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Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy)

Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy) - Karina Halle **Originally posted @ ReadingDiva's Blog - Rating 4.5 of 5


REVIEW: I don’t usually follow a certain criteria when I read books, nor I tend to read books in a series one right after the other. This is perhaps the 2nd time I do that since I have been reading and there is a good reason behind it. The Artists Trilogy is one of those series that leaves you craving for more. I wasn’t 100% sold on the trilogy when I read the first book (Sins & Needles), but now that I have read the 2nd book I am happy to see how much this trilogy has to offer.

Shooting Scars is book 2 in the trilogy and this time around I was overwhelmed by the quality of this installment. This series has turned out to be exquisitely addictive. The story as well as the characters have develop greatly this time around, the plot and the characters’ voice and presence feel stronger and with more purpose. The drama, angst and conflicts are non stop.

While I wasn’t entirely supportive of Ellie Watt on the first book, now I am enamored with her as a character. In her attempt to redeem herself after all the things she has done as a con artist and after having hurt Camden so deeply – Ellie goes back with Javier thinking that her sacrifice will give Camden a chance to reunite with his son and ex-wife. One can’t exactly say that Ellie is the selfless heroine who has put everyone else’s needs before her, not at all. She has been selfish & reckless. I think the author depicts Ellie exactly as her characters requires it. She doesn’t take away from the crude reality of Ellie’s life, she emphasizes the connection and history that exist between her and Javier and also explores the dark and deep needs that exist between them. It brings out the what if of life, making her question her true motives behind her selfless act to give up on her love for Camden. What I enjoyed the most on this installment is how well we get to know her emotions, not because she still suffers and hurts for Camden but because we also get to explore how her mind works.

The attraction between Ellie and Javier & Ellie and Camden isn’t necessarily an attraction made from love, but an attraction that seem to exist in the deepest and darkest part of the heart, one that requires more than just love. The confessions and actions that follow the capture of Ellie help us understand the close connection and the thin line that exist between love and hate & between need and obsession. The author manages to create a contrast between these characters while clearly exposing the derailed & dysfunctional passion that exist between them, showing us that their need for each other can only be measured by the intensity of their desired.

Shooting Scars has it all, passion, deceit, sex, love and never ending action, with a roller-coaster of emotions that add amazing twist and turns to a story that seems to catch every aspect of human nature. This story is captivating, there is so much more to it than a story one redemption and second chances. The complexity and always evolving characters add to the story the necessary suspense to make this a page turner. If you love anti-heroes & villains, then you are going to love Javier. I am a fan of anti-heroes & villains, for me Javier deserves happiness as much as any other character. I think we have yet to see to what extend his love and need for Ellie goes, and for Camden to demonstrate how far is he willing to go for the woman he loves.