Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book Review: Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2) by Karina Halle

First things first, this is NOT a stand alone novel. If you have not read book one, Sins & Needles, then stop reading this review and go buy it now. Go on - it's excellent, trust me. OK, now that we have gotten that out of the way, let's move on to Shooting Scars. This is not your hearts and flowers with hot sex kind of romance novel. Oh there is hot sex, but not like you expected. No, The Artists Trilogy novels are dark and messed up romance stories and they are completely enthralling. It had been a while since I read Sins & Needles and I had somehow forgotten just how good Karina Halle is. So much frickin happens in this book and I will do my best to not give anything away.

Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins & Needles left off with Ellie leaving with Javier in order to protect Camden and his family.  Stuck with the man she once loved but now hates, Ellie is left to wonder what sort of plans he has in store for her. Is he going to kill her? And why has he come for her now after six years? Meanwhile, Camden wants to get his ex-wife and son settled and safe before he sets out after Ellie. But a betrayal has his life taking another unexpected turn. He finds himself a partner and together they start the hunt for Ellie sooner that he expected.

Back in the home they once shared together for a year, Javier tells Ellie what he wants from her. But I never felt like he was being 100% honest with her, even right up until the very end of the book. The last thing that she wants to do is help Javier, after all she hates the man. Doesn't she? Remember what they say about their being a fine line between love and hate? Yeah, well we definitely get a look at that in this book. And Javier is a damn expert at manipulating Ellie's past feelings to get what he wants from her. Since she feels likes she has no other choice, Ellie agrees to go along with Javier's plan. Ellie ends up doing something that I want to hate her for, but I can't. Honestly, I really felt like it was inevitable and I was waiting for it to happen. I don't like it, but I get it.

As Javier's plan gets put into motion, it seems more and more like an impossible task for Ellie. Will Camden and his new friend ever catch up to Ellie and Javier? And if they do, will it be too late to save her?

Ellie, Camden and Javier are all such complex characters with their own sets of demons. Each of them walks the line between right and wrong and often times the line is blurred, even for the reader. Camden has to do things to find Ellie that are morally wrong, but I find myself not giving a damn.  And Javier. Sigh. He is a bastard and I do hate him, but I love how the author wrote him. Karina Halle's story telling is completely captivating and she had me deeply involved from the first page till the very end. There is never a dull moment and you will feel every emotion while reading Shooting Scars. And yes, there are twists and a cliffhanger at the end which sets us up for an exciting finale. This is another winner from Karina Halle and I cannot wait for the series conclusion, Bold Tricks, releasing October 15, 2013.

The Artists Trilogy Reading Order
.5 - On Every Street (prequel novella)
1 - Sins & Needles
2 - Shooting Scars
3 - Bold Tricks (Oct 15, 2013)

Marianna's Rating:

**I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. All Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Title: Shooting Scars
Author: Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/book/show/17230559-shooting-scars
Website: khalle.wordpress.com
Social Media: @MetalBlonde; www.facebook.com/pages/Karina-Halle/140649372629593
Book Description:
Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.

When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.

Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.

Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.


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