Friday, October 31, 2014

Dee's reviews of Sins and Needles and Shooting Scars by Karina Halle

Sins & Needles (The Artist Trilogy #1)

Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.

***The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it's so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA).

This is the 1st book in the trilogy. It is followed by the novella On Every Street (released in March 2013) and the sequel Shooting Scars (released in May 2013). The third and final book in the series will also be released October 15, 2013

Shooting Scars (The Artist Trilogy #2)

A Dangerous Kind of Love . . .
When Ellie Watt offered herself to her thuggish former lover Javier to save Camden's life, she never imagined the twisted game Javier had planned for her. Trapped by him and his entourage of killers, Ellie is forced to commit a dangerous, heinous crime-or Javier will kill Camden. Now ex-con artist Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game . . . before it destroys her and the only man she ever loved.
Camden McQueen can't forget Ellie Watt. Seeking revenge and pursued by the authorities for a crime he didn't commit, the talented tattoo artist does things he never thought himself capable of to save Ellie. As Camden straddles the line between love and retribution, he vows to do everything in his power to get her back. But if Camden unleashes his dark side, will Ellie still love him?

(Sins & Needles)
I have to say, my feelings on these characters wavered through this book. I started really like Ellie....thennnn, not so much. Then I really liked her again, I felt for her, I understood why she was the way she was and I was kind of sad for her and the way she lived. Then we meet Camden and immediately I'm a love drunk fool. Tattoos, piercings, muscles...yup, completely love drunk. The way these two characters interact, I was so sure Ellie was going to be good. That he was going to be enough for her. That they would get their happily ever after. Boy was I wrong with that one. All the sudden this sinister side of Camden comes out, and honestly I kinda loved it. And I didn't feel bad for Ellie. I mean how long was she going to use the excuse she was using for the way she was living. So here I am, all mad again. Ugh, do you see what Karina did here? She had my emotions all over the place. I wanna hate Ellie and I wanna be mad at Camden for the mess he is in, but I CAN'T. I just can't do it, I just loved these characters. I hate to love bad guys, but I did. Though Camden isn't really a bad guy...yet. Then Karina introduces us to more bad guys. We have to meet Javier and his entourage.  Sigh. Now this is a character I can get behind hating. I mean, everything he puts them through, is... INSANE! 

Okay...can I just say this. Not only did Karina have my emotions all over the place, but then she leaves me with the cliffhangers of cliffhangers and I was DEVASTATED. I needed to know how this was going to go. I mean, Ellie has to get away right. Their love can't be for nothing, right?RIGHT?!?! Karina would not do that to us, would she? This book was stock full of anguish, drama, love, steam, more drama, and tons of action.

I give this book 4.5 hearts

(Shooting Scars)
So if I thought that Sins and Needles was a rollercoaster ride of action, drama and steam, boy were my eyes opened with Shooting Scars. The action jumped up twenty notches, the drama went up too. The steam increased tenfold. The emotional rollercoaster is off the tracks and smoking. Karina has taken a story and left me with my jaw on the floor with the twists and turns she has taken me on. Camden is so different now, and I love it. I have to admit, I hate that I love Javier too. He's such a bad guy, but he's so different with Ellie and i find myself loving it. Karina has made me love the bad guy, he really is the ultimate bad boy. I feel like we have two different sides of Ellie here, one belongs to Camden and one belongs with Javier. So I have this internal mental debate on who I want her to end up with. Add on to that the miles and miles of drama that Karina added in on this one, and I'm spinning in circles with this book. She has taken this storyline of vengeance and totally flipped it on it's lid. It still is that story, but there is so much more. It goes so much deeper. Just when you think things might start working out for these characters, Karina kicks you in the ass with something new. So many people to consider, so many things going on, so much to resolve!

I loved this book and can't wait to see where it goes and how she ends the story. I give this book 4.5 hearts

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