Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: Shooting Stars by Karina Halle

Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2)
Goodreads Summary: Sometimes the right choice can be the deadliest.
When Ellie Watt made the ultimate sacrifice for Camden McQueen, she never thought it would be easy. But walking away with her ex-lover, Javier Bernal, in order to ensure Camden’s safety has brought a whole new set of dangers. With Javier’s plans for Ellie growing more secretive by the moment, Ellie must find a way to stay ahead of the game before her past swallows her whole.
Meanwhile, Camden’s new life is short-lived. Fueled by revenge and pursued by authorities, he teams up with an unlikely partner in order to save Ellie. But as Camden toes the line between love and retribution, he realizes that in order to get back the woman he loves, he may have to lose himself in the process. He might just turn into the very man he’s hunting.
Goodreads / Barnes and Noble

Genre: Adult, Romance
Pages: 265
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Purchased the e-book 

First Line: "'You wanted mt to catch you, didn't you?' Javier's voice cut into my thoughts like a drill." 

Favorite Quote: "True love doesn't have a sick desperation to it, an undercurrent of doom. People who burn that brightly still get burned in the end." 


Warning: Review contains spoilers for the first book 

I picked this up almost immediately after finishing Sins & Needles because I just had to know what was going to happen next after that ending. I think I made a good decision since I ended up concluding that the sequel was even better than the first. Honestly, though, I have no idea why the title is Shooting Stars. I could understand sins and needles because it was the name of Camden's tattoo parlor, but where on earth did stars come into play here? Thankfully the series continues to be difficult to put down and just as addictive as before. Halle is definitely a fan of ending her stories with cliffhangers, though, and while I kind of appreciate the suspense I also wish it didn't end quite so abruptly. Thankfully, I won't have to wait very long for Bold Tricks to come out - I've always thought a whole year was way too much time to suffer through while waiting for the next installment in an interesting series with intriguing characters.

I was a little wary at first when I found at that Shooting Stars was going to be told in dual POVs, switching every chapter from Ellie to Camden. Though I still haven't completely warmed up to Ellie as a protagonist, I'm used to her voice and as much as I love Camden, I wasn't sure I wanted the style of the story changed.   However, it was completely necessary in this book since the two are separated for a good eighty five percent. of it or so. I would have had no idea what Camden was up to, otherwise. And thank goodness that wasn't so, because I might have started to doubt him, though not as much as Ellie did. I understand that Ellie doesn't trust people - given her life experiences, it's really not surprising at all. Yet I couldn't help but feel a little dejected at how quickly she decided that Camden had settled happily down with his ex-wife and son, Sophia and Ben, and forgotten about her completely after everything they went through together in the first book. Camden could have had a pretty solid basis for hating Ellie twice over - once when she basically betrayed him in high school, and the other when she tried to rob him after they slept together and went on a date. Yet he managed to fall in love with her anyway despite that. If he's so determined to love her, why on earth would he give up so easily, especially when he thought she was in danger?

For that reason alone, I was pretty irked with Ellie for the majority of Shooting Stars. That's not to say that I didn't pity her once in a while. Sometimes I even liked her for being smart and sassy - I definitely loved her sarcastic sense of humor. I wondered if my opinion of Javier would change over the course of the novel, after having seen quite a few reviews swooning over him, but I have to say that it's almost completely unchanged. I suppose he did have a few redeeming qualities - I think he does care about Ellie in his own way  and he never failed to make the scenes come alive on the page/screen with his intensity - but at the same time, he's pretty much just a bad guy. He never tells Ellie a certain truth about Camden and he basically tells her that she's as bad as him and therefore deserves him and his lifestyle, which helps to break down Ellie's control gradually until she believes him. A combination of that feeling - which in my opinion was akin to worthlessness - and old feelings of love cause her to sleep with Javier more than once. Though I couldn't deny the chemistry between them, at the same time it felt wrong and my heart broke when Camden saw them together.

I'm not sure if I'll ever think differently about Javier, but there's one more book in the series, and I could be wrong. For now, though, I'm Team Camden all the way. The actual plot of the story was very engrossing - on one hand you have Camden trying to find Ellie, and you have Ellie, who is dealing with a lot of internal and external problems. The main external one is that Javier wants her to help him kill a man named Travis, who caused the scarring on Ellie's leg and murdered Javier's sister. The climatic scene at the end involving him was very exciting. I have some ideas about what might happen next, but mostly I'm just really curious about these characters' immediate future because three main ones are left in a somewhat awkward situation.

4.5 stars

Books in this series:
0.5 On Every Street
1. Sins & Needles
2. Shooting Stars
3. Bold Tricks

Other Opinions: 

Little Read Riding Hood
Book Series Addict
Xpresso Reads

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