Sins and Needles by Karina Halle

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)Sins and Needles
Karina Halle
Review: 4 stars
Source: Ebook from Amazon ($2.99, fantastic deal!)

Book Description From 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).

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My Take:

Sins and Needles was a really great read. It’s adventurous, gritty, dark at times, psychological and it had a ring of truth for me even though it was about things that have never touched my life.

I was definitely swept up into this tale right from the beginning. I liked Ellie and I believed in her and her past and even though she’s flawed and had a rough childhood, I really connected with her. I like a female character that is strong, can take care of herself, yet is flawed inside.

Ellie was brought up with parents that were “grifters” who tried to scam people. Ellie is finally trying to escape that life and start fresh because it’s been a troubled life to lead. She heads back to her old high school stomping grounds to start over and she meets an old friend, Camden.

The story between Camden and Ellie was sexy and yet deeper than you might think at first and yet they both withheld parts of themselves which creates tension. The sexual tension itself was great and Halle really made me like Camden as a character as he was both nerdy and hot, in a badboy, tattooed, in a band, dark kind of way. I really enjoyed how Camden gets the better of Ellie at her own game and I liked their backstory together from high school. One of the coolest/intimate scenes is when Camden tattoos Ellie.

We end up finding out that both Ellie and Camden are involved in trouble and they need to escape. This takes them on a long trek to get away from the “bag guys” and I liked everything that happened and found it to be believable, although I will say that it did drag on a bit too long for me at the end. It was one thing on top of another but the ultimate ending was appropriate and even though it left off on a cliff hanger, I was okay with that and I do plan on reading the next book.

I’m not sure what it is about Halle, but her writing just has a ring of truth for me, especially this book. I’ve also read the first book in her Experiment in Terror series and I liked it, although not as much as this book. I am also currently reading The Devil’s Metal. So far I like it, but not quite as much as Sins and Needles, but I will say that I like her characters. They are flawed (almost purposefully so) and they each have different personalities. It seems to me that she takes time to sketch them out before writing about them and this comes through as they seem fairly well rounded. Overall I recommend this book, it’s a great, fast paced, gritty ride!

Guest Reviewer

Check out Victoria's blog here

Hi all!  My name is Victoria Sawyer and I’m going to be doing a few guest posts for Curse of the Bibliophile.  Before I get into it, I thought I’d give you a bit of information about me.  I am 30 years old (young) and I’ve been a reading addict since I was a child (the first step is to admit you have a problem).  I can remember reading in my bed at night with a flashlight because I should have been sleeping.  I kept telling myself, just one more chapter, just one more page, just finish this thing, I gotta know what happens! 

Now-a-days I am still an avid reader.  I love to be swept up into a story.  Things are a bit different for me now though because for the past few years I’ve been working on writing my own novel.  When you become a serious writer yourself things are a bit different because suddenly you understand that writers aren’t these great gods somewhere imparting story into your head, they are real people who craft their words with care and as a writer I began to notice how writers were doing this.  It was cool, but it was also sort of annoying because I started noting the mechanisms they were using and it was harder to fall into a story with ease.  So I guess I’d say I’m a bit more picky now about writing.  But when done right, I can definitely still fall head over heels in love with a story!

I’ve also just published my own novel, oh about 2 weeks ago on Amazon.  A huge accomplishment for me!  Well, without further ado, let’s jump in some words, stories and emotions together!