I hate doing this but I wasn't wowed. 2.5 stars.Here we go, back to the beginning. Of course this was going to be a must-read for me because I had so many questions after finishing (and liking) Sins & Needles.Did I get my questions answered? I think so, for the most part. I wanted to know more about Javier and I did get what I asked for. This prequel didn't really endear me much to Ellie/Eden though. Or Javier, for that matter. I'm not saying that I have to like every single character I read about. Sometimes it's more fun having characters who you love to hate. But I felt like I was taking huge leaps backward when it came to Ellie. I liked her in S&N...not so much here. Does this mean she's grown since OES? Who knows? But reading about her obsession with Javier was an unappealing kind of uncomfortable. The comparison of a person to addiction was even present. Nooo...I didn't expect to see it here!Was this prequel necessary? Yes, it probably was. This is the foundation for what we're seeing going forward, so it was good to read about how this crazy mess started.I just don't get how Javier is appealing to so many people at this point. Is he mysterious? Sure. Is he a puzzle to be solved? Most definitely. I won't argue the curiosity of wanting to know more about him. Is he someone I'd want to cuddle up to only knowing what I know now? Not on your life - and not even because of his profession or how dangerous he is. I just honestly felt like I know nothing more about him as a person now than I did before, other than he's possessive and a good lover. There was no real draw here. Dangerous can equal an interesting story setup, but there needs to be more than danger in order for me to feel drawn to a character. Was there sizzle with the sexual chemistry? Absolutely. But that isn't enough for me anymore to automatically give a guy a pass into keeper territory.I do like mob/mafia/gang themed stories when written well, so I see potential for a lot of crazy to come, which is good.This didn't hold up to how I viewed Sins & Needles, but that's okay. Book 2 might still really bring it, considering where we're up to in the story after book 1.