Spotlight + Excerpt: Black Hearts by Karina Halle

Happy release day to Karina Halle – Black Hearts, the first in the Sins Duet, is live!

Black Hearts by Karina Halle
Series: Sins Duet #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: February 19th 2017
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From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes a BRAND NEW standalone duet that will get your pulse racing.

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.

Buy Links:
Amazon

Now here’s an excerpt from Black Hearts! ❤

excerpt button

The fog is continuing to roll in, bringing a briny mist that you can taste. Only the tops of the bridge remain visible, the orange red seeming to glow against grey skies, while shadows of the structure come and go as the fog moves in.

Violet stares in quiet fascination, her dark eyes taking it in. I can see the fog reflected in them, giving her an eerie quality. She appears to be listening but whether it’s the fog horns, the chatter of the fishermen, the lapping waves, or the dull roar of the bridge traffic, I don’t know. Could be something else entirely.

I don’t want to break her concentration or bring her back from whatever world she’s in. I just stand beside her and let her be. If anything, it says a lot about her comfort level with me if she lets herself drift away.

After a few minutes, she slowly turns to me and blinks. “How long did you say you were going to be in San Francisco for?”

“I don’t know,” I say carefully. “It depends if I find what I’m looking for.”

“And what are you looking for?”

“A reason to stay.” I hold her gaze with mine. The sea breeze picks up a few strands of her hair, moving them across her face like a black veil. Without thinking, I reach over and brush them away, tucking them behind her ear.

I could kiss her. I should kiss her. The feel of her skin against my fingers ignites a million torches inside.

Then she looks away, uncomfortable, the silence between us changing.

I steer the subject onto her. “You said your mother is a famous photographer. Does she have a studio?”

She lets out a soft sigh, her eyes back on the bridge. “Yeah. In the mission district.”

“And you don’t want the same for yourself?”

She rubs her lips together in thought before looking down at her hands that hang over the side of the railing. “As I said, I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure I feel comfortable with the idea of having a studio. My mom does portraits of people. That’s not what I like to shoot.”

“Not a people person?”

A wry smile cracks her lips. “No. Not really. It’s too…intimate. My mom is great at it because people feel comfortable with her. She can…I don’t know, manipulate their feelings.”

Interesting. Very interesting.

People like my father.

“So they end up exposing pieces of themselves that they don’t see. I guess I have the same intuition as her but the one on one is too much for me. I prefer to work with nature. With this.” She gestures to the fog. “No one else really understands how beautiful this is to me.”

I look back at the fog, moving faster now. I wouldn’t call it beautiful. Moody. Dark, maybe. If anything, her beauty stands out more because of the bleakness around her.

“My goal is to take photos that show how I see the world. All the beauty in it. The world is such an ugly and beautiful place, horrible and hopeful. I want to show the light in all the dark places.” She pauses and gives me a sheepish look. “Sorry. I know that must have sounded hella pretentious.”

I slowly shake my head because she sounds anything but that. She sounds real. She sounds like something I want to shake loose from her, to let free and run wild.

“You’re not pretentious,” I tell her, my voice low. “Not even close.”

“That’s not what I hear.”

“What do you hear?” I move in closer to her, the distance between us just a few inches. She doesn’t back up. “What does the world tell you you are?”

I watch her swallow, take a moment. “Oh, you know. I’m too self-absorbed. Narcissistic. Pretentious. I live too much in my head, I’m too anti-social, too distant. I feel too much, care too much. My mother has always chided me for being too sensitive and then I was diagnosed with having hyper-sensitivity, so it turns out she was right. I am too sensitive. About everything. And there’s not a single thing I can do about it except know that when I experience reality, it’s not what everyone else experiences. For better or for worse.” She sighs. “Mainly for worse.”

I feel like this is something she doesn’t unload on many people. My instincts about her were right. She’s fragile but not weak, too much a part of the world and too much removed from it. A contradiction.

“I’m sorry,” she says, shooting me a glance. “I didn’t mean to blab away like that. I know you probably think I’m crazy now. Hell, I think I’m crazy half the time. I really wish I could just be like everyone else. To just…shut it all off.”

“You’re not crazy,” I tell her. “I’m just understanding you better.”

Her mouth quirks up into a dry smile. “I’m surprised you understand me at all. We’ve only just met.”

“True,” I tell her as I reach out and run my fingers along her jaw, tipping her chin up. “But I’m sure you of all people would know that sometimes you can connect with someone in ways you didn’t think you could. Or should.”

She barely nods, her eyes focused on mine, anticipation on her brow. I’m met with the overwhelming desire to protect and shield her which is extremely inconvenient, if not unwelcome, given the circumstances. One minute I need to fuck her, the next I need to protect her, and in the end, what I really need is to do the job I set out to do.

Reading Order: Sins Duet series

#1 ~ Black Hearts: EbookGoodreads
#2 ~ Dirty Souls: Goodreads (March 17, 2017)

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 Black Hearts).

Reading Order: The Artists Trilogy

   

#0.5 ~ On Every Street: EbookAudible • Goodreads
#1 ~ Sins & Needles: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Shooting Scars: 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

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 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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Excerpt Reveal: The Debt by Karina Halle

The Debt date

The Debt by Karina Halle is coming August 29th!

The Debt by Karina Halle
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 29th 2016
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Her life changed in an instant.

And he’s the only one who could have prevented it.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.

Jessica Charles shouldn’t have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.

She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.

But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica’s world changed forever.

Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.

That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.

Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you’ve got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.

Except Keir is anything but perfect. He’s got a past he’s running away from and a guilty conscience he can’t seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.

And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.

He may have been a stranger to her.

But she’s never been a stranger to him.

Buy Links:
Amazon • iBooks • Barnes & Noble • Kobo

Now here’s an excerpt from The Debt! ❤

excerpt button

“You’re not going anywhere,” he says. “Sit. I’ll get you another drink.”

“It’s getting late,” I say feebly but I sit down anyway, my leg giving a protest of pain.

“You need something for that?” he says, noticing my wince.

“The scotch will do fine,” I tell him quickly, not wanting him to make a fuss. “But really, I should go.”

“Why?” he asks from the kitchen. I hear the top pop off the bottle, the slosh of liquid in the glass. “Where do you have to be?”

I have to think about that for a moment. He comes over and holds out the glass. “I won’t keep you here if you don’t want to be here. But if you do want to be here, you don’t need to make any excuses.”

I take the glass from him, holding it delicately in my fingers. He stands over me, a massive wall, waiting for some kind of response.

“I just…” I begin. “I…” I take a sip for bravery. Swallow. “I’m not very good at this.”

“Good at what?”

“At…this. Being with a man.”

When he doesn’t say anything to that, I look up at him. He’s got a peculiar smile on his face, his brows raised. “You call this being with a man?”

I clear my throat, feeling my cheeks grow hot. “I mean. I’ve told you before –”

“Yes, how you don’t do relationships, how you don’t do sex.”

“I never said I don’t do sex,” I remind him quickly.

His eyes never stop searching my face. “Then what is it? What are you afraid to say?”

I have the sudden urge to flee and I know it must show because he suddenly points at me and says, “Don’t you dare say you have to go again. I want you to go back to what you said, that you’re not good at this. What is this? Us? You and me? There’s nothing mystifying about you and me, Jessica. You know quite well how I feel.”

I stare at him in shock. I do? “How?”

He looks off with an air of impatience. “I invited you to dinner, you turned me down.”

“But then you said just as friends.”

“And I meant it. But there are different types of friends. It’s up to you to decide what kind we are.”

I put my drink down with a clunk. “Holy pressure.” And now it’s not just my face going hot but my entire body, flushed from head to toe.

“You’re on fire, little red,” he says, his gaze skirting over my limbs in such a hungry way I can almost feel them on my skin. “I have to say, I like this look on you. Hot and bothered.”

“Back with the innuendos again,” I comment but my voice is weak.

“No, no innuendos this time. You came looking for me tonight not because you wanted to confess but because you want something from me. What is it? What do you want from me? What do you think I can give you?”

Jesus. This is so utterly unnerving. His words slice right through me, his eyes still peeling under the layers, trying to get at something I’m not even sure of myself.

If I lie, he’ll know. I can only be honest with him.

“I want…” I take in a deep breath, my eyes breaking away. “I want…company.”

“Company?” He sounds surprised.

I nod. “That’s the truth. I’m lonely. And I’m afraid. And I’m tired of being both those things. I want to be with someone who makes me forget who I am. You make me feel fearless in a way I didn’t think possible.”

There. That’s the truth. Most of it. It hangs in the air, thickening the tension like flour to stock.

He sits down next to me, has a mouthful of Scotch. “Wow,” he says, running his hand over the beard on his jaw. “And here I was thinking you wanted my cock.”

I burst out laughing. So does he, a big wonderful bellow. The tension in the room eases up a notch.

“Sorry,” I tell him when I catch my breath. “I guess they can both mean the same thing.”

He sucks in his lip briefly, his eyes taking a lustful turn. “If you want it to.” We stare at each other for a few heavy beats. Then his focus trails back to my gaze and he says, “Why don’t you stay over?”

And there I have it. The chance to know what those full lips would feel like on mine, what his skin would taste like. I swallow hard.

The Debt is a standalone novel and is also a part of a series of interconnected standalones.
You don’t need to read the others to read The Debt, but here are the other books!

The Pact by Karina Halle The Offer by Karina Halle The Play by Karina Halle
  

#1 ~ The Pact: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Offer: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Play: Ebook • PaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3.5 ~ Winter Wishes: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Lie: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#5 ~ The Debt: Ebook • Goodreads (Aug. 29, 2016)

about the author button

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 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.

Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Amazon Page


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Blog Tour + Excerpt: The Play by Karina Halle

The Play banner

The Play by Karina Halle is now available! Make sure to pick up your copy – the author is donating her profits to animal charities! Check out below for more details.

The Play by Karina Halle

The Play by Karina Halle
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
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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.

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.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Amazon AU • iBooks • B&N

Because The Play revolves around a hot as sin Scottish rugby player who also rescues dogs, Karina Halle is donating $1 from every pre-order sale (that’s half of her preorder profits) to select animal charities, including Best Friends Animal Society and reader chosen ones that help promote adoption and rescues for animals. If you know of a deserving animal charity that needs attention and her donations, please let Karina know by emailing her with the headline Save the Puppies to Authorkarinahalle@gmail.com. Hopefully enough money will be raised to make a difference in the animal’s lives. Every preorder counts!

Now here’s an excerpt from The Play! ❤

excerpt button

“Get a fucking hold of yourself,” I say out loud and crane my neck to look up at the floor-to-ceiling windows of Lachlan’s apartment building, trying to count floors and see which one is his. I anxiously open my compact and dot more lip stain on my lips, wondering how fast it will be rubbed off once I get into his apartment.

Is he going to kiss me right away?

Will this be a Netflix and chill night?

Immediate fucking?

The possibilities have me on edge.

With a deep breath, I get out of the car and walk over to the entrance. My finger hovers at the apartment number. I take a moment to eye myself in the reflection of the glass doors. I had sped home to change into a strappy black dress, something like the nightgown-trend of the 90’s, with hot pink platform heels. No bra. No underwear. What’s the point?

I press the buzzer and wait for a few moments, my pulse pounding in my wrist. Lachlan’s distinct voice comes through, – slightly drowsy, smooth as butter. “Kayla?”

“Hi,” I say. I’m about to say something else, probably something awkward but he immediately buzzes me through. I exhale loudly, trying to release tension and remain a fidgety mess all the way up the elevator. Last time I was in here, we’d just rescued the dogs. He was shirtless. He’d felt so close at that time and yet oh so far away. To think now, now, I’d had my hands and lips all over him and my need for him was stronger than ever before.

I knock on his door, biting my lip in anticipation, until it swings open and I see Lachlan, leaning casually against it. The dulcet tones of Fiona Apple’s “Slow like Honey” drift in from the room.

“You shouldn’t be wearing that,” he says, a faint smile on his lips. God, I’ve missed those lips.

“Why not?” I ask with a raise of my brow. In a second, all my nerves smooth out and I realize how easy it is to talk with him like this.

“You’ll make it impossible to get through the appetizer,” he answers, moving back and letting me inside. He’s back to casual gear, a white thermal shirt that’s partially unbuttoned, just enough to show a glimpse of tanned skin, chest hair and tattoos, a necklace with a small wooden cross, green cargo pants. I like him like this just as much as I like him in a suit.

I walk in, my heels echoing on the tiles. “I thought I was the appetizer,” I tell him, looking around. The two dogs are on the couch, curled up into each other like sleeping mice. In unison, they both lift their heads to stare at me. The pitbull gives a thump of its tail but the scruffy mutt shivers slightly, showing teeth.

“Don’t mind them, they’re still adjusting,” he says, closing the door and then gesturing to the table by the kitchen, where I had done my interview with him last week. “That’s the appetizer.”

On the table is a bottle of red wine, two glasses, and a cheeseboard topped with brie, cheddar, camembert, figs, jam, honey and crostini. “Wow,” I say softly. “You did all this?”

He shrugs, making a dismissive noise. “It was nothing.”

“This is romantic,” I tell him. “I didn’t peg you for a romantic.”

He raises a perfectly arched brow. “Oh yeah? What did you peg me for?” He slowly pours a glass of wine.

I just stand there, watching him pour a smaller amount into the other glass. His forearm flexes, the lion tattoo seems to roar. His forehead is creased with concentration, perhaps anticipation of my reply. He seems completely at ease with me but there’s always that wildness in his eyes that never seems to go away. The only time I saw peace in them was after he came last night.

“I pegged you for a man who wouldn’t give me a second glance.”

He gives me a crooked smile and corks the bottle “Well, love, you know that isn’t true.”

I slowly walk toward him, looking up through my lashes like some femme fatale. “Oh, it was true. You wanted nothing to do with me.”

His look softens for a moment before he heads over into the kitchen, grabbing small plates from the glass cupboards. “I want nothing to do with most people. Never take it personal.”

“Tell that to Old Kayla. She had no idea she’d get the chance to put your gorgeous cock in her mouth.”

The plates rattle against the counter. “You do have some mouth on you.”

“Exactly.”

He comes back in the room with his hulking swagger, putting the plates down. He nods at the seat pushed out. “Here, sit down. Please.”

I hook my purse on the corner of the chair and take a seat. Both dogs stare at me from the couch.

“So how are they?” I ask him.

He looks behind him and I take a moment to appreciate every hardened, strained muscle on his neck and shoulders. “As I said, adjusting.” He sits down and folds his hands in front of him. “Someone is coming by tomorrow to see about adopting Ed. But I think Emily will be coming home with me.”

“Which one is Ed?”

“The pit,” he says.

“Funny, I would have thought he would have been harder to find a home for.”

“Usually. But Ed is a big sweetie and people in this city are a little more tolerant of bully breeds than people in the UK. Emily, however, as sweet as she looks,” he glances back at the scruffy dog, who immediately bares her teeth to me, “has behaviour problems. She’ll need work.”

“And are you the one who teaches them?” I ask. “Because if so, then you are the dog whisperer, which means there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do.”

He looks down at his hands and gives a lazy one-shouldered shrug. “I found Lionel on the streets in Edinburgh. I was able to teach him. Maybe he taught me some things, you never know with dogs. But…it takes a special kind of person to train dogs, especially those who have been through trauma and abuse. I am not that kind of person. I will do whatever I can to save them but I’m not the person who can school them on obedience.”

“Really?”

A quiet, almost uncomfortable smile tugs on his lips. “A dog with behavioural problems shouldn’t learn from someone with behavioural problems.”

I expect him to laugh but he doesn’t. “Oh,” I say, trying to think of the right thing. “You just seem like a natural. These two were strays and now look at them. Just like that.”

“I can get the dogs to trust me,” he says in a low voice. “Because I trust them. But I can’t get them to trust others.”

“Because you don’t trust people…”

He slowly blinks and then reaches for the stem of his wine glass. “I think I may trust you. Here’s to that.”

“Here’s to that,” I say, raising my glass and clinking it against his. I’m more than meeting him the eyes, I’m diving in the green and grey. They seem darker somehow, moving shadows. Depthless. Behavioural problems? What kind? How much more can I learn about him before he’s gone?

I take a gulp of my wine. He barely touches his. Just a small sip, then puts the glass back down and pushes it away from him.

“I’ve never seen you drink much,” I tell him, hoping my tone is easy enough so he won’t take offense.

He gives me a long, measured look before he licks his lips and looks away. “No, I don’t.”

“Because of training,” I say, giving him an easy way out.

A slow nod. “Yes.”

He’s still not meeting my eyes, his focus on the cheeseboard and even though he’s not frowning like he usually his, his shoulders seem tense.

“What other things do you have to do for training?” I ask. I feel we’ve regressed a little bit and I want that sexy, casual banter back.

He drums his fingers along the edge of the table and I lean forward, trying to get some cheese on my plate. “Lot of work in the gym. Lot of work in the field. A good diet.”

“I assume it doesn’t include loads of cheese,” I tell him, drizzling the honey on top of my brie.

“Nah, just boring stuff. Chicken breasts, broccoli. It’s not a lot of fun but at my age, you have to do it if you want to keep playing. When I was younger I could have eaten whatever I wanted.”

“How old are you?” I ask.

“Thirty-two,” he says and I’m a little bit surprised. I guess because he looks so manly and distinguished – the lines on his forehead, his scruffy beard – I pegged him for someone in his mid-to-late thirties. Or maybe it’s his eyes.

I stare at them, even though they are now staring sharply at the fig as he hacks his way into it, as if the fig had done something personal to him. It’s those eyes that trip me up. The eyes of an old soul, of someone who has seen too much, done too much. There’s a war behind them at all times, a war I want to help him win.

“Does that surprise you?” he asks, glancing up at me briefly.

I take a delicate bite of the crostini. “Not really. You just seem more mature than that.”

He spreads the fig over goat cheese. “In rugby, being in your thirties is asking for trouble. All these years of being hit, all the injuries, the strain. It takes a toll. I don’t know what happened, but when I turned thirty it all started to slip, just a bit.” He offers me the fig and I take it from his hands, my fingers brushing against his. One simple touch and I feel it travel down the length of my arm, straight to my heart.

Bam. A shower of sparks.

I swallow, trying to ignore the feeling. “How long have you been playing for?”

He frowns, eyes squinting in thought. “Twenty-two. Yeah.” He nods. “Ten years.”

I blink, impressed. “That’s a long time. Is that normal?”

“I guess,” he says, pursing his lips, considering. “I’m good at what I do. They need someone fast and someone who will break everyone in their way. That’s my job. But I can’t do it forever. After I fucked up my bloody tendon…I know I don’t have long.”

“You almost make it seem like you’re dying.”

He briefly sucks in his cheeks. “Rugby saved my life. I’m not sure what I’ll do when it’s over.”

“Coach?” I ask him hopefully.

“Nah,” he says, munching on the crostini and leaning back in the chair. When he swallows, he adds, “I’m either in the game, or I’m not. There is no halfway. That’s not how I’m built. Once I’m done, I’m done.”

And when this is over? I think. Are we done?

But of course we are…we aren’t even a thing.

“Maybe you’ll just do the charity work…for the dogs.”

“Aye,” he says. He reaches for his wine and takes a small sip. He almost puts it back down, then takes another gulp, finishing the glass. “I’ll keep doing that. There’s no expiration on helping others. As bloody cheesy as that sounds.”

“That’s not cheesy,” I tell him. “That’s selfless and beautiful.”

“Come now,” he chides me, seeming embarrassed. He looks away, folding his arms across his wide chest, his unreal body stealing my attention again, turning my thoughts back into that sexual whirlwind. Well played, Mr. McGregor, well played.

“What’s the lion tattoo for?” I ask him. “What’s the story?”

That startles him. “What are you on about?”

I point to his forearm. “There. Lion. See. You said you would tell me some stories. About your tattoos. Why you have them.”

He rakes his teeth over his lower lip and looks me dead in the eye. “Did I now?”

“Yes,” I tell him impatiently. “Last night…maybe this morning. After some good fucking.”

“Ah, yes. That explains it.”

“Well give me something.”

“If I give you something, will you give me something?”

I can’t help but grin like a fool. “Of course.”

“Okay then.” He pushes his chair back slightly and takes his shirt off, tossing it on the floor beside him. He spreads his legs and pats the crotch of his pants, his gaze absolutely feral. “Have a seat.”

I am light-headed at the sight of his torso again. I manage to get up, drawn to him like a magnet. I put my hands on the hard breadth of his shoulders and straddle him. We are so close. Our mouths inches away.

He’s breathing hard. I’m breathless.

He’s a wall of muscle and ink. I’m soft, yielding against him.

“So ask away,” he says, that voice low, rough, yet cashmere cream. That voice I’ll hear in my dreams long after he’s gone.

His eyes never leave my lips.

I lean back to get a better look at him, even though the distance pulls at me. I run my fingers over his shoulder, taught, hard muscle. A storm rages in muted ink, an old ship with tall sails is masterfully shaded, spreading onto his chest.

“This one,” I say softly. “Why the storm? Why the ship?”

He chews on his lip for a moment, searching my eyes. “I was twenty-four. I backpeddled with life for a bit. I lost my edge in the game. But I pushed through and was better for it. A ship in harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for.” He tilts his head, as if observing me, though I’m the one watching him. “It helps me when I get scared. To keep going.”

“You get scared?” I ask him, unable to picture him, this strong, powerful man, afraid of anything at all.

“All the time,” he says frankly. “How can life be anything except terrifying at times? We’re born here. We don’t ask for it. And we’re expected to somehow get through it, living each day without dying. We either live and if we don’t, we die.” He looks away, gives his head a shake. “Nah. We’re all scared, every last one of us.”

I know I am. Of so many things. My heart melts slightly to know that someone like him could feel the same way as someone like me.

I trail my fingers along the text on his collarbone. “Nunquam iterum,” I read out. “Latin, I assume?”

“Yes,” he says slowly, looking away. “It means never again.”

“Never again, what?”

His mouth quirks up into a sour smile. “Never again to a lot of things.”

“Is that all I’m going to get?”

“From that, yes,” he says, finally meeting my gaze again. His pupils are so large, they hypnotize me. “You get one more. Then you’re giving me something.”

I breathe in deeply through my nose and look over every inch of him. The lion. Words across his side “Hope before Death.” A paw print in his inner arm. A flock of ravens swirling into a tribal pattern down one bicep, making a sleeve. A crest with what looks like Latin on the other forearm. Another similar crest on his chest. I press on the one on his chest, with a boar at the centre. “Corda. Serrata. Pando,” I say, my finger tracing the words.

“I open locked hearts,” he says.

I still, watching him close. “What?”

“I open locked hearts,” he repeats. “It’s the Lockhart crest. I was born a Lockhart. That is the clan’s motto.”

“Again, that’s terribly romantic,” I tell him. “That must be where you get it from.” I touch his forearm, the other crest. “And I guess this is McGregor?”

“Aye, though it should be MacGregor, or Clan Gregor.”

“’S rioghal mo dhream,” I try to say but stumble over it. “What the hell.”

“Royal is my race,” he translates. He gives me a dry smile. “However, it’s not my race. So that explains a lot.”

I run my hand down the side of his cheek and he briefly closes his eyes. “I think I’d rather you a romantic warrior than one with fussy bloodlines.”

He leans in, slowly opening his eyes, gazing at me through his lashes. “Who said I was a warrior?”

I lower my voice. “I say you’re a warrior.”

You’re my warrior.

For now.

He lifts his chin. “What else do you say?”

I adjust myself on his hips, my hand slipping down toward his pants. I shift to undo the top button, bracing myself on his shoulder. “I say you need to get your cock out, warrior.”

He reaches out and lets his hands drift down over my hair. “Lead you into battle?”

“Something like that.” I bite my lip as I tug down his zipper.

The Play is a standalone novel and is also a part of a series of interconnected standalones.
You don’t need to read the others to read The Play, but here are the other books!

The Pact by Karina Halle The Offer by Karina Halle The Play by Karina Halle

#1 ~ The Pact: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Offer: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Play: EbookGoodreads

about the author button

Karina HalleWith 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 fiancé and rescue pup.

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Release Day Launch: The Play by Karina Halle

The Play release banner

Happy Release Day to Karina Halle – The Play is live!

Because The Play revolves around a hot as sin Scottish rugby player who also rescues dogs, Karina Halle is donating $1 from every pre-order sale (that’s half of her preorder profits) to select animal charities, including Best Friends Animal Society and reader chosen ones that help promote adoption and rescues for animals. If you know of a deserving animal charity that needs attention and her donations, please let Karina know by emailing her with the headline Save the Puppies to Authorkarinahalle@gmail.com. Hopefully enough money will be raised to make a difference in the animal’s lives. Every preorder counts!

The Play by Karina Halle

The Play by Karina Halle
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: November 3rd 2015
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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.

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.

Buy Links:
Amazon • Amazon UK • Amazon AU • iBooks • B&N

The Play is a standalone novel and is also a part of a series of interconnected standalones.
You don’t need to read the others to read The Play, but here are the other books!

The Pact by Karina Halle The Offer by Karina Halle The Play by Karina Halle

#1 ~ The Pact: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Offer: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ The Play: EbookGoodreads

about the author button

Karina HalleWith 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 fiancé and rescue pup.

Facebook • Twitter • Goodreads • Amazon Page


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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
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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.

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