Shooting Scars Karina Halle . The Artists Trilogy. book two.
I read On Every Street before Sins and Needles, and became an avid Javier fan. Cam? Cam who…:) then read Sins, and saw the attraction but it was still Javier for me. Yes, his betrayal was awful but then he, Cam and Ellie aren’t like us, they have different standards of acceptable, and I was sure there must have been a reason for it. Finally in this book we have an answer, and though I don’t like it I can see his take on it.
Anyway Shooting Scars, wow, a hurtle through adventure after adventure. We start with Ellie unwillingly back with Javier, to ensure Cam and his family’s safety. Javier has plans for Ellie, but he’s as ever very secretive. To me he still loves Ellie and sees her leaving him as a betrayal, and he was shocked and hurt when she left. He thinks what he did was just practical, and doesn’t understand why she was so hurt.
Cam is in for a shock about Sophia, and teams up with Gus to search and rescue Ellie. I can see by now though just how much Cam has changed. I was never sure of why he was always seen by so many readers as the good guy – after all he chose his background, chose to dress and act in the way that attracted the bullies, so its hard to blame his behaviour on that. His parents weren’t perfect but they weren’t the flawed ones Ellie and Javier had. Then Ellie comes back into his life in Sins and what does he do when he finds she’s going to steal from him – threatens to kill her, turn her in to police, or allow herself to be blackmailed into helping him escape from the Mafia type situation he’s trapped in. Yes, she does fall for him and he for her, but he’s as psycho at times as Javier. Javier and Ellie are both products of a horrible upbringing and teen years, and acting in the only way they know. All the things Javier did he did to keep Ellie and himself in the life they were in. Ellie isn’t some sweet misunderstood girl either but manipulative, grasping and has no conscience about who she scams, but I feel she is as she is through her terrible childhood and bullying, and is working as a con merchant as its the only life she knows. Can you really see her behind the till at Tesco?
So once again the trio of Ellie, Javier and Cam are intertwined, along with a larger part for Gus this time. The chapters change from person to person, so though they aren’t together we can see what’s happening all the while with each of them, and how close they are getting to each other ( physically not emotionally). The action never stops in this book, its a breathtaking ride with emotions always to the fore, and of course there’s the usual mix of danger, shootings, car chases, plans that go awry for each of them and add in some erotic, sensual sex scenes to keep readers on the edge of seat wondering what else will happen, where they can and will go next, and if they’ll survive. At times I wasn’t sure I’D survive 🙂 the action was so intense. Its certainly not a book to pick up and put down, not one to ignore, and not a relaxing, peaceful read 🙂 but that’s the beauty of Karina’s work – the writing that attracts me, and after getting hooked on Experiment in Terror ( yes, and Dex…) I had to buy this series .
I loved this book, but need book three now! How its going to end I’ve no idea – can anyone see a HEA for any of them? I want Ellie and Javier to be together – I’m still hooked on the beauty and intenseness of the On Every Street love they had, but can’t see how Javier can get out of the drug scene he’s in, and will he even want to? I think for Ellie he will, and I feel she wants a more peaceful life, that the killings aren’t something she’s happy with. Cam, he’s become more and more violent, it wasn’t his way of life but after drawing that gun on Ellie in Sins he’s become a person to use violence first, even Gus is shocked at some of his actions in this book ( and it turned my stomach too….) so what happens next ? I’ve absolutely no idea 🙂 but am really impatient to find out and thankfully Karina isn’t one of those authors who make us wait a year to find out! I think its around Oct book three is out, and I’ll be waiting avidly.
Stars: cracking, riveting, sexy, exciting read – has to be full five. . And one to be re read over and over.