Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Release Day Blitz: 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.

5 star review by Nicole Lorenzo

“The snake and the bear, the man of stealth and lies, the man of soul and strength. Both men who had a stake in my heart at some point in the game. This ever-changing game.”

At the beginning of Bold Tricks we pick up exactly where Shooting Scars left off. Javier’s plan has backfired leaving Ellie, Camden and Javier on the run from Travis and his cartel. The very cartel that has captured Gus and Ellie’s mother and is after Javier’s sister. Javier still has his sights set on taking over for Travis and building his own evil empire. Now Ellie finds herself speeding through Mexico with two men, both from her past but only one she wants to be her future. The three of them are forced to work together as they travel through Mexico into the Honduran jungle where they are faced with many dangers and betrayals. 

“On one side of me was Camden McQueen, on the other was Javier Bernal. One more light than dark, one more dark than light. Both men had come for me. Both men had loved me. And both of them I had seriously underestimated.”

Ellie is still drowning in regret and shame over what she has done to Camden. She knows she should have had faith that he would have come after her. Now she can only hope and pray that he can forgive her and they can start over after they get out of this mess they are in. But Ellie see’s the hesitance and betrayal in Camden’s eyes when he looks at her and it shreds her to pieces.  How can she convince him to trust her with his heart when she knows she doesn’t deserve it?

“…..I was never very good to begin with- but if we’d both changed, could we find each other again as we had before? Did Camden lose himself in order to save me, and if he did, did that mean I’d lost the Camden that loved me?”

Javier is hell bent on getting his revenge by killing Travis and taking hold of his Cartel.  He will use any means necessary to get what his cold heart desires. Ellie knows she can’t trust Javier but her and Cam are given little choice in the situation they are in if they want to make it out of this alive. Javier seems threatened by Camden’s presence in Ellie’s life and still has hopes that she will join him in his obsession with power and control.  

“I couldn’t imagine someone like Javier being anything else before becoming a drug lord, and I couldn’t see him going on to any other career if he had to. This was Javier’s past and future, this was his destiny, and nothing else would ever compare to that. I certainly never had."

Camden has two goals and that is to save Gus and then get Gus, Ellie and himself home safe. In the process he is pushing himself to new limits and trying to hold on to the pieces left from his broken heart. Keeping his distance from Ellie while trying to protect her all while being in love with her proves to be difficult. Soon enough his resolve breaks and he finds himself lost in Ellie again, their passion fueling their resolve to get out of this alive. 

“I look at you and I see him and I just want to see you again. I want to know that this can work. I want you and I to go home. Make a home. I just want my heart to be safe in your hands, because yours is safe in mine.”

Javier is obsessed with power and control and will stop at nothing to get his rise to the top. His lies and betrayal show no end and Ellie finally realizes that there is possibly no hope for him.

“He was a human, a machine, a man who I knew had lost his soul forever. He lost it somewhere far away, and it was no longer my job to get it back for him. Maybe it never was my job.”

Ellie, Javier and Camden’s story comes to a heart stopping conclusion where their love, faith and loyalty will all be tested.

Bold Tricks is the final book in the The Artists Trilogy and Holy Moly what a way to go!!  I was on the edge of my seat for literally every page of this action packed, adrenaline pumping final installment! It’s hard to describe in words just how much I loved this book!  Ellie, Camden and Javier will leave a lasting impression on every reader who takes this journey with them. Ellie finally comes to terms with what she wants in life. Her character was perfectly imperfect and I was happy to see her get the ending she deserved. Javier is so complex and I found myself still with a little a bit of a soft spot for him, even though he takes being the “villain” to a whole other level here!  

Camden and his unwavering devotion to Ellie just makes him my favorite! I was team Cam from the beginning and watching him turn into the bad-ass that he became was quite fun! Karina Halle is an amazing storyteller!  There were moments of surprise, shock and a time or two where I actually put my kindle down and was afraid to read anymore! Overall this was a Fantastic conclusion to the Artists Trilogy and if you haven’t picked up these books yet, you need to get a move on it! This is seriously my favorite series of all time!! 
Hail Karina Halle, you are freaking amazing!

“ I loved him and I needed him more than I ever needed anyone. I loved him and love had to be good in this life full of bad.”


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, smilingor 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.”

Author Bio:

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.

Authors Social Networking links:
Twitter: @MetalBlonde
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4785031.Karina_Halle

Buy links
Sins and Needles 
Shooting Scars 
Bold Tricks 


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  1. team Javier, i like them all (the books and i think both glasses and tattoes can be sexier. denise smith denise226@verizon.net

  2. #TeamCamden - I love all the books in this series!

  3. I am starting this book now. I love this trilogy! I cannot wait to see how it ends!

  4. #TeamCamden, Sins & Needles and Tattoos are sexy ;)

  5. Team Javier! Sins and Needles I'll go with both glasses and tattoos. :P

  6. I actually haven't read any yet. I've been waiting for them to all come out so I can read them at once. <3

  7. Tattoos are rising on my sexy list the more I read. This series is on my TBR, but I haven't picked a team as of yet.

  8. Team Camden all the way! And I loved Sins and Needles...got me hooked on this amazing series! Hipster glasses all the way : )

  9. Tattoos as sexy but hipster glasses are more my thing!


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