Early Review: Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2) by Karina Halle

shooting scarsShooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2) by Karina Halle

*received early review copy from publisher and Netgalley*

Regina’s Rating:

3.5 stars/Grade A-

Release Date: 8/20/13

Book Summary:


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.

As I write this review, Tainted Love by Soft Cell is playing:

“Sometimes I feel like I have to .. runaway … I got to …. I get away”

What a perfect song for Javier and Ellie.  Before reading this book, Sins & Needles must be read first and I highly recommend reading On Every Street as well.

Lately the books I have been reading seem to have been written for movie production. Shooting Scars is one of those; it could be (should be?) a movie. The settings for the different scenes are beautiful – coastal California, the Southwest, coastal Mississippi, the Gulf of Mexico, and Veracruz. Shooting Scars is non stop action, non stop passion, and non stop tension.

We all knew going into Shooting Scars that Ellie and Javier would happen again. But how? And why the hell would she do it? How would Halle explain the cheating? Javier is scary, psychotic, lacking in empathy and completely selfish. But Halle convinced me why Ellie would do it. And the cheating in the context of the story of Javier made complete sense (but it is horrific when described what he did). I have always wondered what the hell the women who are with powerful but scary ass men are thinking. And now I know. The power and the fear is part of the allure and the women who are with those men (Ellie included) must value life less than others. To sign on to Javier as a romantic interest, a reader (and a lover) has to accept his acts — murder, torture and all done in the name of Javier and for the benefit of Javier only. I just cannot get past what Javier does and who he is. He is not appealing to me at all. But he is a great character and he is an awesome third to a love triangle. He gives all new meaning to the “My ex-boyfriend is crazy” line. And that makes for a great story.

Shooting Scars revolves around Camden, Gus, Ellie and Javier. These are great characters and they make a fun team. I love Gus. Without Gus, Camden would have gotten nowhere. None of these characters are good or admirable, but to watch as a story unfolds — they make great characters. There are a few interesting twists, somewhat predictable but still interesting and they push the story forward. You may think you know what Shooting Scars is going to be about — but you don’t. I did find the story to be somewhat of a slow start, but still Shooting Scars is a solid and fun read. My one criticism is there are inaccuracies in the description of Mexico — but there are also many realities in what she described. I am guessing Halle decided to take some license without what she was writing to create a world that fit where Shooting Scars needed to go. It just slightly annoyed me since I know the setting so well. But if I can forgive what Jim Butcher does to Chicago in the first few books of the Dresden Files, then I can move past this.

Halle delivered so much of what I wanted in this book, hotness (freaking hotness), tension, dark characters trying to figure out their place and a story full of action. I cannot wait for #3, thank goodness it will be out in a few months!

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  3.5 Skulls

Series Reading Order:

.5 On Every Street (prequel/novella)
1.  Sins & Needles
2.  Shooting Stars (Release Date 8/20/13)
3. Bold Tricks (Release Date not set yet, sometime in 2013)

On Every StreetSins & Needles

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