Tuesday, October 15, 2013

NEW RELEASE AND REVIEW: Bold Tricks by Karina Halle

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.

by Karina Halle
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Genre: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense/New Adult
Digital Original eBook
ISBN: 9781455552214

Well. Done. Before I start this review I feel like I should be completely open about the fact that I'm Team Camden. 100%. Hands down. I've made it very well known that nothing would make me happier than to see Javier dead. Well... another thing you should know about me is that I can talk a big talk. I said I wanted Javier dead but when things got testy, I realized that I did not want Javier to DIE. I just wanted him to suffer. With everyone dying left and right in this book, it's safe to say that there were a couple of "gripping the edge of my seat" moments.  I can't tell you what happened because what would the fun in that be? But I can tell you that you need to BRACE. This book MOVES.  In fact, if I could compare it to anything it would have to be an action packed cartel movie like Savages. I think this series could be put to film very easily! It would be perfect and it's something guys would like to watch too! *Just a thought*
Anyways, back to the team issues. I know that people feel very strongly about the team that they are on. I've always been team Camden and for the life of me can't figure out where the Javier fans are coming from. I try to be objective, but I just don't get it. I'll admit that he definitely made me laugh a few times and if he weren't so pig headed he might be an ok guy. BUT he's a jerk. He's self absorbed. He's heartless. He's warped. MAYBE someone could turn him around one day... but in my opinion, Ellie is not the girl for that. They are like poison to each other and he is NOT good for her heart. Ok, ok, rant over. :)
For the Javier fans... here's one of my favorite Javier quotes.
"Tell me, angel, what is it about that boy that makes you forget who you really are? Is it the tattoos, because you know I have those."..... "Or is it those horrible glasses of his? You know, I can look like a fucking idiot if I really wanted to." 

Ok, so the story picks up right where it left off. Ellie is in an awkward position between Javier and Camden; it creates quite the tension. Camden is rightfully pissed at Ellie because of what she's done in his absence; Javier has just saved the day (and gotten his ass kicked by Camden); and Ellie hates Javier. The only problem is... it seems that Camden hates Ellie and that's the last thing she wants. There are bigger issues than romance though. They are on the run from some pretty bad dudes and have to set all that aside for a bit. They head out to find Javier's sister and then to save Gus. At least that's the plan. Listen, Javier is the villain. He's been the villain the whole time. He's still the villain and his villain tactics really get put to work in this installment.

"We sped south in a car full of love and death."

I have to admit that Sins & Needles was my absolute favorite in the series. Once Javier and the cartel came into play it kind of weaned for me just a little. BUT not that much. I still enjoyed it and LOVED it. I wasn't bored. Not for one second. This is the perfect series to read when you are looking for something different and want to break up the monotony of the hearts and flowers love stories. I was more than satisfied with the ending to this series. MORE THAN SATISFIED. It left me with a smirk and then went on to leave me with a grin in the epilogue. It warmed my heart and I'm HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY with the way things turned out.

"My Ellie. My  beautiful girl. I will burn for you. I will die for you."

So, Bold Tricks, I give you 4-4.5 stars for giving me what I wanted with this last installment. ALSO because I've never read a more riveting, action-packed series. It was phenomenal!

P.S. Word on the street is that there is going to be a "Dirty Angel" series. I have some suspicions as to the first book in the series. *I wonder* ;)

Reviewed by


Ugh. Sharing a room with Javier would be a nightmare at this point, but Camden did have a point. I didn’t trust Javier and knew he was capable of screwing us over at the first opportunity. Staying in separate bedrooms this early in the game would be the perfect opportunity for him to up and leave us. Javier’s alliance only extended to his sister, not to Gus, and the fact that he was even agreeing to help us at all said a lot. Unfortunately, I didn’t know exactly what it said.
“I’m staying with you,” I quickly said to Javier. I didn’t bother putting on an act, smiling or acting coy. He’d see straight through me anyway. He always did.
He raised his brow. “Is that right, angel? And to what do I owe your angelic company?”
“Because you’re both the same,” Camden filled in. He stepped forward and quickly swiped a key out of Javier’s hand. “You’re meant for each other.” He took off for his room, his back straight and proud. My heart both lurched and ached at his words, how badly he was brushing me off, how I’ll he thought of me.
Javier was surprised and loving it. He turned to me, mouth slightly agape. “Wow. Something tells me he was trying to be insulting.”
I couldn’t even fake a smile. “Which one is our room?” I asked, feeling sick as the words came out.
He grinned at me, all snake, no conscience. “Whichever one I choose, angel. Have you got all your belongings?”
Normally I would have brought out everything from the trunk, but there were an awful lot of lives in there, an awful lot of stuff. With me keeping an eye on Javier all night, it was probably safe.
I shook my head. “It’s fine.”
He smiled again, especially as Camden shut the door to room number one.
“Let’s take numero tres, sí?” Javier asked. “More privacy.” He grabbed my hand and led me toward it, though there was nothing gentle or warm in his touch. Just like that, those days were over. I was back to dealing with the spurned Javier, the hunter and the sadist.
He opened the door and flicked on the lights. A few cockroaches skittered underneath the bed, and moths darted to the threadbare light fixture hanging from the ceiling. The room was as run-down as I’d ever seen, and for one twisted second I was glad I wasn’t sleeping there alone. In the next second, though, I was reminded that the company of insects was preferable to his.
He closed the door behind us and put his hand at my neck, holding me there, and leaned into my ear. “Do you want top or bottom?”
I stiffened for a moment then rammed my elbow back into his gut. “Fuck you.”
He let go of me and coughed loudly, still trying to smile. “You should be glad I’m giving you the option, angel.”
“You’re a sick pig.”
He straightened up and shrugged. “It’s what you liked until about, oh, twelve hours ago. Tell me, angel, what is it about that boy that makes you forget who you really are? Is it the tattoos, because you know I have those.” He quickly shed his linen shirt and stood bare-chested before me, the tattoo of his mother’s name on his inner arm. He turned around slowly, making sure I saw the large cross going down his spine. “Or is it those horrible glasses of his? You know, I can look like a fucking idiot if I really wanted to.”
I narrowed my eyes, keeping far away from him like wary prey. “He sees the good in me.”
He laughed. “The good. Of course. The good. So, is that why you’re spending the night with me? Because I looked into that boy’s eyes tonight and there was no good in there left for you.”
My gaze locked with his, a war without further words. His eyes shone yellow-green in the light, looking more inhuman by the moment. 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.
I sucked back my breath and nodded at the sagging bed. “You better get a good night’s sleep.” Then I grabbed one of the pillows and the top sheet and brought it over to the thin Mexican rug that ran along the foot of it.
“You’re serious?” he asked as I started making my bed on the floor.
“Good night,” I told him, lying down on top of the sheet. I didn’t trust the cleanliness of the floor and it was too hot to have a sheet on top of me anyway. I rolled over so I was facing away from him. He was still standing near the bed.
“Come now,” Javier said. “Sharing a bed with me isn’t that bad. You’ve been doing it for the last week. Is the inevitable sex too distracting?”
I ground my teeth together but didn’t say a word.
Suddenly he dropped to the ground on top of me, flipping me over so I was on my back, pinning both of my arms to the ground, his face just inches from mine. Wild strands of his hair partially obscured his feverish eyes.
“I’ll scream,” I said hoarsely, fear pulsing through my veins.
He grinned. “You know I love that.”

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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