Sins & Needles by Karina Halle
Author: Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Amazon: Sins & Needles (kindle - 0.99c until March 1)
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.
Review: 4 out of 5 stars
This book is Adult Contemporary Romance - Please be advised that this book is not YA friendly, not even in a New Adult category.
Sins & Needles by Karina Halle is a book which kept me captivated and wanting more right from the onset, filled with drama, betrayals and a complicated romance; it is a great start to The Artists Trilogy.
Ellie Watt is the daughter of Grifters, her childhood was spent being used as a pawn in her parent’s con artist lives but despite being physically hurt by their scheme she continued on living the same grifting lifestyle. After an extremely close call, Ellie decides to ditch her ways and return home where she could be herself and start afresh but with the temptation of rich and enticing Camden McQueen, a blast from her past, the road to a ‘normal’ life wont come easily as she has chosen him to be her next target.
Tattoo artist, Camden was such a complex, hardened character who you can’t help but adore but at the same time be afraid of; he is tattooed and smexy but has a childhood history that made your heart ache. The past he shared with Ellie was complicated and full of betrayals and mistrust, I despised her for the way she treated him but that isn’t to say he wasn’t without his own faults.
I liked both of our pained and flawed characters, their chemistry was off the charts but the history they shared was heart-breaking and their current lives weren’t too rosy either and as I was reading along I just couldn’t see a way out, forgiveness or a HEA for either; the mob/mafia predicament they were in played a huge role in both of their lives and a future on the run didn’t seem too appealing to me so I am eager to see how it pans out for them in the sequel.
There are a few minor secondary characters/thugs we learn about; the main being Javier, the first person Ellie ever loved; he was so persistent in tracking her down and I couldn’t help but wonder the real purpose behind it – love or revenge??
The story is told from Ellie’s past POV (told in third person) as well as present (told in first person) and the transition between them was flawless and meshed the story together perfectly. Karina Halle’s writing was mesmerising! I was literally sucked into this story and didn’t want it to end, that’s not to say it wasn’t without a few minor faults but I was really bummed when I realised book two wasn’t yet available for me to download, it is the type of story where you just need to know the outcome.
My only gripes were, I felt Camden’s story was kind of put on the backburner and lacked importance – both of them having mob/mafia links seemed to override one another and the resolution to Camden’s predicament came too conveniently; Ellie also made some obvious mistakes when it came to moving on and changing identity, little things but I felt they were important when it came to taking on an assumed role.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sins & Needles and I’m quite excited for the next installment; if you are after a drama-filled, dark and emotional read with intriguing characters then I highly recommend you read this book. The sequel, Shooting Scars has an anticipated May release date.