An Ada Palomino Story – Book 1
By Karina Halle
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Lie and The Pact comes a new romance that will test your limits and leave you breathless.
It’s something that Ada Palomino has always known so well, having grown up in a house of horrors, surrounded by a family plagued by ghosts and demons and things that go bump in the night.
But after the sudden and tragic death of her mother two years ago, death has never felt so personal.
Or so close.
Now eighteen, Ada is trying to move on with her life and the last month of summer holds nothing but sunshine and promises with her first year at a Portland design school just around the bend.
That is until her increasingly violent and realistic dreams, dreams of other worlds, of portals and veils where her mother is tortured and souls bleed for mercy, start to blend into reality. Ada has to lean on her older sister, Perry, to try and make sense of it all but even then, she’s never felt more alone.
Then there’s Jay. Tall, handsome and deeply mysterious, Jay would be just another stranger, a familiar face on the bus, if it wasn’t for the fact that Ada has met him before.
In every single dream.
And the more that Ada is drawn to him in both worlds, the more she’s in danger of losing everything.
Including her heart.
And her very soul.
Then, out of nowhere:
“You looked beautiful tonight, by the way.”
Oh jeez. Be still my fucking heart.
I try and swallow, his words, the sincerity in his voice rocking my world off-balance. “Which part? When the power went out or when Jacob went upstairs to fight a demon?” I joke. But I joke because I’m feeling this a little too much.
“All of it. You know why I call you Princess?” he asks, his tone graver than before, like he’s letting me in on a very deep secret.
“Because I’m a spoiled brat?”
“Because you’re beautiful.”
Well that shut me up. The sentence hangs in the air, larger than life.
He clears his throat and goes on and I have to fight against the urge to roll over and face him. “You have this way about you. You don’t see it. But I do. Like you’re born royalty. The way you hold yourself. Your walk. The face of an angel.”
Butterflies take flight in my gut, spreading through my veins until my whole body feels like its floating. “Why are you being so nice to me? Am I going to die?”
He laughs softly. “I don’t know why I’m saying these things. Just seemed like the things to say. You’re destined for something great, Ada, I know this. And it’s an honor to help see you through it.”
His words cascade down on me like ashes from a fire. Where they land, I’m ignited.
Jay thinks I’m beautiful.
And more than that, he believes in me.
Silence settles over us, stealing time. I hear him breathing in the dark, steady as a heartbeat. He might even be sleeping.
But I can’t even begin to shut down. My entire body, from the top of my scalp, down to my toes, is buzzing with heat and electricity. It’s like everything I felt for him before, everything I try to ignore, is coming out in full force, responding to his words, to his body so close to mine. I can feel the warmth at my back, sinking into my spine, just from his presence only.
I’m starting to have feelings for him. Not just in a he’s a giant hulking beast who’s here to protect me from the underworld way. But real feelings, slowly creeping into my heart, day by day.
The thought is terrifying in the same way that demons are terrifying.
They both might take possession of me.
They both might ruin me.
And I’m not sure how much of me I’ll have left.
I am a huge Karina Halle fan. I started with her Experiment In Terror series several years ago. I anxiously awaited for each new release. It was very hard to see this series end. The EIT series ended exactly the way it should have and left readers satisfied that Dex and Perry were going to live their happily ever after. It also left a character hanging in the background screaming for her own story. Little Fifteen, otherwise known as Ada Palomino, was coming into her own. It was clear she had inherited the gift that had been passed down through the generations of women in her family. Little Fifteen was a bit too young to be dealing the other side. She needed time to be a teenager, grow up, and become a woman in her own right. She needed time to heal from the aftermath of her mother’s death. Her family needed time to become “normal”. Clearly to say I have been waiting for Ada to grow up is an understatement. It’s been two years since the last EIT book released. Two years for Ada to grasp her gift. Ada is now eighteen, ready to begin college, and more importantly ready for her gift. Veiled is just the beginning for Ada Palomino.
For the newer fans of Karina Halle, this book is going to be quite different from her new adult and contemporary romances. If you are not a huge fan of the paranormal genre, that’s okay. Veiled has a romantic element to it that has only just begun. Veiled can easily stand on it’s own merit as a paranormal romance or new adult romance ( with a touch of horror). I think this book is going to take the newer readers by great surprise. It’s going to open a new door in their Karina Halle world. I can almost guarantee that many will be downloading the Experiment In Terror series ( a great paranormal / horror romance series) and The Devil’s Metal Duology ( rock star paranormal / horror romance). For the EIT fans, Veiled is a long awaited gift.
Getting to the meat of the story, Veiled is chilling, hair raising turn in Ada Palomino’s life. Her sister Perry has moved out and married Dex ( Experiment In Terror series). For the past two years she and her father are trying to cope with their grief and loss of her mother. They are trying to forge a new normal in their lives after the horrors that plagued Perry’s world took their toll. Ada is beginning to experience some bone chilling dreams that have her scared out of her wits. These dreams are horrifically real. Her sister Perry is also sensing Ada’s predicament. When new neighbors move in ( Dawn and Sage from Devil’s Metal series), Ada’s world becomes more frightening. Part of their entourage is J.J. Abrams, the ridiculously hot guy Ada keeps seeing, and Jacob, a older middle aged man with a bad fashion sense. There is something peculiar about her new neighbors. Her new neighbors were sent because she is coming into her own, her gift is becoming stronger. They were sent for protection, guidance, and mentoring.
Jay Abrams is Ada’s Jacob. His mission is to protect her at all costs. He is neither bad nor good. He is her immortal protector with very human qualities. His assignment is to guide her and help develop her strengths. The depths of hell are reaching out for Ada. They are holding her mother’s soul in prison. She is the only one who can go through the Veil and into hell to save her mother. She just needs to learn to use her powers before it’s too late for her mother.
Jay is a unique Jacob. He still remembers his human life before he became a Jacob. That life is a story onto itself that makes him even more intriguing. He has a very strong pull to Ada that reaches beyond the normal scope of Jacob duties. His soul is drawn to her pure beauty within. He must deny this attraction, it could get Ada killed or damn her soul to hell. Denying this attraction is impossible.
Ada and Jay begin an illicit forbidden relationship that nearly destroys them both. The relationship gives evil a powerful edge. When they are walking through hell it takes a toll on them both. They may not survive. If they do, they may not return the same people they were before they entered the realm.
As for the rest…and the true love story… read the book.
Karina once again did a magnificent job writing this book. Her detailed descriptions bring the story to life. The reader experiences the journey right along with Ada and Jay. The detailed descriptions heighten all of the five senses and it seems like you are right there in the moment. The love story has a life of it’s own that makes this book shine. It leaves the readers wanting more from Ada and Jay.
At the end of the book Karina writes a very in depth view into her mind and writing world. Reach out and let her know how Ada and Jay’s story touched you. Hopefully their story will live on and take a new journey.
QUESTIONS ABOUT VEILED
Q: Is this YA?
A: No. The main character is 18 and there is sex, crude language and violence in the book. It is recommended for mature teens or 18 and up.
Q: Is there a cliffhanger?
A: Nope! There’s also no cheating and no love triangle (think I’ve covered the bases there!)
Q: Do I need to read the series (Experiment in Terror) that Veiled is a spinoff of first?
A: Absolutely not. Veiled stands alone. You do not need to have read the EIT series beforehand as this follows a different character (Ada Palomino) and a different storyline. However for those who have read EIT, all your favorites are in the book!
Q: Is it horror? Your other series was and I don’t handle scary very well…
A: No, it’s paranormal romance (though I promise you there are no vampires or werewolves), and while there are creepy elements to the story, it wouldn’t be classified as horror. If you can read KMM’s Fever Series or ANY urban fantasy, you’ll be fine.
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, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 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.
Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.