Pros: Playful, fun, and sexy
Cons: Awkward beginning
Rating: 4 out of 5
I’ve read with amusement and laughter Dionne Galace’s romance reviews and cover snark for quite some time. But now, she’s gone and debuted her first published work: an e-book novella called Skin to Skin. I always feel some trepidation about reading fiction written by someone I like. You see, I really can’t hide my feelings. If I don’t like something, I don’t like it, and I can’t pretend otherwise. This is a job skill for a reviewer but can be a problem in social situations!
This morning however I woke up with insomnia at 3 am and it seemed the perfect time to indulge in a bit of hot romantica (romance plus erotica—both the emotions and the steamy sex). Not to mention something of novella-length was the perfect length for reading before breakfast. So, off I went, and here’s my take on it (luckily I think Dionne can take it just as well as she can dish it out!).
Leilani is a strong-willed, confident woman who’s used to being able to catch whatever man she currently wants. Oliver is her new neighbor, an injured police officer who’s trying to stay out of trouble—and trouble definitely includes the sexy neighbor who keeps strutting her stuff in front of him. She’s frustrated by his apparent disinterest, and he’s frustrated by her tenacity. So when the summer heat hits record highs, things are bound to boil over.
Since I’m more accustomed to longer-length erotica, the lack of a longer-running plot took a little getting used to. In fiction of this length, the relationship and flirtation between the characters is the plot. However, this works perfectly for the given length; I didn’t feel that the reader was left wanting nor that the story had gone on for too long.
The characters and their interactions have a delightfully playful tone that had me grinning nearly all the way through. I can hear a bit of the same voice that gives delightful life to Dionne’s “cover snark” blog posts. It’s easy to laugh with and at the characters and their oh-so-human foibles while still thoroughly enjoying them as the romantic and sexual leads. This is tricky to carry off, and it’s done well.
My only difficulty with the story was its opening scene. It has the feel of the author not having quite hit her stride yet. The characters constantly jump and move around between each line of dialogue rather than settling confidently into their story. However, this is a brief issue that smooths out quickly after that initial opening.
In short, Skin to Skin is a sexy, playful summer read, perfect as a bedtime snack!
Standard notes: Explicit sex, light bondage.