Author: Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Published by: Forever
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
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.
I have heard from so many people to read Sins & Needles, and I finally did! It sat on my kindle for a long time, but once I started reading, I stayed up until 3A.M. to finish it in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down! It’s over 400 pages long, but I was surprised at how fast it went.
First of all, I want to say that I love how much Karina Halle incorporated such good music in to the story. I love all of the songs that were mentioned, and it really did set a tone for the book and certain situations. As soon as the song that is connected to Ellie’s tattoo is mentioned, man, it pained my heart. It’s not easy to insert a soundtrack so smoothly into a book and have them evoke such emotions, but Halle did an excellent job with it.
Oh, Ellie. How can I love a grifter so much? Oh, that’s right, I have a weakness for the bad girls. There’s more to her, though. She was raised by con artists, and at age 26 she has been through a lot. She’s scammed a lot of people and is tired of always being on the run. Ready to put that life behind her, she goes back to the only home that had any sort of stability. Once she’s there, she runs into an old friend and can’t resist pulling off one more job before ‘retiring’. I know, she sounds like a terrible person, and in a way she is. However, as the story unfolds, we discover all she has endured and why she does what she does. Halle brought so much depth to Ellie, that no matter what you think of Ellie herself, there’s no way you could say that she’s not a great character.
Camden, Camden, Camden … what am I gonna do with this guy? Hot, nerdy, guitar playing, tattoo artist … yeah, I know what I want to do with him! There are feelings I have about him that are hard to explain. I love him, even his darker side, but I don’t want to. But then I do. Curse this treacherous black heart of mine! Seriously though, as the book progresses, we get flashbacks to his and Ellie’s relationship in high school, and it’s very insightful. We begin to understand the tortured side of Ellie and Camden, and it’s not pretty. But, man, do I ever love these two together!
The situation Ellie and Camden find themselves in isn’t child’s play. It’s a dark and dangerous ride they’re on. Honestly, I expected the book to be a little darker. However, I do know my perception of what’s dark can be a bit distorted, so just know that it isn’t some sticky sweet love story. We are taken on a gritty thrill ride with Ellie and Camden that can get pretty intense at times, but also tender and vulnerable. Oh, and I can’t forget hot. It pretty much has it all, weaved into one kickass story. And I just have to say how much I loved the setting. I’m a Cali girl, so I was giddy when cities and towns I’m from and have ties to were mentioned. I know, I’m lame, but I can’t help it.
Sins & Needles really was an addictive read, and I regret not reading it sooner! Thank goodness all the books in the trilogy are already available, because I don’t think I can let very much time pass before reading the next book, especially after that ending. Killer!