Disarm by Karina Halle – Q&A and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Karina Halle who is celebrating tomorrow’s release of Disarm, the second book in her The Dumonts series. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of the book.

To start off, can you tell us a little about your main characters from Disarm. Seraphine and Blaise have quite a history (not to mention they share the same last name!)

Seraphine and Blaise Dumont are (gasp) cousins. But not to worry, they aren’t blood-related. Seraphine is actually from India and was adopted by Ludovic Dumont when she was a young girl. Even though she was brought into the “nice” side of the family, she has always had trouble fitting in. Her looks, her accent, the fact that she was born poor and discarded like trash, gives her a very different perspective to life than her affluent family. This POV has colored her into the very outspoken, vibrant and feisty woman she is today – she is definitely one of my favorite female characters I’ve written.

Blaise, of course, belongs to the bad side of the family, though there were hints in the first book, Discretion, that he’s not as bad as you would think. In fact, he’s a lot like Seraphine, a bit of an outcast and the black sheep of his family. As we read Disarm, we also discover the history that Blaise and Seraphine have together which sets up for the angst, tension and hate for each other that they have in the present day, especially as Seraphine thinks Blaise has something to do with her father’s death.

They live in a world of privilege that most of us cannot fathom. What are the biggest pluses and some minuses of living with fabulous wealth?

The biggest plus is the material things: houses, cars, clothes, jets, vacations. You name it, they have it. You would also think a great deal of freedom comes with money too and it does but with that sort of wealth, it makes you go to great lengths to keep it. So that freedom still ties you to the wealth, in maintaining it and getting more of it. Of course, it breeds some pretty out of touch and unscrupulous characters, too, and you can never know who to trust when your world (and family) revolves around money instead of love.

What about Blaise makes him totally unique and different from all other book boyfriends?

The torch he has carried for Seraphine for so many years. This man is the epitome of yearning and pining for someone you can’t have, more so than most book boyfriends you’ve come across (and I won’t spoil exactly how but you’ll find out in the book just how secretly devoted to his cousin he is). He’s also an anti-hero, a man who has done some crooked stuff but still tries to do the right thing, even if it comes at the expense of his own family.

Seraphine has faced many difficulties during her life, but one of her toughest challenges is thinking Blaise abandoned her. How does she deal with this heartbreak?

She deals with it the way that Seraphine deals with any hardship—she tucks it away deep down inside and rises above it. She’ll force herself to be strong – her pride is very powerful – and she’ll trick herself into thinking she never cared about him to begin with. It’s much easier to paint Blaise with a villainous brush, that way it doesn’t hurt so much.

Extreme events are said to bring out a person’s true character. What harrowing situations do Seraphine and Blaise get entangled in and what does this say about them?

There isn’t anything more extreme than fighting for your life, and the two of them have had to do that in this book. Literally. But they willingly walked into those situations as a way to put an end to the tangled web they’ve been caught in. It says they would rather face it and fight than flee. This is especially true for Blaise, who, at the end of the book, choses to confront his loved ones face to face, even if it potentially means making some difficult choices.

What scene from the book do you think readers will enjoy the most and why?

Personally, I love the scene at the end, a nail-biting showdown between Blaise and his brother Pascal (and his father, too). That was a blast to write and read, I basically just watched it all unfold in my head and it had my heart pumping as if I was watching a movie. It’s DELICIOUS. Romance-wise, I think the flashbacks are pretty special, particularly their first kiss in Italy. There was something about that scene that felt so real.

It is often said that writing is re-writing. What were some things that didn’t make it into the book that you were hoping to add?

Nothing. It’s all in there, baby! If anything, scenes were added during edits.

What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

I learned a lot about Muay Thai fighting moves haha.

What do you want readers to take away from reading this book?

That family isn’t just through blood, and that sometimes in order to do the right thing and be your own person, you musn’t be afraid to stand up to your family, even if it means tension or separation down the line.

Who is the next Dumont on your list to receive their own story?

The infamous Pascal. And believe me when I say, this villain’s story will both wow and win people over. His book is even more thrilling and dramatic than Disarm and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!

Seraphine Dumont seems to have it all: she’s gorgeous, brilliant, and part of one of France’s most illustrious dynasties. But underneath the facade, Seraphine struggles to hold it all together. Besides grieving her adoptive father’s suspicious and sudden death, she also shares a tenuous role in the family business with Blaise, her in-name-only cousin. As tumultuous as their history is, he may be the only member of the deceptive Dumont family she can trust.

Seraphine is a temptation Blaise can’t resist. The torch he’s carried for years still burns. It’s his secret—a quiet obsession just out of reach. Until his brother demands that he spy on the increasingly cagey Seraphine, whom their father considers a dispensable Dumont outlier. But the more Blaise watches her and the closer he gets, the more he sees Seraphine may have every right to be suspicious. And she could be the next one in danger—from his own family.

As blood runs hot and hearts give in, Seraphine and Blaise have only each other. But can their love survive the secrets they’re about to uncover?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“We can never be together, Blaise,” Seraphine says, like frustration is rolling through her. “I know you understand that.”

“But it doesn’t mean we can’t try.”

“No,” she says and suddenly gets up to her feet, walking out of the room. “No. I can’t do this. I can’t handle this,” I hear her cry out as she heads down the hall.

I get up and run after her, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her right up against me, and she opens her mouth to protest and then my mouth is on hers, swallowing her words.

I kiss her with everything I have, every bit of anger and frustration and the years of lust and pining and wanting. I should be more gentle after the night she’s had, but I can’t help myself; in fact, I think I’m seconds from turning into an animal as I hold the back of her head and press my hand at the small of her waist, keeping her pressed as close to me as possible.

Her tongue slides across mine, hot and fevered and—

She pulls back, gasping for breath, and slaps me across the face.


That hurt.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she says. “What are you doing? What am I doing?”

Her face is red with anger, perhaps even shame. I mean, my cheek is stinging from her powerful wallop, but even so, I expected it. She’s always been the type of woman to put you in your place. But I didn’t expect her to slide so easily back into hating me.

“Don’t pretend you haven’t been dreaming about that,” I tell her, trying to control myself. “Don’t pretend that you haven’t wanted that, wanted me, all these years.”

“The only thing I’ve been dreaming about, Blaise, is getting justice for my father. That’s it. That’s all that matters. And as far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than the rest of them.”

Anger pokes at me, building up inside. “Hey,” I say, my inflection razor sharp. “I risked my neck tonight for you. I saved you from a bad situation. And more than that, I let you know the truth. I chose you over my family.”

“And I’m choosing not to trust you,” she says. “You’ve given me no sign over the years that I mean anything to you at all. Why should I believe you now? Why do that when it might derail everything I’m working on?” Something comes over her, a flash in her eyes, as she’s realizing something. “This is all a setup, isn’t it? This is just something that Pascal is having you do, just like you followed me. You’re supposed to tell me all this nonsense about wanting me and staying celibate like some joke and waiting for me, and it’s all a lie to get my guard down. If you’re telling me I’m in danger, it’s because you’re putting me there.”

I knew she’d go this route at some point, but even so, it stings. “That’s not it at all. Seraphine, please, I’m serious.”

“You just want me to back off because I’m close to the truth,” she says, shaking her head wildly as the idea takes over. “For all I know, every single thing this evening that’s come out of your mouth has been a complete lie, all to throw me off.”

I run my hands down my face, trying to squash my frustration. I knew this was coming, and yet that tiny coal of hope was always burning inside. “That’s not true,” I mutter into my hands, but I know when she gets like this that there’s no changing her mind.

“Get out,” she says.

I look up to see her opening the door and gesturing for me to hurry up.

“You’re making a big mistake by not trusting me,” I tell her.

“And I don’t take threats very well. Get out, and if I see you around me again . . .”

I almost laugh. “You will see me again. At work tomorrow.”

“Right. I almost forgot that you’re taking over my job.” She runs her fingers under her eyes and sighs so defeatedly that leaving her feels like a crime.

“It’s not like that,” I tell her.

“Just go,” she says quietly, holding open the door and looking away, like she can’t be bothered to face me.

“You know where to reach me, if anything happens,” I tell her as I walk past and out into the hall.

“If anything happens, you’ll be the first one I’ll blame,” she says to me.

Before I can say anything in response, she closes the door in my face.

About the Author: Karina Halle, a former travel writer and music journalist, is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as fifty other wild and romantic reads. She, her husband, and their adopted pit bull live in a rain forest on an island off British Columbia, where they operate a B&B that’s perfect for writers’ retreats. In the winter, you can often find them in California or on their beloved island of Kauai, soaking up as much sun (and getting as much inspiration) as possible.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Author Karina Halle Shows Some Discretion – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Karina Halle who is celebrating the recent release of Discretion. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon GC + a copy of the book.

Author Karina Halle Shows Some Discretion

For as long as I can remember, escapism has been a big part of my life. Whether it was getting lost in my favorite films and TV shows or discovering new places and cultures as I traveled around the world, I’ve always had the itch to lead other lives than my own. One of the best and easiest ways to do this of course was through reading, and later, writing. It shouldn’t be a surprise then to know how much I love creating the perfect escape in my novels, ones that whisk readers (and myself) off to exotic destinations, falling for deliciously sexy men, all without leaving the comfort of your home. After all, even when I was young and single and traveling all over, I dreamed about meeting the perfect guy around every corner and the whirlwind romance that would follow. I remember one time I was supposed to meet a guy on a blind-date in Paris but he stood me up. Guess I’ve been trying to rectify that situation through my stories ever since!

When I write, I try to capture that same hopeful feeling that I had back in the day. I tend to write very real, flawed and relatable heroines because I personally believe that connection is one of the best ways to get lost in a book. If you don’t feel a connection or you can’t understand where a character is coming from, then it gets hard to really put yourself in the story. The stakes don’t feel as high because you don’t feel there’s anything to lose. But when a character is the “every girl,” someone that you get and can relate to, then it’s easier to put yourself in their shoes. What they feel, you feel, and there you are, living another life.

My novel Discretion is a good example of that. We have our every girl, Sadie, who is an American student trying to figure out what she wants out of life during a summer trip to Europe. She’s not sure if she’s taken the right path in school and is uncertain about her future, she’s broke, she has a complicated relationship with her mother because of her mother’s mental illness, and to make matters worse her long-term boyfriend dumps her while abroad. To me, Sadie represents so many young women right now who are looking for answers about life while trying to discover who they really are and dealing with all the bullshit in between.

Enter the insanely sexy French billionaire Olivier Dumont. The heir to the Dumont fashion dynasty (think Chanel), Olivier meets Sadie under dramatic circumstances – he saves her from a mugger. At first Sadie doesn’t know who Olivier really is and is distrustful of him (you can’t blame her, she’s literally having the worst trip ever and her opinion of men is at an all-time low). But over time she becomes drawn to Olivier, seeing a part of him that he doesn’t show many people. It helps that he’s handsome as sin and devilishly charming. It also helps that he’s extremely rich. In fact as Sadie gets to know him, she does so in a famous luxury hotel on the French Riviera, a hotel that Olivier happens to own. Talk about your wildest fantasy!

Here we have escapism at it’s most decadent. You have the relatable average girl getting swept off her feet by sexy, rich French man in a gorgeous and exotic setting. Yet despite the novel’s soap opera tendencies (because, believe me, the Dumont family is a family of suspenseful secrets and sin), there’s something realistic about the whole relationship. Sadie and Olivier may seem very different on the surface but underneath they’re two lost souls recognizing something in each other. Even Olivier, for all his wealth and privilege, feels conflicted with what he wants out of life, discovering that happiness isn’t found in money and fame but something else. Or someone else. It turns for both of them that what they’re looking for may just be in each other.

But taking a chance on love always brings a lot of risk and when it comes to Sadie and Olivier, the risks may end up being more than they bargained for.

Are you ready to find out more and escape with Discretion?

The Riviera means indulgence—if you’ve got money. For Sadie Reynolds, a down-on-her-luck student, the Riviera means dingy hostels and back streets. When a wrong turn puts her in jeopardy, the last thing she expects is to be saved by the most handsome stranger she’s ever locked eyes with. When she later wakes up in a luxury suite with a Mediterranean view, she’s in the tender care of her rescuer: Olivier Dumont, France’s most eligible bachelor, billionaire hotelier, and heir to the Dumont fashion fortune.

Olivier also owns his reputation for scandal. But Sadie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. Her humble persona and wild innocence promise real passion. He’s promising Sadie something too: anything she wants. From Bordeaux to Cannes to Paris, Sadie’s past in America is swept away and replaced with a fantasy too good to be true.

Pulled into Olivier’s orbit of wealth, glamour, and excess, Sadie discovers that the Dumont dynasty comes with a legacy of wicked secrets. And Olivier’s secrets may be the most damning of all…

Enjoy an Excerpt

Pain invades my dreams.

Then light behind my lids.

In the moments before I open my eyes, I try to figure out where I am. There’s a bit of a delay to my thoughts, and for that I’m grateful. I know normally I would be panicking because—



I should be panicking.

Flashes of last night come back like a hailstorm.

Walking to the train station.

The man following.

The wild look in his eyes as he attacked me.

The pain from my ankle, my shoulder striking the ground.

Then . . .


Swooping in to beat the man.

Did that really happen?

Did he really . . . save me?

Who is Olivier, really?

Where am I?

I open my eyes and blink hard at the light streaming in through gauzy curtains. The light is soft, and there’s a breeze coming through the French doors. It smells mineral-fresh. The sea.

I slowly lift my head and see the Mediterranean glinting blue in the distance, the surface shimmering like diamonds. But closer still is a large terrace with lounge chairs and a giant, round hot tub built right into the teak floor. It almost looks like I’m on a ship.

I gingerly turn my head and look around the room, which is about three times the size of the last dorm room I stayed in that housed six bunk beds.

I let out a whistle under my breath as I take it all in. From the four-poster king bed to the embroidered chairs and the chandeliers, it looks like I’ve been holing up in some luxurious seaside chateau.

Jeez Louise.

For a split second, it feels like getting attacked was the best thing that could have happened to me—until the slightest movement brings shooting pain back to my ankle.

Ow, ow, ow.

I roll up my pant leg and stare at the bandages. I don’t remember what the doctor said about them. Do I change them? Tighten them? How long do I stay off my foot? I don’t even remember using crutches. And yet there they are, looking woefully out of place, resting against an antique white wardrobe across from the bed.

A knock at the door.

My heart leaps.

“Hello?” I cry out, trying to figure out how to hobble to the door to open it. I move to swing my legs over the edge of the bed, but it’s already so painful I have to stop.

“Sadie?” Olivier’s voice comes through the door. “Are you decent?”

“Yeah,” I say, and before I can force myself to get up and limp over, the door starts to unlock.

What? How does he have a key?

The door swings open, and his head pops around the corner, brows raised in concern. “S’il vous plaît, don’t get up!”

Then the door opens wider, and suddenly what looks to be a butler is pushing in a cart topped with metal-domed plates.

“Merci, Marcel,” Olivier says quietly to the butler, who exits as quickly as he came in. The door closes behind him, and I’m left in the room with Olivier, my eyes jumping from Olivier to the cart and then back to Olivier.

Of course, there’s no secret why my gaze keeps going back to him because, Christ on a cracker, now that it’s the light of day and I’m out of danger and the pain is only somewhat excruciating, I’m really seeing him for the first time.

The man is gorgeous.

I mean, like the kind of guy you see on an ad for Hugo Boss or something. The kind of guy God definitely didn’t make enough of. The kind of guy you can probably only find in the South of France.

And he’s here. In my hotel room.

Or maybe this is his hotel room?

“How did you get in here?” I ask after I find my voice.

He holds up a room key. “La clé.”

“I assume that means key? Why do you have a key?”

He tilts his head as a small amused smile teases his lips. “Why wouldn’t I? This is my room.”

“Your room?” I exclaim, looking around. My God, did he sleep here with me? Holy hell, the mere thought of that shouldn’t be turning me on.

“No,” he says matter-of-factly. “I slept in the villa. I would have put you in there, but it’s a bit out of the way. Usually occupied by royal families or celebrities on getaways, but it was free last night.”

I stare at him. “I don’t understand.”

He gestures to the cart. “This is your breakfast. I didn’t know what you wanted, so I ordered pretty much everything on the menu.”

I shake my head, scoffing. “No. This can’t be real. You are not real.”

“I’m very real.”

“I’m dreaming then.”

“I can pinch you if you want,” he says, his silken voice dropping a register, a devious glint in his eyes. I’m in trouble. He should know how dangerous those looks are when they’re coming from him. Or maybe he does know.

I take him in again, the V-neck white T-shirt that looks especially soft, showing off his olive skin, darkened from the summer sun. He’s taller than I remember, at least six foot, which makes him a giant compared to my five-foot-two frame, and he’s all muscle. Not the big and bulky kind that one would get from hours in the gym, the kind that seems to come naturally—strong forearms, wide, firm chest, broad shoulders, slim hips.

Okay, I need to stop staring.

I sit up straighter, trying to make sense of everything and knock some reality into myself. On top of everything he’s already done for me, I’ve taken his hotel room, which probably costs a small fortune, and he’s brought me room service.

Everything on the menu.

“What’s your endgame in all of this?” I can’t help but ask. I know I should just be grateful, but still, this is so much to do for a stranger.

“Endgame?” he repeats, folding his arms, his watch gleaming.

Wow. Wow, yeah, I’m a sucker for those forearms.

“Uh-huh,” I say slowly. “Are you trying to, I don’t know, seduce me?”

I regret it the moment I say it.

He breaks into a devastating grin, the kind that could steal my breath away and never give it back. “Do you want me to seduce you?” he asks, running his long fingers down the length of his jaw, like he’s now considering it.

“No,” I say quickly.

I’m pretty sure I’m lying.

“Good,” he says, still smiling. I see a hint of pink tongue as he bites his lip. “Because, believe me, lapin, you wouldn’t be able to handle it.”

About the Author: Karina Halle, a former travel writer and music journalist, is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as fifty other wild and romantic reads. She, her husband, and their adopted pit bull live in a rain forest on an island off British Columbia, where they operate a B&B that’s perfect for writers’ retreats. In the winter, you can often find them in California or on their beloved island of Kauai, soaking up as much sun (and getting as much inspiration) as possible.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
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