From the BLURB:
A beautiful fugitive—wanted dead or alive.
Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist—anything she wants… for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.
A hit man who never misses the mark.
Reyes has nothing but his work. Pity for Kyra, he’s the best and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash—and bring her back to face Serrano’s “justice.” Dead will do, if he can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce heat and her outlaw heart. So Reyes has a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love.
I think ‘Skin Game’ was a favorite read of 2009 for lots of people. Having finally read the book myself, I can definitely understand what all the fuss was about. Hot-Damn!
The author ‘Ava Gray’ is in fact Ann Aguirre of the ‘Sirantha Jax’ series (a personal favorite of mine). I’m not really sure why Ms. Aguirre felt the need to write this new ‘Skin’ series under a pseudonym? Maybe it’s like Beyonce Knowles being ‘Sasha Fierce’ on stage – writing erotica may demand an alter ego?
The best way I can think to describe ‘Skin Game’ is as the thinking woman’s supernatural romance. This is a hot read, but there is also lots of nitty-gritty action and a plot to sink your teeth into. ‘Skin Game’ is a cross between ‘The Bourne Identity’, James Bond and ‘Alias’. I knew from the ‘Sirantha Jax’ series that Ms. Aguirre is a master of writing edge-of-your-seat drama; with detailed action scenes and fights to make reading them seem like watching a movie play out in your head. She out-does herself in ‘Skin Game’. Just reading her descriptions of Reyes in hand-to-hand combat is detailed and magnificent – completely thrilling.
Whereas in the ‘Sirantha Jax’ series, main protagonists Jax & March offer up plenty of sizzle and scorch minus explicit detail – in ‘Skin Game’ Aguirre takes the romance to the next erotic level. And she is good at writing sex scenes – so very good.
“Harder,” he rasped. “God, yeah.”
Then his whole body stiffened. A shudder tore through him, and he came in her mouth, long waves that had the Marquis wandering all over the road. Kyra swallowed and wiped her mouth.
Reyes and Kyra are H-O-T. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that a love story between a hit-man and con-artist was quite romantic (even their Bonnie & Clyde post-fight sex scene had a certain ‘awww’ to it). I think Reyes and Kyra are such a compelling couple because they are imperfect, and by all logic they shouldn’t fit so well. But they are both social outcasts, used to living in solitude with no one to depend on – so when they find each other and discover how badly they need connection, it’s a full-force love affair.
I love, love, loved this book. And I am so happy that Aguirre has at least 3 more books contracted for the ‘Skin’ series. Book No. 2 is ‘Skin Tight’ (released June 1st this year) and that book is about two characters introduced in ‘Skin Game’. Foster definitely peaked my interest in ‘Skin Game’ and I can see lots of potential between him and Mia. Really looking forward to this one.