Review: Under Her Skin by Adriana Anders

Reviewed by Joanna

Someone hold me. This story has a lumbersexual, big ole hero, who lives at the edge of the forest and works as a blacksmith. He’s got ropey muscles. And a beard. And he saves stray animals. Oh mummy.

BUT, then the publisher had to go spoil the book by doing something stupid with the Kindle edition. More on that later.

Uma is on the run. She fled her ex with little more than the clothes on her back, and her clapped out car. Desperate, she finds an advert in a small town newspaper and takes up a job as live-in carer for the crotchetiest of old ladies. That woman is as mean as the day is long. She’s awful to poor, broken Uma, but our heroine has no choice but to stay. See, she needs to remain in this town for a very specific reason. Her ex, the vile Joey, hurt her by marking her skin, and there’s a doctor there who provides free treatment to such patients.

Oh God. I can’t do this, Uma thought, flinching away, focusing on the ceiling, the floor, the earth poster on the wall—anywhere but at the mess of jagged lines her body had become.

But Uma isn’t hanging around once the treatment is done. The town is in the same state as her ex, and she wants to get as far from him as possible. She doesn’t bank on her new neighbor being quite so interesting. See my opening lines for why. Ivan. Oh, Ive. He has absolutely stolen my heart and is refusing to give it back. But he’s no pussy cat:

Ivan was an animal first and a man second, and by letting Uma lead, he was tamping down those natural instincts. But like a caged feline, he couldn’t seem to help nipping every now and then. Am I playing with fire? she wondered. Mistaking a lion for a kitten?

There’s so much magnetism to the man. He’s slow talking and heavy hitting (of the punchbag), and Uma feels a conflict in loving how much he could protect her, and never wanting to be at the mercy of a man again. Ivan is definitely on my book boyfriend list.

The story overall flowed well, and it was sweet with hella sexy moments where Uma exploited Ivan’s raw energy. I didn’t love the third person telling, and thought Uma particularly would’ve been better realized in first person. She did not come across as a woman in her twenties; more like forties, which affected how I saw her. This occurred more in the first third of the story, but I almost stopped reading as the tone felt mawkish. I’m glad I continued as Ivan’s character, and Uma and him together, were awesome.

Now, onto the publisher. Why, oh why, did they feel the need to add a vast ‘teaser’ chunk of the second book in the series to the end of this Kindle file? It meant this book ended at 66%. 66%! I felt absolutely cheated. It was obvious the story was almost done, but I had hopes for an extended cute ending, or maybe a long epilogue. But no. It was done, and I got cross and took to Twitter to complain. This isn’t a reflection on the story, but on the overall experience which the author has no control over. I wish said publisher hadn’t done this.

Overall, good story, great hero, but be warned it ends early.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

Under Her Skin
by Adriana Anders
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Comments

  1. I also have been burned by expectations about when a book ends, so that usually I look at the Table of Contents before I start reading, to see if something like this is included. If it is, I check where the book ends. I never read these teasers because I hate being left hanging, and then when the book comes out I have to reread that section anyways. If I want to read the next book, I will until it actually comes out.

    • That’s a good suggestion, Laurel. I might start doing that, though I’d really rather the publisher not do something so annoying in the first place. I don’t mind a chapter of next-tale-teaser, but like you, rarely read them. I’m much more likely to read the next in the series if the author has set up a new couple in the previous book.

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