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Skin Game (Skin #1)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  1,770 Ratings  ·  205 Reviews
Kyra's a con woman and a thief who can steal her target's strongest skill. But when she becomes the target of a hit man, she won't be able to hide from the passion that engulfs them.

Kindle Edition, Original Edition, 306 pages
Published November 3rd 2009 by Berkley (first published November 2nd 2009)
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5 stars – Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance

Before Reading Survival Checklist:

1) Better have about 6 hours of uninterrupted free time since you simply won’t want to put it down!
2) Be sure to have a fan or a glass of ice water nearby ‘cause you’ll need to cool off!
3) Might want to make sure you have a nail file handy for when you’ve chewed your nails into ragged stubs!

Whew...What an awesome, intense, sexy, violent, edgy, gritty, explosive, suspenseful, hot, action-packed thrill-ride! I loved it
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
Ever watch a movie and wonder, 'What if the villain ran off with the femme fatale?' Then you might like this book. I sure did. I love dark romance. Sometimes I ask myself why I enjoy seeing the dark side of this genre, not depravity and kinky deeds, cheating heroes, and bickering, but heroes and heroines who are more like antiheroes and villains, who find love and their happy ever after. I think it's my unassailable belief that love does conquer all. Like Fox Murder, I really want to believe.

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Romantic Suspense, assassins, con men, bad guys who aren't all bad.

I’m a huge fan of Romantic Suspense and Skin Game is one of the best in the genre I’ve read in a long time. It had been sitting on my bookshelf for months and months, but I never felt the urge to pick it up and read it until my daughter, while in the process of organizing my shelves for me, asked me what it was about. I didn’t remember even having it, so I decided it was time to give it a shot and wow!!! am I ever glad I did.

With a slight paranormal twist to Skin Game that in no way ever makes t
Mandi Schreiner
Sep 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the sexiest book I have read this year. From the first line, "Kyra held the guy's balls in the palm of her hand. Literally." I was hooked. Ava Gray, aka Ann Aguirre, has written a book that blends romance and action into the sexiest thing out there.

Kyra is a con artist that can steal people's best abilities. Take the first quote from above for example. She is at a bar playing pool and not doing well, and that is not a lie, she truly sucks at pool. However, she walks by the man who i
Sep 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kyra Beckwith has screwed over a dangerous man and she did it on purpose as payback. The man in question is casino owner and small time mobster Gerard Serrano who had Kyra’s father killed. She made him fall in love with her. He even wrote her poetry and was going to ask her to marry him. But Kyra got the last laugh and was able to steal a good chunk of his money right under his nose. Now Serrano is out for her blood and hires Reyes, a hit man, to retrieve his money and get rid of Kyra permanentl ...more
This book started out so promising but the predictable ending really killed things for me.

Kyra is on the run from a man she spurned, he's a powerful man in Vegas and has the money to send goons after her. One of those goons is Reyes; a tall, dark, and dangerous man that might just be someone that Kyra can't outsmart. It's a good thing for her that he falls for her, hard.

Kyra has a really neat ability; when she touches someone she steals their best ability and leaves them temporarily handicappe
Nov 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Action/romance fans
Damned by the cover! I'm convinced hairless chest has prevented Skin Game from finding romantic suspense fans! Especially fans who like morally ambiguous protagonists and a little edge. Ava Gray, also known as Ann Aguirre, can write them. No "gosh darns" here- even if the dialogue was a little sophisticated for the characters at times. Neither were their perspectives sweet.

In fact, readers expecting a fun romp -or a locker room- from the cover may have been appalled to discover instead an unrepe
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story telling and writing. Awesome characterization, I absolutely love this book and Rey and Kyra together!!! They are among my favorite couples now!!!

This is classed as PNR, but it's more dark contemporary with a little paranormal element. That's the best way I can describe it.

Thanks to my GR friend that recommended this book to me! (Ahem..Amy)
If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!!!

Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I'm one of those readers who actually enjoys reading the copyright page. Yes, I really do. I'll also read the acknowledgements, dedication, author's foreward, byline, whatever is there. (The only thing I avoid are the quotes from newspaper etc. reviews. They have never, ever sold a book to me and they're a complete waste of paper and ink.) So in Ava Gray (aka Ann Aguirre)'s acknowledgements page, the page before chapter 1, she says "Skin Game started as a glimmer, a 'what-if' brain-storming sess ...more
Brianna (The Book Vixen)
Insanely delicious. That is what comes to mind when I think of Skin Game. I couldn't put the book down and when I had to (because life gets in the way sometimes), all I could think about was what was going to happen next with Kyra and Reyes. When I was about 100 pages away from the end, all I thought about the whole entire day was this book! I had left off at a bit of a cliffhanger and when I was finally able to pick up where I left off and finish, I felt complete.

Kyra is a sexy, self sufficient
Nov 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Romantic Suspense
Recommended to Kathrynn by: Shawna Razzaz
Great characters and super plot made Skin Game a pleasure to read. The setting ranged from Las Vegas, Texas, New Mexico, South Dakota and a few other stops (Louisiana). Initially, I felt the author was geographically challenged. It was odd, but I re-read it and from Las Vegas to Louisiana, then to Texas and New Mexico. That would have worked had they come from Atlantic City, so who knows what happened. Other than that, nice writing, fast moving plot--until the end that was bogged down with munda ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a PnR that's a bit light on the paranormal aspect.
Recommended to Alisha by: Mandi ( sold me!
Oh hells yeah. A fantastic, FUN read....

This book had a perfect balance of just about everything...sweet romance, mystery, action, suspense, and of course good ole' hawt lovin! There are about 4 different perspective threads that are followed...the hero and heroine (assassin Reyes, and his intended target Kyra), mysterious dude Foster, and Foster's ruthless employer (and guy-who-wants-Kyra-dead) Gerard Seranno.

Sometimes with books that have multiple plot threads featured by multiple "voices" the
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought Skin Game was a great book. Reyes was a complete HOT, tuff, alpha bad boy. Kyra was a smart, tuff woman with a touch of paranormal. The two of them together made the story fantastic. The love scenes were hot, the action fast paced and of course the villians were bad to the bone. The ending was done very well also. There was nothing about this book that I did not like.

I'll be waiting on Skin Tight to come out. It's on my auto buy for sure.
Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laurie Garrison
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who reads romantic suspense and paranromal
Ok, I can really kick myself over this book, I have had it on my shelf for over 4 months and kept pushing it back. I just have two words for this book FREAKING AWESOME!!! If you have been like me and are pushing it back get to it quicker and if you’re a PNR reader and don’t have this one on your list please add it to try. There is a lot of wonderful reviews on this book already so I’m just going to highlight what I liked. I didn’t find anything I could dislike. There is intense action, violence, ...more
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: smexybooks, smokinhotbooks
Shelves: 2read2, favorites
Well I'm glad I took the advise of my smut girls; smexybooks, smokinhotbooks, fictionvxn, ErotRomReader, bookvixen. Ava Gray is one of my new heroes as she knows how to bring smokin hot manmeat to a book! Reyes is just that all hot, hard and indestructible! This was an action packed story that you did not want to put down until you were at the end! Then you didn't want it to end! And the chemistry with Reyes and Kyra was smokin! Mrs. Gray also gave us a taste of what's to come in Skin Tight out ...more
Sep 07, 2014 marked it as a-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-urban-fantasy
DNF and read less than 50% so no rating.

There were some positives to this book but a couple of negatives which made the book difficult. That's not to say it's not a good book just that it's not a good book for me.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I found this book hard to rate, because there was a lot I really loved about it, but somehow now that I've finished it I still feel hungry for something more.

Ann Agguirre (I'm firmly against authors using pen names when they aren't disguising the fact that they are the same person. And definitely in situations like this, where I can't really see a reason for the need of another name - but I'm derailing), Ann Agguirre writes great characters.

Just like in the Sirantha Jax series, which is a fav
Ann Aguirre is one of my favorite urban fantasy/science fiction authors so I was pleasantly surprised to learn she also writes paranormal romance under the pseudonym Ava Gray. Skin Game is the first book of the Skin series and thankfully there are others already published so I do not need to wait around. I'm already waiting on 2 Aguirre series and when I break down and read Enclave, it will be three series by one author, so I am understandably happy about not having to wait around for the next t ...more
Penny Watson
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever eaten something spicy that started out with just a hint of heat and you're thinking...Well, that's not too bad....and then the spice starts to really kick in, and after a couple of minutes you're sweating and guzzling a gallon of milk? Well, that's my best analogy for Ava Gray's Skin Game. Slow burn, finished strong. And I do mean strong. Holy Hell, this woman can write. Wasn't sure I loved it when it started out. The characters seemed interesting, but it's hard to identify with a ...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Maybe I'm just in a funk but I found myself smack dab in the middle on my opinion for a book that I really wanted to like. This was just...okay. It wasn't bad. It just didn't wow me either.

I really would have liked to have seen more explanation about Kyra's special abilities. It bugs me when an explanation for something isn't well sketched out. Granted, this is a series. Maybe the "special power" info dump is yet to come. But I would have preferred more info up front. Kyra could steal abilities
Jane Stewart
Wonderful character and relationship development. There was only one paranormal talent in the story, but it was good.

Kyra has a talent. When she touches someone, she gains their strongest ability, and they lose it (temporarily). She keeps their ability for one or more hours, but she can‘t predict how long she will have it. Examples of the talents she gains are pool player, dart thrower, martial arts fighter, and piano player. If she touches two or more people within the same evening,
Nov 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-f, favorites
4.5 stars
Genre & Keywords: Paranormal, Suspense, Violence

Skin Game by Ava Gray has been applauded very loudly by a lot of the romance bloggers I follow. It made me curious enough to give this novel a try myself. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I’ve never read a book by Ava Gray before - as Ann Aguirre she has written some SciFi and Urban Fantasy novels – but this will definitely not be the last one I want to try. Next June the sequel Skin Tight will be released and I will be ha

My first book of 2012 and I wasn't disappointed.

Kyra is a con artist, and she loves what she does. She has been groomed for it by her father ever since she was a little girl. One of her greatest assets is her ability to absorb another person's abilities for a short time by mere touch. Her biggest coup was making the powerful and rich casino owner, Gerald Serrano fall in love with her before she relieved him of three million dollars and humiliated him professionally and emotionally. Now he's mad
3.5 stars for me. The first half of this book was amazing. I loved it. The second half slowed down for me and was not as interesting --- and kind of predictable. So I rated it down based on the second half. The "hero" and "heroine" in this series were kind of anti-heroes and heroines. They did have a moral compass, but it doesn't point in the same direction as most people. It was interesting to read characters who were not typical. Kyra's "gift" or talent was unique -- I would have liked to see ...more
Dec 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tracy by: smexybooks, book vixen
I’m really kicking myself in the arse over this one. Yet another book I let collect dust on my ‘to be read’ shelf when I really should have locked myself in a room to finish this amazing book. What a great debut to the new Skin-series, which should have five books in total.

Kyra, a con artist out for revenge against a crooked Las Vegas casino-owner, has the ability to temporarily steal someone’s best talent by just touching them. A modern day Super Woman, she is smart, sexy and unapologetic abou
3.5 stars. This book got a little long in the middle so I took off half a star for that.

I loved Reyes! Jane, are you paying attention here? :) Reyes is a great hero. On the outside he's a cruel, violent, alpha-male assasin. On the inside he's a lost little boy who's never been loved or cared about. yet he manages to blend these two parts of himself perfectly into a terrific, loving man.

Kyra was a fun character to get to know. She was very much like a lot of other heroines in some ways but very d
Really good for PNR, admittedly not my favorite genre. The paranormal aspect was hardly in it though so fans of more light romantic suspense would probably like it too. Towards the end it got a little cliche but for the most part I thought it was highly enjoyable.
Kyra Marie Beckwith is not your typical paranormal romance heroine with their kind-hearted souls and wide-eyed innocence. She's a woman shaped and molded by her will to survive along with a strong acceptance of the world for what it is. She hasn't been thrust into a previously unknown aspect of that world nor is she shocked by its cruel, everyday injustices. She's seen and lived within the grimy nitty-gritty fringes of society. Most of all, Kyra isn't helpless nor does she need or want a strappi ...more
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