Book Review – Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Book Review – Sins & Needles by Karina Halle
Book Review – Sins & Needles by Karina HalleSins & Needles by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Published by Forever, Hachette
Publication date: January 24, 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
376 pages
Format: eBook
Source: ARC e-book

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.

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* I read this book prior to being published by Forever/Grand Central.

Book Review:

Sins & Needles isn’t your typical run-of-the mill romance novel.  As always, Halle sprinkled her magical Halle dust into this novel, making it a one-of-a-kind.  Like her other novels, the characters are messed up and flawed.

Ellie Watt is a con artist and master manipulator.  She was raised by gypsy parents, moving from one con to the next.  Her crappy parents used her to con people, and when one trick went wrong, it changed her life forever.  The scars she bears are a constant reminder of that night.

As an adult, Ellie goes into the family business.  She decides to go back to her hometown for a fresh start.  Lucky for her (and me), she bumps into her former best friend from high school, Camden McQueen.  Their friendship doesn’t quite pick up where they left it, but it is steamy among other things.  Camden is a successful tattoo artist in town, and when she finds out just how successful he is, she decides to con him, too (UGH!).  Their relationship is a bit complicated to the say the least.  Prepare yourselves for a dark, twisty, and wild ride with these two.

Someone who was asking me out on a date, to see his show. And I was thinking two things: 1) I can’t afford to befriend anyone, let alone someone I wouldn’t mind seeing naked and 2) how much cash could I take from him before I hated myself.

The story alternates between the past and present.  Interestingly, the past is told in third person.  In those sections, the reader gets an honest and raw look into Ellie’s physical and emotional pain .  So many times, my heart broke for her, but I found myself shouting and screaming at her more often than not.  From the beginning, I was on Team Ellie, and I was probably in the minority.  Ellie had her reasons for doing what she did, and I understood that.  She wanted so badly to be a better person and to redeem herself, but does she? I’m not telling.

Okay, lets talk about Camden some more.  Oh Camden, you are so wonderful, but you’re a horrible cook.  Trust me, what he lacks in culinary skills, he makes up for in all other areas.  Seriously, he is the quinfecta of goodness–glasses, tattoos, unbelievably hot, sweet, and edgy.  People, those scenes between Ellie and Camden are so freaking hot.

Though his gaze, his pose, his very being, reminded me of a wolf about to pounce, he didn’t move. I felt his eyes roam up and down my body like silk, sending shivers down my back. He was turning me on without laying a hand on me.

If you’ve read any of Karina’s other novels, then you know the characters’ actions, motives, and emotions are deliberate and well thought out.  The character development in this book is great.  I couldn’t get the characters out of my head.

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.  Quotes are taken from a pre-published copy and are subject to change.

4 stars

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