Sins & Needles Audiobook by Karina Halle (review)

Posted by on Jan 22, 2014 in Reviews | 15 comments

Review of: Sins and Needles Audiobook
Karina Halle

Reviewed by:
On January 22, 2014
Last modified:November 10, 2015


Sins & Needles Audiobook

By: Karina Halle

Narrated by: Veronica Den

Published by: Hachette Audio 01/14/2014

Sins & Needles Audiobook Cover


4.5 stars ratingThe Artist Trilogy # 1

8 hrs and 48 mins

Whispersync for Voice-ready

Contemporary Romance logo.

There’s a Fine Line Between Sin and Salvation…

Ellie Watt is a woman on the run. Raised by a pair of thieves who taught her the art of the grift – and pursued by a mobster who fell for her con – she hopes to find refuge at her uncle’s farm in quiet Palm Valley, California. Ellie swears she’s through with her life of crime. But before she knows it, she’s right back in the game when she meets an easy mark who’s too good – and too hot – to be true.

His name is Camden McQueen. A master tattoo artist and a total inked stud, Camden is nothing like the awkward kid who crushed on Ellie back in high school. Now, as owner of the wildly successful Sins & Needles, he’s got tats to kill for, muscles to die for, and money to burn. Ellie can’t believe the transformation – and can’t resist pulling off one last con. But when Camden catches Ellie red-handed, the tables are turned. The mark becomes the master. And when the ultimate player gets played, you never know who’s going to end up on top…

©2014 Karina Halle (P)2013 Hachette Audio

Sins & Needles Audiobook Sample

My thoughts

Sins & Needles Audiobook is the first installment in the sexy and thrilling trilogy by Karina Halle.

I originally read this book (in one sitting) back in 2013. I loved the edgy and unconventional feel of the story and its characters, so I was very excited to revisit this on audio.
These are not your usual romance characters, oh no!  There is no  fantasizing about how the good and honorable alpha male will conquer the day and sweep the heroine of her feet, oh no! There will be none of that. Instead, Ms. Halle gives us a story with a heroine that’s a con artist (grifter), a Mexican drug lord, and a tattoo/geek artist that will have your head and your heart spinning as well as questioning your stand on what you believed a good person to be.

Alley Watts is on the run from her ex-boyfriend Javier, a dangerous Mexican drug lord that is not about to forget that after all, what he thought was just an innocent and  beautiful girl, not only left him, but stole some of his precious property. And who knows? Maybe a little of his black heart…He will never rest until he gets her back.

In her own words, Alley takes us back and forth between the present and the past, where we will take glimpses at the events that shaped her personality and her character traits.

Trying to find refuge after a few failed cons, Alley heads back to her hometown to stay with her uncle, (the only member of her family that has never failed her). While, in town, she runs into a childhood friend that will prove her ultimate challenge. The quiet, insecure, and awkward childhood friend is now a beautiful  male, and a successful  tattoo artist  that hardly resembles the kid she knew.

Despite her instant attraction to Camden (the now super sexy tattoo artist) Alley’s nature takes over, and when she gets caught red-handed trying to take advantage of her old friend, her fate will be on Camden’s hands.

Now, Alley must ask herself, whom can she trust? Is Camden McQueen as good-natured as he appears to be, or is Camden the ultimate con artist?

This is the stuff that thriller movies are made of. I loved this hellish dark ride!  There’s nothing spectacular about the world; they live here and now, but the thrill comes from the characters and their complexity and the dark path they’ve chosen. These are not good people, yet I  loved these dysfunctional characters that ultimately remind us that nobody is perfect and that sometimes the most beautiful flowers are found in (to put it nicely) the desert.

If you haven’t yet try Karina Halle’s novels, I highly recommend them.
She’s an excellent   author that knows how to push your limits. A note a caution, this is not for the prude, and not because the sex is explicit, but because what’s explicit is the real nature of some human beings.

My feelings about Alley changed from page to page, I love Camden….And for now I hate Javier.
One thing is for sure! You’ll have a heartfelt opinion about them when you’re done.

You can find more reviews HERE.

The Author

Karina Halle

Sins & Needles Audiobook Narration


Veronica Den

Since I have already read the book, my criticism will be a bit more harsh. It’s always hard to measure up to our inner-voices.

This is my first experience with Veronica Den’s work, and I have to say that it took me more than a few chapters to feel comfortable with Ms. Den’s interpretation.

At first I felt  she was making the end of each sentence a little too hard and final, there for making the overall  reading sound a little choppy and it lacked the smoothens I’ve come to appreciate from some seasoned readers; nevertheless, once I speed up the narration to 1.5, I found myself once again engrossed in the story.

I did enjoy the job she did with the dialog. I liked how the emotions were portrayed. She did a good job with the male voices; Although, I’d loved a bit more menacing tone for Javier, and one that reflected more his personality.

With that said, Ms. Den had plenty of different tones and voices for the characters, I never felt confused.

My overall rating for her performance is B-. It was good, I think my expectations were very hard to match. They always are whenever I loved reading the book.

All in all, I really enjoyed re-visiting the novel, but I have to say, I loved it when I read it.


  • 4.5
    editor rating
Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
Loupe Duffy

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  1. Great review Lup. I don’t read a huge amount of contemporaries. Many that I’ve tried bore me, but this one seems like it is still dark enough with broken characters to peak my interest. I might have to add this one to my list. I’ll have to see if I can find room on my TBR list which is already overflowing. 🙂

    • I think you could enjoy this one. The characters are unconventional but very entertaining. I think I know by now what you like. Yes, add it to you TBL 🙂

  2. I read this one last year too and loved it. I wasn’t a big fan of the narrator when I heard the sample but sometimes it takes me a little while for them to grow on me. Her EIT series is great too 🙂

    • I have her other series on my TBR. I’m anxiously waiting for them to publish it on audio 🙂 I’ve heard so many good things about it.
      It does takes a little to get used to the narrator, and very often it takes a total pro to do a better job than our inner-voices. She wasn’t bad, but I loved so much more when I read it.

  3. Oh yeah I loved Camden in this one. Same with Ellie it changed page to page. I so need to get back to this series an finish it up. Totally slipped by me so thanks for the reminder 🙂

    And yeah I can see how it would be hard to hear after reading. I think that was my mistake with the In Death series by JD Robb. Have you tried it? Everyone I know that’s listened to it LOVED it but I just couldn’t get on board. But I’d been reading the series for 30some books and KNEW what they all sounded like in my head. Hard to let that go.

    • The narrator for the In death series is one my absolute favorites, I’ve absolutely loved other novels she has narrated, but I didn’t like her interpretation of Eve in the first book of In Death series, so I never continued 🙁 So you’re not alone there, but we are definitely in the minority..LOL In my case, I’ve hadn’t read the book prior to listening, and I still didn’t like it 🙁

      • Oh we are definitely in the minority on that one. I’ll have to give her another try with a different series. I couldn’t get past the secondary character voices. They just didn’t mesh for me. Glad to hear you enjoy her others though!

  4. Camden *le sigh* LOL I need to continue this series and I am glad you enjoyed the audio version and yes totally agree this is not your typical romance. Wonderful review!

    • Thanks Kimba! You know whats funny? Peeps that read the novella before this book (published after Sins and Needles) love Javier, my feelings never waiver :)…OK, maybe just a

  5. I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile, but I think I’ll finally do it within the next couple of weeks. I’m no prude! 😀

    • I hope you love it as much I did when I first read it.
      LOL, I shouldn’t said prude..I didn’t know what word to use for people that are easily shock by bad behavior…LOL. I’m not a prude

  6. I was just at another blog talking about this series. I share the same taste more or less with these two bloggers and they both didn’t really like this one. Looking at your review I think I’ll give it a try just because I love unconventional romances, the grittier the better. If that fails, she has this paranormal series that I can always fall back on.

    • That’s right! I always download the free sample first, if a book grabs me right away then I buy it. I know is a little different for you guys that have to get ARCs most of the time on the blind, and that’s why I love you guys and all book bloggers 🙂 Your reviews save me a lot money when it comes to buying the audio.
      If you get it, let me know. I’d love to hear your opinion, or read your review when you’re done 🙂

  7. It’s definitely hard for a narrator to measure up to our inner voices after having previously read a book. Like me jumping into the Mercy Thompson series at # 6. LOL Such a weird feeling… This is contempt so I’ll probably never read it but I thought I’d stop by and wish you a happy Friday! 🙂

    • One of this days I might find the contemporary romance book the let’s you find the thrill and suspense, and gets your adrenaline pumping as good as any paranormal romance 🙂
      In very few occasion I have love a book even more on audio, but when it happens, it’s just magical 🙂

      Thank you, I hope you have a great weekend too.

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