Saturday, January 26, 2013

Review: Sins and Needles by Karina Halle

Book: Sins & Needles (Artists #1)
By: Karina Halle
Published: January 29, 2013
Published By: Self Published

Description: 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).**

My Thoughts: If you check out all my reviews of the Karina Halle Books, you would know that I have a bit of trouble with coherancy when it comes to reviewing her books. This time is no different. Karina is back with a new series very different than anything we've had from her before. This isnt a "scary story" like her Experiment In Terror Series. There are no ghosts and demons like the Devil's series. No, this book from Karina Halle is as real as it gets( for fiction that is), and sometimes reality is scarier than any ghost story because you know that no matter how hard you try, you can never run away from yourself.

Sins and Needles follows Ellie Watt, a con artist who's supposedly hanging up her hat  in the con business. She wants to lead an honest life and start over. She wants to stop running from her past and finally settle down. The only problem is, when you've been doing something all your life, it eventually becomes who you are. She's scarred, inside and outside, and believes the world owes her for what's been done to her. When she returns to her past home, trying to hide out and start over, she see's tattoo artist Camden McQueen, her old friend, and the first guy she ever screwed over, and he looks.....good.

According to Ellie, it's hard to feel bad for someone you screwed over when you see them later doing so well for themselves. For a con like Ellie, its almost impossible not to screw them over again, despite how perfect, and amazing, and kind they are. Ellie tries to con him, and stupidly gets caught up, emotionally and physically. We learn that he too is scarred, just not where you can see, and he wants Ellie to pay for what she's done to him, now and before. What results is a wild story you have to read to believe.

As characters, Ellie, Camden, and Javier are really freaking messed up. Ellie is like that kid all the parents talk about. The one who knows right from wrong, knows that she should stop what she's doing and keeps telling you she's going to change. Although you know that it isnt likely, you hold out hope that she will change before it's too late. You watch, the way you watch a horrible accident that's about to happen, screaming all the while. Hoping your screaming will somehow change the conclusion, but no matter how hard you scream, Ellie is who she is, and Ellie does what she wants. She has different ID's and every time she gets in trouble she has to change herself, to the point that we never really know who Ellie Watt is. Even in the flashbacks to her past, Ellie refers to herself as "the girl" a sign that even Ellie doesnt know who she really is. She's merely acting a part and hoping for the best.

Camden is gorgeous, sexy, and all man. I think if I met him in real life......well we wont talk about that. He's deep, he plays guitar, he knows how to work with his hands (*wink wink*) and seems perfect. He too, though, has scars that are nearly as deep as Ellie's and I absolutely Love him for it. Javier, on the other hand, is dark, dangerous, threatening, and has the scars to prove it. I can promise those of you that I suspect are beginning to worry, that this is NOT a love triangle. Instead, it's a story about how far people will go for revenge.

Karina Halle has a way of making these intense and complicated stories that bring in complicated characters that can worm their way into your heart and into your mind. There are no "perfect" people in her world. She has a way of bringing reality into her fiction in a way that's completely natural believable. I was worried at first about her branching out from the terrifying stories I'm used to from her, but now I'm convinced, she can write anything and I would love it. If I wasnt sure before, I am now, Karina Halle is one of my favorite authors of all time. I will certainly be fan-girling when I get a chance to see her in Boston.

I give this story 5 big stars (if it wasnt already obvious.) I'd give it more if I could, but unfortunately cant. I would recommend this to those of you who have already wanted to read one of Karina's books but didnt like scary stories, or for those of you who like realistic adult stories with flawed characters that arent told like a porno on paper.  
This review is part of the Sins and Needles Tour. The ARC was given to me in return for an honest review by the author. I would like to thank Karina Halle immensely for the opportunity to read this amazing book. To find out more, click here or click on the button below.


Anonymous said...

WOW ...I sure this book is amazing,but you really make it sound like, insanely amazing; I must say. I also want to say that when your really love a book like how you love Karina Halle's books, that's when I really love to read your blog ; there is just so much passion and really good detail.

I just recent purchased her first Experiments in terror book, because you gave them all such good reviews...and because it's absolutely free on my kindle app. The way you break down the characters always does it for me, and I feel like I could really relate to these characters, especially ,for one reason or another ...its what compels me to want to read her books the most . I could go on and on,but I'll stop here, I'll definitely be getting this book. Great review!


Lani Wendt Young said...

Sounds intriguing Sherre - Im going to check this one out. Great review!

Lan said...

How did I miss this review?? I've just bought the book. Need to see what all the fuss is about.

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