EXCERPT REVEAL                                       BLACK HEARTS by KARINA HALLE

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Title: BLACK HEARTS

Author: Karina Halle

Series: Sins Duet #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Expected Release Date: 19th February, 2017

Cover Design: By Hang Le

PR: Nina Bocci

 

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Synopsis:

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.

 

NOTE: Black Hearts is book one of the Sins Duet, with the sequel, Dirty Souls, releasing in March 2017.

These books can be read as a standalone – though they are a spinoff of the Sins & Needles and Dirty Angels trilogies, Black Hearts & Dirty Souls are set 20 years in the future and follow new characters. You do NOT need to read TAT or DA to enjoy or understand this duet.

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EXCERPT:

BLACK HEARTS, SINS DUET #1 © Karina Halle 2017

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.

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Author’s Bio:

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.

Author’s Stalk Links:

Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram | Author Goodreads Page | Author Amazon Page

 

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                                  RELEASE BLITZ                                                   MALFUNCTION WARDROBE                                          by SAMANTHA TOWLE

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Title: Wardrobe Malfunction

Author: Samantha Towle

Release Date: 18th February, 2017

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designer

 

Image may contain: 1 person, text

 

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SYNOPSIS:

From New York Times bestselling author, Samantha Towle, comes a new standalone romantic comedy.

Vaughn West, Hollywood heartthrob, has been at the top of his game for years. He thinks he’s untouchable—until a betrayal brings him spiraling down. Now, everyone pities him, and if there’s one thing Vaughn hates, it’s pity.

After a few months of working his way through every available actress, pop star, model, and waitress in California, Vaughn needs to get his life back on track and focus on what he does best—making hit movies.

Charlotte Michaels is in love. Just not with one person.
Louis Vuitton…
Christian Dior…
Valentino…
Gucci…
And the list goes on.

Sadly, Charly’s limited bank account doesn’t allow her those luxuries, and the closest she gets are lucky finds in charity shops and working closely with some of those names in her job as a wardrobe assistant.

Now, Charly has landed the mother of all jobs—working on the new Vaughn West movie. Excited doesn’t even cut it.

Only things don’t go as planned, and it turns out that Vaughn is actually a jerk. A hot jerk, but a jerk nonetheless.

So, why do their clothes keep falling off whenever they’re around each other? And why can’t Charly keep her mind in the closet and off Vaughn?

Getting mixed up with a smart-mouthed, fashion-obsessed wardrobe assistant is the last thing Vaughn needs.

Getting mixed up with an arrogant, self-centered, obnoxious, jumped-up actor who has a lack of respect for fashion is the last thing Charly needs.

Things are about to get hot, dirty, and messy in Hollywood. Very messy. Especially if Charly’s closely guarded secret falls out of her closet.

Free on KU ~ Purchase Links:

Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA

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Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse

How could I not fall for the heroine in this fast-paced story! Charlotte Michaels, also known as Charly, is offered the job of a lifetime by her bestie and can’t believe her luck. Who wouldn’t when the guy you’re going to work for is the man of your dreams! What I liked about this seamstress was not only her professionalism, but also her no-nonsense character. One thing is working for Vaughn West, Hollywood actor extraordinaire, another is putting up with him! Yep, I was in for a surprise or three in this romcom-cum-contemporary romance standalone read in one sitting. The carrot and the stick approach used throughout the story was very cleverly done; however, I have to confess my suspicions were correct.

“There’s just something you need to know. Something I need to tell you before we go any further. It’s important.”

The reader is thrown head first into a scenario where Vaughan discovers the worst. The revelation is harsh, wounding and in this instance, I felt sorry for him. Nevertheless, I had trouble investing in Vaughan and more than once, was given the impression this was exactly what Ms Towle wanted to portray. All said and done, he comes across as a total twat. Regardless of him being a difficult person to work for, both Charly and I gave him the benefit of the doubt. It didn’t take either of us long to realise he’s not who we thought he was. Her not being a gossiper I liked a hell of lot and I couldn’t have been more enthused by the way she held her cards close to her chest. Even when the going get tough, she tries her hardest to keep her cool.

“I want to apologise. For earlier. I was an ass.”

Yeah, you were. A monumental one.”

Folk fed off Vaughn’s juicy and scandalous reputation and in parenthesis, couldn’t be ignored. Plenty of backstabbing, jealousy and devious goings on are rife in surroundings easily envisaged and well-defined. And to top the lot, Vaughn’s personal life is one big malfunction. Here, I really thought his behaviour a tad childish. Seeing as he’d proved to be a more than capable actor, his philandering actions spoke louder than words. Not surprisingly, he’s thrown into the limelight and his acting career… well, whether he listens to someone’s important advice remains to be seen. All I asked for of him was to get his act together…pun intended, of course! I have to say Vaughn is more forthcoming with his past which made me like him a little bit more! Okay, he is kinda gorgeous and as the story unraveled, he showed me that he was kind, caring and quite the romantic.

“Personal life?” “What a fucking joke that is! I don’t have a personal life because everyone in the world is fucking privy to what goes on.”

Charly tries her best to please. She’s an haute couture freak without the means for her expensive tastes but extremely innovative and extremely good at her job. She doesn’t have a good start though. In one perfectly envisaged scenario she slips-up provoking a belly-achingly laugh-out-loud moment. Since what happens is brought up time and time again, she’ll have no choice but to live it down! Hence the name Pins is hers for keeps! I have to say the way she handled Vaughn gained my respect, and I can’t argue that the build-up for their relationship to flower is not without interesting setbacks on both parts.

“Hey Pins,”

“God…you are…you’re just mean! I can’t believe I thought you were hot!”

These guys are HAWT together! There’s most definitely no malfunctions in the bedroom or wherever they happen to have the urge to… you know what! In fact, if anything, I found the sex scenes not above board but I quite honestly felt some of them unnecessary since their connection on a heartfelt level was much more becoming. When the banter flows freely is when I’m at my happiest and the author gave me just that. It’s sassy, quirky, utterly witty and superb for such a strong-minded couple, and I have to add that Vaughn’s gran had me in fits. Present tense narration and told from the two protagonists’ point of view is without a doubt, my preference so no complaints there. The secondary character development is unarguably good; the plot not a new one but very enjoyable. I had some editing issues, but that being said, I would recommend this read to lovers of this kind of genre. Bravo Ms Towle!

 

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Author’s Bio:

SAMANTHA TOWLE is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She began her first novel in 2008 while on maternity leave. She completed the manuscript five months later and hasn’t stopped writing since.

She is the author of contemporary romances, The Storm Series and The Revved Series, and standalones, Trouble, When I Was Yours, The Ending I Want, Unsuitable and Sacking the Quarterback, which was written with James Patterson. She has also written paranormal romances, The Bringer and The Alexandra Jones Series. All of her books are penned to the tunes of The Killers, Kings of Leon, Adele, The Doors, Oasis, Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, and more of her favorite musicians.

A native of Hull and a graduate of Salford University, she lives with her husband, Craig, in East Yorkshire with their son and daughter.

Why not follow Samantha! She’d love to hear from you.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

 

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