Jul 12, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Skin Dive by Ava Gray (Skin #4)

Paranormal Romance
July 5 2011
Mass Market Paperback
280 pages
Received from publisher

Yummy Man – Taye
Kick Ass Chick – Gillie

From Goodreads
She can’t remember what home is like
Gillie is a fugitive. She has the scars to prove her long-term incarceration, but it’s the kind of story that would land her in another cell if she tried to present it to the authorities. Now that she’s free, she’s determined never to be bound again. She has a powerful healing gift—and a fierce resolve never to use it, unless it’s her choice.

He can’t remembering wanting anything more
Taye is keeping a powerful secret. He cannot remember everything about his past, but he knows he used to be homeless, one of the crazy-tinfoil-hat-wearing brigade. He knows his own family threw him away when he became too much trouble. He also knows he has a limited amount of time to make sure Gillie gets the life she’s always wanted. It just hurts because he can’t be a part of it. Because his ability is killing him, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

But he’s determined not to seduce her, and to do one thing right before he dies–save Gillie Flynn. But she’s busy making plans of her own…


I am just going to come out and say it:  I LOVED this couple.  When I first heard that the fourth and final book in Ava Gray’s Skin series would be Taye and Gillie’s, I had high hopes for it.  You see, we first meet Taye and Gillie in the second book, Skin Tight.  They aren’t a couple in that book though.  In fact, they just meet and bond from both being part of a horrible situation.  Buy they are lovable from the very beginning and I really was hoping they would end up together.  So you see that’s why I was really happy book four was ‘their’ book!

Gillie and Taye were taken by members of the Foundation because they both possess incredible powers (for lack of a better word).  Gillie can heal people, including those with cancer, by taking the disease into herself and letting her body heal it.  Taye can manipulate electricity and use it as a weapon.  They had become two very valuable assets to the Foundation.  Until *slight spoiler* they escaped.

Gillie surprised me in this book.  You know she possesses a strong character because she’s not insane even after being imprisoned, used and tested on for half of her life.  But she was actually a little kick ass and I for one loved it!  She has been imprisoned for so long that she is determined to do what she must to stay free.  She also knows she wants Taye and is pretty much willing to do anything to keep him too.

And Taye.  *sigh* I must admit that I wanted to smack him upside the head sometimes.  He is so sure that Gillie just wants him because she’s never known any other option that he is pushing his own feelings down to give her a chance to ‘explore’.  Even though Taye was a bit of a dumbass, he was still an amazing read.  He is so thoughtful of Gillie, he just wants to make sure she gets the life she deserves.  And how can you not love a man like that?  Especially when he has also been trapped for years and has no recollection of his life pre-Foundation.  Always thinking of Gillie first.  Again…*sigh*

I had three tiny little issues with this book.  But as you can tell, they weren’t enough to dampen my rating.  I was slightly confused every time Taye’s stomach pain came up.  Only at the very end do we find out what was up with that exactly.  Before then, I thought it was only caused by using his powers…and that’s an easy-ish fix.  But nope.  It was serious stuff.  I just don’t know why it was explained a little more earlier on.  I also found the ultimate climax of the book/series was a little rushed and some of the ‘revelations’ came out of nowhere.  Finally we have Tanager and Mockingbird.  What the???  Even though we don’t see much of Tanager in this book, we see enough that you get a little attached and want her to get a happy ending too.  I just felt like she got totally jipped in this story.

Just a little note:  Even though this is a series, they are pretty much stand-alone books.  But, to really get the full effect of them all, you should read them all and in order.  There is a little bit of back story that can make you appreciate the scope of the world Ava has built, especially in the second and third books.  But if you are short on time and can only read one, don’t fret.  Ava does a good job recapping what happens with Gillie and Taye in Skin Tight so you won’t feel lost.

Ava Gray (a pen name for Ann Aguirre) has a lovely writing voice.  She’s a wonderful story teller and her characters will stick with you.  Her Skin series is labelled under ‘paranormal romance’, but it’s not your typical one.  There are no vampires and no weres – it’s closer to an X-Men type of paranormal which makes it inventive and different.  I have read all four books and I can easily say that if you are looking for a different twist in a paranormal writing, smart story lines and intense characters, then you would really enjoy this series.

As for Skin Dive, it is to be the last book in the Skin series and I found it ended the series perfectly.  I actually found myself re-reading the last couple of chapters because they made my heart swell and made me smile real wide.  And even though I had high expectations for this book, Ava met them and then some.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Rain trickled down his pale face, tangling in his lashes.  His stillness told her nothing at all, but she felt sure he thought she was an idiot.  But then his mouth softened, and he cupped her cheek in his hand.  That was actually worse because she glimpsed sympathy:  poor little thing.  She’s a little lost lamb in the big bad world.
Gillie bit him.”


“’Is it wrong to admit I like it when you yell at me?’

She cocked a brow.  ‘Why?’

‘Means you trust me not to hurt you, no matter what.’

A grin curled the corners of her mouth.  ‘I bet you like it even more when I throw things at you.  Crockery.  Vases.  Bowls.’

‘Aw, yeah.  Now you’re just trying to get me hot.’”

Books in the Skin series –
Skin Game
Skin Tight
Skin Heat
Skin Dive

  1. Okay, you’ve finally convinced me. I am adding this to my “buy” list. I think that the quotes did me in…. hehe! Great review! smiles…

  2. I’ve heard a lot about this series, especially from you, when you read the other few books and reviewed them. I have book one on my TBR list and I hope one day I will eventually get to it. It’s refreshing to see that it’s only a 4 book series instead of the series that are 7-8 books long and continuing. 🙂 Great review Julie and I’m happy to see that the few small things didn’t affect your overall outlook on the book.

  3. Nice review, Julie! I hate to see this series end! Loved Taye and Gillie!

  4. Jennifer E says:

    I did not know that Ava Gray was Ann Aguirre. I read a short story by her and loved it. I need to check out all her work. Thanks for the post.

  5. Christi – Yay!

    Deanna – The first book is smokin’!

    Amy – They are just too perfect together!

    Jennifer – Ava is Ann and she is awesome. 🙂

  6. I have GOT to get into this series… you know my obsession admiration for Ms Aguirre.

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