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Boomerang: A Boomerang Novel
Noelle August

Sins & Needles (The Artists Trilogy)

Sins & Needles - Karina Halle See more reviews like this at Reading Books Like a BossKarina Halle is one of my favorite authors. So I totally freaked out when she allowed me to beta read her upcoming novel. To say I was excited is an understatement, I was elated. 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 #1This 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 #2I 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.