Release Day Review: Dirty Souls by Karina Halle

Dirty Souls by Karina Halle
Series: Sins Duet #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 20th 2017
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes DIRTY SOULS the much-anticipated, nail-biting CONCLUSION to the sexy and thrilling 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?

After the slightly disappointing first book in the Sins Duet, I was hoping that Dirty Souls would make up for what I didn’t feel in Black Hearts by actually making me grow invested in Vicente and Violet’s star-crossed romance. It didn’t, BUT I will say it was a hell of a conclusion to the McQueens’ and Bernals’ story. It’s nonstop action and insanely hot, filthy sex. It’s a no-holds-barred kind of read, which I admired. If you loved Black Hearts, you will most likely love Dirty Souls just as much!

I need to figure out how to keep this forever. Her, me, the open desert. I don’t fucking need anything else. I may be young but I know enough that sometimes you don’t need the world. You just need that one person to rule the world with.

Violet and Vicente are on the run from their parents. Violet has found out that her whole life and family has been a lie, and Vicente is trying to protect her from the people who want to harm her – his father and his men. But try as they might to make their world just the two of them, reality comes crashing down and both are taken by Javier to Mexico. Can Vicente and Violet’s love withstand the test of time, or will Javier succeed in breaking the both of them?

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.

I enjoyed Vicente and Violet’s characters more in this sequel, mainly because they didn’t feel as naive as they did in the first book. I loved the way they were around each other, but I have to admit I started skimming the sex scenes when I was deeper in the story because, even though they were hot, they started to feel like filler. Still, Karina Halle knows how to write erotic scenes filled with chemistry, but I just grew a little tired of them when there seemed to be too many scenes of them.

We get a lot more of Ellie and Javier’s POVs in this book. I liked the contrast between them and their children, the fact that their children are what they could have been if it weren’t for the lies. But then the book felt like it was focused too much on the parents’ past and story rather than Violet and Vicente’s, which was what I really wanted. That’s one of the main reasons I couldn’t love this series more, because I really wanted more of the main characters rather than their parents. But it was still nice to see beloved characters again, even if one of them (*cough* Javier) become a little unlikable.

The Sins Duet might not be a favorite of mine from Karina Halle, but it’s a dark, gritty read that had me on the edge of my seat. It was a crazy, intense ride, and while I didn’t love it, I’m still glad to have read it. If you love the author, you should definitely check this series out – especially if you love the Artists Trilogy or Dirty Angels series!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Sins Duet series

 

#1 ~ Black Hearts: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Souls: EbookGoodreads

The Sins Duet is a standalone spinoff series of The Artists Trilogy and the Dirty Angels series. Here are the reading orders for both series (which you don’t need to read before starting Black Hearts).

Reading Order: The Artists Trilogy

   

#0.5 ~ On Every Street: EbookAudible • Goodreads
#1 ~ Sins & Needles: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Shooting Scars: My Review •  EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Bold Tricks: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Dirty Angels series

Dirty Angels by Karina Halle Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle Dirty Promises by Karina Halle

#1 ~ Dirty Angels: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Deeds: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Dirty Promises: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Review: Black Hearts by Karina Halle

Black Hearts by Karina Halle
Series: Sins Duet #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 19th 2017
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

I wasn’t supposed to know about her. I never should have found her. And I sure as hell shouldn’t have taken her…

From a New York Times bestselling author comes a BRAND NEW smoldering romantic suspense that will get your pulse racing, your thighs clenching and the pages turning.

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 a sexual 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.

In a world of hot sex, raw love and damaging lies, these forbidden and star-crossed lovers are going to have to fight tooth and nail for their happy ending.

Our families would die before they ever let us be together.

I was SO excited when I heard that Karina Halle would be writing this series. I was a huge fan of the Artists Trilogy when it first came out, and though I still haven’t read the Dirty Angels series, it’s been on my tbr because of none other than Javier! Now we finally get Ellie and Camden’s, and Javier and Luisa’s children’s story. This is a star-crossed lovers romance like no other. Violet McQueen’s mother and Vicente Bernal’s father were lovers turned enemies, and now their children get the chance at a love that could have been.

Vicente Bernal has known his drug lord father to be the ruthless, dangerous, insane, almost-cruel man he’s been all his life. But when he finds letters written by his father from a time when he was actually sane and possibly with a heart, he’s determined to find the woman who brought out the man Javier Bernal used to be – Ellie Watt, now Ellie McQueen. When he arrives in America with a fake identity, Vicente isn’t sure of the path that will get him to Ellie, but when her daughter, Violet, appears in front of him, it seems as if fate was deciding which path he should take.

“You’re everything I’ve ever needed,” he says through a lustful groan. He bites his lip, the corded muscles of his neck straining. “I was famished, starved, for you. For this.”

Violet McQueen doesn’t know why, but she’s always felt like her family was just a little bit… off. Her parents are hiding something, and when she finds out about a grandfather who was supposed to be dead her whole life had died only recently, she sets out to uncover the lies told by her parents. Along the way she meets the gorgeous, mysterious Vicente – the passion and lust between them is fierce, and it isn’t long before she finds herself falling and trusting him. But what will happen when she finds out that another person she loves has been lying to her?

“You’re mine, Violet,” I murmur roughly against her mouth, my fingers pressing into her cheekbones. “I don’t care how that sounds, but it’s all truth. You belong to me.”

I had high expectations for Black Hearts, but it fell a little flatter than I expected. I never connected with either of the main characters – Violet was too naive and trusting and Vicente felt wishy washy and immature. I never really BELIEVED in the love that grew between them. It seemed like one minute they were in lust and the next minute they were in love. I get that they were in moments of action so it would be hard for them to have any down time, but I would’ve liked to see the romance bloom more genuinely. I actually started disliking the parents too, which was a disappointment because I loved them in their own books. Much of the book was just a little too boring and aggravating, and I just couldn’t find it in myself to care that much about all the problems going on in the book. However, these feelings could entirely be just me, so if you were a fan of either of the original series, please don’t let this review stop you from giving Black hearts and the Sins Duet a try! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it more than I did!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Sins Duet series

 

#1 ~ Black Hearts: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Souls: My Review • EbookGoodreads

The Sins Duet is a standalone spinoff series of The Artists Trilogy and the Dirty Angels series. Here are the reading orders for both series (which you don’t need to read before starting Black Hearts).

Reading Order: The Artists Trilogy

   

#0.5 ~ On Every Street: EbookAudible • Goodreads
#1 ~ Sins & Needles: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Shooting Scars: My Review •  EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Bold Tricks: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads

Reading Order: Dirty Angels series

Dirty Angels by Karina Halle Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle Dirty Promises by Karina Halle

#1 ~ Dirty Angels: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Deeds: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Dirty Promises: EbookPaperback • Goodreads


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Blog Tour + Excerpt: Dirty Promises by Karina Halle

Dirty Promises release

Dirty Promises by Karina Halle is live!

Dirty Promises by Karina Halle

Dirty Promises by Karina Halle
Series: Dirty Angels #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Add to Goodreads

Blood. Sex. Revenge.
Being king comes at a brutal price.

Drug lord Javier Bernal has sliced and diced his way to the top of the Mexican drug trade, presiding over the country’s largest cartel. But his rise to power comes at a brutal price: the death of his sister, Alana. Devastated and wracked with guilt, he turns away from his new wife, Luisa, forcing their marriage into a steady decline. But it isn’t until she’s pushed into the waiting arms of Esteban Mendoza, his right-hand man, that Javier realizes everything he’s lost.

And it isn’t until he learns the truth about Alana, that he realizes everything there is to gain.

Blood will spill.
Cities will burn.
Heads will roll.
Because Javier will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.
And what he wants is raw, ruthless revenge.

Dirty Promises is the third and final book in the Dirty Angels Trilogy. While the other two books – Dirty Angels and Dirty Deeds – can be read as standalones, it is recommended you read at least Dirty Angels before reading Dirty Promises.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes

Now here’s an excerpt from Dirty Promises! ❤

excerpt button

My gun began to feel heavy in my hands. I needed to use it, and soon.

Light was seeping in underneath the door, so I pushed my goggles up on my head and slowly pushed it open.

The kitchen was empty, and the only light came from above the stove. The fridge hummed and the house was silent except for muffled laughter coming from down the hall.

A terrible scream splintered the room.

A man’s scream.

Had the ambush already begun?

I exchanged a worried glance with Diego as we heard doors further down the hall being flung open. Footsteps.

People ran past the kitchen, heading up the stairs toward the scream, not bothering to look our way.

All of them except for Juanito, that was.

He stopped dead in his tracks at the archway, staring at us like we were ghosts. I couldn’t help but grin.

He snapped out of it, reaching for his gun, but mine was already aimed at him. I shot him in the kneecaps, both of them, just as his gun fired, bullets cracking the ceiling.

Then, as if on cue, all of the outside erupted in gunfire. The sound shook the walls, and through the rattling windows bursts of light filled the sky. My army was here.

I ran over to Juanito who was screaming in pain, and picked him up by the collar, shaking him.

“All right you little fuckface,” I sneered at him, trying to fight the urge to strangle the fucking life out of him. “Tell me where Esteban is and I’ll make your death painless. Don’t tell me and I’ll break your bones with a hammer. Which one is it?”

His screaming wouldn’t stop. I shook him again. “You can’t protect him now. You’ll never fucking walk again and he sure as hell won’t give two fucks about a pathetic piece of garbage like you. So talk.”

But before he could, Diego was calling out my name. I let go of Juanito, rolling over him just in time as the air above me burned with bullets. Diego fired back at the assailants, and I kept rolling until I was behind the kitchen island. I quickly reached for the grenade which I knew could take out enough of them without damaging the structural integrity of the house, and tossed it out of the kitchen. It rolled down the hallway.

They yelled at each other to move but it was too late. I pressed my hands over my ears as the blast went off.

“Jesus, Javi,” Diego swore as pieces of plaster rained down on him. “You haven’t even moved back in yet.”

I didn’t care if it was sloppier than my usual methods — it was efficient. I scrambled to my feet and stared at the wreckage. There was a ragged hole in the wall, smoke and flames licking the edge.

I shrugged. “I wanted to open up that room anyway.”

Miraculously, or something of that nature, Juanito was still alive, holding on to his bleeding and blasted knees as he writhed on the floor.

He was missing half his face though, so it wasn’t like he escaped the explosion unscathed. He was very scathed and crawling for freedom.

I covered my nose and mouth with the crook of my elbow and walked into the smoke, letting it wash over me. Juanito looked up at me with what was left of him, begging for mercy with an outstretched hand.

I stepped on his hand instead, crunching the bones beneath my boot.

“That was for my sister,” I seethed. “I know you intercepted her call when she was calling me for help.”

“Javier, we have to go,” Diego said, coughing and coming over to stop me. A war was raging around me, but none of it mattered. All that mattered was an eye for an eye.

This time I stomped on Juanito’s arm, driving it in with all my might, like I was squashing a cockroach, until I felt it break beneath me.

He screamed.

I smiled.

But I was the furthest thing from happy.

And Juanito couldn’t even speak at this point. His mouth was a flap of burning skin, covering a gaping hole. He was useless.

I slid the hunter’s knife out of its sheath, and with one swift motion, stabbed it downward into the top of his skull.

The screaming stopped.​

Reading Order: Dirty Angels series

Dirty Angels by Karina Halle Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle Dirty Promises by Karina Halle

#1 ~ Dirty Angels: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Deeds: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#3 ~ Dirty Promises: Goodreads

about the author button

Karina HalleKarina 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.

Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Amazon Page


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Release Day Blitz + Excerpt: Dirty Angels by Karina Halle

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00036]

Title: Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1)
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: Dark Romantic Suspense
Release Date: June 15, 2014
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For Luisa Chavez, a twenty-three year old former beauty queen, a better life has always been just out of her reach. Sure, she’s had men at her feet since she was a young teenager but she’s never had the one thing she’s craved – security. Having grown up in near poverty, her waitressing job in Cabo San Lucas can barely let her take care of herself, let alone her ailing parents. Every day is another unwanted advance, every day is a struggle to survive.

When Salvador Reyes, the depraved leader of a major Mexican cartel, takes an interest in her, Luisa is presented with an opportunity she can’t afford to pass up. She’ll become Salvador’s wife and exchange her freedom and body for a life of riches – riches she can bestow upon her deserving parents. But Luisa quickly finds out that even the finest wines and jewels can’t undo the ugliness in her marriage, nor the never-ending violence that threatens her every move.

Soon, Luisa is looking for an escape, a way out of the carefully controlled life she’s leading. She finally gets her wish in the worst way possible.

As it is, being the wife of Salvador makes her an ideal target for rival cartels and there’s one particular man who needs Luisa as part of his cartel’s expansion. One particular man whose quest for power has destroyed lives, slit throats and gotten him out of an American prison. One particular man who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants.

That man is Javier Bernal. And he wants Luisa. He wants to take her, keep her, ruin her.

Unless she ruins him first.

Buy Links:
Amazon US • Amazon UK

Dirty Angels teaser

excerpt

It was a picture of a woman in white strapless wedding dress, very fluffy and extravagant from the waist down. Her hands were clasped demurely at her front, her face caught in a nervous smile.

She was extremely beautiful but that was to be expected. The country’s most flagrant excuse for a drug kingpin would never marry anyone less than stunning and this woman, Luisa, fit the bill. But despite her body, with her round, perky tits and elegant neck, her long dark hair and classic face, there was another layer to her that immediately got me hard. It was this look in her eyes. They were so pure and soft, giving her radiance that seemed to leap off the page.

I wanted nothing more than to have her on her knees, have her fix those round, angelic eyes on me and watch as I pin her down and come right into them. I would take her purity and make her see the world for what it really was – a hot, sticky mess at the end of my dick.

“I bet she’d be a tight little fuck,” Este leered over my shoulder.

I shot him a disgusted look. “She’s not a whore, Este,” I chided him.

“Not to you,” he said, as I looked at the next picture of her, now with Salvador at her side.

“I mean it,” I said, my eyes drawn to her again and again. “No one is touching her. Not you, not Franco.”

“I give you my promise,” Este said. “But Franco can barely control himself around the whores.”

“No one is touching her,” I repeated. “She will be our hostage. She is collateral. No one is laying a hand on her.”

“Except for you, I assume.”

She almost seemed too good to even touch. I couldn’t wait to break her. “She is very valuable,” I admitted.

I flipped through a couple of more photographs and grew harder at each one. I wished Este would just fucking leave so I could deal with it. I almost wished Laura was still alive so I could flip her over and come all over her back. I never fucked the women around here, but that didn’t mean I didn’t use them when I needed to.

“You know,” Este said, his lazy voice starting to grate me. “If Martin had been there close enough to spy on them, close enough to photograph, why didn’t you just get him to put a bullet in Salvador’s head? Especially if Martin was going to die anyway.”

I eyed him warily, disappointed that he could be so rash. “Because life is a game and we’re all just trading cards. We play the right hand to get ahead.” I studied the smiling, ignorant face of Sal as he stared at his bride. “Death stops the game. It’s too final, too inflexible. Death is viciously stubborn.”

When Este didn’t say anything I looked up to see a dull gleam in his eyes. I sighed and pinched the bridge of my nose, annoyed at his ineptitude. “What good would killing Salvador do? Right? David Guirez or whoever, anyone, someone, they would step in and take over faster than you can shit after your coffee and nothing will have changed. Look at Travis Raines. The moment he died, I was able to slither on through to the top, to right here, right now.”

“Only because you killed Travis,” he noted. “More or less.”

“We killed Travis,” I corrected him. “Anyway, the point is that the dead make lousy deals. If we want the shipping lane, we have to force him to give it to us. Killing him does nothing. Taking his new bride, now that will do something.”

“You sound so sure,” Este said walking around the desk.

“I have no reason not to be sure,” I said. “They are newlyweds. He needs her, he wants her. We will get her soon, before he gets bored of her cherry ass. Sal has pride. We all do. It is our weakness. I know that enough about myself to know it about others.”

He smoothed his hand over the stubble on his chin and gave me a smooth nod. “All right.”

I stared at a photo of them at the altar, a lavish outdoor ceremony. He was gazing at her with that pride I was talking about. And she was staring at him with a look that was all too familiar to me.

“She doesn’t love him, though,” I commented, almost to myself.

“How can you tell?” he said, taking a step closer and peering at the photos again.

I swallowed uneasily and then shrugged it off. “I just can. She doesn’t.”

“So is she marrying him for money then?”

I took the papers and sorted them until they were neat and evenly stacked before slipping them back into the envelope. “Probably. Does it matter?”

“No. So when do we act?”

“Soon,” I said, putting the envelope in the first drawer. I knew I’d be taking it out again after he left.

about the author

Karina Halle

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

Website • Goodreads • Facebook • Twitter • Amazon Page

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Cover Reveal: Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle

Dirty Deeds by Karina Halle

Title: Dirty Deeds (Dirty Angels #2)
Author: Karina Halle
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“He’s fearless and ruthless. Soulless.”

As a flight attendant, Alana Bernal has had her share of suitors. She’s also had more than her fair share of tragedy within her messed-up family. But what she hasn’t had is love. Real, rip-your-heart-out, tear-your-clothes-off, all-consuming love.

At least that was the case until she met an American tourist, Derek Conway, a ripped ex-soldier with steely eyes and a commanding presence.

What started as a chance encounter between the two in Puerto Vallarta, a weekend full of hot sex and mindless passion, has led to something more.

Something deadly.

Because Derek isn’t the type of man to fall in love. He’s not a man who sticks around.

And he’s definitely not in Mexico on vacation.

Derek is a mercenary, a killer-for-hire, a man who does the ugly jobs for the highest bidder.

Unfortunately for Alana and Derek, the highest bidder has the power to destroy whatever worlds they have created for themselves.

The highest bidder can destroy everything.

*This is a romantic suspense book, #2 in the Dirty Angels trilogy but can be read as a standalone novel*

Coming June 15th!
Dirty Angels by Karina Halle
Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1)

Pre-Order for the temporarily low price of 99¢
Amazon US

about the author

Karina Halle

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

Website • Goodreads • Facebook • Twitter • EIT Website

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