Reviewed by Tracey
Blurb: 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?
Jon Russell and Matt Huffman are the pair of men who are falling in love in #2 of the Skin Deep series. Jon is a fighter pilot and Matt is a tattoo artist. Jon never, ever wants to have a relationship and Matt is just becoming aware that he may be bixsexual. Jon is well established in his career and Matt can’t even buy new tattooing equipment. There are quite a few differences going on between the two main characters, but this always makes for a interesting story. They meet when Jon loses a bet over a football game and the price of losing is a tattoo of whatever his squad members pick, and it being placed on his body wherever his buddies pick. First off…this made me think Jon’s an idiot, and he can’t even use being drunk as an excuse for this kind of dumb bet. Sparks start to shimmer when the two meet at the tattoo parlor, but Matt just isn’t sure he is into men. I had a little problem with how vehement Matt is against the thought of being bisexual. He is so defensive and adamant against the thought of being gay or bi that he almost moves over into the homophobic category. It does play out that he has a reason for feeling this way, but that info comes along later…it just rubbed me the wrong way that he was so insulted every time someone assumed he was gay. He reacts badly when Jon asks him out the for the first time.
“Can I buy you a drink?”
“A drink? Like–”
Matt jumped enough he nearly knocked over one of the ink cups even though it was held down with a glob of Vaseline. “Are you–no! God. No. I can’t…I’m not gay!”
Jon blinked. “Oh. Um. Shit. I’m sorry.”
“Did you think I was?”
Come to find out, Matt has been in a three way with his ex-girlfriend, Lisa, and ended up having sex with her new boyfriend. So protesting that he is straight really won’t cut it anymore. He knew he enjoyed the sex with the guy more than with the girl, but is having trouble admitting it to himself. He does resolve the bisexual issue…or, I should say, Jon helps him to resolve the issue, because Matt does love the sex with Jon. The sex is hot and burned up the pages of the book. I’m not sure if this book is categorized as erotica or romance, but it falls heavily on the erotica side. There is a lot of sex in this book, it is very well written and steamy as hell…but, there is a lot of it…almost to the point of too much. And…just slap me now…I can’t believe I just said something had too much sex…but I wanted a little bit more story in there.
This is a completely relationship driven book, and there isn’t much plot at all. There was a little talk of Matt being in a bad place in his life, needing new work equipment, car not running well, financial difficulty with school loans, but these topics just fell to the wayside. There was a mention of his ex-girlfriends job hours being flexible, but then no mention of what her job was. I think the book would have read better with these little hanging threads resolved. We meet Matt’s family and learn a little of his background, and I would have liked to have learned some of Jon’s history, but there was nothing about it. Without the depth of knowledge from learning both the men’s backgrounds the story came across as being a little shallow..
The main conflict was Matt resolving his sexuality issues, and what each man wanted out of the love affair. Matt realizes he wants more from Jon, and Jon is firm and resolved in his determination to never be in a relationship. Jon is a self-described ‘shameless slut’ so it doesn’t bode well for anything long lasting between the men.
He didn’t want relationships or romance or a white picket fences. Not with Matt. Not with anyone. He just wanted more of the mind-blowing sex they’d had.
The ending was rather abrupt and I felt like the story got shorted in the resolution area. I would have liked to have seen more dialogue between the two men as they tried to resolve the divisive issue between them. Matt changed his mind, from no relationship to being in love in an instant, and I thought Matt forgave Jon awfully fast. I wasn’t crazy about Jon…so maybe I just wanted him to suffer a little more.
This author and I have a hit and miss history, and I really do think it’s that old saying….it’s not you, it’s me. This book gives the reader exactly what is promised, and if I want more plot or a more complicated storyline, I know to go elsewhere. This is the story of two men hooking up and getting more than expected. I did not read the first book in the series, and I had no problems with this book being read as a stand alone.