His scarred hands are the gentlest I've ever known. If only life were a fairy tale where Beauty got to keep her Beast…
Every morning I wake up and remind myself I am not my past, but beneath my drab clothing hides a secret—proof of the abuse I suffered at the hands of my possessive ex, tattooed on my skin in a lurid reminder of everything I've survived. I'm alone and in hiding, trying to rebuild some semblance of a normal life. I didn't expect healing to come in the form of a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways I'll never understand.
Ivan's scars are on the inside—a wounded soul like me. But day by day, this gentle giant proves to me that there are second chances in life, and he deserves them as much as I do. And maybe finding each other will finally allow us to pick up our broken pieces and make something beautiful and new…
This high-heat romance is an emotional tale of survival and contains strong themes of past domestic/sexual abuse. Please see reviews for details.
Praise for Under Her Skin:
"A dark and emotional tale that will make your spine tingle as well as your heart."—SARINA BOWEN, USA Today bestselling author of Bittersweet
"The perfect romance…a hint of danger, a whole lot of spice, and an HEA you believe in."—ANNE CALHOUN, award-winning author of Under the Surface
"Emotionally riveting page-turner."—Publishers Weekly STARRED Review
"Incredibly sexy, heartbreaking, and intense."—Kirkus STARRED Review
In this emotionally riveting page-turner, debut author Anders creates two broken but highly sympathetic protagonists who elicit each other's inner strength as each seeks to heal from poor choices and toxic relationships. Uma is on the run from her abusive boyfriend after a night of torture in which he covered her body with horrible tattoos. She lands in tiny Blackwood, Va., where a local skin clinic offers free tattoo removal for abused women. After getting a job as a live-in companion to an elderly woman, Uma is drawn to her gruff new neighbor, Ivan, a metalworker and self-defense teacher that strays of many species turn to for nurture. The kindness, integrity, growing trust, and playful, steamy chemistry between Uma and Ivan allows them both to find hope in the possibility of a healthy relationship. Anders's strong cast of supporting characters includes Uma's reclusive employer, Ivan's sister, and the local bartender, and the town becomes a character in itself. Readers will be hungry for more from Anders's pen.
Under Her Skin
First time reading this author. Not usually my type of book but I got caught up in the story. As I have aged I have turned to rom coms with more humor than sex. I know sex sells, but the dirty words and TMI in the bedroom scenes these days can ruin a good story for me. I liked the characters and was invested in the story otherwise. Read an excerpt of the next book in the series and realized it would be more of the same. I think the author has a great imagination and great writing ability, just am not interested in a repeat of more of the same.
I Was Immediately Hooked
The first line of Under Her Skin had me hooked. I was expecting a steamy romance, and the start of the book had me doubting my own expectations, but I soon found out I was right all along. Getting to know all of Ander's characters and their difficult pasts was delightful.
Uma and Cookie had me laughing with their back and forth. I admired Uma's strength to fight against her fears and stand up for herself. She even stood up for Cookie when it came down to it, which only made me like her more. Ivan is dreamy. Let's just get that out there. He is a blacksmith, hunter, and an empathetic and caring soul. Plus, he knows how to handle himself in a fight and treat a lady right.
Under Her Skin combined just the right amount of mystery, romance, and steam to create a compelling debut novel for Ms. Anders. I have already added book 2 in the Blank Canvas series to my TBR list hoping to spend more time with these characters.
That’s a good book!
I’ve been reading a lot of romances - studying the genre. What I’ve learned is that really, most aren’t very good. “Under Her Skin” is a definite cut above. The characters are broken but still likable; their motivations are honest and natural. The progress is appropriate - and the attraction between Our Girl and The Hero is very definitely steamy. Delicious sex scenes. In an age where the need to ask permission can be so awkward, this book is graceful, fluid, satisfying. There are unexpected plot twists and a fully satisfying conclusion. Well done, indeed!