Series: The Artists Trilogy, #3
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Published on October 15, 2013
Genres: Romance, Suspense
The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .
Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he's been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . .
One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who's made a permanent mark on Ellie's heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who's busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.
All good things must come to an end. Unfortunately for us, Bold Tricks marks the end of something that I wish could’ve gone on forever. But alas, the time has come to embark upon the final installment of what has been a wonderfully intriguing and captivating reading experience.
Time to put on your safety harness, cause this is about to be a wild ride!
Bold Tricks picks right up where Shootings Scars left off. You’re immediately drawn in by the predicament that Ellie finds herself in. There is no “calm before the storm”. There are no moments for you to catch your breath.
In the beginning, Ellie is in a situation where she has to deal with both Javier and Camden in the same place, at the same time. This causes Ellie to realize that she has to somehow make sense of it all.
“On one side of me was Camden McQueen, on the other was Javier Bernal. One more light than dark, one more dark than light. Both men had loved me. And both of them I had seriously underestimated.”
On the one hand we have Javier, who has consistently shown how perfectly he fits into Ellie’s description of “more dark than light”. He has always been true to his character, ruthless, commanding, possessive, violent, and unapologetic. He never deviates from his hard and conniving ways, and has proven that he will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. He’ll shoot first, and ask questions later.
“Javier’s grip on the wheel tightened and he slammed on the brakes so we went skidding across the highway. I screamed, the tires squealing beneath us, as we came to a shuddering stop on the shoulder, and he shifted, and flipped it into park. “Jesus!” Camden yelled. “Are you trying to kill us?” Javier immediately whipped out his gun so it was in front of my face and pointed at Camden. “No. Now I’m trying to kill you,” Javier sneered, staring down the barrel of the gun.”
On the other hand, you have Camden, who as Ellie describes as “more light than dark”. Camden has gone through a metamorphosis of his own throughout the course of this series. You really see his transition in full effect in Shooting Scars, but it seems as though in Bold Tricks, he is coming to settle into who he truly is and has become.
“Every time I looked at Camden, I saw the ways he’d changed. He was stronger, tougher, and more ruthless. He was also hurt, scarred deep inside by what I’d done. He now had the kind of scars that even his skilled hands couldn’t transform.”
Camden and Javier are two completely different men who are on complete opposite sides of the “light & dark” spectrum. It’s plain to see that both of them add a great dynamic to the heart of the story. They also help to bring out the best and worst out of Ellie.
I know that one of the main questions that some readers may have going into Bold Tricks is: “Who will Ellie end up with?” I think very good question to consider would also be: “What will become of Ellie?”
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ellie’s growth throughout this book. I really connected with her character in Sins & Needles, but I found that in Bold Tricks, I was truly able “to see the forest for the trees”. As many of my TAT buddies know, I am a HUGE Javier lover, and I can’t get enough of him. However, I think that in this book, I was solely focused on Ellie. Ellie’s voice came through loud and clear for me, and I couldn’t help but be captivated by it.
When I think of Ellie, I think of the song ‘Flaws’ by Bastille:
“You have always worn your flaws upon your sleeve
And I have always buried them deep beneath the ground
Dig them up; let’s finish what we’ve started
Dig them up, so nothing’s left unturned
All of your flaws and all of my flaws,
When they have been exhumed
We’ll see that we need them to be who we are
Without them we’d be doomed”
One thing I think is most important to keep in mind when reading this book is that above all else, this is Ellie’s story. It’s about her journey. It’s about her struggles. It’s about her heartaches and heartbreaks. Throughout the course of this series, she’s had to look within herself to discover what she’s truly made of, and learns what it takes to truly be reborn from the ashes of her past.
In Bold Tricks, you’ll come to meet a few new characters that all add their own flavor to the mix. As I was reading this book, I kept asking myself: Who can they trust? Who can they count on for help? Will the past come back to haunt them? Want to know what I discovered? Nowhere is safe, and no one can be trusted.
This book is amazing. This book hits you in all the right places. It is non-stop edge-of-your-seat action, and at the same time, gut wrenching and emotionally driven. This book is packed with many page-turning moments where you want to absorb it all as fast as you can, but at the same time, savor it all before it ends.
I cannot begin to describe how deep my love for this series goes. Karina Halle is an exceptional storyteller who’s words leap off of the page, into your heart. Her books stay with you beyond the last page, and leave you always craving more. I personally got emotional at the end of this book, not only because it was over, but also because I genuinely felt like Ellie became a part of me. That is why I love Karina’s work. She will not only write a story that you’ll enjoy reading, she writes stories that will take up residency in your heart.
Rafflecopter Prize Details:
1 WINNER: iPad mini pre-loaded with all three digital Artist Trilogy books (SINS & NEEDELES, SHOOTING SCARS, & BOLD TRICKS) preloaded, and ON EVERY STREET novella included!
5 WINNERS: A signed print Artist Trilogy (SINS & NEEDLES, SHOOTING SCARS, BOLD TRICKS) prize pack!