Review: Bold Tricks by Karina Halle


Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy #3) by Karina Halle
Forever (October 15, 2013)

Rating: A
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Ellie Watts – Con Artist, Scarred/Changing
Hero: Camden McQueen – Tattoo Artist, Savior
Hero: Javier Bernal – Ruthless, Power Hungry







The Artists Trilogy is a suspenseful, action-packed, cunning, intelligent story with an incredibly complex and sinfully sexy love triangle. It’s my most favorite series of 2013. I love these characters. I love the edgy and gritty writing style. I love the deft plotting. And I love that sexy, nerdy hunk of a man, Camden McQueen. It’s not too often I read a series where each book in a trilogy gets a perfect score. This is the perfect, bittersweet ending to a phenomenal series.

In Bold Tricks, we pick up exactly where we left off in Shooting Scars. Javier, Ellie, and Camden have just escaped from Travis and his cartel. Javier plans to seek revenge against Travis, his old boss and the same man who scarred Ellie’s leg. Ellie and Camden are on a mission to rescue Gus, her mother, and then Camden’s son. The three of them must work together in an awkward and uneasy alliance to reach their endgame in this quest where they are in constant danger. They are forced to go into the inner-city of Mexico with cartel enemies lurking about, dodge bullets, survive wild car chases, face the wilds of the Honduran jungles, and finally face a ruthless and cruel enemy. Choices will be made. Betrayal will be had. They must outsmart and outwit to survive. Expect the unexpected.

“I was a woman born of lies, but here I was being honest even when it hurt me the most.”

Ellie Watts, daughter of grifter parents, a con artist, liar, and a cheat has gone through some character changes since she was first introduced in Sins & Needles. I can’t believe I admitted to not connecting with her at first. My how things have changed. Ellie has become one of my most favorite heroines to read. Ellie has made terrible decisions in her life, decisions she regrets and wants to atone for. She’s proven to be a redeemable heroine through blood, sweat, and tears. Through Ellie’s words, I felt her sorrow, her guilt, her need to change, and her passion. Her raw honesty tugged hard on my heart strings.

“I’m on your side. I’ll be on your side. All the way, until we get home.”

Camden McQueen, tattoo artist and father, is not the weak, nerdy boy anymore. No, Camden is hard and edgy now. He’s a bad ass. Camden really goes balls to the wall in this installment, which was exhilarating and arousing to see this hulky nerd go all Mission Impossible. He took my breath away with his honesty and passionate words. This all-consuming man has proven to be a worthy hero. I’ve loved Camden since the beginning, but I love him even more now… if that’s even possible.

“I’ll be the king and you’ll be my queen.”


There is something so incredibly beautiful about Javier Bernal, yet so scary at the same time. This Mexican drug cartel gangster is the epitome of bad boys and he wants his revenge and power, which means he will stop at nothing to get it in this installment. I really enjoyed watching his character unapologetically show his sadistic side; proving exactly how cunning and ruthless he can be. Javier is fifty layers of complicated and really added a lot of excitement to this story. There were times when his vulnerabilities showed, which is why I love and hate this man at the same time. There is something about him that draws me to him. I won’t tell you how his part of the story plays out, just know that he remains unpredictable.

One more light than dark, one more dark than light. Both men had come for me. Both men had loved me. And both of them I had seriously underestimated.

Camden or Javier? Who does Ellie choose? That’s the question we’ve all been dying to know. Well, I won’t be telling you that little spoiler. *wink wink* But she does make her choice and it came from deep within her heart.

Karina Halle’s writing style is so incredibly unique and intelligent. She writes with so much emotion and passion and fierce energy in which I feel consumed each time I dive into one of her stories. The sex scenes are passion and fire. You will feel every sensual touch, smoldering kiss, and every emotion in the beautifully written sex scenes. They are vulnerable and raw. The action scenes were explosive and vividly depicted. My pulse was pounding for most of the story from the extreme rush of it all. I have become fully invested in these complex character’s lives, which makes it hard to say goodbye. I actually got choked up on the last page.

Bold Tricks is a wildly passionate, high octane, crazy, unpredictable ride and I loved every minute of it. Some of you will be upset over Ellie’s choice and others will shout with joy. There is action aplenty, betrayal, loss, love, jaw-dropping twists, passionate sex, revenge, and redemption. This book had its hooks in me from start to finish and my favorite of the three books. When the storm finally settles, you are going to be left with a lovely ending yet craving more. Like me, you will probably have some questions. But I’m hoping my questions will all be answered in Halle’s new romantic suspense trilogy called Dirty Angels, coming out in 2014. I’m stoked for this new series… to say the least.


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