Well everyone, we’ve finally reached the conclusion to the Ellie, Camden and Javier saga. Book two, Shooting Scars, left me on the edge of my seat, completely confused about what direction the author would take and how it would all end. I had no idea who Ellie would end up with, I wasn’t even sure who I wanted her to end up with. This entire series has been one big, wild adrenalin rush from beginning to end. Ms. Halle has managed to keep me enthralled with characters, relationships and situations that were so crazy it was hard to wrap my mind around them. But each time I finished a book in this series I waited with bated breath to see what would happen next.
Bold Tricks picks up immediately with our dysfunctional trio on the run from the drug lord Travis. Everything in Ellie’s life is finally coming to a head. Who does she trust? Why was her mother working for Travis? How is she going to get Gus back? There are all these questions and smack dab in the middle is her feelings for the two men in her life, the tattooed man from her youth who she thinks will redeem her and the ruthless, drug kingpin who is her first love. In the previous installment Ellie makes choices and acts in ways that left me wondering what direction she would take when it was all said and done. In this book she finally quits wavering back and forth over who she wants and how she is going to go forward. Ellie grows up. Ellie becomes a bad-ass who finally, finally starts to make her own destiny.
In fact it seemed like everyone’s true selves finally come to the surface. Javier is revealed to be the selfish, power-hungry man willing to do what ever it takes to make it to the top of the food chain, including sacrifice those he professes to love. Camden is back to being the good guy to just wants to save Ellie and even though is still hurt and angry by her behavior in book two, he is willing to go all the way to help her. With every page that turned I was happy and sad. Happy that Ellie and Camden were becoming better versions of themselves, while sad that the Javier I kept looking for, the one that I was hoping would end up surprising everyone by letting some good shine through, kept slipping further away.
Every single question that readers have had while reading this series is answered by the conclusion. As our main characters race across Mexico and into Honduras, evading men out to kill them and trying to rescue Ellie’s mother and Gus, all the plot threads wrap up and readers get the answers they’ve been looking for. There were just as many twists and turns, the action scenes still moving along at high-speed. The love scenes are ridiculously hot. And through it all I remained waiting, just knowing Karina Halle would somehow take me somewhere I wasn’t expecting and surprise me yet again. In the end I think the biggest surprise was that there was even a happily ever after for Ellie. A true, sweet HEA that left me completely satisfied with my journey.
For those of you thinking of picking this series up I would urge you to read them in order, which I’ve included:
On Every Street (prequel to trilogy)
The Artist Trilogy will always remain on my favorites list. I’ve fallen in love with these characters and am a little sad that it’s all over and I’m saying goodbye. Final Grade- A-
It was wrong, it was wrong, it was wrong to be doing this with him, in here, when the whole world was dying out there, but I didn’t care. I loved him and I needed him more than I ever needed anyone. I loved him and love had to be good in this life full of bad.