Type: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
My Copy: Sent
A woman who doesn’t believe she deserves love…
Toe-curling kisses and enough sex to fill a weekend were all Pandora wanted from a fling with her teenage crush. She’s never forgotten how he played the knight in shining armor to her damsel in distress. She’s ready to say thank you in several naughty ways, so long as she can walk away when it’s over with her heart intact.
A man moving on from tragedy…
Brian has no intention of allowing the feisty tattoo artist to leave him after one taste. He hasn’t had enough of her inked curves. The packaging might have changed, but Pandy is the woman he hasn’t been able to excise from his memory. He’s ready to put together a new life, one that includes her. But he’s not the only one vying for her attention. Someone else wants her, dead or alive.
The last book I read from Bristol was a novella. In that review I pointed out that I would have liked a bit more suspense in the lead up to the climax of the story. I had also stated that the climax should have been a bit more drawn out. Under His Skin made some steps toward what I was looking for but I still think there could be room for improvement.
Pandora is a physically and emotionally abused woman who has found her calling in being a tattoo artist. Breaking away from her past she has found a home with an all female tattoo shop and the three other women that work there. Even with her large strides toward recovery, she is still understandably skittish around men. When she runs into Brian, a beacon of both hope and incredible despair from her past, Pandora isn’t sure whether to jump into his arms or run away. She comes up with the perfect combination, one night and then move on. She isn’t sure she’s capable of giving him more and doesn’t view herself worthy to try.
Both Pandora and Brain had some serious baggage in this one. Brian is healing from a plane crash that killed his band mates and left him mangled and nearly paralyzed. His recovery has been slow but being with Pandora seems to leave him invigorated and that’s not something that he’s willing to easily give up. There was one thing that left me wondering in his back story. At one point Brian is thinking back about the plane crash and remembers learning that the rest of the band died either on or before the actual crash. The next paragraph down Brian thinks about how the lead singer Ike had talked to him for awhile after the wreck. I was confused. Were they all dead prior to impact or not? Perhaps Bristol meant they THOUGHT they were all dead beforehand…if that’s the case it just wasn’t worded plainly enough.
I think Bristol made strides with this one regarding suspense but I think there could have been more lead up. A lot of time is spent talking the villain (Pandora’s ex) up but we don’t really see a lot of him. Then BAM he’s there and there is some action. Then nothing again for awhile. Then the climactic ending. I wish we could have gotten a bit more insight from him. Or more from his point of view. I wanted more smaller things to happen before he came out balls to the wall. The last few chapters are action packed though and I enjoyed those but I felt it came a bit out of nowhere with the small lead up.
I really liked the almost dark feel to this one. With so much emotional turmoil it’s bound to get a bit dark. Pandora’s flashbacks and Brian’s pain leap from the pages making this one I couldn’t put down! I enjoyed Brian trying to convince Pandora is of worthiness of being happy. Their conversation did get a bit repetitive and simplistic at times but when they were together I just didn’t care. I enjoyed them, I enjoyed the plot…I enjoyed the book. I look forward to the continuation of this story line with the rest of the women from the shop! Bristol improves with every book I pick up! Under His Skin is a darkly sensual novel that should sit well with romance lovers and tattoo enthusiasts alike!
I give Under His Skin by Sidney Bristol 3.75 stars!