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Black Hearts (Sins Duet Book 1) Kindle Edition
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If you've previously read The Artist's Trilogy and the Dirty Angels series, you're familiar with the twisted, violent nature of the world you're about to step back in to. If Black Hearts is your first Karina Halle book, I'll tell you that you're about to be absorbed into a world of treachery and lust where criminals fall in love and lie and betray and kill, where loyalties are tested and bullets speak louder than words. Either way, brace, because you're in for a brutally delicious little treat with Black Hearts, a darkly intoxicating story that bridges generations when the children of former lovers meet for their own story of love and betrayal.
I'm over the moon that Karina Halle has introduced us to these characters in such an unexpectedly brilliant way. I mean, is this really happening right now? In some sick twist of fate, could a Bernal and a Watt FINALLY find true love amidst lies and violence and secrets and betrayal? Is history repeating itself, or righting itself by uniting a violent, power hungry cartel leader with a strong, feisty young woman unknowingly brought into the fold of debauchery and deceit by the lies of her parents? I could die a happy death if this plays out the way I'm hoping. (Because Team Javier FOREVER!) But I know Karina Halle, she's done this to me before. I know nothing is certain. I know these characters are inherently bad. I know money and lust and power and greed always trump love. So what will come of these characters is anyone's guess.
Despite the depravity and the despicable behavior in these pages, I found myself giggling hard in certain scenes. The first time Mama McQueen meets the man in her daughter's life was especially hilarious, a sudden, sharp reminder of what a versatile writer Karina Halle is. This book is peppered with humor, layered with unexpected eroticism, woven with violence and deceit, and charged with romance. It's a delicious, thrilling romantic storyline that will consume both seasoned Halle fans and brand new readers. This story will piece together history while simultaneously breaking trusts and breaking hearts. Black Hearts is a brilliantly complex web that will ensnare the reader whether you're privy to their history or not. No matter what you know, or think you know, Black Hearts is a fresh new, untold story that will satisfy every reader and leave you ravenous for more.
Anyhow, now that I got that off my chest, on to the rest of the book. Vicente is predictably swoon-worthy but unpredictable in every other way. You've gotta keep your eye on that one. The romance and steam was just right, the curves in the story kept you flipping the pages. It's dark, but not overly so. More suspenseful. I could see it playing like a movie in my mind, and that is my favorite thing about KH's writing.
You don't have to read the The Artists Trilogy or Dirty Angels series beforehand (but you should because they're awesome). There will be a second book coming in March, but it doesn't leave you on a crazy cliffhanger. Go forth and one-click now! You won't regret it.
"...as far ahead in the future as you might be, the past is never far behind. You just have to look over your shoulder."
We begin the story with parts of our black hearts in Mexico and California. Little morsels of their past show up and make them question who they are and who their parents were. With a past tied to the present, all this comes to a steamy head in San Francisco. And boy does it get steamy and fast. Vicente is cocky and knows what he's doing. He is his father's son after all. And he will get what he's come for.
"I should drop the charade. But I don't drop anything. I'm becoming the charade."
But Violet isn't as soft and dependent on her parents as we think. She is tough and can fight for herself. She doesn't need the hero to fly in because the can protect herself. She's looking for answers, but amidst the questions she has of the lies that have surrounded her her whole life, she is finding parts of herself that she hasn't discovered before. And Vicente is doing a very good job of breaking that bird free.
"You want it to be about just you and just me? Then you come away with me. You leave their bs and their lies behind and you become the Violet McQueen you were always meant to be. You become free."
Vicente and Violet are hot and full of lots of sexiness. Those scenes were pure, unadulterated dirty fun. But under the blindfolds and rope is a game being set in motion with a past full of lies. And to see it play out is darn torture. I don't know what is going to happen to these characters and their families, but I honestly can't wait to see what will come to head in book 2. Strong male and female characters makes this book fun, but tortuous. I have a feeling Karina is going to torture us a bit more, but can't wait to see it all blow up. This is what she does best.
Be prepared for the ride, but expect the unexpected. Loved this book, but honestly can't wait for book 2 which comes out on March 17th. All the lies and all the families are going to face one another for a standoff that I can't wait to see.