Title: Stories Beneath Our Skin
Author: Veronica Sloane
Length: Novel (210 pages)
Publisher: Torquere Press, Inc (April 9th 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Tattooing might have once been Liam’s passion, but he left it all behind along with ugly memories when he went to college. When his uncle’s health fails, Liam must come home at last to say his goodbyes. His days are spent at the hospice, leaving his nights to rake over the past. To fill those empty hours, he takes a job at Great Sin Ink.
The close-knit friendship of the workers there both intrigues and shakes Liam, who has spent the last four years keeping everyone at arm’s length. Neither Deb, the no-nonsense piercer, nor Goose, a manic tattoo artist, will let Liam get away with his isolationist ways for long.
If it were just those two, Liam might have stood a chance — but there’s also Ace, the owner of Great Sin. He hires Liam despite a thin resume, and that is a kindness Liam can’t forget. The two start up a tentative friendship, learning about each other as the summer days melt into each other. Slowly, Liam reveals a tender heart underneath the wall of quotes he uses to keep everyone out. Unfortunately, life doesn’t stand still, and both Liam and Ace have hard struggles before them that might break them up before they can even get together.
Purchase Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4163
Review: Liam has had a pretty screwed up childhood. His parents were put into prison for fraud when he was young. His uncle by marriage took him in and was more of a father to him than his own ever was. Now he is home to say goodbye as his uncle slowly dies in hospice. To help him cope at night he gets a job at a local tattoo parlor. Liam gets drawn in by the three people he works with. But it is Ace that really gets him to open up about his past and let some of it go.
Ace is a small package but he definitely comes packed with strength. He is nine years older than Liam and has had his share of life issues. He looks anything like a stand up guy, but he is a very honorable man. He takes Liam in his shop even though Liam does not have much experience. He and has his crew make Liam feel welcome and make him a part of their group. The two of them bond over their individual family issues. As he gets to know Liam, he makes him feel safe in trusting him and opening up.
Liam and Ace work well together. They are very believable MCs. Liam has kept people at arms length for a long time because of a really screwed up relationship he had at 16 years old. He has not let another man get close enough to him again. By having a friendship first, they learn each other before even entering a sexual relationship.
They are both attracted to each other, but I liked the slow build up better. It worked with the with type of personalities Liam and Ace had. Liam needed to trust Ace, before he could even think about sex with him. Ace never pushed for anything. He let things take the time needed. This pays off for both of them in the long run.
This book is about love, friendship, and trust helping to heal wounds. This was not just a romance about Liam and Ace. There are also the secondary characters who help with the healing of Liam. They don’t leave him alone in his corner. They drag him into their lives. They give Liam a new support system, a new family. Liam comes to rely on them just as much as he does Ace. All of them together make me wish I could have a family as cool and unconventional as they are.
There is a bit of angst but honestly, it just makes it all that much better. From start to finish I was drawn in and loving each moment.
This was beautifully written. I would suggest this to anyone looking for a heartwarming story with some well thought out characters and situations.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *