! It did take a little bit to get into too because there were some parts that I was a little bored by.

  3. I've never heard of this one! That synopsis, woah O_O I'm not sure if this is one for me, given the communication/jealousy issues, but I'm glad the relationship evolved and developed. Glad you enjoyed this one, Jess!

    In terms of bad boys - hmm. Idk about favorite, but I liked Mason from Black Ice. If he counts as "bad" :D

    Excellent review, Jess!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Oh I haven't read Black Ice yet! It's on my list though! I can see where this book wouldn't work for everyone for sure.

  4. My favorite bad boy of romance is Ash from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series.

    1. Oh I don't know this Ash! I have been wanting to check out Kenyon's books at some point though.

  5. I guiltily love these types of raw and passionate romances. They're toxic, but it makes the story so interesting!! I'm glad Phoebe has great friends to balance out her crazy relationship. Oh gosh, jealousy and lack of communication really annoy me in books. Talk through it, people!! Wonderful review, Jess!

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

    1. I do too Rachel! Haha. I wish the jealousy and communication issues weren't there, but I guess without them we wouldn't have had much of a book. Rofl.

  6. There are so many yummy bad boys to choose from! I'll have to go with Kingsley from the Original Sinners series by Tiffany Reisz. ;)


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