Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books on January 25, 2013
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Dark, Adult
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.
At A Glance
Horrible people doing horrible things. I loved it!
I secretly love when main characters are hard to like. Ellie is a perfect example of a character I loved to hate. She is all shades of fucked up. Life has made her a liar, a thief, and a bitch. She is damaged and broken inside and out from the past she is running from. In essence, she’s awesome! My heart broke for her as each layer of her past was revealed. You hate her actions but they almost seem understandable in a weird, twisted way. She really has no limits though, so don’t think you are going to get a sweet side with Ellie. She has buried that side deep, deep down. Okay, maybe she changes a little by the end.
Camden was the one that intrigued me the most. Probably because we only got Ellie’s POV so Camden was a big question mark. I dreaded what Ellie was going to do to him. What she did to him in high school was heart-wrenching enough. But Camden had even more layers than Ellie in the end. He’s the sweetest, sexiest nerd ever, but he’s also scary as hell with a violent streak. It’s like, he’s just an average tattoo artist with nerdy glasses and big muscles by day, but by night he’s a psychopath with a complicated, scary past and present. My head was spinning with his mood swings. Ellie and his fucked up yin and yang worked for some reason. They really couldn’t be with anyone else. They belonged to each other’s crazy.
When Javier enters the picture, the crazy goes up a notch. Javier is shiver-inducing. Creeptastic at it’s finest. Ellie and Camden go on one hell of a ride together and the ending was the perfect cliffhanger to tantalize me into continuing the story right away.
If Ellis is such a great scammer, why does she do stupid things to get herself caught or killed? I just didn’t understand. You can’t say this person is an amazing con artist with a knack for disappearing when she keeps using her real name, uses her phone and credit cards that are traceable, and ignores obvious signs of betrayal from people. So frustrating.
I liked the sex because it felt real and it was hot. It could also be because I had a major crush on Camden. There were just one or two sex scenes, definitely not the focus.
So good. SO GOOD! These characters will not be for everyone. You hate their actions but you love how messed up they are. Really keeps you on your toes. Very, highly recommended.
“I’m not bad. The world is bad and I’m just trying to survive in it.”
“Sergei, my future fake husband, wasn’t short, but I had long arms and as I pushed aside his gut, I found his balls. With one swift movement, I made a tight, nails-first fist around them and tugged. Hard.”
“That is what I thought of you, Ellie. Heartless, reckless, selfish, and cruel.”
He was back to shooting me when my armor was down. I turned my face away from him, not wanting to let him see the hurt in my eyes. He reached up and put his fingers under my chin, bringing my face forward again, forcing me to look at him.
“Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost,” he continued. “A freak, a work of art, a liar, and a lover.”
His gaze was starting to eat away at my insides. Razor-blade butterflies whirled in my heart.
“I hate you, Ellie Watt,” he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, “because I still love you after all these years.”