by Karina Halle
Release date : January 1st 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased | Format: eBook
Add to: Goodreads
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."
Oy. To be honest, this was THE hardest book to rate thus far and probably one of the most difficult reviews I’ve written. It’s going to sound scatter brained and probably wont make a lick of sense.
It’s no secret I love EIT. I dived head first into that series months ago and I have been drowning in it ever since. (I also joined the stalker ranks. Proudly, thank you) When I saw the blurb for this I was SO excited. Not only because it’s Karina, who is the epitome of awesome, but because this story sounded different and awesome. I’ve heard SO much great things about this book and the hype was C-R-A-Z-Y. Which is the primary reason I held off on reading this as long as I have. Sadly though (and it’s breaking my heart to say this), I couldn’t give it 5 stars and love it like I wanted to. I still loved it as a whole but…
Karina has this way about her. She can take a can of soup, write about it and it’ll sound like the best soup you’ll ever eat. She makes her characters REAL. Real issues. Real pain. Real, well… everything. Her writing is engaging and beautiful and sucks you in completely until you’re finished, leaving you breathless and heartbroken. BUT, while I was engaged in the story and was emotionally screwed, I felt some of it was forced and somewhat lacking.
The story was told from Ellie’s POV with occasional flash backs told from the third person. I loved being able to see what events had taken place to shape and mold the characters into who they became. The plot is the strongest part of the book. Not once, did I know what direction we were headed and I was thrown on MORE than one occasion by the twists, shocking events and developments (one in particular made me yell, loudly. Earning me an odd look my my husband). It was exciting, full of action and heartbreaking all at the same time. I felt the romance was steamy and hot and loved the moments when we saw them together raw and exposed. (not in a dirty way, geez)
Ellie was seriously one of the hardest characters to like. ( I did like her, she just made it extremely difficult) She had a hard life, I get that, and my heart broke for her on more than one occasion BUT I was screaming KARMA BITCH at her a lot. Although she was smart and cunning, she was also indecisive, selfish and just about everything she did was cowardly. Especially the end. I hated that she thought so negatively about well, EVERYONE and EVERYTHING. She lived her life in constant paranoia so I guess I could understand her hesitations and caution but then again, it was her own damn fault. I was hoping to see more growth from her; but really, there wasn’t any, aside from FINALLY realizing her love for Camden. She continued to wallop in her sorrows and feel sorry for herself AND GAVE UP instead of jutting her chin out and fighting, for once. She had been running and trying to stay ahead her whole life and I felt that when it mattered the most, she just.. failed.
Camden. Oh Camden. He too, had some serious freaking issues but I felt he was more likable. He was sexy, sweet and all around a good guy. For the most part, he knew what he wanted and wasn’t about to let anything stand in his way. Especially Ellie’s own stupidity. I loved how he made Ellie feel beautiful and loved. She did deserve some of his harsh remarks and cruel intentions, but then again, I never once thought he would actually hurt her. He was broken, hurting and needed help escaping his life. I did find it odd that he held that sort of grudge for so long though, it was just weird..
Just a side note; I was sort of lost on the whole Javier situation. Was it Love? Pride? Control?
Overall- I did love it. The story was engaging and hold on to your butts exciting (Yes, I’m quoting Jurassic Park) I just had a hard time relating to the characters and understanding a few bits and pieces. I am curious to see where Karina will take us from here, after that cliff hanger ending. I am anxiously waiting for On Every Street and Shooting Scars 😀