Friday, October 18, 2013

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: "Bold Tricks" by Karina Halle

Author: Karina Halle
Release: October 15, 2013 by Forever
Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense/New Adult

Rating:  5 Stars *****


The Faster They Live, the Harder They Fall . . .Raised by con artists, Ellie Watt has a lot of crazy childhood memories-but none crazier than being scarred with acid by the demented crime boss Travis Raines. Now Ellie is a full-grown woman who lives for revenge, and Travis is a full-blown drug lord who kills for pleasure. The sadistic bastard has kidnapped her good friend Gus as well as her mother, whom he's been holding as prized possessions in his heavily guarded lair. And Ellie has only one chance in hell of getting them out alive-using two dangerous men who love her to death . . .

One is Camden McQueen, a talented tattoo artist who's made a permanent mark on Ellie's heart. The other is Javier Bernal, her fiery ex-lover who's busted more than a few heads in his time. From the crime-ridden streets of Mexico City to the predatory jungles of Honduras, this unlikely trio forms an uneasy alliance in the deadliest game of all-a gun-blazing battle to the finish that will pit enemy against enemy and lover against lover. And Ellie must choose the right man to trust . . . or die.

My Review:

Wow. From the first sentence this book was a wild, crazy, exciting ride. The action was so well written that “my” heart was racing and “I” was holding my breath (my hubs actually asked if I was hyperventilating at on point). Our motley crew of anti-heroes are on the run of their lives. Racing to get to Javi’s sister before Travis or his men can and on a mission to save Gus and Elli’s mother.

The relationships in this book are so multifaceted. Not a single one is cut and dry. Javier and his sister, Elli and Javi’s sister, Elli and Javi, Elli and Cam, Javi and Cam, Elli and Gus and Elli and her mother… all are perplexing.

Let’s talk about Elli and Javi for a moment. Does he love her or is he obsessed with her? I think a little of both. I think he loves the idea of having someone to be his queen. Javi is basically alone in the world. He can trust no one. No one can trust him. He uses every one as pawns in his game of power and the only loyalty he garners either has to be bought and paid for or wrought in fear of him. Does that make him a sympathetic character? Yes and no. He uses people… even if he cares for them. Nothing and no one is as important as his rise to power. We WANT him to show a heart… We WANT him to choose love over power… We WANT him to be redeemed… that makes him sympathetic because we want so badly to love him. His obsession with Elli surpassed love a long time ago. I think he did love her once. I think now he is just sickly trained on owning her. He simply doesn’t like to lose.

Now let’s talk about Elli and Cam. Does he still love her or has she put him through too much? I think it’s safe to say that Cam has changed the most throughout this series. He’s seen some things and been forced to do some things that will forever scar him. Elli hurt him as a teenager… and Elli hurt him as an adult. He still loves her wants to protect her even if he can’t forgive her. One could argue that is obsession, but I don’t think so. See Cam is the only one who knew the real Elli from the beginning. His intentions from day one were pure and they haven’t changed. He doesn’t want to change her he wants to let her be the person she wants to be. He’s not trying to force her to fit into his world and if anything he has changed to fit into hers. He’s the one making all the sacrifices. Even if he doesn’t get the girl in the end he will still bend heaven and earth to make sure she is safe and reunited with the ones she loves. Did you catch that… EVEN IF HE DOESN’T GET THE GIRL… isn’t that the definition of love?

Working together with both of these men puts Elli in an uncomfortable place. Having to rely on both to survive and also them having to reply on each other. Their grand plans to infiltrate Travis’s compound seems like a suicide mission and all is not what it seems. Wheels were put into motion a long time ago for this very showdown. When all is revealed it will leave you speechless.

So who gets the girl…. That all depends on Elli. Elli has a choice to make. The choice isn’t really about Team Javi verses Team Cam. It never really was. They just represent two different paths. The choice is about who she “wants to be”… not who she “wants to be with”. 

I highly recommend this series and Bold Tricks is definitely one of my Top 5 books of 2013. So go get it…

Favorite Quotes:

“On one side of me was Camden McQueen, on the other was Javier Bernal. 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.”

“I have steady hands”

“I fucking need you and I need you to forgive me. I need that more than anything in the world!

“I don't want to love you, Ellie, but I do love you. I can't stop myself. I've been try to since the moment I saw you with him. You broke me, you broke my fucking heart. You broke me into so many pieces that I didn't think I could find myself again. And I'm so damn scared, I'm scared just like you. You've always been my love, Ellie Watt, since the very beginning.

"Deep in his insanity, he was making some sense. That’s what I hated most about Javier, that there was always a kernel of truth to his words, a truth that made you fall for the lies."

About the Author:

The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).
Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently splits her time between her apartment in downtown Vancouver and her sailboat, where a book and a bottle of wine are always at hand. She’s hard at work on her next novel.

Twitter: @MetalBlonde

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome giveaway! Cant wait to read these books!