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    Skin Game by Ava Gray
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  • Published: Oct 2nd, 2009

skin_game_romance_bookSkin Game by Ava Gray
A review by Kati Dancy
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: November 3, 2009
4.75 of 5 stars

Confession: I’ve been experiencing the longest reading slump in probably 15 years. It’s been excruciating. Over and over I’ve opened books and tried to engage, only to find my attention wandering. That is, until I picked up Skin Game by Ava Gray. Ava Gray is the alter ego of Ann Aguirre, one of the most talented romantic sci-fi authors writing in the genre. I’ve read and enjoyed Ann’s Sirantha Jax series, and quite enjoyed the slow building romance between those two main characters, and knew that if Ann decided to, she could write a heck of a romance. Turns out, I was right. Ava Gray has written a very hot romance between two incredibly fascinating characters.

Kyra Beckwith is on the run. You see, she is a thief, one who is able to borrow a mark’s talents for a short period of time in order to part them from some money. Usually, Kyra runs these cons on people who aren’t very upstanding, and she cons them into playing pool or cards or darts with her. She steals a couple thousand dollars, and leaves. But, recently, Kyra began the biggest con of her life. She decided to seduce the man who had her father, also a small time crook, killed. Kyra’s mission was successful; she seduced Gerard Serrano, a casino owner and big time crook. And now that he’s realized that he’s been duped into falling in love with her, and robbed blind of a lot of money, he’s put a hit out on Kyra. The man who has been hired to kill Kyra in Reyes, one of the most effective hit men in the world — known both for his efficiency and his quickness.

But when Reyes meets Kyra, he knows almost immediately that he’s in trouble. First, there’s something about Kyra. She runs the best cons he’s ever seen. Often looking like an absolute amateur until she beats whomever she’s gambling against. Second, there was that fight that they got dragged into the first night they met. Kyra literally used every fighting move he had. And frankly, he is among the best he knows at hand to hand combat. Third, and probably most important, was the sex they had that first night, as the haze of battle had diminished. It soon becomes apparent to Reyes that this hit is going to be the most difficult of his life.

Simply put, I loved this book. Ava Gray has an incredibly strong voice. It’s not a voice that in any way overwhelms the story, but it’s one that clearly gives a sense of place, and more importantly, establishes a clear voice for each of her characters. Kyra, the heroine is both funny, and devious. She’s a heroine who was bound and determined to avenge her father, and is now in running for her life. She’s smart, distrustful, and can be pretty selfish. But she’s remarkably likeable. For his part Reyes, is one of my favorite hero types. He’s dark and broody. Oh yes. Who wouldn’t be? He’s been ordered to kill a woman who has captivated his interest, and given him some mind blowing sex. He’s ruthless and intelligent and really tortured by the fact that he’s to kill this woman who fascinates him.

The characters have a remarkably strong chemistry between them. Gray never skimps on the connection between the two, even as the story barrels long, full of action and excitement. The sex scenes are well choreographed, and enhance the intimacy and emotional bond between the characters each time they have sex. Skin Game is a fast paced, exciting story featuring fascinating characters, a terrific romance and a thrilling conclusion. I’m already desperately awaiting the next book in the series, Skin Tight.

3 Responses to “Skin Game by Ava Gray”

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  1. Tweets that mention Book Review Skin Game by Ava Gray | Romance Novel TV -- Topsy.com
    on Oct 2nd, 2009
    @ 5:21 am

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  2. Mandi
    on Oct 2nd, 2009
    @ 9:58 am

    I loved this book! So sexy!

    Reyes is hot…he is a favorite of mine!

    I want Skin Tight to read more about a certain character….who I am totally intrigued by!!


  3. Stacy ~
    on Oct 5th, 2009
    @ 6:32 am

    I so cannot wait to read his book! Love Ann, and a looking forward to her Ava Gray books.