Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1), by Karina Halle ✰✰✰✰✰

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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).

This is the 1st book in the trilogy. It is followed by the novella On Every Street (released in March 2013) and the sequel Shooting Scars (released in May 2013). The third and final book in the series will also be released in 2013.***

My Casting

Okay ladies… firstly… what the hell? Who is on Team Javier? Who do I need to shoot???

What the ffffuuuuuuuck?! How can you possibly be Team Javier?!

Ok Ok… so apparently now I need to read On Every Street and it will turn my world upside down and change my mind completely…. what?! Nuh uh! I’m not convinced!

We shall see.

Sooo… Sins and Needles. Wow. So totally original. Sometimes, I get really super excited about a series. Like, I want to tell everyone about them, even when they really couldn’t give two shits, because they pick up maybe one book a year and just think I’m the crazy book lady. (Which I kind of am!) This is definitely one of those series.

A heroine with loose morals, neurosis, no regard for other people and a penchant for criminal activity. Very femme fatale… hmm… questionable…

I totally loved Ellie Watt!! Huh. Who knew?!

Ellie Watt. Eden White. Ellen Waits. Emily Watson.
They’re all one and the same. Because when you spend your life stealing people’s money, making a living out of fucking people over… you have to know how to disappear off the face of the earth.

After a close call, following one of her many scams, Ellie Watt decides it’s time to ‘go legit’… clean up her act, stop conning people, get a real job. She goes back to her home town, hoping that everyone from high school has moved on and that nobody will remember her.
And then, on her first day back, she runs into Camden McQueen. Camden was the school freak. The gothy, make-up wearing, weirdo in a long black trench coat and leather pants, who was totally in love with Ellie. Except… turns out, somewhere along the line, Camden got hot. Puberty totally agreed with him! Now a big, hulking, tattooed, pierced, rich, sex God, he seems intent on rekindling their high school friendship.
But a crook never changes their spots… and at the sight of Camden’s bulging cash machine at his tattoo parlour Sins & Needles, Ellie decides maybe Camden is her answer to a brighter future and a new start.
But Camden isn’t the walk over that Ellie takes him for. And he’s no angel, either. Whilst she’s busy breaking open his safe, he busts her and threatens to out her to the law… unless she’s willing to help him out of his own share of trouble.

The book does flick back and forth, between past and present. But it’s easy to follow and flawlessly executed. Using the ‘past’, Karina Halle drip feeds the reader snippets of Ellie and Camden’s high school friendship, Ellie’s introduction to the world of crime and the reasons for each of their flaws.

So, there’s all of that… and if that isn’t enough, Ellie’s past catches up to her too. Her first love, Javier, is looking for her.

This is a love triangle like you’ve never read before.

I absolutely love Camden. He’s the perfect mix of naughty and nice.

He’s super sweet, caring and uber sexy… but he’s a been a naughty boy. Playing guitar in his band, glasses on or glasses off, wielding a gun, in a tux, getting them out of a high speed car chase with angry drug lords, or falling in love with Ellie… Camden totally melted my heart.

 

Karina Halle’s writing is brilliant. I love the way she creates Ellie Watt. Ellie is cynical, defensive, angry and should be completely unlikable. But she’s not. She’s also witty and relatable, too. (As much as a hardened con artist can be raletable, anyway. Don’t know about you, but personally, I have no idea how to crack a safe or pick a lock.)

You learn early on that Ellie’s got a dark past and has reasons for her hostility toward to the human race in general, but you don’t get the finer details of this until later on. It was clear that, despite her hard outer shell, Ellie had a good heart in there somewhere.

There was so much to this story that it scrambled my brain. In the best way possible. Oh my god. So many twists and turns… I found myself looking over my shoulder, trying to second guess the enemy, just like the characters.

 

It’s gritty, unique, addictive and mind blowing. I read this book in public and had to keep remembering to keep my mouth closed and not gape like a goldfish. And I was doing that thing… you know when your characters need to get away and you find your own feet tapping against the floor in a running motion… yeh that. Embarrassing.

 

This would make a fan-fucking-tastic film! It’s something that would engage me andmy other half. It’s got action and romance. Car chases, shootings, blackmail, drugs, mobsters, emotion, yummy sexual chemistry, fuck hot sex scenes and even a bit of the mushy stuff, too. I’ve seen a few reviews liken this to a Quentin Tarantino film, and that is so on point. It’s very Pulp Fiction.

So, now I’m going to read On Every Street… this is marked as book #0.5 in the series, but it was released after Sins & Needles, so I’m going to read it in that order, and then move on to book #2, Shooting Scars. I didn’t want to read it On Every Street first and colour my view. I wanted to read it in the order it was released, as I assume there was a reason the author brought the books out in that order. However, I do believe that youOn Every Street is, technically, a prequel and can be read before or after Sins & Needles. I’ll let you know more once I’ve read it.

Once again, as I so often find with these nail-biting series, I’m soooo glad I waited for the second book to come out before reading this. There’s so much to it that I definitely think it would have lost something if I’d read it way before the release of book #2.

There is a third book to come. I’ve been assured by various people that book #2 hasn’t got an earth shattering cliff hanger, so I’m hoping that none of them have been telling cheeky little lies just to make me read it… 😉 I can’t wait for the rest of this story. I can’timagine how it’s going to turn out. I can not see how I’m going to be converted to Team Javier. Right now, I’m thinking all you Javier fangirls need your heads tested. Lol! I’m totally Team Camden, so far.

Sins & Needles Statistics

Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥
Ending: Cliffhanger
Series: ✓
Reading Order:
Book #0.25 – Untitled (The Artists Trilogy, #0.25)
Book #0.5 – On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy, #0.5)
Book #1 – Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)
Book #2 – Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2)
Book #3 – Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy, #3) Release date: October 15th 2013
Can this be read as a standalone? No
Themes:
Crime
Love triangle
Second chance love
Warning. This book includes…
Sexual content. Guns, car chases and lots of other crazy stuff!
Writing: Great

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This entry was posted in Action/Drama Reads, Bad Boys, Cliffhanger, College Romance, Delicious Sexual Tension, Friends to Lovers, Karina Halle, Kidnap, Love Triangle, Series, Sins & Needles, Steamy Reads. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1), by Karina Halle ✰✰✰✰✰

  1. Mercia says:

    I am loving this, Artists Trilogy. I would say, read On Easy Street first. It is the Prequel to the series. It also gives the readers an insight into just what Javier is capable of! I could, quite easily, see this story as a, movie!

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