Six months since the zombie plague struck, former librarian Roslyn Stewart has been holed up in a school with eight other survivors. But now the shelves in the school canteen are bare. The stranger at the gate has supplies that will ensure the group’s ongoing survival, but at a cost. He wants a woman.
Nick is a man with a plan. He’ll treat Roslyn like a Queen, devoting the rest of his life to protecting and providing for her. In exchange, of course, for sexual favours. It’s the deal of the century given the state of the world. But Roslyn doesn’t see it that way. The first chance she gets she attacks the ex-army man and attempts to escape, forcing Nick to contain her. And so begins his awkward courtship of the woman, with her chained to the bed for security reasons.
Chained like a dog and forced to spend her every waking moment with a creep, albeit a good looking one, Ros is determined to escape. When circumstances force them to band together against a common enemy their very survival depends on their ability to learn to trust each other. An uneasy partnership develops, but can a relationship with such a difficult beginning ever have a future?
*Blurb taken from Goodreads*
A heroine chained to a bed in a cabin, during a zombie apocalypse, is not really conducive for a romantic courtship or a premise in a romance book. Yet this set-up totally works in Skin, and it was funny and snarky. It was a fun romance that developed wonderfully throughout the book.
Roslyn is one of the handful of survivors; hiding in the school she works as a librarian. Their supplies are running low. Along with fending off potential starvation and zombies, she has to deal with the lecherous former head of maths, Neil. But her group is saved when Nick arrives after checking out their group. In return for supplies, Ros has to agree to go with Nick in payment for the supplies. This arrangement does not go well with Ros but she ends up agreeing. She is also planning to escape his clutches, but she didn’t plan on being chained to a cabin, thwarting her plans. And poor Nick may have realised that this approach to courting a lady, even if the apocalypse is happening, is not the way to go when a wine bottle meets his forehead, leaving him with a concussion and a nice scar.
‘What the hell had he been expecting? Of course she wasn’t going to take this the right way. How many ways were there to take someone trying to buy you?
Shit. Fuck. Damn.
He wiped more blood from his brow. His hand returned covered in the stuff. There were blotches of dark red on Roslyn Roslyn’s skin and clothes, face and hair. Bloody wonderful. What a great start. Nick pinched the bridge of his nose. It didn’t help. His head pounded, brain fit to explode. Still her beautiful blue eyes bored into him. Laser beams couldn’t have been more effective.
“I’m a fucking idiot.”
This, dear readers, is what I felt was the start of a beautiful relationship!
I was so glad that Nick was courteous. He gave her space and he worried about Ros’ welfare, even though she rightfully attacked him when he kept her captive. It made me believe that his intentions for her was genuine, even though his attempt at courtship was so clumsy and arsed backwards. The apocalypse is not really a good excuse to go all caveman alphahole on a woman, but it really brought out fantastic conflict and humour. I just loved the fact that Nick was so awkward and sweet when he was trying to woo Ros. She wasn’t accepting any of this and it was realistic because she was taken away from the haven she knew and the world around her had imploded.
I was also endeared by Nick’s attempts to trying to win over Ros, even though he was holding her against her will. He was more concerned with her well-being and he won me over despite him being an alphahole with his approach in getting Ros. I actually felt during the mid-way point of the book when Nick was explaining about the dangers of the outside world with the zombies that Ros should have taken this seriously. She was too dismissive of his warnings and for someone who was a librarian who works with books and facts, she should have taken his warnings in, especially since she was holed up in a school for months and wasn’t aware of the dangers. But I did get frustrated when she committed TSTL action that endangered them both, although she did change her mind. This did allow them to break their stalemate over their trust issues and they agreed to work as a team.
I also felt that this is when the romance and tension between Ros and Nick kicked up a gear. Their interaction was snark filled and humourous. I bloody loved Ros’ internal thoughts about shelving Nick via the Dewey decimal shelving system, especially when he does something alphaholic.
“It’s not that bad,” the asshole said around a mouthful of food. His eyes lingered on her hand.
“Eat with your mouth shut, please.”
The asshole grinned. With his mouth shut. That smile was pure pig—shelve him in 636.4—animal husbandry, swine. She’d tell him she hated him, but what was the point?’
This added a lot of humour with the snarky banter. It helped to balance out the dark elements in the setting later in the book when it gets more darker and intense. But I loved the dynamic between Ros and Nick who were fun romantic leads.
I really found that this installment in the FLESH series was solid, tightly plotted and it cemented the world-building (it was vague in the previous book). I also liked how it revisited the characters in the previous book, FLESH, and developed the on-going plot line involving the characters which has The Walking Dead feel which I really enjoyed. I think what stands out the most is the Australian outback, and the humour which gave it a different feel and tone to other books with a similar premise. SKIN has all the elements in a post-apocalyptic book of a dark and eerie world, but the humour and fun-filled romance and the over the top alphahole and snarky heroine made the book shine for me. Kylie Scott is now firmly an auto-buy author for me because she has an engaging voice and a real gift for characterisation, and I am definitely looking forward to her next book.
I give Skin a B+
We also have a digital copy of SKIN to give away! To enter just comment here and state who would you like to be trapped with in an apocalypse? The giveaway is open to all and will end at midnight on Wednesday the 20th of February. Good luck!