Joint Review: Skin Heat by Ava Gray

Where did you get the book: Bought/Author copy
What publisher: Berkely Sensation
Release Date: Out Now!
More wild thing than man…
Zeke Noble has escaped from a secret facility; he has no idea why he was abducted, but the experiments were cruel, soul-killing, and they changed him forever. Now free, his natural affinity with animals has evolved into a dark and dangerous instinct, a curse that costs him too much of his humanity. But he has to rebuild his life, or his tormentors win. To that end, he goes looking for work and finds so much more.

Born to be wild…
Veterinarian Geneva Harper finds herself reluctantly drawn to the lean, mysterious young man to whom the wild is second nature, but she has troubles of her own. She’s the black sheep in an old moneyed Southern family, and she never had any interest in learning the family business, or being the good debutante daughter.

Though Zeke’s wanted Neva for as long as he can remember, their attraction can never go anywhere. They both know that for different reasons. But when a killer starts leaving behind a trail of victims, Zeke’s need to protect her is as fierce as his desire to claim her as his mate. And love may be the only thing that can save them both…

Has: I have been eagerly awaiting for Skin Heat because this is fast becoming, scratch that, it is one of my favourite paranormal series. I love Ava Gray’s trademark of gritty romance which has heaps of emotional intensity.

MinnChica: I’m a huge fan of the Skin Series as well, and after the way we left things in Skin Tight, I was anxiously awaiting to see where the story would continue to. Gray had me totally jonesing for the next installment.

Has: What I really love about this series is that it’s not really a series but connecting books with each installment having a different feel and tone, and Skin Heat’s tone I believe was definitely the most creepiest one yet.

MinnChica: I agree, I love that each book can really be a stand alone, but that the overall plot line finds ways to weave all these groups of people together. It’s fabulous!

Has: I know! And I loved how that worked. This book combined a really creepy serial killer plot-line with an intense and emotional romance and both elements were fantastically conveyed to me.

MinnChica: Yea, the suspense part of the plot was great for me! I’ve become a huge fan of romantic suspense books this past year, and Skin Heat was one of the best I’ve read!

Has: Romantic Suspense isn’t a favourite subgenre but I think the Skin series for me really combines and genre bends different subgenre elements really well. And it has definitely opened up my interest for Romantic Suspense.

MinnChica: I do have to say, the thing I love most about Skin Heat was that Zeke was so alpha, so animal. He was the absolutely perfect alpha hero in my eyes. His almost cave man tendencies had me swooning!

Has: Ohhhhhh yessssssss! I loved loved loved how quiet and unassuming but underneath he was simmering with so much instinct and passion. And I loved how despite what he went through he didn’t let that affect or destroy him. I also thought that even though he appeared to be a beta hero in many ways, but underneath he was definitely an Alpha with a lot of that beast like intensity and I love that kind of hero that surprises you like that!

MinnChica: Exactly, I totally loved that aspect of his character. In so many ways, he was so realistic in his over the top ways.

Has: I love this type of hero, but most times they don’t always work but I really felt his pain about the aftermath he experienced from the torture and how he lost a part of his humanity due to the experiments that changed him. But he was also so gentle and sensitive and his inner beast/side  that didn’t say much but SHOWED a lot, and it definitely illustrated more meaning and depth than any kind of meaningful dialogue.

MinnChica: I loved the way he was constantly reacting to Neva too. Their bond was really the only thing that kinda brought him back to life after being held captive for so long, and I loved the way Gray showed that.

Has: Yeah! In many ways it did feel like a Beauty and the Beast type of tale. Although it had elements of love across the tracks so to speak. I also liked how passionate it was but how it developed. I loved the little moments between them, especially when they were nursing the kittens she helped saved.

MinnChica: Oh yes, they were so cute when taking care of the kittens. It was like their own little family. The tender moments like that was the perfect way to break up the suspense of the overall murder plot.

Has: Which really made the book for me was the suspense/serial killer element And I didn’t expect  who the killers would have been at the end and I am pretty good at guessing about them.

MinnChica: I’m usually good about guessing that kind of stuff too, so who the killer turned out to be completely threw me for a loop as well. I do have to say, the only thing that I didn’t like about the book was that one of my favorite characters fell victim to the serial killer. 🙁

Has: That was definitely a gutter punch and I was really sad to see that happened to them. I think this proved though how good the characters were. I loved the small town aspect too. I think Ava Gray really captured that well and added a sense of normalcy and safety whilst at the same time you had a psychotic killer on the loose.

MinnChica: Absolutely. I can only hope that Gray gets the chance to write more about the characters from this small town. I know when we talked to her on Twitter, she said that she did want to do something for a few of them. *fingers crossed*

Has: I really hope that is the case because I would love to revisit several of the characters here, I feel like there is more stories to be told!

MinnChica: Totally, although I am VERY excited for the next installment of the Skin Series: Skin Drive. Ever since meeting Gillie and Taye while they were being held captive, I could tell their story would be explosive! Thankfully we don’t have to wait too long!

Has: I seriously HEART this series so much and although I think a certain hero called Soren/Foster inches out Zeke in firm favourite heroes in this series. I definitely think this is has the best side plot with the uber creepy villain,and a slow buildup but with an intense romance. Zeke is man of few words, but I could sense and feel his intensity leaping out of the pages and that for me is a sign of one memorable character. Skin Heat is part of a unique and well written paranormal suspense series that interlinks and unveils new layers with each installment and I loved that each book is different but holds a few story threads from previous books. But you will definitely get surprises and a different feel and tone and it never ever disappoints, with each book.

I give Skin Heat a sizzling and intense A-

MinnChica: All in all, the mix of romance and suspense and paranormal elements combine to give this series a fresh new start with each book. The characters are so easy to fall in love with. Plus, the plot twists and keeps you guessing at every curve. It’s fabulous.

I give Skin Heat an A. Loved it!

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