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.
This book introduces Ellie and Javier. Ellie, is a con artist who is hell bent on revenge, she reinvents herself as Eden and sets out with Javier as the mark that will get her close to the man that ruined her life. Her plan goes terribly wrong when they fall in love. With her dreams of revenge shelved, she begins a life with Javier who is a handsome, charming, and is a dangerous member of a Mexican cartel in Biloxi, Mississippi. She naïvely overlooks the fact that he is a cold-blooded killer, and happily shacks up with him. One night she comes home from work early and finds him in bed with another woman. Scorned and heartbroken, she steals his car, a gun, and $20,000 and runs.
What you can expect from this novella is to get a better sense of how Ellie gained the skills to become a con artists. Her character has the potential to be an unlikable, but the details of her past and her first heart brake gave me the jolt that I needed to root for her in the following books. I also felt that knowing the nature and extent of her and Javier’s relationship prior to the trilogy just brought it all together for me. Had I not read this and just started with book one, I would have had a lot of questions that I would only have gotten vague answers to.
There were a few things that I didn’t like, and this one applies to the entire trilogy. The flashback scenes are written in 3rd person, like they are being narrated, and I just did not like the style. In addition to that, Ellie as Eden should have been far more freaked out, terrified, and scared of Javier after seeing him in action early on in their relationship and she wasn’t. The real Ellie knew who he was, and what he did, Eden didn’t, and she just took it all in stride. She was supposed to be a wholesome innocent girl, and when Javier shot men, and sliced open throats in front of her she never questioned him.
I would highly suggest that his novella be read prior to starting The Artists Trilogy. I just finished Sins and Needles, and so far I’m LOVING the story and cant wait to read more.
| || |