Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review ~ Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy 2) by Karina Halle

Reviewed by Willow & Donna ~ 5 Stars

**ARC Received for honest review**

This book starts off where Sins & Needles ends. Ellie is now in Javier's possession after giving herself up in exchange for Javier letting Camden's wife and son go. Camden is left shocked that Ellie went with Javier - that wasn't the plan! He feels that Ellie didn't care enough about him and that's why she went with Javier. He now has his wife and son back though and has to make sure they are safe first, then he's keeping his promise to Ellie and he will find her. 

Ellie sacrificed herself to save Camden's family and give him the life with them he deserved. But at what cost? Javier has changed, he's not the man she knew - and it scares her. He also wants her to do something for him and it will put her in danger, but what else can she do? She's here because she is saving Camden and his family. 

Things do not work out the way Camden hoped with his family and now he is in danger and on the run. The one thing he can't stop thinking about is Ellie, no longer responsible for his wife and son, he is free to go and find her. He will not lose her again. He goes to the only person he can think of to help him - Ellie's friend Gus. Camden convinces Gus that Ellie is in danger and he needs to find her, but Gus is concerned about Ellie too and the two of them join together to try and find her.

Willow: As I'm sure you are all aware by now I am a huge Karina Halle fan, so I was so excited about reading this book. I hated the cliffhanger that S&N left us on and so I dived right in. What I got was not what I was expecting, but I loved every second of it. (Well mostly - I'll admit I did want to rant at times) So Donna what are your thoughts?

Donna: I did feel the first half was a bit slow for Karina Halle, normally you are all guns blazing off the bat but I could understand the need to set the scene. I still hate Javier with a passion. Whilst I can see why he feels that he is the "perfect" man for Ellie, his morals and code of conduct are just disgusting!!

Willow: Its no secret who's team you’re on then Donna! I felt it was the right pace for me, I liked getting to see Camden change, because he definitely does here, he gets a much harder edge to him, something I think even Javier fans can appreciate. Javier has also changed and it was obvious he wasn’t being completely honest with Ellie. But I felt for Ellie thinking that Camden wasn’t coming for her, that she was alone. Now I will say that who's ever team you are on, Javier or Camden, there is going to be stuff in this book that you don't like. One team I’m sure will be raging - I know I was, but that's what I love about Karina's writing, that her characters get under your skin, that you care enough to feel like ranting!

Donna: I totally agree, Javier gets darker, a lot darker. Camden finally gets a real back bone and I think that even he surprises himself in this book. I will admit I am team Camden, there is something about Javier that gives me the creeps. He may feel that Ellie is his soul mate, but he seems to me to see her as a means to an end, to get what he wants out of life and because of her past history he sees that she is his perfect "Queen" but this does not take Ellie's wants or needs into account at all!! I can say that yes, I was raging...especially at 60%..you know what I mean...I could not believe that happened. But as you say Javier had convinced Ellie that Camden wasn't coming so I can see why she made the choices she did, but does mean that I have to agree with them...not one little bit.

Willow: I have to disagree with you a bit there, I actually do think that Javier thinks he loves Ellie and not just as a means to an end - I wasn't convinced after OES, but in this one there are little things that he says and does that does make me think that he truly believes he loves her, but I think he doesn't understand what love is. But I do agree he treats her more like a possession than anything else. Yes I certainly know what you mean about 60%. There is heartbreak in this book for both Men (if Javier has a heart? - perhaps disappointment is more accurate) and I think that whilst the majority of the book Ellie is in Javier's hands Karina's has done a brilliant job at making both teams feel that the men still have a life ahead with Ellie. Let’s talk about Gus, we see a lot more of him in this book, he really becomes a central character. I loved getting to see more of him, he is a great character. We discussed a theory we both have about Gus ;-) I wonder if anyone else thinks the same? Tell me what you like about Gus?

Donna: Gus is extremely protective of Ellie, I do, as you know I have my theories regarding this, but he really comes to life in this book. He and Camden made a great team!! They were like white knights coming to Ellie's rescue. I am extremely worried though about what happens to him going forward! It seems that Javier knows more than he lets on about Gus and I am not sure that things went down the way that Javier said they did.

Willow: There is definitely a sense that there are more twists and turns to come particularly about Gus and his involvement and relationship with Ellie. You are right - Totally loved these two as a team. It was a bit devastating watching what all these two were doing to find Ellie and then flicking to Ellie and seeing that she didn't think anyone would come for her. There is action in this book especially with Cam and Gus on the hunt - Tattoo gun moments, Creamer incidents and car chases! but also the drama of why Javier has Ellie and what he's asking her to do, which puts her in a lot of danger. As you know I'm not a big crier, but I actually nearly cried twice - once out of total anger I admit and once because of what happens to a character.

Donna: Nooooo, did you just say the "c" word....Willow and cry in the same sentence...I don't believe it!!! This is a pivotal moment...Karina Halle bow and take an ovation, this is unheard of lol!! I must admit, Karina did go hell for leather with what Gus and Camden went through in their hunt for Ellie. The tattoo gun moment actually made me feel physically sick and even Gus was shocked and he has seen a lot. It just went to show how much Ellie meant to Camden, that he would do whatever necessary to find her. I am soooo tempted to try the creamer thing...but as I am so accident prone I daren't lol...and I love a good car chase...this series would make a great film!!

Willow: I did say nearly cried! lol The ending - well, its not as bad as a cliffie as the last one but it will definitely leave you wondering what the gang are going to do next. What did you think?

Donna: It leaves you wanting the next one and quick..so Karina needs to get typing!! The readers are going to be antsy!! The last three standing are hardly a dream team but I cannot wait to see where this is going to go!! I think that a lot of decisions are going to be made that are going to shock a lot of people but they are necessary for the end result. It also all comes down to trust, who can be trusted? But it is like making a deal with the devil, but who is the devil?? In this book, there are more than one!! Also, what do you think about Ellie's parents...there is something amiss there...I have my theories!!

Willow: I don't want to give too much away but Ellie's parents do make an appearance, but I don't think their motives are as they seem, there is definitely more of a story there. So to summarise, this book has action, twists and turns, two hot men (what? I think Javier's hot ok? - I also think he's evil though and I cant forgive him) It has danger, some very sexy scenes (even if they are with what some might say is the wrong guy) lots of angst! it has it all - I thought it was an amazing book 2 and I cannot wait for book 3 Bold Tricks. An Easy 5 Beautiful Ellie Watt stars!

Donna: Personally I wouldn't say Javier was hot, that is all personal preference, I need to like the person to like the man and me no likey!!! But each to their own. I CANNOT wait for book 3, it is going to be one hell of a ride for sure. There are still so many questions that need to be answered and so many people that need dealing with. I am giving this book another 5 Camden McQueen is The Man stars!! He made this book for me, he made me feel the most. Karina Halle did an amazing job and I really cannot wait.

Shooting Scars is released on 20th August! Pre-order your copy now. 

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