Skin by Greg Bowden

17212429Title: Skin

Author: Greg Bowden

Genre: Contemporary

Length: Super Novel (447pgs)

Publisher: Silver Publishing (5th January 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Upon the death of his boss, Sam Davis sheds his old ‘skin’ as a companion and builds a new life in Palm Springs. He restores a home, learns to trust, starts a relationship, and… discovers a body.

A house named Deva Shaante brings Sam Davis and Toby Litchfield together. Sam is an older man who tragically lost his first love. Toby, much younger, lost a lover, too. But he suffered through treachery instead of a tragedy. Through restoring the house, a mid-century gem, both learn to trust and rebuild a relationship. Along the way, they explore the clothing optional and playful parts of Palm Springs. As Sam sheds his old ‘skin’, he finds new friends, a fun life, and… a dead body next door.

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Review: When Sam’s employer dies, Sam isn’t sure what to do with himself. For over twenty years, he was companion, confidant, and friend to Harry and now he doesn’t know what to do. Starting anew in Palm Springs seems to be an option and as he begins to build a new life in a new place. He finds the opportunity to love. Toby is a younger man, who has already been burnt by love. He is wary when an older wealthy man pays attention to him, but soon discovers his fears are unfounded. Together they embark on a relationship, and Sam discovers a dead body, which leaves him with questions.

This is a very easy-going story about a man shedding his old life and starting afresh. Discovering what he wants out of life and what he wants to do with his life. Sam lost a part of himself when Harry died. He now has to discover who he is and what he wants. And after a couple of months of trying to find his feet, he begins the next part of his life in Palm Springs. As he becomes a part of the gay community, he meets the same man, Toby, again and again. There is something about the man that draws Sam to him, but Toby is cautious and keeps Sam at arm’s-length. When Sam discovers the dead body of his neighbor, it is Toby he turns to when the shock hits him and before long Toby and Sam find their way to be together.

I quite enjoyed this story, with the matter of fact way of life for the men in the story. They are the way they are and are unapologetic about how they enjoy their sexual pleasure. Sam and Toby are both nice guys, who are well suited, even though there is an age gap between them of nearly twenty years. Once they get past the initial problems, they settle very well into a committed relationship. The mystery of Sam’s neighbor is a nice little side story, and Sam and Toby’s sleuthing discovers the truth and with the help of their friends, they bring the culprit to justice.

This isn’t a story to read if you want fast-paced and action filled, or even sex spilling over the pages. *snort, you know what I meant* Because, even though there are a lot of gay men wandering about naked and fondling, etc., there are no in-depth sexual descriptions. This story is more about the everyday life of starting again, finding new friends and new lovers, and discovering what you want to do with your time. The writing style reminded me a lot of John Simpson, Etienne, and Tinnean. So if you enjoy those authors’ styles then you will enjoy Greg Bowden’s style as well.

I recommend this to those who love easy reading, a slight mystery, finding love with a younger man, beginning life anew, and a very happy ending.