Review: Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

E-ARC: 352 pages
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: December 16, 2014
Source of my copy: Forever/Netgalley
Series: The Artist Trilogy #3
The third and final installment in Karina Halle's USA Today bestselling Artists Trilogy, now available in mass market paperback.

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.

I don't know quite how to rate Bold Tricks, you guys. I like it but I also had a big issue with it. I guess I'll just go with 

If you had not read the first two books in the Artist Trilogy, do not read this post. You need to read the books in the trilogy in order (Sins & Needles is book one and Shooting Scars is book two--click on the links to read my thoughts about each book) because they are a continuation of each other. If you have not read Bold Tricks, it's probably not a good idea to read this post. I'm going to be spoiling a major plot point.

The Artist Trilogy is the most unique romance I've read so far. None of the main characters, Ellie, Camden and Javier, are cut in a black-and-white/good guys vs. bad guys way. All of the have a dark side and all made questionable choice throughout the series, and there's a strong love triangle (yes, Ellie sleeps with both men--this is not usually my cup of tea but there it surprisingly works!). Basically, the series does not follow the typical romance novel rules and this fact made me kind of uncomfortable. But, at the same time it was refreshing, because it's almost like reading outside the box for me--this trilogy was a unique experience all its own. So, if you want to read a romance novel turned on its head, then check out The Artist Trilogy. 

Bold Tricks was a really good read--if you read the first two books in the series then this novel is a must-read for you. I liked it a lot. BUT I had a big issue with it: how the love triangle was resolved. I was spoiled (I was okay knowing this spoiler because I wanted to root for the guy who ends up with the girl--I didn't want to root for the other guy and be disappointed) and I knew that the end game was that Ellie was going to end up with Camden. That's why I kind of hardened myself against Javier even though he had some really fantastic moments and explosive chemistry with Ellie. By the end of Shooting Scars I couldn't wait to see how the love triangle would get resolve. I mean, I knew who Ellie would choose but not how Ellie came about her with her final decision.

I expected something a lot more than what I actually got in Bold Tricks. Ellie made her choice, but the way things happened... it lacked a build up that was in Shooting Scars where Ellie struggled with her feelings for Camden and Javier. It felt too easy when she made her choice. And then after she picked Camden, Javier got awful and mean quickly. It almost felt like the author is all, to the Team Javier fans, "See, Ellie made the right choice. Javier is not the guy for her." That part just left me leaving wanting. I wanted more fireworks and struggle there.

But, like I said, Bold Tricks is still a great read. It is well-written in Karina Halle's signature writing. There's plenty of action to keep you at the edge of your seat, all leading up to the final showdown. The revelations that we've been waiting for were also revealed. Despite my issue, I was still super into this novel. If you've read Sins & Needles and Shooting Scars there is no reason to not pick up Bold Tricks. If you have not picked up Sins & Needles yet, what are you waiting for?

1 comment

  1. I haven't read this series, I have yet to read it. Great review!

    Benish | Feminist Reflections


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