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review 2018-02-23 08:17
'In Her Skin' got under my skin - and not in a good way
In Her Skin - Kim Savage

In Her Skin is the third novel from YA author Kim Savage, and centres on the story of a young homeless girl who takes on the identity of a missing schoolgirl in order to live with ‘family friends’ and get off the street. But her new home life may be more complicated than she imagined.


At first I thought In Her Skin was going to be a magical realism book, because it opened with the suggestion that Jo, our homeless con, could ‘take on’ the persona and characteristics of those she was imitating. For example, when she played a blind girl it actually affected her vision. This suggestion seemed to have been abandoned pretty early on in the book as Jo wasn’t any better at pretending to be missing girl Vivi than anyone else would have been. Pretty early on there were hints dropped that maybe Vivi’s disappearance wasn’t the way it was sold to the authorities, comparing her with the real-life case of Madeleine McCann, who allegedly also disappeared from an unsupervised room while her parents dined at a nearby restaurant. This meant that not only was the major conflict the fact that Jo was conning everyone into believing she was Vivi, but the second major conflict was ‘what actually happened to Vivi?’


I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters in this book. Jo seemed really bland, almost lacking in personality. For someone who was living on the streets and stealing identities, she was the good girl foil to reckless, heartless, manipulative Temple, Jo’s now adopted sister. It was almost like it might have been hard enough to get the audience to like a homeless con pretending to be a missing girl with dead parents, so Savage made her a ‘good girl’ who was afraid to break the rules. Of course, Jo’s biggest fear was that she would be found out and made homeless again, so she left behind her prostitute boyfriend Wolf without even a goodbye. My biggest issue was the fact that Jo was still living in the same city where she had already established herself as Jo, so not only could Wolf identify her, but so could people like the cops or welfare workers, but that was never a real concern.


I sound like I didn’t enjoy this book, but that’s not true. In truth, the book was just kind of blah. I certainly didn’t hate it or find it frustrating like Beautiful Broken Girls, and Temple was a fun, unhinged character to read about, but I really couldn’t say that I liked the book, even though I did enjoy Jo’s realisation that maybe her life was in danger. I also really liked reading about Temple’s parents but I think it might even be more enjoyable to re-read once the plot twist is discovered.


I think part of my frustration largely stems from reading an ARC that was nowhere near ready to be released to a reviewing audience, because there were so many words that should have been deleted to help a basic understanding. I won’t take any direct quotes because I did read an ARC but they were, for example, along the lines of ‘I walked rain down the street’ or ‘The small room right was painted purple’ or weird stuff like that, just random words in the middle of sentences that left me struggling to find the meaning. The editing clearly still had a long way to go, including proper nouns in some cases. It wasn’t on every page, or even every chapter, but enough to notice and get frustrated at.

I really loved Savage’s After the Woods, I was disenchanted with Beautiful Broken Girls, and I haven’t been convinced by In Her Skin, although I do think there is an audience for this book that maybe I’m just not a part of.


I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-08 00:00
Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.)
Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc.) - L.A. Witt Pounding Skin wasn't at all what I expected it to be. It was better!

I admit it, I read the premise: hot Navy fighter pilot (afraid of needles) getting a bet gone wrong tattoo and falling for the artist who inked him and went - hot fluff story. I was so very right and oh so wrong. The story - hot as jet fuel on fire! But it was so far from fluff.

LA Witt has written a story that is a study in coming out, accepting yourself, accepting you deserve more in life and how to be true to yourself.

The tattoo artist - Matt - has spent his entire life saying 'I'm not gay'. Except he's bi. And it takes a birthday threesome and then meeting fighter pilot Jon to realize maybe, just maybe, he's been denying himself a lot of joy because of baggage that was dumped on him by a father prone to toxic masculinity and the cruelty of kids labeling him as gay before he'd even realized what sex was.

But Jon has his own issues - he's a self-proclaimed manwhore and proud of it. Jon has always slept around, he was there for a good time, not a long time. His best friend and RIO has been happily married to his husband for 10 years and Jon has never understood the need to settle down and have your wings 'clipped' by stability.

But then he loses a bet and has to get a tattoo as payment. And so he walks into Pounding Skin Inc. and into Matt's life. Matt decides he wants to explore his attraction to men, Jon is profoundly attracted and figures what the hell, he'll teach Matt a few things, they can be f*#k buddies and no strings would be attached. Except one time becomes many and days become months and Jon can't imagine sleeping with anyone but Matt while Matt is realizing that Jon is pretty amazing too and he's never been happier.

But then Nate, who's Jon's RIO and best friend, catches his husband in bed with another man and as Jon watches his friend fall apart all of his own insecurities comes crashing in. He and Matt have a talk about the status of their 'non-relationship' and Matt breaks it off because he says he wants more - and he knows he deserves more. It takes losing Matt and Nate reaming Jon a new one for Jon to realize what a mistake he's made. If heartbroken Nate could still believe in love and finding someone how could Jon walk away from his perfect person just because he was scared of what might be's?

The book has a lot of humor and hot sex, Halloweeen shenanigans, and New Year's revelations. L.A Witt has written rich and believable characters that tug at your heart strings, make you root for them and make you sniffle along with them.

I recommend this book.

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review 2018-01-10 19:21
Under His Skin - S.I. Hayes,J. Haney

Under His Skin by S.I. Hayes and J. Haney Sounded like a great story to read and finally got the book and was not disappointed. Story follows Charlie who is a tattoo artist among other artistic mediums, at her family's shop in Gatlinburg, TN. Dorian is part of the family amusement park empire and he's banished from LA to TN to head up the new park there. He's come across Charlie and has her do his back tat. They spend time together and get to talking and one thing leads to another. Love the drop of the hat travel plans. Am familiar with TN area and was surprised to hear about parts of other countries - what a bonus for me! Lots of steamy sex scenes, very well detailed. Love the opportunities that are given to her, priceless! Like hearing of the mystery surrounding the shooting and how they solve that immediate problem. Everything goes into high gear as they are kept safe and other family personal emergencies arise. Lots of action and adventure, travel, romance and mysteries along with real life situations. Great all around story. Author bio's at the end. Received this review copy from the author and this is my honest opinion.

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review 2017-12-26 23:20
Beneath the Skin (De La Vega Cats #3) by Lauren Dane
Beneath the Skin - Lauren Dane

Gibson, Bringer of the De La Vega werejaguar Jamboree, has no time or patience for representatives of a much smaller Jamboree violating his territory and makes this very very clear


And then is shot with silver bullets


Thankfully, Mia is close when he is shot and able to get him to safety; a wonderful foundation for a new friendship… but not so much when Mia and Gibson’s families have been at odds for generations. And Mia herself is still recovering from a brutal crime and trying to figure out what to do with her life: getting involved in Jamboree politics in the face of attempted murder was not on the agenda.

I’m going to say I was torn when I first picked up this book. I knew Lauren Dane as an author focuses onParanormal Romance which I’m just not a huge fan of. This isn’t a criticism of her or the genre by any means, merely an expression of different taste. So that leads me to think “not for me” and back off - except she also wrote the Rowan Summerwaite Series which I love and I consider it to be a deep and terrible crime that there are not more books in this series. So I approach this from a complicated position of high and low expectations.


And so we have this book - which is a paranormal romance with an interesting world, some great characters and generally something I really enjoyed which means in the future I’m going to be even more confused


Oh to add to the ways I unnecessarily complicate what should be a simple review - I managed to pick up book 3 of a series. Yes, so this is me deleting my review complaining “I feel like I jumped half way in to a series and have a missed a whole lot of back story!” It turns out that’s because I jumped half way into a series and have indeed missed a whole lot of back story. Go me. So let me add some praise for this book both giving me enough information about the characters and world setting for me to actually enjoy and understand this book but not trying to dump so much back story into this book as to make it unwieldy. Oh and this series is a spin off from an even larger series. Yes this has not been my best decision.


I often dislike the tropes that are common in most of the paranormal romances I read as they seem to be summed up by “unreasonable people turning minor issues into ridiculous convoluted obstacles”. I generally think all these people should stay away from each other because no relationship that has two people this inclined to drama could possibly work except for the neighbours if they have a big enough supply of popcorn



But this book takes so many of these Issues and then… behaves quite reasonably? Like Gibson and Mia’s families have a long grudge after some seriously Not Ok shit Gibson’s granddad pulled on Mia’s grandmother. This has clearly left long wounds on Mia’s families and is a barrier between them. But one that is resolved because everyone is truly shockingly sensible and realises that maybe holding a grudge for 2 generations may not be that fair?


Or there’s the time Mia is angered because Gibson suggests that maybe she needs protection and she pushes back at the idea but doesn’t turn it into more than a moment they need to address - and doesn’t run off on her own or something equally ridiculous to prove her strength and courage


Or there’s the time Mia’s mother is furious because Mia’s relationship with Gibson appears to have put her at risk. Yes that’s a barrier but equally it’s recognised that Mia doesn’t want to derail her future for it nor will doing so make the threat disappear


It’s not that the conflicts that we so often see in Paranormal Romance aren’t present; it’s that the characters deal with these conflicts like actual human beings who respect each other and have half an ounce of sense and it’s amazing how that really does make these storylines so much easier to follow.


And it gave me much more chance to like Gibson and Mia, their history, their experiences, their clearly powerful connections to their families who are so very important to them without them having to dominate the story. (I suspect, now, that these characters will receive)




Read More




Source: www.fangsforthefantasy.com/2017/12/beneath-skin-de-la-vega-cats-3-by.html
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review 2017-12-13 16:35
The Skin Above My Knee
The Skin Above My Knee - Marcia Butler
What exactly do I know about music? I have been on the receiving end of music most of my life: enjoying it, being lost in it and watching its effects. I am not a musician, I have never been one nor do I want to be one. I know that it takes discipline, patience and hard work to be a musician, things that I possess but I just don’t have the talent to be one. After reading this novel, I realize that I don’t have the tolerance nor the flexibility to be a great musician either.
This novel caught my eye based on the destructive lifestyle Marcia led as she tried to make a name for herself in the music field. I seem to gravitate towards novels of this nature and I found myself just as devoted, reading about Marcia mental health as I did about the woes of her music career. I had never phantomed what Marcia described as she waited for her career to take off. Her daily schedule, the anticipation and emotional desire to be needed and appreciated and the unknown which came from being in the field. Marcia opened up the doors to this world that I knew existed but I had never stepped through.
I think what really surprised me was that Marcia choose this field. With an empty and abused childhood, Marcia went into a field where the market was tight and were an emotional roller-coaster existed until your name has been secured in the field. This field was more difficult than I had imagined but Marica proved to be a stronger individual than she let on to be.
Her adventurous, yet toxic lifestyle began when she started music school and increased both in severity and nature as she matured. Her position waitressing at the bar, provided an outlet for her behavior. I was all for Marcia to have fun while she was going to school but she took risks which were foolish and extreme. After graduating, the wait began. A degree in music did not insure the job that she wanted, so now she had to stop and wait for someone to need her sound, to notice her talent and desire her for their concert. The wait seemed long and the emotional stress weighted heavily. Marcia did a lot of thinking and assessing, too much thinking for a person who had other issues on her mind.
Marcia issues with men, her family, relationships and drugs revolved continuously throughout the novel. I was hoping she would learn and move forward but it was like her life was on repeat and she just couldn’t move to the next phase. I enjoyed this novel more than I anticipated that I would. There were moments of bedlam, moments where her emotional being explained it all, moments where I wanted to just be her friend and moments where I could hear the music. I appreciated Marcia sharing this memoir with me and other readers.
I received a copy of this novel from a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you to Little Brown and Company, the author and Goodreads.


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