Under His Skin
by Jennifer Blackstream
genre: Paranormal Romance
length: 283 pages
publisher: Skeleton Key Publishing
"She stole his skin . . . can she still win his heart?"
As the most gifted healer the selkie people have known in over three centuries, Brec knows he should be grateful for his gift. But he isn’t. Every day he dreams of joining his brother’s pod of warriors, of throwing away his bag of healer’s herbs and taking up the weapons of his ferocious kin. When his skin is stolen, no one argues when Brec insists that he be allowed to face the thief himself. Finally, he is going to war with a true enemy, someone who dared to steal a part of him he could never live without. But he’s about to realize that war is never as glorious as it seems . . .
When Ana wakes up tied to her bed with a vengeful selkie standing over her, the only thing that burns hotter than their anger is the desire that thickens the air between them. Using every wile in her repertoire, Ana almost succeeds in convincing the selkie to leave with his skin--until he discovers that his is not the only skin she has stolen. Now the righteous warrior with the dark eyes and searing kiss is determined to stay until she gives up not only the skins, but her secret as well.
Can the selkie cast off his healer’s sensibilities long enough to do what has to be done to force Ana’s hand? Or has the desperate vixen succeeded in getting . . . Under His Skin?
Natalie Gibson's review
Ana is a skinwalker who's lost her fox skin. She is forced to walk the earth in her human form for two years. She attempts to heal her fur but when nothing works something snaps and she starts stealing the skins of other skinwalkers in a desperate effort to gain back the freedom she's lost. She hopes to simply slip into their skins and pick up their lives but time after time it doesn't work. She wants to return the skins to their owners but can't give up on the hope that eventually she will find a spell that will work on one of the skins and make it hers.
Brec is a selkie who struggles with his place in the world. He loves being a selkie but longs for the action and glory of being a warrior. The gods blessed him with the gift of healing, not killing and his position rubs him wrong. He cannot find a mate because the female selkies value the safety a warrior can provide, not the gentle passive attributes of a healer.
When Ana steals Brec's skin, there is no doubt that she is a criminal. He stays long enough to discover not only her crimes against other skinwalkers but the unbelievably painful reason behind them.
I am going to try and be professional and not gush like a teen fan. Jennifer Blackstream is proving herself to be a major new voice in the paranormal romance scene. Her plots are original and fresh. Her characters are flawed just enough to be real. Aphrodite's Hunt is my favorite erotic paranormal romance for last year and this book was equally great. Under His Skin had less explicit sex scenes but there was electric sizzle between Ana and Brec on every page. There is just the right amount of build so that when they do come together about 65% of the way through the story, it is a relief but not in that "you've been yelling at them to get to it already for 100 pages" sort of way. Their relationship progression feels natural.
Every scene pushed the story forward and the characters together. The story was tight with nothing seeming superfluous or slow. It is hard to forgive Ana for her wrong doing, and even wonder why a person who had experienced such loss would wish that on others of her kind. Even though the reader is not kept in the dark about her motivations, the book is written so that Brec's reactions to her make perfect sense. Both Ana and Brec redeem themselves and fall in love along the way.
Under His Skin will entertain and delight those of you who like shapeshifter type books but are bored with the tired werewolf plots. It is awarded 5 satin pillows for a wonderful story and 3 flames for its sexy scenes that were not too explicit nor too prevalent.
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