Pounding Skin (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: Pounding Skin (Skin Deep, Inc. #2)
Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: SMP Swerve (Macmillan)
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 290
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Fighter pilot Jon Russell never sleeps with the same man twice. Known for his lack of shame when it comes to hooking up, Jon has no interest in commitment—even friends with benefits sounds like too much work.

Matt Huffman has slept with lots of women. He’s had loads of girlfriends. So why does the hot as hell pilot getting a tattoo as the result of a lost bet stop his breath? And how come he can’t stop thinking about him, even after he’s gone?

When Jon returns to Skin Deep the second time, he doesn’t want another tattoo. He wants to hook up with the gorgeous artist he spent hours agonizingly close to, and Matt wants to explore some curiosity about men. Fulfill the desire he can’t stop fantasizing over. And he wants to do it with Jon.

As their casual hook up becomes more than just skin deep, both Matt and Jon are faced with questions they don’t want to answer. Matt understands he’s bi—but are these feelings he has typical of hooking up with a man? Or is it only Jon that can make his heart pound? If Jon wanted nothing more than a fling, why does he find himself needing not just Matt’s body, but all of him? And can their relationship withstand the hardships that makes Jon avoid them in the first place?

The Skin Deep, Inc. books can be read in any order—come enter a world where gorgeous tattoo artists and hot Navy men find passion, pleasure, and a happily ever after together.

Fighter pilot / unrepentant manwhore Jon meets tattoo artist Matt after losing a bet with his squadron and being dragged off to Skin Deep to get a tattoo … on his ass … of a rival squadron … because Jon had fucked three of their pilots in the last year.

Matt has been struggling with his sexuality of late, and after practically a lifetime of reflexively insisting “I’m not gay” Matt is slowly realizing he’s bisexual. The sparks fly between Jon and Matt, and Matt learns pretty quickly that yup, he is bisexual and that sex with Jon is pretty damn amazing. Their sexual chemistry is off-the-chain and the term “pounding skin” doesn’t only apply to the art of tattooing here.

The relationship starts out as fuck buddies, or as Jon says “you’re talking to a guy who thinks friends with benefits is too much commitment.” And at first Matt is fine with this. He’s just getting his bearings and has no complaints. “He had Jon. He had amazing sex. And he wasn’t about to demand anything more.”

This story thankfully has considerably less details about tattooing and aftercare than Back Piece, with the focus of the story on Jon and Matt. In the beginning Matt really struggles – “when you’ve spent your whole life saying you’re not something, it’s really hard to adjust to the reality that you are” – and the plot really held my interest as Matt navigates his way, wondering if what he and Jon have is something more than sex. The subplot of Nate and Caleb’s troubled marriage provides the catalyst for Jon to wonder if safeguarding his heart is really the answer. As Nate tells Jon:

I mean, yeah, yeah, you might get hurt. And every time we go up in our bird, we might crash and burn and fucking die, but that doesn’t stop you from taking off, does it?

While I liked the first book in this series, Pounding Skin really knocks it out of the ballpark with two interesting characters, omigawd hot sex, a tight plot and a HFN ending. In Pounding Skin, we get to catch up on Colin and Daniel from Back Piece, and I’m looking forward to Cover Up, the next book in the series and seeing how Jon and Matt’s relationship matures and develops. 4.5 stars!

Skin Deep, Inc.

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Galley copy of Pounding Skin (Skin Deep, Inc. #2) provided by SMP Swerve via NetGalley 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. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader