DISARM by Karina Halle

Disarm by Karina Halle

Karina Halle, the New York Times bestselling author of Discretion, lifts the veil off a privileged family dynasty to reveal a wealth of secrets and dangerous obsessions.


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Synopsis
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?

Review
I'm still in love with gay Paris!! Karina Halle's got me hooked on these Dumonts. From the suspense and intrigue to the romance and family, I was beyond interested. I think the taboo feel of what lay between Blaise and Seraphine was the biggest draw for this story. It was sweet and forbidden and although they weren't blood related, the idea of their coupledom would have its own share of problems. It was what kept holding them back, at least for her. And every time they came close to having everything they wanted, the 'bad' Dumonts stood in their way. I couldn't get enough of the flashbacks to their youth and the many ways that their love was inevitable.

Can I just reiterate how much of a monster Gautier is? He doesn't deserve a bit of kindness and I want to know what screw is loose to make him the way he is. Why does family mean nothing? Why does loyalty mean nothing? Why does nothing but money and power mean anything to him? I also want to know why the author took the path she did when it came to 'uncle Luddie'. Why tarnish his good name? After everything he and his family had been through, after his children now have to navigate life without him, dealing with the pain of his sudden loss, why sully him? Maybe this will all become clear in the next book. Pascal is next and I have absolutely no clue how the author will redeem his character. She did a little bit to finally humanize him in this book, but I just can't picture him as a hero. I'm looking forward to her forcing my change of heart.

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I had trouble with the fact that Paris was ascribed with intolerance. Racism exists everywhere and as a so-called 'mutt', I've faced down my share. However, for a long time, Paris has been a multicultural and diverse city and I've always viewed it as 'free-loving'. As an exchange student, I got the opportunity to live in Paris and without covering myself in expensive labels, I didn't experience any racism. I was actually surprised because I came from a small town that had it's own undercurrent of hate. It was hard to see a city that welcomed me and showed me nothing but kindness be depicted in such a way through Seraphine's eyes. Why did she experience nothing but judgment and discrimination and disgust? Especially when she personified luxury! It felt like her self-hatred colored her bias and I would have loved to see her actually embrace her culture and find her strength.

Seraphine struck me as the same little girl who was adopted by the Dumonts. Her existence was stuck on a loop. Desperate for attention, affection and acceptance, she hadn't quite conquered the notion of loving herself. All she did was find fault - with herself and with others. She acted entitled and immature and made it very hard to like her. I was annoyed by the many times she would witness the kindness in Blaise and remark on how different he was to his father and brother, and yet she always seemed to lump him in with them. He had way too many hurdles to jump just to get some courtesy from her. Being Indian was an excuse for her and as a half-Indian woman, I couldn't even understand her. I thought the fact that we shared a heritage would make me cheer for her, but that was the only thing we had in common.

About Karina Halle
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, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 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.

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