Back Piece (Skin Deep, Inc. #1)

Title: Back Piece (Skin Deep, Inc. #1)
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: SMP Swerve (Macmillan)
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 316
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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 is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.

Daniel grew up in an uber conservative family (protesting Pride parades while yelling Bible verses about burning in hell) and escapes by joining the Navy. Colin came out at fifteen, had a close relationship with his family and now is a tattoo artist. They meet at the gym and are instantly attracted to one another – Colin with his gorgeous tats and Daniel with his gorgeous Navy-honed body.

The time Daniel spends with Colin as he first does a pec tattoo and then starts work on a huge full back piece give the two men time to get to know each other and accept one another. There are plenty of very steamy sex scenes but always with a foundation of absolute trust between the two men and what begins as a friends-with-benefits situation quickly turns into something deeper and more meaningful.

On the surface, Colin is pretty solid. But he’s got issues

A short-lived career as a porn star with a demanding partner left him with serious body issues,
an eating disorder and anxiety, which makes the idea of committing to someone terrifying and a possible trigger for a cycle of starving and working out excessively
Daniel has a lot on his plate as well. Daniel loves his parents, knowing they’ll never be able to accept him as a gay man, and Witt writes beautifully about the nuances of his struggle in coming out to them.

At times the pace of this book feels very slow as there are many long tattoo sessions (and lots of detail about tattooing and aftercare) followed by amazing hot steamy sex, more tattooing, more internal dialogues, more tats, more sex, each man rehashes their struggles and insecurities perhaps a time or two too many without any meaningful resolution, etc. There isn’t a lot of plot other than the talk, the tats and sex and while Daniel and Colin get their HFN ending, it seems abrupt and leaves them still working on many of the same issues. 3.5 stars.

Skin Deep, Inc.

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Galley copy of Back Piece (Skin Deep, Inc. #1) provided by SMP Swerve in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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