REVIEW: Black Hearts by Karina Halle

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Synopsis

I wasn’t supposed to know about her. I never should have found her.

And I sure as hell shouldn’t have taken her… From a New York Times bestselling author comes a BRAND NEW smoldering romantic suspense that will get your pulse racing, your thighs clenching and the pages turning.

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 a sexual 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.

NOTE: The conclusion DIRTY SOULS, releases March 17. This edition of Black Hearts also includes the first few chapters of Dirty Angels as a bonus!

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PAPERBACK ->bit.ly/BlackHearts-PB
Kindle (or FREE in KU) -> bit.ly/BlackHearts

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Review

In a house of lies, it’s easy for everything to fall apart and for secrets to find a way into the light, fracturing relationships and destroying trust amongst a family who used to mean everything to one another.

And despite Ellie and Camden McQueen’s belief that their secrets are meant to be hidden for the greater good, their children will not feel the same way when it comes to learning how much their parents’ lies alter their lives.

The sins of the father seem to carry over to the son, especially when that son has grown up learning his father’s ways and understanding exactly what he must do in order to remain in control and run a cartel with a dark heart. But Vicente is not Javier; in fact, the further away he gets from his father and surrounds himself with someone who sees beyond his dark exterior, the more he understands that he’ll never be what his father wants him to be, which is freeing as well as problematic because Vicente knows the power Javier wields, and he is fully aware that things will probably not turn out how he wants them to regardless of how desperately he tries to make it so.

Vicente may have left Mexico with a singular purpose, but since befriending Violet McQueen and allowing her into his bed, his heart, and perhaps even his darkened soul, everything is much more complicated, especially due to a bevy of outside forces who refuse to allow Vicente to do what he wants when it comes to his role in the cartel and his lust over a girl who is only supposed to be a means to an end.

A mother’s lies are never easy to accept, but when it comes to Ellie’s lies to Violet, it only confirms everything Violet’s ever felt about her family and it drives them apart and it puts Violet in a situation that threatens to do way more harm than good because despite Vicente’s desire to protect Violet, he still wants her mother to pay and what would break Ellie the most is losing her daughter not only because of her secrets and lies but also due to her past intersecting with her present, vowing to give her a much different future than the one she wanted to have with Camden and her kids. 

Frauds. Fakes. Liars. These are characteristics that align the McQueens and the Bernals more so than they would ever choose to be, and they’re also what complicates their lives 20 years later, and because of this old/new connection, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen to these two families once all the lies and secrets are exposed, including those that deal with Javier’s role in Vicente’s mission to unearth his father’s sole weakness, Ellie.

It was amazing to be back in Karina Halle’s cartel world and see just how difficult it is for anyone to escape their pasts when they’re so wrought with darkness and deception. Black Hearts may be told through Vicente and Violet’s perspectives, but the story is about so much more than how free Vicente makes Violet feel when they’re together. There are extenuating circumstances that definitely spell trouble for the young couple and while Violet seems to have put her trust into a man she barely knows quite simply because everyone else around her fills her life with lies, she needs to look beyond her feelings for Vicente and see him for who he is and what he is bound to bring into her life because despite his newest revelations of what Violet means to him and what he’s willing to do to keep her safe, his father is far too powerful and vindictive to allow Vicente to continue to do what he wants without facing the repercussions of his actions.

Truths and darkness are headed Vicente and Violet’s way, and because all of the players involved are not known, the only thing that’s clear is that no one is safe from their crimes regardless of how long ago they were or how different their lives may be now. Payback and vindication are headed the McQueens and Bernals’ way, which means there’s bound to be casualties. Let’s just hope when everything is said and done, Vicente and Violet have a chance to live their lives free from the sins of their parents and free from the evil that threatens to take them down with everyone else.

4.5 Poison Apples

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