Publication Date: January 29, 2013 (but a birdie says it may be tomorrow 01/25/13)
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books
Source: ARC provided by author for honest review
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).**
If you have yet to read anything by Karina Halle, I would suggest Sins & Needles as a starting point. Unless you are a youngin' then this one is not for you, 18+ please. Halle has a talent for creating characters that are deeply flawed, utterly unique and incredibly readable. It is a talent that brilliantly shines through in Sins & Needles.
Ellie will have you loving her yet screaming at her throughout the book. She is tough and brave yet incredibly insecure at the same time. You feel for her and the trauma she's been through but her decision making skills will have you pulling your hair out. She's had a rough go of life and is always looking for an easy mark to scam whatever it is she needs. It's a talent learned from her parents during a childhood of conning anyone they crossed paths with. An extreme situation landed her at her uncle's farm during her teen years. Now, years later, she's returned to the farm in hopes of a fresh start.
Camden knew Ellie, as much as anyone ever could anyway, during her high school years. He too is back in town trying a different life and running from his own personal demons. Ellie falling back into his path should be happy circumstance; but when two troubled and damaged people collide, happy doesn't really have a chance.
Camden is the local wierdo-goth-boy turned tattooed hottie. He's grown out of his awkwardness but not his obsessions. He comes off as such a sweet and nice guy to start but boy...screw with this guy and you see a whole other side. His extremes work for him, make him more intriguing by bringing out a dangerous vulnerability.
Their pasts are catching up to them both and when these two team up it turns into one thrilling adventure with an ending that will have you screaming for the next chapter.
There is no sweet fluffiness here, if that is what you look for in a book ~ look elsewhere. Here you will only find a dark and secretive thrill ride with betrayal abound. Sins & Needles is unlike anything I've read before. It's deadly sexy, thoroughly exhilarating and absolutely engaging.
In case you needed any more convincing...here is the picture Karina passed around as her Camden inspiration: Did I mention he is a well built tattoo artist who wears hipster glasses?
8 (yes, 8) Stars!