Series: The Artists Trilogy #2
Published by Grand Central Publishing, Hachette on August 20, 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
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Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.
When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.
Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.
Told in dual POV from Camden and Ellie.
The Artists Trilogy books have cemented my love for author Karina Halle, even though I was already a big fan of her new adult horror/romance Experiment in Terror series. She’s able to write such realistic, flawed, human characters that you simultaneously care about and hope to God that you never meet in real life. I eagerly awaited the release of Shooting Scars, book two in this series after reading the first installment, Sins & Needles, back in March, so I dug in once it showed up on my Kindle.
Shooting Scars picks up where Sins & Needles left off, and none of the characters are in a good place. Camden may have the money and the safety of his son and ex-wife, but watching Ellie ride away with dangerous Javier was too much for him to bear. When his ex-wife’s family interferes with the new life they’re trying to assemble, he’s forced to go on the run. Camden teams up with Gus, Ellie’s ex-cop and old family friend who can help track her down. Camden will do things in this book to find Ellie, to get her back, that he’d never thought he’d do in a million years. He has to become more like the man that has stolen her away, and can he live with himself when he looks at the man he’s becoming?
It won’t be easy to find Javier, who is now the head of his own Cartel and has an agenda for Ellie. Javier has vengeance on his mind, and he’ll use any means necessary to get his former lover to do what he wants. Ellie was once his world before she disappeared from his life, and now that he has gotten her back after several years apart, he won’t be letting her go again–no matter who or what tries to come in between them. Javier has grown more calculating, more cruel, more disconnected, and deadlier as he has grown more powerful.
Ellie is extremely vulnerable and figures that the past has finally caught up with her. She thinks that she deserves everything because she’s a con artist and a thief, even though she had been trying to change her life for the better. Javier can easily manipulate Ellie since she’s so vulnerable, and as she’s torn between these two men who may or may not love her, she can’t choose what type of life to lead. Will she be good or bad?
I give Shooting Scars a five out of five. This second installment was sexy, gritty, violent when it needed to be, and cleverly plotted. The alternate point of view story telling between Ellie and Camden flowed nicely, allowing the narrative to move swiftly throughout the book. I am team Camden all the way and Javier is one slick psychopathic SOB, but Karina Halle makes reading about him so entertaining. I can’t wait for the final book, Bold Tricks, to come out in October 2013.