“Sweet, sweet girl, I want to dive under your skin.”
Forget the swimming pool! If a man offers me a line like that, I’m diving into the horizontal position or into the final installment of Ava Gray’s Skin series.
Taye and Gillie are fugitives from an underground facility, Exeter. The Foundation, the creators of this experimental facility, basically seek out people with extraordinary gifts to kidnap and mind scrub their brains. Then they continuously use them as lab rats for brutal, psychological experimentation. Taye’s gift is an electrical current that manifests in and out of his body. He is basically a walking live wire, but has limited control of his abilities. The more he uses his gift, the weaker his body becomes. Gillie has the gift of healing. Through transfer of blood, she can heal disease and near fatal wounds. Whenever she uses her gift, there are permanent scars that disfigure her body. With little memory of their past lives, Taye and Gillie are re-learning how to function in daily activities once they escape Exeter and return to the everyday world. Both know that even though they have escaped, The Foundation has enlisted a bounty hunter who is searching and is quickly catching up to them. With no other choice for safety, Taye and Gillie must put their faith and lives in the hands of a man known as “Mockingbird”. This mysterious man has recruited and provided for former prisoners of The Foundation and in return he requested their help in destroying the members and facilities of the clandestine organization. Taye believes he has little time left before his gift destroys him and he is determined to ensure that Gillie has a safe and normal life without his complications. Gillie knows that there is no one else but Taye who she wants to live her life with and therefore has different plans in mind.
Ava Gray has penned a fearless, passionate couple in an action packed story for the final entry of her Skin series. She has consistently delivered intense chemistry with each couple in this series and Taye and Gillie were no exception. What I loved about this couple is their outlook and dedication to each other was immediately established and never faltered. Both own the fact that they have survived hell on earth and vow to create a better life for themselves. Taye wants Gillie to find that with someone of worth and Gillie knows it cannot be with anyone but him. Once they are free, Taye is so reluctant to get any closer to Gillie except to protect her. And Gillie’s unwavering pursuit of Taye (including a game of Truth or Dare which leads to some seriously daring manual stimulation) is like a thorn that keeps lodging deeper and deeper until finally he can no longer deny his feelings or his desire for her. As the reader you get an immediate sense that this couple just fit together beautifully, in spite of all their obstacles. They both know that they are not whole people without the other.
And while they can heat up a simple conversation, when it comes to the bedroom, they can scorch the sheets with their raw need for each other. Gillie is one of the best written virgins I have read in romance. Forget shy or backward, Gillie knew exactly what she wanted when it came to sex and she had no qualms in verbalizing it. Their banter in the bedroom was uninhibited and honest, proving to be some of the best written love scenes I have read of Ms. Gray’s to date.
“Good to go deeper?” At her nod, he pushed, a slow and torturous penetration that threatened to melt his bones.
“It doesn’t hurt,” she whispered. “I have toys. I used them and thought of you.” He lost his mind.
Eye-fluttering, intense dialogue like this not only heated my blood, but also reminded me of another one of my favorite authors Larissa Ione, whose Demonica series is cleverly referenced by Gillie as the perfect reading material for Taye.
While Skin Dive can hold as a stand alone read, it is far better if you have invested in all of the uniquely driven characters throughout each book of the series. Paranormal and romantic suspense readers are sure to be completed sated!
“She was the strong one, damn near unbreakable, for all he’d worried about protecting her from harm. Loosing him wouldn’t end her. As it turned out, she was stronger than him because three months without her had wrecked him, stolen his will to do the right thing.”