Bold Tricks. Karina Halle.
Well, I’m a huge fan of Karina’s books ( as in I love her work, not that I’m personally huge, a bit plump maybe….) and have read books one and two in the TAT series along with my favourite, the accompanying novella. That’s where I fell in love with Javier. Still, they’ve all come along way since those early years and neither Javier, Ellie or Cam are the same as they were then. They’ve had to do things that toughen them, harden them and make them act in ways they never would have thought they could. Survival makes us do all sorts of unimaginable things and the more you do the easier it seems to get.
So Ellie isn’t sure where she stands, she loved Javier til he cheated, since then she’s been on the run for six years before he tracked her down, and she’s fallen in love with Cam recently. Then captured by Javier she thinks Cam is lost to her…so we left them at the end of the last book where the plans had gone T* it’s up, and Gus and her mother captured by Travis, with her and Cam narrowly escaping thanks to Javier. Strange allies indeed. Can they stop from killing each other? Ellie wants to rescue Gus, and her mother, Cam wants to help Gus, as he’s helped Cam, and Javier…well who knows what Javier wants. Sometimes I’m not sure even he knows. He’s always got plans within plans, lets secrets out slowly as the info is needed and keeps things very close trusting no-one. He still seems to love Ellie in his way, and the old Javier shows through every now and then. Being a huge Javier fan of course I want Karina to write him into the happy ending, but whatever happens lots of people are going to be disappointed 😦 and maybe there isn’t a happy ending possible? It’s hard to see one with so much killing, anger, rivalries and gang fights going on. The whole drug scene is corrupt by nature and its hard to see anyone escape from it in safety.
So, I was so eager to get into tis book and see what’s in store – and its a roller coaster of a ride, with the usual adventure, danger and escapes at every corner. There are a couple of new characters come in and they add to the feeling of danger by who they are. Cam is annoyed at Ellie for being with Javier, he saw how close they were and he feels let down, Javier still calls Cam That Boy in a derisive manner as if he’s nothing, and yet we can feel the jealousies rolling off him. He can’t bear that Ellie was with him, or still feels for him. This is where I feel Javier is still in love with Ellie even though he doesn’t really want to be, and it’s in his strange, twisted way. He seems to resent her for it one moment, and yet offer to make her his Queen the next. He needs them to get to Travis, and they need him to rescue Gus and Ellie’s mother. An unlikely alliance that’s shaky, and I wondered just how long it could last, given the hatred and emotions roiling between the three Its hard to say anything without giving info away, and that would be a shame as its such a riveting read, guessing what’s going to happen next. Its full of surprises too – certainly a number of twists I didn’t see coming.
If you enjoyed the first two you won’t be disappointed in this one. Take time to read carefully though, as once you start you won’t want to put it down. Its perfectly brought to a gripping climax, with all sorts of plots and devious occurrences, betrayals and double dealing, kidnappings and shootings, its all action keeping me tied to kindle, breathless at just what was going to happen next.
The magic for me of this series was how an author like Karina can take someone on the surface dislikeable – Ellie and Javier and yet make me like them and want them to find a happy ending. Cam started off without such a troubled background, his problems were at least of his own makings where Ellie and Javier were brought into theirs by parents and circumstances, but ultimately its all choice issues. I didn’t think I could enjoy a novel based around what seem like people I couldn’t sympathise with, but just as I love Stacia Kanes heroine of Downside novels, drug addict Chess, so I came to love all of these characters. That’s a huge things for an author to do, and means they’ve put such a lot into the personalities and the circumstances of each person that the reader looks beyond the in the surface assumptions -where people involved in crime don’t deserve a happy ending.
Another praise I have to give ?Karina here is the speed with which she delivers such well written novels. At a time when authors are keeping readers waiting a year of more between instalments its so refreshing to have them delivered within months. This also means we enjoy the novels at their best, when the stories are still fresh in the readers minds. Often now I simply wait for all instalments to come out before buying and reading any of them, I’m tired of paying for books and waiting years for the conclusion, left hanging on a cliffhanger at each instalment and having to refresh the story each time next part out….Hurrah for Katrina! And a HUGE thanks for your speedy delivery. The first of this trilogy came out in June and the last is out 15th Oct – tats simply great 🙂 Priced at £3.99 for 248 pages its good value, not least because its so much content it can easily be read and enjoyed over and over.
Stars: well, five of course!
NB: Arc provided by publishers and Netgalley