Tag: Karina Halle

Blog Tour: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle (+Giveaway)

Posted July 28, 2015 by Rowena in Giveaways | 0 Comments

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Karina Halle’s got a new book out today and I read and reviewed it here. To get you guys excited for the book, our friends at Atria have shared some teasers with us. Check them out:

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Atria is also giving away a $50 AMEX Gift Card + RACING THE SUN (signed) & WHERE SEA MEETS SKY bundle and 6 more copies of RACING THE SUN, so you won’t want to miss out on entering this giveaway. Please use the rafflecopter below to enter.

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Good luck!

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Review: Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Posted July 28, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Racing the Sun by Karina HalleReviewer: Rowena
Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Genres: New Adult
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother.

It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. There are worse places to be stuck than the gorgeous coastline of southern Italy, but the only job she manages to secure involves teaching English to two of the brattiest children she’s ever met.

It doesn’t help that the children are under the care of their brooding older brother, Italian ex-motorcycle racer Desiderio Larosa. Darkly handsome and oh-so-mysterious, Derio tests Amber’s patience and will at every turn—not to mention her hormones.

But when her position as teacher turns into one as full-time nanny at the crumbling old villa, Amber finds herself growing closer to the enigmatic recluse and soon has to choose between the safety of her life back in the States and the uncertainty of Derio’s closely guarded heart.

I’ve seen Karina Halle books around the internet but I haven’t ever picked one up before now and after reading this one, I’ll definitely be reading more from her.

Amber has been traveling around Europe and has run out of money. Since her money train has dried up (her parents want her to come home now) and she’s got nothing else to look forward to, she needs to find a job that will pay for her passage back to the states. She takes on a job teaching English to a couple of bratty kids and when she meets their guardian (and older brother) Desiderio, her life changes and the book really takes off.

This book was more than just a romance between Amber and Derio. It was also Amber’s coming of age story because you can really see her come into her own over the course of the book. When we first met her, she was listless, kind of just going through the motions with no kind of plan for her future and no real purpose to her life but as you get to know her and as she gets to know these kids, she starts building a life for herself in Italy. I liked it.

I loved the descriptions of Capri and of Italy in general. Halle did a fantastic job of taking me to all of the places that Amber went in this book. The castles, Derio’s house, the beach, I could see it all in my mind and I low key wanted to drop everything and just go to Italy.

On top of the delicious scenery, the romance between Derio and Amber was pretty great. I enjoyed getting to know them as they were getting to know each other. I loved seeing Derio come to life every day that he spent with Amber. I thought he came into his own over the course as well and when he finally lets go of the past and embraces the present with the kids and with Amber, I was glad.

Karina Halle did a great job of setting the scene for Amber’s story and the cast of characters that were introduced in this book were great additions to the overall story but there were times when it was slow going and I wanted something to happen. There were also times when I wanted to smack some sense into Amber but overall, this was an enjoyable book. It’s a book that I know will entertain plenty of readers. Good stuff.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

This book is available from Atria Books. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars


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Guest Review: Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Posted November 19, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Sins & Needles by Karina HalleReviewer: Tracy
Sins and Needles by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

There's a Fine Line Between Sin and Salvation . . .

Ellie Watt is a woman on the run. Raised by a pair of thieves who taught her the art of the grift-and pursued by a mobster who fell for her con-she hopes to find refuge at her uncle's farm in quiet Palm Valley, California. Ellie swears she's through with her life of crime. But before she knows it, she's right back in the game when she meets an easy mark who's too good-and too hot-to be true.

His name is Camden McQueen. A master tattoo artist and a total inked stud, Camden is nothing like the awkward kid who crushed on Ellie back in high school. Now, as owner of the wildly successful Sins & Needles, he's got tats to kill for, muscles to die for, and money to burn. Ellie can't believe the transformation-and can't resist pulling off one last con. But when Camden catches Ellie red-handed, the tables are turned. The mark becomes the master. And when the ultimate player gets played, you never know who's going to end up on top . . .

 

Tracy’s review of Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle

When Ellie was growing up she hated what her parents did for a living. They were grifters and criminals. She wanted nothing to do with that lifestyle. Unfortunately they used her for one of their schemes and she got horribly hurt physcially. From that time on she could think of nothing but revenge for the man who hurt her. She started grifting and has been doing it for the past 10 years or so.

She’s finally decided that she’s going to go legit and heads to the one place that’s she’s always found help – her uncle’s house in Palm Valley, California. Her uncle, however, won’t let her stay. He’s in a bad way financially as well and doesn’t want her bad reputation put onto him. While in Palm Valley Ellie heads into town to get an application at a coffee shop and runs into a man who was once her best friend.

Camden was an odd-ball in High School – just like Ellie was. They hung out, were best friends and had a great time together…until Ellie betrayed their friendship just to try and fit in. They haven’t seen each other since graduation and Ellie’s shocked that the goth guy has been replaced by the hot tattooed guy. Cam doesn’t seem to hold any grudge against Ellie for her high school sellout so she goes along with him and starts to get friendly. Yes, she wants to have sex with the man, but even more, she wants to rob his tattoo shop of all its money. Under the guise of friendship Ellie cases the place and decides to make her move.

Camden isn’t the softy that Ellie thinks he is. He has issues of his own (including some pretty nasty rage) and doesn’t take to being conned. He seeks Ellie’s help to get him out of his trouble but they find themselves on the run from Ellie’s ex-boyfriend who is a drug dealer, Javier, and that guy will stop at nothing to get to Ellie. While on the road the anger that they feel toward each other starts to dissipate and soon they realize that they are in love. Too bad that life doesn’t always give you the HEA you’re looking for.

This was a very different book than what I’m used to reading. It was darker and grittier and pretty damned shocking in parts. People I thought I had figured out turned out to be the opposite of what I believed.

Ellie was a strange heroine. I wasn’t sure, even at the end of the book, if I liked her all that much. She had wanted to go legit but asked for ONE application in a coffee shop before she starts the con on Camden. WTF? That’s your idea of legit? One application? I guess the road to hell is truly paved with good intentions. I did admire her by the end of the book – she had to make some very difficult decisions and did them with thought and dignity.

Camden was a surprise to me. I liked him at first – then I didn’t at all – then I liked him again. I was all over the map with him and I think even he wasn’t sure he liked himself all that much. As the story continued I could see the hurt and betrayal he felt when Ellie turned on him in high school. He was deeply affected by it and I believe it was behind a lot of the decisions he had made in his adult life.

I want to read the next book in the series but I that will have to wait. I think I need recover from Sins and Needles first before I can delve into Shooting Scars as I hear it’s even darker and grittier. Crazy!

Rating:  3.5 out of 5

This title is available from Forever Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars


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Exclusive Excerpt (+ a Giveaway): Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

Posted October 17, 2013 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments

tat-collage1Today we have an exclusive excerpt of Bold Tricks by Karina Halle, the final installment in her Artists Trilogy, to share with you.

The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .
Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he’s been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . .

One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who’s made a permanent mark on Ellie’s heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who’s busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.

bold tricksExclusive Excerpt:

I swallowed hard and swung my legs up and down, suddenly very aware that as I sat on the edge of the sink, I was pretty much straddling him. “Do you like what you see?” I asked quietly. My words sat in a fine haze over the room, my chest constricting from the silence.

His mouth dropped open, lower lip full and inviting, his pink tongue moving in his mouth, trying to make words that would not come.

“Am I still beautiful to you?” I whispered, feeling my heart slowly leak open. I was raw and wounded and in his hands.

His face crumpled, such vulnerability in its strength. The cloth dropped out of his hands and into the sink and he sucked in his breath before saying, “Ellie Watt, you’re more beautiful than you’ve ever been.”

And then his lips, his soft, full, warm lips were on mine, sending sparks up my face, to the back of my head, trailing down my back like brushes from angel wings. His mouth was greedy and mine wanted, needed, craved more. He made a fist in the back of my hair and I grabbed onto his, tugging it until he moaned, the intoxicating sound of his lust filling my mouth, my throat, my lungs. I couldn’t get enough, I was afraid I’d never get it again.

It was wrong, it was wrong, it was wrong to be doing this with him, in here, when the whole world was dying out there, but I didn’t care. I loved him and I needed him more than I ever needed anyone. I loved him and love had to be good in this life full of bad.

  He put his lips to my collarbone sucking and biting and making me forget everything, the worries coming off of me like the tank top I quickly pulled over my head and shed to the floor. He cupped my swollen breasts with his hands, his thumbs teasing my nipples until he pulled back the bra and exposed them to the humid air, pinching them with his teeth. I cried out from the pain, the beautiful pain that rocked through my body, making every centimeter of my skin, feel absolutely alive. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was living, breathing, present. Here.

“Please don’t stop,” I begged him between groans. “Please don’t stop.”

“Baby, I’m just getting started,” he said, voice husky with unadulterated lust. He went for my neck, licking in long smooth strokes that set off nerves all the way down to my clit, racing across my body like shooting stars. My legs spread wider for him, my legs wrapping around his waist, pulling him close to me, desperate for friction.

He pulled away and quickly pushed my legs together. With a hard tug he undid the zipper of my jeans and I quickly kicked off my hiking boots. He pulled down my jeans and underwear, the sink cold against my ass, as I reached for his belt, fumbling to let him loose, like if I didn’t free his cock fast enough, I’d lose the opportunity forever.

When my legs were bare and wide for him, I brought him in closer with my calves, hooked securely around his back. The belt finally came free and his pants dropped to his ankles with a single snap of a button.

And here we were, naked from the waist down, his cock hard as concrete and silky soft against my opening, his hands gripping my shoulders as if I would try and escape. But there was no escape for me, I was in this deeply and I needed him to be in me just as deep. If he couldn’t feel something for me in his heart the way that I did, they he could feel something in his balls. I would take what I could get, even here, in this dirty gas station bathroom, because I never wanted Camden more, never needed him more, than I did right there.

Forever is sponsoring a giveaway! One winner will receive all three books in the series signed by the author (Sins and Needles, Shooting Scars, Bold Tricks) and Ten winners will receive a signed copy of Bold Tricks! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

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karina haleThe daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with). 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 splits her time between her apartment in downtown Vancouver and her sailboat, where a book and a bottle of wine are always at hand. She’s hard at work on her next novel.

Blog: http://khalle.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @MetalBlonde

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle

Bold Tricks is available now from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Book Spotlight: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle (Book 2 in The Artists Trilogy) + a Giveaway!

Posted August 22, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

(Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.)

Excerpt:

She was in my dreams again, Ellie. Only this time, the fire that consumed us came from within. I was in a black, cavernous room with no walls, no windows, and a floor made of ebony satin. She was lying at my feet, naked and curled up, sleeping.

Her eyes opened and she saw me. She smiled. I could barely bring my eyes away from her body. She was curved in all the right places, places that felt like home to me, like the area underneath her ass were it melted into her thighs, or where her full breasts swooped up into her soft arms. Her nipple ring sparkled, diamonds now, and I felt myself grow instantly hard, wanting nothing more than to tug at it with my teeth. She groaned with so much pleasure when I had done it before. I’d give anything to hear that sound, even if it wasn’t real.

She turned over onto her back, her breasts inviting me for a taste. Beckoning me with her finger, her sly look almost undid me. I was naked as well, my erection impressive. I’d heard that I was a “big boy” from many women and looming over Ellie like this, seeing the raw hunger in her eyes, the anticipation, I couldn’t have been more grateful. I was petty, even in my dreams.

I dropped down to my knees and crawled over her, pinning her body between my limbs, the contrast of the dark hair of my legs to the milky white of hers, the cherry blossoms more delicate and vibrant than ever. I brushed my cock against the fine hair of her pubic bone, pressing it up against her belly, a heavy weight between us. Her breath quickened, mine deepened. I wanted nothing more than to thrust it inside of her, feel her warmth, her wetness, her tight grip that felt better than heaven.

I reached under her back and with a deft move, flipped her over and pulled her up so she was on all fours, back arched, ass widening beneath me. She wiggled it, just slightly, and the sight nearly made me come. I was a hair trigger.

I licked my fingers, then trailed them down the slit of her ass, feeling her pucker before dipping them down into the lake of her cleft. She was so fucking wet, so wet for me. I drew the moisture up and swirled my finger into her, one then two. I hadn’t known Ellie long enough in an intimate way to know if she was into anything anal. But it was a dream and I didn’t care. I’d have my way with her and she’d love it.

My breath hitched and she let out little fluttery moans that made my balls tighten. I slowly edged myself into her, feeling the heat and the impossible tightness, the taboo, the dirtiness. The wonderful, mouth-gaping dirtiness. We both cried out as I thrust in deep, my cock being squeezed until I couldn’t handle it anymore.

Then something changed. A wave of cold came out from the darkness and along with it, the shadowy silhouette of a man. There was only shape to him and thick substance, like a figure had been sculpted out of black tar and clay. The chill he brought made me stop dead, my fingers resting softly on the cheeks of her ass.

The man came closer and still he had no features. Ellie’s head was up and watching him, like a playful cat, while I remained lodged inside her. He stopped right in front of her face and she reached for him with one hand, taking his black erect appendage into her mouth and crying out with pleasure.

I shut my eyes tight, willing myself to be the one she was sucking off. My dreams could be somewhat lucid when I wanted them to.

When I opened them, it had worked. My cock was in Ellie’s mouth, her tongue running and up and down the underside. But now, the black shape was where I had been, pounding her hard from behind. I watched, unable to stop Ellie from sucking me off, not wanting the pleasure to end, while watching the blackness as it spread over her. I came loudly, spurting into her mouth, which she swallowed happily. Then she came, the pounding coming to a climax.

The man of black matter smiled. A flash of white teeth against the abyss.

Then he was gone.

And she was gone. 

About the Author

The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out.

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 splits her time between her apartment in downtown Vancouver and her sailboat, where a book and a bottle of wine are always at hand. She is hard at work on her next novel. 

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