Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review: Sins & Needles ( The Artist Trilogy #1 ) by Karina Halle

Sins & Needles by Karina Halle
Excerpt

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.

Genre

Contemporary/Suspense 

Review

I'm SO GLAD that I read this book without waiting for all the 3 books in the trilogy to be release. Usually I did that to spare myself for the agonizing waiting period, especially with all the damn cliffhanger.

This story is so action-packed, as if I'm actually watching a Hollywood blockbuster, complete with Italian and Mexican mobsters, super villain, crazy ex, Las Vegas' casino and car chasing scene straight out of a Michael Bay. For once, while reading a suppose romance novel, I'm so investing on the plot and action.

Ellie Watt, a con artist who was trained by her own parents went back to Palm Valley after years of leaving her past behind. She is also being hunted down by her crazy ex-boyfriend, Javier, who happens to be a mafia's henchman. On her first day at Palm Valley, she bumped into her high schoolmate, Camden McQueen, the son of the local sheriff and a tattoo artist at a coffee shop. Ellie just wanted to lay low, but we can see that Camden insist on hanging out and catching up with her. He invited her to his tattoo parlor, watch him play the band at a local bar, and then invited her for dinner at his place. So now we starts to be wondering what is his motive or is he just reminiscing the old times?




Here we started getting alternate chapters of 'Now' and 'Then' giving us glimpses of Ellie life since she was 13 years old, her first day at high school, her friendship with Camden, their eventual fall out, her meeting with Javier and their fall out as well. We also learned about how Ellie got her scars and she had to always be wearing jeans instead of short pants or skirt.

This time Karina Halle no longer using the UST card, where she played it so well in her EIT series. She make us wait until Book 4 to get Dex/Perry to hookup. But in Sins & Needles, by 35% of the book, both Elli and Camden had already getting it on. Initially, I think this might not keep my interest for long, but IT DID. There's where the author is a genius. The plot is awesome! We learned what is Camden motive to befriend Ellie back now and how they were eventually thrown together and running for their lives.

Elli can't seems to get rid of her conniving way of living and intended to scam Camden. The fact that Camden see through her was a shocked for me. He later threaten to call the authority unless she agree to help him.
 


Things go out of hand when Javier showed up at Palm Valley and Ellie and Camden had to make a run for it. Camden is running away for his own reason as well. The way Javier was describe, he is such an enigmatic character. But what he did already sealed his status as a super villain in my mind. As for Camden, he is more like a beta hero. He don't all of a suddenly turned into Rambo or Jason Bourne to save the day. We can really relate to him, as a man who is trying his best to escape and survive. He has a similar taste to Dex, whereby he always try to make the insecure heroin to feel good about herself.

For those who worry there is a cliffhanger, I think is safe to say that the cliffhanger is bearable. When I got to the ending, I felt so contended, albeit quite anxious to know how things gonna pan out.
The novella 'On Every Street', which will be coming out soon will give us the background on Ellie and Javier (sick) relationship, though I'm not sure is Karina Halle trying to make us root for Javier instead. Please say NO.

Spoiler

We learned that Camden's ex-wife is from an Italian mobster family and Camden was force to help in their money laundering business and Camden want out. He wanted Ellie to help him to create a new identity for him to flee the town. When Javier killed Ellie's Uncle Jim, I think he is not redeemable anymore, no matter what he did later in the series.

Ellie and Camden had confessed their feeling toward each other. But since, Ellie traded herself to save Camden's ex-wife and son, she was back with Javier, I guess Camden will plot something to save her.

Rating 5/5

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