Beneath the Skin is the third book in the de la Vega Cats series. I have not read any of the previous book in the series or any of the connected series the Cascadia Wolves so I found myself a little behind when I started this book. It wasn’t too much of an issue, as Ms. Dane does a good job of explaining most things, and I found myself caught up pretty quickly.
Gibson is the Bringer, or main enforcer, for the de la Vega jamboree. When a rogue group of cats enters their jamboree and attacks Gibson, Mia is in the right place at the right time to save him. However, by saving Gibson she has put herself in the sights of the group that was trying to take him out. Mia is an Iraqi war veteran and capable of taking care of herself but being the big, protective alpha male Gibson clearly thinks he can do a better job. Several things are happening at once and each of them acts as a catalyst to bring Gibson and Mia together.
De la Vega Cats have something called imprinting. From the way Ms. Dane described it I think of it as a scent bonding kind of thing. The cats become intimate with the other’s scent and let it become part of them. I have never seen something like this done before but I like it better than the mating concept. With the imprinting it seems like more of a choice for each party involved whereas with mating you get a mate and that is just how it works. I liked reading the development of Gibson and Mia’s relationship on normal levels and not the forced stuff we sometimes see with mates.
Ms. Dane does an excellent job of weaving the story with their relationship. Gibson has to come to terms with the fact that Mia is a strong female and will not be coddled. She is actively involved with the investigation into who is trying to hurt Gibson and their jamboree. Gibson has some tense moments were he doesn’t want her in danger but eventually he realizes she has serious skills and puts them to good use on his teams. Mia also has trauma from her recent past that she is dealing with. She was attacked as a part of a hate crime and does not know who did it. That was the one loose end I didn’t see cleared up. Mia hade vowed the people who attacked her would suffer but the story did not explore that front.
Since this was the first book of the series I have read I wasn’t as familiar with some of the secondary characters. Just from reading small parts of them though I will be going back and reading some of their stories. There were some hot, alphas in the story that are just screaming my name now. I will be revisiting them! Overall Beneath the Skin was a good book with some yummy characters! Final grade- B+
“If you shoot a hole into those floors, my dad is going to kill me.” Mia spoke from beside him. “Can’t you just kick hom or something? Blood is easier to clean up.”
He allowed himself a smile. “Kicking doesn’t seem to get the message across. Shooting is far more effective.”
She nodded. “This is true. Just aim for a place on him that the bullet won’t pass through. I told you, the floors. They’re original, did you know that? Well, if you spend five minutes with my dad, you will. For months and months he obsessed. He redid them all when they first bought the shop years ago. He’s not entirely rational when it comes to his floors.”