Thursday, February 23, 2017

Reviews Black Hearts, Sins Duet #1 by Karina Halle

Title: Black Hearts
Author: Karina Halle
Series: Sins Duet
Release Date: February 19th 2017


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.

Black Hearts is a BRAND NEW STANDALONE DUET - the second book and conclusion, Dirty Souls, releases March 17th.

Buy Link

Review by Shanda

3.5 stars

Black Hearts is the story of Violet and Vicente. They are the offspring of characters from the Artists Trilogy and Dirty Angels series. 

Vicente stumbles on info about his father Javier’s past. Javier is determined that Vicente (his second in command) will soon take over the cartel. Vicente is not really into the idea of taking over. After uncovering old letters he decides he wants to know more about his father. He sets off for California in search of Ellie and his father’s secrets. He changes his plans when he discovers Ellie’s daughter Violet.

Violet seems like she is at that stage of life where she is discovering herself. She is also suspicious of her parents and ends up uncovering a secret about their past. Along the way she meets Vicente and he shakes things up. He is sexy and intriguing and they fall for each other fast. 

I found Violet to be a bit petulant. I give her some slack because she is young and searching. But she gets really angry about her parent’s secrets and acts out. Yes, Camden and Ellie should have revealed some truths earlier. But parents don’t have to share all their dirty pasts. I get the impression their relationship with their kids isn’t that strong. Violet also could have sat them down and asked them questions. Instead she hooks up with a guy just as secretive and then lashes out at her mom in anger. I had trouble understanding her. Vicente appears to be nothing like his father. He seems to want a different life but his motives confused me at times.

I wanted to love this one but it was just okay for me. I think it was predictable and probably a bit generic. It has a lot of what readers will love; sex, lies, secrets, cartels, insta-love, and Javier setting up trouble in the background. I have high hopes for the finale Dirty Souls. You already know Javier has something planned that is going to hurt Vicente. Will Vicente turn out to be a better man than his father or the same? Will there be a big showdown between the families in the end? We shall see…….

*advance copy provided for a voluntary review*

Guest Review by Angie

*3.5 stars*

I was so excited when I found out Halle was writing this but now I feel so-so about it. If you've read The Artists Trilogy and the Dirty Angels series then you already know exactly who Violet McQueen and Vicente Bernal are. They are the children of Camden & Ellie and Javier & Luisa, respectively. But they're all grown up now. This story is set in San Francisco in the year 2034 or so. I liked Halle's interpretation of current events on the future (the wall between the U.S. and Mexico was half built and abandoned). But for those who don't like politics in their romance novels, don't worry she doesn't overdo it. 

Vicente wants to know more about his father. He found a box filled with all things Ellie Watt and he's curious about who she was to him. Javier is now living a quieter life in Mexico now that he's no longer number one drug Lord. Vicente was always raised to take over, however, so he wants some time to have fun in America. Why not spend it in San Francisco and look up Ellie as well. 

Violet is a photography student. She still lives at home. Camden is running Sins and Needles and Ellie is an accomplished photographer. Turns out they've hidden everything about their past from their children (Violet has a half-brother, Ben). One day Violet snoops through the mail and catches her parents in a lie. 

Vicente decides to go through Violet to meet Ellie. The two connect right off the bat and their passion only grows as the weeks pass. 

I was so disappointed with Ellie and Camden in this book. I didn't know who these people were. All these years later, they're still paranoid. They came off as weak. I didn't like all the secrets they were still keeping from their grown children. Especially when the truth would have at least put them on high alert. Ellie and Camden knew something was off. I thought Violet was kind of bratty. She was ignoring red flags and putting herself in dangerous situations. I also hated how Vicente treated Ellie. I really hope he gets knocked down a peg. I have high hopes the mama bear in Ellie gets awakened in book two. I'm looking forward to the showdown.

Author Bio

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky, Racing the Sun, The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.


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