Title: Under My Skin
Author: M.L. Rhodes
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT (M/M)
Rating: ***** (out of 5)
Sebastian Keller owns great Escapes Travel Book Shop. He has lived with the label of being a smart guy or nerd most of his life and he put that label to good use when he opened his own book store a few years ago. His business is doing so well he is the recommended bookstore of travel agents in his area; his personal life on the other hand is the pits. He has had more bad relationships than he can count and currently he doesn’t have a lover in his life and doesn’t want one, not until he sees his new disruptive next door neighbour Dylan Radamacher, sexy tattoo artist and owner of Rad Tattos.
Bad boy Dylan is everything Sebastian hates and he really should not be having these feelings about him. He reminds him too much of his last boyfriend Beck who wiped him out both financially and emotionally and with his looks, the tattos and bike, can we say replay? But when Dylan catches Sebastian checking him out and realizes that he might be attracted to him he asks him out and Bastian can’t resist the bait. On their first date he finds himself falling more and more for Dylan despite his reservations; when the night is over Dylan invites him over for a nightcap and he is more than up for the ride. The evening is way better than Sebastian anticipated and the sex was so hot I’m surprised that they didn’t have scorch marks on their bodies because Dylan sets him ablaze and he knows he’s in trouble. But early the next morning when Sebastian wakes up he is in for a rude awakening and he can’t believe that he has made another mistake.
I really loved the characters in this story because they were acting against type – Dylan the bad boy tattoo artist who was sensitive and wanted to have a long term relationship with Sebastian who was not the button-down nerd in bed – quite the opposite. M.L. Rhodes writes such three dimensional, wonderful characters and she has a knack for making them seem real. The sex in this book was emotional and spectacular as always but Dylan and Bastian have major hurdles to overcome before they can have a HEA. I found Dylan to be delightful and despite looking like sex on a stick he really cared about Bastian and wanted him to fall in love too because he needed him in his life.
Under My Skin is the story of two men who are trying to find their way. Sebastian has been hurt and damaged because the men in his life used him and threw him aside when they no longer needed him. He longs for someone who cares for him but has difficulty trusting anyone because of his past or recognizing love even when it smacks him in the face. Dylan, on the other hand, is loving and sincere and is looking for the right man; when he finds Sebastian he knows that he’s the one but the difficulty is to get him to trust. M.L. Rhodes is so great at writing about the human condition and setting the stage for complex relationships, and the emotions between her characters make her stories far and away some of the best I have read. I highly recommend this book to fans of M.L. Rhodes as well as other readers.