BOOK REVIEW | THE ARTISTS TRILOGY BY KARINA HALLE (SPOILER FREE)

July 20, 2016

The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it's so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA). -Goodreads

Karina Halle is a phenomenal author. If you're in need of a series that is dark, suspensful, and addicting, then this is the trilogy for you. I started reading this series in January and just got around to finishing it.

*Disclaimer: Before you continue on with this review, I just want to point out that I did not read these books back to back. The reviews, more so the first one, are not as in depth as I would've liked them to be, and that's because when I started drafting them, my thoughts weren't as new and detailed. Sorry about that. But without further ado, let's start this book review!

Sins & Needles


Synopsis
Ellie Watt is used to starting over. The daughter of a grifting team, Ellie spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam. Now she’s much older, wiser and ready to give her con artist life a rest. But returning to the dry desert town of Palm Valley, California means one more temptation than she bargained for – Camden McQueen. Once known as the high school weirdo, Camden is bigger and badder than the boy he used to be and a talented tattoo artist with his own thriving business. Ellie’s counting on Camden still being in love with her but what she’s not counting on is how easily unrequited love can turn into obsession over time. When Camden discovers Ellie’s plan to con him, he makes her a deal she doesn’t dare refuse, but her freedom comes with a price and it’s one that takes both Ellie and Camden down a dangerous road. - Goodreads

My Review
I read this book back in January and sadly, I can't fully remember everything about it (stupid memory). But from what I do remember, this book was one of the best books I've ever read. It was different from what I usually lean towards, but that's what made me love it even more. We're told the story of Ellie Watt in both a past and present tense, which I found to be a cool addition to the story. Ellie Watt is not a good person, but she desperately wants to be. Then we have Camden McQueen who will steal your heart the moment you meet him. And then there's Javier, who you hate now, but love when you read the next book. Sins & Needles kept me on my toes and I never found myself bored while reading it.

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS


Shooting Stars


Synopsis
A 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?- Goodreads

My Review
Before I start, Karina Halle kills me with these cliffhangers man. Moving on. Did I like Shooting Stars more than Sins & Needles? That's hard to say because both books left me in a state of awe. Shooting Stars throws the reader into the world of the drug cartel in Mexico and show us how serious and dangerous it is. It shows the reader how much power one person can hold over a community, and boy is it scary. I was so focused while reading this book, especially the last chapter. There is back to back action scenes that will play out greatly in your head. In this book, we not only have Ellie's perspective, but Camden's as well. I think being inside Camden's head made me connect with him more on a deeper level, which only made me fall deeper in love with his character. Javier plays a huge role in Shooting Stars and although you're suppose to hate him, I kind of dig him in some weird way. I'm hoping we don't have a love triangle in the next book because I don't know how I'll be able to handle that.

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS


Bold Tricks


Synopsis
With more lives at stake and games in motion, Ellie, Camden and Javier form an uneasy alliance that will take them from the treacherous streets of inner-city Mexico to the wilds of the Honduran jungles in order to find their freedom. But with liberty just on the horizon, the cost might come at their own redemption. - Goodreads

My Review
If you want to know how a trilogy or any series for that matter should end, Bold Tricks is the book to show you. The build up from the last 2 books all comes down in this final installment, and it exceeded every expectation I had. Throughout the entire book, I was on my toes, anxious to find out what was going to happen next, who was going to die next, which man Ellie will chose, etc etc. It was hard to catch your breathe, because as soon as you think you could relax, SOMETHING HAPPENS.

The story starts where the last book left off, in Mexico, where Camden, Ellie, and Javier build an alliance to save a friend and seek revenge. This book includes fast paced action scenes, with little to no time to collect your thoughts on what just happened. There are unbelievable twists and turns, betrayals, love, sex, anger, and everything else you can imagine. As the team sets off on their mission, the tension between the three of them only gets stronger with every chapter. Ellie is suppose to make a decision on the man she wants to be with, and it's not as obvious as it may seem. Both Camden and Javier hold a place in her life, and choosing one over the other does lead to consequences.

I will say this though, the romance in this book does get cheesy, but it's not cringe worthy. These characters have been through hell and back for years, so when they start associating metaphors to display their love, it's fucking adorable because they deserve to be a little cheesy and cliche after the hell they've been through. If it was any other book, I'd be turned off by it, but based on the situation that these characters are in, I felt like it was needed.

With the romance playing a huge part in this series finale, it surprisingly didn't get in the way of the drug cartel and it's role in the book. Bold Tricks was a fantastic read and I was more than pleased with how it ended.

RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 


This trilogy was better than I could've imagined. I was so hesitant to pick it up because like I said, it's out of my reading comfort zone, but I'm happy I got the chance to check it out. It didn't disappoint me whatsoever. It kept me engaged with every chapter. I fell in love with the characters (yes, even Javier). I know that this story will forever hold a special place in my heart and I hope that it does in yours too.

SERIES RATING : TOO HIGH TO PLACE A NUMBER ON IT

What are your thoughts on The Artists Trilogy? Team Camden or Team Javier? Have you read the novella, On Every Street? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Thank you for reading!

xo, kathlyn

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