Review: Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy #1) by Karina Halle


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.**WARNING** This book contains graphic language, sex and violence. Readers who are sensitive to sexual scenes, violence and a lot of cursing should refrain from reading this book.This is not YA or NA. 18 and above.

Look for On Every Street – Ellie and Javier’s story, out March 12th 2013

I love Karina Halle’s series, Experiment in Terror, so I decided to give her other books a read.  In Sins and Needles, Ellie is a con artist who returns to a small town to try to get her life on track.  She is running from something she did, but you don’t find out about it for a little while.  You do know she’s running from a really dangerous man, though.
She meets back up with Camden McQueen, a guy she went to school with.  In school, they started as friends-he was a goth kid, she was the town’s con artists’ daughter.  Until she gets a chance to be friends with the popular girls.  Then, she basically turns into a bully against Camden in school.  So, when she returns to the small town, she doesn’t expect to see him, especially him all tatted up with a built body.  Camden still has feelings for Ellie, but Ellie ends up seeing him as a mark.  Maybe her last mark, to steal from and start a new life, but a mark none the less.
But Camden can’t be fooled so easily-he’s basically been waiting for her.  He catches her while she tries to rob him, and blackmails her into helping him.  This takes them both on a road of serious danger.  He doesn’t initially understand the type of danger, but soon finds out.
I did enjoy this book, and will finish the series.  But I did have a hard time identifying with Ellie and her feelings.  Spoiler*****Do not read anymore if you don’t want to see what happens!!!!  Ellie ends up falling for Camden, which would be fine, if he wasn’t a freaking psycho!  Yeah, he’s sexy enough, but seriously has issues!  He basically wants to get back at Ellie for humiliating him in high school, and also because he has some obsessive qualities where he still wants to be with her.  He claims to still love her, and while they are on the run, from her ex-boyfriend who she stole money and his car, she falls in love with him.
Now I know her lifestyle doesn’t offer up the good guy to love, but Camden seriously has issue! If you read the book, you will understand.  That was my main snag with this book.  I understand why the author did that-Ellie has always been a con artist and will never have the good life.  But I was hoping for a bit more redeeming qualities with Camden.  Maybe he will be redeemed in the following books.  Hopefully!
Anyways, overall, I did enjoy this book.  I give it a 4 out of 5.