Skin Game (Skin, #1)

Skin Game (Skin, #1)Insanely delicious That is what comes to mind when I think of Skin Game I couldn t put the book down and when I had to because life gets in the way sometimes , all I could think about was what was going to happen next with Kyra and Reyes When I was about 100 pages away from the end, all I thought about the whole entire day was this book I had left off at a bit of a cliffhanger and when I was finally able to pick up where I left off and finish, I felt complete.Kyra is a sexy, self sufficient woman She is a con artist by trade, taught by her father She s been on her own since her dad was killed She sought revenge on the man that was responsible and did a kick ass job of hitting him where it hurts his pockets and his ego Now she s on the run knowing he ll send his men after her She has the ability to borrow a person s talent, for an unknown amount of time, by a simple touch She usually uses the talent against the owner, which comes in handy when she s doing a con It even works when she gets herself in a pickle and needs to fight her way out She first meets Reyes after hustling her way through a game of billiards.Reyes is a rough, hands on inways than one type of guy He was contracted by Kyra s ex fiance, Gerald Serrano, to capture Kyra, find the money and bring her back to Serrano He s one of the best and has the track record to prove it It takes him a while to find Kyra but when he does, it s instant attraction.It s been a few days since I ve finished reading Skin Game and it s still fresh on my mind I can t stop thinking about the sexual chemistry between Kyra and Reyes They know how to heat things up under the sheets A book that I thoroughly enjoyed is one that stays with me And Skin Game definitely falls into that category Skin Game is full of action, adventure and sexual energy right from the start Ava Gray wastes no time capturing your attention This book is action packed from the get go Be warned, this book is so hot, it ll leave a burn mark on your shelf Review originally posted on The Book Vixen. Kyra Beckwith has screwed over a dangerous man and she did it on purpose as payback The man in question is casino owner and small time mobster Gerard Serrano who had Kyra s father killed She made him fall in love with her He even wrote her poetry and was going to ask her to marry him But Kyra got the last laugh and was able to steal a good chunk of his money right under his nose Now Serrano is out for her blood and hires Reyes, a hit man, to retrieve his money and get rid of Kyra permanently Reyes may kill men for a profit, but he s not comfortable killing a woman like Kyra, especially when he sees her in action hustling a pool game Kyra is a hustler, a con artist who travels from dinky town to dinky town in her Mercury Marquis looking for the next score Krya lives for the action, much like her father did But it got her father killed and Kyra is not sure how much longer she can stay in the game When Reyes comes to her aid, she decides to take him along for the ride She thinks they will have one hot night together in a squeaky motel room bed and that will be it What she doesn t know is that Reyes is a hard man to outwit and he won t allow Kyra to skip out on him When Reyes tracks down Kyra again, she is wary but there is something about him that makes her want to keep him Not only can she touch him without draining her energy because of a secret, special ability she has that helps her with her cons, but she feels safe around him She decides to make him her partner until she has had enough of the game and wants to drive off into the sunset As Reyes gets to know the enigma Kyra is, he wouldn t mind going off in the sunset with her also He just has to figure out a way to keep her alive as well as find a way to tell her he was hired to snuff her out Talk about a book where you can feel the heat coming off the pavement Skin Game is a thrilling read with a touch of paranormal, suspense and a steamy romance that will have you panting The chemistry between Reyes and Kyra is hotter than hot I knew things were going to be oh so good the moment Kyra asks Reyes what he wants with her and he thinks how great it would be to have her up against a wall Because Ava Gray has such a talent writing great character interaction, Skin Game excels in so many ways The majority of the time the reader is witness to Kyra and Reyes on the road driving, playing their cons or just eating This may seem boring, but because Ms Gray is able to expand on these actions, the reader can t help but stay interested Ms Gray brings out such interesting quirks in regards to these two such as Kyra s love of fast food and Reyes desire to protect Kyra and make sure she finds happiness in such simple things such as him making a homemade meal for her There is nothing sexier than a man that can cook.Even though Reyes and Kyra have made such an impression on me, there are other secondary characters to take note of Serrano is a sad man so obsessed with power that it almost ruins him He doesn t realize that he is being played and played well by Addison Foster, the security chief for his casino Foster is one of the biggest mysteries in Skin Game He has deep rooted secrets and may or may not have an ability much like Kyra has His ambiguity will have readers wondering what his reasons are for the things that he does Foster s story, Skin Tight will be out next summer, where he battles wits with Kyra s dearest friend Mia Sauter, who is also introduced in Skin Game and has some interesting interactions with Foster For those who don t know, Ava Gray is also known as Ann Aguirre who writes outstanding science fiction as well as urban fantasy books Her skills at writing a taut masterful tale have become well known, and as Ava Gray she has definitely done that here with Skin Game. I m a huge fan of Romantic Suspense and Skin Game is one of the best in the genre I ve read in a long time It had been sitting on my bookshelf for months and months, but I never felt the urge to pick it up and read it until my daughter, while in the process of organizing my shelves for me, asked me what it was about I didn t remember even having it, so I decided it was time to give it a shot and wowam I ever glad I did.With a slight paranormal twist to Skin Game that in no way ever makes the characters seem less human, Ava Gray added a little something extra to the mix Kyra, the story s heroine slash bad gal, need only touch someone in order to absorb whatever it is that is their greatest strength For a brief while afterwards, she can use that strength as if it were her own, but once it wears off she s often left feeling pretty messed up and unable to function well This special ability of hers isn t dwelt upon much, which is nice, but we know she has it and we know when she uses it.Rey is deadly at his job, which is a good thing considering he s an assassin A bad guy who sgood than bad, Rey is hired by wealthy, mob type casino owner, Gerard Serrano, to take out Kyra who humiliated him by running a con on the casino, taking him for a huge wad of cash, and doing it after having wormed her way into his life and ending up his fianc No self respecting low life scum bag can let that go without retaliation, which is where Rey comes in But what our ruthless hit man didn t expect was how quickly he d become attracted to his target and had to question his ability to finish the job he d been paid to do.Another great player in the game is Addison Foster, Serrano s head of casino security and go to man when things are going to get ugly Foster is the man who hired Rey to put the hit on Kyra, but it s clear early on that he s another bad guy who is so muchthan he appears to be.There was something very intriguing about the characters and their stories I enjoyed how flawlessly the author moved back and forth between storylines, reminding me of writers such as Dean Koontz and Stephen King who never waste pages with unimportant characters Too often in books the bad guy is just the bad guy and we never know anythingabout him than the fact that we want him her to die In Skin Game, however, even the bad guys are complicated people with some sort of compelling background story to tell.From the first page to the last, this story kept me on the edge of my seat I stayed up late into the night reading, unable to put the book down The characters are complex, so persuasive in their views on life, morals and the very gray area between right and wrong And to add to a great cast of players, Skin Game has a believable plot that is detailed enough to keep it interesting, yet never too complicated to follow And for those of you who are interested, Ava Gray gave us some of the most sexually intense scenes I ve read Hot, passionate, crazy out of control and at the same time, the sex wasn t tossed in there every few pages just to help sell the book and never overshadowed the story itself For fans of romantic suspense who don t mind a tiny smidgen of paranormal ability, I d strongly recommend you give Skin Game a read I don t think you ll be disappointed.Next up Skin Tight, the story of Addison Foster and Mia, Kyra s best and only friend It promises to be every bit as exciting as Skin Game and trust me when I say that this one will not even make it to the bookshelf before I ve finished reading it. Sexy.This is the sexiest book I have read this year From the first line, Kyra held the guy s balls in the palm of her hand Literally I was hooked Ava Gray, aka Ann Aguirre, has written a book that blends romance and action into the sexiest thing out there.Kyra is a con artist that can steal people s best abilities Take the first quote from above for example She is at a bar playing pool and not doing well, and that is not a lie, she truly sucks at pool However, she walks by the man who is beating her with his excellent pool skills and flirtatiously fondles him At contact, his best ability, which happens to be playing pool, transfers to her, leaving him sluggish and absolutely no good at pool whatsoever Kyra never knows how long this boost of ability will last, so she finishes the job quickly, takes her money and leaves.She is being watched though Reyes is one of the best hit men around and it has taken him months to find her Kyra lives a very quiet solitary life, not leaving much of a trail He has been hired by Gerard Serrano, Kyra s last con job She not only took money but left Serrano humiliated Serrano is no one to play around with though He is a casino owner, powerful and brutal When someone makes him angry, he kills to teach a lesson and he has taught many lessons His chief of security, Addison Foster is his go to man Foster hires Reyes to take out Kyra, but first he must learn where she stashed Serrano s money.Reyes worms his way into her car for a ride, and their attraction is immediate Kyra is very used to being alone in this world because she doesn t care to touch people She never knows what kind of gift will be transferred to her Sometimes it is fun like the ability to sing Sometimes it is horrifying, like the ability to rape someone After the ability leaves her, she is left depleted with a migraine She finds it easier, to keep everyone away, using her gift only for work, never for play.But she soon discovers she can t keep her hands off of Reyes Their romance scenes are so hot Kyra likes to have control and Reyes is a total alpha male Put them together in bed and Don t make love, she managed to say Just Fuck In answer, he licked a slow circle around her nipple You re not in charge, Kyra Try to tell me what to do again, and I ll stop If you want to be completely in control, you should do it yourself Bastard Maybe I will She reached between them, curled her fingers around his cock, and squeezed Who s in charge now And oh, it gets bettermuch better, but I had better stop before I need to break the fans out.Reyes starts to feel conflicted his job is to find the money and kill this girl, he has a reputation to uphold Kyra does something to him he finds himself caring a great deal for her He has never once failed on a contract though, and the briefing he received on Kyra from Addison paints her as a viscous and cruel woman.Kyra has one friend in life, Mia and that is who she is off to find She knows Mia can help get the money she stole from Serrano to a safe location Still oblivious to Reyes real reasons for hanging around, Kyra decides Reyes might be a good partner to have pulling off small cons until she can find Mia and figure out her future Reyes finds he hasthan just the motivation to finish the job from Foster He cares for her, and Kyra starts to notice it to.Kyra remembered how Rey had walkedthan a mile, carrying heavy groceries, just to feed her Nobody had ever done anything like that for her Until he did it, she hadn t even known she d like it And now, damn him, she found herself searching for hidden meanings in his small kindnesses.So starts Reyes and Kyra s journey They both have secrets, they both have issues in the past which haunt them today, and they both have trouble remembering why they shouldn t be together.Skin Game gives you two very strong lead characters Kyra and Reyes are both dominant, and both stubborn Although they often clash, but it is the little times when one of them gives in that brings in the sweet romance.Not only are Reyes and Kyra great characters but Addison Foster, Serrano s head of security is very intriguing Throughout the book you can t quite categorize him Obviously Serrano is crooked and evil and slimy Foster though he is tricky He is one of those super intelligent people that gives you the willies but in a good way Everything he does has a slight creepy feel, but at the same time you know deep down he may have issues but you want to like him He is complex My first reaction was that he has an evil vibe to him, but now I think he is just confused and has some major things he needs to work out in his life He is the kind of person if you spend five minutes with him, he would give you the chills but you can t pinpoint why you feel that way I can t figure him out and I like it.The world in this book is not complex in the paranormal sense at this point we really only see Kyra as the only one with a paranormal power although I am sure we will discoveras the series progresses This book is reallygeared towards romance than the paranormal aspect but I like that the supernatural world takes a backseat to the romance.The only thing that I question is at one point, Kyra s ability is neutralized and the question of why and how kind of hangs in the air I was waiting for a big explanation and I don t think there ever was one Maybe the reader is just to assume this is a natural progression for Kyra I think Ava Gray, really puts this book out there She doesn t hold back on the sex or the violence I will say it again the sex scenes are there in full detail, smoldering hot and fierce Neither Reyes nor Kyra like to give up control and it really plays well in the bedroom Ava Gray also doesn t back down on the violence, and it works for this book The romance is so intense, I think the action had to be on the same level and she definitely delivers it.Ok, here it comes are you ready you must read this book For all lovers of paranormal romance this is the book that makes it so much fun to read. Damned by the cover I m convinced hairless chest has prevented Skin Game from finding romantic suspense fans Especially fans who like morally ambiguous protagonists and a little edge Ava Gray, also known as Ann Aguirre, can write them No gosh darns here even if the dialogue was a little sophisticated for the characters at times Neither were their perspectives sweet.In fact, readers expecting a fun romp or a locker room from the cover may have been appalled to discover instead an unrepentant con artist and assassin for hire Reyes and Kyra don t change, but they do confide and connect, evolving from mark and hitman to kindred spirits Though Gray doesn t add anything to an old premise, Reyes convinces as a competent, too dedicated assassin and his change of heart plays true to his character Too bad Gray never explained Kyra s Rogue like power Perhaps the secretive Foundation plays a role Gray delivers a sometimes suspenseful, edgy road romance with a bit of action and a ton of aggressive heat Where s my fan I would have likedlayers,threads, for this simple narrative that doesn t delve beyond the classic premise, but one must wrap up a romance neatly Ava Gray s cool, tight and succinct, but detailed style has won me for Skin Tight, second book in the Skin series I look forward to reading Mia and Foster 5000 points for character diversity, by the way Four stars This book started out so promising but the predictable ending really killed things for me Kyra is on the run from a man she spurned, he s a powerful man in Vegas and has the money to send goons after her One of those goons is Reyes a tall, dark, and dangerous man that might just be someone that Kyra can t outsmart It s a good thing for her that he falls for her, hard. Kyra has a really neat ability when she touches someone she steals their best ability and leaves them temporarily handicapped This comes in handy especially in a fight I m not really sure what the point of giving her this ability is if the reasons aren t explained It s not like there are a bunch of people with supernatural powers running around For the most part, there s only Kyra and her weird power.I really liked Kyra though, because she s tough, smart, and very pragmatic She doesn t go all hysterical or shy away from having to kill people She s on the run and she does what she has to do.Reyes is a good character too, although a bit cliched He s the do gooder assassin he only takes the jobs where the bad guys are the ones he s sent to kill Kind of like a really hot Dexter for hire He has an interesting background though and his personality is well developed so it s not like he s just a walking cliched tall, dark, and handsome man The sexual tension and the actual sex between Kyra and Reyes was ridiculously hot Their scenes were probably some of the hottest I ve read in a really long time I have to say that this probably saved the story for me too without it the story would have been mediocre at best The two of them have a really unique Bonnie and Clyde relationship going on that I enjoyed I also liked that the two of them do unsavory things but they don t constantly apologize for their actions I knew how things were going to end and I wasn t looking forward to it You know Reyes is hired to kill Kyra after reading the first chapter, and you also know that she has to find out at some point and she s not going to be happy with him I do have to say that I wasn t as annoyed with how things played out as much as I thought I was going to be I also liked that a ton of time wasn t spent killing the villain There are two reasons I m not running off to the book store to read the next in this series this one s ending and the characters that will be focused on The next book centers on Kyra s friend Mia and I thought she was boring and kind of stupid I m curious to find outabout the guy that Mia is paired with, but not enough to spend money on it I checked this book out from the library and I think I ll just wait until they get Skin Tight in, although I m not in any rush to read it. Fabulous Great story telling and writing Awesome characterization, I absolutely love this book and Rey and Kyra together They are among my favorite couples now This is classed as PNR, but it sdark contemporary with a little paranormal element That s the best way I can describe it Thanks to my GR friend that recommended this book to me Ahem..Amy If you haven t read it, I highly recommend it Fantastic I m one of those readers who actually enjoys reading the copyright page Yes, I really do I ll also read the acknowledgements, dedication, author s foreward, byline, whatever is there The only thing I avoid are the quotes from newspaper etc reviews They have never, ever sold a book to me and they re a complete waste of paper and ink So in Ava Gray aka Ann Aguirre s acknowledgements page, the page before chapter 1, she says Skin Game started as a glimmer, a what if brain storming session with my assistant, Ivette, wherein I speculated whether I could write paranormal romantic suspense, based in science rather than magic Wow, I thought only Big Name authors like Margaret Atwood and Stephen King had assistants Impressive This comment, about basing it in science rather than magic, led me to believe I was going to read a book along Dark Angel lines the American military genetic experiment kind of story Granted, the background the Whys and Hows and Whats aren t explained here, are barely hinted at, so it could still be that kind of story But what I got was quite a bit different not bad in any way, but because I was expecting something, I kept waiting for it, and it never came This isn t, of course, the author s fault It just is what it is What I got was a story of a con artist, Kyra, who has the odd ability of temporarily stealing someone s best skill with a single light touch be it singing or playing pool or fighting or less desirable skills When her small time hustler father is beaten to death by a casino owner s toughs, Kyra vows revenge Before the story even starts, she s managed to become the casino owner s fiancee and toy with him before winning several million dollars and holding up a sign to the cameras that said I was only in it for the money Now she s on the run, living off small town cons while she waits for her best friend Mia to return to the country and hopefully help her in disposing of her millions But the casino owner, Gerard Serrano, has lost pride as well as money he s become a laughing stock of Vegas He hires a hit man, Reyes, to find Kyra, find out where the money is and then kill her Once Reyes finds her, he has to gain her trust but in doing so he gainsthan he ever wants to lose, and his reputation as a hit man who never fails is on the line Kyra has got under his skin, and he s not sure he ever wants her to leave.I ve been disappointed a lot by paranormal romance this year books that try to be sophisticated, funny, smart, touching, sexy, well written and turn out to be weak, confusing, lacking in chemistry, trying too hard and poorly written I m a BIG fan of Aguirre s Jax space opera series, but I still wasn t sure about this one mostly because mixing romance and suspense has led to some very, very weak reads in the past I didn t have to worry about the prose, the plotting, the character development and chemistry the only thing lacking was that it wasn t as, ah, steamy as I d been expecting Kyra and Reyes build some excellent sexual tension and chemistry, and I really liked both of them They were strong characters, far from perfect, but not at all annoying They didn t go through the usual paranormal romance relationship clich s, which I wouldn t expect of Aguirre anyway I should probably be saying Gray but I can t think of them as two separate authors.The plot is multi layered there s Kyra and Reyes, his job to kill her and the external threats to her life there s Serrano and his machinations and there s Serrano s right hand man, Foster, who is up to something himself he s the one who hired Reyes, and he has his own secrets which hint at him being something similar to Kyra this is where the whole military experiment thing still seems possible , as well as fears There s also Mia, who gets caught up in Foster s plans The plotlines are interrelated and never get confusing for all that there s a lot going on, it never feels crowded or complicated.The characters are pretty straight forward and not terribly original, but they are also very alive, very human feeling Even Foster, who seems downright alien at times, is a character you can empathise with or at least want to For all the story s apparent simplicity, there s a lotgoing on in the details, things that flesh out the characters nicely As for romance, it s there too, but aside from the great chemistry between Kyra and Reyes, I thought it was a tad disappointing Well written, but not as satisfying as I d hoped.This is the start of what looks to be a well thought out, detailed, dangerous world that has plentysecrets to reveal I don t love it as much as the Jax series, but I ll be there to read Skin Tight when it comes out in June 2010. Ever watch a movie and wonder, What if the villain ran off with the femme fatale Then you might like this book I sure did I love dark romance Sometimes I ask myself why I enjoy seeing the dark side of this genre, not depravity and kinky deeds, cheating heroes, and bickering, but heroes and heroines who arelike antiheroes and villains, who find love and their happy ever after I think it s my unassailable belief that love does conquer all Like Fox Murder, I really want to believe Ava Gray has written an excellent offering for those of us with a taste for the noir In this book, we have a heroine who lives for the next con, moving from town to town, and relieving fools of their money, feeling no remorse about it But, at least she only takes money from those she thinks deserves it On her tail is a hero who kills people for a living Yes, an assassin Like Kyra, he plys his trade on those who he feels deserves killing Now, to like this story you have to be willing to read about people who are morally flexible, or at least, those have a different view of morality than the norm I think that Ms Gray brought these characters to life in such a manner that I could feel enough respect and empathy for them that their dark ways didn t offend me I admit, I don t like the idea of stealing for a living But, Kyra managed to be a heroine that I could like, although I didn t always agree with the choices she made She had her own sense of honor, which endeared her to me I freely admit that I am intrigued by the idea of an assassin hero or heroine Don t ask me why It s morbid, but there is an appeal to seeing what motivates them to do what they do Reyes is probably one of my favorite assassin heroes so far He truly believes that he does a service to the world The only reason he took Kyra s contract was because he was decieved into believing she was a bad person who needed killing Fairly soon after he takes up with her as her apprentice in the con game world, he comes to realize that she s not the person he d been led to believe she was Both Kyra and Reyes struck me as intensely lonely and somewhat sad characters After Kyra s father was murdered, she had no one other than her friend Mia , and lived a lonely life, seeking only the sexual satisfaction of one night stands as she travels Although she s suspicious of Reyes at first, she ends up taking him into her solitary world, and falling for him.Their first intimate encounter is all about lust, but Ms Gray turns things around, allowing us to see a somewhat slow building, and in some ways, innocent courtship between these two lonely people They both start to hope that they have found someone who they can possibly love However, Reyes knows he s on borrowed time He has a job to perform His reputation is built on always completing his kills He doesn t want to kill Kyra, but he doesn t see a way around it I found this a little disturbing that even halfway through the book, Reyes was still contemplating killing Kyra I think that was a brave move on Ms Gray s part I held my breath, hoping that Reyes would realize that he couldn t hurt Kyra, because he loved her Soon, this dangerous man turns his formidable skills to protecting the woman he has been hired to kill.Skin Game issuspense than action I liked the fact that we were able to see the viewpoints of various characters Kyra and Reyes the fascinating Addison Foster, who is the security head for the man who wants Kyra dead Mia, Kyra s friend and Serrano, the man that Kyra used, humilated, and stole millions of dollars from, who will stop at nothing to see her dead to save his face It gave a greater depth to this dark story, turning this book into noir romance for the thinking woman Skin Game is as gritty as it gets It has some moments that made me wince a few times, as Kyra and Reyes have to deal with some enemies they make along the way The love scenes are hot and earthy, and the love between Kyra and Reyes was believable and deep I truly enjoyed reading this story I was sucked into this dark tale with a silver lining I wouldn t want to live the kinds of lives that Kyra and Reyes lead, but I liked the fact that they were able to find each other and hope for the future They didn t really get the best hands in the poker game of life, but they managed to play a killer game with the ones they are dealt I like the idea that even in the dark, there are those who do have motivations that show some degree of honor Skin Game couldn t have been an easy book to write, but Ms Gray did it very well This one goes on my keeper shelf. 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Ava Gray is a pen name for

[PDF / Epub] ✐ Skin Game (Skin, #1) ☃ Ava Gray –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 306 pages
  • Skin Game (Skin, #1)
  • Ava Gray
  • English
  • 19 March 2018

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