Ellie Watt grew up in a family of con artists and a bad decision by her parents results in a notorious drug dealer dumping battery acid on her leg, permanently scarring her. Now 20 years old, revenge haunts Ellie’s every thought so she gets help from a friend of her parents to transform herself into the ultimate con artist – Eden White is born. Eden’s goal is to seduce someone in drug lord Travis’ organization and get close enough to him to throw battery acid in his face. She sets her sights on Javier Bernal, a smooth talking, dangerous man and she winds up falling in love with the man she is supposed to betray.
This book was a very strange experience for me. Karina Halle was a new to me author and the blurb for the book sounded like one I would really enjoy. In the first couple of chapters I liked Ellie/Eden and she was presented as a strong woman who wanted payback for what had happened to her. I’m not even sure at what point it went downhill, but it happened very fast and it never got better for me. One of the first things that rubbed me the wrong way was the fact that Eden was going to seduce a high-up member of a drug organization – and yet she was a virgin. Given that I knew from the blurb she would fall in love with Javier I really figured the loss of her virginity would wind up actually working within the plot but it just didn’t happen that way.
The scene where she actually has sex for the first time bothered me and it really takes a lot to bother me in a book. I didn’t expect hearts and flowers but the entire scene was way over the top and to me it played out more along the lines of a rape scene. First Javier ties Eden up and blind folds her while she’s on her stomach. Okay it is not the first time I’ve seen that in a virginity scene but it usually involves some tenderness and caring. However Javier then has very rough sex with her and she is crying and telling him to stop because it hurts. He tells her that her pain is beautiful and then puts his hand around her throat and she struggles to breathe. At some point she begins to enjoy the sex but I still couldn’t quite get past my initial dislike of that scene.
Even though Javier is a member of this drug organization, I kept waiting for the “other” story – like that he was really on his own revenge quest or something even moderately redeemable about him but that never came. He really is the ultimate douchebag and you don’t usually see those guys as the love interest in the story. Their relationship moves at a very fast pace and it isn’t long before Eden throws her battery acid into the sea and abandons her plans for revenge. Javier becomes obsessed with Eden almost immediately and he tells her that if she ever leaves him he will hunt for her on every street – hence the name of the book. Eden finds this sweet and takes it as a sign of his love for her. I find it creepy and disturbing.
My biggest problem with the story was Eden. I’ve fallen in love with plenty of vulnerable, not as strong female lead characters but Eden was just pathetic. There is nothing redeemable or likeable about her. She starts off as a kick ass woman who has a goal and she winds up a simpering cliché. At one point Javier tries to break up with her saying she deserves better and she begs him not to – even though she knows the truth about who he really is. She witnesses him murder someone he considered a friend – in their dining room – and she decides enough is enough and she runs away. He finds her because he had placed a tracking device in her car (stalker much?) and she is relieved that he has kicked the door in and found her and they have sex before heading home. Their “love” story continues for a while until she comes home and finds him having sex with someone else in their bed. She takes this harder than the fact that she saw him murder someone and she finally decides to leave for good.
This book is the prologue for a trilogy and I honestly cannot imagine sitting through another story about Eden/Ellie. A tortured, vulnerable, abused heroine I can get behind, but there is not one likeable thing about either of the main characters in this story.
*ARC Provided by Forever
On Every Streetby Karina HalleRelease Date: March 9, 2013Publisher: Metal Blonde Books