Title: Shooting Stars
Author: Karina Halle
Series: The Artist Trilogy, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Review copy from publisher
“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.”
Shooting Stars is the second book in The Artist Trilogy by Karina Halle.
I have to start this review by saying if you haven’t read previous books in the series (On Every Street and Sins & Needles) stop right here and go read them first. Do not try to read Shooting Stars first because you will be completely lost.
Shooting Stars starts right where Sins & Needles ended. Ellie paid the price to give Camden a second chance to life and to a life with his ex and his son; now Ellie is back with the man she had been running away from for over six years. A man that is promising to bring her back to her past, the one she left behind, and there is no way to say no to Javier and his manipulative ways.
Javier not only wants Ellie at his side as his little queen, he also wants her to kill the man (Travis) that tortured and left her marked when she was only a child.
Ellie thought she had finally left her past behind and was ready to a new future with Camden, but now next to Javier he’s bringing back all her insecurities and turning her into a woman she despises.
Their vengeance trip takes Javier and Ellie to Mexico, where Ellie is supposed to catch Travis’ attention, get close to him and kill him. Ellie knows that that is not as easy as Javier says it is; she also knows that Javier has something else in store for her, something he’s not saying and knowing Javier and what he capable of that uncertainty scares her witless.
Camden knows the sacrifice Ellie did for him and with that in mind he knows he cannot leave her in Javier’s hands. Enlisting the help of Ellie’s friend and almost father, Gus, Camden goes to Ellie’s rescue. Camden knows to get Ellie back he will have to go the extra mile and do things he never thought he would ever do. The only thing that worries Camden is not knowing if Ellie is with Javier because she wants to or because he really forced her to be with him.
This is one of those books that pushes your buttons and takes you places you never thought you’d go. You not only end up approving of things that are not only illegal but also immoral and in a way you kind of end up accepting them as logical and the only way out to certain circumstances. That is the power Mrs. Halle’s words have in us; she makes us accept and understand that there is not only black and white but there is a big fringe of gray where things are not always as they seem to be.
Mrs. Halle gets us so into the world she created in The Artist Trilogy that we end up being part of that world of violence, drugs and no morals. When a writer makes you see and accept torture as the only way to get something you know she/he is doing something right with her writing and that’s the case with Karina Halle and her The Artist Trilogy.
Sometimes I say a book was a roller coaster of emotion but none of them compares to Shooting Stars. Shooting Stars is the mother of all rollercoaster of emotions. This book takes you up, rolls you down, while speed-blending you, twisting you, to then spit you in a puddle of sensations and leave you gasping for breath.
One second I was cheering for Camden, the next despite all my misgivings I was empathizing with Javier. The only thing that was constant was my hope that Ellie would be able to come out of this situation less emotionally scarred than what she came in.
Ellie did some things in this installment that made me cringe and hurt for her. She feels she is not worthy of love and self-punishes for the actions she is forced to take. She did things she shouldn’t have done and even though it will hurt her (and me) I can’t wait to see what she will need to do to even out the consequences of her actions.
The end of Shooting Stars left me hyperventilating and dying to get my hands in the next and final installment of this amazing series, Bold Tricks. October 15th can’t come soon enough.
Without a doubt a recommend this series, but as I said before you need to start with On Every Street, then Sins & Needles and from there move to Shooting Stars.
My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other books in the series
On Every Street
Sins & Needles
Bold Tricks (October 15th)
Other reviews Goodreads