Saturday, January 15, 2011

Review: Skin Game by Ava Gray

Title: Skin Game
Series: Skin
Author: Ava Gray
Read copy: eBook
Published: November 3, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN: 1101151242
ISBN-13: 9781101151242

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.

My rating:

This book started so slow it was almost a DNF for me, but since I'm a pretty stubborn reader, I stuck with it. Boy am I glad I did, because it turned out pretty great.

I love me some darkness in my books, especially when it comes to the hero. And an assassin as a hero is as dark as it could get. I love the fact Ms. Gray made him a noble assassin, killing only those that deserved it, but he was still an assassin and as far away from the noble hero as possible. And I absolutely loved him for it. Also, his inner struggle when it came to the heroine (should I kill her or bed her or both) was a nice touch, adding more emotional depth both to him and to the story.

As much as I loved Reyes I couldn't say the same for Kyra. There was just something off-putting about her that prevented me from connecting with her. It wasn't the darkness in her, because that made her the perfect counterpart and companion to Reyes, it was just something about her, maybe the way she was written, that just didn't click with me.

Also, Foster was great, and reading about him as well, while Serrano was a different matter entirely. I could've done without revisiting him throughout the story (and in the end I did, I'm afraid).

I wouldn't have minded a more "elaborate" ending, though. It all seemed a bit rushed, and I missed some buildup to the final scene, but all in all this was quite a satisfying little story.


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