Review: Skin Game by Ava Gray

Although not my particular cup of tea, Ava Gray's Skin Game is a compelling piece of suspense writing. Excellent (if unsympathetic) characters, a fast moving plot, and plenty of "action"--both violence and sex.

Strictly speaking, I'm not so sure this qualifies as a romance. Sure, there's a semblance of romance, here, but when you have one of the main characters STILL contemplating murdering the other in the second half of the book, I'd say that isn't particularly romantic.

I had a few problems with the "paranormal" aspects of the book. While Kyra's ability is clearly defined for the reader, she seems perfectly "ok" with not knowing the whys and hows of stealing what people she touches are 'best at.' Their abilities are transferred to her in a process we (or at least I) never really understand. It's just a nebulous ability that she happens to have. Which I find kind of weird. And the fact that she's content to use this ability without any obvious curiosity regarding its origins seems too unrealistic to work for me.

I will also admit to being a little put off by how casually Kyra and Reyes hook up. Sheer anonymous sex just didn't work for me here. (Although the scenes are scorching hot and well done). Yes, it fits with their characters, but still...all I can picture is STD central.

The biggest WTH moment for me, though, was the part where Kyra just seems to accept the reappearance of Reyes in her life. There's no way someone on the run from a Vegas mob boss wannabe who is also a wanted on multiple warrants would buy that coincidence. At least in my not-so-humble opinion. She would have to be a dumb bunny to trust that story, and she's clearly not dumb. Maybe I'm too cynical, but I just can't see her character being that trusting.

Still, despite my occasional WTF, this was a quick, powerful read. I just didn't find it romantic. At all. Still, if you go into it expecting more of a suspense or thriller, you won't be disappointed.

My grade: B-

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