Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Review - 'Close to the Skin' by Zara West


Never back down, never turn your back, and never fall in love. Head of a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise, Vernon Newell doesn’t let family ties or misplaced sympathy get in his way. But there is one chink in his armor—Sirena Patras, the beautiful young Greek girl he seduced and deserted eight years ago.

When Vernon discovers that Bella Bell, a prospering tattoo artist in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is actually Sirena, he sets out to woo and to win her. Despite her attraction to the fabulously sexy man, Bella wants nothing to do with a hard-headed, ruthless criminal.

But when threatening messages start arriving, and Vernon disappears, Bella must choose to abandon the man she loves, as he did her, or risk her life to save him.


In the second book in the Skin Quartet series, tattoo artist Bella Bell is busy running her shop, taking care of her stray cats, and dating a supposedly reformed crime lord. Though she hates the horrible things Vernon has done (including him ordering a man to severely beat up her brother, Ari), the sex with him is incredible and too good for her to give him up.
Vernon Newell loves Bella, but he’s over protective and very controlling. He doesn’t care about her business, and when Bella tries to talk to him about his illegal activities or about her career, he seduces her into silence. Even though he’s told Bella that he’s gone straight, he’s still running his criminal empire, but his well-ordered life turns upside when he falls for his manipulative stepmother and brother’s trickery, and both his and Bella’s lives hang in the balance.
I really enjoyed the mystery, suspense, and the hot sex scenes, but I couldn’t connect with the H/h. They have great chemistry together, but neither of them really seemed to know one another. Vernon believed he could buy Bella’s love and never cared to ask for her opinion, and more often than not, Bella would give in to his demands. Luckily, she was feisty and stubborn enough to make him work, however, to win her over.
Most of the secondary characters from the previous book returned in this one, and it was nice to see T-Crew again. Those kids are awesome! Vernon’s brother, Kiro, is a real piece a work, a villain you’ll love to hate, and it’s too bad he didn’t get what he deserved at the end.
The story ties up a few loose ends from the previous book, and though there are a few unanswered questions in this book, it’s nothing major. I don’t read many mob romances, but I liked this one. I just wished I could’ve related better to the H/h.
4 Stars

Disclaimer – I volunteered to read and review this book. Thank you, Zara West, for sending me an ebook copy. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

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