Guest Review: Skin Game by Ava Gray

Posted January 20, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 5 Comments

Publisher: Berkley, PenguinGenres: Paranormal Romance

Tracy‘s review of Skin Game by Ava Gray.

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.

Kyra is a con woman, a grifter. She loves what she does and she’s been doing it all her life. Sure, she’s got warrants out for her arrest, but she lays low and plays the small towns of America. When the book begins she’s trying to quietly make her way to her friend, Mia, who is supposed to be in Fargo, ND on a job. She runs into Rey – an though she doesn’t want to have anything to do with him she gives him a ride. She runs into Rey again and they hit it off. Kyra decides that she’ll show him the ropes of what she does and then move on. She likes the way he looks, but she never sleeps with a man more than once.

Reyes is a hit man. He’s been hired by a casino owner, Gerard Serrano, in Vegas to find Kyra, find out where the money is and bring her back to Vegas. If he can’t bring her back then killing her is just as good. You see Kyra conned the Serrano for revenge after he had Kyra’s father killed. But Reyes is kind of an odd hit man in that he only kills those he feels deserve it. He’s not the type to take a contract on a woman just cuz her husband wants to be with someone else. When Reyes meets up with Kyra he’s determined to the job and continue his untainted reputation – only Kyra isn’t what he was told she was and now his heart is getting messed up in the deal.

This was a great book. I was looking forward to it after reading Rosie’s review and seeing how much she loved the book – and I wasn’t disappointed. This wouldn’t have been, I don’t think, a book that I would have picked up without seeing a review first. Con woman/hit man just doesn’t scream romance to me! lol But I’m so glad I read it. I think what I liked most about it was the fact that they h/h both really loved what they did for a living. When Kyra was away from conning for a while, she missed it and wanted to get back in to it. For Reyes he didn’t itch to get back to killing but he did it and didn’t have any qualms about it. That’s not normally the type of hero I go for but there was just something about him that I was drawn to. I also really liked the “romantic” aspect of the book. It wasn’t typical and it was nice to read something a little different.

Then there was a secondary story going on. The story of Addison Foster, Serrano’s chief of security. We didn’t get too much information about this one, which made it frustrating at times, but it was very interesting. Foster was a little odd and was keeping many secrets – a major one being a sister who’s comatose and has been for 6 years…apparently from an accident. But we have no idea what Foster’s background is and what kind of accident harmed his sister. Foster is seeking revenge on someone as well but we don’t know all the players and we have no idea what the revenge is for. He’s playing Serrano, and even plays Kyra’s friend, Mia, but why? It’s an question that will be answered in the next book, Skin Tight, from what I understand. And yes, this was setting things up for the next book but it wasn’t as though he didn’t play a major part in this book and I thankful that he wasn’t just a throw in character.

Overall a very good book that I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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5 responses to “Guest Review: Skin Game by Ava Gray

  1. Great review, Tracy! I’ve been needing to get to this one, which is in my tbr.
    I love Ann Aguirre’s writing, and so far all her books have been winners for me!

  2. Thanks for the great review, Tracy. It sounds as if you really enjoyed these characters and they don’t sound run of the mill. 🙂

  3. Pie and Cake

    I was super surprised how much I liked this book. It was just something I picked up at the grocery store. But it drew me in and I couldn’t put it down. I’m really looking forward to Skin Tight and am glad you enjoyed it, too! 😀

  4. Tracy, I totally agree with your review. Skin Game was one of the books I couldn’t put down (same as all of Ann’s books). Can’t wait to see what happens in Skin Tight.

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