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Under Her Skin

Under Her Skin

4.3 4
by Adriana Anders

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Battered by a life determined to tear him down
This quiet ex-con's scarred hands may be the gentlest touch she'll ever know.
...if only life were a fairy tale where Beauty was allowed to keep her Beast

Ivan thought the world was through giving him second chances. Who'd want a rough ex-con with a savior complex and a bad habit of bringing


Battered by a life determined to tear him down
This quiet ex-con's scarred hands may be the gentlest touch she'll ever know.
...if only life were a fairy tale where Beauty was allowed to keep her Beast

Ivan thought the world was through giving him second chances. Who'd want a rough ex-con with a savior complex and a bad habit of bringing home helpless strays? Everyone in Blackwood, Virginia knew he wasn't good enough for the fine things in life; they knew he was too damaged to save. He just needed to keep his head down, work himself to the bone, and pretend he was content with the lot he was given.

Until she came into his life. Until she changed everything.

Until he realized he would do anything, fight anyone, tear the world apart if it meant saving her.

Blank Canvas series:
Under Her Skin (Book 1)
By Her Touch (Book 2)
In His Hands (Book 3)

Praise for Under Her Skin:
"A dark and emotional tale that will make your spine tingle as well as your heart."—SARINA BOWEN, USA Today bestselling author of Bittersweet
"The perfect romance...a hint of danger, a whole lot of spice, and an HEA you believe in."—ANNE CALHOUN, award-winning author of Under the Surface

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 12/12/2016
In this emotionally riveting page-turner, debut author Anders creates two broken but highly sympathetic protagonists who elicit each other’s inner strength as each seeks to heal from poor choices and toxic relationships. Uma is on the run from her abusive boyfriend after a night of torture in which he covered her body with horrible tattoos. She lands in tiny Blackwood, Va., where a local skin clinic offers free tattoo removal for abused women. After getting a job as a live-in companion to an elderly woman, Uma is drawn to her gruff new neighbor, Ivan, a metalworker and self-defense teacher that strays of many species turn to for nurture. The kindness, integrity, growing trust, and playful, steamy chemistry between Uma and Ivan allows them both to find hope in the possibility of a healthy relationship. Anders’s strong cast of supporting characters includes Uma’s reclusive employer, Ivan’s sister, and the local bartender, and the town becomes a character in itself. Readers will be hungry for more from Anders’s pen. Agent: Laura Bradford, Laura Bradford Literary. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"An incredibly sexy, heartbreaking, and intense romantic debut." - Kirkus

"This super-sexy but nonetheless poignant love story pulls at the heartstrings." - RT Book Reviews

"Readers will be hungry for more from Anders's pen." - Publishers Weekly

"An incredibly sexy, heartbreaking, and intense romantic debut. " - Kirkus

Kirkus Reviews
In small-town Virginia, a woman trying to erase her abusive past falls for a towering, reclusive blacksmith with secrets of his own. Uma Crane escaped her abuser with nothing but the clothes—and scars—on her back. Covered in jagged, ugly ink bearing the hateful words of her ex, she makes it to Blackwood, Virginia, to begin the process of tattoo removal. When she takes a job assisting an eccentric old woman, she meets the blacksmith next door, a hulking presence in a flannel shirt with a big beard and scraggly mane. Ivan is the classic strong, silent type, an outwardly terrifying man with an incredibly soft heart. He begins to care for Uma the way he does his menagerie of strays: dogs, cats, chickens, and even a baby skunk that wormed their ways onto his back porch and into his caretaking heart. Uma is resistant: she's only in Blackwood for a short time, and she's suffering from the aftershocks of a brutal night relayed in terrifyingly detailed flashbacks. Anders portrays Uma's post-traumatic stress not as a checklist of generalized symptoms but as a complex, always-morphing element of one woman's past, present, and future. While plot elements and secondary characters are predictable (the reappearance of the ex is a foregone conclusion), Anders elevates the "sex heals" narrative common in romance with lovely writing and deeply emotional intimate scenes. Importantly, Uma's recovery is her own achievement, aided by the women in her life, not something bestowed on her via the attentions of a gorgeous man. An incredibly sexy, heartbreaking, and intense romantic debut.

Product Details

Publication date:
Blank Canvas , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.20(d)

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Under Her Skin 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
gaele 11 hours ago
Insightful and perfectly messy, the book and plotting mirror the lives of the two main characters, Uma and Ivan, and their attempts to find a way to move on and forward. Uma had a horrible relationship and ran from her ex Joey, but the need to run from her abuser, combined with 2 fortuitous (or so she thought) advertisements landed her in nowheres-ville, as companion and helpmate to Mrs. Lloyd, a cantankerous and darkly humorous old woman who seems to offer a devil’s bargain, and a tattoo removal clinic that works out financial arrangements for abuse victims. Tucked away in this little town, with no friends and fewer leads to find her, Uma has started to find a ‘safe’ space to exist. And then there is Ivan, recently out of prison and neighbor to Mrs. Lloyd. While he appears to be all broody, dark and dangerous, Ivan has a heart of gold, always bringing in and healing the strays he encounters, and Uma strikes him as one of those strays who needs him. Both of these characters have pasts: although Uma’s is more dramatic, you can’t help but feel for Ivan and his struggles. And just as he is believing he could, can and does provide Uma with something, she starts to retreat, throwing his own plans into tumult. Like many victims, even as Uma has decided for herself that she was moving forward, she hadn’t really dealt with it all, stuffing reactions and impulses down, all but for the run. And her rehash and comparison of Ivan and Joey, did more harm than good for their growing relationship: until she started to see Ivan for what he was. Gentle and not so gentle pushes, comments and asides from Mrs. Lloyd helped to push Uma into some tentative growth, and from the beginning of those moments, she did start to become less guarded, less timid, and more honest and open with Ivan. Not an easy or comfortable read, it is a read that is well worth the time, as both Ivan and Uma seem to be better as a couple than either is alone, and with some insights into Mrs. Lloyd’s past, Uma is able to see that she can take charge of, and change her own life. A wonderful debut. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 4 days ago
Excellent book loved this author over 300 oages for a free book! All the makings if a great read, wonderful hero( swoon) a gutsy girl who will not live in fear and a persnickety older lady. Lot of great secondary characters makes for a really great read. Beachgirl reads...mmmm
teetee1968 20 days ago
Under Her Skin is a great story of life moving on. Despite our heroine, Uma's, abusive past, she shows how to persevere. Being on the run, no money and desperate to remove the more obvious damage of her abuse, she takes on a job that definitely makes me wonder about her mental stability! The cantankerous old woman that has hired her seems to be as scary as the past Uma is running from. But, as any good story will show you, there is more than meets the eye. When she meets the giant of a man next door, she is torn between wanting to trust him and wanting to run as far away as possible. Ivan has his own secrets and dark past. He is willing to work through those issues to be with the one person who may just understand him best. Adriana Anders weaves a dark and emotional story in her debut novel. A story that may pull many feelings from the reader, good and bad, but delivers the happy ever after. I loved the journey. I always enjoy a good emotional roller coaster! Looking forward to reading more in this series, as well as from this author!
gigiluvsbooks 21 days ago
Her Body is His Canvas A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret—proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived. Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone…much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin. Review: Wonderful debut for this Author! There are so many ways to describe this book that I am having a hard time making them be succinct and make sense. It has dark subject matter that maybe a trigger for some, but I think the Author did a wonderful job with it. I liked the unique way she dealt with abuse and especially with how Uma is tattooed during her abuse and after how she goes about changing her life and the tattoos on her body. I have to say that just like Ive I wanted to kill Joey for her. One thing I found a little odd was there were so many abused women in this town. I don't know the statistics about abuse but it seems high for this small town. Besides the emotion and tension around Uma's abuse and that her ex could find her at anytime. There is a super sexy romance going on here. It builds slowly which makes sense to the story and even with Uma fully dressed most times (because of the tattoos) it sure is hot. Ive is very good for Uma. His sister having been abused make him compassionate and patient when getting to know and act upon the chemistry between them. For this being this Author's first book it is very rich and emotional. It is also first in a new series, that I cannot wait to read more of. 4Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
MBurton 21 days ago
This book was weird, yet good. Messy, not perfect kind of good. When I started it, the characters were very different and not what I was expecting. This story follows Uma who has been abused by her ex. You don't learn right away exactly what he did, but you start to put the pieces together. It's not what you normally read about in abuse victims. It's no less horrific, but it sure made me think about what I would do if it happened to me. I think that's what the author did really well in this story. When Uma ended up In Blackwood, VA with no money, she takes a job as a live in helper for Mrs. Lloyd, an elderly woman. My first thought of Mrs. Lloyd is that she was cray cray. Not really a place for a recently abused woman should be at. Then we meet Ivan. I really didn't know what to think of Ivan at first. He reminds me of one of those men who has spent too much time alone in the woods. It's a weird mix of people, but the more you learn about all of them, the more they grow on you and the more you understand why they are they way they are. Like I said, weird but a good weird. Really my only complaint was one scene with another woman. It was a small scene and not major but that's kind of my point. It was unnecessary to the story and I'm not a fan of interference with other woman in books. I am definitely interested in reading the next in the series to see how this author will top this book. ARC Provided by NetGalley.