When young con artist Ellie Watt decides to call herself Eden White and go after the drug lord who ruined her as a child, she never expects to fall for one of his henchmen. But Javier Bernal is no ordinary man. Subtly dangerous and overwhelmingly seductive, Eden finds herself passionately in love with Javier, the very person she’s set-up to betray. With her body and heart in a heated battle against her deep need for revenge, no one will walk away from this con a winner.
This 50K word (100+ pages) novella takes place six years before Sins & Needles. It can be read before or after Sins & Needles and may also be read as a standalone.
Ellie Watt is a girl, daughter of con artists, looking for revenge against the druglord responsible for the horrible scars in her leg, and her ruined childhood.
Javier Bernal is a the mexican henchmen of an american druglord. He is dangerous, volatile, smart and charming.
Ellie, posing as Eden, meets Javier in a coffeshop, they go out a couple of time before living together. All the time, Ellie is looking for an opportunity to take revenge on Javier’s boss, but when the opportunity comes, she realizes she’s in love with Javier, and decides to forget her plans. Problem is, Javier is in love with “Eden”, not the real Ellie. He opens up to her and asks her to leave him, his life is too dangerous for her, but she decides to stay with him … until an event changes her mind.
It is a trend lately, that most heros are the max alpha, super protective, strong and commanding. The hero can also be evil, but with a tender side that the heroine discovers and she exploits, making him less evil. So our super alpha hero becomes a vulnerable kind man, he still kills the evil guys, but he’s so madly in love that everything is full of kittens, beautiful unicorns and rainbows, with the occasional butterfly flying around. Ohhh happiness. Said “evil violent heros” have never, ever scared me. Javier did. He scared me. He had his moments of tenderness, the vulnerable boy talking about pain and shame, well … that boy had a beast inside, he’s a scary sonovabitch.
“He lied. I lied. Any love that starts out under a lie is bound to kill you. I just didn’t want to die on my feet.”
This novella is amazing …. the characters felt real, their relationship too … their ups and downs … until they both touched bottom (the incident that made the crack in their relationship, that incident broke everything apart). I found myself yelling at my kindle saying “Run!! What are you waiting for girl!!! To hell with your revenge!!!” but I understand why Eden/Ellie stayed … sort of …
My point is that Javier was very good characterized, as a dangerous loving man, that can turn on you in any second. And I loved that …. he was brutal, a murderer and I believe him capable of everything.
And Ellie/Eden was naïve, innocent, and a bit stupid. She was in love, but she ran … for the wrong reasons (SPOILER highlight to read he cheated on her and she ran … instead of going away because he’s a violent obsessive murderer drug lord), but she did, so … yeah! Well done girl!!!
At the end of this novella, I’m torn … a part of me wants to see a future between Ellie and Javier, the other is super afraid of him, of what he will do to her in Shooting Scars, the second book in the Artists Trilogy.
So … yes, I’m a bit of Team Javier … although I know that Ellie will be with Camden at the end of the trilogy (He’s the hero in Sins & Needles). And Javier will probably end dead…. but he intrigues me, he is waaay more complex than Camden, Javier has many sides, and that makes him super interesting. Camden is predictable.
Hotness Factor: Explicit sex scenes and violence.
Veredict: I love the series … I read Sins & Needles first, and liked it, later I read On Every Street and loved it … then re-read Sins & Needles and I saw everything with different eyes … now the series is one of my favorites. And I’m dying to get my hands over Shooting Scars (out August 20th).