Thursday, January 14, 2010

Quickie Reviews: Skin Game by Ava Gray

Skin Game by Ava Gray

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 cold-blooded killer and a chameleon-like con woman. She seemed sort of slutty, and he scared the crap out of me. And I'm thinking...this is the hero and heroine of this book? Really? Well, Jiminy H. Cricket, Gray's approach to characterization is freakin' brilliant. By the end of the book, you are literally dying for an HEA, praying that the vulnerable/sassy/sexy/sneaky/blood-thirsty con woman and the hit man from heaven and hell get together. Gray makes you cheer for this unlikely pair, wondering how the heck is she going to pull it off. This book is seriously the perfect package...fascinating characters, excellent pacing and story line, tons of nail-biting suspense (break out the prilosec, baby!), and off the charts hot sexual encounters. Be forewarned, this is not your granny's romance novel. It's gory and violent in parts, although if I can take it (you know I'm a wuss) then anybody can. My favorite authors make the characters come alive. And Gray has accomplished this in a truly unique and unexpected fashion. Grade: A

Peeved I have to wait until June 1 for the next book in the series...(long suffering sigh),


Sherry said...

I don't think that I have ever read this author but you sure make her book sound really good. I might just have to look into getting a copy of it. I don't know if you ever read Linda Howard but your description of the characters in this book reminds me so much of Linda's in her book Death Angel. The main characters are Drea who lived with a mob boss and steals from him after he gives her to a assassin for one day of sex. This was a different kind of hero and heroine for her. Sorry for changing the subject of your review.

Penny Watson said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Sherry. I have never read any Linda Howard books. This one sounds good. I'll have to check it out!

Anonymous said...

Ava Gray is a pen-name for Ann Aguirre. She and Carrie Lofty have also sold a series, not out yet, under the name Ellen Connor. Check it out:

I have, so far, loved everything Ann has written. Really really excellent plotting and characterizations. I highly recommend her.

-Randi Thompson

Penny Watson said...

Hi Randi! Thanks for the heads up! :)