Sins & Needles by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Published by Metal Blonde Books on January 1, 2013
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Dark, Dark Romance, Erotica, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Suspense
Amazon • 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.
***The Artists Trilogy is a dark and sexy contemporary ride about three flawed individuals caught in a world where it's so easy to justify the bad things we do. This is a pure adult read (Not YA or NA).
This is the 1st book in the trilogy. It is followed by the novella On Every Street (released in March 2013) and the sequel Shooting Scars (released in May 2013). The third and final book in the series will also be released in 2013.***
When I decide what story I’m going to read next, I usually let my emotions dictate. Am I in the mood to cry or laugh? Do I want to think or travel to a land of make believe? Do I want to be thrilled, scared, or worried? When I chose Sins & Needles I was looking for something different. Something that wouldn’t necessarily make me smile but maybe make me grip my kindle a little harder.
At this point I had never read anything from Karina Halle. Now I’ve read all of the Experiment in Terror books as well as all of the The Artists Trilogy books (I just need write reviews because I read them so fast I didn’t stop to write anything down). What I’ve learned about Karina Halle is that she doesn’t take the easy way out. Her writing is descriptive and she takes her time laying the ground work for her characters. It’s provocative and thought provoking. It leaves you emotional and wanting more.
Sins & Needles has everything that makes a great movie. There are con artists and drug lords. Tattooed sexy ex-friends, parents that are virtually non-existent, and even the Mafia.
Sometimes you need to bury yourself so deep in fiction that you forget that the real world exists. Sins & Needles is a story about drug lords, con artists, the Mafia, and a sexy tattoo artist. It’s a story about redemption…justification. It’s a story that perhaps seems a little unbelievable. But isn’t that what makes fiction so amazing? The characters each unique and compelling. You’ll fall in love with some, hate some others, and be overall confused as to who you’re rooting for.
You’re a con artist. A liar. A thief. An unredeemable soul. You can’t be reformed. You can’t be saved. You’ll die trying to make the world pay for what it did to you. And you’ll die alone.
Ellie is one of the strongest female characters I’ve read in a book in a long time. She’s a jaded, kick ass con artist, who’s been hurt more times then she hasn’t. She comes across as a cold hearted bitch but she’s far from it.
I’m not bad. The world is bad and I’m just trying to survive in it.
Camden is one of Elli’s friends from high school.
He’s nothing like the boy she once knew. That boy was quiet and damaged, hiding behind a goth facade. Trying to escape his own reality of living hell.
Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist?…
Most People have their pain deep inside them, in places no one ever goes. Not until it’s too late.
Years later we’re introduced to the new and improved Camden. The tattoo artist who’s now all alpha male.
He wants Ellie.
She doesn’t want him.
There’s an undeniable sexual attraction that’s tension filled and palpable. They seem like a perfect fit and yet they don’t. I was confused about my feelings towards the two of them being together. They were undeniably funny and ornery together.
I cleared my throat and spoke into his kiss. “Sorry, it’s been a while.”
“You should expect to hear the same thing from me in about five minutes,” he murmured.
“Five minutes, huh?”
“I’ll make it the best five minutes of your life.
”I bit his lip, hard, then released him and looked into those intense blues. “Clock’s ticking.”
It’s hard to know what the future holds for Ellie and Camden. They’ve both been through so much already. Both are scarred. Both are selfish. Both are reckless.
Together they’re beautifully flawed and looking to be redeemed. There is so much I can’t say about the book. This is a story to be experienced and savored for what it is.
He reached up and put his fingers under my chin, bringing my face forward again, forcing me to look at him.
“Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost,” he continued.
“A freak, a work of art, a liar, and a lover.”
His gaze was starting to eat away at my insides. Razor-blade butterflies whirled in my heart.
“I hate you, Ellie Watt,” he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, “because I still love you after all these years.”
That part still gives me chills and speaks volumes of their relationship. Karina Halle is definitely one of my favorite authors.