by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy, #2
Published on January 25, 2013
Published by Metal Blonde Books
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased (Amazon)
Buy the Book • Reviewed by Marq
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.
Sins & Needles takes place 6 years after On Every Street ends. Ellie is still conning people. When she ends up conning the wrong person, she escapes to her hometown and her Uncle Jim. Her uncle takes her in, albeit reluctantly, while Ellie tries to figure out what her next move is. While at the local coffee shop, Ellie runs into her old high school friend, Camden. Ellie and Camden have a shared past of hurt and being ostracized. Camden is no longer the skinny goth kid from high school. He’s tatted up, muscled and runs a successful tattoo shop. He also plays guitar in a local band. When Ellie sees how successful Camden is, she realizes that she now has her new mark and a way to start her life over.
Whoa. That’s all I have to say is, Whoa. Sins & Needles grabs you by the throat. The story is told in Ellie’s 1st person POV and it didn’t annoy me. Ellie is such a complex character. There are times you feel sympathy for her. She grew up with con artist parents who cared more about the con than her. One of their cons gone wrong left Ellie with a badly scarred leg. The only man she’s loved betrayed her. Her life hasn’t been easy so I can understand why she does what she does. My sympathy for her waned a bit when she had her eyes set on Camden for her next con. We are privy to flashbacks to when Camden and Ellie were in high school. They were literally each other’s only friend. They both had a difficult life. Camden’s life made more difficult by his father and things that Ellie did to him in the name of getting the popular kids off her back. Those scenes were intense and emotional. I felt so bad for both of them.
Ellie has been hurt so much and she feels that she has the right to hurt the world. That makes her a person with very little conscience. Her conscience makes an appearance when she prepares to con Camden but she quickly ignores it. Ellie is all about Ellie and she uses her past to justify her actions. This is where my sympathy for Ellie would waver especially when we find out what she did to Camden in high school and how he’s been nothing but nice to her in the present.
There’s more to Camden than meets the eye. He grew up with an abusive father. He was made fun of in high school. His only friend betrayed him. As an adult, he married and had a kid. But that marriage didn’t work out and Camden ends up being indebted to his criminal former in-laws. He’s not a well-adjusted adult and as more layers are revealed you realize that Camden is one messed up dude as well. Some of his actions had me shocked.
There is so much action and suspense that Sins & Needles had me sitting on the edge of my seat. There were times where I was afraid to read the next page. This book is more than a romance. This book is gritty and dirty. The characters are fighting to survive and their actions are questionable at best. You don’t know if you want to root for them and want them to end up in jail. I do know that I want Camden and Ellie to have an HEA if that’s even possible.
The ending blew me away. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
Sins & Needles is a book you won’t and can’t put down. There’s so much going on from start to finish. I highly recommend you read this series.
Favorite quote: “I hate you, Ellie Watt, because I still love you after all these years.”
© 2013, Marquetta. All rights reserved.