Shooting Scars, Artist Trilogy #2...

Shooting Scars - 'Karina Halle'

I'm reeling from finishing this book in the wee hours of the morning. To say that Cam and Ellie have been on my mind the last two days reading this book would be an understatement.

“Will you burn with me?” she asked. “Or will you go free?” 
I grabbed her face as the heat pressed in. “I’ll burn with you.” 
My lips touched hers for one second. Our screams covered us in the next.

Shooting Scars is the second book in The Artists Trilogy, byKarina Halle. We meet up with Camden and Ellie not long after we left them at the end of Sins & Needles. Ellie is with Javier and Cam is back with his family and they're going to run away together. But Ellie and Cam are still in love with each other and both doing what they think the other wants and needs. But Ellie and Cam are destined to be together, but at what cost?

A whole new light...

We see Camden is a whole new light in Shooting Scars. It's frightening, scary and damn sexy. 

If I’d ever get my life back and take charge. But I had to. I wanted to. I was going to find Gus. And then I was going to find Ellie. And nothing, absolutely nothing, would get in my way.

There is a scene where Camden uses his tattooing machine to inflict pain on a thug that wont give him the information he wants. It's almost a game changer for Cam, he does this and he'll be different but he's so far gone at this point that he doesn't hesitate. He'll do anything to get Ellie back because he believes that once he has her back then she can redeem him of his sins. 

Ellie isn't innocent either but her transformation is more of her coming to the realization that her relationship with Javier was all just a game to him. Who was really playing who six years ago? My heart broke for Ellie in Shooting Scars, yes she's a con artist but she's also a little girl abandoned and not protected by her parents. Ellie is still being used by Javier and he knows just what to say to get her to do what he wants. It's almost painful to read how she falls under his spell again...

Then he stopped a few feet back, close enough for me to smell his earthy cologne, close enough to grab me if he wanted to, but not close enough to be doing anything wrong. He was good at that, skirting the line between coincidence and intent.

Javier is my least favorite character in this book. He scared me in On Every Street and I thought he couldn't get any more creepier... He did. Six years away from Ellie has given Javier time to plan his next move and without giving anything away, it's a move that even I didn't see coming. It's calculated, devious and heartless to say the least. Seeing Javier in this new light, he's so far gone I don't know what he could do to redeem himself. 

Men like Javier used sympathy as a fuel.

The Story...

Shooting Scars take the reader to a place most haven't gone before, into the mexican drug cartel and I have to say this world scared the pants off me. I know that in the Artist Trilogy world some people are Team Cam and some are Team Javier. Javier scares me beyond belief, It's like the words that roll off his tongue are serpents, each one ready to strike. 

Part of the reason I gave this second book a 3.5 stars is because of the over the top storyline. Gun fights, running from Cartel mansions and car chases are always fun to read about but at some point when done to many times they begin to feel fake. I found this to be the case towards the end of Shooting Scars. To the point that when the book ended I almost felt cheated because we don't really have a resolutions between Javier, Ellie and Cam. We're left with a small cliffhanger and the idea that these three are not done fighting and running. 

In conclusion, Shooting Scars is another great addition to theKarina Halle collection. This fast paced, non-stop trilled ride will push the lines between what makes you good and what makes you bad. The idea of what you are willing to sacrifice for those you love? Although, I wasn't thrilled at the ending of this book, i'm still eagerly awaiting the next and final book in The Artist Trilogy. 

Looked right at me. Blue, beautifully blue and soulful eyes behind Clark Kent glasses. Strong, wide jaw, full lips, straight nose. Model looks on a model body, dense muscular shoulders, biceps I couldn’t fit my hands around. I knew because I’d tried. Tight black T-shirt that showed it all off, including a sling that went around one shoulder, propping up one heavily inked arm. Camden McQueen.

ARC courtesy of Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.