Sins and Needles by Karina Halle (The Artists Trilogy #1)

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy, #1)

5 stars*****
This book really took me surprise... I didn't really know much about it except that I kept seeing it on the recommendation list and had heard it was good. But, all it took was reading the prologue and I knew that I was already invested into this story.
Let's be honest... Ellie is not a character you can like and I don't think you're supposed too... at least not at this point in the story. She's a grifter and she has made a career as a professional con artist. She has no friends and those who know her don't and shouldn't trust her. She lives a life of secret identities and she's always on the run. Other than the fact that you understand HOW she came to be the person she is today... it's very hard to excuse what she does. For me, it's all about choices. Ellie had a choice to be someone better but she chose to allow revenge and bitterness to guide her decisions. And, in the end it brought her nothing but more loss and pain.

"You're so afraid Ellie Watt. You're afraid to show the world what you're really like. 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?"

Yep... in comes Camden... a blast from Ellie's past. And perhaps her only chance to become a real person again. Camden, even though he isn't an angel... has history and qualities that can allow you to see past his faults because at the end of the day he really has been treated badly by everyone around him. He didn't deserve it either... and his anger towards Ellie is justified. His anger towards everyone is justified.

"I made an assumption about you," he said, his voice calm again. "And I was right. If I'm a monster, then you must be the creator of them all. You're my Dr. Frankenstein."

He's even angry at himself because despite how Ellie has betrayed him in the past he loves her anyway. And, he is the only one who really sees through to Ellie's true self.

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

The writing in this book is just crazy good... I highlighted so many phrases and passages that stuck with me. Some of the best emotional writing I've read in a while. I loved how we kept going from past to present throughout the book as we slowly learn the secrets behind Ellie and Camden and how they ended up where they are now. And, I felt so emotionally invested in these characters. I wanted more by the end. Yes, the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger but we do get temporary closure. So, it's not an awful wait. But, I'm still hanging on the edge of my kindle wishing the next book was out already.
This is not really a romance as much as it is a journey of two people who are damaged both emotionally and physically and doing what they can to survive in a world that has dealt them a crappy hand of cards. This is a very edge of your seat story as the both of them are on the run from a past that they can't seem to hide from any longer. And even though Ellie brought everything on to herself you are left feeling a small ping of hope that these two will find their happily ever after. Next book comes out in August... yes, it's on my list!

ARC provided by Forever publishing via netgalley.
For our reviews of Book Two in this series...  Shooting Scars...  click HERE!

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