Monday, October 28, 2013

[Review] Bold Tricks by Karina Halle


Title: Bold Tricks[The Artist Trilogy #3]
Published: Oct. 15, 2013
Author: Karina Halle
Pages: 432

Barnes & Noble

From Goodreads:

The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .
Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he's been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . .

One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who's made a permanent mark on Ellie's heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who's busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.


This review does not have any Bold Tricks spoilers, but may have slight spoilers for Sins & Needles and Shooting Scars.

I think that by now my love for Karina Halle has been made perfectly clear. I've been super burnt out lately, on reading/blogging/life-ing, and I haven't found the want to read much of anything. Then Bold Tricks came out and I forgot all about any kind of slump I've been in and rushed to get back to Ellie's story. At then end of Shooting Scars I was left with a feeling of “what the fuck?”. I liked the ending, it was definitely unpredictable, but it left me with anxiety about what would happen next.

“My real nature, my real self, wanted that person to believe in me, to see the good, ignore the bad, and make me feel like I had a future.”

The book picks up where the last left off so there was a fast paced opening that hooked me instantly. The story never slows or falters, and there were many moments where the twists had me picking my chin up off the floor. The character evolution is amazing. Ellie, Camden, and Javier had all changed in different ways and Bold Tricks really highlights who they are at the core.

“It wasn't that I couldn't go back to being me-I was never very good to begin with – but if we'd both changed, could we find each other again as we did before?”

In Bold Tricks Ellie is battling to stay alive in the jungle, but she is also battling herself and the guilt from her past decisions. Ellie has never felt like a good person, or like she was someone who deserved real love, but she still fights for everything she wants. She let her past determine the way she was living, scamming people and never caring about anyone except herself and vengeance. I really love Ellie because she's not one of those good girls I've gotten sick of reading about, she's a bad ass who needs a little redemption. Ellie started out looking for a quick payday, but ended up taking a long look at herself, who she was, and who she wants to be.

“At least I can see you clearly. The things up close. The things that matter.”

Camden McQueen is a tall, tatted, glasses-wearing, sex god with a heart of gold. Oh, and he's also something like a crazy badass when it comes to the people he loves. I think Camden went through the most change. He really realized what he was capable of, and I think that really helped him relate to Ellie a little more. Camden was the wild card for me. I didn't know what he was going to do after everything that he went through.

“You're the only one who gave me a soul. If I don't have one anymore, it's not my fault.”

Javier almost blinded me. I admit, I was all about him after reading On Every Street, but I slowly came out of my Javi-coma. There is something special about Javier. Something that made me want to love him, despite everything he has done. I don't think Javier is a character that can ever be truly understood. He's all gray area and unpredictability. I thought Javier's major weakness was Ellie, but I realized that his real weakness is his need for power.

All the anxiety I had before starting this book was for no reason. The characters never felt phoney or typical, and neither did the story. Karina delivered[as she always does] with the final installment in this series.

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