My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Skins is definitely my favorite book by Laura Rossi. I always appreciate it when an author furthers away from the usual, trite, settings. And Rome’s suburbs of illicit dealings was a first for me.
But let’s get to the story and introduce the characters: Andrea is a woman from the East who, innocent and naive, got swept off her feet by a man who is now basically her captor. And with him being the boss of the mafia, all she can offer Sebastian, the illegal fighter she feels an
instant attraction towards, is one night together.
This is the premise for a second chance romance when Sebastian, years later, is hired by Andrea’s husband to keep her safe. Now, we all like protective heroes and well, that’s Sebastian’s job. So, yeah, well. Ovaries. Went. Boom.
Aaaaanyway, to further complicate the situation, Andrea isn’t the only on he has to keep safe. She has a son, who is the main reason why she wouldn’t even risk escaping Alejandro (the douchebag)’s iron fist. Not being a mother is hard to relate, but little Eddy is so cute and innocent… and I loved how when things got dire, Andrea’s first thoughts always went to him. She put her son first and foremost. I found it realistic because of course she is falling for Sebastian, but at the end of the day, we all know that if she had to choose she wouldn’t hesitate.
As for Sebastian, his voice was my favorite (it’s a double POV). He’s not your cookie cutter, pleated trousers hero. He’s a fighter, rough around the edges. He doesn’t shy away from the grit of the world and is the first to acknowledge the impossibility of a HEA with Andrea when presented with the fact.
Welcome to The Market, the neighborhood of lost souls, the abandoned part of Rome. The side of the city no tour guide talks about, but always the first to be mentioned in the news line up.
I liked his insight into the underbelly of the city. The raw, desperate helplessness of it. The kill or be killed attitude.
Observation was my only form of learning and I didn’t know if it was going to save me or not one day, all I knew was that it led me to her
Plot-like, in the first half I would have liked a little more rapport building between the two main characters. I felt like I could understand their physical attraction, but not the lengths each would go for the other given the basis of their relationship. So yeah, I would have liked to see more dialogues between the two of them and maybe less mulling over the issue at hand, aka Andrea’s unescapable situation.
It was the sort of club where well off, educated and morally correct men hung out, their hiding place for the night, where they could cut the bullshit and be what they really were. Sinners, men with fantasies and flaws. Just like any other sleaze bad on the street.
The pace definitely picked up halfway through, so the second half was undoubtedly my favorite and I would have wanted it to continue for longer because as you all know I’m a sucker for the on the run trope. I could read 500 pages of people trying to run away from someone or something and making do with what they have and still they wouldn’t be enough.
This book was also hotter than the previous one, without overly graphic scenes. Still, these two have chemistry and the fact that they both have to restrain themselves because of the circumstances, made it even better.
I had received the flowers, the chocolates. I had gone through the dating, the flirting and all that falling in love sentimentalism. And it had turned out to be fake, empty, worthless. Sebastian’s words were the most heartfelt ‘I love you’ I had ever heard and the word love had never been spoken
The ending blindsided me with a plot twist that I would have never seen coming. I personally liked it and appreciated how things resolved. It was the right kind of closure for this story.
In the end love and hate were both sins, both part of the same coin, just different sides of it.