Read Skin Game by Ava Gray Online


A beautiful fugitive—wanted dead or alive.Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist—anything she wants… for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patiencA beautiful fugitive—wanted dead or alive.Kyra is a con woman and a particular kind of thief. She steals with a touch, but she only takes one thing: her target’s strongest skill. Which means she can be a fighter, an athlete, a musician, an artist—anything she wants… for a limited time. Heartbroken, she turns her gift toward avenging her father’s murder; with deadly patience, Kyra works her way into casino owner Gerard Serrano’s inner circle. After pulling off the ultimate con, she flees with his money and his pride.A hit man who never misses the mark.Reyes has nothing but his work. Pity for Kyra, he’s the best and mercy never sways him once he takes a job. He’s been hired to find out where Kyra hid the cash—and bring her back to face Serrano’s “justice.” Dead will do, if he can’t locate the loot. He’s never failed to complete a contract, but Kyra tempts him with her fierce heat and her outlaw heart. So Reyes has a hell of a choice: forsake his word or kill the woman he might love....

Title : Skin Game
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780425231531
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Skin Game Reviews

  • Shawna
    2019-02-04 19:12

    5 stars – Romantic Suspense/Paranormal RomanceBefore Reading Survival Checklist:1) Better have about 6 hours of uninterrupted free time since you simply won’t want to put it down!2) Be sure to have a fan or a glass of ice water nearby ‘cause you’ll need to cool off!3) Might want to make sure you have a nail file handy for when you’ve chewed your nails into ragged stubs!Whew...What an awesome, intense, sexy, violent, edgy, gritty, explosive, suspenseful, hot, action-packed thrill-ride! I loved it! Skin Game kind of reminded me of Anne Stuart’s Ice series, especially the tough, broody, badass, alpha, anti-hero assassin, only with a slight paranormal element revolving around the heroine having an unusual ability related to touch (hence the title). So, if you like romantic suspense a bit on the dark side with unique, great characters, verrry steamy sex, and lots of exciting action, then definitely check this out! 5 stars!

  •  Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
    2019-02-15 13:46

    Ever watch a movie and wonder, 'What if the villain ran off with the femme fatale?' Then you might like this book. I sure did. I love dark romance. Sometimes I ask myself why I enjoy seeing the dark side of this genre, not depravity and kinky deeds, cheating heroes, and bickering, but heroes and heroines who are more like antiheroes and villains, who find love and their happy ever after. I think it's my unassailable belief that love does conquer all. Like Fox Murder, I really want to believe. Ava Gray has written an excellent offering for those of us with a taste for the noir. In this book, we have a heroine who lives for the next con, moving from town to town, and relieving fools of their money, feeling no remorse about it. But, at least she only takes money from those she thinks deserves it. On her tail is a hero who kills people for a living. Yes, an assassin. Like Kyra, he plys his trade on those who he feels deserves killing. Now, to like this story you have to be willing to read about people who are morally flexible, or at least, those have a different view of morality than the norm. I think that Ms. Gray brought these characters to life in such a manner that I could feel enough respect and empathy for them that their dark ways didn't offend me. I admit, I don't like the idea of stealing for a living. But, Kyra managed to be a heroine that I could like, although I didn't always agree with the choices she made. She had her own sense of honor, which endeared her to me. I freely admit that I am intrigued by the idea of an assassin hero or heroine. Don't ask me why. It's morbid, but there is an appeal to seeing what motivates them to do what they do. Reyes is probably one of my favorite assassin heroes so far. He truly believes that he does a service to the world. The only reason he took Kyra's contract was because he was decieved into believing she was a bad person who needed killing. Fairly soon after he takes up with her as her apprentice in the con game world, he comes to realize that she's not the person he'd been led to believe she was. Both Kyra and Reyes struck me as intensely lonely and somewhat sad characters. After Kyra's father was murdered, she had no one (other than her friend Mia), and lived a lonely life, seeking only the sexual satisfaction of one night stands as she travels. Although she's suspicious of Reyes at first, she ends up taking him into her solitary world, and falling for him.Their first intimate encounter is all about lust, but Ms. Gray turns things around, allowing us to see a somewhat slow-building, and in some ways, innocent courtship between these two lonely people. They both start to hope that they have found someone who they can possibly love. However, Reyes knows he's on borrowed time. He has a job to perform. His reputation is built on always completing his kills. He doesn't want to kill Kyra, but he doesn't see a way around it. I found this a little disturbing that even halfway through the book, Reyes was still contemplating killing Kyra. I think that was a brave move on Ms. Gray's part. I held my breath, hoping that Reyes would realize that he couldn't hurt Kyra, because he loved her. Soon, this dangerous man turns his formidable skills to protecting the woman he has been hired to kill.Skin Game is more suspense than action. I liked the fact that we were able to see the viewpoints of various characters: Kyra and Reyes; the fascinating Addison Foster, who is the security head for the man who wants Kyra dead; Mia, Kyra's friend; and Serrano, the man that Kyra used, humilated, and stole millions of dollars from, who will stop at nothing to see her dead to save his face. It gave a greater depth to this dark story, turning this book into noir romance for the thinking woman. Skin Game is as gritty as it gets. It has some moments that made me wince a few times, as Kyra and Reyes have to deal with some enemies they make along the way. The love scenes are hot and earthy, and the love between Kyra and Reyes was believable and deep. I truly enjoyed reading this story. I was sucked into this dark tale with a silver lining. I wouldn't want to live the kinds of lives that Kyra and Reyes lead, but I liked the fact that they were able to find each other and hope for the future. They didn't really get the best hands in the poker game of life, but they managed to play a killer game with the ones they are dealt. I like the idea that even in the dark, there are those who do have motivations that show some degree of honor. Skin Game couldn't have been an easy book to write, but Ms. Gray did it very well. This one goes on my keeper shelf.

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2019-02-05 19:00

    I’m a huge fan of Romantic Suspense and Skin Game is one of the best in the genre I’ve read in a long time. It had been sitting on my bookshelf for months and months, but I never felt the urge to pick it up and read it until my daughter, while in the process of organizing my shelves for me, asked me what it was about. I didn’t remember even having it, so I decided it was time to give it a shot and wow!!! am I ever glad I did.With a slight paranormal twist to Skin Game that in no way ever makes the characters seem less human, Ava Gray added a little something extra to the mix. Kyra, the story’s heroine slash bad gal, need only touch someone in order to absorb whatever it is that is their greatest strength. For a brief while afterwards, she can use that strength as if it were her own, but once it wears off she’s often left feeling pretty messed up and unable to function well. This special ability of hers isn’t dwelt upon much, which is nice, but we know she has it and we know when she uses it.Rey is deadly at his job, which is a good thing considering he’s an assassin. A “bad guy” who’s more good than bad, Rey is hired by wealthy, mob type casino owner, Gerard Serrano, to take out Kyra who humiliated him by running a con on the casino, taking him for a huge wad of cash, and doing it after having wormed her way into his life and ending up his fiancé. No self respecting low-life scum bag can let that go without retaliation, which is where Rey comes in. But what our ruthless hit man didn’t expect was how quickly he’d become attracted to his target and had to question his ability to finish the job he’d been paid to do.Another great player in the game is Addison Foster, Serrano’s head of casino security and go-to man when things are going to get ugly. Foster is the man who hired Rey to put the hit on Kyra, but it’s clear early on that he’s another “bad guy” who is so much more than he appears to be.There was something very intriguing about the characters and their stories. I enjoyed how flawlessly the author moved back and forth between storylines, reminding me of writers such as Dean Koontz and Stephen King who never waste pages with unimportant characters. Too often in books the bad guy is just the bad guy and we never know anything more about him than the fact that we want him/her to die. In Skin Game, however, even the bad guys are complicated people with some sort of compelling background story to tell.From the first page to the last, this story kept me on the edge of my seat. I stayed up late into the night reading, unable to put the book down. The characters are complex, so persuasive in their views on life, morals and the very gray area between right and wrong. And to add to a great cast of players, Skin Game has a believable plot that is detailed enough to keep it interesting, yet never too complicated to follow. And for those of you who are interested, Ava Gray gave us some of the most sexually intense scenes I’ve read. Hot, passionate, crazy out of control and at the same time, the sex wasn’t tossed in there every few pages just to help sell the book and never overshadowed the story itself. For fans of romantic suspense who don’t mind a tiny smidgen of paranormal ability, I’d strongly recommend you give Skin Game a read. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.Next up: Skin Tight, the story of Addison Foster and Mia, Kyra’s best – and only – friend. It promises to be every bit as exciting as Skin Game and trust me when I say that this one will not even make it to the bookshelf before I’ve finished reading it.

  • Mandi Schreiner
    2019-01-27 13:42

    Sexy.This is the sexiest book I have read this year. From the first line, "Kyra held the guy's balls in the palm of her hand. Literally." I was hooked. Ava Gray, aka Ann Aguirre, has written a book that blends romance and action into the sexiest thing out there.Kyra is a con artist that can steal people's best abilities. Take the first quote from above for example. She is at a bar playing pool and not doing well, and that is not a lie, she truly sucks at pool. However, she walks by the man who is beating her with his excellent pool skills and flirtatiously fondles him. At contact, his best ability, which happens to be playing pool, transfers to her, leaving him sluggish and absolutely no good at pool whatsoever. Kyra never knows how long this boost of ability will last, so she finishes the job quickly, takes her money and leaves.She is being watched though. Reyes is one of the best hit men around and it has taken him months to find her. Kyra lives a very quiet solitary life, not leaving much of a trail. He has been hired by Gerard Serrano, Kyra's last con job. She not only took money but left Serrano humiliated. Serrano is no one to play around with though. He is a casino owner, powerful and brutal. When someone makes him angry, he kills to teach a lesson and he has taught many lessons His chief of security, Addison Foster is his go-to man. Foster hires Reyes to take out Kyra, but first he must learn where she stashed Serrano's money.Reyes worms his way into her car for a ride, and their attraction is immediate. Kyra is very used to being alone in this world because she doesn't care to touch people. She never knows what kind of gift will be transferred to her. Sometimes it is fun - like the ability to sing. Sometimes it is horrifying, like the ability to rape someone. After the ability leaves her, she is left depleted with a migraine. She finds it easier, to keep everyone away, using her gift only for work, never for play.But she soon discovers she can't keep her hands off of Reyes. Their romance scenes are so hot. Kyra likes to have control and Reyes is a total alpha male. Put them together in bed and:"Don't make love," she managed to say. "Just Fuck."In answer, he licked a slow circle around her nipple."You're not in charge, Kyra. Try to tell me what to do again, and I'll stop. If you want to be completely in control, you should do it yourself.""Bastard. Maybe I will." She reached between them, curled her fingers around his cock, and squeezed. "Who's in charge now?"And oh, it gets better...much better, but I had better stop before I need to break the fans out.Reyes starts to feel conflicted - his job is to find the money and kill this girl, he has a reputation to uphold. Kyra does something to him - he finds himself caring a great deal for her. He has never once failed on a contract though, and the briefing he received on Kyra from Addison paints her as a viscous and cruel woman.Kyra has one friend in life, Mia and that is who she is off to find. She knows Mia can help get the money she stole from Serrano to a safe location. Still oblivious to Reyes' real reasons for hanging around, Kyra decides Reyes might be a good partner to have pulling off small cons until she can find Mia and figure out her future. Reyes finds he has more than just the motivation to finish the job from Foster. He cares for her, and Kyra starts to notice it to.Kyra remembered how Rey had walked more than a mile, carrying heavy groceries, just to feed her. Nobody had ever done anything like that for her. Until he did it, she hadn't even known she'd like it. And now, damn him, she found herself searching for hidden meanings in his small kindnesses.So starts Reyes and Kyra's journey. They both have secrets, they both have issues in the past which haunt them today, and they both have trouble remembering why they shouldn't be together.Skin Game gives you two very strong lead characters. Kyra and Reyes are both dominant, and both stubborn. Although they often clash, but it is the little times when one of them gives in that brings in the sweet romance.Not only are Reyes and Kyra great characters but Addison Foster, Serrano's head of security is very intriguing. Throughout the book you can't quite categorize him. Obviously Serrano is crooked and evil and slimy. Foster though - he is tricky. He is one of those super intelligent people that gives you the willies - but in a good way. Everything he does has a slight creepy feel, but at the same time you know deep down he may have issues but you want to like him. He is complex - My first reaction was that he has an evil vibe to him, but now I think he is just confused and has some major things he needs to work out in his life. He is the kind of person if you spend five minutes with him, he would give you the chills but you can't pinpoint why you feel that way. I can't figure him out- and I like it.The world in this book is not complex in the paranormal sense - at this point we really only see Kyra as the only one with a paranormal power although I am sure we will discover more as the series progresses. This book is really more geared towards romance than the paranormal aspect but I like that the supernatural world takes a backseat to the romance.The only thing that I question is at one point, Kyra's ability is neutralized and the question of why and how kind of hangs in the air. I was waiting for a big explanation and I don't think there ever was one. Maybe the reader is just to assume this is a natural progression for Kyra?I think Ava Gray, really puts this book out there. She doesn't hold back on the sex or the violence. I will say it again - the sex scenes are there - in full detail, smoldering hot and fierce. Neither Reyes nor Kyra like to give up control and it really plays well in the bedroom. Ava Gray also doesn't back down on the violence, and it works for this book. The romance is so intense, I think the action had to be on the same level - and she definitely delivers it.Ok, here it comes - are you ready - you must read this book. For all lovers of paranormal romance - this is the book that makes it so much fun to read.

  • Katie(babs)
    2019-01-26 12:06

    Kyra Beckwith has screwed over a dangerous man and she did it on purpose as payback. The man in question is casino owner and small time mobster Gerard Serrano who had Kyra’s father killed. She made him fall in love with her. He even wrote her poetry and was going to ask her to marry him. But Kyra got the last laugh and was able to steal a good chunk of his money right under his nose. Now Serrano is out for her blood and hires Reyes, a hit man, to retrieve his money and get rid of Kyra permanently. Reyes may kill men for a profit, but he’s not comfortable killing a woman like Kyra, especially when he sees her in action hustling a pool game. Kyra is a hustler, a con artist who travels from dinky town to dinky town in her Mercury Marquis looking for the next score. Krya lives for the action, much like her father did. But it got her father killed and Kyra is not sure how much longer she can stay in the game. When Reyes comes to her aid, she decides to take him along for the ride. She thinks they will have one hot night together in a squeaky motel room bed and that will be it. What she doesn’t know is that Reyes is a hard man to outwit and he won’t allow Kyra to skip out on him. When Reyes tracks down Kyra again, she is wary but there is something about him that makes her want to keep him. Not only can she touch him without draining her energy because of a secret, special ability she has that helps her with her cons, but she feels safe around him. She decides to make him her partner until she has had enough of the game and wants to drive off into the sunset. As Reyes gets to know the enigma Kyra is, he wouldn’t mind going off in the sunset with her also. He just has to figure out a way to keep her alive as well as find a way to tell her he was hired to snuff her out. Talk about a book where you can feel the heat coming off the pavement! Skin Game is a thrilling read with a touch of paranormal, suspense and a steamy romance that will have you panting. The chemistry between Reyes and Kyra is hotter than hot. I knew things were going to be oh so good the moment Kyra asks Reyes what he wants with her and he thinks how great it would be to have her up against a wall. Because Ava Gray has such a talent writing great character interaction, Skin Game excels in so many ways. The majority of the time the reader is witness to Kyra and Reyes on the road driving, playing their cons or just eating. This may seem boring, but because Ms. Gray is able to expand on these actions, the reader can’t help but stay interested. Ms. Gray brings out such interesting quirks in regards to these two such as Kyra’s love of fast food and Reyes desire to protect Kyra and make sure she finds happiness in such simple things such as him making a homemade meal for her. There is nothing sexier than a man that can cook.Even though Reyes and Kyra have made such an impression on me, there are other secondary characters to take note of. Serrano is a sad man so obsessed with power that it almost ruins him. He doesn’t realize that he is being played and played well by Addison Foster, the security chief for his casino. Foster is one of the biggest mysteries in Skin Game. He has deep rooted secrets and may or may not have an ability much like Kyra has. His ambiguity will have readers wondering what his reasons are for the things that he does. Foster’s story, Skin Tight will be out next summer, where he battles wits with Kyra’s dearest friend Mia Sauter, who is also introduced in Skin Game and has some interesting interactions with Foster. For those who don’t know, Ava Gray is also known as Ann Aguirre who writes outstanding science fiction as well as urban fantasy books. Her skills at writing a taut masterful tale have become well known, and as Ava Gray she has definitely done that here with Skin Game.

  • Shannon
    2019-01-29 15:01

    This book started out so promising but the predictable ending really killed things for me. Kyra is on the run from a man she spurned, he's a powerful man in Vegas and has the money to send goons after her. One of those goons is Reyes; a tall, dark, and dangerous man that might just be someone that Kyra can't outsmart. It's a good thing for her that he falls for her, hard. Kyra has a really neat ability; when she touches someone she steals their best ability and leaves them temporarily handicapped. This comes in handy especially in a fight. I'm not really sure what the point of giving her this ability is if the reasons aren't explained. It's not like there are a bunch of people with supernatural powers running around. For the most part, there's only Kyra and her weird power.I really liked Kyra though, because she's tough, smart, and very pragmatic. She doesn't go all hysterical or shy away from having to kill people. She's on the run and she does what she has to do.Reyes is a good character too, although a bit cliched. He's the do-gooder assassin - he only takes the jobs where the bad guys are the ones he's sent to kill. Kind of like a really hot Dexter for hire. He has an interesting background though and his personality is well-developed so it's not like he's just a walking cliched "tall, dark, and handsome" man. The sexual tension and the actual sex between Kyra and Reyes was ridiculously hot. Their scenes were probably some of the hottest I've read in a really long time. I have to say that this probably saved the story for me too; without it the story would have been mediocre at best. The two of them have a really unique Bonnie and Clyde relationship going on that I enjoyed. I also liked that the two of them do unsavory things but they don't constantly apologize for their actions. I knew how things were going to end and I wasn't looking forward to it. You know Reyes is hired to kill Kyra after reading the first chapter, and you also know that she has to find out at some point and she's not going to be happy with him. I do have to say that I wasn't as annoyed with how things played out as much as I thought I was going to be. I also liked that a ton of time wasn't spent killing the villain. There are two reasons I'm not running off to the book store to read the next in this series; this one's ending and the characters that will be focused on. The next book centers on Kyra's friend Mia and I thought she was boring and kind of stupid. I'm curious to find out more about the guy that Mia is paired with, but not enough to spend money on it. I checked this book out from the library and I think I'll just wait until they get Skin Tight in, although I'm not in any rush to read it.

  • new_user
    2019-01-27 19:51

    Damned by the cover! I'm convinced hairless chest has prevented Skin Game from finding romantic suspense fans! Especially fans who like morally ambiguous protagonists and a little edge. Ava Gray, also known as Ann Aguirre, can write them. No "gosh darns" here- even if the dialogue was a little sophisticated for the characters at times. Neither were their perspectives sweet.In fact, readers expecting a fun romp -or a locker room- from the cover may have been appalled to discover instead an unrepentant con artist and assassin for hire. Reyes and Kyra don't change, but they do confide and connect, evolving from mark and hitman to kindred spirits. Though Gray doesn't add anything to an old premise, Reyes convinces as a competent, too-dedicated assassin and his change of heart plays true to his character. Too bad Gray never explained Kyra's Rogue-like power. Perhaps the secretive Foundation plays a role? Gray delivers a sometimes suspenseful, edgy road romance with a bit of action and a ton of aggressive heat. Where's my fan? I would have liked more layers, more threads, for this simple narrative that doesn't delve beyond the classic premise, but one must wrap up a romance neatly! Ava Gray's cool, tight and succinct, but detailed style has won me for Skin Tight, second book in the Skin series! I look forward to reading Mia and Foster! 5000 points for character diversity, by the way. Four stars!

  • Rhonda
    2019-02-13 13:04

    Fabulous!!!!Great story telling and writing. Awesome characterization, I absolutely love this book and Rey and Kyra together!!! They are among my favorite couples now!!!This is classed as PNR, but it's more dark contemporary with a little paranormal element. That's the best way I can describe it. Thanks to my GR friend that recommended this book to me! (Ahem..Amy)If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!!!Fantastic!

  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    2019-01-18 15:59

    I'm one of those readers who actually enjoys reading the copyright page. Yes, I really do. I'll also read the acknowledgements, dedication, author's foreward, byline, whatever is there. (The only thing I avoid are the quotes from newspaper etc. reviews. They have never, ever sold a book to me and they're a complete waste of paper and ink.) So in Ava Gray (aka Ann Aguirre)'s acknowledgements page, the page before chapter 1, she says "Skin Game started as a glimmer, a 'what-if' brain-storming session with my assistant, Ivette, wherein I speculated whether I could write paranormal romantic suspense, based in science rather than magic."(Wow, I thought only Big Name authors like Margaret Atwood and Stephen King had assistants! Impressive.) This comment, about basing it in science rather than magic, led me to believe I was going to read a book along Dark Angel lines - the American-military-genetic-experiment kind of story. Granted, the background - the Whys and Hows and Whats - aren't explained here, are barely hinted at, so it could still be that kind of story. But what I got was quite a bit different - not bad in any way, but because I was expecting something, I kept waiting for it, and it never came. (This isn't, of course, the author's fault. It just is what it is.)What I got was a story of a con artist, Kyra, who has the odd ability of temporarily stealing someone's best skill with a single light touch - be it singing or playing pool or fighting ... or less desirable skills. When her small-time hustler father is beaten to death by a casino-owner's toughs, Kyra vows revenge. Before the story even starts, she's managed to become the casino-owner's fiancee and toy with him before "winning" several million dollars and holding up a sign to the cameras that said "I was only in it for the money". Now she's on the run, living off small-town cons while she waits for her best friend Mia to return to the country and hopefully help her in disposing of her millions. But the casino owner, Gerard Serrano, has lost pride as well as money - he's become a laughing stock of Vegas. He hires a hit man, Reyes, to find Kyra, find out where the money is and then kill her. Once Reyes finds her, he has to gain her trust - but in doing so he gains more than he ever wants to lose, and his reputation as a hit man who never fails is on the line. Kyra has got under his skin, and he's not sure he ever wants her to leave.I've been disappointed a lot by paranormal romance this year - books that try to be sophisticated, funny, smart, touching, sexy, well-written: and turn out to be weak, confusing, lacking in chemistry, trying too hard and poorly written. I'm a BIG fan of Aguirre's Jax space opera series, but I still wasn't sure about this one - mostly because mixing romance and suspense has led to some very, very weak reads in the past. I didn't have to worry about the prose, the plotting, the character development and chemistry - the only thing lacking was that it wasn't as, ah, steamy as I'd been expecting. Kyra and Reyes build some excellent sexual tension and chemistry, and I really liked both of them. They were strong characters, far from perfect, but not at all annoying. They didn't go through the usual paranormal romance relationship clichés, which I wouldn't expect of Aguirre anyway (I should probably be saying "Gray" but I can't think of them as two separate authors).The plot is multi-layered: there's Kyra and Reyes, his job to kill her and the external threats to her life; there's Serrano and his machinations; and there's Serrano's right-hand-man, Foster, who is up to something himself - he's the one who hired Reyes, and he has his own secrets (which hint at him being something similar to Kyra - this is where the whole "military experiment" thing still seems possible), as well as fears. There's also Mia, who gets caught up in Foster's plans. The plotlines are interrelated and never get confusing: for all that there's a lot going on, it never feels crowded or complicated.The characters are pretty straight-forward and not terribly original, but they are also very alive, very human-feeling. Even Foster, who seems downright alien at times, is a character you can empathise with or at least want to. For all the story's apparent simplicity, there's a lot more going on in the details, things that flesh out the characters nicely. As for romance, it's there too, but aside from the great chemistry between Kyra and Reyes, I thought it was a tad disappointing. Well-written, but not as satisfying as I'd hoped.This is the start of what looks to be a well-thought-out, detailed, dangerous world that has plenty more secrets to reveal. I don't love it as much as the Jax series, but I'll be there to read Skin Tight when it comes out in June 2010.

  • Brianna (The Book Vixen)
    2019-02-16 13:05

    Insanely delicious. That is what comes to mind when I think of Skin Game. I couldn't put the book down and when I had to (because life gets in the way sometimes), all I could think about was what was going to happen next with Kyra and Reyes. When I was about 100 pages away from the end, all I thought about the whole entire day was this book! I had left off at a bit of a cliffhanger and when I was finally able to pick up where I left off and finish, I felt complete.Kyra is a sexy, self sufficient woman. She is a con artist by trade, taught by her father. She's been on her own since her dad was killed. She sought revenge on the man that was responsible and did a kick-ass job of hitting him where it hurts (his pockets and his ego). Now she's on the run knowing he'll send his men after her. She has the ability to "borrow" a person's talent, for an unknown amount of time, by a simple touch. She usually uses the talent against the owner, which comes in handy when she's doing a con. It even works when she gets herself in a pickle and needs to fight her way out. She first meets Reyes after hustling her way through a game of billiards.Reyes is a rough, hands-on (in more ways than one) type of guy. He was contracted by Kyra's ex-fiance, Gerald Serrano, to capture Kyra, find the money and bring her back to Serrano. He's one of the best and has the track record to prove it. It takes him a while to find Kyra but when he does, it's instant attraction.It's been a few days since I've finished reading Skin Game and it's still fresh on my mind. I can't stop thinking about the sexual chemistry between Kyra and Reyes. They know how to heat things up under the sheets. A book that I thoroughly enjoyed is one that stays with me. And Skin Game definitely falls into that category.Skin Game is full of action, adventure and sexual energy right from the start. Ava Gray wastes no time capturing your attention. This book is action-packed from the get-go. Be warned, this book is so hot, it'll leave a burn mark on your shelf! Review originally posted on The Book Vixen.

  • Kathrynn
    2019-02-06 19:07

    Great characters and super plot made Skin Game a pleasure to read. The setting ranged from Las Vegas, Texas, New Mexico, South Dakota and a few other stops (Louisiana). Initially, I felt the author was geographically challenged. It was odd, but I re-read it and from Las Vegas to Louisiana, then to Texas and New Mexico. That would have worked had they come from Atlantic City, so who knows what happened. Other than that, nice writing, fast moving plot--until the end that was bogged down with mundane details that dropped this from a 5 to 4 star read for me.Kyra Marie Beckwith had a psychic ability and was on a mission of revenge against a mob-type-wannabe casino owner in Las Vegas. Reyes (Porfirio Ten-Bears Reyes) was the hitman hired to kill Kyra, but when he partners with her as she travels (runs and hides), he discovers her talent, that she's not what he was told, and the sparks ignite. Reyes' character reminded me of Anne Stuart's bad boys in her Ice series, but he wasn't ever mean to Kyra. He was a mean person, but melted for Kyra. As they grew closer he realized he had to tell her the truth.... When angry casino owner realizes his hitman quit, he hires another. They know they'll never be safe until they deal with the guy and their hand is forced when they learn Kyra's best friend, Mia Sauter, has gone to Las Vegas to find her. Lots of action, tender moments and I enjoyed how the author GRADUALLY introduced new characters throughout the story in lieu of slamming lots of characters at the beginning. Thank you for that!All the detailed descriptions of the assorted cheap motels was, uh, interesting. Gross!Mia Sauter is introduced on page 123 when she meets Addison Foster. Both are the main characters in the next book in this series that I'm looking forward to reading.

  • Alisha
    2019-01-17 14:58

    Oh hells yeah. A fantastic, FUN read....This book had a perfect balance of just about everything...sweet romance, mystery, action, suspense, and of course good ole' hawt lovin! There are about 4 different perspective threads that are followed...the hero and heroine (assassin Reyes, and his intended target Kyra), mysterious dude Foster, and Foster's ruthless employer (and guy-who-wants-Kyra-dead) Gerard Seranno.Sometimes with books that have multiple plot threads featured by multiple "voices" there is potential for imbalance of enjoyment (e.g. "i just want to get through this passage so we can get back to ____'s thread!"). Not so here. I don't think I ever found myself disliking a romp through a certain character's mind...they all brought interesting elements and it was all tied up magnificently by the end.Now, this book is definitely PnR, but light on the paranormal. pnR, if you will. ^_^ It makes for a nice change, I'd say. The paranormal aspect comes from the heroine having the ability to temporarily "steal" other people's biggest it playing pool, fighting, or being super tech-y. ^_^ It was fun...and at the same time tragic. It meant Kyra wore many "hats" and was a bit of an enigma even as we learned more about her. The reasons leading to her being so unique is part of a (mysterious) thread linking the books of this series.Loved Kyra, loved Reyes. Their adventures were so exciting, and their at-once antagonistic and tender interactions were so much fun to read about.

  • Kathleen
    2019-01-17 12:12

    I thought Skin Game was a great book. Reyes was a complete HOT, tuff, alpha bad boy. Kyra was a smart, tuff woman with a touch of paranormal. The two of them together made the story fantastic. The love scenes were hot, the action fast paced and of course the villians were bad to the bone. The ending was done very well also. There was nothing about this book that I did not like.I'll be waiting on Skin Tight to come out. It's on my auto buy for sure.

  • Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)
    2019-02-02 16:02

    Skin Game was an interesting read. Kyra, our heroine is on the run after conning a wealthy and dangerous businessman named Gerard Serrano. After promising to wed him and then running off with a truckload of his money, Kyra finds herself living her life in her Marquis jumping from town to town. Kyra is a smart and tough girl who possesses a special talent that comes in handy. With one touch, she is able to steal her target’s strongest skill temporarily. So when she encounters a dark-haired man named Reyes, with one touch, Kyra is able to steal his skill in combat. Reyes is a very interesting character. I adored him from the very beginning, but I also felt that Kyra may have fallen in love with Reyes too quickly. Kyra has survived this long because of her instincts to detect danger and she is very cautious because she knows that Serrano will be on the lookout for her. So for her to trust Reyes so easily makes me uneasy. This could be due to the fact that as readers we know Reyes is a skilled assassin sent to kill her. Kyra doesn’t know this. I can’t help but think if this fact was revealed later in the story, then perhaps we could relate more to Kyra’s feelings of betrayal and mistrust. It would have made for added drama and shock-value. Instead, I felt like I needed to warn her like a friend before she got burned.About midway through, I felt myself really dragging to finish this book. This happened because I felt like I had already figured out the plotline for the latter half of the book. I really had to stop myself from thinking, “Yup, saw that one coming” or “Uh-huh, figured that one out already.” I don’t know if I should feel disappointed because it was predictable or feel smug because I figured everything out halfway through. Also, I found reading Serrano’s POV to be very tedious. He makes me so angry! I hate how he is so smug and thinks he owns the world where his actions don’t have any consequences. I am so happy how things ended up for him.My review seems more like a series of complaints, but there are some bright spots! I found myself really enjoying Foster. He’s an enigma and I wanted to know more about him and Mia. Luckily, the next book in the series, Skin Tight features them! Despite my hard time finishing the last half, the beginning is engaging enough and the sex scenes are hella hot! I hope that Skin Tight isn’t too predictable for me the next time around!

  • Laurie Garrison
    2019-01-23 14:01

    Ok, I can really kick myself over this book, I have had it on my shelf for over 4 months and kept pushing it back. I just have two words for this book FREAKING AWESOME!!! If you have been like me and are pushing it back get to it quicker and if you’re a PNR reader and don’t have this one on your list please add it to try. There is a lot of wonderful reviews on this book already so I’m just going to highlight what I liked. I didn’t find anything I could dislike. There is intense action, violence, a hot car, hot romance and down right good old fighting for your life at times. I will say this is a very suspenseful PRN, so if you’re really into romantic suspense I think you’d enjoy this, its not overly heavy in the paranormal.I love how the author takes you into the world of Kyra, her ability and Kyra as a con woman. I haven’t ran across any books where there was a Con woman, but Kyra is really good at what she does and how she uses her ability to go even further in her con. Excellent idea you don’t read everyday.I loved Reyes as a matter a fact where can I find one like him? LOL. Reyes is good a his job, he always takes out his mark. Until he falls for Kyra. Now he will stop at nothing to keep her safe and happy even if its let her go. These two are more alike than they think. I loved how the more you read the more their relationship in romance grows. The author really takes you into the hero and heroin characters into some depth and their twisted past lives. It makes more of an interesting read when you can get to know the characters more.

  • Amy
    2019-02-17 18:51

    Well I'm glad I took the advise of my smut girls; smexybooks, smokinhotbooks, fictionvxn, ErotRomReader, bookvixen. Ava Gray is one of my new heroes as she knows how to bring smokin hot manmeat to a book! Reyes is just that all hot, hard and indestructible! This was an action packed story that you did not want to put down until you were at the end! Then you didn't want it to end! And the chemistry with Reyes and Kyra was smokin! Mrs. Gray also gave us a taste of what's to come in Skin Tight out this summer which I can't wait for! Anyone wanting action, strong characters and hot action between the sheets should check this book out!

  • Ian
    2019-02-11 15:04

    DNF and read less than 50% so no rating. There were some positives to this book but a couple of negatives which made the book difficult. That's not to say it's not a good book just that it's not a good book for me.

  • Catherine
    2019-01-26 11:43

    These protagonists were pretty unique. The hero is an assassin and the heroine is a con artist. Both are totally fine with their choices and don't wish to change. That right there is a rare quality. Usually if a character like that is written they secretly hate themselves for what they do or are forced into it and at the first opportunity they'll change their ways. That is not the case with Kyra and Reyes, thank God.Kyra is on the run. She pissed off a very dangerous man and now he wants her dead. She's making her way through the US biding her time until she can get a hold of a friend. Along the way she can't resist conning the suckers in the towns she stops in. Not only does she want to earn money to pay her way, she finds what she does fun. What makes her so good at her con is that in the beginning she's honestly a bad player. It's only when she decides the time is right that she uses her "gift" to increase her skill.Along the way she meets up with a guy, Rey, who helps her out of a tight spot. One thing leads to another and she winds up enjoying a very hot night of sex. She parts ways and doesn't give their meeting another thought. Unfortunately for her, things are not what they seem. Reyes is on her tail and plans to stay there until he gets what he wants.I liked the details we learn about Kyra's talent. Until I read this book I never would have thought of that sort of talent as a bad thing. I didn't think about the fact that she couldn't pick and choose who she took from. Anyone who touched her gave up something. What a lonely life that would turn into. Also, when you think of "best" skills you usually think of that as a good thing, or at least I do. I never thought that someone's best talent could be something so horrifying.Reyes was an interesting character. He had a lot of issues, not the least of which were due to his past.***SPOILERS***At one point he thinks about how close he's gotten to Kyra and realizes that he'll have to change how he plans to kill her. He'll now have to kiss her one last time and then snap her neck so it's quick and painless.***END SPOILERS***Now, that's totally in keeping with his character, but I found it a bit disturbing. The thing that made the romance work for me is that they both were messed up. If Reyes would have been paired with someone else who was sweeter or nicer I wouldn't have been able to see how it would work out. Fortunately for Reyes, Kyra has as many issues as he does.The sex was hot, and I liked the insight into both their characters. The glimpses of their pasts and the little quirks that made them tick were nice. I appreciated that they weren't static characters. I require a bit more depth than that to really get into the story.There were a few things that bothered me, although it was easy for me to ignore them and concentrate on what I liked about the story.***SPOILERS***Kyra trusted Reyes a little bit too easily. I can see it happening, but I wish she would have suspected a little before he ended up telling her. Also, when we find out that Kyra had Mia's cell phone number the whole time I was a little pissed. Why didn't you try her from a payphone earlier? It just seemed illogical. Also, why exactly did Kyra's talent stop working on Reyes? Yes, it makes it easier for the romance to work, but no explanation was given for it. It just ended up looking way too convenient.***End SPOILERS***The author did a good job creating interesting secondary characters. I'm intrigued by Foster's actions in this book and want to understand what's driving him. I can't wait to get my hands on Skin Tight.

  • Jan
    2019-02-06 19:52

    Ok.I found this book hard to rate, because there was a lot I really loved about it, but somehow now that I've finished it I still feel hungry for something more.Ann Agguirre (I'm firmly against authors using pen names when they aren't disguising the fact that they are the same person. And definitely in situations like this, where I can't really see a reason for the need of another name - but I'm derailing), Ann Agguirre writes great characters.Just like in the Sirantha Jax series, which is a favorite of mine, both main characters are far from perfect. Not only are they quite flawed when it comes to character traits, but their morals and ethical codes are a delicious shade of gray. When people like that meet, interesting things are bound to happen, and when there's romance added to the mix, sparks fly.The premise of the story is good, hitman with a perfect score has to kill a congirl after he gets information from her. Unfortunately he gets far more info than he bargained for, and before he knows it Reyes is all caught up in Kyra's life, and Kyra herself.Kyra's gift - the power to steal someone's talent by a simple touch - has shaped her life and personality, and I thought it was more of a burden she learned to live with than an actual gift. I could really relate to her craving for touch, since I'm a very touchy-feely person myself - and her attraction to Reyes felt really natural to me. Though Kyra was a mish-mash of seemingly very opposite traits, I could really see how she had evolved from the scared kid she used to be, to the lonely woman on the run at the beginning of the story.Reyes was more of a mystery, and though there's hints to his background all over the place, he remains an enigma until the end, which was slightly dissatisfying. I did feel he was a great hero though, and I loved reading about his struggle with what to do with his feelings for his target. (view spoiler)[ I was kinda disappointed that he didn't get to tell Kyra that he was supposed to kill her himself though, I know that the secret needed to come out to create conflict, but I had preferred if he'd had done it himself, instead of how it came to be in the book(hide spoiler)]What I liked best is that neither really changed or had to change to be together. The romantic journey is about them finding happiness together, not about becoming better people, or dealing with the past or something similar. They stay their own shady selves, killing people included, and I think that's gutsy and refreshing for a romance.I think that the problem lies in that both Kyra and Reyes are fundamentally lonely and not eager to trust. Both are distant and guarded, and even though they open up to each other (and have great chemistry), a lot of the emotional bonding seems to happen off-stage, and when it's on stage it's very understated. This kept me from being really moved by it, as I was never completely gripped by the story on an emotional level. And even though I liked the resolution scene at the end on an intellectual level, it didn't move me as much as I thought it would.Was it a good book? Yes. Would I recommend it? Yes. Did it blow me off my socks? No, but I really wish it had, because Reyes and Kyra were great characters in a great story, that just needed that extra dash of emotion.

  • Kathryn
    2019-02-03 17:42

    Ann Aguirre is one of my favorite urban fantasy/science fiction authors so I was pleasantly surprised to learn she also writes paranormal romance under the pseudonym Ava Gray. Skin Game is the first book of the Skin series and thankfully there are others already published so I do not need to wait around. I'm already waiting on 2 Aguirre series and when I break down and read Enclave, it will be three series by one author, so I am understandably happy about not having to wait around for the next to be published. I can guarantee that I will read the rest of this series, sooner rather than later. The story follows Kyra, a con artist with an unusual method of stealing from people, and Reyes, a hit man with morals. This is a dark paranormal romance with more than a fair share of murder and mayhem. The point of view changes throughout the book, to include an interesting and mysterious man named Foster, Kyra's friend Mia, and the bad guy Serrano, who has hired Reyes to kill Kyra. I loved all of the character interactions, though I think the story from Serrano's point of view drug a little at times.The book is very well written, to be expected from Aguirre, but I will admit to being slightly confused at times about Kyra's talent. I found it hard to believe that she was able to steal from people night after night as she did. Just because someone is hanging out in a bar and is the best at darts, pool, or whatever game should not have meant that was the person's greatest skill. Never once was it mentioned that Kyra found someone who was best at pool but had a skill for, I don't know, building model airplanes or sudoku. I just thought that part of the story was a little presumptuous and it is the only reason why I am not rating 5 stars. I loved the main characters and found them to be very believable and a wonderful match. I am excited to read the next book in the series as I think it focuses on Foster.

  • Penny Watson
    2019-02-07 17:54

    Have you ever eaten something spicy that started out with just a hint of heat and you're thinking...Well, that's not too bad....and then the spice starts to really kick in, and after a couple of minutes you're sweating and guzzling a gallon of milk? Well, that's my best analogy for Ava Gray's Skin Game. Slow burn, finished strong. And I do mean strong. Holy Hell, this woman can write. Wasn't sure I loved it when it started out. The characters seemed interesting, but it's hard to identify with a cold-blooded killer and a chameleon-like con woman. She seemed sort of slutty, and he scared the crap out of me. And I'm thinking...this is the hero and heroine of this book? Really? Well, Jiminy H. Cricket, Gray's approach to characterization is freakin' brilliant. By the end of the book, you are literally dying for an HEA, praying that the vulnerable/sassy/sexy/sneaky/blood-thirsty con woman and the hit man from heaven and hell get together. Gray makes you cheer for this unlikely pair, wondering how the heck is she going to pull it off. This book is seriously the perfect package...fascinating characters, excellent pacing and story line, tons of nail-biting suspense (break out the prilosec, baby!), and off the charts hot sexual encounters. Be forewarned, this is not your granny's romance novel. It's gory and violent in parts, although if I can take it (you know I'm a wuss) then anybody can. My favorite authors make the characters come alive. And Gray has accomplished this in a truly unique and unexpected fashion. Grade: APeeved I have to wait until June 1 for the next book in the series...(long suffering sigh),Penelope

  • Stacia (the 2010 club)
    2019-01-27 13:07

    Maybe I'm just in a funk but I found myself smack dab in the middle on my opinion for a book that I really wanted to like. This was just...okay. It wasn't bad. It just didn't wow me either. I really would have liked to have seen more explanation about Kyra's special abilities. It bugs me when an explanation for something isn't well sketched out. Granted, this is a series. Maybe the "special power" info dump is yet to come. But I would have preferred more info up front. Kyra could steal abilities but we didn't find out much about the how and why behind it.

  • Jane Stewart
    2019-02-09 18:00

    Wonderful character and relationship development. There was only one paranormal talent in the story, but it was good.STORY BRIEF:Kyra has a talent. When she touches someone, she gains their strongest ability, and they lose it (temporarily). She keeps their ability for one or more hours, but she can‘t predict how long she will have it. Examples of the talents she gains are pool player, dart thrower, martial arts fighter, and piano player. If she touches two or more people within the same evening, she will get severe headaches – overload. Using her talent, she makes a living hustling people. She has never had a relationship with a man due to the touch problem. She was raised by her father who was a small time con man. They lived on the road. One day, her father tried a con at a casino. The casino owner Gerard had him beaten to death. For revenge, Kyra conned Gerard into falling in love with her. She publicly humiliated him by using the engagement ring he gave her to win $3 million at his gaming tables. She then flaunted in front of a casino camera that she was leaving him. Someone put the video of her taunt on YouTube. Gerard was in a rage and wanted her dead. He had his chief of security Foster hire a hit man to find her, find the money, and then kill her. Foster hired Rey. Rey pretended to be a drifter and helped Kyra in a couple of cons. The first time she touched him, she gained his martial arts abilities. But subsequent touching had no effect. For the first time, she could touch someone without consequences. She offered him a job helping her with cons, and he accepted.REVIEWER’S OPINION:I wasn’t chuckling or laughing, but it was good, solid writing. I liked Kyra’s talent. It’s different. I’ve not read anything quite like it before. I enjoyed how she obtained and used the powers. Don’t expect a lot of paranormal in this book. Her talent was the only paranormal element, but that wasn’t a problem for me. It was good. There was wonderful character and relationship development with Kyra and Rey. My only disappointment was that Kyra held a grudge too long and didn’t forgive Rey when I thought she should have. He clearly showed trustworthiness and love, but she wouldn’t buy it. I think the author wanted to prolong their conflict for awhile. I didn’t like it, but the rest of the story was good. Very feel good ending.Toward the end of the book I found myself fascinated with the character Foster. I wanted to know his back story, why he did what he did, and what he would do next. I was hoping to get some answers before the book was over. I did not get those answers. But I was ok, because I learned the story of Foster and Mia is in the sequel “Skin Tight” (available in June, 2010). A preview of “Skin Tight” is in the back of this book. I hope the sequel goes in depth with Foster and satisfies. DATA:Story length: 294 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 6. Total number of sex scene pages: around 18. Setting: current day mostly various places in the U.S., plus St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Budapest, Hungary. Copyright: 2009. Genre: contemporary paranormal romantic suspense.

  • Janna
    2019-02-17 19:06

    4.5 starsGenre & Keywords: Paranormal, Suspense, ViolenceSkin Game by Ava Gray has been applauded very loudly by a lot of the romance bloggers I follow. It made me curious enough to give this novel a try myself. I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I’ve never read a book by Ava Gray before - as Ann Aguirre she has written some SciFi and Urban Fantasy novels – but this will definitely not be the last one I want to try. Next June the sequel Skin Tight will be released and I will be hanging out for it. Because I can only applaud along with the others: man, this woman can truly write a wicked, explosive story!Reading Skin Game was a different experience than usual. It’s a full length novel that’s structured accurately and written in a deliberate way. I haven’t read many romances that are quite as… well… literary as this one.Although a lot of reviews already have been written I still like to share my High 5, Low 5 with you. The High Five are five things that have impressed me or that I really enjoyed, and the Low Five are five things that had me shaking my head in wonder or even annoyance.High 5• Fast paced suspenseOne of the highest high fives of this novel is the well dosed pace which adds to the great suspense. There’s a lot of action and many events take place but this is alternated at the right moments with reflection on feelings and emotions. The suspense is not only brought on by the chase and the violence. The sexual and emotional tension yield quite some reading suspense in itself.• Sexy readThe physical attraction between Kyra and Rey is pretty explosive. Although they don’t have sex all the time - like in some other romances where the h/h only have to look at each other to become completely aroused - when it happens their interaction is hot, with some blazing love scenes. These scenes evolve from quick sexual relief into long and tender love making. Their growing feelings for each other become credible because of the way Ms Gray expresses them.• Not your usual suspectsMs. Gray’s characters are something else. Her heroine is a con women and her hero a hit man. Not the most moral persons. And on top of that, ...Read the rest of this review at my blog:

  • MsRomanticReads
    2019-02-10 16:48

    My first book of 2012 and I wasn't disappointed. Kyra is a con artist, and she loves what she does. She has been groomed for it by her father ever since she was a little girl. One of her greatest assets is her ability to absorb another person's abilities for a short time by mere touch. Her biggest coup was making the powerful and rich casino owner, Gerald Serrano fall in love with her before she relieved him of three million dollars and humiliated him professionally and emotionally. Now he's mad and aims to get even. How does a ruthless thug get even? He hires a hit man to hunt her down and make her disappear, permanently. Reyes is a tough, dangerous guy with a mysterious past. He makes people disappear for a living, but only those who really deserve it. His latest mark is Kyra. The intel he has received on her paints her as a conniving bitch who not only stole money from her ex-fiance, but also killed her own father. In his eyes, she's just another job. When he finally catches up with her, her persona doesn't quite add up to the information he was given about her. In a nutshell, this story features a heroine on the run and a hero who was hired to track her down and kill her. Of course lust turns to love before the truth is revealed behind the circumstances of their meeting. I kept wondering in the back of my mind how those two were going to end up together with such a heavy betrayal looming over their heads. I thought the story flowed nicely and believably in regards to the advancement of their relationship. Their chemistry was off the charts, and it left a blazing trail from beginning to end. We find out mostly everything we need to know about Kyra and her past, but not so much where Reyes is concerned, which was a little disappointing (only because I'm curious as hell and want to know everything about a character). One of the side characters, Foster, is equally as mysterious. We are given little bits of information about him, but we don't find out until the end whether he's really a good guy or a bad guy.All in all, I give this five stars because of the suspense, the plot, the very likeable H/H and the fact that I couldn't put the book down. This story was gritty, dirty, and oh so good.

  • Regina
    2019-01-19 19:56

    3.5 stars for me. The first half of this book was amazing. I loved it. The second half slowed down for me and was not as interesting --- and kind of predictable. So I rated it down based on the second half. The "hero" and "heroine" in this series were kind of anti-heroes and heroines. They did have a moral compass, but it doesn't point in the same direction as most people. It was interesting to read characters who were not typical. Kyra's "gift" or talent was unique -- I would have liked to see that developed more, but I enjoyed reading something unpredictable. I liked the theme that the "gift" has a price to Kyra (in a way siimilar to the main character Corinie in Blue Diablo). Kyra is able to steal or take things people excel at just by touching them. Sometimes it is a talent as refreshing as singing or playing the piano, other times it is an evil ability that sickens her. The "hero" Reyes aka Reya, and whose name is Porfirio. He was such a unique lead charcter in terms of his background and personality. He is latino, not white and this was very refreshing to read. Because of my own family and background, I loved this perspective and it made me feel at home. This author (aka Ann Aguirre) writes characters from a different personality perspective and ethnic perspective -- for this reason alone I may keep reading. Even though toward the end, both books I have read of hers (also Blue Diablo) have fell flat -- but her interesting take on lead characters and her infusion of other ethnicities and american latino culture, and her unique take on the paranoramal -- will keep me reading her books (if not this series). I am not sure if I will read the next one -- I want more of Kyra and Reyes and was not that intersted in the two characters set up for the sequel. Overall I am very glad I read this and would recommend it to people who enjoy romance with a spice of paranormal.

  • Tracy
    2019-01-31 16:59

    I’m really kicking myself in the arse over this one. Yet another book I let collect dust on my ‘to be read’ shelf when I really should have locked myself in a room to finish this amazing book. What a great debut to the new Skin-series, which should have five books in total. Kyra, a con artist out for revenge against a crooked Las Vegas casino-owner, has the ability to temporarily steal someone’s best talent by just touching them. A modern day Super Woman, she is smart, sexy and unapologetic about who she is and what she does. Reyes. My dear, sexy, Reyes has got to be the hottest Robin Hood ever, dispatching justice with knives, guns and his bare hands as a hired assassin. These two had chemistry with a capital-C and that dynamic flowed beautifully throughout the book. With a fair share of action and some rough and wild sex scenes, you won’t want to put this book down.

  • Norma
    2019-02-08 20:10

    3.5 stars. This book got a little long in the middle so I took off half a star for that.I loved Reyes! Jane, are you paying attention here? :) Reyes is a great hero. On the outside he's a cruel, violent, alpha-male assasin. On the inside he's a lost little boy who's never been loved or cared about. yet he manages to blend these two parts of himself perfectly into a terrific, loving man.Kyra was a fun character to get to know. She was very much like a lot of other heroines in some ways but very different in others. I loved her "gift." It was fun to read something different.I have to say that I was disappointed that things with Foster just end. We seem to get some build up with his character, but no resolution. I guess I have to read the next book for that.All in all, a good, solid read.

  • Summer
    2019-02-12 12:52

    Really good for PNR, admittedly not my favorite genre. The paranormal aspect was hardly in it though so fans of more light romantic suspense would probably like it too. Towards the end it got a little cliche but for the most part I thought it was highly enjoyable.

  • Ashley
    2019-02-16 16:55

    Kyra Marie Beckwith is not your typical paranormal romance heroine with their kind-hearted souls and wide-eyed innocence. She's a woman shaped and molded by her will to survive along with a strong acceptance of the world for what it is. She hasn't been thrust into a previously unknown aspect of that world nor is she shocked by its cruel, everyday injustices. She's seen and lived within the grimy nitty-gritty fringes of society. Most of all, Kyra isn't helpless nor does she need or want a strapping, larger-than-life hero to save her however nice the thought of having a man capable of protecting her may be. You see Kyra is a rather good con artist and her drive to con doesn't necessarily stem from desperate need or for having lacked the smarts or the drive to hold down a nine-to-fiver. Kyra simply enjoys conning for the thrill of it. But that's not why having a steady man in her life is unwanted and dangerous. It's dangerous because her body simply cannot physically handle the constant stimulation of touch.Developed in her early teens, Kyra's had to live with a strange ability that allows her to steal the honed skills of any other human being with one single touch. Then, as if by magic, Kyra can instantaneously become a professional athlete, fighter, code cracker - you name it, she can steal it and become it. However, there's always a catch and that catch is that Kyra never knows exactly how long she'll possess the skill and worse; too much touch with too many people can trigger a migraine of gargantuan proportions. Funnily enough though, this strange capability is not the reason why a very vengeful, very dangerous Vegas casino owner has hired a hit man to end her life. Instead, it was her ability to steal Gerald Serrano's heart then practically leave him at the alter. Obviously for a man with an ego that stretches above and beyond the Las Vegas strip, its the worst kind of pain.Enter Reyes with his strokable brown skin, black piercing eyes, and fighter's body. With looks that can and do kill, it's no surprise that Reyes has been known to get intimately close to the women he's been contracted to terminate. But don't cover your mouth in shock just yet, this dark and mysterious hit man has unbreakable scruples that don't include killing a man or woman simply because someone wants them dead. Instead, he reviews their files with careful precision, making sure that there's a valid reason for their deaths before committing himself to the contract. Liking himself to a housekeeper courteously ridding the world of its filth, next on Reyes's hit list is Kyra; a woman who supposedly killed her own father for the take to the tune of millions. Her file reads her to be a greedy bitch that deserves to die and for the money he's being paid, Reyes doesn't mind the fact that this particular contract is going to require that he become very close to his target. But Reyes's renowned reputation hangs in the balance when he finds himself in a complicated position with Kyra, one that he's never found himself in before. For the first time Reyes feels undiluted passion as well as a shocking possessive streak for a woman he barely knows but one that he'd also desperately like to claim - all the way to her soul.Feeling lonelier than ever with her father dead, Kyra is killing time by roaming along the southern United States conning the local pool halls for fast cash until her best friend returns from overseas. Specializing in financial embezzlement, Mia is the perfect person to help Kyra flee the country, possibly to Canada, with the millions she won in Vegas. Kyra wouldn't be surprised if her ex-fiancé, Gerald Serrano, put out a hit on her so when a drifter partitions her for a ride, her instincts flare to life. Having stolen his skill momentarily, Kyra knows that her drifter - Rey - is capable of killing a person with his bare hands because for the moment, she can do that. If anything, that fact should warn her to ditch Rey immediately but Kyra can't stop her hormones from sitting up and begging for the mysterious man's touch. Caught off guard by Kyra's ability to answer his questions without truly revealing anything, Reyes is initially a bit frustrated but he also can't help but admire her well developed guard. Reyes's curiosity is then doubly piqued when he notices something unusual about Kyra especially after he witnesses her using his unique fighting moves to subdue a thief at a gas station thrift store. Knowing that the only way he's going to the find the money before ending Kyra's life, Reyes must get her to trust him and to do that, he has to give her a part of himself in return. But Reyes never thought he'd willing give her his heart.When Reyes flips from being Kyra's killer to her protector, he knows that his earlier intentions will eventually be revealed and that Kyra will undoubtedly despise him. But in the meantime, he plans on soaking up as much of the fascinating woman he fell in love with as he can. Unfortunately, Serrano really wants Kyra dead. The money is no longer as important as his reputation and only her death will do. Since Reyes rolled over on the contract, Serrano is sending out the next bad guy in line to take her down. When Kyra inevitably learns the truth about Reyes, all hell breaks loose but instead of being able to ditch him and go undercover, Serrano dangles Mia as bait and Kyra finds herself needing Reyes more than ever.SKIN GAME is a well written and fast paced story about a very unlikely hit man of a hero and a con artist for a heroine. Kyra is flamboyantly confident and unfailingly loyal. Her one weakness: Incredible vulnerability when it comes to love and acceptance. Conversely, Reyes is all about looking out for number one with no personal commitments to speak of but it's his strict code of honor that prevents him from becoming truly evil. Instead, he's rather like an avenging dark angel. Therefore, it's Reyes's fear of indifference and Kyra's craving for love that fulfills what the other is lacking, for Kyra will never be indifferent to Reyes and Reyes can and does love Kyra for exactly who she is, strange ability and all.After the above mentioned, you're probably wondering why I gave this novel a B instead of an A grade and honestly it's entirely due to the element of forgone conclusion. Reyes and his real reason that he and Kyra meet obviously isn't anywhere near the serendipitous event that Kyra's been led to believe. Knowing that once Kyra discovered that Reyes was paid to kill her and was at one point determined to kill her, it left little doubt to what the end result would be. Instead of the reader turning the pages, excited for what's unknown and yet to come, the reader knows exactly how things are going to combust. It then becomes a waiting game...a kind of torturous one too.However, SKIN GAME is addicting for I'm now dying for SKIN TIGHT. Ava Gray really does have a stellar writer voice and I'm really lovin' how unique her characters are proving themselves to be. Luckily, SKIN TIGHT is a total mystery to me as how things will play out and I'm really looking forward to that after the predictable SKIN GAME. For paranormal romance lovers out there who like the sexual tension hot and the sex combustible, SKIN GAME should not be missed.