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.
Despite the fact that I finished the book a while ago, I could not bring myself to write this review. To be honest, I have very mixed feeling about this book. The novel is well written and the plot is unique, overall the book is truly different from anything else I have read before, and in spite of all this, I found it very difficult to get into it.
The back and fort between the present and the past was interesting and useful as it helped the reader learn more about the characters, however I felt like it was slightly awkward. It was also included when I least expected it. Normally this can be a good thing as it keeps the readers on their feet, however in this case I felt like it could have been written slightly different or ignored altogether.
I don’t even know what to say about the characters. Ellie wants to be strong, that much is clear, but for a con artist she sure let some of her feelings get in the way. Initially she was portrayed as someone who knew what she wanted and as someone able to get herself out of sticky situations, however that was not exactly true as we learn throughout the book. Camden seemed really nice and completely normal, but once again we are proven that it is not what it seems. That was a pity really as this book needed a more down to earth character. The third main character is Javier, but he also has more issues than I care to think of, but for some reason I actually found him to be more intriguing than the others as I felt that there is a lot we do not really know about him. I might be wrong though, I guess the second novel will tell us more, if I manage to ever finish reading it, that is.
Maybe it does not seem that way from my review, but the book is good. I would not call it exceptional, but I cannot call it bad. Usually, I can read pretty much anything as long as it is well written and I always find something that I truly like, but sadly that did not seem to happen here. This is quite difficult for me to say, especially since I rarely had to write negative reviews, but this book was definitely not for me. I will continue reading the second novel, probably not the novella, just because I hate leaving things unfinished, however it will take a while. My words are not meant to put you off and prevent you from reading the book, if you think you might enjoy it or are curious about it then go for it. You should definitely give it a try, especially if it awakes those feelings inside of you, feelings that I completely lacked even before getting started on this path.
In conclusion, this is a good book and without a question it is meant as an adult read. The writing was not bad, but it might not be for everyone.
From me: 3/5