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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.

438 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2013

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About the author

Karina Halle

125 books15.5k followers
Karina Halle is a screenwriter, a former music & travel journalist, and the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of River of Shadows, A Nordic King, and The Royals Next Door, as well as seventy other wild and romantic reads. She holds a Bachelors degree in Journalism.

She, her musician husband, and their adopted pit bull, Bruce, live in a rainforest on an island off the coast of British Columbia during the summer, and in Los Angeles in the winter. For more information, visit www.authorkarinahalle.com/books.

Halle is represented by Root Literary and is both self-published, and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, and Montlake. Her books have been published in numerous languages around the world.

Karina isn't on Goodreads and does NOT check her messages here - please contact her via Instagram (@authorhalle) instead :)

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Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
March 14, 2013
Before we even get this par-TAY started, I'm going to throw something out there: This was not a bad book. I'm saying this now because I know I'm about to be the black sheep when it comes to Sins & Needles. So before everyone in my Goodreads friends list comes out with their torches and pitch forks, guys, I can totally see why you all love this book.

Alright, now that we've got the basics out of the way, strap in because I'm about to light it up. BTW, yeah, spoilers 'cause that's how I roll.

Sins & Needles started off very strong for me. The main character, Ellie Watt, has a great presence and voice. She's someone I'd even consider badass... at first. Obviously, her profession demands nothing less with her being a con artist and all. But for once in her life, Ellie feels like she's had enough and goes home to Palm Valley. It's there where Ellie must now face the ultimate human challenge: Getting a job. But just as her first and only attempt fails, in comes Camden McQueen. Ellie is instantly attracted to this tattooed stud-muffin, but doesn't recognize him as the bullied goth from high school (and former best friend). Anyway, they hit it off and somehow end up on this wild Bonnie and Clyde type adventure.

Up until around 50%, I was feelin' this book somethin' serious. Like I said, Ellie has a great voice and the writing wasn't bad either (even though I do think it was stronger in the first half). But somehow along the way I found myself caring less and less about finishing the book. Here are three reasons why my happy cat died along the way complete with pop culture references FTW (because obviously I was bored enough to soundtrack my review):

1. "Gypsy Woman, stay the hell away from me."

Ellie is one special character. She makes a living from conning men out of money left and right. She meets them on internet dating sites (She fed me lies while she cast her spells...), pretends to be their girlfriend for months (Save me, she's a liar... ) and then makes off with their cash (Gypsy woman robbed me of my best...). Your ability to love this novel is really going to be dependent on if you can relate to her situation and past. Or at the very least, sympathize with her. I thought I could. I mean, I tried really, really hard to. I liked the idea of a con artist trying to go legit and finding love along the way. It's just the way Ellie went about it that bothered me.

So check it, Ellie goes back home and tries to get a job at ONE LOCATION, fails, sees Camden McMoneyPants walk in, and says, "Fuck it. I'll just rob him." (Trifling friend, indeed.

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 Actually, I kinda am...

I know, I know. It's all she knows and she's used to just taking from everyone else, but that is no excuse to me. And honestly, I think Ellie was just being lazy and I can't stand lazy people. I wanted to shake her and make her get off her ass and get a job. But no, instead she tries to rob Camden because obviously that's way easier and more logical.

But wait! Ellie is JUSTIFIED because the world has wronged her. I get that Ellie was a flawed character with a lot of issues, but hasn't anyone ever told her life isn't fair? *this is me playing the world's smallest violin* I understand that Halle was trying to show the other side of the coin where a person doesn't make the right decisions. My issue is that I couldn't understand WHY she was making them.

2. "I always put myself in destructive situations."


If you had a tragic accident due to a career choice made by your parents, what would you do?

A. Choose a different career when you grew up.
B. Choose the same career path of your parents because of... reasons.

Guess what Ellie chooses? That's right, B! Makes complete sense, right? (I’ve got that lefty curse... Where everything I do is flipped... And awkwardly reversed) But it gets better because this is Ellie-fucking-Watt we're talking about.

So Ellie's parents tried to con a drug lord and she ends up paying the price by getting acid poured all over her leg. I'm not sure I would go back to the same drug lord with the intention of conning him alone, because, ahem, he's a DRUG LORD. But she finds love in one of the drug lord's right hand men, Javier. Surprise: it doesn't work out and she steals his money and car. Look at your life, Ellie. Look at your choices! The girl is addicted to Making Bad Decisions. Intervention, I say!

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I see...

You would think after that huge fail she would quit while she was ahead, but nooooo. She goes on to con more and more men, leaving a trail of bread crumbs until eventually her past catches up to her.

Now, there are two really big bones I gotta pick with Ellie here. First, why does she never throw away her cell phone? What kind of con artist keeps the same phone from con to con? A shitty one. (Somebody get my phone... So I can throw it in a public pool and watch it float...) Second, how did Javier continue finding her? Her cell phone is my obvious guess, but it was clear the cell phone was not even thought of in this case and Javier seemed to locate her a little too well. All the reader is given is some one liner from Mr. Creep, saying he'd always find her. Sheesh, I can't believe she thought that was romantic at some point. And yet, she never fully takes responsibility for her actions. (I don’t look innocent with this big, big mess on...)

3. "I want your love and I want your revenge..."

I really don't think novels with dysfunctional relationships are for me. I'm a firm believer in the idea that if you don't have your own shit together, perhaps you should not get involved with someone else's. This might have something to do with how well I understand them, which is virtually nil. My only exposure to them is Fifty Shades of Grey and a page of Beautiful Disaster. I'm sure we all can agree that those characters need to sit down with someone and get some well-needed advice.

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No, not you, Tay-Tay. *skip track*

Ellie's uncle warns her about getting involved with Camden and urges her to focus on getting on her feet. That makes sense considering it was her entire point of returning home and begging for a place to stay. But right after Camden discovers Ellie's plan and double crosses her, they go on the run together. Ellie's off in her corner of the hotel hating Camden and Camden is off is his corner hating Ellie and secretly thinking of raping her so that he can humiliate her just as she humiliated him in high school. (I want your drama... The touch of your hand...) Wait, what? I'm raging right about now. Are you telling me this Grown Ass Man is still angry about something that happened YEARS AGO in high school? But wait, he also loves her. Does your head hurt? Great. Here's an ice pack.

But that's not even the half of it. Ellie in turn resents Camden because she got caught trying to rob him. She keeps saying things like, "How could he do that to me?" And I'm like, WTF, dude. You broke and entered his house and tried to steal his money. Also, she loves him and he's howt and she can't stop staring at his abs because, yeah, there goes his shirt... again. (I want your leather-studded kiss in the sand...)

So somewhere along the lines they stop hating each other so much because, due to Ellie's stupidity, a character dies. Then she's all, "loosen up my buttons, baby," sexy time on a car and declarations of love. (Love-love-love I want your love)
"I hate you, Ellie Watt," he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, "because I still love you after all these years.”

So all the while I'm having this internal "discussion", if you will, with Ellie. I'm grilling her about this "love" that she has with Camden.

"What is your deal?!" I scream at her, grabbing her shoulders.

(It’s the way I’m feeling I just can’t deny...)

"Oh, really? You love him, huh? And where did you find this love? I bet it was In A Hopeless Place."

(But I’ve gotta let it go...)

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That's a yes, isn't it?

I might not be an expert on love and relationships, but their... whatever-you-wanna-call-it... doesn't make sense to me. But I get it. Sometimes you can't decide who you love or whatnot. However, seeking revenge on someone you claim you've been in love with for years? Does not compute. This is probably an indication of where my personal beliefs just got in the way of sympathizing with the two characters. I couldn't suspend logic long enough to simply go with it.

So, yeah. Not my kind of book. I couldn't relate to the story, the characters and their subsequent decisions despite the strong start. Clearly, I am in the minority with not loving Sins & Needles, so feel free to tell me to kick rocks, blow bubbles, throw stones and STFU.

More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Fathima.
634 reviews345 followers
January 23, 2013




I need to think and calm down before I ....


A big thank you to Karina Halle for providing me an ARC for an honest review !!!

“I hate you Ellie Watt,” he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, “because I still love you after all these years.”
Shock seized me first, the butterflies shredding me to pieces. Then he grabbed my face and kissed me, hard.

Sins & Needles will be Karina Halle's first release of 2013 and all I can say right now is ......

Bring out the fireworks my peeps , coz this woman is ROCKIN GOOD !!!


Woohoo , god , I don't even know where to begin this review with ! I know , it obviously has to be from the beginning and all but .... The hell man , I cant even think straight righ now ! I've been excited to read this ever since Karina announced it , and the fact that I got to read an ARC of it is just a sliver lining on the cloud that I'm floating on right now !!! Yes , I'm on a Karina-fied high right now ! Damn , this woman and her work turns me into a junkie ! And I'm already craving my next fix .....


*sigh* okay then , lets move on with the review shall we ...


This will be the last time ... That's exactly what Ellie Watt tells herself when she's in the middle of conning someone or paying up for her conning abilities . Ofcourse , we all know that wont be the case anytime soon . Escaping from one of her such Oh-shit-I-fucked-up-with-the-wrong-man situation Ellie finds herself driving back to her hometown . The place that was her refuge and her hell at the same time . Uncle Jim being Ellie's only saving grace every time she or her family needs saving . But Uncle Jim's kinda reluctant to help her but gives her time to settle down for some days and find herself some sort of an employment which does not involve her getting into anymore trouble .

Ellie decides to get a job at a Coffee shop , somethings better than nothing right , something a little too inconspicuous . And that's where trouble walks in the form of Camden McQueen !


Well , that's one trouble I'd handle any day .

Ellie and Camden ... they have a history . A history that did not quite end on a good note . But hey , that was the past and this is now . Right ? Hmm , lets just say somethings are not forgotten that easily . Some wounds definitely know how to resurface when you least expect them . I'm gonna have to stop talking here , because If I continue , I'll probably develop a verbal diarrhea or something . That blurb up there , yeah , that doesn't even begin to cover what you're in for once the book crosses that stage !


Hell , It was one even before we could reach that stage ! But still ....

My thoughts :

Sins & Needles is an absolute


Karina Halle is an expert when it comes to creating characters who are fucked up and story lines which are messed up ! To put it correctly I'll say she creates the best characters ever ! They cant get any more 'human' than this .


We are pretty unpredictable and our decisions about life and the choices we make are always based upon the situations we are made to exist with . Ellie and Camden are such two characters who are living their life with the choices they've made . They may not seem right to us , hell , they might even end up looking down right suicidal but that's just how these two roll .

Ellie is contradiction on legs ! She has scars that have probably governed her life so far , reminders of where she's been . But the choices that she makes here , has turned me into a contradictory mess ! I started off unsure of whether I would like her or not . But holy hell , she is FAN-FREAKIN-TASTIC !!!!


And then there is Camden ... Camden fucking McQueen ! He ... He may not be your knight in a shining armor but he sure as hell isn't a douchebag in a tin foil ! Broken on the inside , add to that a sinfully sexy epitome of art .... he can instantly turn into a creep who can scare the bejeebus out of you !
OMG that's such a turn on !!!!



He is just delicious !

My Playlist :

I absolutely lurve music ! And they always keep me company whilst I'm reading . And this book was no exception . Karina Halle has quite an exquisite 'Desert Playlist' that bodes well with the feel of this book . Presenting to you my 'Its-sexy-and-you-know-it' playlist , because this book is all kinds of sexy !!!

1) Fizgig - Chevelle
2) Paradise Circus - Massive Attack
3) Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack
4) The Lonely boy - Black Keys
5) On Demon Wings - Bohren & der club of gore
6) Endless - Dave Gahan
7) Straight out of Line - Godsmack
8) Oddfellows - The Tomahawk
9) White Angel - The lion
10) Here With Me - Dido
11) On Every Streets - Dire Straits
12) The last Goodbye - The Kills
13) One and the same - Rob Dougan
14) Roadhouse Blues - The Doors
15) Wish - Nine Inch Nails
16) Even Deeper - Nine Inch Nails
17) Me, I'm not - Nine Inch Nails

Enjoy ! ;)

What I really enjoy about Karina Halle's writing and story telling technique is that not only does she create some pretty real and genuine characters , she also knows how to keep a reader engrossed in the world she creates for these characters .

Sins and Needles is her first Dark Contemporary romance and the woman sure knows how to spin one hell of a tale . It is dark , edgy , uberly sexy that tends to seep into your bones and stick to you like second skin ! Relatable and Real , Sins and Needles is a 110% movie material . Oozing action , adventure , humor , drama , romance and steamy sex the book is a definite page-turner that's bound to keep you glued to the edge of your seats till the very last page .

So guys and gals , grab those popcorns , soda cans and candy floss sit back and enjoy your ride !


Profile Image for Emily May.
1,921 reviews290k followers
May 30, 2013

4 1/2 stars

Sorry for using such a cheap trick to drag you in but this is the picture Halle used as inspiration for Camden. And I know many people have used that image in their reviews but, come on, do you really ever get tired of looking at that?

This book came as a complete shock to me. It's one of those where I have no idea why I read it, it must be some sort of masochistic curiosity that makes me pick up books I'm almost certain I won't like. For one thing, it's an indie novel and my luck with those is virtually non-existent. For another thing, it's a contemporary romance and as soon as I hear those two words put together I can feel the eye rolls starting. It's not that I don't like a good romance, but it is so seldom told well - delving either into misogyny, cliches or both - that I tend to avoid books with a romantic focus. But Sins & Needles is my own personal rule-breaker and I cannot fully convey just how delighted I am to have discovered the dark, sexy world of Karina Halle.

I'm so sorry to drag it down with such an awful comparison but Sins & Needles just makes me wonder more than ever why Fifty Shades of Grey is so popular. That question has played on my mind ever since reading the cringyness that is Christian and Ana, but I have come up with suggestions like... well, there's the hot sex. There's the confident alpha male thing. There's the flirty banter. But this book is all those things too, minus a ton of disgusting control-freakery, sexism and general stupidity from the "heroine", minus extremely bad writing, plus some well-rounded characterization that goes beyond "my mummy abused me so now I like to beat you, WAAAAAH!" Sins & Needles has the flirty fun to make you giggle, it has some darkness and danger to keep your eyes glued to the page (I stayed up until 5am and was literally on the verge of passing out) and it has some DAMN HAWT sex scenes.

Though I'm no writer myself, I imagine it must be very difficult to find that perfect balance with a love interest. To make him sexy and yet more than a sex object. To make a character that you simultaneously want to cuddle because he's so freaking adorable, and want to tear his clothes off a moment later. Camden is a character with a well-woven story that compiles elements of the nerdy outsider he was in high school and the strong, good-looking man he is now to create a very interesting package. He is flawed and doesn't always do the right thing but you can't help but love him all the same.

The main story is surprisingly dark in many ways but I kind of wish I'd written this review before reading the equally good short prequel - On Every Street - because this changes your perspective on quite a few things. I love authors that do that, give you an idea and let you think you know what's going on but then turn it on its head, introduce some new information and completely change the rules of the game. Awesome. The plot of this book is about Ellie Watt, the troubled daughter of two criminals who has been left physically and emotionally scarred by their escapades. Ellie Watt doesn't know who she is, she's afraid to be who she is, so she creates new identities as she goes. Eden White. Emily Watson. The list goes on. Her dodgy past chases her back to her hometown to live with her uncle, she is sure no one will recognise her. But she's wrong. Camden McQueen remembers her all too well and with him comes memories that Ellie has been trying to forget.

The other thing about contemporary romances that make them not a favourite of mine is the formula that all of them seem to follow. The characters all seem to have similar characteristics, the plot moves through the same points of denial and jealousy... but Sins & Needles feels so different from all of that. Perhaps its because the characters aren't always completely likeable. Or perhaps its because Halle throws in some well-placed surprises that take you off guard several times. Perhaps its the exciting mafia subplot that makes this book so different, turning Ellie and Camden into a kind of Bonnie and Clyde duo.

On the subject of not entirely likeable characters, I've read where some people say they don't like Ellie and I can see why. She's not a good person and she's willing to screw people over to get her own way. You should be aware of this before reading because it could affect your enjoyment. But I like her because of this. Or maybe not so much "like" her as I care about her and I'm curious about her. She's not evil for me, she's trying to make her way in the world. She's done many things I hate but she hates herself for them equally and I just love the complexity of her character. Maybe you think I'm crazy, but there's always been something about love stories with bad people that has totally pulled me in. Two bad people who completely deserve one another. Where both of them have dark sides that make them as bad as each other, that make them absolutely perfect for one another. It's one of the reasons I love Cathy and Heathcliff and it's one of my favourite elements of Gone Girl.

Plus, I absolutely loved the musical references in this book, I felt like it created a soundtrack to the story which constantly played in the background. I'm also a big Dire Straits fan and I had to break out my old albums to listen again after reading this. God, it's so beautiful. I'm going to spoiler tag some of my favourite lyrics so you can skip over them if you like but I simply HAVE to include these beauties:

*happy sigh*

Sins & Needles isn't completely without flaws, but it is one of the most well-written indie books out there. I don't know why Halle didn't go the traditional publishing route because this is far better than many books that the main publishers churn out. Oh, well, whatever. I love this very sexy series and cannot wait for more.
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,789 followers
September 20, 2015
ETA: downgraded to 3 stars. September 20, 2015

Review completed February 1, 2013

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"Nope. This is about taking control. It's about controlling yourself, getting into that tiny moment in which you can make things happen. (…)"

After a scam gone awry and being on the road for two months, Ellie Watts decides to return home because she ran short of money. Because of her criminal lifestyle Ellie does not have a lot of friends. As it is, friends are dangerous liabilities when you're a grifter. That's the reason she has not a lot of options and goes back to her uncle Jim who is living in the Coachella Valley. Shortly after, Ellie runs into an old "friend" from high school, tattooed and pierced Camden McQueen. Camden is chatting her up and before she knows it, he invites her to attend his gig that takes place the same evening. Camden is a tattoo artist, painter and amateur musician who is playing for the band Kettle Black.

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Ellie intends to however, what she does not know yet is the fact that Camden is And he's been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Anyway, Ellie's plan backfired

"I own you, Ellie Watt," he whispered.

It's needless to say that a bumpy road lies ahead for Camden and Ellie.

Ellie is a con artist, a liar and a thief. Camden thinks of her as an unredeemable soul. Due to the constant stress of her turbulent life, Ellie is hooked on Ativan and other pills, has a giant case of paranoia, suffers from anxiety and Trouble is her middle name. Also, she thinks that she is entitled to her activities due to her scarred leg and bad childhood.

"Oh, do you?" You think because of your leg and your scars that gives you a right to punish people? Rob people? Cheat, scam and steal? You think you can use that to justify what you do for a living?"

"Do you think because you can't see my scars that they don't exist? That's the trouble with pain, Ellie. If you're lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside, in places no one ever goes. Not until it's too late."

"Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror?" he asked, his voice rising. "Do you like what you see?"

"I know what I know of you," he whispered into my ear, his breath hot. "And I want to know more."

Camden saw through her when he said, "You're afraid to come to peace with your scars, because the minute you do, the minute you accept them, you have to let go of your anger. You have to let go of your quest. And then who would you be?" But Ellie couldn't respond to his question because she didn't know who she would be.

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"It's like art, Ellie," he said gently and looked up at me. His eyes looked wet in the table lamp's amber light.
"Like an abstract painting. You can find art and beauty in everything, if you look hard enough. But your beauty is just staring you in the face."

"Ellie," he said, sitting back down. "Let me tattoo your scars."
"So what are you going to tattoo on me?"
"Whatever your scars tell me to to," he said.
I put my sins in his hands.

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As far as I am concerned I think that Camden made this story. Who does not love a yummy tattooed hero with a nerdy touch? Granted, he is flawed as well and he made mistakes, but I can relate to his actions. Hence, it was understandable that he acted the way he did because he'd been However, when it comes to Ellie I just can't feel any empathy or pity for this woman.

"I'm not bad. The world is bad and I'm just trying to survive in it."

Well, that's where you are completely wrong, dear Ellie. You are bad. You did all kinds of bad, illegal and stupid deeds. Grow up already, assume responsibility for Pete's sake! After all, we all make our own paths in life. All those petty excuses...I just can't hear it anymore. With that said, I hope she'll be given the chance to make things right again.

There are plenty of ambivalent feelings between the two, mistrust, pain, lies, and anger. Also, both of them have a lot of baggage to deal with, and for what's it worth it would be wise to seek professional help.

What didn't work out for me
I'm not sure if it's me or the story/characters but I felt there was a lack of chemistry between the two. While the steam level was alright, I would have loved to see way more foreplay and a better build-up. Furthermore, I was not happy when the baddies I'm sorry but that's not reasonable from my point of view. However, I suppose the author needed to write this plot twist that led to the final highlight which was very predictable yet well-written and thrilling.

Overall I enjoyed Sins & Needles. The story is told in first person from Ellie's POV and alternates between "Now" and "Then" to offer a better insight into Ellie and Camden's lives. A well-paced story, an interesting plot and some nice action/suspense will keep you turn the pages. I'm not a fan of cliffhangers but this one is definitely so good that you will want to keep on reading. As a consequence of the final highlight I'm looking forward to reading Shooting Scars

Steam 2.5 - 3
Profile Image for Debra.
474 reviews2,409 followers
January 31, 2013



This book was just BRILLIANT!!! I swear, it was like watching one of my favorite Tarantino movies, except it wasn't a movie, it was a book and it's the very first time a book has ever made me feel that way. The story kept me enthralled the entire time, and I loved every minute of it.

From shady drug lords to sexy tattoo artists to the maffia and visits to a casino, this book had everything in it to earn itself a place on my "favorites of 2013"-list (although the year has only just started...). There was action, suspense, humor and romance (but not at all in a cliché-way) and to top it all, the story was accompanied by an awesome soundtrack!!!

Sins & Needles is the story of a girl named Ellie Watt --

"I'm not a bad. The world is bad, and I'm just trying to survive in it."

Ellie Watt is not just any other girl, she's a con artist and an excellent one at that. She's spent her entire life being on the run from the people she's framed and she's spent her entire life being someone else...

"I don't think I'd ever gone on a vacation my whole life. I was always working, always on. It was a full-time job pretending to be someone else."

Now, Ellie has decided it is time for her to go back to her roots, spent some time with her uncle, commit one final scam and maybe start a new life away from the troubles that come along with being on the run the entire time.

"This will be the last time. I've said that before. I've said it a lot. I've said it while talking to myself in the mirror like some Tarantino cliché."

What she didn't expect was for her former high school friend, Camden McQueen to still be in the same town they grew up in...

Camden McQueen --

Once upon a time, Camden used to be a freak, he used to be the most tormented kid in high school and he used to dress himself as a goth (long hair, black painted nails and long leather coat included) but now... Now, Camden has become a very attractive, successful tattoo artist (he even had an appearance on Kat Von D's LA Ink) and in no way, this Camden resembles the young, weird-looking boy he once used to be.

"He was like a living, breathing painting on an all-male canvas."

In high school, Camden used to have a crush on Ellie, but she never really returned his feelings... Now, with Camden being so successful, Ellie has found herself the perfect target of her new and hopefully final scam. She hopes to use the feelings he had for her to make the scam an easy job. But what seems like a done deal, turns out to be a whole lot more difficult than anyone could have ever expected...

What follows next is a roller coaster ride of events--

The story is fast-paced and constantly keeps you on edge. Whenever you think you've figured it out, something unexpected happens, that will make you re-evaluate your opinion about everything you've just read and all the people involved in it.

And that ending...

I mean, I completely get that authors make use of cliffhangers to keep the audience on the edge of their seat and it's probably a good thing because it makes us crave the next part of the story even more...

But that ending....

It left me speechless and wishing that the next part in the series would come out like RIGHT NOW!!!!

But, either way, I still LOVED this book and I would recommend reading it to EVERYONE because it really has a bit of everything in it and it's the kind of story, I think, all kinds of readers will be able to relate to.

Sins & Needles was my very first book by Karina Halle and I already know it won't be my last!!!!



Profile Image for Tough Critic Book Reviews.
308 reviews2,152 followers
January 27, 2013
Sometimes you need to bury yourself so deep in fiction that you forget that the real world exists. Sins & Needles is a story about drug lords, con artists, the Mafia, and a sexy tattoo artist. It's a story about redemption...justification. It's a story that perhaps seems a little unbelievable. But isn't that what makes fiction so amazing? There's no rules, anything can happen, anything goes. It's like Quentin Tarantino & Martin Scorsese wrote a book and had Kristen Ashley and M. Leighton edit. A hot, sexy, romantic, action packed book.

I won't give a lot away about the plot because experiencing it raw is half the fun, but I will say that the characters are nothing short of perfect. Ellie is a kick ass, tell it like it is, con artist. When she's not being kick ass, she's saying things that are...

Get your head out of your vagina, I told myself and sat up in the chair a little straighter.

I mean who hasn't thought that!? Then there's...

I pried my hands off of it and reached out. Seregei, my future fake husband, wasn't short, but I had long arms and as I pushed aside his gut, I found his balls

And of course the banter....

I glared at him. "Is the gun really necessary?"

"No," he admitted. "It's just fun to have one."

"Like an extra penis," I mused.

He smiled unkindly. "Something like that."

Camden's transformation from sweet goth friend to tattooed, take me in the grass, alpha-male was toe curling. The sexual tension was palpable and the pace was gripping. It swept me away, entertained me, and left me...left me...OH MY GOD, I can't believe how it left me. The ending killed me and the sequel better be released...yesterday!! Not just because of how I was left hanging, but everything between Ellie and Camden was perfect. The perfect blend of push and pull. The perfect blend of salty and sweet. The perfect blend of making love and f**king.

Sometimes you just need to get lost in the unbelievable. Get lost in the crazy. Get lost in fiction.

I'm not even sure I wanted to be found.


Reviewed at http://www.toughcriticbookreviews.com
Profile Image for Georgia ♥ .
420 reviews1,119 followers
August 20, 2013

"We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again.”


"Don't try and con a con man"


A-helluva-lot STARS!!!

Brilliant, inspired, unique, refreshing, mysterious. Dark, gothic, gritty, sexy, a Tarantino movie in the making. A story of a girl and a boy, names that aren't defining, criminals, use and abuse.


♪♫The sacred and profane
The pleasure and the pain
Somewhere your fingerprints remain concrete
And it's your face I'm looking for on every street♪♫

Insert a name of your choice here, I'm gonna go with: Ellie Watts
She is the con artist daughter of a con artist family. The apple under the apple tree. 26 years old and dead. Inside were it counts. And scarred outside where it shows...


She comes back to the house she grew up. Not a home, just a place.

"A name is like a home, then. All those years without a name. All those years without a home."

She returns, where she grew up, where she loved with innocence, betrayed with intent, lost and forgot. Deep in the desert, under the unforgiving sun and the shadow of the Joshua Tree.


You can't run from your past. You can hide, you can hope, but it always catches up with you. And you pay. For your Sins.

I've called "Ellie" many names, while reading this book but I couldn't have said it any better...

"Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost," he continued. "A freak, a work of art, a liar, and a lover."

I'm not condoning and I don't even understand her but HELL, girl you stun me....

C.M, let's stick with Camden, OK?

"Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist? That’s the trouble with pain, Ellie. If you’re lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside, in places no one ever goes. Not until it’s too late."

Camden McQueen is the last person, Ellie would have expected to meet again. The town's Sheriff son, ex-goth and school scapegoat, altogether freak and only friend, grew up to be a gorgeous tattoo artist.

He doesn't have the scars, but he has the burdens that come with them. The bitterness, cautiousness, despair, that always accompany them.

He also has something that elevates him.

"I hate you, Ellie Watt," he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, "because I still love you after all these years."

Now Ellie, has to be brave enough to put her Sins in his hands. And hope that his Needles will fade them enough, to let them rest.

Sins & Needles

Working together for their "Gualala". Will it suffice? Can they trust each other? No, not until they put all their ghosts behind. Until then...


What a book?!
What an ending?!
A rock concert, a haunting melody, a scary ride.

Brace yourselves, enjoy the ride and trust noone! Well, except the ones that always were there...

Bravo and amazing!

Revised at 02/01/2013, to post full review.

This review can be found on my blog: infinity-of-time.blogspot.com also known as...

Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,356 followers
January 31, 2013
Sometimes when you finish a book, you loved it so completely, so thoroughly, that you don't even want to give it a 5-star rating. Because then you start thinking of all the other 5-stars you've given, and it just doesn't compare. You don't want it to be compared. This was one of them. Having read a copy the minute it was made available, there were no reviews or feedback yet, giving me absolutely zero expectations, and I. Was. Blown. Away! (!!) I have both been dying to, and dreading, reviewing this book, because I want to just pour my heart out, but at the same time I'm afraid nothing I say can do it justice. So... it may not completely make sense, you have been warned.

First and foremost, this is not a young adult (or New Adult) book. It's a fully adult contemporary novel. We get introduced to two of the most phenomenal (and broken) characters I have ever come upon. The character development in this book is unsurpassable. Our protagonist, Ellie, carved her way into the deepest crevices of my heart. I became in tuned to her thoughts and emotions as if they were my own. Her scars, both physical and emotional, become a palpable part of this novel. To layer her even more, we regularly get taken into her past where we see what she has been through; how she was damaged and emotionally beaten into the person she is today. These chapters are written in the third person, showing us exactly what Ellie thinks of her younger self--with a detachment. This gives her character incredible depth; a driving force to her current situation, her current state of mind.

Before I start on Camden, let me give you Karina's inspired by visualization:

If you are even able to get your eyes off of that picture to read the rest of this review, I can tell you that you heart will be in shreds when this book is over. I don't think I've ever been infatuated with a character as much as I am with Camden. He can eat crackers in my bed anytime! Oh let's face it, I want to eat them off of him, and you will want to, too! *fans self* Ok. Besides being a walking sex-on-a-stick, Camden is a masterfully created tortured soul, broken by his past and so so passionate about everything he takes on. I'm telling you, bringing characters to life like this does not happen very often. These people are REAL. They are 100% completely genuine.

Together, they work! They just do! Plain and simple. It's not always pretty--only imagine what you get when you put two tormented individuals together. Their relationship is rocky, and it's as frustrating as it is smoking hot sometimes, but it will tear your heart out. The ending: it broke me. I was a complete mess. Then I went into instant withdrawal. And the book I'm reading now, which I put on pause to read this one, tastes kind of pasty now! Oh wait… should I be eating it? Damnit! I forgot how to read! *sobs*

Dark, gritty, and sexy as hell, Sins & Needles is pure perfection for fans of contemporary novels with a dangerous edge. It will leave you begging for more, in that blubbering, unattractive way of yours.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
88 reviews1,104 followers
July 30, 2016

Welcome Readers,this golden tale is about Ellie and Camden....

She is a con artist and he is a tattoo-artist.

She is someone who has visible scars and his are deeply hidden.

She has the SINS and he has the NEEDLES.

  Watch her surrender her sins to his needles.

"Jesus," he whispered, gaze lingering everywhere. "I keep forgetting that you're art already."

"So what are you going to tattoo on me?"

"Whatever your scars tell me to," he said.....

After a few minutes,the needle buzzed,alive and waiting to transform me.

I put my sins in his hands.


Her parents were grifters,and she spent her childhood being used as a pawn in her parents' latest scam.They taught her everything she needed to know about being a con artist,a very good one.

But one time she got hurt.....and it changed her life forever.

Her uncle living in Palm Valley had given her and her parents shelter when they had wanted to start over,but things had not gone according to the plan.

She left Palm Valley after completing her schooling and never looked back.

She did what she had learned the best....grifting.

She had drifted from one state to other,from one name to another,taken one identity after another....and lied,cheated,stolen,conned!!

And now,seven years after she had left Palm Valley,she was returning,in order to start afresh.Finally being Ellie Watt again.

Now Readers...the tale of Ellie Watt is incomplete without Camden McQueen!!

In high school Ellie Watt had only one friend.He was the only person more weird than her.He was Camden McQueen.He was always there for her.

But they had one major difference...

She hid her differences and would have given up anything to be normal,to be accepted.He flaunted his differences,and did not give a damn about anyone else except Ellie.

And then one day....

She got a chance to be accepted by everyone.She took it without thinking twice.

What did she give up??

Camden McQueen.

She crushed his heart beneath her feet that day.

"You're a bad person,Ellie," he said without a trace of irony.

"I'm not bad.The world is bad and I'm just trying to survive in it."

And now,seven years later,they meet again.But this time,he is no longer a weirdo.He is sinfully hot and covered in tattoos,a successful tattoo artist.

They meet and sparks fly,but.....

Pleasure's a sin, and sometimes sin's a pleasure.

So once again,she lets go of the consequences,she lets go of her conscience,she lets go of her budding feelings for Camden, and becomes ready to sin again.She decides to rob Camden McQueen.

Oh,she justifies herself,like hundreds of time before.....

But this time,something unexpected happens.This time she had chosen the wrong pawn.This time.....

No more Readers.You'll have to grab this book to know what happens next.

But I'll tell you this much...it's just the beginning.

"You're a con artist. A liar. A thief. An unredeemable soul. You can't be reformed. You can't be saved. You'll die trying to make the world pay for what it did to you. And you'll die alone."

Readers,the story of these two flawed people is something you won't be forgetting anytime soon.And you have no inkling about what is to come next.

Someone's about to enter.A new story will unfold.And by the end,you'll be left reeling.


So Readers,prepare yourself for the onslaught that is.....

Sins & Needles.


My thoughts--

I hated Ellie and her weakness for always choosing the easy path,the wrong path.I hated her for trying to justify her actions.I hated her for blaming others.

I hated her for wearing her scars as a badge.Using them as an excuse while choosing the wrong things,using them to justify her actions.

Camden too choose the wrong path.

And there's this last individual.A beast.A monster.

So what did I like?

I liked Ellie and Cam's journey towards redemption.Both of them still have a long way to go.And I have no idea,whether the last one can be redeemed or not.

Along with the twists and turns,suspense and drama,Karina Halle has done a wonderful job in portraying this dark side of human nature.

The side which lives on spite.Which is capable of hating with a passion.Which lives for revenge.Capable of ruining others for gain,and never looking back.

And now I'm breathlessly waiting for.....

Perhaps love can be their redemption after all.


That's all for now,Readers.


Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,554 followers
August 17, 2016

She is a con artist...


That’s what Ellie Watt,with the thousands of other names,is..
After a fake bride scam goes wrong she goes back to her childhood town to rebuild her life legitimately....
When she hits her hometown she runs into a blast from the past...


Camden McQueen used to be the freak who dressed all in Goth.At one time he was her only friend until she let peer pressure destroy their relationship...

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

This is a new Camden!!He is sexy,tattoo artist...


He is nothing like the boy she left behind in high school..He’s talented and they have an intense attraction to each other that she can’t wait to consummate.She keep her mind to do one last job…

Ellie is such a real character!At first I disliked her but then I love her!She is shaped by events from when she is a young girl and crime is really the only way she knows how to get ahead.
Camden is equally hurt.His scars might not be on display like Ellie’s but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there.There is such a range to who he is, to who he was,and I couldn’t help but feel for him..


Both characters are damaged by their childhoods.The physical and emotional baggage they carry around with them is what made this story so interesting..Glimpses of the past give a better understanding of their personalities and relationships..

"You're so afraid,Ellie Watt.You're afraid to show the world what you're really like.You're afraid to come peace with your scars,because the minute you acept them you have to let go of your anger.And then who would you be?" I don't know"

About Javier I have to say one thing if Ellie Watt falls for him again, I'll hit her with all my strenght!!

The ending was...holy shit!!!!


Cant wait for the second book!!!!

Favourite quotes

"There's no one else I wanted to love"
"No one who deserved it more than you"

"I love you"
"From until the end under any name you choose"

"It's like art Ellie"
Like an abstract painting.You can find art and beauty in everything.If you look hard enough,but your beauty is just staring you in the face."

For more reviews you can check mine and Kristinas's blog. :D

my link text


Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,100 followers
January 29, 2013
 photo sinsign_zpsa701cace.jpg

This is your Soundtrack to this review – please open it in a new window and listen while you read!  It is relevant to the story.

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

This was SUCH a good book – absolutely compelling from the first page right through to the end with an ending to leave you positively salivating for the next part.

This is the story of Ellie, Eden, whatever she is calling herself the day you meet her. She is a liar, a con artist, a fake virgin bride, a cheater, a thief – her parents would be so proud. She is the subject of an upbringing by two grifters, badly scarred on her leg by one of her parents’ cons gone wrong and we join her returning to the only place she ever came close to calling home, Palm Valley to visit her uncle Jim, the only person in the world who appear to care for her.

She is not a classic heroine by any stretch of the imagination but I learned to love her despite screaming with frustration at some of her decisions. I’d like to say – She ain’t bad, she’s just drawn that way but she is totally badass but she just doesn’t know any other way to be. She’s guarded, hostile, isolated – she cuts a bit of a lonely figure but I couldn’t help but warm to her. There’s immense sadness and the horrific scars on her leg are more than just physical as they affect nearly every aspect of her life.

She decides to look for legitimate work and bumps into Camden McQueen, tattooed Adonis with a septum ring, ex High School Goth and former friend until she humiliated him one fateful day. He runs the local tattoo parlour, Sins & Needles and he and Ellie rekindle their friendship. Camden may have grown into his looks but he’s definitely not wearing a halo either and he’s holding grudges and is a firm believer that revenge is a dish best served cold. He doesn’t easily forgive and forget and when Ellie walks into town, he puts an idea into action that will have far reaching consequences for both of them and those closest to them.

To go any further into the plot would be to spoil it and I really don’t want to do that as I had absolutely no idea what direction the story was headed in when I read it and it constantly surprised and shocked me, something not a lot of books do anymore. It’s a twisting, twisted, compelling story that completely consumed me as I read it and I just couldn’t put it down.

Ellie & Camden are both incredibly flawed central characters, both of them deeply scarred by their childhoods in more ways than one and yet they found something in each other that was really quite beautiful even though their reckless and selfish behaviour threatened to destroy any fledgling relationship building between them. Ellie made some decisions that had me cringing and screaming ‘Noooooooo, don’t do it’ as I read. But, she’s on a self-destructive path on cruise control and just can’t seem to stop herself. Camden didn’t do much better at first either with a devious plan in mind but both of them, guided by the growing feelings between them, made some fairly noble decisions by the end of the book.

There were a few real gasp out loud shocking moments as the unpredictable plot wound its way towards its devastating conclusion with an ending that will leave you in despair and desperate for more. The whole thing is taut, compelling, fascinating, tense, edgy – a real refreshing change from most contemporary romances. It offers something significantly different. It’s an incredibly accomplished first part of the trilogy and I just cannot wait for more.

4.5 badass stars

For more reviews, please visit Sinfully Sexy Book Reviews or visit us on Facebook.
Profile Image for Rosalinda *KRASNORADA*.
268 reviews501 followers
June 11, 2013


Sins & Needles… I guess the title says it all, right?

Are you going to read about Sins? Oh yeah!
Are you going to read about Needles? Si!

Ok, I know there are GREAT reviews about this book so I’ll try to keep this short and sweet. Oh well, sweet is not a word I should use in my review…

I always try to learn something from the books I read. Yes, also from the porn ones I read! Back to S&N, I learnt you can’t steal things that are not yours because then you are in troubles! Ellie, come on, where were you that day while your teacher was explaining that to you? I know, I know, your parents weren’t the best example but come on!

So ‘con artist Ellie’ is back into her home town after a few crazy years. Once she’s back in town she crosses paths with Camden, an old friend from school. Actually, her only real friend.

Friends are dangerous liabilities when you’re a grafter. They’re dangerous liabilities,period.

But Camden is not the same Ellie remembered. He’s all grown up, hot and with a brilliant life, apparently. He has a tattoo parlor and he’s an artist.

Ellie’s life hasn’t been easy and of course it isn’t easy now. She is just living with her uncle for a few days until she can get a job and live on her own. This is her plan but life always has some surprises for us, right?

I don’t want to really spoil anything for you. It was an amazing roller coaster, I never saw some things coming and I still loved it. Is this a love triangle? Mmmmmm, I wouldn’t say that but well, it might be.

Did I feel the chemistry between the characters? Oh yeah and I loved it! This was not like any other romance book just about two people falling in love. I am not even sure this is just romance, this is way more than that. As my buddies say this should be a movie!

I really hope you guys give this one a try, I bought it like ages ago and never found the time to read it. I am glad Pavlina & Mona made me read it because it was sooooo worth it.

And about Teams and all. You guys know I always support all latinos but Javier, papito, there’s NOTHING I can support about your behaviour. But I should say I like your eyes and I might read your book to know what’s on your mind.

All of you who already read the book, pls read the spoiler. If you haven’t read this book do NOT read the spoiler PLEASE!

Anyway, I really hope the below is the ending of Shooting Scars. Well, maybe not that far but this is how I want to see E&C in the future…

Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,935 followers
February 20, 2013
Revenge never felt so good.

In this game of deception and lies will anyone come out a winner?

4.5 stars. This is the brand of drama I can subscribe to. By now, you all know that I loathe drama for the sole purpose of shock value. But when you add drama into a story which has some teeth to it, I'll be up front and center waiting to see what happens next.

There's something about the vibe of this book which reminds me of how I felt when I read Tiffanie DeBartolo's - How to Kill a Rock Star for the first time. I was highlighting everything like crazy in HTKARS, but when it came time to review, I could not think of what to write. It wasn't until my second read through before I could finally come up with something halfway legible other than "buh." I think I'm sort of having the same problem with Sins & Needles. There is something about the flow of this book which took me back to how I felt when reading HTKARS. When you put music and art and feelings into a jar and shake them up with the unfortunate trials of being human, you get an experience which pulls you into its grip.
Never commit a crime when you're the only one to blame.

Our players in this story are flawed. Both are scarred - inside and out. Ellie is trying to run from her past, only to find that it's catching up with her. These two worlds couldn't have collided at a better - or worse time.
"But then I wouldn't be who I am. I don't want to hide myself. I'm not ashamed of being Camden McQueen. Are you ashamed of being Ellie Watt?"
"Yes," she said softly.

I thought the past and present swaps were executed well enough. The switching of scenes from first person over to singular third person took some getting used to, but once you make it past a couple of chapters, it becomes an easier transition. At least there were handy little past and present headers so you weren't completely out of the loop (believe me, I've seen books which haven't done this and it's not fun to have to flip back pages in order to figure out what just happened).

What have you already found out about this story from other reviews? I'm sure you've already been told that Camden is smoking hot. I'm also pretty sure that you've seen at least one person mention the great sexual energy. You've also probably been told that the shit hits the fan more than once. Because, after all, there are bad people out there looking to make trouble for Ellie and Camden.

So I won't rehash any of that.

Where Sins & Needles won me over was with the emotional connection. From the past to the present, you FELT the pain and the loss which had rocked Ellie and Camden to the core. These two broken people had reasons to want to destroy one another, yet neither one of them could seem to completely let the other go. Throughout the entire book, I was never really sure which direction we were headed in. In one moment, I would wonder if every word was tied back to a scam, while in the next I was rooting for them to end up together. I absolutely love when scenarios keep me guessing. It wouldn't be surprising to me if I was still guessing as more of the story unfolds in future installments of the series.

Which brings us to the cliffhanger question...

Yes. Sort of. Maybe? I guess there was a 'technical' cliffhanger. But it wasn't in the way where I found myself pissy and wanting to know if I would end up hating a person in the next book. I say read this anyway. Just do it.

Random extra : I want to make out with authors who give me great one-liners.

He was pale, as if he was in witness protection from the sun.

Get your head out of your vagina.

Definitely not a Morgan Freeman fan.

Someone can look like a tattooed, muscular god and still be terribly insecure about his Dumbo ears.

"Cash?" "Might as well be douchebag."

I will now wrap up my vague-ish review (I really didn't want to summarize much because it would spoil the element of surprise) with a little disclaimer :

Karina sent me a copy of Sins & Needles for review. She gave me free reign to slam the hell out of her book if I wanted to, knowing full well that I'm not going to mince words if I don't like what I'm reading, even if the book was gifted to me. So my stamp of approval is only going on the book because I honestly loved this.

I mean, how could I not? Once you meet Camden, you'll get what I mean.
"Can it be so bad?" he whispered. "How can someone as pretty as you have anything that would make her less?"
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
1,999 reviews15.7k followers
January 28, 2018
4 dark brooding stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

SO my blog partner V and I have decided to do a Sunday swap.... we each recommended a book to one another that was a little out of our comfort zone this was my pic from Miss V.... this was not so much out of my comfort zone, but out of my current zone.... it was a dark romance and as of late I have not read as much romance as I used to.... I’m really on a huge thriller kick.... however I still love the love! And this book definitely had a dark edge to it, so I got my thriller needs met....

Ellie returns to the only home she has ever really known..... determined to live an honest law abiding life.... Ellie was raised by grifters and that is really the only way she really knows..... Ellie is carrying around a lot of scars both inside and outside from this life.... and really wants to go legit..... after returning home Ellie runs into Camden, the boy who had a mad crush on her in high school, the boy she would not give the time of day..... of course he is now super hot and super successful.... I’m sure you see where this is going? Or maybe not.... because things go sideways real quick!

This book definitely kept me entertained throughout.... I listened late into the night and never wanted to press the pause button..... don’t really want to say too much... but these characters took me on a crazy ride....

I felt as though this book was the perfect blend of romance and thrills.... however if you are not a romance fan I’d stay away.... on a steam scale of 1-10 I’d give it a Six!🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

My only problem with this book was Ellie herself.... the girl came home to get on the straight and narrow and within a day she was off that road... I just really couldn’t get a handle on her... I didn’t understand a lot of her past actions either, like why did she hunt down Javier? I never understood how that was going to hurt anybody.... she unquestionably has a lot of room for some character growth.... fortunately she did redeem herself a bit in the end....

I would recommend this book for people who enjoy romance with a Darkside and some thrills mixed in💗

PS: this book ends on a huge cliffhanger, apparently there are two more books in this series that I will need to get to sooner than later, so many books so little time!

🎧🎧🎧 you can find my review on the audio narration as well as all the other reviews from my partner in crime and me on our new blog...
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,340 reviews4,596 followers
January 23, 2013

Thank you Karina Halle for giving me the opportunity to read Sins & Needles.

”Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost,” he continued. “A freak, a work of art, a liar, and a lover.”

This is the well written story of Ellie Watt who is a twenty-six year old con artist. When Ellie’s latest scam falls apart, she packs up her latest identity and heads back home to her Uncle Jim in Palm Springs CA. Ellie Watt wears different names and looks since her departure from Palm Springs and is hoping that her uncle will give her a much needed place to stay and possibly a way to start over.

While job hunting Ellie runs into her old high school friend Camden McQueen who has transformed into a gorgeous tattoo artist and guitarist from the gothic “freak” he was in adolescence. The story takes the reader from a “then” and “now” scenario to see what happened to their friendship as well as things that happened in Ellie’s early childhood.

As much as Ellie is taken by the new Camden, she is what she is, a con artist. Tables turn on Ellie and she finds herself making a deal with Camden. The two find themselves on the run and learning how to trust each other. Ellie has another problem, a handsome Latino named Javier. Javier is Ellie’s former boyfriend, he is hell bent on getting her back to the point that she has a bounty on her head. The story takes an action packed pace which left me engrossed to the very end.

Karina Halle’s writing is impeccable and the story is told so well that you feel like it’s unfolding before your eyes much like a movie.

”I love you,” he whispered, “From now until the end, under any name you choose.”

Please note that the book ends in a cliffhanger and I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment!!

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,079 followers
March 14, 2017
Sins & Needles, the 1st book in Karina Halle’s The Artists Trilogy and it’s the first time I have ever read anything written by this author.

Gosh, why did I take so long to discover Karina Halle??

What a fantastic beginning to the series! A sexy, gritty, action-packed romance filled with the most unforgettable characters. Characters that you would never imagine liking!!!

A beautiful con artist, liar, manipulative, thief, pill popping on the run heroine!!!! Ellie Watt is all that but also so much more.
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Used by her parents from an early age as bait in their grifting profession, she has experienced a lot of pain, both physical and psychologically most of her life. She has reached a time in her life where she wants to give it all up and have a normal life. Going back to her hometown might just be the answer.

Camden McQueen, tattooed and guitar playing ink artist and ex best friend of Ellie is the first person who recognizes Ellie when she’s back to her old home.

He has been in love with her since the first time he met her at school and was the only person who cared for him during his “Goth” and weird days!! He’s never forgotten her!
I hate you, Ellie Watt," he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, "because I still love you after all these years.

You cannot help liking Camden. He’s this lovely and beautiful person, inside and out and as we see another side of Ellie, you just have to fall in love with her.

The character development is fantastic. These are not perfect people…they are damaged, scarred, battling the demons in their lives and that’s what makes them so real and engaging.
The chemistry between Ellie & Camden
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It’s sparkling, crackling and sizzling!!!
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I loved the writing style.

Great storyline filled with suspense and mystery that just keeps you turning page after page.

Ends with a cliffhanger….which will be revealed in book #2, Shooting Stars. I am so looking forward to reading more about these characters.
Profile Image for Brittni.
183 reviews123 followers
February 9, 2013


”We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again.”

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I loved this book so freaking much!!! It was so amazing!! This is not your typical love story where everyone lives happily ever after. Its an extremely unique, thrilling, fast paced story that will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s going to happen next.

Everyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for anything Mafia related. I have a major obsession with it. I seriously think in another life I was married to the Mob or something that’s how bad it is lol. So when the author introduced the Mafia element in this book I was like....

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Ellie Watt is a con artist and a very good manipulator. She has a crazy life always going to different places, different con jobs and making different enemies along the way. She had a traumatic childhood with parents who are also con artists. They made her start doing con jobs at a very young age which led to her obtaining the scars on her leg as an act of revenge from one of the jobs gone bad. I felt bad for Ellie in the beginning because she was a lost soul who grew up in the wrong circumstances, but as the story went on some of those feelings slipped away. I felt like Ellie had many opportunities to change her life around and go legit, but she chose to keep going down the same path. So I feel sorry for her, but then I don’t if that makes any sense.

"I was used to running and always kept a spare life in the trunk. Spare clothes, spare driver's licenses, spare social security numbers, and a spare tire."

Camden McQueen is Ellie’s only friend from high school. Sexy, tattooed, damaged Camden was a victim of bullying and emotional abuse from high school. I absolutely adored Camden from the first moment he appeared in this book!!! He is just so sweet and charming with a dark side that turned me on.

Overall, this book was seriously amazing!! I can’t wait to read the next book in this trilogy!! If you haven't checked this book out yet then DO IT NOW!!!!!!

Favorite Quotes/Lines

”We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again.”

"I was used to running and always kept a spare life in the trunk. Spare clothes, spare driver's licenses, spare social security numbers, and a spare tire."

“You're a con artist. A liar. A thief. An unredeemable soul. You can't be reformed. You can't be saved. You'll die trying to make the world pay for what it did to you. And you'll die alone.”

"You know how I feel about your scars. They only make you more beautiful."

"It wasn't a goodbye kiss, it was the opposite. It was the start of something that would last forever."

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

"I love you,” he whispered. “From now until the end, under any name you choose."
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
February 23, 2013

Woah – what a wild ride!

It was just such a “different” read! It was quite refreshing to read something that you really can’t compare to anything else.

It was edgy and gritty, at times heart breaking and others steamy, along with a touch of snark.

I’m finding this book hard to review despite really liking it because for most of the book you really don’t know which end is up. Usually when I write my reviews, there are some constants to base it off of but with this one the ground was constantly shifting beneath me and so I was just never quite sure where I was standing. But, then again, that’s part of the whole charm of the book.

Scarred both inside and out, and having been raised by grifter parents, the only life Ellie has ever known has been one of cons, deceit and constant relocation. Tired of always being on the run and changing identities, she is determined to make a fresh start for herself and returns to her home town where she runs into Camden McQueen. Once the weird goth high school reject, he is now a hot-as-shit guitar-playing tattoo artist with dimples. Dimples, ladies!! Be still my freaking heart!!!!

Counting on his affection for her and reverting back to what she knows best, she plans to con him and leave town but there were many things she wasn’t counting on. His life isn’t as simple as it seems and there are dangerous men from her past that are catching up to her. Together, they are thrown in on a wild, fast-paced ride filled with twist and turns, heart-break, steam, and sacrifice.

The story is told from Ellie’s POV in a mixture of flashbacks and present day story lines which really helped answer questions and to understand the mood behind their current relationship.

At 25% I was enjoying the story but honestly not quite sure where it was going. Several twists later I still wasn’t sure. 85% and I was still wondering …

There were just so many unknowns that you really couldn’t help but start to form theories. There were so many possibilities and ulterior motives behind everything and everyone. It really just keep you guessing.

The story was deep and twisty… much like Camden and Ellie’s relationship. Their entire relationship was based on tangled emotions and a mind game of manipulation. Talk about a love/hate relationship. They really took the cake with this one!

“Beautiful, sad, wounded, and lost… 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.”

I loved Camden – he had a few kinda crazier moments but for the most part was just plain awesome. My heart really broke for him – especially hearing about his teenage years – and the anger that he still held was truly more than understandable.

“Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist? That’s the trouble with pain, Ellie. If you’re lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside them, in places no one ever goes. Not until its too late.”

But the more I learned about him, the more understandable his more extreme actions became so all in all he was definitely the highlight of the book for me. He’d go from swoony to fuckhot to scary to sympathizing… and did I mention hot??

“We ended up in the bedroom for our final course. Nothing fancy here, just the good ol’ missionary position. Women may scoff at it, but I’m telling you, when you have an all-male machine of strength and hard muscle primed above you, pounding you to the bed while spearing you with his eyes, there’s no better feeling in the world.”

I had a weird time connecting with Ellie. You know how much we love bad boys? Well… Ellie’s a bad girl. She’s self-sufficient, always toying with danger, and I don’t know if its odd to say this but I both liked and didn’t like her at times. I could understood where she was coming from but at the same time I had a few issues with her actions in the past and her decisions towards the end of the book. But, that being said, I look forward to seeing her journey over the course of the trilogy.

“I have to live with my mistakes, but I dont have to regret them. I regret my actions but I can’t regret the consequences. We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again.”

At 40% there was a BRILLIANT twist that I had suspected and hoped for, but wasn’t sure if I was right so when it happened I just SQUEE’ed. Out loud! I loved the direction it swung the story in.

And after that, we’re taken on a roller coaster of drug lords, psycho ex-boyfriends, high speed chases, casinos… everywhere from small towns to Sin City, mansions to motel rooms… it really is a wild ride.

I loved the writing style – I have definitely become a new fan of Karina Halle.

The sex was HOTTTT but I wish there had been a bit stronger romance. That being said, I have to remember that this is only the first of a trilogy and so I have hopes for it developing further in the later books.

My only real complaint is that I found the ending entirely too predictable. I wasn’t surprised by the turn of events and so I was hoping for a little ‘more’ there. It was like “NOooo!! Don’t fall for that trick! Its ALWAYS a trap!” . But yeah – DEFINITELY a cliffhanger. No Kindle throwing, or anything, but you are kind of left hanging at big crossroads.

That being said, I’m totally invested in the story now so I will absolutely be continuing on with the series!

CASTING (apparently this is who the author saw as Camden)

and honestly, I like the cover girl as Ellie

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Profile Image for Lise *friends don't flag*.
430 reviews170 followers
July 29, 2013
Revised 7/29/13 *Spoiler Free*
“This will be the last time. I’ve said that before. I’ve said it a lot. I’ve said it while talking to myself in a mirror, like some Tarantino cliché.”

This book did remind me of a Quentin Tarantino film; with the use of music, satirical subject matter and damaged characters. Uh huh good book, and would be a good movie… And as Rebecca Espinosa stated in her review:
“The situations they were placed in and the way the story unfurled, it reminded me of a movie, a really kick-ass adventure movie with a hot male lead and super steamy love scenes that I can imagine myself taking more than one trip to the theater to see.”

This is my 11th Karina Halle book, and it most definitely will not be my last.
Sins & Needles is a departure from her PNR; this story is all contemporary romantic suspense but still all things brilliant, Karina Halle style!


Ellie is a con artist, her parents taught her the life, she is good at it and she is damaged by it, mentally and physically. Now, at age 26 she wants to give up the life and just be Ellie Watt once again. Yeah… this is not going to be so easy as she is on the run from more than one person.
When she gets back home to Palm Valley she runs into Camden McQueen, her (former) best friend from High School. Camden is the son of the Police Chief, outcast goth loner everyone called “The Dark Queen.”
Now, Camden is a hot tatted musician and successful tattoo artist, owner of the Sins & Needles tattoo parlor. He is also deeply damaged and has a few secrets of his own.

Ellie and Camden’s story unfolds in a series of ‘Now and Then’ segments through out the book and it really gives the reader an incredible understanding of how and why Ellie and Camden ended up in the place they are ‘Now.’

Ms. Halle uses her genius of weaving a tale full of twists and turns into an exhilarating ride. On this ride, Camden and Ellie begin a few days of fun…

“I’ve waited my whole life to sleep with you, Ellie Watt."


“Well, I’m certainly not your Prince Charming,” he said, gathering up the other dresses. His arms flexed beautifully against his black t-shirt. “Thank god for that,” I told him, feeling bold. “Prince Charming never had your body or your tattoos.” “Or my cock,” he shot in, grinning wickedly. I bit my lip as my eyes traveled to his crotch and back. “If he did, Cinderella definitely wouldn’t have gone home at midnight.”

But no matter how much fun Ellie and Camden have, they still wrestle with their issues as well as the outside forces battling with them.

Will Ellie and Camden ever be free of their struggles?

Will Ellie and Camden truly ever have a day of fun?

Read this fantastic book and find out!

He whistled again. “The tattoo on your arm. The tune. It’s from ‘On Every Street.’ Dire Straits.”
“It suits you,” he said, quietly this time. “Rough and sweet and sad?” I joked. “No,” he said. “Just sad. God, that’s a sad song.”


There's gotta be a record of you someplace
You gotta be on somebody's books
The lowdown - a picture of your face
Your injured looks
The sacred and profane
The pleasure and the pain
Somewhere your fingerprints remain concrete
And it's your face I'm looking for on every street

For Now...

Karina, Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this story with me.

Profile Image for Christy.
3,709 reviews31.6k followers
April 20, 2015
“I have to live with my mistakes, but I don’t have to regret them. I regret my actions, but I can’t regret the consequences. We all make our own paths in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we’re lucky, we’re given the chance to make things right again.”

One word to describe this book...
Sins and Needles

YES! This book was fanfuckingtastic! Could not put it down! A definite must read!!!

Ellie Watt is a con artist. She is 26, and ever since she was 19, she has moved from city to city, different name, different scam. After doing this for over 7 years, she decides to move back to California where her uncle is and leave this life behind.
Sins and Needles- ELLIE
Once she is home, she realizes leaving that life behind is not as simple as it seems...

Ellie assumes everyone she knew from her hometown has either moved on, or wouldn’t recognize her. What she didn’t count on was running into him.
Sins and Needles
CAMDEN- Sins & Needles
The Camden McQueen I pulled up from my memory banks did not look like the tattooed and pierced sex on a stick I had standing before me.

Camden and Ellie have history. When she first met Camden her freshman year of high school, they were both outcasts. Ellie was the new girl with a ‘limp’ and Camden was a freak. Black lipstick and nails, long hair, gothic clothing etc. Things have changed. Camden is now a sexy and successful tattoo artist who owns his own parlor in town.

We got to read the back in forth of ‘then’ and ‘now’ between Camden and Ellie. In the past, Camden always accepted and cared for Ellie, but she didn’t treat him right. Don’t want to spoil anything, but our girl Ellie decides to run one final scam, and finds out the hard way....
Sins and Needles

This book was different from anything I’ve read, and I loved that! Not sure how I felt about Ellie, I felt for her, at times she infuriated me, but overall- by the end of the book I really liked her.
Now, Camden on the other hand....
Sins and Needles
This guy- holy hell. He was hot. The chemistry between Camden and Ellie was on fire. There were some twists and turns with Camden I did not see coming. But I loved him! When he says things like this, how can you not???

“You’re different, Ellie. Your scars, your injury, they make you who you are. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“You know how I feel about your scars. They only make you more beautiful.”

“Do you think because you can’t see my scars that they don’t exist? That’s the trouble with pain, Ellie. If your lucky, you can wear it for all the world to see. Most people have their pain deep inside, in places where no one goes. Not until its too late.”

“That Ellie Watt. I know the real Ellie Watt and she’s not that much of a people person.”
“Which Ellie do you prefer?” I asked teasingly. He stopped walking and pulled me closer to him, starting down into my eyes. “Whichever one I’ve got.”

“You’re not bad, Ellie. The world is bad and you’re just trying to survive it.”

“That is what I though of you, Ellie. Heartless, reckless, selfish and cruel. Beautiful, sad, wounded and lost. A freak, a work of art, a liar, a lover.”
“I hate you Ellie Watt,” he whispered, lips coming closer to mine, “because I still love you after all these years.”

Now that we’ve established how much I loved this book, I will give a warning about the ending... it had me looking like this:
I cannot wait until spring to find out what happens! Oh cliffhanger... but still a must read in my book!!!!!

Sins and Needles
Profile Image for MELISSA *Mel Reader*.
1,324 reviews1,389 followers
August 23, 2015
Wow, that was one hell of a ride! Loved it!!!

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-He was exotically, dangerously beautiful. He'd been mine once. He'd broken my heart once.

-"I just care about you. I want you, angel, and I won't rest, won't leave you alone, until I have you. You do understand, don't you? You do realize how fucking long I've been looking for you!"
Profile Image for Lucia.
731 reviews798 followers
August 19, 2013
Mafia, drug lords, con artist and sexy tattoo artist...this was one hell of dangerous and exciting ride! Get yourself ready, this is a MUST READ!

Ellie Watt is 26 years old con artist with very hectic life. Always different names, different places and different enemies. Now after 7 years she is coming back to town where she spent her teenage years determined to leave her grifting lifestyle behind. With unusual and difficult childhood, we can say that Ellie is not your typical heroine. She lives dangerous life, not entirely moral and legal. She has her own skeletons which may be hidden in the closet, but they are definitely not forgotten...
"I was used to running and always kept a spare life in the trunk. Spare clothes, spare driver's licenses, spare social security numbers, and a spare tire."

Than there was Camden, Ellie's old friend from high school. Back than the victim of emotional abuse, now sexy tattoo artist. I have to admit I really liked Camden. He was very interesting character. Temperamental, charming, hot-tempered but still emotional, sexy and loving. But Camden has demons of his own...
"Spite was the fuel to right all your wrongs. And like any fuel, it could consume you."

Events in this book were dangerous, exciting and unexpected. Story was full of twists, surprises, action, emotional and steamy parts. At the begining I was not entirely sure what to think about main characters, but the more I got to know them the more I fell in love with them. They were realistic, with their own flaws but always compassionate. This book was spectacular, unique and made me feel all sorts of raw and deep emotions. I just loved this book so much!

Normally, I hate when sex is a main focus of the story and in such a case I become easily bored with book. One of the many reasons why I love Karina Halle's writing is the fact that she always focuses on storyline and characters development, twists and emotions. Sex scenes are always just hot and sensual addition to her novels. In Sins & Needles writing is exceptional. It draws you right into the middle of story and you feel like you are there with heroine, experinecing everything with her. Karina Halle is extremely talented author and if you haven't read any of her books, you are definitely missing out. Sins & Needles may be different from her previous works but once again she created excellent and very addictive story.

This was not just plain romance, neither it was just thriller. It was so much more and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone! Perfect start to new contemporary adult series!

*I received ARC as exchange for honest review*

MORE REVIEWS ON MY BLOG Reading Is My Breathing
July 19, 2016
See more reviews like this at Reading Books Like a Boss

I knew Sins and Needles was going to be great. I mean, knowing that her inspiration for Camden McQueen was this guy, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this! My expectations were high because Halle's "Experiment in Terror" series is my favorite adult series, hands down. With Sins & Needles, Halle did not disappoint. I was floored and blown away with how fantastically addictive it was. I absolutely loved it. I'm officially obsessed with The Artists Trilogy.

This isn't your typical run-of-the mill romance novel. As always, she sprinkled her magical Halle dust into this novel, making it a one-of-a-kind. Like her other novels, the characters are messed up and flawed. But despite their jackedupness, I fell in love with them. I couldn't stop thinking about them...I'm hooked!

Ellie Watt is a con artist and master manipulator. She was raised by gypsy parents, moving from one con to the next. Her crappy parents used her to con people, and when one trick went wrong, it changed her life forever. The scars she bears are a constant reminder of that night.

As an adult, Ellie goes into the family business. She decides to go back to her hometown for a fresh start. Lucky for her (and me), she bumps into her former best friend from high school, Camden McQueen. Their friendship doesn't quite pick up where they left it, but it is steamy among other things. Camden is a successful tattoo artist in town, and when she finds out just how successful he is, she decides to con him, too (UGH!). Their relationship is a bit complicated to the say the least. Prepare yourselves for a dark, twisty, and wild ride with these two.
Someone who was asking me out on a date, to see his show. And I was thinking two things: 1) I can’t afford to befriend anyone, let alone someone I wouldn’t mind seeing naked and 2) how much cash could I take from him before I hated myself.

He looked up to the ceiling. “And I needed to start over. Isn’t that why you came back?”
I looked at him quizzically. “What makes you think I’m trying to start over?”
“Isn’t that why people return to their past?”

Our eyes were locked together, each of us trying to suss the other one out, poke around for the hidden meanings.
The story alternates between the past and present. Interestingly, the past is told in third person. In those sections, the reader gets an honest and raw look into Ellie's physical and emotional pain . So many times, my heart broke for her, but I found myself shouting and screaming at her more often than not. From the beginning, I was on Team Ellie, and I was probably in the minority. Ellie had her reasons for doing what she did, and I understood that. She wanted so badly to be a better person and to redeem herself, but does she? I'm not telling.

Okay, lets talk about Camden some more. Oh Camden, you are so wonderful, but you're a horrible cook. Trust me, what he lacks in culinary skills, he makes up for in all other areas. Seriously, he is the quinfecta of goodness--glasses, tattoos, unbelievably hot, sweet, and edgy. People, those scenes between Ellie and Camden are so freaking hot. One of my favorite scenes is what I call "The Sexiest Get-Dressed Scene Ever." Oh. My. Lawd.
Though his gaze, his pose, his very being, reminded me of a wolf about to pounce, he didn’t move. I felt his eyes roam up and down my body like silk, sending shivers down my back. He was turning me on without laying a hand on me.

If you've read any of Karina's other novels, then you know the characters' actions, motives, and emotions are deliberate and well thought out. The character development in this book is fantastically flawless. I couldn't get the characters out of my head. After reading the book, I keep thinking about them and theorizing about what will happen next (Karina and Meg, thank you for putting up with my gazillion messages). This book gave me the worst book hangover. I need book two now!

Be sure to add the novella, book 2 & book 3 to your TBR list!

*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are taken from a pre-published copy and are subject to change.

Out January 29, 2013!
A tortured tattoo artist with glasses!!! WANT THIS NOW!!!!!!!
Karina's inspiration:

Teaser #1
This will be the last time.

I’ve said that before. I’ve said it a lot. I’ve said it while talking to myself in a mirror, like some Tarantino cliché. But I’ve never said it while having a pool cue pressed against my throat by a crazed Ukrainian man who was hell bent on making me his wife.

It’s nice to know there’s still a first time for everything.

Teaser #2
I folded the application haphazardly and was trying to stick it in the back pocket of my jeans when I felt it fall out and flutter to the floor behind me. I turned around to see a man bent over, picking it up.

I saw the top of his head first, saw shaggy dark brown hair that curled down the nape of the man’s neck. Then, as he rose with my application in hand, I saw arched brows over crystal clear blue eyes. A septum ring that acted like an exclamation point at the end of his slim nose. A striking pair of lips; thin and curved on top, full and wide on the bottom. A few day’s worth of stubble all over his chin and jaw. He looked like a male model and I found my breath hitching as I took him in, from his nice height and all-too firm build, to the way he wore his cargo shorts and aged Iggy Pop tee like a second skin. His arms were covered in tattoos, an intensely colorful mixture of skulls, animals and campiness.

I finally breathed out when he tucked a strand of hair behind his ears. His ears kind of stuck out, like Dumbo. This was good. This stranger had flaws. I couldn’t stand perfect people.

Then he was handing me the application and smiling at me. And in that smile, the way it took a few seconds to reach his eyes, eyes that darkened momentarily before brightening, I felt a rush of déjà vu that nearly knocked me over.

I knew him. How did I know him? And how long had I been standing there, staring at him like an idiot? I was usually a lot smoother than that.


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Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,525 followers
October 10, 2013

“You know how I feel about your scars. They only make you more beautiful.”


Wow what a Refreshingly different story; moving, heart breaking and totally Unpredictable. The story of Ellie and Camden had me sold from chapter one, however this is not your typical sunshine and lollipops love story, it is dark, sometimes painful and moving. karina Halle has produced an outright gorgeously written book with interesting characters.

What's it all about?
Where do I even start to describe this book, I'm not sure I can wrap it up. My best advise go and experience this book for yourself, go check out the official blurb had prepare to be wowed.


What did I love?
I applaud the author for making such complex and honestly at times unlikeable characters, loveable. Ellie is a completely different heroine from my normal reading experience, tough, flawed and broken her life is marked with a painful past and equally dubious lifestyle choice as a grifter. I was completely compelled by this authors storytelling her imagination knows no bounds. Camden had me falling in love, this misunderstood, talented tattoo artist and guitarist is guaranteed to make any readers heart fall hard, but don't be mistaken this hero has a past full of mistakes and a dark side. The chemistry and relationship between this duo is addictive, the author created that many twists and turns I was completely distracted from the fact that this is not my usual reading comfort instead I was thrown into a world that I loved reading about. I was looking for a different reading experience and yes I found it here, this was an addictive and compelling story. A ride you won't want to get off. The book speaks for itself I can't recommend enough.

Final thoughts ...
Do not delay go and grab this series and dive straight in, Caution expect a HUGE all consuming mother of all cliff hangers ... Roll on summer! Enjoy, kisses.
Profile Image for Mo.
1,348 reviews2 followers
August 9, 2016
The girl needs a ….

The girls needs a

The girl cannot understand the

The girl remembers the date (this should be 2013 and not 2010)

That was the date that The girl started another

The girl loved the other book and all the other books in the


The girl feels she will never


The girl wanted to


The girl is saying a

to her

The girl hopes this affliction ends in the near

February 1, 2013

This is how I looked at the end of this book:

Wow wow wow, I didn’t expect this.

This book was awesome, it was like a mixture between action and romance. Sometimes it felt like I was watching a tennis match… Just when you think, what else can go wrong BAM it hits you. Who is conning who?? Who is running from who??

The first 41% I thought, Ellie you BIATCH. How can you do that?? And then I was like WTF just happened here??? I didn’t see that coming, yes I’ve read there are twists in the book, but still I didn’t expect that.

Cameron was one hottie.

Too say they had a pretty messed up childhood would be putting it mildly. They both had their demons and oh dear demons they had.

I think Camden needs help, no scrap that. I think BOTH of them needs a Dr. They both have some serious problems.

This is very different from my books that I’ve read, I usually just go for the romantic type of books, but I thought it’s time to go for something different, and different it was.

I loved the “now” and the “then” (chapters) if gives you insight of what happened years ago.


You’re Ellie F#cking Watt I wrinkled my nose at this profanity. “I didn’t know f#cking was my middle name”

“Maybe the past didn’t matter, if you were making a killing in the present. Living well was the best revenge, wasn’t it”

“Can you hold my balls for a sec”

"I regret my actions but I can’t regret the consequences."

“But hell, if a neighbor were to stick their head out their window and see a tattooed god ramming a chick in the neighbor’s backyard all lit by romantic lights, they’d probably watch. I’d watch too”

“I don’t see why I can’t go alone,” he said while we ate our All-Bran cereal like the world’s most fucked up married couple”

4 Spoilers – do not read here if you haven’t read the book (It started with 2 spoilers and now I’m at 4 haha)

I cannot WAIT for the second book to come out.

If you haven’t read this yet, run get the book and read it soon. It is freaking amazing.

Over and out xx


Whooohooo I see this is out on Smashwords


After "Horsey" I'm reading def this! So excited, the reviews looks awesome :)
Profile Image for Brenna.
577 reviews449 followers
June 2, 2013

Link to Amazon
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"We all make our own path in life. Everyone we meet, everything we do, it changes us. It makes us who we are. And, if we're lucky, we're given the chance to make things right again."

I was so excited to win an ARC of Sins & Needles from Karina. I was highly anticipating the release since I am such a huge fan of all her other works. I don't know how she does it, but the characters of her books are some of my favorite of all time, they feel so real to me. First with Dex & Perry of my absolute favorite series ever, Experiment in Terror, then Dawn & Sage of the The Devils Series, and now I can add Ellie & Camden to the ranks of best characters ever.

I won't go too deep into the plot, because the suspense of it is half the fun...:) But, Sins & Needles is a story told by Ellie. She is a con-artist bred from con-artists. She gets tired of running the same scams and after a close call, she heads back to her hometown to the only family member she's in contact with, her Uncle Jim. She's also running from someone in her past...
"Not many people had an ex that would probably shoot them in the head if they ever found them. And I meant that in the most literal sense."

Immediately upon returning, she runs into an old friend from high school, enter Camden McQueen. I LOVE HIM!

"Tattoos, sign-making, painting; Camden was the epitome of an artist - complete with the occasional mood swing as well."

"He was like a caring, hulking, nerd. And I wanted him."

There is a lot of history between the two and their relationship has been very turbulent. The story alternates between "then" and "now" to reveal more about Camden and Ellie, which is filled with some highs and some very low lows. They are both wounded by their pasts and have the emotional scars to prove it. Ellie also bears some very brutal physical scars as a reminder of a con gone bad as a child.

"If I believed in God, I'd say you should be proud of the way he made you. You're different, Ellie. Your scars, your injury, they make you who you are. Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way."

"You know how I feel about your scars. They only make you more beautiful."

As Camden and Ellie reconnect, sparks fly and there are some very HOT scenes! Thanks for those Karina! :)

"Holy shit, did Camden just spank me?"

"But, hell, if a neighbor were to stick their head out their window and see a tattooed god ramming a chick in the neighbor's backyard, all lit by romantic lights, they'd probably watch. I'd watch too."

It's not all roses for these two though, secrets are revealed. Feeling are hurt. Chaos ensues. It is one action packed ride that had me on the edge of my seat! Yup, that's all you get. You'll thank me later... ;)


Sins & Needles has something for everyone. Filled with romance, suspense, action, and more. It is full of passion and emotion and some of the most raw characters you'll ever see. Camden and Ellie embedded themselves into my heart. Every emotion they felt, I felt. The author does such a beautiful job of building the personalities of these fantastically flawed characters. They were so dynamic and shocked the hell out of me at times. I couldn't get enough of them! This book was seriously flawless. I enjoyed every single second of reading it. I cannot wait for prequel, On Every Street, and the next installment, Shooting Scars! I will be counting down the days until they are released!

A MUST READ! I highly, highly recommend!

"You're not bad, Ellie. The world is bad and you're just trying to survive in it."
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,802 reviews830 followers
March 17, 2013
4.5 Stars

To be honest I was really hesitant about picking up this book, because I don’t usually like con stories. I hate people trying to cheat others out of their hard earned money, and take things the easy way. There are of course exceptions to this for me:

*The reason for the con is to defraud a defrauder, someone who “deserves” it in some way.

*The con is to serve up some much deserved revenge.

I guess I’m not a turn-the-other-cheek sort of girl, well in fiction anyways. If someone’s got it coming I relish the payback! ! Much of Ellie’s conning (in the past) fell under one of those categories, so I could excuse it. But that’s not to say I liked Ellie much at first. For a good 45% of the book I couldn’t stand Ellie, which brings me to another book-hang up of mine:

*If I don’t like the main character, I rarely enjoy the book.

This story was an exception to both hang-ups. I was thoroughly hooked from the beginning and even though I wanted to choke some sense into Ellie, she slowly began to grow on me. After making some truly crappy decisions, she started to change a little and it was enough for me to start to like her. Plus, there were flashes back into time that gave clarity to Ellie and Camden’s actions, which helped with the whole liking part. Not going to say that I liked what Ellie did in the beginning. After saying she’s quitting the con lifestyle, BAM, she’s back to planning one and on someone she’s already hurt so much! *bangs head*

Now let’s get to Camden. What to make of him? He was a mass of contradictions, but boy did I love him! He’s such a tortured soul with a darkness in him. Not going to lie, he scares me a little bit. You know those kids who are bullied so much in school they eventually break and do the unthinkable? Well my friends, that’s Camden. And even though he’s now a gorgeous and desired HOT tattoo artist, those scars are far from healed. What makes you cringe even more is that Ellie is number one or two in the line of people who’s inflicted those scars. She broke his heart and betrayed him when he needed her the most.

Now these two meet again after so many years apart and their attraction and chemistry is OFF THE CHARTS! Unrequited love and such a bittersweet history makes this romance one that keeps you on the edge of your seat! Here’s a delicious quote to tempt you:

Then I felt his presence behind me and his arms slowly, softly, slid down on top of mine. He pressed himself to my back, not too tight, and put his lips just behind my ear. My eyes widened and I nearly let go of the club. “I know what I know of you,” he whispered in my ear, his breath hot. “And I want to know more.”

The trouble that surrounds these two has you biting your nails wondering what’s going to happen next. I was a bundle of nerves reading this! I will say Karina Halle has created some captivating characters. Javier, a baddie from the past is very charismatic and extremely obsessive! *shivers*

Even with my initial reservations I ended up loving this story! Just the right mix of intense emotions: Love, hate, anger and sadness. Karina Halle has a new fan. I’m on pins and needles waiting for the next book because this ends on a cliffhanger (another book hang-up!!)!! I’m buckling my seatbelt for the bumpy ride I’m inevitably in for.
Profile Image for JB.
377 reviews218 followers
March 19, 2013
**Find this and other reviews at The Demon Librarian**

Karina Halle At Her Finest!

If you sit down with Karina Halle fans and ask them what they love best about Karina's writing, what you will hear first is a lot of fangirl gushing, and then, once we've gotten that out of our systems, we will tell you things like, "She dares to be different", or "Her characters are so unique and unforgettable!" The list could go on for days, and each one of us would have something different to say. But if there's one thing all Karina's fans will agree on, it is this:

KARINA IS EVIL. Instead of playing it safe and giving readers what they expect, Karina yanks us out of our cozy comfort zones and throws us into a dark or scary world of her making, wherein she proceeds to mess with our heads, play with our emotions, and introduce us to all sorts of "shady" characters. And when it's all over - when she sends us stumbling back into the light of our boring, everyday lives - all we can think is, "WTF did I just read?" followed closely by, "MORE, PLEASE!"

Case in point: Sins & Needles.

It's been a long time since a character tested me as much as Ellie Watt did. I spent the entire first third of the book alternately shaking my head in disbelief and grinding my teeth in frustration, because I had such a hard time stomaching her actions and motives. I came close to writing her off multiple times, but every time I thought for sure I was done with her, I'd catch glimpses of redeemable qualities. Little things that made me go "hmmm". As the story progressed, those glimpses became full-on flashes, and before I knew it, I no longer cared about Ellie's criminal past, the lies she'd told, or all the people she'd screwed over. I just wanted her to be happy. To find peace. Crazy, right? I went from not being sure I liked her to being a card-carrying member of the Ellie Watt Fan Club. How the heck did that happen?

Then there was Camden. Yummy, tattooed, messed up Camden. I adored him the moment he stepped onto the page. He seemed so sweet and charming and funny - and he was all those things. Except, of course, when he wasn't. Because like all of us, Camden has a dark side. He would have these moments when a shadow seemed to fall across him, swallowing all the light I'd come to associate with his character. It was equal parts jarring and fascinating.

Dark and light; good and bad. Camden and Ellie are both.

As for Javier....*shudder*. He is one of the most charming and disturbing book villains I've come across in a long time. I didn't need to be told he was bad news; I felt it. In fact, I am pretty sure from now on, anytime I hear the name Javier, my first instinct will be to drop everything and RUN.

For me, the greatest thing about Karina's writing is her ability to create truly memorable characters that spring from the page. The kind of characters who define the word "flawed" and will challenge you, sometimes disappoint you, even make you angry at times. But in Karina's expert hands, those flaws become beautiful. Because flaws are real, and I don't know about you, but I'll take real characters over pretty, perfect ones any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Sins & Needles is Karina Halle at her diabolical, brilliant best. It's a crazy-intense, sexy, emotional ride from start to finish. The entire last half of the book, I was hanging on the edge of my seat, hoping and praying and feeling so many things, I couldn't begin to process them all. I was so caught up, the world could have ended and I wouldn't have noticed. Seriously. And that ending....OMG, that ending. I can't even talk about it.

I still think Karina is evil......an evil genius, that is, and damn, I love that about her!

5 Stars! ★★★★★
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.



This was me at the end of the book:

I can't....I don't know how to.....GAHHHHH!!!

Damn you, Karina! Why do you do this to me? WHY?

I need time to process this. Time, and hugs. And therapy. And more hugs.

**You can find my full review on the blog next week. After I've recovered.**

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