New Release Review & #Giveaway ~ Disarm ~ Karina Halle

Posted 20 November, 2019 by Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 4 Comments

*I received a free copy of Disarm from Montlake Romance via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *

New Release Review & #Giveaway ~ Disarm ~ Karina HalleDisarm by Karina Halle
Series: The Dumonts #2
Published by Montlake Romance on November 19, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 268
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
4 Stars

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?

Adult - (un)Conventional Bookviews Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews

Disarm is the second in KHalle’s Dumont series revolving around a famous French family. With family disloyalty and dysfunction, greed, money, power, and a forbidden romance, Disarm was a guilty pleasure of a read. 😉

Highlights:

  • Characters
    Seraphine and Blaise were the black sheep of their families. They’re also cousins who saw something in each other early on that drew them to one another. Dealing with jealousy and treachery within in the family has taken its toll. KHalle crafted characters I invested in and connected with in Seraphine and Blaise. Her villains were delightfully evil in their desire for money and power and in their villainous actions.
  • Romance
    Although Seraphine and Blaise’s romance could be considered taboo, they weren’t actually blood-related. Their romance is seen as forbidden due to the fact that Blaise’s father looks down on Seraphine for being from India. But despite that, a romance blossomed. I liked how KHalle doled out the history of their romance which made the present more realistic. There were a few details that seemed far-fetched but in the end, I was rooting for their HEA.
  • Suspense
    Seraphine and Blaise became involved because Seraphine is looking into her father’s death. She believes it was an inside job – murder – and Blaise agrees. This, of course, puts them both in danger. There wasn’t really any question in my mind about the validity of Seraphine’s theories but I was biting my nails wondering what would happen as she got closer to the truth.

Overall, I enjoyed Disarm. There were some areas where the flow of the action was choppy but I’m immersed in the Dumont’s world now. And I’m eager to see how KHalle will have a certain character redeem himself. 😉

 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?

I learned a lot about Muay Thai fighting moves haha.

9. 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.

10. 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!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Brandee @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Brandee is a mom of 3 and a soon-to-be empty nester. She is also an avid reader, a genre omnivore, and a compulsive one-clicker - but she's in recovery. Besides being a reader, she's also a writer and hopes to divide the vast quantities of spare time she'll soon have between reading and finally publishing her first book.

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4 responses to “New Release Review & #Giveaway ~ Disarm ~ Karina Halle

  1. ailynk

    I guess Romeo and Juliet meets Ong Bak? THat’s surreal would be fun to read it if I have the time (it’s a Thai movie)

  2. I haven’t started these yet. I’ve been reading her since her first series 2012ish? And I’ve loved pretty much all her work. I’ve yet to read her Pins and Needles because I’ve heard how dark it is. This series sounds pretty dark as well. I do read dark books, but I just wasn’t sure about these. I’ll probably be reading it. Because it’s Karina Halle. Fantastic review and interview.

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