Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Release Day Blitz : Shooting Scars (The Artist Trilogy, #2) by Karina Halle

Shooting Scars 

(The Artists Trilogy #2) 


Karina Halle

Pub October 28th, 2014 (paperback)
by Forever
ARC received from publisher for Review


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 to get back the woman he loves, he may lose himself in the process and turn into the very man he's hunting. 

The Artist Trilogy

Lindy & Ria's review of Sins & Needles HERE

Lindy's Thoughts:

Shooting Scars was a sequel that took me on a crazy, wild, and dangerous ride!!!  Right after Ellie sacrifices herself in order to save Camden and his family, everything goes downhill, and fast!!!  Told from the alternating viewpoints of Ellie and Camden, we get a thrilling story full of darkness, danger, and action at every turn.  After Ellie realizes that she cannot escape the powerful and sexy drug lord, Javier, she decides to work with him to get revenge on Travis, the most powerful cartel leader in all of Mexico.  Passions are reignited, and sometimes it's difficult to know the difference between love and hate.  Meanwhile, Camden gets together with Ellie's trusted contact Gus, as they make a plan to save her from Javier, but what if she doesn't want to be saved?

The setting felt real, as the author described the various places in Mexico.  I could see the the sparkling water, the vivid and colorful flowers, the poverty, and the danger that came from a corrupt and powerful cartel leader controlling and scaring all of the citizens in to doing his bidding.

The characters came to life as well.  They were all very complex and authentic.  Javier was the must complicated of all.  He had so many different layers and contradictions to his personality.  I believe that he loved Ellie in his own way, but nothing was more important to him then revenge, and getting what he wanted.  He was sexy, in a dangerous, controlling, and scary kind of way.  Camden was absolutely amazing!  He has a selfless love for Ellie, and is willing to do anything to protect her.  He is a keeper, and I hope Ellie and him will get their happily ever after.  Gus was a great sidekick.  He was a loyal friend to Ellie and was extremely loyal.  His character grew on me as I got to know him better.  Ellie was a phenomenal character.  As I went on this journey with her, I was able to see and understand all of her emotional struggles.  She wanted to be a good person, but didn't think she was.  She loved Camden and didn't think that she would ever get to be with him.  She was constantly battling her thoughts and emotions.

The plot was fast, full of suspense, and plot twists.  It kept me entertained, and guessing what would happen next!  The sequel ends on a cliffhanger, and has me excited to dive right in to the conclusion.  This series has been really great so far, and I can't wait to see where it all end.  Let's just say that things took a very interesting turn at the very end there!!!  If you like stories with action, suspense, crime, and lots of plot twists, then this is one that you don't want to miss out on.

My Rating:

What an epic series!!!  I give Shooting Scars, by Karina Halle 4.5 Sinister, Sexy, Seductive, and Full Steam Ahead Filled Stars!  I can easily see this series being perfect for the big screen.  Once you begin book one, you will be hooked!  Shooting Scars was everything book one was and more!!!    

Revenge and Redemption Don't Come Hand in Hand


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Yes that really just happened! Holy trumpeting turtles batman…Sh&% just got real! 

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So this is the second book in The Artists Trilogy and let me just warn you…

This is Highly Highly addictive

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Ellie had like one redeeming quality by the end of the first book but in Shooting Scars she bares her soul. If your looking for fun and flirty then this isn’t the read for you…This book is dark, sexy, adventurous, and full of twists and turns that will make your head spin. In the most delicious way of course ;) No sophomore slump here y’all!! Ms Halle takes you on a thrill ride from the first page. There are more secrets to uncover betrayals to face and redemption to be had.

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S-hocking, Javier has secrets twisted and guarded. Ellie doesn’t know why he has waited so long and he's not showing his true hand anytime soon.
H-ope, Camden knows what he must do but it tears him up inside that he cannot be by Ellie's side.
O-bligation, Ben’s safety and future will take precedence over all of the emotions Camden feels about Ellie and Sophia.
O-verlooking, all of the signs were there but Camden was still crushed by the realization. Vowing to one day return he has a bigger problem to resolve first.
T-ravel, meeting with Gus was always part of the plan now if Camden can convince him of his desire to see this through they will both be on their way towards Ellie.
I-gnorant, Ellie only knows half truths but she will use what she can at her disposal to find out more.
N-uclear, what Ellie once shared with Javier was all consuming though still extremely untrustworthy it seems as though they still hold a part of each others heart. 
G-ames, Javier still not willing to reveal his whole had feeds Ellie just enough to ensure he gets her to do his bidding.

S-acrifice, there is only one person Ellie would turn the world upside down to do right by…Camden. He is the reason why she has played with the devil(Javier) and fallen back into his web.
C-onviction, Gus and Camden have proven their determination regardless of the set backs and Camden’s crushed heart they will see this through.
A-ccusations, something is off and both sides know guns blazing and bullets flying will bring everyone to their knees.
R-esignation, every party has something to gain realizing this is hard on everyone involved. Ellie, Camden, and Javier all want something, for the time being these three will have to pull their resources together.
S-cripts, things are not the way anyone intended being upside down is difficult and not trusting any could prove either smart or deadly. Everyone has a part to play, even those that don't want anything to do with the game.

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GAH!!!! Another Cliffhanger ending!!! My heart can’t take any more!! Lol okay so it wasn't too crazy but Ms. Halle packs a serious punch. This is one of the most addictive series I’ve ever read. Everyone is flawed but Halle gives us glimpses of the good beneath each snippet is like the most delicious drops of water in the hot desert. I can’t get enough of these super sexy broken characters with a secret agenda so I definitely recommend this series. Get ready for a crazy jaw dropping, self fanning, eye opening, head turning, harboring secrets, uber fun, highly addictive read unlike any other!!

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My Rating
4.5 50K, Gas Station, Estranged, Papers, Bank, Green Mustang, LA Times, Closet, Memories, 6 years, Yacht, Wine Confessions, Assassin, Orange Grove, Red Dress, Resignation, Sling, Hotel, Necklace, Champagne, Jeep, Stomach, Black Cars, Shattered Heart, Ever Sacrificing Love filled stars!!!

Mikki's Review:

Holy Crapola!!!

After reading the first installment of The Artist Trilogy, Sins & Needles, my emotions were all over the place! I was actually scared to start reading Shooting Scars. I knew that this would be the book where I would pick a side. Which side do you ask? This was the time to decide if I was going to cheer for TeamCamden or TeamJavier. And, oh sweet mother of God was this a tough decision to make!

Shooting Scars picks up exactly where Sins & Needles ended. Ellie has made a decision that brought her back where she least wanted to be. Her past. Back in the arms of a man who lied to her and who has danger written all over him. But, as the days go by, the attraction that she once felt for Javier and that is still pretty much alive inside of her comes back to turn her world upside down. How far is Ellie willing to go to obtain what she has been looking for all along? Revenge is near, but at what cost?

Ok. Breathe in ... Breathe out ....

This was a non-stop roller coaster ride of emotions! From beginning to end, my heart was beating to every single chapter! The author did an amazing job at making me feel all kinds of emotions! One moment I was cheering for TeamCamden and the next I was shaking my maracas for TeamJavier! Holy Crap! It's tough being a reader sometimes!!! I am not a fan of love triangles, but this was nothing like I ever read before!

We really get to see what these three characters are made of in Shooting Scars. It took me a lot of time to connect with Ellie in Sins & Needles. She broke my heart with some decisions that she made. I knew that by reading Shooting Scars I was going to find the missing pieces that would make me connect to her character. I did connect with her more in this installment, but she still broke my heart in a few occasions. I wanted to scream at her and tell her to STOP!!! With everything that was happening in the story I had no clue how this was going to end! Holy Moly! What an ending!!! I did not see that twist coming at all ..... Eeeeeeep!!!! I can't wait to get my hands on Bold Tricks!!!! It's going to be EPIC!!!!

Camden McQueen stole my heart in this installment, but he was not the only one. Javier Bernal!!!!! Gahhhhhhhhhh!!!!! These two are definitely book boyfriend material!!!

I have to admit that I have On the Streets on my reading device. On the Streets takes place six years before Sins & Needles. This is a novella about Ellie's past with Javier. I think I decided not to read it because I wanted to start reading Shooting Scars with only what I had learned of Javier in Sins & Needles. I am so glad that I did! I will no doubt be reading On the Streets now. My decision is made, and I am cheering loud and clear that I want Ellie to end up with Camden, but I want Javier to find that special someone who will turn his world upside down. I have discovered a side of him that I never knew existed and this king needs to find his queen! I have no doubt in my mind that he loves Ellie, but she's not the angel he is looking for! 

There are so many twist and turns in this story that I was dizzy!! Betrayals, lies, lust, vengeance, love, danger you can't go wrong with Shooting Scars! Karina Halle's writing style is captivating and it never let's you go! I read this book in one sitting and I could not put it down! If you want to read a series that will keep you at the edge of your seat, look no further. The Artist Trilogy is what you need! I highly recommend it and I can't wait to read the conclusion of this amazing trilogy!


I give, Shooting Scars, by Karina Halle 4.5 heart-pumping, page-turning, intense, raw, emotionally charged stars!

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I hadn’t had a panic attack in weeks so it snuck up on me, like a hand reached around from behind me and began squeezing my lungs until there was no breath left. I started gasping for air, my hand at my throat, trying to take nothing in. Tears filled my eyes and spilled down my cheeks in dirty rivulets and my body began to shake. 

“Jesus Christ,” Javier swore, nearly taking the car off the road. “Ellie, Ellie. What’s happening?” I gulped and gasped unable to stop from crying, panic seizing me all over from my shoulders to my feet and I thrashed back and forth in order to get free. 

Next thing I knew, he’d pulled the car down a private dirt road that ran between two orchards and he was undoing my seatbelt. He came around to my side and took me in his arms and away from the car. We disappeared into the orchards, the smell of orange blossoms in the air. 

He put me down, propped up against a tree and smoothed the hair off of my face. His sunglasses and baseball cap were gone, his hair mussed, his worried eyes searching me. 

“Hey, Ellie,” he said gently, running his hand down the side of my face and feeling the pulse under my jaw. “It’s okay, it’s all going to be okay.” 

I shook my head, feeling disgusting and messy and lost. I sobbed. “It’s not going to be okay. I can’t do this, I can’t do this.”

He cupped my face in his hands and forced me to look at him. “You can. And you will. You are strong. You are very strong. Right here.” He lay his hand in the middle of my chest. “You will do this and you will succeed.” 

I finally found my breath again, the fresh air flowing down the sun-streaked orchard coming into my lungs. “I will fail.” 

“You won’t.” 

I sniffed. “I don’t even want this,” I admitted. 

He cocked his head and let go of my face. “Then why are you doing this?” 

“Because you’re making me!” I cried out. “You’re forcing me to!” 

His head jerked back. “I am doing no such thing.” 

“You are! You’ll kill my Camden if I don’t.” 

I didn’t see the outburst coming. Suddenly Javier was in my face, his skin turning red, his eyes narrowing into viper-like slits, all yellow and full of hate. 

“He is not your Camden!” he screamed. I closed my eyes. 

“He isn’t here with you now,” he went on, words harsh and short, like bullets. “I am here with you.” 

“I know!” I screamed back. “And I hate it! I hate it! I hate you!” 

Then before I knew what was happening, I had wound up my hand and slapped him hard across his face. The sound ricocheted down the groves. 

I waited, surprised at myself, breathing hard. I watched as his face contorted in the same type of shock. And then something odd flashed across his brow. Something like betrayal. I knew betrayal all too well. I knew it had been on my own face when I found out what Uncle Jim was planning to do. 

My dead uncle. 

I slapped him again, harder this time, my palm stinging like I was being stabbed with a million tiny knives. “That was for my uncle!” I cried. “You killed him.” 

Now I wound up for a punch and decked Javier right in the side of the head. “You killed him,” I repeated, tears streaming down my cheeks again. “You keep taking everyone I love away!” 

The whole time, Javier just stayed there. Not ducking my hits, not getting out of the way. He just let me, watching me with that same look upon his face. 

“Well, come on!” I screamed. “Hit me back. You know you want to!” 

I got up into a crouch and decked him in the head again, my knuckles exploding in pain. “Come on!” I pushed my hands into his shoulders and tried to throw him to the ground. He fell easily, and I threw myself on top of him, throwing punch after punch after punch until he finally reached up and grabbed my wrists with both his hands. 

“I’m not going to hit you,” he said, gazing deeply at me with wild eyes, his lip bleeding. “You can hit me all you want but if you’re doing it so I can hit you back, it won’t work. You’ll just break every part of me.” 

“I want to break every part of you!” I exclaimed but gave up and collapsed on him. “I want you to break,” I whispered, my head on his chest, my eyes focused absently on an orange tree. 

“You have,” he said softly, his hand stroking the back of my head. “I told you that you broke me when you left. And you did. I’m not lying to you.” 

“You always lie.” 

“No. Not now.” His voice dropped a register. I raised my head to look at him. He brought his hands on both sides of my cheeks and held me there, his eyes searching me for something. 

“Angel,” he said through a breath. He pulled my face to his, my lips meeting his, slowly. Just a taste of blood and tears. Lips and tongue. The sensation pulled me under, the heat that spread from him and through me, the memories mixing with the smell of orange blossoms. All the pain disappeared as our kiss deepened, all the worry, all the danger melted like my lips and his did together. 

It was wrong. So wrong. And I didn’t care. Like I had so many times before, I was willingly bad.

About the Author
Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and the USA Today Bestselling author of Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, and other wild and romantic reads. She lives in a 1920s farmhouse on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

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