It’s no secret that I love Karina Halle’s Love, in English and Love, in Spanish. They’re without a doubt two of my favorite reads this year. So, this past weekend I decided to catch up with her backlist. In two days I read Sins & Needles, On Every Street, Shooting Scars and Bold Tricks. This series is full of non-stop action mixed with a sweet romance and they are all unputdownable. Below are my reviews for all four books.
About Sins & Needles
Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents’ latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road.
***The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it’s so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA).
Sins & Needles is one hell of an exciting ride full of action, danger, and romance. I was all set to love Javier, because he’s the “bad” one and all but somewhere along the way I found myself saying “Omg, I love you Camden McQueen!” Karina has me completely sucked into the world of Ellie, Camden and Javier. On to Shooting Scars!!!
About On Every Street
Recommended to be read AFTER Sins & Needles (book #1)
When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she’s set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.
Takes place six years before Sins & Needles. It can be read before or after Sins & Needles and may also be read as a standalone
Ok. I finished this in 2 hours, that’s how unputdownable it was. Here we see the beginning of “Eden” and Javier’s relationship. Getting to know Javier in this one surprised me, he wasn’t all bad until he pissed me off royally. Like want to junk punch him pissed me off! I found myself wailing “whyyyyyyyyyyyy, why would you do this?” I hate you, but I love you, Javier Bernal! And after reading this after Sins & Needles I found myself thinking “oh fudge! I love, love, Camden but I think I may sort of, kind of, love Javier too. I can love them both, can’t I? Shooting Scars may be the deciding factor.
About Shooting Scars
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?
Hoooooooly crap! The action picks up 10x over here with Javier using Ellie to seek retribution on a demon in both their pasts. I feel like I couldn’t read this story fast enough; the need to know how things would play out for Ellie, Javier, and Camden completely over took me. I only put my Kindle down when my battery icon started to flash, running to the grocery store for Thanksgiving essentials to distract me as it charged all the while fighting the urge to read on my phone. Shooting Scars was a fantastic sequel to Sins & Needles and great set up for Bold Tricks. Karina’s writing is gritty, edgy and sexy all at the same time and I love the way she’s able to make me love both Camden & Javier, albeit for different reasons. I’m excited to see where she takes this adventure! On to Bold Tricks 🙂
About Bold Tricks
With more lives at stake and games in motion, Ellie, Camden and Javier form an uneasy alliance that will take them from the treacherous streets of inner-city Mexico to the wilds of the Honduran jungles in order to find their freedom. But with liberty just on the horizon, the cost might come at their own redemption.
Karina totally owes me an excellent cuticle cream because she made me destroy my cuticles while reading! Bold Tricks kept me on the edge the ENTIRE time! This was a phenomenal, heart pounding in my throat conclusion to this series. Off on the mission of their life, Ellie and Camden find themselves becoming allies with the most unlikeliest of people, wondering if they’re the only ones they both can trust. While I can’t and won’t tell you what happens, I CAN tell you this final book is just as exciting, if not more so, than the prior ones. Karina takes us on a nail biting, exciting ride full of twists, turns and shoot-outs. It wouldn’t be the Artist Trilogy without them. It was filled with WTF moments and sexy, tender ones between Ellie and Camden. *sigh* Camden McQueen…I love him. I love the way he loves Ellie and makes her want to be a better person; I love the way he’s able to see the good in her and tries like hell to make her see the good in herself. Javier on the other hand…I wanted to stab him myself! Every time I started to like him, he’d go and make me want to strangle him. Then he’d do something and I’d like him again…he’s still a complex, misunderstood character that drives me nuts trying to understand yet I wouldn’t have it any other way. He keeps me on my toes. Overall, I FLOVED this series and these characters. Karina gave us fantastically flawed and fu*ked up characters, some we love off the bat, some we love to hate and hate that we love. We get a KICK-ASS heroine, a messy love story and non-stop action from start to finish.
With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiancé and rescue pup.