Today we're going to look at Skin Game by Ava Gray which is a pen name for the author Ann Aquirre. This book is classified by Barnes and Noble as Paranormal Romance and Fantastic Romance. On the latter we are in agreement ;)
Let's start with a bit about the heroine.
Kyra is a con artist. That's right. No sugar coating. And she's not even a virgin. *gasp* So, she's not an innocent virgin blackmailed into conning people by some evil dude that lusts after her that she is just too principled and proud to ever succumb to.
Nope she likes to con people. She's good at it, too, as she's aided by her special gift. She touches someone and whatever they are best at becomes hers. Sounds awesome, right? Well, yes and no. She has this gift for an unspecified amount of time, it varies each time, and she doesn't know what gift she'll get. You can be a martial arts master or the world's best belcher. She doesn't know til she lays hands on ya and sucks your gift out. That's right, she takes it. For however long she has it, you don't.
Kyra also enjoys anonymous rolls in the hay with strangers she picks up on her travels. As a matter of fact she thinks our hero is a drifter when she first meets him and she can't get in his pants fast enough.
I liked Kyra for the most part. I thought for someone with a lot of trust issues and who showed a real good ability to judge people and situations, she was a little fast to trust Reyes so much. Then again he is her soul mate, so I suppose we can forgive that. She's feisty and tough and is not wigged out by violence or the need for it. I liked this about her a lot. She's a survivor. She's been on her own a long time with only one real friend in the world and she doesn't need anyone to take care of her. She's a pretty cool heroine all around.
Now let's discuss the hero, Reyes. Yep, that rustle of wind you just heard? That was all the ladies (and possibly some gents) sighing at the thought of Reyes.
Reyes is an assassin. Not just an assassin he is pretty much THE ASSASSIN. Which gets me all hot and bothered just thinking about. Not only is he a tough ass killer for hire with mad fighting skillz, but he has a conscience, too. That's right boys and girls, he is not an indiscriminate killer, which is what really sold him as the hero, in my opinion. He is the hotness. He his half Hispanic and half Native American and all yum. Sorry about the drool spots on this post.
Now what was I saying? Oh yeah, He's also a biter....
On to the plot.
So basically, Kyra cons the wrong man and Reyes is hired to track her down and kill her and bring back the stolen loot. When Reyes takes the job, Kyra is portrayed to him as a conniving bitch that killed her own dad to get a larger cut of the games they were running. So, Reyes figures he's justified in his actions and sets off after her. He catches up to her, but he can't just off her cuz he needs to know where she stashed the loot and the more time he spends with her the more suspicious he becomes that he was lied to about her. So now he's trying to find out the truth and figure out what to do. They make some enemies along the way, have some hot hot steamy lovin and kill some people and it's all good fun. But what will happen when Kyra finds out the truth? And what hope of a future do they have with their mutual pasts chasing after them?
So, without giving away too much, there is a scene where they have to kill a bunch of bad guys that totally had it coming. They're reaction to the situation and what happens after while they're making there get away? Well, let me just quote myself (cuz I'm that awesome) from Twitter and say:
"It was dark, dirty and wrong on so many levels and I lurved it."
That pretty much sums up the whole book, too. It's a great read, but if you're looking for psuedo badass heroes that don't actually hurt people or for missish heroines that don't ever do anything wrong and need a man to save her ass, then this book is not for you. If you love your sex hot and your action full throttle then you're gonna love this one.
My overall grade for Skin Game is an A-. It's not perfect, but it's pretty damned good.
You can buy this book here
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