Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2)
The USA Today Bestseller!! 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?

Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2) Details

TitleShooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 20th, 2013
PublisherGrand Cen­tral Publishing
Rating
GenreRomance, New Adult, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Dark

Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2) Review

  • Karina Halle
    January 1, 1970
    I haven't actually read it yet...I just wrote it in a flurry of energy drinks and Halo 4 and Bourne Supremacy soundtracks. But the first draft is done.Yay. What a fucking ride.I hope to read it once I have some space between me and the book and then me and the publishers can work on making it awesome...er.*cough* Someone's about to go all Liam Neeson.
    more
  • Georgia ♥ Team Dex ♥
    January 1, 1970
    08/20/2013: LIVE ON AMAZON! --> http://amzn.to/1d1GlI45 (and probably more) Incredible, INK & BLOOD Stars"She was mine. And I was hers. Until the bitter end."When the scars scab over and over again, bleeding and oozing poison, no healing is possible. Shoot them away and grow a new body part healthy and whole. Become a new person, molded in the fire that shaped you but not burned. Embrace the memories and let them empower you. Don't become slave to addictions. Admit your feelings and screw 08/20/2013: LIVE ON AMAZON! --> http://amzn.to/1d1GlI45 (and probably more) Incredible, INK & BLOOD Stars"She was mine. And I was hers. Until the bitter end."When the scars scab over and over again, bleeding and oozing poison, no healing is possible. Shoot them away and grow a new body part healthy and whole. Become a new person, molded in the fire that shaped you but not burned. Embrace the memories and let them empower you. Don't become slave to addictions. Admit your feelings and screw over what and especially THE ONE, that sent you to your knees.Where do I begin....If you read Sins & Needles and despaired at the end, if you read On Every Street and switched allegiance, if you are waiting seven freaking hellish months for this book and you think you are gonna get through it with your head straight and and your heart in one piece, then you don't have much faith in the sheer brilliance that is Karina Halle.This book will star in your nightmares and dreams and haunt your living hours. Welcome to the Artists Trilogy ♪♫'Relax' said the night man,'We are programmed to receive.You can check out any time you like,But you can never leave!'♪♫~ Eagles - Hotel California *insert evil laugh*Well I had my fun... Let's get down to business.To save her lover, her one true love, Ellie Watt surrendered herself to the monster that for 6 years, she tried to outrun and failed. The man that she can't forget, that her body still craves like a drug addiction that you can't cure. And he promises her the one thing she can't refuse. Vengeance. She will become a weapon and he will convince her that she can't be good. She can't have a life. The drug lord needs a queen and Javier Bernal has found his.Ruthless, seductive, murderously insane, utter bastard, Javier will play with Ellie's vulnerabilities to shape her to his own selfish purposes. He knows her weaknesses and like a predator will attack when her guard is down and lure her to the dark side. "What Javier and I shared was a deadly cocktail of intense hormones and lies. True love doesn’t have a sick desperation to it, an undercurrent of doom." Not that Ellie is a freaking white princess. Like all world she is a shimmering grey. Fading and brightening to stay alive. And that's what Camden McQueen, will come to realise.To get what you want, to save yourself and everyone you've ever loved, you don't need a white knight. You need a bloody sword and a loaded gun. You need to con, cheat, lie and torture your way to the future and to reach it alive you will have to fight through hell. With an unlike partner (the star of Gus shines throughout the book) Camden will get his heart and sanity broken to save what belongs to him. “This is a different world now. You’re not Camden McQueen. You’re Connor Malloy. In this world, you will have to do things you never thought you’d do, things you wish you never did." I can't possibly describe anything else in this review without any spoilers, blood or tears. Non-stop action, and fast paced plot will keep you on your toes, stop your heart and make your breath hitch. Karina doesn't pull any punches in this one. Human nature in all its glorious imperfection is laid bare before your eyes, brutally honest and heartbreakingly beautiful. Emotional, almost lyrical, dark and twisted; above all this is journey of two abused souls that will heal only in each other's arms.From the beginning and even after the novella I was firmly, Team Camden. Never wavered and second guessed my choice. After this book, despite my feelings towards certain events and musings, I couldn't be more proud of my choice. I stand by it and now it is even more solid. I am in love and I am... Once again I stand in awe before you, Karina Halle! I can't wait for all the tricks you will pull out of your hat in Bold Tricks.Bravo and Amazing!Revised at 08/19/2013 to post a full review8/16: I freaking got an ARC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Karina, you amazing author, I will pimp the hell out of you!The AMAZING Karina Halle, finally gained the attention she deserves and she made her first deal with a major publisher! CONGRATULATIONS, woman... You totally deserve it!Expected publication: August 20th 2013 O_o *sobbing mess*Are you a prude?? Then please, by all means DO NOT click on the spoiler tag!Awesomely HAWT teaser by KH as posted on her FB page!(view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]Ellie & Camden POVs???Sweet... Mother... I JUST need it....
    more
  • Farah *Professor Dean's Beauty*
    January 1, 1970
    I'm really not going to bother saying what team I am on because it is pretty evident!!Let's keep this short and sweet because I so do not want to ruin or give away any spoilers for this!Holy Fcuking shit!!! Let me just say that this was probably my most anticipated read of 2013 and it was Amazzzzzzzzzing!!!Karina Halle, woman you are my hero!!!Shooting Scars was everything I expected and then some....Ill start of by saying that I KNEW that the minute Ellie got into that car with Javier that at s I'm really not going to bother saying what team I am on because it is pretty evident!!Let's keep this short and sweet because I so do not want to ruin or give away any spoilers for this!Holy Fcuking shit!!! Let me just say that this was probably my most anticipated read of 2013 and it was Amazzzzzzzzzing!!!Karina Halle, woman you are my hero!!!Shooting Scars was everything I expected and then some....Ill start of by saying that I KNEW that the minute Ellie got into that car with Javier that at some point the past was going to creep up on her!And another thing...I Loved Every Single Second of it!!Holy freaken hotnesssssss!!!!So... This book was just as exciting as the last book! I felt as if I was watching a movie in my mind!!!Ellie is with Javier- Camden comes to save her.... The journey is worth the RIDE!!!!!!On to Camden... Yeah ill admit that I liked him A LOT but hey?! Its always more fun loving the bad boy right?!So for everyone who has been anxiously waiting for this book like I have, you WILL not be disappointed!!!!I will be anxiously waiting for Bold Tricks and no doubt it will be amazzzzzzing as the previous books in this series!!!And no matter what they say about you...Javier...
    more
  • Lucia
    January 1, 1970
    Shooting Scars is raw, emotional and intense story. Emotions in this book hit me pretty hard and I was a mess when reading it. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time, feeling hopeful, feeling depressed, feeling all kinds of emotions. Perfect continutation to Sins & Needles!I really like Ellie. So after her character transition in Sins & Needles I was extremely curious to see what would happen with her in this sequel. Will she be able to get over her past or will she give in? I was Shooting Scars is raw, emotional and intense story. Emotions in this book hit me pretty hard and I was a mess when reading it. I was on the edge of my seat most of the time, feeling hopeful, feeling depressed, feeling all kinds of emotions. Perfect continutation to Sins & Needles!I really like Ellie. So after her character transition in Sins & Needles I was extremely curious to see what would happen with her in this sequel. Will she be able to get over her past or will she give in? I was really worried that she would fall back in to her old life. Were my worries justifiable?I was ecstatic to see things from Camden's perspective, to get into his head. And let me tell you, it was one angry, depressive place, full of regrets and rage. He had the hardest choices possible in front of him and I didn't envy his position. How can person decide between people he would die for if needed?Javier was still his immoral-self. Picture of calm, always being in control. It is not a secret that I have always thought that he was a sick psychopath. It is not result of some trauma. It is who he is, what he enjoys. And it is a reason why I cannot like him at all. But oh boy, he makes one excellent character to read about. Karina created perfect villain and it will be up to readers to decide whether they will condemn him for good or succumb to his sneaky charms...Shooting Scars is about choices and decisions. What direction to head, what kind of life to live. It is a story full of unexpected twists, crazy events and WTF moments. You will be on your toes all the time, never knowing what is about to happen.This was one of the most intense stories I have ever read in my life. Karina Halle didn't give me a moment to collect myself before pulling out another raw scene. There were times when I had no idea what to think about what was happening. Now, when I am so deeply connected with main characters, everything feels personal. Their pain, their despair, their sadness, their fears. I experienced it all with them.If you for whatever reason have not started this series yet, do so now. The Artists Trilogy is absolutely phenomenal piece of work!*ARC provided by author as an exchange for honest review*MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
    more
  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Do the words "sexy", "dark" and "twisted" pique your interest?Do you secretly love romance but find yourself steering clear of it because of the cheese, the cliches and the recycled characters?Have you been immersing yourself in the current New Adult trend only to keep meeting with disappointment after disappointment?Do you wish you could read a book about a hot, sweet and complicated relationship (or two) without the usual misogyny or annoyances?Well, have no fear, for Karina Halle is here.I no Do the words "sexy", "dark" and "twisted" pique your interest?Do you secretly love romance but find yourself steering clear of it because of the cheese, the cliches and the recycled characters?Have you been immersing yourself in the current New Adult trend only to keep meeting with disappointment after disappointment?Do you wish you could read a book about a hot, sweet and complicated relationship (or two) without the usual misogyny or annoyances?Well, have no fear, for Karina Halle is here.I normally avoid contemporary romance like the plague because of the reasons stated above. Especially ones with a love triangle. But this series just proves that any reader's rule can be broken in the hands of a talented author. That any number of utterly depraved characters can capture your heart with the right amount of skilled character development, touches of humour, and a dark, multi-layered complexity that makes Ellie, Camden and Javier more than simply good or bad. Let's meet our morally questionable cast.Her name is Ellie Watt. Badass. Conwoman. Damaged. Resourceful. Sad. Angry. Confused. Likeable. Unlikeable. Totally screwed up. Today she may be Ellie Watt, but yesterday she was Eden White, and tomorrow she could be Eleanor Willis. Who is she really? The young woman who fell in love with a bad man? The teenager who turned her back on her only friend? A damaged girl torn apart by a lust for vengeance? Only time will tell. Now meet the two men who love her. Camden McQueen - "She took a piece of me I was unable to get back until I was inside her, feeling her heart and her sins in my hands." Camden is the tattoo artist who has been in love with Ellie Watt for as long as he can remember. But as soon as things looked like they might be going right for once, circumstances have swept Ellie away from him yet again. This time, however, he isn't going to let her go so easily. This time, he'll start World War III if he has to.Javier Bernal - "What Javier and I shared was a deadly cocktail of intense hormones and lies. People who burn that brightly still get burned in the end." Dangerous. Exciting. Volatile. So wrong but so... right? Javier is now the drug lord of a huge empire and he has big plans for Ellie Watt. She's been on the run from him for six years and now he's finally caught up with the only woman he ever loved. What does he want from her? Will Ellie Watt be as willing to give in as Eden White was? And how much danger will she be in if she does? Oh no, the decisions we must make!The reason, I think, this love triangle works so damn well and very few others do, is because the two contenders for Ellie's heart are both on equal footing. As soon as you think you've worked out who you want Ellie to be with, the other one does something to make you question your decision. The characters and relationships are so complicated (in a good way) that reading these books is a journey through so many different thoughts and emotions. Make no mistake, the characters in this book are all pretty despicable on some level or other, burning up in the flames of their own anger, hatred and insecurity, but it sure makes this book all the more fun to read. Only a few authors can take some truly bad individuals and make you mesmerised by their stories - Gillian Flynn is the example that first comes to mind. What can I say? I love baaaad people. There's one thing I love that Karina Halle manages to do so well and very few authors can manage: she shows the gradual progression of characters and relationships over time. Camden and Gus, for an unexpected example, start out as reluctant partners trading jibes, but their experiences together turn them into friends. It's natural for people to grow and change and develop as they go through more experiences and Halle never neglects to show it. Her characters always feel a little older, a little more experienced at the end of each book than they did at the beginning. In short: this sequel was absolutely delicious. More sexiness, more nastiness, more depravity. Halle really knows how to take you on a journey and have you change your mind a million times before it's over. It's a wickedly fun, exciting read, but tinged with bittersweet sadness. I now know who Ellie should probably be with for the sake of her own sanity. But, then again, Ms Halle is the queen of making me change my mind. One mild criticism I have is the non-ending of this book, it left me incredibly frustrated, but I feel Moning's Fever series has prepared me somewhat for endings of this kind. I only hope the third book makes the pulse-pounding feeling of tension I have right now completely worth it. I'm sure it will.Are you excited about this series yet? You should be.
    more
  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    5 PHENOMENAL STARS!!!!! After that crazy ending of Sins & Needles, I have been waiting and waiting to read Shooting Scars. It was well worth the wait. An intense, emotional, amazing read that will have your heart beating out of your chest just waiting to see what is going to happen next... We have Ellie... at the end of Sins & Needles, Ellie had a huge decision to make. She chooses. It’s a sacrifice she is willing to make. (view spoiler)[ I had given Camden a second chance at life, at lo 5 PHENOMENAL STARS!!!!! After that crazy ending of Sins & Needles, I have been waiting and waiting to read Shooting Scars. It was well worth the wait. An intense, emotional, amazing read that will have your heart beating out of your chest just waiting to see what is going to happen next... We have Ellie... at the end of Sins & Needles, Ellie had a huge decision to make. She chooses. It’s a sacrifice she is willing to make. (view spoiler)[ I had given Camden a second chance at life, at love, at everything by taking a step backward with mine. I was trapped with a man who would either love me or kill me. There was no middle ground with Javier Bernal. (hide spoiler)] Ellie is tough. She is strong. She isn’t perfect, in fact, she is the exact opposite of that. There were times when reading this, I just wanted to scream at her... but the decisions she made, I understood. I may not have agreed with all of them, but I understood. Ellie does want to move from her past, become a better person- it’s just the situation she is in makes it difficult. I haven’t given up hope on her. I look forward to seeing where she goes with this in the third book.This story was written in dual p.o.v. (which was fantastic) so not only did we get into the crazy mind of Ellie, we also get into Camden’s head... OH my Camden McQueen... if it’s possible, I loved him more in Shooting Scars than I did in Sins & Needles. He was amazing. Sexy, tattooed, pierced, if that isn’t enough... loyal, devoted, willing to do whatever it takes, sacrifice what he must to find his girl. He and Gus have quite an adventure in this one. Gus gives some pretty sound advice. “Ellie has a good heart in her, hidden, but it’s in there, and you bring that out. You’re good for her and you’re good for each other. Don’t you forget that.” There is just something about Camden. He is a protector. A lover, but also a fighter. He made me feel safe, whether I was in his arms or at his side or just in his presence. For the first time, I had a protector. 

Then... of course, there is Javier. What can I say about Javier. I have such conflicting feelings about him. He is sexy as sin, powerful, charming... but he is also deceitful, self serving and puts the revenge he needs over anything and anyone. Javier is just Javier. He’s not the villain in my eyes anyway. I actually like him a little in this book... I may be a bit ‘in lust’ with Javier. I just can’t help it... ‘We all know love and hate. Hate is the other side of the coin. It takes one good toss to get it facing down. It can happen quicker and easier than you think. There was love, sacrifice, betrayal... this one had it all. I am so anxious to see what happens next...
This story will blow you away. I want to talk about the plot and go into the story, but I think it’s so important that you get that feeling, that effect when reading it... if you know whats going to happen, the suspense won’t be there so I’m just going to leave it at that. These books are addicting. Once you start this one, you won’t be able to put it down. Fast paced. Intense. Powerful. Suspenseful. Keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. They aren’t predictable. Not at all. This is one of the most wonderful and original series I’ve ever read. I know a lot of people haven’t read Sins & Needles because of the giant cliffhanger, but there is no excuse now! Shooting Scars has a small cliffhanger, but nothing serious, and we only have to wait a few months for the third book to come out! MUST READ SERIES!!!! As much as I liked Javier in this one (crazy, I know!) It’s safe to say that I am still loyal to Camden xoxo 
After you read this one... you must tell me- Who’s team are you on??? **ARC provided by Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review**
    more
  • Taryn
    January 1, 1970
    My Javier...Almost 4 stars...Scooting Scars is a book that both Javier and Camden fans are going to love! Some teams may even cross the tracks to the other side. But for me? I'm a through and through Javier fan. There is no swaying me. I know Javier is a ruthless son of a bitch bastard who would probably cut his own mothers throat if it helped him in the end. Believe me- I've heard it all. But...Javier. Owns. Me. Plain and simple.I know... I'm sick, but screw you because I LOVED it and LOVED Jav My Javier...Almost 4 stars...Scooting Scars is a book that both Javier and Camden fans are going to love! Some teams may even cross the tracks to the other side. But for me? I'm a through and through Javier fan. There is no swaying me. I know Javier is a ruthless son of a bitch bastard who would probably cut his own mothers throat if it helped him in the end. Believe me- I've heard it all. But...Javier. Owns. Me. Plain and simple.I know... I'm sick, but screw you because I LOVED it and LOVED Javier! I got me some good old hot as sin latin lovin' in it too! I can't even begin to talk about Ellie and Javier's chemistry. It's crazy intense! THANK YOU LORD KARINA FOR THAT.Shooting Scars continues exactly where Sins & Needles left off. And thank heaven for that! I'm not a huge fan of the going back and forth crap, I want the story to actually progress goddammit, not drag me by my hair over rocks and piss me off for it to only move like a week or so. Luckily, this one moved. Though not as fast as I would've preferred but I completely understand why it moved at the rate it did. So I really can't complain. I knew I was going to see a side of Cam I'd never seen before. I knew there was a good possibility I could fall for him. I knew I was going to watch Cam fight and struggle for Ellie. I was prepared for it all, but what I wasn't prepared for was the little twists and secrets that came out! I honestly don't think many will even see what's lying underneath their nose if they don't pay attention carefully. But I did and I was like WHOAAAA!!! I cannot wait to see the final installment of this series. I can only imagine what will take place. Actually, I can't even imagine. Every time I do I'm just blown away by what happens, so I'll just have to wait. I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would truthfully. I wouldn't say it was a favorite in the series, but it definitely exceeded my expectations by a lot. A LOT. I know...you're probably like, what the hell is wrong with you? Well, like I said before, I'm Team Javier (obsessive much?) and since I knew this was from Cam's point of view, I was hesitant to read it. I really didn't care to read his point of view quite honestly, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. The only time I felt that Cam goes balls to the wall crazy was at the very end. I felt what he felt: the rage, the drive, the emotion and I was like, daaayyyuummmmm! But sadly it wasn't enough to win me. He just doesn't have the passion I need. Now if he could bring it in Bold Tricks... who knows? ;) To Camden-Once again, Karina Halle has lured me into a gritty world of loving lies and backstabbing romance. She writes the most alluring characters and one hell of a story line I've ever read. Her voice is lyrical and raw- and I can't get enough of it.
    more
  • January 1, 1970
    This book murdered my heartbeat.And taught my pulse how to dance.Built with mindstorming characters, everyone’s the villain in this series.Everyone.Javier is a sociopathic killer.Ellie’s a con-artist.And Camden’s the guy who wants to kill the sociopath and steal the con-artist.And I love it! Javier Javier is…A Russian roulette of a guy; and he’s absolutely my favorite because he’s uncatchable, inescapable, and menacingly sexy. At one point in this series, I truly believe he was in love with El This book murdered my heartbeat.And taught my pulse how to dance.Built with mindstorming characters, everyone’s the villain in this series.Everyone.Javier is a sociopathic killer.Ellie’s a con-artist.And Camden’s the guy who wants to kill the sociopath and steal the con-artist.And I love it! Javier Javier is…A Russian roulette of a guy; and he’s absolutely my favorite because he’s uncatchable, inescapable, and menacingly sexy. At one point in this series, I truly believe he was in love with Ellie; but she betrayed him. And with a guy like Javier Bernal… when you betray him, it’s because you outsmarted him.And that doesn’t happen often.So seven years later, he finds her. And he offers her one clusterfuck of a deal. “Travis hurt you, Ellie. He was the reason you found me those years ago. You wanted revenge for your scars, for your life, for what he’d done to you. I’m handing you the gun. Together, we can get your revenge. And I can get mine.” Now, here’s where it gets helluva interesting! Because now Ellie and Javier have a relationship again; and it’s not the loving kind. It’s different. He’s different. He’s more manic, more menacing, more powerful. And Ellie’s about to find out that the relationship they once had has now evolved into something far more sinister… but just as seducing. He pulled my skirt until it was around my waist and tore my cheap though off with one smooth motion. His lips and teeth went to my neck, biting hard and sucking slow, making my back arch with each touch. His fingers found their way inside me, stroking and rubbing in all of the right places until I moaned.“Tell me you’re mine,” he grunted, mouth at my ear, tongue flicking my lobe. “Tell me you’re mine, then I’ll take you.”“I’m yours,” I said, my voice shaking. I closed my eyes and threw my head back. “I’m all yours.” “You always were.” By the way, I should probably say that I’m completely “Team Javier.” ;) Ellie Ellie’s a ricochet of a girl. She’s constantly battling the darkness in herself; the criminal. She wants revenge, but she also doesn’t want any more blood on her hands. Needless to say… the girl’s in a bit of a pickle. Plus, there’s the fact that she loves Camden but is being seduced by Javier. And she just doesn’t know how she’s going to get out of this unscathed. Camden What’s interesting about Camden is that while Javier’s is trying to seduce the criminal in Ellie; Camden is in love with the innocent in her.And he’s prepared to try to steal her back.Damn the consequences.But what he isn’t prepared for is the ultimate betrayal. The kind of betrayal that only a con-artist is capable of. Then she smiled, recognizing me, like it really hit her, and I never thought she could look so much like an angel. She was glowing. And her radiance was breaking my heart. I turned around and walked away.
    more
  • Fathima
    January 1, 1970
    5 I-think-its-getting-hot-in-here Stars !!! Ummm .... HOLY FUCK !!!! My first reaction after reading Shooting Scars was something like this .... I mean , man does Karina Halle know how to put a brake to her awesome story telling technique for an interval of sorts !!!I usually begin my review with a quote , or more like my favorite quote from the book and damn it all to hell I couldn't decide what my favorite quote was , so I'll just use this ... “You always have a choice, Ellie. Always. This 5 I-think-its-getting-hot-in-here Stars !!! Ummm .... HOLY FUCK !!!! My first reaction after reading Shooting Scars was something like this .... I mean , man does Karina Halle know how to put a brake to her awesome story telling technique for an interval of sorts !!!I usually begin my review with a quote , or more like my favorite quote from the book and damn it all to hell I couldn't decide what my favorite quote was , so I'll just use this ... “You always have a choice, Ellie. Always. This will have to be ours.” .. And let me tell you , you are in for an unlikely but a totally crazy surprise here !!! Alright then , moving on to the review now .. Firstly , I have to say this . If I ever end up finding a magic lamp with a genie inside it , who is willing to grant me 3 wishes , my first wish is definitely going to be taking a trip inside the dark and cavernous mind of Karina Halle ! Woman .... I dont think anybody does unpredictable twists and turns better than Queen KH ! This might have already been said before , but I'm still going to say it again .. You think you know what Shooting Scars is all about ? You think you've got these characters all figured out ? You might wanna think again ... Karina Halle has perfected the art of creating Imperfections ! Imperfect ( REAL ) characters , Imperfect ( Unimaginable twists that leave you relaxed to bawling your eyes out the next moment ) storyline . I guess the very meaning of Imperfect should be twisted to perfect ... or something like that .. Not sure I'm making any sense here .. Time to move on ...Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins and Needles left us .. In the wake of the trailing dust left behind by a car driving into the sunset , leaving behind a man with a broken heart . Looks like the route ahead is pretty much craved out there . Two kids who shared a deep connection lose each other in this journey called life only to find their way back to each other through some unfortunate circumstances only to drift apart , again , through unfortunate circumstances . Seems to me like destiny's doodling again , bored out of her wits , itching for some intense action . And she chooses her key players .. More like , she already has chosen her key players .. What follows next is a ride of a lifetime . Concrete web of lies and deception , blindsided justifications , deathride-like road trips , unlikely alliances and whatnots that is bound to leave you breathless by the end of it all ! Trust me on that !!!! THE CHARACTERS PLAYERS : Javier'motherfreaker'Bernal ..... Termination due to Rage ... Initiating countdown sequence .. starting in 3 ... 2 ... 1 .... Just mention his name and see my violent streaks go crazy !!! God , I don't think I've ever hated a anti-hero this much ! I do not see the fascination behind his reptilian eyes , and I definitely do not see his charming seduction skills .. He can take all that and shove it up his you know where !! Alright , I think I need to calm my pants down .. Rage is soo not my best friend at the moment ! To say Javier is 'delusional' would be putting it a bit too mildly . That guy is wrong on SO many levels that .. that ... I cant even begin to dissect it ... gah ! I just hate him ! I don't think he is in love with Ellie .. Obsession and Possession alone can never be love . He is 'OBSESSED' with Ellie and wants to 'POSSESS' her , that is all ... Some of the things he talks about in this book , and his reasons for everything that he has done and is doing ... god ... lord , just make him stop .. Cannot listen to him anymore ... Ellie Watt .. My beautiful girl .. My beautiful , broken girl . When Ellie was first introduced in Sins and Needles , I was like .. Damn that girl is thee shit ! Tough as shit , never to back out . Although damaged beyond repair , she knew when and where to keep her heart straight . Then entered her game changer , Camden ' My hero ' McQueen . He managed to throw Ellie off her course , in a totally good way . But the troubles that lay ahead managed to throw them off their course . And that has most definitely changed Ellie as a person . For me , the Ellie in Shooting Scars is like a lost sheep . At one side she is trying to be the Ellie that Camden had managed to unearth . The Ellie who happily sacrificed herself . On the other hand , she is forced to become the Ellie who needs to embrace her darker side . The Ellie Javier wants her to be ! Like I said , that twisted fuck is up to no good ! And Ellie , our Ellie , she is stuck . She thinks she is unworthy of Redemption , love , forgiveness and hope . Letting go is a lot easier than holding onto that single ray of light , that single ray of hope that Camden has awoken in her . What will she do ? Well , you'll find out pretty soon .. Ah , and not to forget there were times where she completely pissed me off ... I mean , some of her decisions were truly shocking , like really shocking ! Next up , Camden 'My hero' McQueen ! Oh , before I get into talking about him , I've got to say this ...All you Camden haters out there ... Maybe this is laying it on a bit too thick , but seriously I've had it with all the constant yammering about how Javier is so much better , Javier is this , Javier is that ... yada yada yada ! I loved him in Sins and Needles , but I most absolutely heart the fuck out of him in Shooting Scars ! Phew ! Evolution ... He has evolved ! Traces of the old Camden still there , but this Camden has decided he has had it enough ! No more being a proverbial door mat . No more being an emotional punching bag ! I adored his 'They say life is a battlefield I say bring it on ' attitude ! In my review of Sins and Needles , I had said something about him not being a knight in a shining armor , but also not being a douchebag in a tin foil . I'd like to take that back ! He is my knight in a shining armor . I'll be his damsel in distress any fuckin day ! Camden in SS is intense , focused , in a way subdued , hell bent on getting what he wants ! * sigh * I've got to say , this side of Camden really makes me all fluttery and giddy with excitement and .. something else too ! But then again there were moments that broke my heart into a gazillion pieces !! And then we have Gus .. He rocks ! That is all !!! Bold Tricks is SO going to be a trickier wild ride , this is guaranteed ! My Playlist Assembling a playlist for this book was a hard task ! I mean , I was torn between giving it a QT-made-in-mexico-totally Antonio Banderas-esque or making it something eclectic with my usual Karina-fied playlist feel . I decided to mix it both up . Some of the songs seemed fitting to the situation and some , well they just added to the whole feel of the book in general . Presenting to you , Mayhem in Mexico playlist ! 1) Calexico - The Black Light ( Full Album )2) Deftones - Tempest3) Calexico - Crystal Frontier4) Calexico - Black Heart5) Chevelle - Send the Pain Below6) Massive Attack - Angel7) Nick Cave And the Bad Seeds - I let love in8) NIN - Wish9) Deftones - Gauze10) Celldweller - Frozen 11) Puscifer - Potions 12) Puscifer - Momma Sed13) A Perfect Circle - A StrangerTo sum it all up , Shooting Scars is a toxic blend of Love , lies , deceit , hope and revenge . A cocktail so deadly yet highly effective that will leave your emotions running high and dry . A big Thank you to Karina Halle for the ARC copy !!!
    more
  • Stacia (the 2010 club)
    January 1, 1970
    "We evolved, Ellie," he whispered, sending shivers down my back. "And we'll keep evolving." There we go. I threw in the obligatory "made her shiver" mention. The romance quota has been fulfilled. Moving on. As always, I can't help but focus on random crap which no one else cares about - like the fact that SOMEONE GOT BLOWN UP WITH NON-DAIRY CREAMER.Okay, maybe not quite blown up, but there was some burning involved. At least I didn't put in the gif of someone walking away from an explosion. T "We evolved, Ellie," he whispered, sending shivers down my back. "And we'll keep evolving." There we go. I threw in the obligatory "made her shiver" mention. The romance quota has been fulfilled. Moving on. As always, I can't help but focus on random crap which no one else cares about - like the fact that SOMEONE GOT BLOWN UP WITH NON-DAIRY CREAMER.Okay, maybe not quite blown up, but there was some burning involved. At least I didn't put in the gif of someone walking away from an explosion. That could have been overkill. First off, I'm happy to report that we aren't dealing with a second book slump. This is always great news, especially for a trilogy, when momentum is needed to carry readers on to the final book. Secondly, I'm also happy to report that I needed this book to pull me out of a slump of lackluster reading. I thank Ms. Halle for her efforts.This is drama done right. Lately, the trend of drama-infused books has hit an all-time level of idiocy and ridiculousness. Even though I can't say that I'm generally a fan of any heroine who chooses to engage in back-and-forth emotional whiplash between love interests, I will tend to overlook some of it if the author can give us a reason to understand the character's behavior. Understanding does not always mean agreement on my part, and in this case, I don't agree with Ellie. But I do somewhat understand, up to a point.Thirdly (why does this not sound like a word?), I just honestly like Halle's style of storytelling. She's not perfect (view spoiler)[(her use of the word "that" needs to be reigned in - big time. I mainly see this because I do the same thing myself, so it's easy to recognize. When the word "that" is used 4 or 5 times in a paragraph, and some of those instances could have been replaced by words such as "this, which, the, who," etc...you know the word is being used too much) (hide spoiler)], but she can write one hell of a story involving dynamic characters. And this scores big points with me!Ellie managed to piss me off multiple times during Shooting Scars and I still liked the book! It takes a great author to be able to pull that off for someone as jaded as I can be.Fourthly (now, I'm pretty sure this one isn't a word. I think. Oh wait, google says it is), I like the combo thing going on here. There's some action, some romance, some sexy times, more action, more sexy times, some danger, some people getting f*cked up, and random funny moments like these... Fuck Ikea for making such flimsy furniture. Good times. This book provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No Coffee Mate was wasted in the telling of this story. All quotes are taken from the pre-published copy and may be altered or omitted from the final copy.
    more
  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    What do we have here ??????? Oh hell yesssss !! Finally....I felt like I waited forever for this installment of The Artist Trilogy...So I go into this book 100% ....TEAM CAMDEN MCQUEEN !!! He made me feel safe, whether I was in his arms or at his side or just in his presence. For the first time, I had a protector.Look at those eyes.....tall, black hair, tattoos, glasses. Like a hot muscly nerd. Did someone say nerd??? I freakin LOVE nerds especially ones with a heart of gold and have the capaci What do we have here ??????? Oh hell yesssss !! Finally....I felt like I waited forever for this installment of The Artist Trilogy...So I go into this book 100% ....TEAM CAMDEN MCQUEEN !!! He made me feel safe, whether I was in his arms or at his side or just in his presence. For the first time, I had a protector.Look at those eyes.....tall, black hair, tattoos, glasses. Like a hot muscly nerd. Did someone say nerd??? I freakin LOVE nerds especially ones with a heart of gold and have the capacity to go HULK on some bad bad people ! Damn....Camden really went outside the box in this book!!! And it was hot as hell. (view spoiler)[and he got ZERO action WTF ???? A dream ??? (hide spoiler)]"Will you burn with me? Or will you go free?""I'll burn with you."~Camdendamn straight Camden....about the burn........slow burn...painful...my poor Camden!!!!!! AND THEN...... I felt this inexplicable pull......and I said to myself.....Why is this happening? When did this happen ? Now???? ...now after all of THIS he is being redeemed....and I had to fight the Javier feels. There I said it.....I had to fight the Javier feels...and lust...and the combust. Damn my skanky ovaries!!!Shit.Fuck.damn!My Javier"I don't have a soul. You make me feel like I do."Can you blame me????.....damn....just damn....let me give him a little more representation...he was yummy delicious "I want to break every part of you! I want you to break.""You have," he said softly. "I told you that you broke me when you left. And you did. I'm not lying to you.""You always lie.""No. Not now.""Where are we going?"He sighed. "I told you. To the past.""I have many pasts. Pick one."This book was all I expected and more. Action, suspense, blood, gore, sex and more. It had to be. I waited 7 long months.....the only thing I did not expect....especially after being fed his table scraps in his book , was....LUST....uncontrollable lust for the sexy dangerous, evil, ridiculously gorgeous....Javier....THE FUCK????....I am Team Good Guy !! CAMDEN !!!! please forgive me...I know not what I do!!! This can only mean one thing....the next book needs to be freaking EPIC. Camden has got to be all that and a bag of chips. This is NOT COOL. My Camden needs to OWN book 3 !!!! Now what??????? My heart is Team Camden. And my girl parts are showing their true slutty selves .... On that other team !!! Gotta wait. Again !!!!!
    more
  • Lise *friends don't flag*
    January 1, 1970
    Ahh- JAVIERSeven months, people- I have been waiting Seven. Long. Months. to read this book. I was so wrapped up in the story of Ellie, Javier and Camden and was team Camden all through S&N, then KH had to make me switch teams with OES and destroyed me at the end of that novella…. now GAH…. I just don’t know. Javier is leaner and meaner and so selfish and ruthless, but still so focused and confident and yes, still so sexy-“Tell me you’re mine,” he grunted, mouth at my ear, tongue flicking my Ahh- JAVIERSeven months, people- I have been waiting Seven. Long. Months. to read this book. I was so wrapped up in the story of Ellie, Javier and Camden and was team Camden all through S&N, then KH had to make me switch teams with OES and destroyed me at the end of that novella…. now GAH…. I just don’t know. Javier is leaner and meaner and so selfish and ruthless, but still so focused and confident and yes, still so sexy-“Tell me you’re mine,” he grunted, mouth at my ear, tongue flicking my lobe. “Tell me that you’re mine then I’ll take you”Camden, my sweet, trusting, oddball hottie. He is forced to become all badass and he owns it-“Tell me where they went and why he has her or I’ll remove it with your eyeball still attached”I loved Gus and Camden’s road trip to Mexico in search of the woman they both love-“So, Camden,” Gus said, his hands squeezing the wheel like a stress ball. “When did Ellie first break your heart?”They had quite the road trip and encountered some interesting characters along the way, all while Ellie is being held (or not) by Javier in preparation of finding Travis Raines so revenge can be reaped.My emotions were so on and off over Ellie’s thoughts, decisions and actions. I was constantly going back and forth and my feelings were like this…And… the ‘oh fvck’ moments were Karina Halle-style heart breaking-“Because you’re weak, and you never really gave a shit about me”Even though this book did not have the level of intensity for me as Sins & Needles and On Every Street did, I still loved it and am kind of thankful for a bit of a breather as I can only imagine how I will need to prepare for the conclusion of this trilogy when Bold Tricks releases.As far as which ‘team’ I am on… well, Javier I know you said, “You always have a choice”- but I just cannot choose. I love you all!Lots of Love and Thanks to one of my favorite authors, Karina Halle for allowing me to read this before release day. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE...I have to wait until the next book to make my choice.... damn...THIS IS ME RIGHT NOWForget you NG.... I'll just get my ARC from the author herself?Oh.. PUH-LEASE, NetGalley grant me my request.... *crosses fingers*You recently requested to view a title from NetGalley's Public Catalog. Unfortunately, the publisher has declined to allow access to the title at this time. You may want to update your profile to provide more information to the publisher for future requests.JUST A WEE BIT EXCITEDAhhh- Camden
    more
  • Catarina
    January 1, 1970
    5 Amazing cherry-blossom stars!!!Okay… I need a minute here!! I need to get myself together in order to write this review. …No, on the other hand I basically just need to say only one thing: THIS WAS AWESOME!!!So, basically after the cliffhanger in the first book (really, don’t keep reading this if you haven’t read the first one yet!!!), Ellie’s gone with Javier in order to save Camden. But although Javier has is own sick plans and isn’t done with Ellie, Camden is set on finding her and give he 5 Amazing cherry-blossom stars!!!Okay… I need a minute here!! I need to get myself together in order to write this review. …No, on the other hand I basically just need to say only one thing: THIS WAS AWESOME!!!So, basically after the cliffhanger in the first book (really, don’t keep reading this if you haven’t read the first one yet!!!), Ellie’s gone with Javier in order to save Camden. But although Javier has is own sick plans and isn’t done with Ellie, Camden is set on finding her and give her the life she deserves, even if it breaks him and until the bitter end. And so stars the most amazing chase ever and the awesomeness with this book. I won’t tell you anything else… because, well, you have to read it, but I can tell you will be stuck to this book until the last page and in the end you’ll be left crying for more. What can I say? Karina Halle totally did it again. This woman is a writing genius. My one and only complaint was I needed more Camden and Ellie moments. (Yeah, I’m totally Team Camden if you haven’t got that yet :P ) Other than that… I just have to say that I will now sit in a chair and pout until the third book comes out! :P
    more
  • Jess-i-ca ~Sometimes a Gif Witch~
    January 1, 1970
    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. It had love, it had action, it had some hot Hot HOT sex scenes, it had guns, death, and blood. That equals one bad ass book!Me when I found out Karina was giving me an ARC: Me while reading:Me when I realized it was over: Some of my favorite quotes: "I had no past. There was only now.""Such an angry little angel. Your wings are certainly dirty. They’re black.""Revenge over love”"You chose to be with me. Now own it.""Love isn't about keeping score. or what one does for one per LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. It had love, it had action, it had some hot Hot HOT sex scenes, it had guns, death, and blood. That equals one bad ass book!Me when I found out Karina was giving me an ARC: Me while reading:Me when I realized it was over: Some of my favorite quotes: "I had no past. There was only now.""Such an angry little angel. Your wings are certainly dirty. They’re black.""Revenge over love”"You chose to be with me. Now own it.""Love isn't about keeping score. or what one does for one person and what another person has to do in return."" All for a girl. Bus she wasn't just any girl.She was mine.And I was hers.Until the bitter end." Ellie: Camden: Javier: Gus: Raul: Travis: Even though Camden grew on me in this one part of me is still wants Ellie to wind up with Javier.... I can't wait for Bold Tricks to come out! October can't come fast enough! Should you read this series? ARC kindly provided by Ms. Karina Halle for an honest review because she is FUCKING AWESOME! :)
    more
  • • Lisa •
    January 1, 1970
    4 FULL ON STARS.What a ride, after experiencing an all out different reading challenge with 'sins and needles' and a five star change of heart with 'on every street' I finally got my reading act together and finished this part two of the trilogy. Filled to the brim with twists, turns and shocks I find myself ready to complete the series and grab some answers from book three, but before that here are my 'shooting scars' book thoughts ...What's it all about?Ellie Watts con woman and mixed up heroi 4 FULL ON STARS.What a ride, after experiencing an all out different reading challenge with 'sins and needles' and a five star change of heart with 'on every street' I finally got my reading act together and finished this part two of the trilogy. Filled to the brim with twists, turns and shocks I find myself ready to complete the series and grab some answers from book three, but before that here are my 'shooting scars' book thoughts ...What's it all about?Ellie Watts con woman and mixed up heroine extraordinaire, finds herself planted into the hands of her ex love of her life but the tables have turned and she now is on the receiving end of this dangerous ex lovers plans. The plot thickens for this somewhat lost character and as she battles through the tale of blood thirsty revenge lives are put at risk when those she loves take a risk to find her. As the story develops the readers are taken on the continuing journey of Ellie, Javier and Camden to an ending which demands this broken woman to make life altering decisions. What did I love?Karina Halle undoubtably can put an action packed story together. I'm suitably impressed with her ability to keep me entertained with a series about these mixed up characters. There are no flowers and sunshine this book is all grit and action and I found this author had me hooked on her game of hearts. The most interesting aspect for me must come as no surprise, it's what every reader of this series is talking about; what team do you find yourself on? and I must applaud the author for her ability of making me one confused loved up reader. On the one hand you have the dark and twisted Mexican lover who is as dangerous as he is intoxicating, I found myself rooting for this bad boy hoping that love would conquer all on the other extreme is the loveable, tattooed Camden the man that is determined to go after the love of his life, his complete devotion spoiled me and I fell hard for this gorgeous hero. I loved how Karina Halle spun the tangled web of love and I didn't make my firm allegiance till the very last pages and even now I'm wondering whether I'll change my mind once I step into the final book of the trilogy. The book hosted some steamy love action but nothing over the top it all felt in keeping with continuation of the story and all it's drama, the story had mystery and intrigue and I'm sure most readers will by entertained by this authors tale of gang warfare and the battle of love.Why not five?As much as I enjoyed this story I didn't feel glued to the pages, I didn't have that desperation to get back to the story and finish it much like a five star book would have me hooked. There were times that I found myself really getting into the flow of the story and interested in the dialogue and then it would switch point of view which I found a little distracting. But I don't want to moan too much as four stars is certainly a respectable rating, this story just didn't have that hook, line and sinker shining five star feeling.Final thoughts ...'Shooting scars' will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this topsy turvy journey. If you want a reading experience that is action filled and at times poetic then dive right in. Karina Halle mixes a well put together blend of sexy, dramatic, action packed and heartfelt into the series and there are no regrets from this corner that I picked this trilogy up. Go grab it readers, enjoy ... Kisses. If you fancy checking out my previous reviews click the links below: Sins and Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1)https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy #0.5)https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
    more
  • Jennifer Kyle
    January 1, 1970
    As you can imagine, I was so excited that Karina Halle had given me another opportunity to have an arc for this action packed series. I would like to thank her because like so many readers, I’m totally addicted. This story picks up exactly where Sins and Needles left off. Ellie has sacrificed herself to Javier for Camden’s ex-wife and son. I was under the impression that for six years Javier was hunting Ellie down and had just recently found her but looking back that was pretty naïve. Javier mak As you can imagine, I was so excited that Karina Halle had given me another opportunity to have an arc for this action packed series. I would like to thank her because like so many readers, I’m totally addicted. This story picks up exactly where Sins and Needles left off. Ellie has sacrificed herself to Javier for Camden’s ex-wife and son. I was under the impression that for six years Javier was hunting Ellie down and had just recently found her but looking back that was pretty naïve. Javier makes this play on Ellie and has BIG PLANS for REVENGE against…Travis. Travis the evil drug cartel head who ruined Ellie’s leg and life. Javier has his own reasons for wanting Ellie to help him kill Travis and uses tall, dark and tattooed as an incentive. The story takes place in America and then in Mexico. I enjoyed the description of the Mexican landscape and the locals who helped along the way.There’s a rescue mission by two KICK ASS heroes---Gus and Camden. Readers will love Camden McQueen going total vigilante. He was truly impressive! The question is: Will Ellie want to be rescued? ”Maybe I had to accept that I really wasn’t good and I deserved someone as bad as me.”~Ellie Team Javier or Team Camden? That’s not such a simple question for me. After this installment, I'm leaning towards Camden. ”We all know love and hate. Hate is the other side of the coin. It takes one good toss to get it facing down. It can happen quicker and easier than you think.”~Javier ”I was going to find her, wherever she was, because I was hers. She had all of me, always had.”~Camden Camden McQueen has a big heart and a vulnerability that I find completely endearing. He is constantly getting dumped on by those he loves and trusts. I just want him to get a hea because this guy deserves one…perhaps even more than Ellie. Javier, well he is probably one of the most cryptic male characters I have read to date. He really holds his cards close to his chest and throughout this book I was waiting for him to play them. I do believe he loves his “Angel” and I’m excited to see what cards he hasn’t played yet. The ending is a “to be continued” not a cliffhanger. For some reason I didn't love how things played out at the end but I'm excited to see what awaits in Bold Tricks. My favorite quote: "Finally he screamed, "Fuck!" and turned around kicking in the bathroom stall door. He spun around. "Where is he? Huh? Where is that tattooed motherfucker?" *Copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
    more
  • ♥Rachel♥
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Sins & Needles and On Every Street so the bar was set pretty high when I picked up Shooting Scars. It did NOT disappoint! Shooting Scars was just as riveting if not more so than the first books. Karina Halle’s writing was brilliant and addictive. Danger, simmering chemistry, twists and turns kept me glued to the pages. I read it in one day!Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins & Needles left off. Camden and Ellie are on their own paths with the story in their alternating POVs. I loved Sins & Needles and On Every Street so the bar was set pretty high when I picked up Shooting Scars. It did NOT disappoint! Shooting Scars was just as riveting if not more so than the first books. Karina Halle’s writing was brilliant and addictive. Danger, simmering chemistry, twists and turns kept me glued to the pages. I read it in one day!Shooting Scars picks up right where Sins & Needles left off. Camden and Ellie are on their own paths with the story in their alternating POVs. It was a treat to get into Camden’s complicated mind, as well this time. Both Ellie and Camden face their own challenges and dangers with thoughts of each other always in the forefront. Javier has plans for Ellie, but she has no idea what they are and the dread of what they might include has her nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! She’s frightened and always playing figurative chess with Javier, trying to stay one step ahead of him. Ellie’s one consolation is she knows in her heart she did the right thing (for once) for Camden by sacrificing herself so he could have a second chance with his family. Camden is back with his family but going after Ellie and rescuing her is never off the table. He’s determined to get her back. I was going to find Gus. And then I was going to find Ellie. And nothing, absolutely nothing would get in my way.* I absolutely love every twisted thing about Camden. He has a passionate personality and feels everything intensely . To be honest, he comes off a little unhinged at times in his pursuit of Ellie, and it’s shocking some of the lengths he goes to, to find her. Let’s just put it this way, he will never be the poster child for sanity. BUT he brings out the best in Ellie, and believes underneath all her lies and cons is a good person with a true heart. For all she’d done, for the heartless, cruel, selfish person she could be, there was an innocence deep inside—there was still a ten-year-old girl who’d lost everything, who never learned to love without repercussions, who never let her real self free. That was the Ellie I had seen all through high school.* Even with their separation for much of the story, their chemistry is palpable with a clever use of flashbacks and dreams. Love the dreams! Camden is one sexy, tattooed hottie! FYI, the glasses just enhance the whole picture! It’s no secret I’m not a fan of Javier (Team Javier fans, avert your eyes! Sorry, Arlene!) I think he possesses a magnetism and charisma that would charm the pants off of anyone, but I also think he’s a narcissistic egomaniac. IMO, he can care for someone up to a point, but his lust for power and desire for revenge trump any supposed feelings he has for anyone else. A chivalrous man he is NOT or he would never have put Ellie in the position he does. You will see what I mean.Dear Ellie, *sigh* I feel for you, and yet I’d love to smack some sense into you! Yes, you did a very fine thing sacrificing yourself for Camden’s happiness, your intentions are good. But have some resolve woman! Your weaknesses and self-doubt are hurting the ones that TRULY love you, and have the potential to ruin your chances at a happy future!! Put your BIG GIRL PANTIES ON and STICK to your convictions!! The ONLY reason I’m letting you off is because I can understand how you felt and thought at the time. You know what I’m talking about... Love, Rachel ♥You’ve noticed I haven’t said much about the plot? Well, it’s best to experience it knowing as little as possible beforehand. I will say I was on pins and needles the entire read! Tension, suspense, and anticipation had me clicking through the pages eagerly. As I said before, I read this in one day. You’ll want to free up some time before starting. Shooting Scars was an amazing sequel, making this series one of my all-time favorites. I can’t tell you how many times I’m stalking Karina or checking twitter each week just to see little tidbits or teasers. I guess Camden and I have a few personality traits in common, lol! I never said I was the poster child of sanity either. ;) A copy was provided by Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! *Quotes taken from an uncorrected proof and may change in the final copy.
    more
  • ☆ Sammy ☆彡
    January 1, 1970
    ARC generously provided by the author, Karina Halle! Thank you soooooooo much!As with any Karina Halle novel I have read, Shooting Scars deserves so much more than the measley five stars you can rate it. I read this book in one day, with very few interruptions, and when I wasn't able to read it, I could not stop thinking about it. IT IS THAT GOOD!WARNING- THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SINS & NEEDLES! If you have not read the first book, I encourage you to stop here and go read it!The fir ARC generously provided by the author, Karina Halle! Thank you soooooooo much!As with any Karina Halle novel I have read, Shooting Scars deserves so much more than the measley five stars you can rate it. I read this book in one day, with very few interruptions, and when I wasn't able to read it, I could not stop thinking about it. IT IS THAT GOOD!WARNING- THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SINS & NEEDLES! If you have not read the first book, I encourage you to stop here and go read it!The first book Sins & Needles left Ellie Watt in quite a predicament. Her past and ex-boyfriend Javier caught up with her after having been on the run from him for over six years. Ellie had to make the decision between escaping with Camden, the love of her life, and continuing to live her life on the run with him; or protect Camden and his family by turning herself over to Javier. Ellie chose the selfless route and left with Javier."I have to live with my mistakes, but I don’t have to regret them. I regret my actions but I can’t regret the consequences. We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again." (Sins & Needles)Throughout Sins & Needles, we watched Ellie struggle to become a better person who doesn't have to live a life full of deceit and lies and she also had the desire to make up for the sins of her past. In Shooting Scars, Ellie is forced into reliving her past with Javier and in essence she must fight to continue on the path to becoming a good person instead of falling into her old ways and reverting back to the person she used to be.Ellie: "How can you call me an angel when you think I'm no good?"Javier: "There are fallen angels, too. Angels with dirty wings."Javier's reasons for tracking Ellie down are not strictly personal though. He approaches her with a job that he feels will benefit them both. I don't want to spoil this for anyone so I am not going to go into details on what the job entails. In Shooting Scars, you also get Camden's POV. He also has a decision to make. Does he move on from Ellie, the woman he loves, and start over with his ex-wife and son; or does he attempt the impossible and rescue Ellie?"It made me realize that in saving her, I might lose myself, lose any morals or convictions I once had. Camden McQueen might end up a stranger to even me when it was all said and done."This rescue mission will be very dangerous and will force Camden to do things that he would normally be repulsed by. It will cause him emotional turmoil and threaten to release the all consuming rage that is inside him. Thankfully, Camden has the help from from one of Ellie's old family friends. Will Camden be able to save Ellie before she is corrupted by Javier? You will have to read this novel to find out =DOverall, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED Shooting Scars. It completely surpassed all of my expectations! It was fast paced, full of action, and was totally unpredictable! You will not be able to put it down!Team Camden or Team Javier?
    more
  • Kayla at MyBookMuse
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars* Wow...Shooting Scars is intense. Gritty. Fucking insane. Buckle up kids, this is going to be a wild ride. Full review to come in August.
  • Nenia ⭐ Literary Garbage Can ⭐ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI'm a pretty happy garbage can right now because this was just the trash I needed to fill me up. Starting a second book is always hard because at that point, you, as a reader, already have some expectations about how the story and character development are going to go, and the temptation for some authors is to stall for time and use book 2 as a means to pad the story with filler. To its credit, SHOOTING SCARS doesn't do that - it jumps righ Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI'm a pretty happy garbage can right now because this was just the trash I needed to fill me up. Starting a second book is always hard because at that point, you, as a reader, already have some expectations about how the story and character development are going to go, and the temptation for some authors is to stall for time and use book 2 as a means to pad the story with filler. To its credit, SHOOTING SCARS doesn't do that - it jumps right in to the action.The Artists Trilogy begins with SINS & NEEDLES, a saga of scummy trash people living their trash people lives. There's Ellie, the scammer, and Camden, the rube with anger management issues. They are attracted to each other, but, being trash people, only end up doing each other dirty. The book ends with Ellie sacrificing herself for Camden, who decides he's going to pick up the pieces of his past life with his son and ex-wife - only surprise! He's scammed again.If you thought these characters were unlikable in the first book, SHOOTING SCARS is going to swagger up to you and say, "Hold my beer." Ellie gets even more scammy and indecisive, using and abusing everyone while she tries to figure out what the hell she wants out of life. Camden, meanwhile, shows off his psychotic side, abusing pain killers and torturing people with a tattoo gun. And Javier, Javier is like a GQ Scarface, undulating between suave AF and scary AF.If you want to read something that is trashy and ridiculous, this really is the perfect trilogy. Sex, violence, and drama on steroids, plus more stupidity and hormones than a remedial course in basic middle school thinking skills. For "professionals," these characters make some pretty stupid and questionable decisions, but it's very entertaining. It's basically a soap opera that started running with a bad crowd and got into drugs and crime - plus some light, soft-core porn.4 stars
    more
  • Brenna
    January 1, 1970
    LIVE ON AMAZON! --> http://amzn.to/1d1GlI4 "I was being yanked in different directions and it was tearing me up inside." That quote pretty perfectly sums up how I felt 99% of the time while reading this book. After months of letting it soak in and doing a reread… and I’m still having a hard time finding my words. This book did not disappoint one bit. Sins & Needles ends with so much yet to be resolved. The amount of possibilities to where Shooting Scars would take Ellie, Javier, and Camde LIVE ON AMAZON! --> http://amzn.to/1d1GlI4 "I was being yanked in different directions and it was tearing me up inside." That quote pretty perfectly sums up how I felt 99% of the time while reading this book. After months of letting it soak in and doing a reread… and I’m still having a hard time finding my words. This book did not disappoint one bit. Sins & Needles ends with so much yet to be resolved. The amount of possibilities to where Shooting Scars would take Ellie, Javier, and Camden are limitless. I don’t want to give too much plot wise away, but Ellie is with Javier, he wants her help with some revenge business. Meanwhile, Camden is desperately fighting to get her back.I’ve always been a Javier girl, there’s just something about that man. He is the perfect villain, sexy, seductive, lethal, controlled yet unpredictable, and fucking creepy as hell sometimes. Every moment Javier is in a scene, he absolutely steals it in my eyes. Him and Ellie together were electric and all consuming. The interactions, arguments, silences, and tension provided the most incredible force within the story. He continually messed with my head. One second I was appalled and disgusted, the next I was grinning like an idiot, then I was swooning. It’s actually quite sick in the most awesome way. "Well, I don't know how fucked you are, I just how you like to be fucked."…“I don’t have a soul,” he said softly. “But you make me feel like I do.” Then there’s Camden. I always liked him, but never felt a huge connection to him before this book. He really steps up his game and shows he is a force to be reckoned with. He may not be a rich, powerful, drug lord but he is cunning, smart, and lethal in his own right and that definitely showed as he fought like hell for Ellie. And does he ever fight. My heart broke over and over for him but he just keeps going. I finally started to get the connection him and Ellie have and I began to root for them. (view spoiler)[ OMG! This moment just about killed me… “Then she smiled, recognizing me, like it really hit her, and I never thought she could look so much like an angel. She was glowing. And her radiance was breaking my heart. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t do this. I turned around and walked away. I could hear her calling me, her voice thin above the chatter of the marketplace, but I kept walking. I’d come so far to find her and now I was running from the person I’d found. I pushed through the crowd, going as fast as I could go…." (hide spoiler)] “All for a girl. But she wasn’t just any girl.She was mine.And I was hers.Until the bitter end.” While we do get a dual POV, I still whole-heartedly believe this is Ellie’s story. She’s struggling and fighting this internal battle of good vs. evil. While no one in this series is perfect, they are all actually extremely flawed, Ellie deep down just wants to be good. Between the temptation of revenge, the manipulation and allure of Javier, and her feelings of not being good enough for Camden, she has a lot on her plate. If I were this girl I’d probably be curled up, rocking in a corner somewhere. But the whole time she is so strong, even through her mistakes and mishaps, I love Ellie. I’d wanted to be good, to be better than I once was and even though I was trying, even though I’d been blackmailed into this whole mess, I felt like I was kidding myself. This was an incredible sequel to Sins & Needles which knocked me on my ass when I read it. I have to give a shout out to Gus in this one who was the perfect foil for Camden. I absolutely LOVED them together, such a riot. This was full of psychos and effed up situations but the reactions and emotions are so raw and realistic. There has been so much pain, anger, distrust, lying, secrets, backstabbing. Intense moments, sexiness, and take your breath away twists. I could never get a good handle on my emotions. So many feeeeelings, I was constantly questioning myself. I have no idea how this series will wrap up with Bold Tricks but I’d take any bet that it’s going be just as phenomenal as it’s predecessors. 5 huge stars.So, who’s team am I? (view spoiler)[Javier still. Even though I truly do not think him and Ellie will end up together, I still find him fascinating. I think Camden is better for her, but I can’t help but love Javier despite being a psycho. (hide spoiler)]------May 26thWOW! WOW! WOW! This book was phenomenal! My emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE constantly and it was a really freaking crazy ride. LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!Full review closer to release date :)Who's team will you be on? I know this book CONFUSED the fuck out of me... who the hell knows now....
    more
  • Angela Richardson
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars ****Have you seen my goodreads profile?? If you have then you would know CAMDEN MQUEEN is my favorite book boyfriend of all time *YELLS TO THE GODS - FISTS IN THE AIR!!* - OF. ALL. TIME -MY CAMDEN Screw billionaires, rock stars, bikers, blah blah blah... Give me a goth type, soulful, artistic, tattooed, glasses wearing nerd, who is really a dark super-hero, ready to fucking risk his life for love - AND I WILL GET ON THAT! that is my type of guy!!! through and through!! that's my type. 4.5 stars ****Have you seen my goodreads profile?? If you have then you would know CAMDEN MQUEEN is my favorite book boyfriend of all time *YELLS TO THE GODS - FISTS IN THE AIR!!* - OF. ALL. TIME -MY CAMDEN Screw billionaires, rock stars, bikers, blah blah blah... Give me a goth type, soulful, artistic, tattooed, glasses wearing nerd, who is really a dark super-hero, ready to fucking risk his life for love - AND I WILL GET ON THAT! that is my type of guy!!! through and through!! that's my type. Not perfect, kind of dark, and risky. CAMDEN OWNED THIS STORY! O.W.N.E.D! ummmm Javier.... Javier who?????????? seriously when it came time for Mr Bernal to pull that trigger, the guy bombed...big time. (Bahhhahahahhahahaahahah) yep laughing at the powerful loser..... you heard it! My original instinct about that guy was right (Cheshire cat smiling)Back to my one true love... Where this story lost half a star for me was Ellie....We all saw it coming - what she would fall back into.... old habits I mean. (cough cough - so weak)and I did... I felt for her, kind of... BUT STILL... come on Ellie... like zero time passed before you gave up your body and pretty much your soul. I understand why you did, but a little more restraint would have gone a long way with me.And my poor Camden... Lucky for you he is more of a real man than Javier!lets hope for your sake in book 3, you can really get him back into your heart. As usual - Karina Halle's writing is beyond stellar! like fucking fantastic!!!!I can't wait to see what happens next! x4.5 shooting scars!
    more
  • ~IreneOust~
    January 1, 1970
    *** I've added bolded paragraphs to this review because I didn't think it was long enough [*kidding*] ... after I slept on it ...WARNING: if you haven't read this book, this review may contain MINOR spoilers. Yep ... this pretty much sums up a [big] part of the story ...Not many books make me drink and chain smoke in the process ... this one definitely did! I started at the end of Sins & Needles and just couldn't stop! In true Javier fashion, it was tequila with "no lime or salt because that *** I've added bolded paragraphs to this review because I didn't think it was long enough [*kidding*] ... after I slept on it ...WARNING: if you haven't read this book, this review may contain MINOR spoilers. Yep ... this pretty much sums up a [big] part of the story ...Not many books make me drink and chain smoke in the process ... this one definitely did! I started at the end of Sins & Needles and just couldn't stop! In true Javier fashion, it was tequila with "no lime or salt because that's for women and children ... "This is going to be a bit of a rant-view because, being team Javier and all, I feel like my boy wasn't getting much love and with dual POVs, with neither belonging to my favorite drug lord, I feel like he was left to have his actions speak for him and they say actions speak louder than words but there is always a reason for everything we do, isn't there? So here we go ... Choices are funny things. We are the ones who make them and we are the ones that have to live with them. Some of us have a much easier time living with certain choices we make in life.Take Javier, for example. He is what he is. He makes no apologies and owns it. In this case, he gives Ellie no choice but to come with him and, once she does, he tells her the reason she is there - he wants her to help him kill Travis Raines, a man responsible for much heartache and suffering in both of their lives. But no choice is basically a choice: either she comes with and does what she's been told or Camden, a person from Ellie's childhood she recently reunited with, dies. See, most of the people will probably see his actions as kind of a "dick move" but that's Javier and that's how he rolls. (Remember no apologies and all that jazz?) Now that Ellie has made her choice, Camden is finally reunited with his family for all of five minutes till he realizes that his ex probably rivals Javier in the crazy department and he is out of there. Now, in this case, Camden chooses to go after a woman he loved when he was a teenager, who never really reciprocated when it came to those feelings and tried to con him within 48hrs of "reconnecting" with him, who he hasn't seen in (12?) years till their reunion less than a week ago and who he once told that "she was a very bad person" ... One would think he'd try to get his son from the clutches of a woman who is pretty much certifiable but that can wait because Javier's got Ellie, you see, and God forbid she falls back in love with Javier while he (Camden) is busy with his son ... Choices, huh?? They really are a funny thing ...Now that everyone has made their choices, we get to witness Ellie and Javier in all of their glory ... Javier being Javier and Ellie is trying really hard to convince herself that the only reason she is doing this is to keep Camden alive. See, this almost makes Ellie seem like a saint and Javier like a villain but lets back up for a second ... wasn't that Ellie's goal back in the day to use Javier to get close to Travis so she can settle an old score? And wasn't that goal is what brought her and Javier together in the first place? So how is this for irony?? I guess Ellie and Javier have a lot more in common than Ellie and Camden so fingers crossed for birds of a feather flocking together in the future ... I do want to say that it was admirable to see Camden going all Rambo in order to find/save Ellie. If that's Camden growing a set of balls all of a sudden and Ellie is the reason he finally did then I am all for it! I mean, how else would one explain him sneaking into Mexico's biggest drug lords compounds without an invite in time to rescue Ellie from dozens [at least!] armed guards, right?? I know love makes us do crazy things & he has a GPS on his phone but that's just ... well ... crazy! The funny thing is, I actually can picture him doing some things he did like torturing one of Javier's minion with his tattoo gun (that was crazy entertaining and gross at the same time!) but I really don't get how he was able to kick the shit out of Javier, who pretty much eats people like Camden for breakfast, lunch & dinner every day ... Don't hate me but I don't buy the "tough" Camden. That was one part of the book that I actually made me go "Huh??" Dare I say Camden is the first tattooed "bad boy" that didn't really do it for me. Maybe it's because the "bad boy" persona doesn't quite ring true.It's not that I don't like Camden because I do. He is a nice kid but it's just that - he is way too nice for the world Ellie and Javier live in. The question I have is: can he (Camden) accept Ellie the way she is without trying to change her? Being a con artist is what she is and what she's always known. It's in her blood and I don't think it's such a bad thing either. When push comes to shove, can Ellie stay true to herself or will she veer off course for the sake of making someone else happy??Camden: “You should be grateful your brains aren’t spilled all over the wall.” Javier: “You didn’t have the guts.”Coulda, woulda, shoulda ... Sorry, Camden but Javier is right - you don't have the guts! Otherwise, you wouldn't let your father & everyone else walk all over you pretty much your entire life! And now that you've made another choice that may or may not come back to bite you in the ass, take a fucking seat, boy ... *** I can see why so many are rooting for Camden in this story: he is, after all, a deserted island of normal in the ocean of crazy that is Ellie's life. However, after having read this: "... 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 ..." in this book's blurb, it made me think that if he is no longer the sweet Camden Ellie wanted to begin with, why not just stick with the devil she knows then, which is Javier. I know some may say that she never really knew the real Javier and he never knew the "real" Ellie but, as they say, shit happens and what started out as a "fake" relationship in the beginning, blossomed into a passionate love affair that ended up being nothing but real.One of the main reasons I'd like for Ellie to end up with Javier is because way back when, Javier and her love for him made Ellie give up on her revenge plans so one can't help but wonder if Javier and Ellie were to reunite, maybe his love for her will do the same for him. I know it's porbably way too far-fetched (but not as too far-fetched as Camden infiltrating a drug lord's compound) but one can't help but hope.Bottom line is, Javier really wants for nothing in his life but he is missing one thing ... his soul ... which, in his own words, is Ellie. So if Ellie is able to give him that final piece of him so he is finally able to find some sort of peace, why not, right?I know some may argue that by ending up with Camden, Ellie will finally be "good" or "normal" but Javier brought out those qualities in her all those years ago just by being himself ... Anyways ... back to choices ... with so many secrets & lies, I am guessing it won't be easy to make that final one. But I really hope Ellie makes the one she can live with for the rest of her life. Will she become The Queen or plain, boring McQueen? Life with Javier:Life with Camden:Ellie, Choose wisely ... Oh and in case you were wondering:#teamJavier
    more
  • Giselle
    January 1, 1970
    *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 t *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!Read my review of Sins & Needles (book 1) here.Read my review of On Every Street (the prequel) here.--An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
    more
  • Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
    January 1, 1970
    Ellie's always been torn over who she really is and what she really is. Her disfigurement has brought her untold suffering and she has molded that into a deep hate with one final outcome. In pursuit of that outcome, she meets Javier and decides to take a chance, but he only proved she was wrong to do that and she lived with that for six years. Until she met back up with her high school friend, Camden. Even though they both hurt each other when they were young, there was still something there...s Ellie's always been torn over who she really is and what she really is. Her disfigurement has brought her untold suffering and she has molded that into a deep hate with one final outcome. In pursuit of that outcome, she meets Javier and decides to take a chance, but he only proved she was wrong to do that and she lived with that for six years. Until she met back up with her high school friend, Camden. Even though they both hurt each other when they were young, there was still something there...something good and honest. Something Ellie wanted more than anything else, even hate. And when things came to a head, it was easy for her to make the right choice...even if it broke her heart. This book pretty much blew me away. I guess I wasn't sure what to expect...I only wanted Camden to ride in on his white horse, rescue Ellie and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that didn't exactly happen.When I read the first two books of the series, I hadn't read KH before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I really enjoyed Sins & Needles, which had come out first so I was totally Team Camden. Of course, by reading that, I knew what Javier had done so I was bias. Still...I couldn't help but swoon over him in On Every Street, how could you not? Prior to this book, I have now read a few of KH's books in the Experiment in Terror series and I think it gave me even more of an awareness of what KH could do...AND I STILL WASN'T PREPARED!! How could she do that?? or should I say, have Ellie do that? Don't get me wrong...I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. You knew that was exactly what Javier would do...but all the other factors? Amazing, stressful, hot, heart wrenching...I could go on and on. BTW...that orange grove scene...extremely HOT!! So am I still Team Camden? OF COURSE! Javier's "reasons" just didn't do it for me and he has changed. I think that small spark of hope inside him makes him still want to be the man for Ellie and I think he loves her as much as he is able. But he's a bad, bad man and while at one time, Ellie may have settled for that...she no longer will. Not with Camden in the picture and he very much is. The small spark of hope inside ELLIE comes to life with Camden. Now we can only hope that Camden can rise above what he saw. (ugh...that killed me!) I loved the dichotomy between how Ellie viewed Travis and how she believes her mother did. Sooo many questions and it was genius how things came to a head. Coffee Mate...who knew? Gus' secret was also a surprise and I can't wait to see how things will play out with that. Unfortunately, Sophia was not a surprise...in fact, I'm really beginning to wonder if Ben is even Camden's!The dual POVs were priceless...even better would have been to get Javier's but I won't be greedy. I can hardly stand to wait the less than two months for Bold Tricks to come out. I'm really going to try not to think about what might happen. I want to be surprised, thrilled, heartbroken and amazed...and I KNOW KH will do that! Favorite quotes:♦ “Such an angry little angel. Your wings are certainly dirty. They’re black.” “Like your heart.”♦ “Two jokes in one day,” I said. “A record.”♥ "All for a girl. But she wasn’t just any girl. She was mine. And I was hers. Until the bitter end."♥ "Oh Christ, this hurt more than anything in the world."♦ “I know this pansy beat your f*cking @ss, American style.” (BOOYAH!!)
    more
  • Rabidreading
    January 1, 1970
    **Find this and other reviews at The Demon Librarian** One helluva ride! Holy. Freaking. Hell.That's pretty much my default reaction to anything written by Karina Halle. Every book of hers that I have read has rocked my socks off, and Shooting Scars is no exception to that rule. The story picks up right where book one (Sins and Needles) ended. Ellie has made the ultimate sacrifice and is now back in Javier's clutches, and Camden is left trying to pick up the shattered pieces of his life. Happil **Find this and other reviews at The Demon Librarian** One helluva ride! Holy. Freaking. Hell.That's pretty much my default reaction to anything written by Karina Halle. Every book of hers that I have read has rocked my socks off, and Shooting Scars is no exception to that rule. The story picks up right where book one (Sins and Needles) ended. Ellie has made the ultimate sacrifice and is now back in Javier's clutches, and Camden is left trying to pick up the shattered pieces of his life. Happily ever after never seemed further away for either of them, and it only gets further as the story unfolds. Ellie is drawn into Javier's revenge plans, and Camden's world is destroyed even more when he is betrayed and forced to go on the run. I can't say much beyond that because I don't want to spoil anything, but suffice to say, stuff happens - and I'm talking major, change-the-course-of-the-entire-trilogy type stuff that will get your blood pumping in ways you can't even begin to imagine. You may think you know what you're in for when you read this book, but trust me, you don't. You've been warned!What makes this book - and any Karina Halle novel - so memorable, though, are the characters, and Karina has given us some truly great ones in The Artists Trilogy. Every last one of them is flawed in some way (some more than others), and each one of them will say and do things that will shock and excite you.First up is Ellie Watt. When I think about her, I am reminded of one of my all-time favorite movies, The Philadelphia Story. In the film, Katherine Hepburn's character says to Cary Grant's character, "I'm such an unholy mess of a girl." Those words describe Ellie to a tee. Scarred and broken at a young age, betrayed and used by almost everyone she has ever known, she is, in many ways, a lost little girl trapped in a woman's body. She wants to be good, she wants to be happy and safe and loved, but she doesn't know how to go about it. That's why, I think, it is so easy for her to fall back on bad habits, and to buy into the rotten bill of goods Javier is selling. She doesn't see just how strong and beautiful and worthy she really is. It's heartbreaking, to see this amazing woman sell herself so short, and it's maddening too, because I believe in her more than she believes in herself. She makes some difficult, and in some cases downright bad, decisions in Shooting Scars - and yes, my faith in her was shaken a bit, but I know the real Ellie is in there, just dying to get out, and I refuse to give up on her. When Ellie finally takes a stand and really, truly claims her own life (hopefully in the next book!), look for me on the rooftops. I will be the crazy girl dancing around and screaming at the top of my lungs, "YES, SHE DID IT! WAY TO GO, ELLIE!"Then there is Javier Bernal. If I'm judging him strictly as a character, he gets high marks across the board, because he stirs up very strong feelings in me and I can't help but admire Karina's brilliant depiction of him, but a fan of his, I am not. Never have been, and after Shooting Scars, I am 99.99% sure I never will be. My hatred of him reached new fiery heights in this book. I can't even type his name without feeling violent. Sorry, all you Javi lovers, but to me, the guy is a manipulative, controlling, delusional douchecanoe, and as far as I'm concerned, the only thing he can do right at this point would be to die and save me from having to read about him EVER AGAIN. Camden, on the other hand...OMG, Camden! I fell hard for him in Sins and Needles, and that love only intensified in Shooting Scars. He's not perfect, by any means, but even in his blackest moments, when fear and fury turn him into a man even he doesn't recognize, there's a hint of light. Sometimes that light may be hard to find, but it is always there. There isn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind that he loves Ellie with all his heart and soul - and more importantly, that he loves her for the right reasons. He sees the Ellie I see, and he's willing to do whatever it takes to find and save her (even if it's from herself). If that means getting in touch with his dark and brutal side, he'll do it - and boy, does he! I looooooved Camden 2.0!!! He is one seriously scary and badass dude! (I will never look at tattoo needles or coffee creamer the same way again, and neither will you.)Whether you're Team Ellie, Team Camden, or Team Javier, one thing is for sure, Shooting Scars is going to test and challenge you in ways you never thought or expected - but then, when has Karina ever written a nice, safe book where everything is sunshine and rainbows? Oh I know....never! Not only do I expect her to rip my guts out, stomp all over my heart, and screw with my head, I actually look forward to it! And wow, did she ever do a number on me with this one! Shooting Scars is a fierce and thrilling read that is guaranteed to whip readers into a frenzy of epic proportions - and that, as the song says, is the way I like it (uh huh, uh huh).**Don't read this book out of order! Sins and Needles and the prequel novella, On Every Street, (a necessary read if you want to understand the effed-upness of the Ellie/Javier relationship) MUST be read first!** 5 Stars ★★★★★ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Mags~CVAddikt~
    January 1, 1970
    "I want to break every part of you!" I exclaimed but gave up and collapsed on him. "I want you to break," I whispered, my head on his chest, my eyes focused absently on an orange tree."You have," he said softly, his hand stroking the back of my head. "I told you that you broke me when you left. And you did. I'm not lying to you.""You always lie.""Not now." So ... the book starts where Sins & Needles ended. Javier has Ellie, and Camden has his son, ex-wife and a briefcase full of money.But "I want to break every part of you!" I exclaimed but gave up and collapsed on him. "I want you to break," I whispered, my head on his chest, my eyes focused absently on an orange tree."You have," he said softly, his hand stroking the back of my head. "I told you that you broke me when you left. And you did. I'm not lying to you.""You always lie.""Not now." So ... the book starts where Sins & Needles ended. Javier has Ellie, and Camden has his son, ex-wife and a briefcase full of money.But not everything is as it seems, and after some betrayal, blackmailing and heart-to-heat chats: Javier takes Ellie to Veracruz, Mexico AND Camden is decided to get her back!!!The book is aPrepare yourself for some brutal scenes, for very smexy times, gut-wrenching moments and Something I really really love about this book is the character's evolution. Javier is not the same guy we met in On Every Street, and Camden has definately changed, he turned dark to find Ellie (I think I like him more). JavierOhh Javier, you were everything I expected you to be ... a f*cking [email protected] sleazy sluttish snake sonovabitch hehe ....I mean, he's a murderer after all ... he's a druglord capable of the most despicable things, and he will steal your heart in this book. Be prepared: You will be Team Javier for, at least, a few pages. Javier wasn't looking for Ellie all these years, he found her when he wanted/needed, and now he has big plans for her ... he needs her to (view spoiler)[kill Travis (hide spoiler)].But Javier has secrets and I think he will surprise us in the next book, maybe he has fooled us all and he sacará el cobre in the next book... he will show his cards, his true colors, the real Javier.I love not knowing what Javier will do, how he will react, his true intentions ;)CamdenHe wasn't my fav in Sins & Needles, but he won me over in Shooting Scars. The guy gets screwed over again ... and again ... he needs a break!!! There is something about him in this book, I guess it's the way he embraces his darkness in order to get Ellie back, I like how loyal he is to her. ”I was going to find her, wherever she was, because I was hers. She had all of me, always had.” GusOhhhhhh he's a great surprise, he has secrets too ... you'll have to read the book to find out.Plot, setting and everything else!Ohh, not predictable, not at all!!! You'll see some things coming, but most of them ... well ... not.The mexican setting was well described, the author did a good research.I'm mexican so ... about the violence and drug carters I'd rather say nothing about it ... things were pretty bad two years ago ... but I'm happy living in Monterrey :)Shooting scars is the perfect sequel to Sins & Needles, the end will leave you carving for more .....I can't wait for Bold Tricks!!!I guess I'm Team Camden now ... but Javier ... I'm your fan!!!Review also on my evil blog ... *******************************************************************************August??? WHY???I need Shooting Scars now!!!!Did Javier know from the beginning that Eden was really Ellie? Did he play her?Does Javier know the reason why "Eden" left him?Javier promised to never hurt her ... but ... will he let Alex and Raul hurt Ellie?How did Javier find Ellie?Is Javier still in love with Ellie?Yes ... all my questions are about Javier ............. Camden ... who???Javier and Ellie's story is waaaay more interesting than Camden's drama.
    more
  • Didi
    January 1, 1970
    THE WAIT WAS KILLING ME. TORTURING ME.I HAD DREAMS.VISIONS.DESIRES FOR JAVIER.BUT NOW. NOW I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT, WHAT TEAM I'M ON:CAMDEN.CAMDEN.CAMDEN.CAMDEN.CAMDEN!!!!Shooting Scars, the second in the Artist's Trilogy was exactly what I wanted, expected and dreamed of. I LOVED it.We literally pick up from where Sins&Needles left off. Ellie has left with Javier, seeing no other option in front of her and for once putting her wants and needs behind those of the man she leaves behind. The ma THE WAIT WAS KILLING ME. TORTURING ME.I HAD DREAMS.VISIONS.DESIRES FOR JAVIER.BUT NOW. NOW I KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT, WHAT TEAM I'M ON:CAMDEN.CAMDEN.CAMDEN.CAMDEN.CAMDEN!!!!Shooting Scars, the second in the Artist's Trilogy was exactly what I wanted, expected and dreamed of. I LOVED it.We literally pick up from where Sins&Needles left off. Ellie has left with Javier, seeing no other option in front of her and for once putting her wants and needs behind those of the man she leaves behind. The man she loves, Camden.This book literally takes off from the get go. It's in dual POV's, Ellie's and Camden's which works beautifully! There is action, suspense, betrayal, drama, love and redemption. It was like watching a live movie reel the whole time I was reading it!Everyone has changed. When faced with extrenuating circumstances, people do things they normally wouldn't. Camden will not let Ellie go, but having the decision of what to do made for him in regards to his estranged family, he goes buck wild. Seeking out the one man Ellie trusts with her life to help track her down and eliminate Javier, Camden transforms into the darkest, most desperate version of himself.There's betrayal around every corner and I was shocked to see how what I thought I believed was just smoke and mirrors. Take what you think and turn it on it's head!Ellie: She has really grown from her grifter past and is dying to become the best version of herself. She is lost, helpless, dying to remain good. She holds on to the hope that she has given Camden a better life, a second chance. But she longs for redemption. I felt her pain and felt the warring emotions she felt for Javier. He was constantly trying to convince her she was a certain way while she was trying to hold onto the hope that she was good. Camden: I.LOVED.HIM. He transformed into a beast. A man hell bent on getting Ellie back from a monster. He became dark, violent, demanding and driven. It was amazing to see the lengths he went to for Ellie. But Camden is the light to Ellie's dark and vice-versa. He is pure and I was rooting for him the entire time. If I had any doubts about that man...NO MORE.Javier: What can I say? I fell for him after S&N and especially after OES, but nothing rings true like the truth. I believed in him, I still believe he loves Ellie in his own demented way, the only way he knows how, but it isn't enough. He lives his life through deceit and omissions. The Javier of today is obsessed with control and power. I was so disappointed in him. And the thing we all want to know...The reason Ellie left him? Yes, he explains that. And despite it making sense, it was still unforgivable. I hated him for his callousness.This book was so well written. Old secrets are revealed, new ones exposed, and tons of questions raised. I still kept asking myself, why didn't you come for Ellie sooner Javier? He does answer that question but vaguely.Lies, deceit, betrayal...everything I ever thought was put in doubt. Except the severity of Camden's feelings for Ellie! He was like the dark knight.So much happens in this book that I could probably write an essay, but it needs to be read. If you're a fan of this series, you won't be disappointed. Karina Halle has a way of writing with purpose, no filler or useless information and I LOVED THAT. Every situation had intent, no coincidences.Now I have to wait for Bold Tricks and it will be spectactular! This ended on a to be continued thread, but although no stressing cliffy, you'll be dying for the story's conclusion.LOVED IT!!GENRE: Romance, action, suspensePOV: Dual--Ellie and CamdenSTEAM: MediumCLIFFY: No abrupt ending, to be continued style*** ARC PROVIDED BY THE PUBLISHER FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 20, 2013.ORIGINAL REVIEW POSTED AT: www.choicebookreviews.net
    more
  • Alex is The Romance Fox
    January 1, 1970
    Shooting Scars, 2nd book in Karina Halle’s The Artist's Trilogy, continues the incredible story of a con artist, tattooed artist and a killer….Ellie Watt, the con artist… Camden McQueen, small town local tattoe artist and guitar player, who has been in love with Ellie for many years… And then, there’s Javier…. A man from Ellie’s past. They have a history together – despite the way Ellie left Javier, he has always loved her in his own strange way…. weird how I could possible like a character Shooting Scars, 2nd book in Karina Halle’s The Artist's Trilogy, continues the incredible story of a con artist, tattooed artist and a killer….Ellie Watt, the con artist… Camden McQueen, small town local tattoe artist and guitar player, who has been in love with Ellie for many years… And then, there’s Javier…. A man from Ellie’s past. They have a history together – despite the way Ellie left Javier, he has always loved her in his own strange way…. weird how I could possible like a character like Javier…yes, he’s gorgeous, sexy, rich but he’s also lethal killer, who has no remorse for what he has done in his life… Ellie is suddenly forced to make a choice. Leave Camden to ensure the safety of Camden’s wife and son or face the consequences of losing the man she loves. How could she live without Camden in her life? He was the only person who understood and accepted her. Such a hard decision…..what will she do? There are so many revelations and new questions to be answered. Deception, secrets, tension, murder, suspense, action………incredible!!The chemistry between Camden & Ellie continues building. These two are just amazing together I love this author’s writing. Beautiful…..flows so well that makes it so easy and enjoyable to read.I love this trilogy and wait….Yes, final book next, Bold Tricks…So looking forward to it!!!!
    more
  • ~ Becs ~
    January 1, 1970
    Win a copy of Sins & Needles at Sinfully Sexy today! I was the angel of death, walking arm in arm with Lucifer. Ladies and Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, you’re in for a bumpy ride! Wow!! This was fantastic – a breath-taking sequel to Sins & Needles – an absolute roller-coaster of a ride as we head from suburban California right into the dangerous and murky world of the drug-cartel ridden streets of Mexico. If you enjoyed Sins & Needles, I can, hand on heart, assure you t Win a copy of Sins & Needles at Sinfully Sexy today! I was the angel of death, walking arm in arm with Lucifer. Ladies and Gentlemen, please fasten your seatbelts, you’re in for a bumpy ride! Wow!! This was fantastic – a breath-taking sequel to Sins & Needles – an absolute roller-coaster of a ride as we head from suburban California right into the dangerous and murky world of the drug-cartel ridden streets of Mexico. If you enjoyed Sins & Needles, I can, hand on heart, assure you that you are going to love Shooting Scars. It’s a worthy sequel and does not disappoint.Shooting Scars is told from Camden and Ellie’s dual POV in alternating chapters. We’re right back with them as we left them at the end of Sins & Needles. Both of them forced into situations not of their making or choosing – Camden is left with his ex-wife and son while Ellie has been coerced into walking away with Javier with Camden’s beautiful ink covering her scars. Camden is determined to go after Ellie, to get her back into his loving arms and Javier Bernal is determined that Camden McQueen will remain an ever-diminishing figure in their rear-view mirror.Right from the very beginning this one explodes into action – there’s double-crossing, deceit, despair and a heavy dose of blackmail but despite all this, there is honour amongst thieves as Camden will move heaven and earth to get Ellie back but will she betray him as she listen's to Javier’s poison?We get to see a lot deeper into Ellie’s personality. She’s created this tough outer persona to protect herself from the disappointments and pain of her past but there’s an acute vulnerability that really begins to shine through in Shooting Scars. She’s trying to do the right thing, trying to protect Camden but there are open wounds that Javier is re-opening and she’s a little lost, not sure what to do for the best.Camden, badass, tattooed giant of a man – how much do I adore him now? After Sins & Needles, I was very much Team Camden all the way but after reading the prequel, On Every Street, I ended up with one foot in Team Javier’s camp but now, after reading Shooting Scars, I’m firmly back in Team Camden. It’s not that I didn’t waver along the way, I definitely did – there were moments when I really felt for Javier and felt the pain that his separation from Ellie had caused but there’s just something about Camden McQueen – he pushes all the right buttons for me. While I developed some sympathy for Javier, he’s still the man that put a bullet in Uncle Jim’s head and, if I was Ellie, I don’t think I could ever completely trust the man despite his assurances to her that she’s his queen!The dual POV works brilliantly as we get to hear what’s going on in both Camden and Ellie’s heads – we get to hear Ellie’s uncertainty, her anguish and her real battle to know what is the right thing to do. Above all, Ellie just wants to be ‘good’ after a lifetime of being bad and being good right now is doing everything in her power to keep Camden safe. Life inside Camden’s head is a whole heck of a lot more angry – he’s always been in love with Ellie despite the amount of times she has hurt and crushed him but this man is now living off his fury at Javier taking her away from him. He’s hell-bent on revenge and completely terrified for Ellie!!This whole novel is a tense, edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckle ride as shocks and unexpected revelations constantly turn the plot on a knife-edge and it’s nigh on impossible to put down as our characters constantly face the threat of their imminent demise. When I wasn’t with this novel, it lived in glorious technicolour in my imagination, vivid as the world in front of me as Karina Halle’s writing style beautifully brings every scene and every new character to life. You’ll live and breathe this novel – I know I did.Special mention must go to Gus, the ex-LAPD police officer now specialising in fake ID’s who takes on a much bigger role in Shooting Scars and I absolutely adored him and now I am also Team Gus!!What an incredible ride – 5 freaking fantastic starsFor more reviews, please visit Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews or visit us on Facebook.
    more
Write a review