Chat Review: Black Hearts by Karina HalleBlack Hearts by Karina Halle
Series: Sins Duet #1
February 19, 2017
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Romance
Pages: 238
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Dust to Dust
Amazon US
Goodreads

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.

 

Review is probably not the best word for this. It should just be described as ‘that time Tiffany and Ali reminisced about the characters they love’. Hopefully, you get something out of this. Hopefully, that something is that you want to read this book. 😉

What three words would you use to best describe Black Hearts?

Tiffany: You always do this to me and it’s hard. Lol. But let me try… Vicente, Javier, Bernal. Because that blood line is FUCKING GOLD!

Ali: Javier is back.

Tiffany: Hahah! I mean Javier is a self centered asshole it makes sense we have similar answers!

Ali: I love him and all his fucked up flaws.

Tiffany: FOREVER AND EVER!

Ali: Yes!

Tiffany: Dude…omg. Every part he was in, I just about died!

Ali: I know! I’m so glad age didn’t change him. He’ll be a grumpy ass murdering grandpa and I’ll still think he’s hot.

Seriously though, how exciting was it to see Ellie, Camden and Javier back on the pages?

Ali: It’s pretty awesome to get a glimpse of some of your all time favorite characters, years later. These three hold a very special place in my heart and one of them, in particular, is still living up to everything I loved about them from the start.

Tiffany: I totally agree with you although I read them like a year and a half go, no other drug lord trumps JAVIER, none. He is the ultimate. It took a second for me to adjust and envision them older while reading but once I did it was like NOSTALGIA HEAVEN.

And this…

Javier feels remorse snake through his body but then it’s gone. It never stays for long. It knows it’s not welcome.

Ali: Fuck. That’s so good. 

Tiffany: But this is my favorite: 

Wherever they go, we will follow. If he wants to fall in love while getting his dick sucked, it will only make his own life harder, not mine.

First impressions of Violet?

Tiffany: She kind of bored me, not in like a bad way where I didn’t like her but her personality was a bit monotone. I did however LOVE that she is an aspiring photographer. By the end though, I really did like her. But I think I especially liked her when her and Vicente had their first spat. I loved how she pushed back and didn’t accept him giving her bullshit.

Ali: She’s much more timid and sensitive than I expected from parents with such strong personalities. I think I expected someone edgier, someone with some bite. I guess I can understand how she’d be a more quiet and sensitive girl though, too. I imagine that could happen, constantly living around alpha types. I really had to have a good ‘think’ about her.

I agree, by the end I liked her more. I hope she comes in to her own in the next book.

Tiffany: Yes! There was definitely layers to her that are slowly being peeled back. I can’t wait to see what Vicente evokes out of her.

First impressions of Vicente?

Tiffany: Actually I wavered with my impression on him at first. Seeing as he is the son of Javier I instantly was in love with him but I think I was expecting him to be just like Javier. Then when he wasn’t I was like WHAT?! But that was my own personal hinderance I had to get over. Once I did, I was like damn! And he likes licking all the frosting off the cupcake if you know what I mean!

Ali: I thought the same. I expected him to be so diabolical. Where as he’s much more calculated and methodical.
Javier is too, but he was a bit more of a hip shooter. Vicente doesn’t give me that same feel.

Tiffany: Yes that’s it’s exactly it, Vicente has more feelings than Javier and it’s like an ice water shock. Lol

Ali: Yes! That’s a good way to put it. But, I loved him no less. He’s much more in tune with his feelings but his mind is still totally twisted.

I wonder what our take would be on it, had we not read The Artist Trilogy and Dirty Angels series first. I bet it would be completely different. We should have made Leah read this with us.

Tiffany: We should have!

Man… that part where Vicente was like I heard stories of what my dad did to Esteban. Seriously at the thought of Esteban I physically shrieked!

Ali: Hahaha! Esteban is not an image you easily forget. 

Tiffany: That (Dirty Promises) is still one of the most gruesome books I’ve ever read. 

Ali: Me too. So violent. I mean, it’s a drug cartel, so it’s fitting. But damn.

Tiffany: Luisa and the chicken. I couldn’t eat chicken for weeks!!!

I hope no one dies in the next book that matters, I couldn’t handle it. 

Ali: Hmmm. I don’t know how you get out of this situation with nobody dying. 

Tiffany: That’s what I’m most scared of. 

Ali: I have a feeling the four parents are not going to be all rainbows and unicorns about this love connection. 

Tiffany: You know even though I’m all for Javier I’m excited to see how Camden reacts, I want to see his violence unleashed!!

Ali: OMG, ragey Camden. Yes, please. For all the days.

Honestly though, I really want to see Vicente and Violet to just take all of this to the street and teach their parents to butt the fuck out.

Tiffany: Yes! I have a feeling Luisa is going to pull some ninja shit. Idk what but I have a feeling.

One thing is for sure, March 17th couldn’t be further away! This will definitely be where we see how truly similar or different Vicente is from his papa.

Ali: I’m pretty anxious for that showdown!

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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Behind the Cover Story: Black Hearts (Sins Duet #1) by Karina Halle

by Karina Halle
Also by this author: Dust to Dust

Behind the Cover Story is a cover reveal with an exclusive guest post from the author about said cover. Maybe, it’s an explanation of how they came up with the concept. Maybe, it’s how they found their model. Maybe, it’s more than that.

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.

 

~ Guest Post ~


Vicente is Hispanic, so thus began the search for finding a suitable model. If I couldn’t find a hispanic model, then I at least wanted one who could pass for one. Our first round, searching through the files of Wander Aguilar Photography (who has provided handsome men for three upcoming books of mine already), we came across a lovely man who fit Vicente perfectly but alas the image was sold and we couldn’t use it.


But we didn’t give up. We spent the day searching and searching for the perfect Vicente.


Finally we found him. The photo wasn’t quite right but I saw the potential right away. Plus he was smoking a cigarette and even though it’s something I don’t condone, it fit Vicente’s character perfectly (who also smokes…and does a lot of bad things).


Of course he wasn’t perfect yet and through the magic of Hang Le, she fixed some things about him (instant plastic surgery!) and ta-da, we have Vicente Bernal, right down to those memorable eyes and heated gaze.


Next month we’ll have the cover for Dirty Souls, the sequel in this duet, and I bet the process will be a lot easier. We’re looking for a female to represent Violet McQueen, the other half of this dynamic duo. And pretty women are always easier to find than hot men (in my opinion anyway – I don’t want a shirtless guy, I want a handsome face to fall in love with).


And boy, have I fallen in love with Vicente Bernal.


Black Hearts releases February 19th.

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About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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Behind the Cover Story: Rocked Up by Karina Halle & Scott Mackenzie

by Karina Halle
Also by this author: Dust to Dust

Behind the Cover Story is a cover reveal with an exclusive guest post from the author about said cover. Maybe, it’s an explanation of how they came up with the concept. Maybe, it’s how they found their model. Maybe, it’s more than that.

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.




~ Guest Post~




Cover designer extraordinaire Hang Le and I have been working together for a long time. I think the first work she did for me were logos for The Artists Trilogy back in 2013! I’m talking old school.


This cover wasn’t that different from any of the others. It usually involves me contacting Hang with my next book, telling her my feelings about the cover and what the book is about and then she runs with it. She always reads my mind and if she doesn’t, it’s a much better version of what I envisioned.


For Rocked Up she surprised me. I mean, how hot is this guy on the cover? Where did she find this perfect sexy specimen? He was the perfect Brad Synder (the rockstar hero in the book)…not only that but it’s also classy and fun at the same time. Nothing wrong with a shirtless guy, but since I wrote this book with my husband, we wanted a cover he could be proud of. And there’s the fact that most of my covers in the past don’t have a man on it, so I wanted some kind of happy medium. I think this cover both showcases a sexy guy while still retaining a lot of mystery.


And of course there’s Hang’s fun touch with the pregnancy test logo! Yes, the book does contain the trope of an accidental pregnancy so it ties it all in and lets the reader know they are in for a read!

 

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About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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EIT Re-read: Darkhouse by Karina Halle

EIT Re-read: Darkhouse by Karina HalleDarkhouse by Karina Halle
Series: Experiment in Terror #1
Genres: Horror, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Dust to Dust
Also by this author: Dust to Dust

There’s always been something a bit off about Perry Palomino. Though she’s been dealing with a quarter-life crisis and post-college syndrome like any other twenty-something, she’s still not what you would call “ordinary.” For one thing, there’s her past which she likes to pretend never happened, and then there’s the fact that she sees ghosts.

Luckily for her, that all comes in handy when she stumbles across Dex Foray, an eccentric producer for an upcoming webcast on ghost hunters. Even though the show’s budget is non-existent and Dex himself is a maddening enigma, Perry is instantly drawn into a world that both threatens her life and seduces her with a sense of importance.

Her uncle’s haunted lighthouse provides the perfect catalyst and backdrop for a horrific mystery that unravels the threads of Perry’s fragile sanity and causes her to fall for a man, who, like the most dangerous of ghosts, may not be all that he seems.

The woman in black standing at the rail ** Note: Soft Focus at 100%, best at smaller sizes

 

I’m so excited to be reading this series again! It’s been almost two years since it ended and I still remember it fondly. Partly because of the books themselves, but mostly because of the people I have met because of this series.  When I started reading it, at the end of 2012, there was already a strong community of Experiment in Terror readers and they were something fierce. I believe it was Megan from Reading Books Like a Boss, who initially contacted me after seeing on Goodreads that I was reading it.  She added me to the Facebook reading group where I met even more EIT lovers and some of those people grew to become some of my closest book community friends. Then, some of those turned into real world friends. All because of Karina Halle and her quirky characters – Perry and Dex.

Experiment in Terror is unlike any series I’ve ever read. It’s a mixture of horror, humor and eventually romance and all the things that come along with those three things. I had plenty of laugh out load moments and many, many moments that still creep me the fuck out when I think back on them. And, well…Dex will always be at the top of the list of best book boyfriends.

I hope, if you are new to the series, you take a peek at it. And if you are already a fan, I hope you’ll hit up one of our posts and reminisce along with us! #DerryForever

The series starts off with Darkhouse, which is a bit slower than the rest of the EIT books. However, it sets us up for so, so much.  So, grab a drink, sit back and let these goofy and flawed characters settle in – and hopefully, in the end, you’ll love them as much as I do!

Ali’s original review of Darkhouse:

Karina Halle is quickly rising to the top of my list of favorite authors. Her humor is one of a kind and it shines through in her writing and the characters she births.

Perry Palomino is your not-quite average young woman. She works an average job that she’s crap at and still lives with her over-bearing mother, father and nearly perfect younger sister. She dreams of a better job, escaping the scrutiny of her family and of evil, menacing, darkly shadowed men. She attributes the dreams to her previous years of drug abuse but an old lighthouse exploration changes all of that.

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Dex is a semi-professional ghost hunter. Happenstance has him at the abandoned lighthouse at the same time as Perry. Triggering the events that lead to a new partnership between the two, ghost hunting for webcasts. Dex is a self admitted liar, he’s blunt, aloof, mysterious, charming and heroic. What a combination, huh?

“Well, I knew from experience that you weren’t supposed to trust the guys you thought were as sexy as hell. Dark, brooding and mysterious? Handle with care.”

These two are odd balls all on their own and paired up they are a riot of quirkiness. They both have some failure and damage but it is revealed slowly and Halle leaves the reader with many questions as to who they were in the past. While the relationship between these two is fun, endearing, sexy and at times frustrating – the story only partially lies there.

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The rest of the tale sits in the haunting of Perry and the connection between what her dreams show her and what she witnesses at the lighthouse. If you like a good ghost story, Darkhouse delivers. The boos and bumps in the night are in perfect contract to the uniqueness of the characters. We follow Perry and Dex on a path of discovering what is haunting the lighthouse, what is haunting each of them and what it is that connects them. Darkhouse had me laughing at times and covering my eyes at others. The best compliment I can give it is this… I am so so glad that this is just the first book in a long series as I can’t imagine not having more Perry, Dex and their spooky escapades in my life.

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About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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Review: Smut by Karina Halle

Review: Smut by Karina HalleSmut by Karina Halle
May 16, 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 315
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Dust to Dust
Amazon US
Goodreads

What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?

All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree, and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project, but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s a brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also may find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot, but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed? Or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

Romantic comedy is definitely not my go to genre with books. Or movies, for that matter. I am not a fan of melodrama or really over the top scenes. However, Halle has been one of my go to authors since I picked up her Experiment in Terror series years ago. So, I gave Smut a shot. I’ll admit I was a little worried while reading the prologue. Not because it’s bad but because there is a little over the top type moment. But I stuck it out and I’m glad I did.

The title might mislead you into thinking this is just another erotic novel where the entire story was plotted around the sex. It’s not that. Not even remotely. In fact, you don’t even get the first kiss between Amanda and Blake until just shy of the half way point. It’s also that point that the entire story shifts.

Let me backtrack for a quick second. Amanda and Blake are classmates forced to collaborate on a novella together for a final project in a creative writing course.  They don’t know a whole lot about each other, at this point. She thinks he’s a playboy (he basically is) and he thinks she’s an uptight dork (she basically is).  But as with most people, that’s the surface and they do have more depth than that. Which they discover as they are required to spend time together. Their success in co writing for school leads to them doing it for money and that’s when all the magic begins to happen.

Smut is a slow burn story, the first 45% or so is more character building and foreplay. Which I am totally on board with and it works well for these hate to love type tropes. Then the first kiss happened and I swooned. HARD. It was adorably written and I loved it. I fell in love with Blake at that moment and as I stated, the whole story changed for me.  It became the sweet, fun romance that Halle promised with some spicy sex added in.  The playfulness between Blake and Amanda very much reminded me of the banter between Dex and Perry (Experiment in Terror), which is a huge part of what had me initially falling in love with Halle’s writing. I was very, very pleased to have it make such a strong return. 

While Amanda may not be the typical leading lady in hot current romance books, I quite liked her. She’s got some armor up, she’s a little judgmental and stiff and doesn’t have a romantic bone in her body but I enjoyed her quirkiness and how Blake unraveled that with his total comfort in himself.

And Fluffy! Fluffy was fucking great and I was highly entertained by him.

So what makes this ‘just’ a three/three and a half star read for me. 1 – A three star for me still means I very much liked the book, but it’s not one that made me cry or hold my breath or had my heart beating out of control. I don’t think Smut is intended to do any of those things though, it’s not that kind of read. 2 – As I stated, RomCom really isn’t my genre, it’s harder for me to fall into. THAT’S JUST ME. If it’s your thing, you may end up five star loving this one! There were just a couple of times where the humor was a bit much for the type of reader I am. If you’re a fan of Tara Sivec, these things will be ones you love.  3 – I hate to harp on this, but I’d be remiss not mentioning it for our editing sticklers out there…this could have been cleaned up a bit more. It’s nothing major, just some typos or missed words, but I noticed and when I notice – I fall out of the story and have to submerge myself back in.  Same as when my husband blatantly ignores the fact that my nose is stuck in a book and decides to talk to me anyway. It’s nothing to get your panties in a twist over, but it’s still a distraction.

Those little tidbits aside…

Smut is a lighter story than anything Halle has done in the past and I think it’s a good option for a fun summer read. Especially if your inner child is still a video gaming, comicon going, sword wielding geek – as is mine.

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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Chat Review: The Play by Karina Halle

Chat Review: The Play by Karina HalleThe Play by Karina Halle
Published by Metal Blonde November , 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 432
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Copy for Honest Review, Purchased
Also by this author: Dust to Dust
Amazon US
Goodreads

A troubled Scottish rugby player who doesn't play by the rules.

A vivacious man-eater who's given up on love.

When it comes to Lachlan and Kayla, opposites don't just attract - they explode.

From the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact and The Offer, comes The Play, a standalone spinoff and contemporary romance about taking chances and rescuing hearts.

Kayla Moore has always been comfortable with her feisty, maneating reputation. At least it was fine until she hit her thirties and saw her best friends Stephanie and Nicola settle down with Linden and Bram McGregor, leaving Kayla to be the odd one out. Tired of being the third wheel with nothing but one-night stands and dead-end dates in San Francisco, Kayla decides to take a vow of celibacy and put men on the backburner.

That is until she lays her eyes on Linden and Bram's cousin, hot Scot Lachlan McGregor. Lachlan is her sexual fantasy come to life - tall, tatted, and built like a Mack truck. With a steely gaze and successful rugby career back in Edinburgh, he's the kind of man that makes her want to throw her vow right out the window. But Lachlan's quiet and intense demeanor makes him a hard man to get to know, let alone get close to.

It isn't until the two of them are thrown together one long, unforgettable night that Kayla realizes there is so much more to this brooding macho man than what meets the eye. But even with sparks flying between the two, Lachlan can't stay in America forever. Now, Kayla has to decide whether to uproot her whole life and chance it all on someone she barely knows or risk getting burned once again.

Sometimes love is a game that just needs to be played.

BH - Chat Review Banner

How would you describe THE PLAY in 3 words?

Tiffany: Sexy, sad, and hopeful. What about you?

Debbie: First word that comes to mind is ‘Bowchikawowow’.

Tiffany: Due to the beast that is LACHLAN!

Debbie: And I have to agree with you..this story was definitely hopeful and emotional. Lachlan is a beast. He’s definitely my favorite McGregor.

Tiffany: Favorite hands down, like who cares about the other two. Not really, but almost.

Debbie: HAHAHAHA. That’s how I felt while reading this book. Like who were the previous dudes? Larry and Bob?

Tiffany: Pike and Joe?! They pretty much fell out.

Why do you think Lachlan was so different from the other McGregors? What made him standout from Linden and Bram?

Tiffany: Partly because he was adopted, but if Karina didn’t didn’t make this beautiful man as broken as he was I wouldn’t of loved it as much as I did. He stood out because he was the complete opposite of a male lead (sort of). He wasn’t so much out to save Kayla (the somewhat damsel in distress), but he needed her to save him. I think that’s what made him different. Bram and Linden did not have inner turmoil to this extent, not that they really had any. For me that’s what set him apart.

It wasn’t all let me put the slipper on your foot and we live happily ever after. It was real.

Debbie: I totally agree with you about Lachlan having more conflict. It kind of made Linden and Bram’s drama seem trivial compared to Lachlan’s past and the demons that haunt him. Karina definitely makes your heart ache for this man, who on the outside looks like a beast, but is really a wounded animal on the inside. As a woman, you can’t but want to be that glue to mend his broken soul. I’m a sucker for the broken or damaged heroes.

Tiffany: Yes! Omg! He in a sense is a pit bull so misunderstood but so loving and loyal. Everything about mending his soul is spot on, agreed 100%

Debbie: Don’t most women fantasize about taming the best? That’s what Lachlan is. I wanted to be the Beauty to Lachlan’s Beast, and make him realize that it is possible for someone to love, care, heal, and save him. I want to be a Disney Princess damnit!

Tiffany: He is nothing short of beast, and she really wrote him in that essence like he was all rough edges and just needed the little tiny creature that is Kayla to lay his demons to rest!

So what did you think about Kayla?

Tiffany: I actually really loved her… I generally think all heroines are DUMB. But I really like how she was the outcast and was constantly filter free but Lachlan was able to stoop her. I think her inner dialogue was real she didn’t think everything would be perfect and wonderful she had real doubts and fears about her blooming “relationship” with Lachlan and her life in general. In part 2 her emotions just ate me alive, I loved everything about her really.

Debbie: I loved Kayla. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would end up liking her as much as I did. I enjoyed her character in the first two books, but I wasn’t sure how much depth there was to her character. The spunky Asian slut really surprised me. I love how loving and tender she was. Not just with Lachlan, but with her friends and family. She’s definitely the kind of friend who will be there for you through thick or thing. She’s the one that’s ready to cut somebody.

Tiffany: Yeah she was!

Debbie: I loved seeing her relationship with her mom too.

Tiffany: That was a definite tear jerker.

Debbie: I think seeing her being so devoted to her mom showed how Kayla just wasn’t this wild party girl that we had assumed she was.

Tiffany: Her layers definitely went deeper than that. You’re so right.

Debbie: And being able to see that gave me hope that she would be able to handle whatever or all of Lachlan’s issues. I also really enjoyed reading a book where the heroine was of another ethnicity…or at least half. Cause you know most contemporary romances star caucasian characters

Tiffany: True! White girls are cool and all… But Asians have #greedyvaginas

Debbie: #truedat

Tiffany: Hahhaha I just have a needy one… That wants Lachlan

Debbie: Not want but NEED that Lachlan D!

Tiffany: Ummm… Yes! Him taking her raw was the hottest shit EVER!

Debbie: Lachlan and Kayla’s sex scenes in THE PLAY overshadowed all sex scenes in The Pact and The Offer.

Tiffany: And Bram had a hot masterbation session…

But…

I could envision Lachlan over me propped up on elbows… I’m mean over Kayla!

Debbie: Every single one of their love scenes gave me vagina tingles. TMI?

Tiffany:  Black Heart knows no such thing of TMI!

Debbie: Bram’s masturbation scene was hot but the scene where Lachlan has Kayla bent over and he’s all pulling her hair…..ovary explosion.

Tiffany: Or when he took her by the window?! Damn!

Debbie: Or the under the kilt blow job? FUCK ME!

Tiffany: He was so primal and once again dare I say the word beast… But that all played into it!

Tiffany: Omg! I almost forgot about under the kilt blow job!

Debbie: You know I highlighted and marked all the sexy times.

Tiffany: When I grow up I want to give blow jobs like Kayla and swallow cum like a champ!

Debbie: #lifegoals

Tiffany: I wish she could give me lessons!

Debbie: Dirty whore.

We both agree that Lachlan and Kayla sizzle in the bedroom, but what did you think about their relationship? Did you find their chemistry outside the bedroom to be just as compelling?

Tiffany: I would say it was fragile and that’s what compelled me to it. It was so foreign for the both them and honestly and this may or may not be a spoiler but with the entirety of this book I would of accepted it whether it be a HEA or not and still be happy with either outcome… Because yes they meshed and he was perfectly showing her off the way any woman wants to be showcased, but they had onlyy known each other such a short time that I wouldn’t say there was much “relationship” yet more so passion for one another.

Does that even make sense?

Debbie: I get what you’re saying.

Tiffany: I’m glad you get me!

Debbie: Their relationship moved really fast. Like they went from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. There were parts of this book that made me think that these two really shouldn’t be together. I honestly wasn’t sure if Kayla would be able to handle all of Lachlan’s heavy baggage. But she sensed early on that he had a lot of issues and that didn’t turn her away. It’s like Kayla sensed instantly that Lachlan wasn’t someone you just toss aside so easily. And that’s what he needed. Someone who really saw him for him and was still willing to stand by him continuing towards him rather than running from him.

Kayla had that sense that Lachlan wasn’t just some stray dog you just ignored and let continue to live a sad and lonely life. With a little care, she was able to get him where he needed to be.

Tiffany: My heart just clenched. Like I really felt it pulse.

Debbie: I hope it’s still pulsing or you’d be dead!

Tiffany: Hahaha! Debbie I’m a Vampire!

Where there any parts of THE PLAY that didn’t work for you?

Tiffany: This may sound frivolous…but some of her Asian traits weren’t as true to form, I do know she was born and raised in America but I would of liked her to be a bit more Asian-esque

Debbie: I totally get what you’re saying. I haven’t read a lot of contemporary romances where the female lead is of Asian descent so when you do find a book with one, you want to be able to connect or relate to that character. Some of her characteristics did stick out a little and I did find myself asking, “Say whaaa?”

Like, have you ever met an Asian girl with naturally long lashes?

Tiffany: Nope! Never! I’ve been wearing falsies since I was 16!

Debbie: And what Asian from the Bay Area doesn’t say ‘Hella’?

I was seriously expecting her to say ‘Hella’ a few times. I’m totally stereotyping my Asian peeps from the Bay Area but seriously every Asian person I know from there says ‘Hella.’

Tiffany: Yeah, hella is a definite staple!

Like you mentioned Asian heroines usually never get a staring role so it’s exciting when they do, maybe we are on the bias though.

Debbie: We are. We should be should become Asian authenticators.

Debbie: I do a have another issue with Lachlan and Kayla’s story. The last few chapters of this book was similar to how the story arch of the The Play and The Offer concluded. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone, but it just seemed familiar and repeated.

(Debbie explains which parts she’s talking about to Tiffany but we’ll leave that out cause we’re not spoilery brats)

Tiffany: I didn’t even think about that to be honest, but now that you mention it they did sound about the same.

Debbie: You definitely saw it coming but I was hoping that Karina would have used a different device to drive them apart. Like, I get why Kayla did what she did but….shit…I don’t know. I wish she and Bram would have been able to resolve their shit differently.

Tiffany: I was in limbo with that too. I almost thought she wasn’t, and I think the reality of losing her would of hit harder for Lachlan.

Sorry for the vagueness….

Debbie: Lachlan definitely needed that push to get himself cleaned up but I was hoping that it wouldn’t be losing her.

Tiffany: Also I wished the actual fight would of been addressed more after…Because that was a heavy hitter and it was raw and intense! It deserved a bit more recognition. His words hurt me as if he were speaking directly to me and I wanted him to know the hurt they caused. I mean I know he was remorseful but I wanted her to rip him apart for it so she can really show him no matter what she will help piece him back together.

Debbie: YES! As painful as that scene was, I really loved it. That’s why I was upset what happened afterwards happened because I felt like they never really dealt with that situation. And then BAM! Lachlan is getting his shit together and then they’re happy fucking like rabbits again.

That fight/argument scene though….I loved it.

Tiffany: He really laid it on her

Debbie: Right? That was such a good scene. But I also expected for Kayla to fight back. She’s always been so fiesty and I was a little disappointed that she didn’t. Like she was just this defeated little puppy.

Tiffany: That’s shit men really say, not the baby I’ll be here when you come around nonsense. They really call you a whore and fool! Yeah but I think if anything she was shameful because in that moment only he proved to her “maybe” she should of never came in the first place

Overall, what are your thoughts of The Play? How many stars would you rate it?

Tiffany: I think I would rate it almost a 5, just about 5. I loved Lachlan and I feel like my love for him overshadows things that may have bothered me. Shiny things distract me

Debbie: What the hell is just about 5?

Tiffany: Like it slid home you know…Like, Ahhhh I almost got you pregnant, but I saved you

Debbie: OMG! I can’t with you right now.

Tiffany: Hahah sorry.

Debbie: I definitely liked The Play more than I did The Offer. I  was definitely a lot more emotionally invested in Lachlan and Kayla’s story. I’m a sucker for damaged heroes, and I loved that Karina delved into heavier themes with this book. I loved that she was able to give us all the romantic and sexy times ,but also gave us a good amount of angst. This is definitely my favorite book out of all the McGregors and I’m wishing that she continues with the heavy hitting stuff in Brigs’s book. She better give us his book or I might go over to her house and steal all her boots and handbags.

Tiffany: I will venture into that adventure with you Brigs better get a book! But yes, I loved the issues this book touched. Lachlan and Kayla were a completely different breed and I loved them!

Debbie: As far as rating…I’m still torn. There were a few other issues I had with the book on top of what we briefly discussed which is making want to give this book 3.5 to 4 stars. If the issues had been eliminated or dealt with differently, this book would have definitely been 4.5 star. Maybe even 5 stars because of all the good sex scenes.

Anything else….?

Tiffany: Lachlan is a beast. We like Kayla, just wish she was a better Asian. Brigs better get a book!!

Debbie: What she said.

Tiffany’s Rating: 5 Stars

Debbie’s Rating: 3.5? 4? 4.5? I really enjoyed the sex.

 

 

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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Reading Guide to Karina Halle

by Karina Halle
Also by this author: Dust to Dust

Reading-Guide

Have you been dying to start reading books by Karina Halle and don’t know where to start? Did you just finish a Halle book and want to find more books by her?

 Black Heart Reviews is here to help you!

 We all happen to be major fans of Karina Halle and have read most or all of her books. Whether you are looking for horror, sci-fi, romantic suspense, new adult or contemporary romance, Halle has a wide range of books to offer you. You really can’t go wrong on which book or series to start, but we highly recommend that you read them all.

 

– Experiment in Terror –

Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Series is an nine-part sci-fi/fantasy/horror series that revolves around a pair of ghost hunters. Well, aspir­ing ghost hunters, any­way.

Book #1 – Dark House:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #2 – Red Fox:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #2.5 – The Benson:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #3 – Dead Sky Morning:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #4 – Lying Season:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #5 – On Demon Wings:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #5.5 – Old Blood:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Book #5.7 – The Dex-Files:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #6 – Into the Hollow:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #6.5 – And With Madness Comes the Light:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #7 – Come Alive:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #8 – Ashes to Ashes:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

Book #9 – Dust to Dust:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

 

– Devils –

Paranormal/Horror rock star romance spin-off from the EIT series.

Book #1 – The Devil’s Metal:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

Book #2 – The Devil’s Reprise:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

 

 

– The Artists Trilogy –

Romantic suspense trilogy about a female con-artist who gets tired of running the same scams and she heads back to her hometown of Palm Spring, CA. Need to be read sequentially.

Book #0.5 – On Every Street:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

(author recommends reading AFTER reading Sins & Needles)

Book #1 – Sins & Needles:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

Book #2 – Shooting Scars:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

Book #3 – Bold Tricks:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

 

 

– Dirty Angels – 

A spin-off from the Artists Trilogy series, Dirty Angels is a romantic suspense trilogy that follows or introduces different characters and can be read as standalones, though, we wouldn’t suggest it.

Book #1 – Dirty Angels:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

Book #2 – Dirty Deeds:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

Book #3 – Dirty Promises:  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

*Coming September 15*

 

 

– Love, in English –

A new adult contemporary romance duology about falling in love with someone you can’t have and the heartbreaking mess that unfolds when you take a chance and follow your heart.

Book #1 – Love, in English:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes 

Book #2 – Love, in Spanish:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

 

 

– Where Sea Meets Sky –

Where Sea Meets Sky series is comprised of contemporary new adult romance standalones that deal with finding love while traveling abroad.

Book #1 – Where Sea Meets Sky:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes 

Book #2 – Racing the Sun:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

 

 

– Standalones –

Donners of the Dead:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

The Pact:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

The Offer:  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  iTunes

 

About Karina Halle

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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 Atria Books/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 www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.


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