REVIEW – AFTER ALL by Karina Halle

SYNOPSIS

After All is a STANDALONE lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance from the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You.

Emmett Hill is the perfect gentleman.

At least that’s what his PR team wants the world to think.

Tall, handsome, and wickedly charming, Emmett is in the midst of a career comeback, having landed the role of a villain in a popular TV show. The only problem is, Emmett has come a long way from the “nice guy” characters he used to play and his old squeaky clean image is quickly being tarnished by bar fights, womanizing and bad boy behaviour. Considering he’s two years shy of forty, it’s an act he needs to drop. And fast.

Enter Alyssa Martin.

At twenty-eight, Alyssa is tired and ready for a change. Her job as office manager has grown stagnant and unfulfilling, while she’s become continuously frustrated with Vancouver’s lackluster dating scene, always searching for Mr. Right in a city of Mr. Wrongs.

When Emmett and Alyssa’s paths cross at a mutual friend’s wedding, their chemistry is off-the-charts hot, culminating in a steamy one-night stand.

What neither expected was for the media catch wind of their coupling – and run with it.

Now Emmett has to convince Alyssa to date him for the sake of his image. Her curvy, cute and “normal” persona is just the ticket to smoothing out his reputation, while Emmett provides Alyssa with the excitement and change her life has been lacking.

The only problem is, the two fight like cats and dogs outside of the bedroom.

And considering their arrangement is just for show, they shouldn’t be in the bedroom with each other anyway.

Right?

Try telling them that.

 

*****Mel’s Review*****

4.5 Stars!

-She lights me up inside, puts the sun in my sky.

 

 

Alyssa Martin is a 28 yr. old single woman living in Vancouver. She’s worked in the film business as an office manager for Mad Men Studios for the past six years. She’s bored with her job & her love life is non-existent. She has some excitement come her way when she attends her boss & her best friends wedding. She meets a playful, cocky, gorgeous guy named Emmett Hill. They are both in Will & Jackie’s wedding. Emmett is an extremely hot, famous actor. Alyssa can’t figure why he keeps shamelessly hitting on her. She knows his type & how they treat women. The privileged celebrity who plays the field, can’t be faithful & doesn’t stick around. She’s totally judged him without even getting to know him, but it doesn’t stop her from enjoying everything he has to offer physically. He’s delicious & she’s affected by the dirty, filthy things he says. She has a one night stand with him & enjoys every sinful moment.

 

Emmett Hill grew up poor & on the streets. He had a rough childhood and now is guarded with his private life. After living in London & doing theatre, he’s now a TV star. He’s recently had a comeback, and his career has been on the rise since he landed the villain role on a superhero show. The only problem is his bad behavior the media always seems to capture. Between his womanizing ways & fighting his image lately, has taken a hit. Recently photos emerged of Emmett being affectionate with Alyssa & the media thinks their a couple. That Emmett has settled down with a normal girl. When his publicist suggests a fake relationship with Alyssa to fix his bad boy image Emmett approaches Alyssa with a proposition to be his girlfriend for three months. He convinces her to date him to smooth over his reputation in the public eye.

 

 

As Emmett & Alyssa enter into this arrangement for show they clash & really get under each other’s skin. Alyssa is a handful on a good day, & Emmett loves to push her buttons. They decide to keep things professional & keep their hands off each other, but that doesn’t last long. Neither can quit thinking of their night together, and their chemistry is too overwhelming to deny.

 

-The thing is… she’s getting under my skin.

-I want her. Every day. Every night. I want her in my bed, I want her in my arms.

-I don’t think I could ever get enough of her, ever get my fill.

-Everything inside me is coming alive.

-My body molds to him, adapts to him, like magnets you can’t keep apart.

 

Soon everything that is supposed to be a lie feels real. Lines get blurred & they both have real feelings for one another. Things become very intimate between them, and eventually, Alyssa is the one real thing in Emmett’s life, when everything else in his world seems fake. She brings him a sense of peace, & he wants her in his life.

This was a fabulous, flirty, fun read. I really enjoyed it. Emmett was sexy & swoony, and Alyssa was a total spitfire that challenged him and gave him something real.

 

 

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

I want to bury myself deep inside her and never let go, let her light wash over all my darkness, let it dissolve my past. Alyssa is my sun, pure golden warmth that leaves only love behind.

 

 

AFTER ALL is the perfect low on angst but heavy on the combustible steam summer read! I know that Karina Halle is a truly versatile writer who doesn’t limit herself to one type of story but I have to say that I happen to love her “adult contemporary” books more than the others! We met the Hero and Heroine in BEFORE I EVER MET YOU and theirs is a sort of “hate to love” relationship, but more so on the Heroine’s side. What I enjoyed most was that all that “enemies to lovers” drama didn’t last for too long because honestly, I think I have had my fill of that trope!! This story has some of the most intensely steamy scenes but there’s also a ton of heart to round it out quite perfectly!!

Emmett Hill is a tv actor who has had his fair share of bad publicity lately over his ill-tempered outbursts in public. To be fair, it seems that the paparazzi love to instigate fights with him in hopes of snapping pics of Emmett while in the midst of his blow-outs. His publicist advises him that he needs an image makeover. While at his best friend’s wedding, he meets Alyssa Martin, who is one of the bridesmaids. He’s instantly attracted to her but she’s as cool as a cucumber towards him. It’s throwing him for a loop because woman are usually falling all over themselves to get his attention. Alyssa is not in the least bit impressed with him and lets him know she thinks he’s just a slick Hollywood actor looking for an easy lay. But by the end of the night and after several cocktails the two end up sharing an intense and passionate moment during the wedding reception. A kiss that they share winds up landing on some social media gossip sites the next day.

The picture of them starts to generate a lot of interest because of Alyssa. She’s just a regular gal who doesn’t have ties to the industry and so speculations start to spread across the gossip sites that maybe Emmett is finally mellowing out because he’s found himself a nice girl. Looking to capitalize on all of the current publicity, Emmett proposes a deal with Alyssa. She is to be his pretend girlfriend for the next few months in order to boost his public image and at the end of their contract, she’ll get a forty-thousand dollar check. Alyssa is so unhappy with her career at the moment and this money is what she needs to quit her job and pursue her life-long dream.

 

 

Alyssa and Emmett may seem polar opposites but that’s because of the act they put on in front of everyone to protect themselves. They actually couldn’t be more perfect for each other if they tried. As they spend time together as a “so-called” couple, real feelings are constantly bubbling up to the surface. The only problem is that while their hearts are starting to get invested, their insecurities keep telling them that it’s all fake and that they’re just acting the part of a couple in love.

Will Emmett and Alyssa get over their fears of abandonment and take a real chance on true love?

AFTER ALL is currently available! Be sure to one-click!

IBooks: bit.ly/AFTERALL-IBooks
Nook: bit.ly/AFTERALL-Nook

COVER REVEAL – AFTER ALL by Karina Halle

 

 

After All is a standalone lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance from the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You.
 
Emmett Hill is the perfect gentleman.
At least that’s what his PR team wants the world to think.
Tall, handsome, and wickedly charming, Emmett is in the midst of a career comeback, having landed the role of a villain in a popular TV show. The only problem is, Emmett has come a long way from the “nice guy” characters he used to play and his old squeaky clean image is quickly being tarnished by bar fights, womanizing and bad boy behaviour. Considering he’s two years shy of forty, it’s an act he needs to drop. And fast.
Enter Alyssa Martin.
At twenty-eight, Alyssa is tired and ready for a change. Her job as office manager has grown stagnant and unfulfilling, while she’s become continuously frustrated with Vancouver’s lackluster dating scene, always searching for Mr. Right in a city of Mr. Wrongs.
When Emmett and Alyssa’s paths cross at a mutual friend’s wedding, their chemistry is off-the-charts hot, culminating in a steamy one-night stand.
What neither expected was for the media catch wind of their coupling – and run with it.
Now Emmett has to convince Alyssa to date him for the sake of his image. Her curvy, cute and “normal” persona is just the ticket to smoothing out his reputation, while Emmett provides Alyssa with the excitement and change her life has been lacking.
The only problem is, the two fight like cats and dogs outside of the bedroom.
And considering their arrangement is just for show, they shouldn’t be in the bedroom with each other anyway.
Right?
Try telling them that.
Preorder links:
Amazon: Live release! Sign-up for my mailing list to be notified bit.ly/KHMailingLIst
Paperback: to come release week

REVIEW – ROCKED UP by Karina Halle & Scott MacKenzie

SYNOPSIS

Rocked Up is a STANDALONE rockstar romantic comedy and the fun and sexy brainchild of New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle and her husband Scott Mackenzie.

I have been watching him since I was a child.

He didn’t notice me back then and it didn’t matter. Brad Snyder, guitarist and singer for one of the world’s greatest bands, was my entire life.

My father, the CEO of Ramsey Records, takes credit for all of Brad’s success, trying to control him in the same way he’s controlled me.

But I finally get an opportunity to prove myself.

To be wild.

To be free.

Today I’m auditioning to be the replacement bass player for Brad’s band. If I get the job, I’ll go on tour and work with Brad every day, in very close proximity.

There’s only one rule: he’s not allowed to touch the boss’s daughter.

Remember when I said that Brad never used to notice little ol’ me?

Well, Brad’s noticing me now.

In a way that’s going to get us both in trouble.

My name is Lael Ramsey and we all know how this will turn out.

 

*****Mel’s Review*****

4.5 Stars!

 

Lael Ramsey is the daughter of a successful record producer. Her dad owns the record label, Ramsey Records. He represents her all time favorite band, And Then. She has a massive crush on the lead singer & guitarist, Brad Snyder. She attends one of his shows when she is 14. She’s so starstruck she completely humiliates herself.

Seven years has gone by & she’s been obsessed with Brad for years. He’s one of the main reasons she loves music. His music has always inspired her. She writes songs & plays the bass guitar. She wants the opportunity to do what she loves, so when Brad’s band needs a temporary bass player for their upcoming tour, she hopes this is her chance to prove herself as a musician. She auditions and begins touring with the band.

 

-You wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in you.

-This is my dream.

-This is unreal.

 

Brad Snyder came from nothing & was bounced around foster care most of his childhood. Music was his only constant. His whole life changed when he was 17 & signed with Ramsey Records. They made him a star & over the past ten years, he’s become famous. Suddenly his boss’s daughter is joining them on tour for the next two months. He hasn’t seen little Lael in years. She’s absolutely stunning & also forbidden. The one rule about her is nobody’s to touch the boss’s daughter. She’s totally off limits. This is easier said than done.

The more time they spend together, the more they lust over one another. Passion ignites & they finally give in. Lael feels free and is having the time of her life touring & being with her dream guy. Brad can’t remember a time he’s been this happy. He’s always been alone in the world, but suddenly he’s growing attached to Lael. Real feelings are forming, but will her controlling father threaten to end what’s been building between them?

I really enjoyed this fabulous rockstar romantic comedy. It was the first book Karina Halle has co-written with her husband Scott Mackenzie. They write beautifully together. It was fantastic!

 

-“The only thing I’m afraid of is not being with you.”

-I want him. I need him. And no one else will do.

 

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

Love—it’s a drug I’ve never tried because I’ve seen it kill so many others. Maybe I am the drug and deep down I know I’m no good. What kind of man needs this life I’m living? What kind of man wants to stand on stage and have tens of thousands of people scream for him? There is so much fakeness I have lost myself in and I’m so completely selfish.

ROCKED UP is the first writing collaboration between Karina Halle and her husband, Scott Mackenzie. I really enjoy a good rock star romance and these authors were able to create a story that for the most part kept me entertained. The writing between the two authors was seamless and although it is told in alternating POVs, the story never felt disjointed. If I hadn’t known that the book was co-written, I would have assumed that one author had penned the entire story.

Lael Ramsey has idolized and crushed on the lead singer of the group And Then since she was fourteen-years-old. Her father, who is a recording producer and who owns the group that Lael idolizes, ends up getting her backstage passes to their concert. The moment she met Brad Snyder was too overwhelming for her and she ended up fainting. Fast forward seven years later, Lael is given another opportunity to come face to face with her idol and adolescent crush, when her father asks her to pick Brad up from the airport. Lael has become a gifted bass player and songwriter and asks for the chance to try out to be And Then’s new bass player as the group has had to let go of their previous one due to drug addiction.

Brad is pleasantly surprised to see Lael at the airport and he hasn’t forgotten her over the past seven years. He notices that she has matured into a stunningly beautiful woman and is drawn to her. They seem to get along easily and feel at ease amongst each other. When he is ordered to bring Lael on as the group’s new bass player by her father, he’s a bit put off at first but when Lael insists that she be given the chance to try out for the spot instead, Brad and his bandmates are nearly blown away by her amazing talent.

When Lael is unanimously voted to be the new bass player, she heads out on tour with the guys while unbeknownst to her, Lael’s father has already laid down the law with Brad. This is to be a short-term gig so that she can get this out of her system and Brad is to keep his hands off of her. If he breaks the rules her father won’t hesitate to end his career. Well, of course, being the rebel that he is, Brad doesn’t keep his distance and neither does Lael. Being together day in and day out only ends up igniting an explosive passion between the two.

Can the two lovers come out of the experience unscathed when there are so many people who are against their union?

ROCKED UP is currently available!

Kindle: bit.ly/RU-Kindle
Nook: bit.ly/RU-Nook
iTunes: bit.ly/RU-iTunes
Kobo: bit.ly/RU-KOBO

REVIEW – BEFORE I EVER MET YOU by Karina Halle

SYNOPSIS

I first met William McAlister when I was just a teenager.

He was handsome, had a beautiful wife and was on the verge of success, having just joined my father as his business partner. Mr. McAlister was full of smooth charm, but back then he was barely a blip on my radar. Just a family friend.

Fast forward ten years: I’m 25 years old and a single mom trying to make things right for her seven-year old son. I’ve made some mistakes, grappled with my demons and now I’m back in the city of Vancouver, getting a second chance at a better life.

I’ve started by working for my father’s production company as an executive assistant. My first day on the job and I already know I could have a promising career there.
That is until I see Will McAlister for the first time in a decade.

Now recently divorced and as sophisticated as always, Will has gone from being my father’s friend and business partner to something so much more.

We’re both older, for one thing, and he just oozes this worldly confidence and stark sexuality. Combined with his tall, muscular build and sharp suits, strong jaw and bedroom eyes, Will has turned into one hell of a distraction.

A distraction I’m having a hard time staying away from, considering his office is right across from my desk and I work with him in such close proximity.

But it’s just a harmless crush, right?

It’s just an innocent fantasy of screwing him on his desk, right?

It can’t ever be more because he’s my father’s best friend, business partner, and my boss.

Right?

Wrong.

Before I Ever Met You is a contemporary standalone romance, a light-hearted swoony read that will make you believe in love again

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FIVE STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

”Tell me I have your heart. I won’t let it go, not for any moment, not for any reason. Tell me I have your heart and I’ll keep it next to my own.”

 

I knew from the synopsis that this book was going to be fabulous, and I can tell you that I was not disappointed in the least. I forgot just how much I love a really good forbidden romance and this may actually be a new favorite trope as I don’t think I’ve ever read one involving a father’s best friend! I need to find more of these books and now!! Karina Halle is one versatile author but I would absolutely love it if she wrote a lot more adult contemporary romances. I fell in love with this story and it all had to do with the beautiful man, named Will McAlister!

Will McAlister is a forty-one-year-old divorced man who has left his job and life behind in L.A. and has transferred to the Vancouver office to start over. His ex-wife dropped one hell of a bombshell on him that rocked him to his core and left him swearing off love forever, or so he thought. The moment he meets his new executive assistant, it seems that his heart is starting to awaken. Jackie Phillips is his best friend/business partner’s daughter and the last time Will saw her, she was a sullen teenager with a chip on her shoulder. Gone is the troublesome teenager and in her place is a sweet and strikingly beautiful woman. They are wildly attracted to each other but because there are so many things playing against them both Will and Jackie try their best to keep things platonic. Jackie is actually the one who fights the attraction the most.

 

 

She ran off and married the absolute worst guy for her when she was seventeen. She ended up having a son with him and that was about the only good thing that came from that relationship. Her past mistake in judgment with men and her need to prove to her father that she is not the same person she was seven years ago, has Jackie keeping Will at arms-length and stubbornly denying her feelings for him.

Soon enough neither of them will be able to fight the attraction anymore and let’s just say the steamy scenes are PHENOMENAL!! While I enjoy the spicy stuff, it was Will’s heart that had me melting for this story! He loved Jackie so much that he was willing to take whatever she was able to give him and I mean how could you not swoon over a guy like that??!!

BEFORE I EVER MET YOU is currently available! Make sure you bump this up your TBRs!

iBooks: bit.ly/BIEMY-iTunes
•Nook: bit.ly/BIEMY-NOOK
•Kobo: bit.ly/BIEMY-KOBO

 

 

 

*****Mel’s Review*****

5 Dream Girl Stars!

 

William McAlister is a 41 yr. old guy who found himself divorced after 15 yrs. of marriage. He needs a change of pace, & moves from LA to work in the Vancouver office of his production company. He’s only been back in Vancouver about a month and is still adjusting & settling in when his business partner’s daughter Jackie is hired on to be his executive assistant. He hasn’t seen her since she was 15, & wow has she grown up. He knows there’s a 16 yr. age difference between them, but that doesn’t keep him from having inappropriate thoughts about her. She has luscious curves & is absolutely gorgeous. Will has to keep reminding himself he can’t mix business with pleasure.

 

Jackie Phillips is a 25 yr. old single mom who’s been through a rough patch lately. Struggling to make ends meet she decides to move back home to Vancouver & live with her parents. She needs a fresh start, and that includes a new job. Her father co-owns a film company called Mad Men Studios, & offers her a job working for his business partner Mr. McAlister. Jackie remembers Will from when he used to come over for dinners when she was a teenager. He’s been a family friend for as long as she can remember. She hasn’t seen him in about ten years, & is stunned by how sexy he is. Age has made him every more beautiful, & Jackie has trouble working so closely with Will & not having out of control fantasies about him. She tries to hide her attraction & growing crush. He’s become a distraction & she’s drawn to him.

 

-He’s everything sexy and mysterious wrapped up into one.

-He’s funny, sweet, kind, generous. He’s everything any woman could ever want. And fuck, do I ever want him.

-I’m fucking obsessed with her. Plain and simple.

-She doesn’t realize just how perfect she is to me.

-“You, me. It’s everything that’s right.”

Will & Jackie feel a strong bond with each other from the start. They can be themselves & soon both will use any excuse to spend time together. Will quickly becomes someone Jackie can count on & trust. She can talk to him about anything. They become a great team at the office & things begin to get more complicated when they can’t fight their desire for one another any longer. Will is obsessed with Jackie & wants more. Jackie is scared to death of these intense feelings & is desperately trying not to fall for him because he’s the one man she can never have completely. He’s her boss & her father’s friend and business partner. She can’t jeopardize her job or damage her relationship with her father, but can she give up the man who’s become her everything?

I absolutely adored this book start to finish! I fell hard for Will. He is such a beautiful man inside and out & sexy as hell!!! This book was seriously hot! I’ve read almost all of Karina’s books & this one is now my favorite. Just a beautiful story.

 

-This girl, my dream girl, is mine, no one else’s.

-“It’s me. And it’s you. And this works, the two of us, we work.”

-Her soul speaks to mine.

-“I know this is all new. I’m in your hands. Every single part of me.”

-“All in. I’ve always been all in with you.”

REVIEW – DIRTY SOULS (Sins Duet #2) by Karina Halle

SYNOPSIS

From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes DIRTY SOULS the much-anticipated, nail-biting conclusion to Black Hearts…

Violet McQueen has always been a sensitive soul. Troubled and misunderstood, she never realized her place in the world, nor her true potential…until she met Vicente Bernal.

From birth, Vicente Bernal has always known his place in the world – he’s been groomed to be a ruthless king. Yet for a man whose soul has become morally bankrupt, it’s only through Violet he’s realizing the worth of someone’s heart.

But at what cost?

With a deadly game set in motion taking them from the stark deserts of California to the steamy jungles of Mexico, Violet and Vicente’s forbidden relationship will be put to the test. Boundaries will be pushed, lines will be crossed and souls will get very, very dirty.

Because how do you choose between blood and love when both might get you killed?

*****Mel’s Review*****

5 Stars!

Violet McQueen realizes her life is full of secrets and lies. Her parents have kept a lot of their past from her growing up. She needs a break from her family, so she leaves San Francisco, & runs off with her boyfriend Vicente Bernal to her parent’s hometown of Palm Valley, California. She hopes they can uncover some answers. She feels safe with Vicente. Even though she now knows he’s the son of a drug lord, he’s still the only person she trusts right now. She’s falling for Vicente & just wants to be with him.

Vicente is struggling to do the right thing & be the man Violet deserves. He embraces who he is, but still wants to better himself. He doesn’t want to put Violet in danger, but can’t imagine being separated from her. He’s crazy addicted to her & will do anything to keep her safe. He has vowed to always protect her & will keep his promises, or die trying.

Soon Vicente & Violet find themselves in Sinaloa, Mexico at the mercy of Vicente’s father Javier. Javier truly believes it’s his job as a father to toughen up his son. You must break the boy to create the man. Vicente was raised & groomed to one day be a king. Javier wants to break him to make him a stronger future leader of the cartel. In order to do this, he has to understand loss & sacrifice. Vicente’s heart is too soft. Javier needs to harden him because only the strong & ruthless survive in their world.

Javier soon learns he’s underestimated his son & what he’s capable of. When it comes to Violet, Vicente’s heart is calling the shots. He’s fallen deeply in love with her, & will do anything to save her. He was taught in his world love gets you killed and makes you weak, but for Vicente, love only makes him stronger. As Vicente realizes he’s not even a son to his parents, but just a pawn in their game with the McQueen’s he is out for blood.

Violet has become a part of Vicente’s world and really learned what she’s made of. She’s brave, fearless and a fighter. She learns she’s capable of bringing out her dark side from within. She’s reckless, wild, & when needed she is totally badass & fierce and lives up to the McQueen name.

I absolutely adored this book! I fell hard for Vicente. The way he loves Violet is beautiful. This was a story of forbidden love. Love’s that’s put to the test by feuding families where they are made to chose between blood & love. There is tons of action & I was on the edge of my seat throughout. There isn’t anything Vicente wouldn’t do to be with Violet. God help anyone who tries to stand in the way of Vicente & his Mirlo. I really hope we get a book for Ben McQueen & Marisol Bernal next! :))

-It just took one girl. One fucking girl. That I will do everything to protect.

-I’ve fallen in love with her. I once thought she was my weapon, now I realize she’s everything to me.

-“Violet’s part of my family now. And I promise to ruin each and every man who dares to touch a hair on her head.”

-I feel the strength of him, his intuition, his protection. He’s an anchor to me, the only thing right now that makes any sense at all in this new world.

-I love her with my dark and dangerous heart. I love her with my wicked and dirty soul. I love her enough to raze the world around me to the very ground, just so we can be together.

-“You know that love doesn’t make you weak, no matter what he says. You know that love only makes you stronger in the end.”

 

*****Patty’s Review*****
*****3.75 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

I love her with my dark and dangerous heart. I love her with my wicked and dirty soul. I love her enough to raze the world around me to the very ground, just so we can be together. But I know that love, real love, lives on truth. I have to be honest with her. I have to tell her how I found her. I have to tell her who Javier Bernal is to her family.

 

 

I am going to start my review focusing on all the positives about this story. Vicente! I loved him! This guy is one sexy as hell, badass alpha male. I wished each and every scene had him in it. He had my heart racing in a very good way! The steam!! OMG!! Fanning myself and needing to take an ice cold shower after reading some of the hottest sex scenes ever! Karina Halle’s writing style is exquisite and she is definitely not afraid of writing some deliciously naughty schmexy scenes! This story was filled with so much violence and action. It’s sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats!

What I didn’t love about the book, and it’s not to say that most of you will probably not find issues with what bothered and hindered me from giving this a full five stars. I really did not like the heroine, Violet. I found her to be too young and beyond dumb. She was not woman enough for the likes of Vicente. I honestly didn’t see what he loved about her. Maybe if her parents weren’t so much a part of the story, I might have had an easier time viewing her as an adult instead of as a petulant child.

Now, you can read this series without having read the previous books about Violet and Vicente’s parents, but honestly, in my opinion, I don’t think you can get a grasp of the full picture if you didn’t first read about Ellie, Cam, and Javier! You need to understand where all this animosity is coming from – why Violet’s parents are so distraught over her being with Vicente once they learn he is a Bernal. A reader needs to understand Javier’s quest for revenge against Ellie and why he unleashes his wrath upon Violet! I just think if you know the full background, the story becomes more powerful. But having said that, I also wasn’t a fan of all the Ellie and Cam chapters, even though they were pretty short.

Overall, this is a highly entertaining read and if you have seen the reviews, it’s getting much love, so those of you who love Karina’s books will definitely enjoy this one.

Dirty Souls is currently available!

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2o0SdDw

COVER REVEAL – DIRTY SOULS (Sins Duet #2) by Karina Halle

dirty-souls-print-for-web

dirty-souls-amazon

From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes DIRTY SOULS the much-anticipated, nail-biting conclusion to Black Hearts…

 

Violet McQueen has always been a sensitive soul. Troubled and misunderstood, she never realized her place in the world, nor her true potential…until she met Vicente Bernal.

 

From birth, Vicente Bernal has always known his place in the world – he’s been groomed to be a ruthless king. Yet for a man whose soul has become morally bankrupt, it’s only through Violet he’s realizing the worth of someone’s heart.

 

But at what cost?

 

With a deadly game set in motion taking them from the stark deserts of California to the steamy jungles of Mexico, Violet and Vicente’s forbidden relationship will be put to the test. Boundaries will be pushed, lines will be crossed and souls will get very, very dirty.

 

Because how do you choose between blood and love when both might get you killed?

dirty-souls-3d-book-teaser
Dirty Souls is the conclusion and final book in the SINS DUET and releases March 17th on Amazon and KU
Paperbacks to follow shortly
Pick up the first book, Black Hearts, today! bit.ly/BlackHearts

REVIEW – BLACK HEARTS (Sins Duet #1) by Karina Halle

black-heart-amazon

SYNOPSIS

Black Hearts is a BRAND NEW STANDALONE DUET – the second book and conclusion, Dirty Souls, releases March 17th.

For Vicente Bernal, truth is all he’s known. The son of an infamous drug lord, Vicente was born to help run the family business, which means he’s been raised on a throne of sordid pasts and dirty laundry, violence and pride. But when Vicente stumbles across someone he’s not supposed to know about – a woman from his father’s checkered past – he sets out to California to find her behind his father’s back.

What Vicente doesn’t expect to find in San Francisco is Violet McQueen, the woman’s twenty-year old daughter. Beautiful and edgy with a vulnerability he can’t resist, Violet tempts Vicente from afar and though he promised himself he’d stay away from her, curiosity and lust are powerful forces. Besides, Vicente has always gotten everything he wants – why shouldn’t he have Violet too?

Soon his wants turn into an obsession, one that sweeps Violet into his games as they fall madly, deeply in love with each other, the type of first love that can drive a person mad.

But it’s a love with tragic consequences.

Both the truth – and the lies – not only threaten to tear them apart, but threaten their very lives.

Someone has to pay for the sins of the fathers.

And they’ll be paying the price with their souls.

Black Hearts is a BRAND NEW STANDALONE DUET – the second book and conclusion, Dirty Souls, releases March 17th

*****Mel’s Review*****

5 Stars!

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Vincente Bernal grew up in Mexico as the prodigal son of a drug lord. He was raised to one day take over the cartel & had everything he wants in life except freedom. He grew up sheltered & often isolated for his safety in a world full of power, respect, and money. He was born to follow in his father’s footsteps, & lost his innocence at a young age.

Vincente learns about a mystery woman from his father’s past & wants to learn more about the man his father used to be. He wanted proof that his father once had a soul. He convinces his parents to allow him to travel to America for the next couple months. He steps foot in San Francisco, California & feels like he can finally breathe.

Vincente has a plan that goes off track when he meets the daughter of the woman he’s come to see. He then wonders if the daughter could be his way to get close to the mother. The problem is he wasn’t prepared for the beautiful, intriguing Violet McQueen. She’s kind, sensitive, vulnerable & has an innocence about her. She also has a bit of an edge to her & there’s something about her he’s drawn to.

Violet McQueen meets a gorgeous, Hispanic man with amber eyes. He’s absolutely stunning and she instantly wants him. He’s sensual, sexy, & everything she isn’t. He’s strong, confident, and once he touches her, she’s done for. She is addicted to him. He’s wild, adventurous & sets her body on fire. He makes her feel alive & finally understood. She’s completely consumed by him and in the moment when they’re together.

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Violet soon starts to realize her parents aren’t who she thinks they are. Things have seemed off lately & she begins to feel she was raised in a house of lies. The only person that she feels safe with is Vincente. He just gets her.

Violet was never part of the plan. Vincente is feeling things for her that scare him, and complicate everything. He was trained & raised to take over the family business & taught love is a weakness, but he can’t control how his heart feels every time he’s with Violet. He considers Violet his & he has no plans of letting her go.

-She’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen. To stare at her from afar is one thing. To see her up close is another.

-She’s learning what she wants. And what she wants is me.

-I’m angry. I’m so fucking angry that my heart feels something for her. That she’s getting under my skin. That she’s making me question who I am.

-The hold he has on me is only growing stronger. I can’t get enough of him. He occupies my thoughts, my body, my heartbeat.

-Vincente’s mouth against mine is a lungful of oxygen, his body a life raft.

If you’ve read the Artist’s Trilogy or the Dirty Angels series by Karina Halle you will be familiar with these characters, but this book is a spinoff & can totally be read as a stand alone. It’s the children of Javier & Luisa Bernal and Camden & Ellie McQueen. Black Hearts is the first book in the duet. The second book Dirty Souls releases March 17th & will complete the story.

I LOVED this book! Like father like son, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Vincente is gorgeous, sinfully sexual & skilled in the bedroom, but also can be twisted like dear old dad. What I adored about Vincente that I felt made him stand out is his heart. I feel he will choose love in the end. This book had action, excitement, and love, & was sexy as hell! I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

 

 

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****4.5 STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

I was thoroughly fucked by Vicente.
Over and over and over again.
In a way I never imagined.
He made me step away from myself. He pulled me out of that prison. He opened my eyes to a reality I didn’t think I could be a part of.
He made my weaknesses my strengths.
He made it raw and beautiful.

 

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BLACK HEARTS is a spin-off of The Artist Trilogy and Dirty Angels series but can definitely be read as a standalone. The main characters in this story are the offspring of the characters from the Karina Halle’s previous two series. This one is filled with a ton action, suspense and hotter than heck STEAM!! I read ”On Every Street” and “Sins and Needles” and was definitely on TEAM CAM, but there’s a new man in town and he completely stole my heart. Get ready to meet the sexy bad ass Hero with an edgy dark side—Vicente Bernal!!

Vicente is in San Francisco on a supposed vacation but he has a secret agenda, find the woman who is the only person to ever one-up his father, Javier Bernal. His plan is to either capture and bring Ellie Watt back to his father as a prize or to pick her brain to hopefully reveal some of Javier’s secrets which would help him in taking over as head of their drug cartel. But when he lays eyes on Violet McQueen, all bets are off.

Violet is the daughter of Camden and Ellie. She is a very sensitive young woman who tends to keep her inner turmoil hidden from most of her loved ones. Vicente grasps at an opportunity to meet her when he follows Violet after she leaves her photography class at the university she attends. Pretending to be interested in signing up for her class, he is able to strike up a conversation with Violet. She is instantly intrigued by the sexy stranger and agrees to go out for coffee with him. Soon enough these two end up getting entangled in one seriously steamy affair.

Vicente gets Violet to step out of her comfort zone and take risks she normally would steer clear of. For the first time in her life, she is feeling exhilarated and also like she has a true connection with Vicente that she has never felt with anyone else before. While deeper feelings start to evolve between the two lovers, it would seem as though their relationship is doomed as there is no end to the list of people who are against their union.

The story ends with a cliffhanger but luckily for us, the conclusion is due out in May, so there’s not much of a wait. Get ready to fall in love with Karina Halle’s latest bad boy!!

BLACK HEARTS is currently available!

Amazon: bit.ly/BlackHearts

COVER REVEAL – ROCKED UP by Karina Halle & Scott MacKenzie

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TITLE: Rocked Up by Karina Halle & Scott Mackenzie

Cover Designer: By Hang Le

Release Date: April 12th, 2017

Available on all retailers: 

Blurb:

Rocked Up is a STANDALONE rockstar romantic comedy and the fun and sexy brainchild of New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle and her husband Scott Mackenzie.

I have been watching him since I was a child.

He didn’t notice me back then and it didn’t matter. Brad Snyder, guitarist and singer for one of the world’s greatest bands, was my entire life.

My father, the CEO of Ramsey Records, takes credit for all of Brad’s success, trying to control him in the same way he’s controlled me.

But I finally get an opportunity to prove myself.

To be wild.

To be free.

Today I’m auditioning to be the replacement bass player for Brad’s band. If I get the job, I’ll go on tour and work with Brad every day, in very close proximity.

There’s only one rule: he’s not allowed to touch the boss’s daughter.

Remember when I said that Brad never used to notice little ol’ me?

Well, Brad’s noticing me now.

In a way that’s going to get us both in trouble.

My name is Lael Ramsey and we all know how this will turn out.

Author Bio: 

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Smut, The Artists Trilogy, Heat Wave and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her rescue pup and her husband Scott Mackenzie, who co-wrote Rocked Up with her. That’s right. It’s like the book SMUT come to life! This is their first venture as a writing team. A lot of music was played. A lot of laughs were had. A lot of sex was…put in the book!

 

 

REVIEW – HEAT WAVE by Karina Halle

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SYNOPSIS:

They say when life closes one door, another one opens.
This door happens to lead to paradise.
And a man I can never, ever have.

~~~

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:
Logan Shephard.
It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.
What does matter is that he’s a grump.
Kind of an asshole, too.
And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

Note: this is a standalone novel, unrelated to any previous books. It does NOT contain cheating of any kind.

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FOUR STARS*****
{ARC Provided by Author via Inkslinger PR}

The darkness and the doubt and the guilt are banished for this sweet moment. It’s just us, all of our flaws and imperfections exposed. It’s us and we’re in this together, stronger for it. I’m starting to think this man is my world. I’m starting to think he’ll never not be.

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I have been dying to read and review a Karina Halle book since I started blogging last year and finally I’ve gotten my chance. I knew that Ms. Halle was a very talented writer because I’ve read the Artist Trilogy series and thought it was one of the most original and well-written stories I’ve come across. That series contained characters who were seriously flawed and guilty of some despicable acts but somehow Karina made you feel for them and ultimately root for their happily ever after. Heat Wave had some of those same elements. The main characters were truly flawed and I have to say I was a bit angry at one of them for almost the entire first half of the book. This is a tale of forbidden love and how it can be messy and challenging, but ultimately it can be freeing as well.

Veronica “Ronnie” Locke, is the youngest daughter of a Chicago politician. She has always lived in the shadows of her older, more beautiful, and utterly perfect sister, Juliet. Ronnie went through life feeling less than her sister, and her mothers constant ridiculing didn’t help the situation either. One night at a political fundraising party, Ronnie notices a handsome stranger. They end up chatting and just when they’re about to leave the party early together, Juliet enters the room and steals the man’s attention right out from under Ronnie’s nose. I was so upset at this point because I had a feeling this guy was going to be the Hero in the story and the fact that he just dropped Ronnie in a hot second for her older sister really had me furious!

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Seven years later, Juliet was in a car accident that took her life, and Ronnie is being shipped off to her sister and brother-in-law’s Hotel & Resort in Kauai, Hawaii, to take the job as one of the chefs at their restaurant. Ronnie had some drama at her last place of employment which ended up putting her on the blacklist with most of the restaurants in Chicago. A change of scenery might be just what she needs. But the thought of seeing Logan Shepard again is leaving her with a mixed bag of feelings. Her sister once told her in confidence that Logan had been cheating on her. Ronnie has a tremendous amount of animosity towards Logan for the adultery, and even deeper than that, for choosing Juliet over her all those years ago. She also can’t deny that she still has held on to her feelings of deep attraction for him as well. This has her struggling with guilt for quite a while. I, on the other hand, thought she was the victim in this whole mess and that she had no reason to feel any guilt.

Logan and Ronnie’s reunion on Kauai is anything but pleasant. You can feel the heat from the animosity and dare I say, pent up attraction, burning from most of the chapters during the first half of the book. Ronnie tries to hold on to her anger but every time she’s in Logan’s presence she can’t deny how insanely attracted she still is to this sexy and often surly man. Being on one of the most romantic islands and having to spend a lot of time together will inevitably spark fireworks between our tumultuous couple, and let me just give praise to the author for writing some of the most highly erotic scenes that had me in need of a few cold showers!! Anger turns to scorching hot desire and soon the couple is faced with a huge dilemma. How to pursue something deeper when there is such taboo engulfing their coupling?

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I was enthralled by this story and found the writing to be superb. My reason for not giving this a five-star rating was due to the fact that I still held a grudge towards Logan for being like everyone else in Ronnie’s life by being blinded by Juliet’s fake charm and beauty. Even though he does become beyond swoon worthy and he explains his poor judgment call in the beginning, I found that my heart was still a bit broken by his actions and I couldn’t completely forgive him. But that’s just indicative of how well this story is written. The author invoked really strong emotions from me and for that, I would give her five stars!!!

HEAT WAVE is currently available. I am sure that Karina Halle fans and those who may be first-time readers of hers, will find this one to be truly decadent and wildly entertaining.

AMAZON: http://bit.ly/HEATWAVE-KH-Kindle
Paperback: http://www.bit.ly/HEATWAVE-PB
iBooks: http://bit.ly/HEATWAVE-iTunes
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heat-…

REVIEW & EXCERPT TOUR – HEAT WAVE by Karina Halle

 

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heat-wave-3d-bookThey say when life closes one door, another one opens.

This door happens to lead to paradise.

And a man I can never, ever have.

Still grieving the loss of her sister who died two years ago, the last thing Veronica “Ronnie” Locke needed was to lose her job at one of Chicago’s finest restaurants and have to move back in with her parents. So when a window of opportunity opens for her – running a kitchen at a small Hawaiian hotel – she’d be crazy not to take it.

The only problem is, the man running the hotel drives her crazy:

Logan Shephard.

It doesn’t matter that he’s got dark brown eyes, a tall, muscular build that’s sculpted from daily surfing sessions, and a deep Australian accent that makes your toes curl.

What does matter is that he’s a grump.

Kind of an asshole, too.

And gets under Ronnie’s skin like no one else.

But the more time Ronnie spends on the island of Kauai, falling in love with the lush land and its carefree lifestyle, the closer she gets to Logan. And the closer she gets to Logan, the more she realizes she may have pegged him all wrong. Maybe it’s the hot, steamy jungles or the invigorating ocean air, but soon their relationship becomes utterly intoxicating.

There’s just one major catch.

The two of them together would incite a scandal neither Ronnie, nor her family, would ever recover from.

Forbidden, Illicit, off-limits – sometimes the heat is worth surrendering to, even if you get burned.

 

AMAZON | Amazon Paperback | iBooks | B&N

 

WRAPPED UP IN READING’s REVIEW OF HEAT WAVE

 

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PROLOGUE

I saw him first.

It shamed me to think it then, it shames me to think it now.

But that’s what the truth does to you sometimes. It shames you because it’s only in the truth that you realize how human you really are. What a raw, devastating thing that is, to embrace your humanity and learn to live with all your sharp points, the hollow places, the cracks and the crevices. To be utterly real. To be terribly flawed.

Those cracks had always been forming inside me, slowly making their way to the surface over the years. In my family, there wasn’t much you could do but try and hold yourself together, to stick glue on your wounds, to paste over the imperfections. But the cracks still grew, until all of us were held together by crumbling cement, just statues waiting to collapse.

That was years and years ago. I was just twenty-two at the time. A baby. I’m still a baby in the grand scheme of things, but there’s something precious about your early twenties, where you think you’re so much older, bigger, than you are, where life is just about to deliver the crushing blows that will knock you off your feet for the rest of your days. The small things become the big things and the big things become the small things and you aren’t quite sure when they made the switch.

But in the end, I saw him first. He was mine, even before he knew it. He was mine in some strange way that I still don’t understand. The only way I can think of to explain it is…

You just know.

There are moments in your life, people in your life, that when they cross your path and meet your eye, you know. Maybe it’s all in the chemistry, certain pheromones that react when they mix together, maybe it’s a smell that triggers a memory, maybe it’s a glimpse at a future you don’t recognize or a hint at the past, a life you’ve lived and forgotten. Whatever it is, you know that moment, that person, is going to shape you for the rest of your life.

That’s what it was like when I saw him. Standing over by the windows and staring out Lake Michigan, like he was wishing he could be anywhere but there.

I wished the same. My mother’s the deputy mayor of Chicago and this was another one of her fundraisers I felt obliged to attend. It was tradition in my family, for my father, for me, for my sister, to show up and wave the flag of support. It didn’t seem to matter that the stuffy politicians that surrounded these events never paid me any attention. And if they did, it was the wrong kind of attention, always the sixty-year-old man leering after the young thing with the nice smile.

Luckily I didn’t smile all that often. My resting bitch face took over whenever I was deep in thought, which was pretty much all the time.

But this guy…I felt a kinship with him. I felt like I knew exactly what he was thinking, feeling, and that it was completely wrapped up in and connected to everything that was going through me.

I don’t know where I found the nerve to go over and talk to him. He seemed so much older, not quite the sixty-year-old politicians I was used to seeing, but maybe in his early-thirties. More than that, there was some kind of aura around him. Sounds stupid, I know. Whatever it was, it was like he belonged in some whole other universe than here, a star on earth, permanently grounded and yearning to be in the sky.

It was usually Juliet’s job to go around and make everyone feel warm and comfortable at these events—hell, in every event—but she wasn’t here yet. And though I could have easily stayed in the shadows, I was pulled to him, like he had a wave of gravity whirling around him.

I remember what I was wearing. Strappy flats because I hated wearing heels, a knee-length cocktail dress in emerald green, sleeveless, high-neck. It made me look older and I wore it because my mother always wanted me to look like a lady.

With a glass of champagne in hand, I made my way over to the windows, my heart racing the closer I got to him. He looked taller up close, well over six feet. His shoulders were broad, like a swimmer’s, and suddenly I had a vision of him diving into the lake. The navy blue suit he was wearing looked well-tailored but he seemed uncomfortable in it, like he couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

I stood beside him for a moment, following his gaze out the window. He seemed lost in his thoughts but out of my peripheral his head tilted slightly and he brought his eyes over to me while I kept staring at that wide expanse of water, stretching out to the horizon.

“Can’t wait to get out of here?” I asked, but though my tone was mild, my delivery was bold. It was as if someone else had taken a hold of my body, forcing me to speak. I slowly turned my head to meet his eyes.

I was taken aback for a second. He was staring at me like he knew me, even though I’d never seen him before. Then again, I was sure I’d been staring at him in the same way. That feeling of knowing. He knew me, I knew him, and who the hell knows how that was possible.

His eyes were brown—are brown—dark with currents of gold and amber, giving them beautiful clarity. Slightly almond shaped. His brows were also dark, arched, adding to the intensity of his gaze. He’s the type of guy whose eyes latch onto you, dig deep, trying to sift through the files of your life, see who you really are.

“How did you know?” he asked, a full-on Australian accent rumbling through his gruff voice. It made my stomach flip, my core smolder. How deed you now, is what it sounded like. Funny how I stopped hearing the accent after time.

I gave a half shrug and looked back to the party. More people had flooded the room, mingling around the appetizers. My mother was in the corner, a crowd of politicians around her. She didn’t see me. She never did.

“Because I think I’d rather be in the middle of Lake Michigan too,” I told him, “then be stuck here with all these people.”

“These people,” he repeated. My focus was drawn to his lips, full, wide, tilting up into a smirk. Beneath them was a strong chin and even sharper jaw, dusted with a five o’clock shadow that seemed permanent, like the man couldn’t get a clean shave even if he tried. “How do you know I’m not one of these people?”

“Because you’re over here and not over there. How come you keep answering my questions with more questions?”

He studied me for a moment. My blood pounded in my head and I felt a giddy kind of thrill at how this was progressing. If anything, I was proud for holding my own with this handsome stranger. He was the first man I ever really felt at ease with.

He cleared his throat, offered me a quick smile before he nodded at the lake, his hands sliding into his pockets. “She almost looks like the ocean, doesn’t she?”

“Not quite the same as Australia, I would imagine.”

“No hiding this accent, is there?” He glanced at me and stuck out his hand, which I shook for a moment, warm palm to warm palm. “I’m Logan Shepard. Australian. And the reason I’m here is because I was invited by a friend of mine. I’m only in town for a few days and he didn’t want to go alone. He’s over there.” He nodded at a tall black man in the corner, listening intently to another man.

“Warren Jones,” he said, as if I should know him. Perhaps I should. He probably thought I was one of them. “He’s local and the key piece to my investment.”

I wasn’t one for business talk—I never had anything to contribute other than lamenting student loans—but I wanted him to keep talking. “What’s your investment?”

“Starting my own hotel,” he said. “In Hawaii. Have you ever been there?”

“Once. When I was eight. I think we were in Honolulu. I remember a city, anyway. Waikiki Beach.”

“This hotel is in Kauai. The Garden Isle. Went there once as a teenager and couldn’t get it out of my mind.”

I didn’t know the right things to say. I wanted to ask more about the hotel, what it means when you have an investor, but I didn’t want to appear dumb. I kept my mouth shut.

“You haven’t introduced yourself,” he said. “Protecting a secret identity?”

I smiled, close-lipped. “Not really. I’m Veronica Locke. American. And I unfortunately I don’t have much else to add to that.”

“Locke?” he repeated, eyes darting to my mother. “Are you the daughter of the deputy mayor, Rose Locke?”

“One of them,” I told him.

He nodded quickly. “I see. No wonder you’d rather be in the middle of the bloody lake. I bet you have to do this stuff all the time.”

“It’s not so bad.” I took a sip of my drink so I didn’t have to say anything more and looked away at the crowd. The bubbles teased my nose, making my eyes water.

I could feel his gaze on me as he spoke. “I’m sure you have plenty more to say about yourself though. Where do you work? Student?”

“Culinary arts,” I told him. “I’m one of those crazy people who dream of being a chef one day.”

He frowned. “Why is that crazy?”

I gave him a look, forgetting that most people have no idea how hard it is. “Because it’s a long road, long hours, and nothing is guaranteed. People think being a chef is easy. They see Gordon Ramsey or Nigella Lawson and think it’s all fame and food and money and they have no idea what it’s really like. I’m not even out of school and already I feel half-beaten.”

He was still frowning. He did that a lot, I would soon learn. “Sounds like life to me.” His eyes dropped to my lips and something intensely carnal came over them, like suddenly I was the food, not the wannabe chef. “Did you want to get a drink somewhere. After this? When you’ve done your daughterly duties?”

I swallowed hard. I didn’t know what a drink meant. Just a drink? A date? Was it sex? I started going through my head, trying to think of reasons why it was a bad idea. My legs were shaved, did my bra and underwear match? Did I have a condom? I had taken the pill this morning, even though my last boyfriend and I had broken up months ago. I hadn’t been with a guy, let alone a man, in a long time.

Don’t flatter yourself, I quickly thought. What makes you think he’d be interested in you that way?

“Yes,” I said when I finally found my voice. “Yes, I would like that.”

A spark flashed in his eyes, lighting them up in such a way that made my toes literally curl. Damn. I was in trouble with this man. “Any way you can get out of your duties sooner?” he asked.

I couldn’t help but smile, raising my brow at his presumptuousness, while simultaneously trying to hide the fact that I was freaking out. I looked around the room and tried to judge how likely it was that someone would notice if I was gone. My mom was still surrounded by a wall of people and no one was paying any attention to us, standing by the windows, already removed.

A sad thought hit me, sliding past before I could really dwell on it: no one even notices when I’m here.

“If we’re quick and sneaky,” I told him.

“Being quick isn’t in my repertoire,” he said, “but I could give it a shot.”

Again. Damn. I wasn’t one to blush but I could feel my cheeks heating up and hoped my skin supressed the flush. He was so much older than me in so many ways, the last thing I wanted was to appear the naïve schoolgirl.

And I didn’t know what to say to that. He was staring at me with those dark eyes, a look so intense yet sparkling with charm and something…wicked.

I’d never find out how wicked they could be.

“Ronnie!” A melodic, ultra-feminine voice sliced through the moment like an unwieldy machete, causing me to flinch, my fingers tightening around the stem of the glass.

Oh no, I thought. Not now.

Logan’s head swiveled toward the sound of the voice, like a hound picking up a scent. I didn’t bother looking over, I kept my focus on him, watching his expression intently. It changed, as I knew it would.

She had walked into the room.

He saw her.

And like it was for so many men, that look of lust I had thought was for me, was now for her.

That’s when I knew it was over. Whatever thing I had felt for him, it didn’t matter anymore, not when she was in the room. Nothing ever mattered as long as she was around.

I might have saw him first.

But he was all hers after that.

 

 

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Halle HeadshotKarina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

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