Title: Back Piece (Skin Deep Inc. #1)
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Swerve, St. Martin’s Press
Expected Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance
Page Count: 302
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?
Back Piece by L.A. Witt is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.
Back Piece is the first entry of a new Skin Deep Inc. series. As can be expected from L.A. Witt‘s writings, be sure to turn the air con or fan on high while reading this. Oi, how the heatometer hit the roof with this one. The story features a pair of MCs where one was former porn star turned tattoo artist and a Navy avionics technician virgin. So yeah, a rather lot of teaching involved in this one. *wink*
But the issues for both characters were way deeper: Colin was struggling with eating disorder that could escalate whenever he felt depressed and Daniel who – while out at work – still not coming out to his conservative and homophobic parents. They made for quite a heart-twisting accounts from both of our MCs. Though I loved that the author didn’t put everything in stark black and white; as shown on how Daniel’s family had their good side too.
This story really gave don’t judge the book by its cover the true meaning. Colin’s ripped and tattooed appearance covered a fragile persona who still recovered from abusive relationship. The way the characters’s anxiety written over dealing with their personal demons felt realistic, even if I didn’t agree with some of the action/decision taken. Unlike some of the stories I read where tattoo process seem painless, this book also quite graphic in portraying the ordeal that I found myself cringing along with the character’s pain. No macho-front on this one; Back Piece presents real-life men with real feeling and pain.
I also loved that the plot didn’t push the characters for happily ever after so soon in their association; and how the issue with the homophobia not being taken care of too drastically, like instantly being wiped out. It might open the possibility to – who knows – a follow up scene or novella in the upcoming entry in the series. 😉
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.