Blurb from 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.
**WARNING** This book contains graphic language, sex and violence. Readers who are sensitive to sexual scenes, violence and a lot of cursing should refrain from reading this book.This is not YA or NA. 18 and above.My Review:
Wow, I am not sure what I was expecting when I purchased this book but it exceeded every expectation that I had! I didn't even read the description of this book before purchasing it and so I was not really sure what to expect except that I saw rave reviews all around the blogsophere. Immediately, I could tell that this book was different. Ellie was not a main character that you could automatically like. And, the love story was definitely not the central part of this book -- it did develop as the book progressed but more than anything I found this a psychological exploration into grifting and into growing up in that lifestyle. It was unbelievable and fascinating!
For me, the book was paced perfectly. There was not a single scene that was not necessary and/or dragged on as I find happens in a lot of books. There was nothing gratuitous about the writing or story in this book; it was driven, it was refreshing and it was fun. There were so many suspenseful moments that made me not want to put the book down. I also loved the way music was intertwined with certain scenes, setting the perfect mood. This book is told both from a current perspective as well as through a past narrative -- tying everything together at the end and it was so well done.
I love love loved the relationship (although trying and very difficult at times) between Camden and Ellie. They had a past and it did not end well. There were a lot of trust issues but that somehow made the way they came together all that more sweet. The ending was heart-wrenching because I want to know what happens next! Not only was there a serious cliffhanger but I also honestly fear for Ellie - and Camden. Anything could happen and it seems like that ending can only put them farther apart from each other, despite everything else. I am on pins and needles for the next book! I definitely recommend this book to anyone that likes suspense, romance that is fated not to be, and/or getting inside someone's mind that you just can't believe but is absolutely fascinating.
“You're a bad person, Ellie," he said without a trace of irony.
"I'm not bad. The world is bad and I'm just trying to survive in it.”