Woah – what a wild ride!
It was just such a “different” read! It was quite refreshing to read something that you really can’t compare to anything else. It was edgy and gritty, at times heart breaking and others steamy, along with a touch of snark.
I’m finding this book hard to review despite really liking it because for most of the book you really don’t know which end is up. Usually when I write my reviews, there are some constants to base it off of but with this one the ground was constantly shifting beneath me and so I was just never quite sure where I was standing. But, then again, that’s part of the whole charm of the book.
Scarred both inside and out, and having been raised by grifter parents, the only life Ellie has ever known has been one of cons, deceit and constant relocation. Tired of always being on the run and changing identities, she is determined to make a fresh start for herself and returns to her home town where she runs into Camden McQueen. Once the weird goth high school reject, he is now a hot-as-shit guitar-playing tattoo artist with dimples. Dimples, ladies!! Be still my freaking heart!!!!
Counting on his affection for her and reverting back to what she knows best, she plans to con him and leave town but there were many things she wasn’t counting on. His life isn’t as simple as it seems and there are dangerous men from her past that are catching up to her. Together, they are thrown in on a wild, fast-paced ride filled with twist and turns, heart-break, steam, and sacrifice.
The story is told from Ellie’s POV in a mixture of flashbacks and present day story lines which really helped answer questions and to understand the mood behind their current relationship.
At 25% I was enjoying the story but honestly not quite sure where it was going. Several twists later I still wasn’t sure. 85% and I was still wondering …
There were just so many unknowns that you really couldn’t help but start to form theories. There were so many possibilities and ulterior motives behind everything and everyone. It really just keep you guessing.
The story was deep and twisty… much like Camden and Ellie’s relationship. Their entire relationship was based on tangled emotions and a mind game of manipulation. Talk about a love/hate relationship. They really took the cake with this one!
“Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost… A freak, a work of art, a liar, and a lover.”
His gaze was starting to eat away at my insides. Razor-blade butterflies whirled in my heart.
“I hate you, Ellie Watt,” he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, “Because I still love you after all these years.”
I loved Camden – he had a few kinda crazier moments but for the most part was just plain awesome. My heart really broke for him – especially hearing about his teenage years – and the anger that he still held was truly more than understandable.
“Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist? That’s the trouble with pain, Ellie. If you’re lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside them, in places no one ever goes. Not until its too late.”
But the more I learned about him, the more understandable his more extreme actions became so all in all he was definitely the highlight of the book for me. He’d go from swoony to fuckhot to scary to sympathizing… and did I mention hot??
“We ended up in the bedroom for our final course. Nothing fancy here, just the good ol’ missionary position. Women may scoff at it, but I’m telling you, when you have an all-male machine of strength and hard muscle primed above you, pounding you to the bed while spearing you with his eyes, there’s no better feeling in the world.”
I had a weird time connecting with Ellie. You know how much we love bad boys? Well… Ellie’s a bad girl. She’s self-sufficient, always toying with danger, and I don’t know if its odd to say this but I both liked and didn’t like her at times. I could understood where she was coming from but at the same time I had a few issues with her actions in the past and her decisions towards the end of the book. But, that being said, I look forward to seeing her journey over the course of the trilogy.
“I have to live with my mistakes, but I dont have to regret them. I regret my actions but I can’t regret the consequences. We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again.”
At 40% there was a BRILLIANT twist that I had suspected and hoped for, but wasn’t sure if I was right so when it happened I just SQUEE’ed. Out loud! I loved the direction it swung the story in.
And after that, we’re taken on a roller coaster of drug lords, psycho ex-boyfriends, high speed chases, casinos… everywhere from small towns to Sin City, mansions to motel rooms… it really is a wild ride.
I loved the writing style – I have definitely become a new fan of Karina Halle.
The sex was HOTTTT but I wish there had been a bit stronger romance. That being said, I have to remember that this is only the first of a trilogy and so I have hopes for it developing further in the later books.
My only real complaint is that I found the ending entirely too predictable. I wasn’t surprised by the turn of events and so I was hoping for a little ‘more’ there. It was like “NOooo!! Don’t fall for that trick! Its ALWAYS a trap!” . But yeah – DEFINITELY a cliffhanger. No Kindle throwing, or anything, but you are kind of left hanging at big crossroads.
That being said, I’m totally invested in the story now so I will absolutely be continuing on with the series!
** SERIES READING ORDER **
Book #1 — SINS & NEEDLES
Buy for Kindle
Book #0.5 — ON EVERY STREET
Buy for Kindle
Book #2 — SHOOTING SCARS
Buy for Kindle
Book #3 — BOLD TRICKS
Buy for Kindle