Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy #2) by Karina Halle

ShootingScarsA Dangerous Kind of Love . . . 
When Ellie Watt offered herself to her thuggish former lover Javier to save Camden’s life, she never imagined the twisted game Javier had planned for her. Trapped by him and his entourage of killers, Ellie is forced to commit a dangerous, heinous crime-or Javier will kill Camden. Now ex-con artist Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game . . . before it destroys her and the only man she ever loved. 
Camden McQueen can’t forget Ellie Watt. Seeking revenge and pursued by the authorities for a crime he didn’t commit, the talented tattoo artist does things he never thought himself capable of to save Ellie. As Camden straddles the line between love and retribution, he vows to do everything in his power to get her back. But if Camden unleashes his dark side, will Ellie still love him?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1First things first, this is not a series for the faint of heart. I have to admit, I had no idea what I was in for when I started The Artists Trilogy. The first book, Sins and Needles, set the stage. Shooting Scars definitely keeps the momentum going. Reading the books in this series is like watching a train wreck. You can’t quite believe what’s happening, but you can’t stop reading. Yeah, it’s really that kind of series.

Shooting Scars starts pretty much where Sins and Needles left off. The chapters alternate between Ellie and Camden’s POV. Neither one of them are in a ‘good’ place and for most of the book, they aren’t anywhere near each other. That aspect definitely kept things interesting. The reader knows what’s going on with each character, but they have no idea where the other one is.

Ellie does things in Shooting Scars that shouldn’t have surprised me, but they did. Nope, not gonna say what those things are. She wasn’t proud of those things. In a warped sort of way, she felt that she didn’t deserve to be happy and she deserved to be exactly where she was. Through most of this book I alternated between wanting to hug her and smack some sense into her.

Camden…. well Camden just about broke me in this one. He had one goal, and that was to rescue Ellie. He was still on the run and the stakes got higher. He did some pretty reckless things himself. He was pretty blinded by that goal and then…. Yeah, things got even more intense and more dangerous. The only thing that kept him on an even keel was Ellie’s friend Gus – who evidently has some secrets of his own.

Then there was Javier. Yeah, I’m still not really sure exactly how I feel about him. No, I’m not sympathizing with him… AT ALL… It’s just that everyone has a history and Javier’s obviously shaped him. In a warped sort of way (really, really warped) he loved Ellie. Terrifying, right? You. Have. No. Idea…..

Shooting Scars is definitely a book that lived up to the first book in the trilogy. It reached a point where there was no putting it down and some points where I had to go back just to confirm that the author really went there… and she did. More than once. She showed her characters no mercy and my emotions while reading it went all over the place. Coming to the end didn’t help. Bold Tricks is the end of The Artists Trilogy and I’m hoping that these characters finally get what they deserve…. both good and bad.