Jess the Romanceaholic's Reviews > Skin Game

Skin Game by Ava Gray
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** spoiler alert ** Seeing as how much I adored Grimspace, it really came as no surprise that I'd be head over heels for this book as well.

It had everything I desire in contemporary romantic-suspense novels:

A not so innocent heroine who is being pursued by...

An assassin (with standards) who has been hired to kill her by...

An evil (or is he really?) villain out for revenge on aforementioned not-so-innocent heroine because she publicly embarrassed him as part of her own revenge plot.

Throw in the agendas of other characters throughout the story, a pinch of hot, rough sex, and a dash of paranormal ability on the part of our heroine, and you've got the makings of a deliciously complex and compelling novel.

I was actually hesitant to mark this one as a PNR, simply because it didn't have the "whole world" of paranormality -- as far as Kyra and the reader know, she's the only one of her kind, rather than a part of an entire underground group of psychics or mages or shifters or any other group that typically goes hand in hand with the PNR genre.

While the paranormal aspects definitely added to the story and were key to moving the plot along, I think I would have enjoyed it even without them, which is saying something since I'm not typically one for straight up contemporary romances. The relationship between Reyes and Kyra was simply fantastic to follow. They were both working with trust issues (for good reason obviously!) and the pacing felt perfect for their relationship -- any faster and it wouldn't have been believable, but any slower and the readers would start getting impatient.

There were only a couple bits that kept it from getting a solid five stars, and that's due to my own hangups as a reader rather than any defect in the writing. Having Kyra actually kill people felt wrong to me. Sure, she's no angel, and that fact was established literally from page one onward... She's a con artist, and she was out for revenge, but it didn't seem to fit into her character, at least not the second time. The first time could be attributed to the "power" she'd stolen just prior, rather than an ingrained part of her personality. I suppose that the second time could just illustrate an evolution of her character, but tt just took me aback for a moment. Then again, that's part of what I like about Ann Aguirre/Ava Gray's writing -- she certainly manages to constantly keep me on my toes.

I'm really looking forward to Skin Tight, due out this summer.

4.75 Stars

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