AUTHOR Karina Halle
PUBLICATION January 29th 2013 by Metal Blonde Books
READ January 21, 2013
SOURCE From the author for review
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).**
We live out this tale as Ellie Watt who has grown up moving from town to town, never really having a home. Her parents were grifters who started teaching her the tricks of the trade very early on. She proves that old habits die hard and we catch up with her in the middle of one of her scams going wrong. I loved how crooked Ellie’s life was. A lot of the time when I read an adult contemporary the woman is just a regular woman who lives her life by the book and is pretty plain. Ellie was anything but, she had scams going left and right and was raking in the dough doing so. As her old scams came back to haunt her she retreated back to the small farming town she lived in with her Uncle Jim during her high school years. She retreats back to being simply Ellie Watt (not one of her many fake personas.)
I really liked Ellie, I liked her possibly more than I have ever liked an MC before. She was strong headed and she was rough around the edges, I appreciated that because it made her come to life in my mind. As she cursed and just thought about things in a down to Earth way she became someone I could see myself having a conversation with. The detached way in which she tells the tales of her childhood (we are treated to Now and Then chapters) really hit home and I felt really bad for all that she had gone through. It’s clear early on that through one of her parent’s jobs she suffered something horrific that left her with scars and a limp. As that part of the tale came to light I felt heartbroken for her and I also understood her anger towards life. Yes, she wasn’t exactly making the best choices as an adult but her childhood didn’t really leave her many options. It’s pretty sad that her parents abandoning her with her uncle was probably the best thing that could have happened for her.
The romance within is not your everyday girl-comes-back-to-town-and-rekindles-high-school-romance story. I loved the twists and turns that Ellie and Camden’s love story took and it constantly keeps the reader on their toes. It also led to some pretty steamy scenes that had me fanning myself and craving some steak (which I don’t even eat BTW but I’d eat Camden’s steaks any day of the week oooohweeee!) One thing that I love about Halle’s sex scenes is that they are not sweet and sensual, they are rough and steamy, but oh so hot through and through.
While I did find that the twists were not exactly hard to see coming, the characters and their twisted relationships left me feeling completely satisfied. The ending is one that leaves you pondering exactly where this series will go and have you dying to get your hands on the sequel. Sins & Needles is a contemporary novel that has all the makings of a great gangster movie to satisfy your thirst for a rush. This is series that is not to be missed!
The daughter of a Norwegian Viking and a Finnish Moomin, Karina Halle grew up in Vancouver, Canada with trolls and eternal darkness on the brain. This soon turned into a love of all things that go bump in the night and a rather sadistic appreciation for freaking people out. Like many of the flawed characters she writes, Karina never knew where to find herself and has dabbled in acting, make-up artistry, film production, screenwriting, photography, travel writing and music journalism. She eventually found herself in the pages of the very novels she wrote (if only she had looked there to begin with).
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