Brought to you by OBS reviewer Jerjen
Sins and Needles by Karina Halle is book one in The Artists Trilogy. It’s the story of Ellie Watt, who is a grifter that has decided to go give up that life and become a better person. Only trouble is, she does not know how to do that. She was raised by two con artist parents so that is the only life she knows. Right after she has decided to turn over a new leaf, she is reunited with Camden McQueen, who she was good friends with through part of high school. They were both loners back then, freaks who were made fun of, so they became good friends. But Ellie did something terrible to Camden back then, and she has not seen him since.
Camden is now a very successful tattoo artist, who has made a name for himself in the industry. He is not only semi-famous but he is also very rich. When Ellie sees him again and sees how successful he is, she thinks he will be an easy mark to pull off one more scam. She did not count on the fact that she would have feelings for him and thinks he is gorgeous. That complicates things quite a bit. Will Ellie ultimately pull of a scam on Camden or will her relationship with him cause her to back down?
The thing that impressed me most about this book was the characters. Both Ellie and Camden are flawed, imperfect, manipulative people, people that you should dislike just on principle. But it was actually the exact opposite, they are people who you care a lot about. Why should I care what happens to a con artist who makes a living cheating and hurting people? The answer is because of the way the author wrote about and made her seem truly human. I did care what happened to her and wanted things to work out for her. I find that amazing and I am very impressed with this author.
Another thing I really like about the book is that it is written in a “now and then” plot. The “now” story is told in first person, from Ellie’s perspective. The “then” story is told in third person and is the background of Ellie’s and Camden’s youth. It explains what happened in their lives as teenagers and why they are the people that they are now. I think this was a brilliant way to give us their history and I do not think I have seen a book written quite like this before. I really think it had to be difficult to write the book that way but the author pulled it off flawlessly.
There were many twists and turns along the way and the suspense built from page one. I had to keep turning pages to see what was going to happen next. The writing style flows smoothly and it is a very easy book to read. Descriptive writing was very effective, whether the author was describing a sexual scene or Ellie’s thoughts and feelings. The writing pulled me right in the story and I was fully immersed throughout the entire book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a gritty suspense drama with descriptive love scenes. I would not let a young adult read this book because of the steaminess, but that is just my opinion. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I am happy to say she has written many more.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*