Friday, September 19, 2014

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

In Sins and Needles we get to experience the uglier and more destructive forms of love. The types of love experienced by Ellie and Camden do not heal, comfort, support or nurture in any way. Ellie's first experience with love, parental love is neglectful and damaging to her both emotionally and physically. The two people in the world who are always suppose to love and protect her were the very ones who led her into dangerous situations and directly into harm's way. Ellie's parent's lack of positive and enduring love for her eventually led to them abandoning her at a young age. Camden's parental love is experienced through fear and intimidation meted out by his father. The romantic love that Ellie has with men have always been false and calculated. As an adult Ellie tried for real love once and was rewarded with betrayal and her reaction to that betrayal lead to her being on the run again and living in fear. For Camden, romantic love has ended because of lack of respect and ultimate betrayal. 

We first encounter Ellie when she is in a dangerous situation after luring a man into her life with false love in order to take him for everything she could; but it turns out he had his own agenda too. The mark that she thought would be an easy score proves to be much more dangerous than Ellie anticipated and she is now on the run again. As a grifter, Ellie has learned to cut and run with the finesse of a master con artist and is prepared for almost any complication. However, Ellie is running out of options and returns home to start again as herself. The only problem is that she doesn't remember who Ellie Watts really is or how to be her. After returning home to an Uncle who loves but can't trust her, Ellie needs to figure out what she's to do next. Ellie runs into Camden, a love from her past and her life is about to drastically change. 

For Ellie, Camden represents the love between friends that she once betrayed. For Camden, Ellie is a first love that betrayed and humiliated him. Camden isn't the boy that she left behind and Ellie is in for a big surprise when she decides that he may be her way out of town and another fresh start. Camden is much more than she expects. Camden has not only changed dramatically on the outside but on the inside as well. Camden has his own demons and has his own plans for Ellie. Camden's experiences of love have been of harsh judgments, betrayals, and deceptions and he's ready for a change too. 

Sins and Needles is a gripping story of two people who may be damaged beyond repair coming together in an spectacularly dysfunctional way. There were so many times leading up to the point of no return for Ellie that I kept saying "Please, please, please don't do it Ellie!" But she does it and the consequences are monumental. Ellie just may be jaded beyond redemption and Camden may be too damaged and enamored of Ellie to be any good to anyone else. The ending is disturbing and sad. There are no wistful sighs or happy endings with this one folks. The ending left me with a shot of anxiety and a knot in my stomach. Sins and Needles does end on a cliffhanger, but luckily for me I have come in on this series really late and the trilogy is complete so I can move on to book two without the wait. 

Happy Reading!


**I received a complimentary copy via Netgalley/Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing)  in exchange for an honest review.**

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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).

The Artists Trilogy

On Every Street (The Artists Trilogy, #0.5) 
Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1) 
Shooting Scars (The Artists Trilogy, #2) 
Bold Tricks (The Artists Trilogy, #3) 

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