I received this book for free from Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Shooting Scars by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing on August 20th 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Source: Grand Central Publishing
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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.
*Spoiler free for the series!*
I don’t think I could ever tire of this series. Shooting Scars is an epic sequel and an impressively satisfying follow up to Sins & Needles, which I would have thought impossible.
Sins & Needles ended on an intense note that made the wait for this sequel brutally long. It felt like I’d been holding my breath ever since, and it was an amazing relief to finally be back into this world of scams and betrayals! In the voice of both Ellie and Camden, this book is thrilling through and through. We’re thrown into an action packed chase towards trouble on Camden’s side, and a plan destined for disaster on Ellie’s. Even though Camden and Ellie aren’t together for much of this sequel – which I wrongfully thought would make the book less engaging – getting into Camden’s head is well worth it, if a little frightening. He’s such a complex character, and the first book leaves you dying to figure him out. This sequel spends time enriching his character quite a bit; we get glimpses of his capricious state of mind, making us understand more of who he really is. Karina is no doubt incredibly skilled at character building. She layers them with such authenticity that they become much more than just characters on a page, they bore into your heart!
Dangerous, yet irresistible, Javier also has a leading role in this sequel, a character we’d only heard of through ominous chatter in the first book. Even though it’s not required to follow the story, I strongly suggest you read the prequel novella, On Every Street, which goes into the relationship between Ellie and Javier in heartbreaking detail. It really makes you understand where Ellie’s head is when it comes to him, and it establishes Javier’s character from the beginning. I’m not sure if, not having read the prequel, I would have completely understood Ellie’s state of mind in this sequel in regards to her reactions towards Javier, both emotional and physical. She might have come off as a simple weak character who’s easily swayed – and in a way she is when it comes to him – but their relationship, it’s overloaded, it’s… cumbersome. I kind of love it for the mess that it is.
We venture in more treacherous waters in this book: A Mexico setting that feels real with a constant hint of danger that’s somehow thrilling the whole way through, and the drug cartel that’s getting involved with which we get a prelude of the shit storm to come. Like the first, the ending is equally distressing as it is exciting, setting the precarious road for the final book that promises to blow our whole minds off!
Charged and loaded, Shooting Scars is everything I expected and more. The Artist Trilogy has been an incredible ride so far; it’s dark, it’s edgy, and it’s deliciously hot!
5 Hot Espressos
Find my review of Sins & Needles (Book 1), here!
Find my review of On Every Street (Book 0.5), here!