I’ve read several books by this author and I’m a big fan of her stories, but my favorite ones are, without a doubt, her darker ones. She always manages to keep me at the edge of my seat with her dark and gritty stories, her intriguing heroes/anti-heroes and some interesting, captivating twists. ‘Black Hearts’, the first installment in Karina’s ‘Sin Duet Series’ is awesome, enthralling and sucked me in from the start. If you love dark-ish stories and you are looking for a great mix of action, suspense and steam, you must read this one ASAP.
“If Helen of Troy’s face could launch a thousand ships, Violet McQueen’s face could launch a thousand stories, all filled with lust, heartache, and death.”
Violet McQueen is a photography student in her second year at the Art Institute of San Francisco. She has a good, for the most part, relationship with her parents, but she has always felt that something was off with her family. When she discovers that she has been raised in a house of lies, Violet doesn’t know what to believe, but she definitely wants to find the truth about her parents and their pasts. Violet’s life is changed completely when she meets a gorgeous Hispanic man, named Vicente. He’s different from any other man she has met before – he’s sexy, confident and, for whatever reason, he seems interested to get to know her. She also feels safe with him.
“I’ve had a taste of the power, the glory, the respect, and the money. I’m not saying I don’t want it. But I want it my way. Not his.
Vicente Bernal is the prodigal son, the one who is supposed to take over when his father, ‘Chefe do Cartel de Sinaloa’ retires or commands him to do so. He grew up in the cartel and he has been trained for it. However, he doesn’t want to be the next in line. He knows what it means to have the power, the respect and the money and he wants all, but on his own terms.
Violet and Vicente’s connection is strong, but what happens when their relationship seems to have tragic consequences, when the truths and the lies between them and between their families threaten to tear them apart and also threaten their very lives?
“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.”
‘Black Hearts’ exceeded all my expectations. I really enjoyed this thrilling first installment. It’s addictive, fantastically written and, like any other dark book I’ve read by this author, kept me guessing until the end. For one reason or another, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time reading this novel and I totally loved it.
The story has everything to keep you entertained – suspense, action, steam, with some dark-ish elements that personally I loved. However, my favorite aspect was the suspense one, which was fantastically done. So, yeah, the story has some heart pounding, nail biting moments that I really enjoyed.
I liked Violet’s character. She’s sensitive, in a very endearing way and a little shy, at least in the beginning. She’s very intuitive, which I loved and I liked how Vicente opens her eyes on some things making her strong and bolder in the process.
“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.”
Vincente, like his father, is charming, sexy as hell and ruthless. While he is cruel and he has been killing ever since he was just a boy, I enjoyed his character a lot. He is intriguing, desirable, yet so very manipulative and driven. I loved his dirty mouth and I loved how slowly, but surely, he introduces Violet to a new world of pleasure, pain and passion. The sex scenes between these two are off the charts hot!
This first installment is told in multiple POVs, which I enjoyed. The plot develops at a steady pace and, as the story unfolds, many questions arise regarding the relationships between certain characters . Needless to say, I’m dying to read the second installment.
All in all, ‘Black Hearts’ is another great tale by Karina Halle – intriguing, well written, with a well-developed plot and multi-layered characters.
“The Bernals aren’t good people. The McQueens aren’t either.”
About the Author
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.