Review: Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Posted February 28th, 2016 in book review / 24 comments

Review: Sins & Needles by Karina HalleSins & Needles by Karina Halle
Series: The Artists Trilogy #1
Publisher: Metal Blonde Books on January 25, 2013
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Dark, Adult
Pages: 438
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: four-half-stars
Heat: three-flames

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.

At A Glance

Horrible people doing horrible things. I loved it!

The Good

I secretly love when main characters are hard to like. Ellie is a perfect example of a character I loved to hate. She is all shades of fucked up. Life has made her a liar, a thief, and a bitch. She is damaged and broken inside and out from the past she is running from. In essence, she’s awesome! My heart broke for her as each layer of her past was revealed. You hate her actions but they almost seem understandable in a weird, twisted way. She really has no limits though, so don’t think you are going to get a sweet side with Ellie. She has buried that side deep, deep down. Okay, maybe she changes a little by the end.

Camden was the one that intrigued me the most. Probably because we only got Ellie’s POV so Camden was a big question mark. I dreaded what Ellie was going to do to him. What she did to him in high school was heart-wrenching enough. But Camden had even more layers than Ellie in the end. He’s the sweetest, sexiest nerd ever, but he’s also scary as hell with a violent streak. It’s like, he’s just an average tattoo artist with nerdy glasses and big muscles by day, but by night he’s a psychopath with a complicated, scary past and present.  My head was spinning with his mood swings. Ellie and his fucked up yin and yang worked for some reason. They really couldn’t be with anyone else. They belonged to each other’s crazy.

When Javier enters the picture, the crazy goes up a notch. Javier is shiver-inducing. Creeptastic at it’s finest. Ellie and Camden go on one hell of a ride together and the ending was the perfect cliffhanger to tantalize me into continuing the story right away.

The Bad

If Ellis is such a great scammer, why does she do stupid things to get herself caught or killed? I just didn’t understand. You can’t say this person is an amazing con artist with a knack for disappearing when she keeps using her real name, uses her phone and credit cards that are traceable, and ignores obvious signs of betrayal from people. So frustrating.

The Snuggly

I liked the sex because it felt real and it was hot. It could also be because I had a major crush on Camden. There were just one or two sex scenes, definitely not the focus.

Final Thoughts

So good. SO GOOD! These characters will not be for everyone. You hate their actions but you love how messed up they are. Really keeps you on your toes. Very, highly recommended.


“I’m not bad. The world is bad and I’m just trying to survive in it.”

“Sergei, my future fake husband, wasn’t short, but I had long arms and as I pushed aside his gut, I found his balls. With one swift movement, I made a tight, nails-first fist around them and tugged. Hard.”

“That is what I thought of you, Ellie. Heartless, reckless, selfish, and cruel.”
He was back to shooting me when my armor was down. I turned my face away from him, not wanting to let him see the hurt in my eyes. He reached up and put his fingers under my chin, bringing my face forward again, forcing me to look at him.
“Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost,” he continued. “A freak, a work of art, a liar, and a lover.”
His gaze was starting to eat away at my insides. Razor-blade butterflies whirled in my heart.
“I hate you, Ellie Watt,” he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, “because I still love you after all these years.” 

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24 Responses to “Review: Sins & Needles by Karina Halle”

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I forgot about it too. Don’t even remember how it got back on my radar.

  1. Bee @ Quite the Novel Idea

    This is one of those books that just stick around in the blogosphere and I haven’t gotten to it yet. Partially because I don’t have a copy and partially because I’m just not very into this genre at the moment. I do hope to read it one day, though.

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I feel like I am binging on this genre right now. It’s weird.

  2. Lekeisha

    Doesn’t it surprise you when you love horrible people doing horrible things? I have this one, but I may need to bump it up on my TBR. Great review!

  3. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Oh that bad you have has the potential to make me hate the book. The fact that you ended up enjoying it so much tells me that this wasn’t a huge part of the book. YaY! I can deal with it being a minor quibble and you have me curious about the horrible people doing horrible things. Is that horrible? 🙂

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      I heard book 3 is not as good, so I am a little reluctant to read it,

    • Jennifer (Bad Bird Reads)

      Okay, I was iffy on the last book because I didn’t hear great things, but I will try it since you recommend it.

  4. Melliane

    Oh yes I remember hearing many great things about this one but I confess that I haven’t read it. I’m glad you had a great time!

  5. Jaclyn Canada

    I was always drawn to the weirdos in high school. Weirdos in a good way, not creeper status way. I bet Camden made an interesting character. So glad you loved it 😀

  6. Olivia Roach

    I’m not sure how I feel about when characters are hard to like. But the best way for me to make up my mind in this situation is just to try the book out and see where I stand!

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