The Skin Deep series is all about tattoo artists and hot Navy men finding their way towards each other so I knew exactly what I was getting into the moment I started this book. Though I have no read the first book in this series, I feel like it didn’t take much away from the story at all.
In this story we get to meet Jon and Matt, one (Jon) is a fighter pilot who just doesn’t want to be tied down to anyone, no matter what. He’s openly gay and casual sex is has been his MO for as long as he remembers. Matt is a struggling artist who is coming to terms with his sexuality (he’s bisexual btw). His life is falling apart little by little and doubting his sexuality is the last thing he needs. When Jon’s friends win a bet against him and Jon has no choice but to get his very first tattoo a the hand of the sexy yet shy Matt; the rest is history.
What I did love about this novel:
- The smut is well done and consensual. It was hot, it was steamy and it sure had me blushing once or twice. There’s switching (both MCs are both bottom and top) which is new for me in terms of m/m erotica. I enjoyed this because it broke that whole stereotype of how gay sex and relationships in general are supposed to work. There’s a lot of communication and trust going on between the two so they both come out pleased and satisfied.
- I also loved how Jon sort of teaches Matt about important things such as toxic masculinity and the fluidity of one’s sexuality. These two are so domestic, it makes my heart ache. They both establish a strong friendship during their no strings attached affair and it shows a lot on page. Its nice to see them take care of each other and slowly learn their needs both as a couple and as friends. Their friends are involved in their relationship both as cheerleaders and support. Getting to see Matt’s family was also a bonus, I love warm family scenes.
- Matt is really struggling to find his place in the world and that’s why he’s my favorite out of both. His anxiety, his constant doubt and his fear for his future is something I could relate to deeply on and emotional level. I loved how he wasn’t the poster boy of bad boy. Neither was Jon to be honest but Matt felt more real to me as a reader and as a bisexual person.
What I found lacking:
- Okay so, I know this book is listed as erotica but sometimes I felt like there was just too much sex. It stunted their development as a couple and it dragged the story a bit more than I would have liked. I wanted to see them interact more as couple and maybe that would have let me get more attached to them as people but beggars can’t be choosers I guess.
All in all, I found the story to be entertaining and fun, maybe a bit more repetitive and predictable than I was expecting. Nevertheless, I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!