Sunday, March 10, 2013

Giveaway & Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle

5+ Stars
Release date: March 12th (or maybe sooner)
On Every Street is a prequel novella to Sins & Needles (book #1 in the series), which came out in January. What is awesome about On Every Street, is that you DO NOT have to read Sins & Needles first. According to the author, “It can be read before or after Sins & Needles and may also be read as a standalone.” That being said, I DID read Sins & Needles first and I can confidently say that you could read them in either order and no matter what, you will love them and they will no doubt completely wreck you! In the best way possible way, of course… If you DID read S&N beforehand, you were probably all swoony-pants over Camden McQueen the hot, tattooed, “hulking nerd” just like I was. But, there is also another man in the mix. We learn a little bit about Javier, the very bad, criminal, (maybe crazy?) ex from Ellie’s past. I don’t know about you, but despite the crazy things we learned about him, I was beyond intrigued by him, so going into this novella, I couldn’t be more psyched to learn about their history and backstory.
This book takes place six years prior to Sins & Needles and it follows a young, inexperienced Ellie Watt (or Eden White as she comes to be known) through her attempt at her first major con. She is determined to get revenge against Travis, a drug lord and the man you scarred her in so many ways as a child.
”I was twenty years old and waiting to live my life. Until I got my revenge, until justice was served for what was done to me, I’d have to keep waiting. I couldn’t get past all the wrongs in my life, I couldn’t accept them. To accept it, to live with it, peacefully, that was like saying it was all okay. And what was done to me…that can never be okay." 
On her quest for revenge, she decides that her best option is to get in good with one of Travis’s men. Eden sets her sights on Javier Bernal. This guy... *deep breath* The description of him in the beginning is so vivid. Every look, every expression, every movement is so purposeful that you cannot help but be immediately intrigued by him. I have never been so completely, confusingly taken over by a character as I was by him. I wanted so badly to hate him for the things we learn, but I just couldn't. And even after everything I know now, I still don't. I kinda love him... *hides face* 
“Again I was struck by how gorgeous Javier was. Not in that conventional, hunky way, but mesmerizing all the same. He was very bad and very, very beautiful. 
The tension, the chemistry, the connection between these two characters is palpable and I could feel it in my bones. Immediately I was sucked into this intense, whirlwind, disaster-waiting-to-happen romance. Javier completely enamors Eden and by extension, I felt the same way. The things he would do and say, even in the very beginning, completely shocked the hell out of me. 
“So, what would you like to drink?” “Aside from you?” I laughed anxiously. “You can’t drink me.” He leaned forward, his eyes running up and down my body, causing my skin to heat. “Yes, I believe I can. And I believe I will. But for now, I’ll just have a Bombay and tonic.” 
Be forewarned, there are some seriously HOT scenes in this because Javier is ”a kinky motherfucker.” You may need to stop and take a cold shower (or have your man on hand... ehh just saying). There were more moments than I can count where my jaw would drop, I would blush, get chills, and think, “Did that really just happen?” Even though this book is a novella, it took me a while to read it. I found myself reading parts, then re-reading them over and over. I could not get enough of it.
"I want your heart, your soul, and your body. I want the you that you’re hiding deep inside. I must have her.” 

“Why am I good to you?” he repeated, his lips brushing against mine as he spoke. “Because I can see you are broken. And I want nothing more than to put you back together.” 
What really reached out and grabbed me, was how much I connected to Ellie/Eden. She is really struggling throughout the book with her growing love for Javier and her deep need for vengeance. She knows exactly what she needs to do and what kind of a man Javier is, but that doesn’t make her decisions any easier. I could feel her pain and desperation and how hard she was fighting within herself. 
"Did I want Javier? Or did I want revenge?" 
Even though this is a novella, it is definitely one of my favorite books. The length by no means lessens the worth of this magnificent work. I am in such awe of the amount of emotion I felt and the reaction that this got out of me. When every logical part of my brain was saying I should be feeling one way, I felt the opposite. I was caught in this intoxicating, mesmerizing, heart wrenching story and I loved every second of the love, pain, anger, shock, fear and confusion that I felt along the way. 

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