Twice as Nice: Shooting Scars by Karina Halle


Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2) by Karina Halle
Forever (August 20, 2013)

Rating: A
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Ellie Watts – Con Artist, Scarred
Hero: Camden McQueen – Tattoo Artist, Ruthless






I have been waiting impatiently for this book ever since the nail biting cliffhanger at the end of Sins & Needles. I was a newbie to Karina’s writing and taken by surprise by how much I fell in love with the edgy writing and authentic, gripping storytelling. She took me on a journey that blew my mind away. And let me tell you, when I finally got my greedy little paws on Shooting Scars, I devoured it and then was left with the biggest book hangover. EVER.

Camden, Javier, Camden, Javier, Camden, Javier… what’s a girl to do? At the end of Sins & Needles, Ellie was forced to make a decision: choose between the life she desperately wants with the man she fell in love with or go with the man she once loved, and now despises, to save Camden. She chose to save Camden.

Shooting Scars alternates chapters in dual POV’s between Ellie and Camden. The story opens up exactly where we left of in Sins & Needles. Ellie Watts is now in a bad situation, forced to go with Javier, who is older and more terrifying than the boy she fell obsessively in love with. She left Camden behind to take care of his ex-wife and son. As Ellie rides off into the unknown with Javier, her future is uncertain.

Javier Bernal is a man fueled by revenge and coerces Ellie to help him exact his revenge. Ellie should be fueled by this same revenge, but things have changed during her time with Camden. In Camden, she saw the possibility that she could have a normal life. Her hope that she could start over fresh has been taken away from when Javier made her choose. Camden is angry and hurt by Ellie’s choice. He’s torn between protecting his wife and child from danger or saving the woman he loves from Javier. Two men, polar opposites, love the same woman but have different agendas when it comes to Ellie. Strap your seatbelt on tight, because this wild ride begins with a BANG and never lets up.

Ellie is a tough con artist, independent, and sometimes fearless. She has created a hard shell to protect herself from her scarred past, yet underneath that tough persona, she’s extremely vulnerable. She wants do the right thing so she sacrifices her happiness by going with Javier to protect Camden from harm. But with Javier, who is the epitome of sexy, smooth, scary, and manipulative, she is weak. Javier is her first love, the one man she would’ve given up everything for. Until he ripped her heart out and stomped on it.

“A love that starts out under a lie is bound to kill you and sometimes you lived to tell the tale.”

But now that she is around Javier again, all those memories she’s compartmentalized over the years come roaring back to the forefront. She starts to feel conflicted over him. She’s drawn to him, but she hates him for what he did and everything that he stands for – powerful leader of a drug cartel and murderer. She now feels lonely and uncertain and is tormented by her anguish to be a good person. And now that Javier has Ellie alone, he’s able to get inside her head and manipulate her. He says he needs her. He says that she is the only woman for him and that she crushed him when she left him. There are answers as to why Javier did what he did to Ellie… But it wasn’t good enough for me. What it all comes down to… What’s more important to Javier: His revenge or Ellie?

Camden McQueen makes my heart flutter every time he walks onto the pages. I love that hulking nerd of sexiness with his gorgeous tats and beautiful blue eyes. Oh, but Karina Halle almost had me switching teams when she wrote Ellie and Javier’s heartbreaking story, On Every Street. And let me tell you, Javier is a sexy temptation that is hard to resist, but being reunited with Camden and seeing him change into a raging bull in this book completely squashed the temptation I had for Javier. Camden came out of the gates guns blazing, ready to kick some Mexican gangster ass.

“I was going to find her, wherever she was, because I was hers. She had all of me, always had.”

Being inside Camden’s head made this book so much more thrilling and interesting. Knowing his thoughts and feelings on how he feels about Ellie made me fall harder for him. The man has been shitted on so many times over the years and he’s angry. He wants redemption. This anger fuels him to get his revenge against Javier and to save his Ellie from the man that he hates with every fiber in his being. Camden goes through an acute amount of changes in this story. And, by the end, Camden is definitely not the same man as before.

“It made me realize that in saving her, I might lose myself.”

To save Ellie, Camden teams up with Gus, who is an ex-cop and Ellie’s pseudo father figure. He was introduced in the first book, but plays a bigger role in this story. I learned that Gus is a big ole dangerous teddy bear. He’s got secrets and I’m dying to know them.

Shooting Scars is a dark, sexy, and sublimely written story that will take you on an exhilarating ride and leave you breathless and utterly speechless. The action explodes right from the beginning and is relentless. The plotline is multi-layered with double-crossings, emotional turmoil, despair, danger, and shocking twists that will keep you glued to the pages. You will be holding your breath as you watch the story unfold and truths are revealed. The love triangle is brilliantly written. You will be left lusting after Camden or Javier, who both kick ass and never take names. (Though I’m firmly on Camden’s side. That beautiful, tattooed nerd owns my heart.) So much happens in this book that I can’t even begin to describe how impacted I was by the story. This series rocks my world.


Letitia’s Review: Click here to read another take on Shooting Scars!


To celebrate Shooting Scars release, Karina will be doing a Facebook chat today, 8/20, at 6 PM EST / 3 PM PST! You don’t have to be invited to join, just click & join the event – easy peasy!


About the Author

Karina Profile Pic

The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she's preparing for the zombie apocalypse.

Find Karina Online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


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