The Hopeless Romantics Book Blog are pleased to be a part of the Release Blitz for Karina Halle's "Where Sea meets Sky."
A new adult novel that perfectly captures the existential angst of your early twenties with raw wit, fresh insight, and true feeling from a critically adored USA TODAY bestselling author.
Joshua Miles has spent his early twenties spinning his wheels. Working dead-end jobs and living at home has left him exhausted and uninspired, with little energy to pursue his passion for graphic art. Until he meets Gemma Henare, a vivacious out-of-towner from New Zealand. What begins as a one-night stand soon becomes a turning point for Josh. He can't get Gemma out of his head, even after she has left for home, and finds himself throwing caution to the wind for the first time in his life.
It's not long before Josh is headed to New Zealand with only a backpack, some cash, and Gemma's name to go on. But when he finally tracks her down, he finds his adventure is only just beginning. Equally infatuated, Gemma leads him on a whirlwind tour across the beautiful country, opening Josh up to life, lust, love, and all the messy heartache in between. Because, when love drags you somewhere, it might never let go even when you know you have to say goodbye.
I've been on the hunt for my next five hearts read for a while now. You know, the book that gets you worked up into a frenzy. That has your emotions ping ponging from ecstatic highs to heart breaking lows. That has you so invested in the storyline that come hell or high water you will not part with your kindle until the last page has been turned. Where your connection to the characters is so strong that you feel like you go through every step of their journey with them. Well I found that book. Woo hoo!!! (Does happy dance!!!). Yup Karina Halle's "Where Sea meets Sky" was the book that ticked all those boxes and then some and even now as I think about to it, I think wow, what an inspirational read that has made me want to up sticks and move to the very beautiful new Zealand.
“You won’t see anything more inspiring than this,” I say, gesturing to the sky, now gold.
“Recreate it, capture it. Let it be wild, let it be messy. It’s the first sunrise of
many more to come. You can’t screw it up. If you do, there’s always tomorrow.”
This author has a real knack of writing complex love stories, you know the one's where your head tells you the relationship is wrong but your heart tells you the couple should throw caution to the wind and just damn well go for it because it feels so very right... well this book was very much like that and you could say it felt a little like "Love, in English" in that respect. However, despite the familiar feeling between the two books, Josh and Gemma's story was unique in it's own right and definitely stood on it's own two feet when it comes to just how brilliant it was. The storyline drew me in right from the start... I mean a one night stand is supposed to be just that...one night ... right? But what happens when you can't get that one night or importantly that one girl out of your head? Well, you suddenly look at your life, look at where it's going and think.. "f**k it... I'm going to travel half way across the world and find her!!!" And that's exactly what Joshua Miles did. And so began a trip of a life time that would take him all the way to New Zealand to find Gemma Henare... the girl who had managed to crawl under his skin and into his heart so very quickly. Well, Josh found his leading lady... yay!!! Unfortunately things weren't as straight forward as I'd have hoped ... booo!!! And so began a very complicated road trip across the length and breadth of this very beautiful country that would see this couple hit rock bottom before finally coming up for air.
Why was this one different? What did she do to me? What the hell was
it about her that made her stand out from the rest?
When did I lose my mother**king mind?
I love the fluidity in Karina Halle's writing. I love that her words are like poetry, full of imagery and emotion and because of that, I felt like I'd actually lived and breathed Josh and Gemma's journey with them. I saw New Zealand and all the wonders it had to offer. It was magical. It was beautiful and it made me want to pack my bags and head out there. Not many authors have the ability to make a book play out like a movie in your head but this author did it perfectly. The sights, the smells, the touches and even the sounds were all there (god i love the kiwi accent.. lol) and because of this, my connection to the storyline and to the characters felt so much stronger.
I love you, I think as my heart seems to expand inside me.
And you'll hurt me. You'll burn me. You'll mark me. But it's already worth it.
Josh and Gemma were two characters that were a little bit complicated, very much flawed and absolutely broken and I loved how the road trip they embarked on together was so much more than just that.. a road trip. It was a journey of self discovery, a journey in finding their place in the world, a journey of healing, of accepting the hand of friendship and more importantly, openly embracing the unconditional love that was offered. Sounds easy right? Nope, this couple's story was as complicated as it gets and each time I thought there was a smidgen of light at the end of the tunnel, a glimmer of hope, it was very quickly snatched away. Was it realistic? Absolutely. In fact every action, every word spoken, every emotion the characters went through felt honest, realistic, believable and most importantly raw. Karina Halle don't do easy love. She does the kind of love that's messy and dirty and tangled and heart breaking and yes, this was that kind of love and yes your heart will be left in pieces once she's done. IN fact there were moments I wished I could prolong the story knowing full well the road it was heading down wasn't going to be an easy one. Gah!!!
Sometimes you have to bulldoze something to the ground before you can rebuild.
"Where Sea meets Sky" wasn't just a book.. it was an experience... one I embraced whole heartedly. There was humour (words like dicknugget, turdburger, f**kmuppet had me in stitches). and then there was heartache. This was a beautiful, poetic, heart warming, soul destroying read (like I said, this author doesn't do easy) and if you love this authors work, you will definitely love Gemma and Josh's story. I rated it ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
“Gemma,” I whisper softly. Before I know what I’m doing, I’m raising her palm to my lips and kissing along her scar. She smells so good, feels even better.
She lets me do it for a moment then she awkwardly clears her throat.
Don’t make me let go, I think. Please don’t make me let go.
The rustle in the bushes is back again. Gemma jerks her hand away, as if we’re about to be caught by Nick the Peeping Tom, as if we’re doing something wrong.
Are we doing something wrong?
Suddenly the air around us fills with squeals, and the rustling increases. The nearest bush to us at the base of the yard, near the fence, starts to move back and forth.
I stand up out of my chair to get a better look and see what looks to be little creatures waddling out of the bushes and heading for the side of the house. Once they hit a patch of light coming from the house, I can see what they are.
Little blue penguins.
“What the fuck?” I say softly, feeling like my mind has just imploded. “What the hell are those?”
“Little blue penguins,” she says proudly.
I turn to her in disbelief. “Are you serious?” I thought I was making that up. In my head.
She nods. “Yup. Little blue penguins.”
And she’s right. They’re about a foot high, miniature versions of the ones I’ve seen on TV, and they’re entirely blue in color. I thought it was just the darkness playing tricks on me but no, once they hit the light, you can see the color on their oily feathers.
“I don’t get it,” I say, watching as the last of their group quickly scampers out of sight. That might have been the cutest and weirdest thing I have ever seen.
“You never head of them?” she asks. “They probably have a burrow under the house. It’s actually quite common for beach houses.”
“Look, I wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t do a whole lot of research about the country.”
“I can see that,” she says. “Well, how about that, then.”
“How about that,” I say, sitting back down. The penguins’ magical appearance has somehow taken Gemma’s heartbreaking story to another place, and she’s quick to jump on the transition. She tells me all about the interesting birdlife in New Zealand, from yellow-eyed penguins on the Otago Peninsula down south, to the Kea—cheeky green parrots that live in the snow-covered Alps. She’s animated as she tells me all she knows, and I absorb it like a sponge.
I drink my beer and she goes back to drinking hers, and before Nick, Amber, and the Irish show up all sloshed, she’s painted a beautiful picture of what’s to come. I can only hope I’ll continue to be part of the picture.
About the Author:
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term "Hybrid Author." Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she's a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA...whenever possible.
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her husband and rescue pup.