I'm an avid reader and reviewer of romance books, especially m-m and erotica. You can find me on http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4669232-baba-marcus-tyler-tate-dan-ty-hunter
"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.
Ellie intends to (view spoiler) however, what she does not know yet is the fact that Camden is (view spoiler) And he's been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Anyway, Ellie's plan backfired (view spoiler)
"I own you, Ellie Watt," he whispered.
(view spoiler) 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.
"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.
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 (view spoiler) 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 (view spoiler) 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 readingShooting Scars
Steam 2.5 - 3