Norah O'Malley has been alone for a long time. It's been ten years since her father and four brothers shipped her off to be raised by her aunt. Seven months since she's seen the guy who got her pregnant--who still doesn't know. And it's two weeks since she came home to Chicago and discovered none of her family wants to talk--or listen.
She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop seven months pregnant and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. She can't even see her socks. But Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and if he has a past, well, so does she. Even more, Kai knows how to listen so that Norah feels just a little less alone . . .
All the chemistry in the world can't help Norah make her decisions. And no sizzle of desire will make Kai believe in happy endings. But a little time with someone who understands might just change everything . . .
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Under Your Skin
By SHANNYN SCHROEDER
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2016 Shannyn Schroeder
All rights reserved.
Norah O'Malley woke like she had every day for the past two weeks: lying in her brother's bed, in her father's house, rubbing her pregnant belly like it was a Magic 8 Ball that held some mystical answers for her fucked up life. Her bladder was full to bursting, another perpetual condition these days. Struggling to sit up, she shifted to get to the bathroom. This was not how she expected her life to look at twenty-two.
After taking care of business, she studied herself in the mirror. Did she look different? Of course from the chest down her body was no longer hers and hadn't been for some time. Her face looked the same though. Right? She pressed closer to the mirror, propping her belly on the sink. What would Avery see if they met today?
Her older brother Jimmy had been pressuring her since she came home weeks ago to call Avery and tell him she was pregnant. She knew she had to and it had been crappy of her to keep this from him, but she knew Avery. He'd want to take care of her. He was that kind of guy. She could definitely appreciate such nobility in the hero of a book or movie, but in real life, choices like this sucked.
She wasn't sure she was ready to be a mom. Old stirrings of Catholic guilt hit her — years of parochial school had that effect — but she couldn't imagine trapping them when they weren't ready. She shuffled back to bed and sat on the edge. Every time she thought about Avery, her stomach fluttered. Her short time with him had been magical. She'd never felt so loved by any other boyfriend she'd had. Part of her wanted him to be with her through this. A huge part.
Another part was afraid of disrupting his life. She'd dodged his calls all summer, not knowing what to say. He was looking for summer fun, but fun ended for her at the sight of two pink lines.
And now she was afraid of her brothers' reactions. They didn't handle news of her pregnancy well. They would threaten to go after Avery again. If nothing else, she needed to protect him until she figured out what she wanted.
The baby kicked her now-empty bladder and elbowed her ribs. Must be breakfast time. She crept downstairs hoping to avoid running into her brothers, especially Tommy. Tommy was nearest in age to her and they'd always been close growing up, even after Jimmy had shipped her off to live with Aunt Bridget in Boston. Tommy had come to visit her often and called her a few times each week. They had always been more friends than siblings.
She'd expected Jimmy, Kevin, and Sean to blow up when they found out she was pregnant. Telling them over the phone probably would've been better than just showing up on their doorstep six months pregnant. But Tommy was supposed to be on her side. He'd raged the night she came home and the anger had been at a slow burn since.
He barely spoke to her. His first and only question was always: Who is he?
Avery didn't deserve to be on the receiving end of that wrath. The guy had done nothing wrong.
In the kitchen, she poured herself a bowl of cereal and grabbed the last yogurt. As she sat to eat, the basement door opened and Tommy strode in.
"Good morning." She tried for a cheerful tone.
"You offering a name yet?"
"Are you promising not to go after him?"
"Then you have your answer."
He turned from the refrigerator and slammed the orange juice carton on the table in front of her. "Why are you protecting him?"
"Because he did nothing wrong. We did this together, and he doesn't even know I'm pregnant." Maybe an explanation would help. She owed him that, and Jimmy had handled it pretty well. She kicked a chair out next to her.
He gripped the back of the chair but didn't sit.
"He wasn't a one-night stand, Tommy. We met over Christmas break and had a great couple of weeks. Then he went back to school. We tried the long-distance thing. He visited a few weekends, but it didn't work. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn't know what to do. He came back to Boston for spring break, and I planned to tell him then. But it felt so good to have him back. I felt good with him and I didn't want to lose that."
Tommy shoved off the chair and rubbed his head. "He's not even a real boyfriend."
She shrugged. "It felt real."
Pushing away from the table, she stood close to Tommy. "When I came home, all I wanted from you was to have you in my corner. I know I fucked up. In so many ways. I miss you."
Tommy's shoulders sagged. Finally she saw the opening she'd been looking for for weeks. He stared at her with worry in his eyes. A welcome change from the anger she'd been seeing.
"I've missed you too, squirt."
She laughed and the motion caused the baby to kick and jump again. "I'm far from being a squirt now."
The corner of his mouth lifted but he didn't fully smile. "See you later."
Then he walked out the back door without even drinking the juice he'd taken from the fridge. Norah sighed. At least she'd made some progress with one of her siblings.
She knew if she could win Tommy over, he'd help with the others. As she finished her breakfast, she developed a plan. Tommy shouldn't be too difficult to crack now that she'd slipped past his defenses.
* * *
Norah spent her morning cleaning the house and making sure her dad took his medication. The stubborn old man never wanted to do what he was supposed to. It was no wonder Jimmy had felt the need to move back home to take care of their dad. Someone had to keep an eye on him or his diabetes would get out of control. Sean and Tommy were pretty useless in that area. They couldn't even remember to put away their hockey gear. How would they remember to make sure Dad regulated his insulin?
Once that was done, she went online to look for a job. She couldn't possibly sit around the house all day with nothing to do. She couldn't enroll in school because she'd have to take time off after having the baby. There had to be someone who'd be willing to hire her at least temporarily. The outlook was pretty dismal, so she closed the laptop and moved on to the next phase in her plan to make Tommy happy. Rice Krispies Treats had always been his favorite, but for whatever reason, he had a mental block when it came to making them himself.
She ran to the store for ingredients and whipped up a batch to take to him at work. Since he was a tattoo artist, he worked strange hours. Sometimes he'd work in the afternoon, other times, he'd be there half the night. She'd overheard him telling Sean he had some touch-ups to do on a tattoo this morning and then he had a long session this afternoon.
She hoped the dessert would be a peace offering.
On the way to the tattoo parlor, she stopped at a drive-through and grabbed some burgers for them. She rubbed her belly and wondered how bad it was to feed the baby fries. The baby really wanted fries. She hadn't craved fries this much since she was fifteen. The only thing she wanted more than fries was lime yogurt. Luckily, the baby didn't require them together. That would just be gross.
She was out of breath from the short walk from the car to the shop because the baby decided to tumble around pressing on who knew what. She walked through the door of Ink Envy gripping the bag of food and plate of treats. On the wall hung frames showing various drawings and photos of tattoos. Looking around, she saw stations, like in a beauty salon, separated by short partitions. Different styles of chairs, none appeared too comfortable.
"Hi, can I help you?" a short, pudgy guy with sleeve tats asked.
"I'm here to see Tommy."
Just then, Tommy came from a back room and caught her eye. "What are you doing here?"
"I came bearing gifts." She set the food on the glass-topped counter.
"What do you want?"
She sighed. Maybe it was too soon. "I want you to not be mad at me anymore. I brought Rice Krispies Treats."
"A bribe? Really?"
She lifted a shoulder. "And burgers. Whatever works."
He dragged a couple of stools to the counter and pointed for her to sit down. The counter was tall enough that when she sat, her stomach was mostly concealed. Knowing Tommy would start with dessert, she slid the plate of treats over.
He peeled back the foil and pulled a square from the pile. "This doesn't change things."
"It changes them a little. You're at least talking to me."
He chewed and swallowed before asking, "What are you gonna do?"
"I don't know. I think about it all the time. I know I need to tell the father. And I will. Soon. Until then, I want to settle in and restart my life. I spent the morning looking for a job. I don't suppose you know of anything?" She munched on her fries while they talked.
"No one's gonna hire you. You're a liability."
Norah rolled her eyes. Tommy wasn't saying anything she didn't already know.
"Maybe you should take it easy for a while."
"That'll make me crazy. I can't sit at home with Dad all day."
"Come on, you know you like pricking him with a needle."
She laughed louder than she'd intended, but he was right. She did enjoy it a little. But laughing with Tommy was the best feeling she'd had in a long time.
* * *
Kai Ellis came from the back room to the musical sound of female laughter. The girl sitting across from Tommy at the front counter had an awesome rack spilling out of her tank top and her tits jiggled as she laughed.
"Hey," he called, "I told you no girls while you're on the clock. Get busy on your own time."
Tommy dropped the food in his hand. "Gross, man. This is my sister."
She wiggled her fingers. Then she pointed. To Tommy, she said, "Let's ask your friend here, I'm sure he's made mistakes in his life."
"Boss." Kai crossed his arms. He had no intention of answering questions about his mistakes, but it annoyed him that she jumped to the conclusion that he'd made them. Part of the reason for opening his own business was so he would never have to answer to anyone about his past again.
"I'm his boss."
She continued on as if he hadn't spoken. "It's normal for people to make mistakes, right? Even if they're huge mistakes, you still learn from them. Life lessons and shit."
He knew all about making life-altering mistakes, but he still wasn't about to discuss them. Addressing Tommy, he said, "Girlfriend or not, she needs to go."
Her eyes popped wide and she slid from the stool. Tommy laid a hand on her arm. "It's fine." He twisted on the stool. "Kai, this is my sister, Norah. She just moved back to town."
Norah stepped around Tommy with her hand extended. Her belly stuck out full with a baby. He'd forgotten about Tommy bitching about his pregnant sister.
When he didn't move, she dropped her hand. "Sorry. I thought I'd catch Tommy before his client came in. I brought him lunch and dessert." She turned and picked up a plate from the counter. "Want a Rice Krispies Treat?"
Her smile was friendly as she spoke, but her light blue eyes filled with mischief. Like she was offering up more than marshmallows and cereal. It was a good thing that belly was between them. He stayed rooted to his spot. Then his phone rang. Again. He'd ignored Jaleesa all morning, but if he planned to get any work done, he'd have to deal with her.
With his phone in hand, he spun and walked back out the way he came. "Yeah."
"It's about time. I've been calling you all morning."
"Mom's surgery went fine. She came through with flying colors."
He'd figured as much. It was just her knee. "Good to know."
"Are you coming to the hospital today?"
He walked until he hit the back door of the shop and stood in the alley. "I don't know. Depends on how busy I get."
"Kai, it's not like this was some surprise. We scheduled it. You could make sure you're free. You're choosing not to."
His sister's sigh whistled in his ear. "We need to talk about where Mom will go when she's released from the hospital. She'll only be here a few days."
"I thought you were looking into a rehab facility."
"I tried, but it made her upset. She thinks we're going to dump her off and leave her for good."
"So explain to her that's not the case. She knows she won't be able to get around your house. It's not like she lost her mind."
"She's feeling vulnerable and she's worried about being alone."
"I don't know what you want from me, Jaleesa."
"Maybe she could stay with you."
"I have stairs in my house."
"Five, Kai. Five measly steps to get up to your door. Everything else is on one floor. You have the space."
What she really meant was that he could make the space for his mom to move in. He didn't want to. His house was set up exactly as he wanted. He would have to move all of his workout equipment somewhere, probably to the basement or the garage. He had no furniture for her. No bed or anything. He didn't have guests and he liked it that way.
"I can't take care of Mom. I don't know what to do with her."
"And I do? You figure it out, Kai. That's what you do for family."
"I have a business to run and I keep long hours."
"At least think about it. We can probably hire someone to fill in when you're not around so she's not alone, but she'll feel secure in your house."
"Why can't we hire someone to help at your house?"
"Maybe we can convert some space to make it work."
"My whole family isn't losing our living room so you don't have to man up."
He shook his head, not wanting to lose this argument. "We'll talk about this later. I have to go."
"Try to stop by the hospital. It'll make her happy."
"Yeah." He clicked off and stared at the brick building across from him. He was tempted to throw his phone to hear the satisfying crack of plastic against the wall. Instead, he inhaled deeply and closed his eyes. The air he sucked in was rank with the smell of rotting garbage. Tomorrow was pickup day and the heat did no favors for the Chinese restaurant on the corner.
The sun beat against his skin, searing it. Five minutes of quiet without thinking about his mom at the hospital. Anything was better than the damn hospital. Leaning against the back door, with his eyes closed, he allowed the sun to sink into him.
The door thumped against him and he stepped away. So much for his five minutes. Tommy stuck his head out. "Your appointment's here."
Tommy eyed him up and down, but said nothing.
"You're wound a little tight today. Everything okay?"
Kai grabbed the door and swung it wide to go back in the shop. "Your sister gone?"
"Yeah, but she left the Rice Krispies Treats if you want one."
"I'm not six, so no thanks."
"You don't know what you're missing."
As he walked to the front, an image of Norah's jiggling tits gave him some idea what he was missing. She was cute, but knocked up. He definitely didn't need to think about her tits. His client, Marcus, waited on the battered leather couch having a conversation with Puck, another of Kai's artists. Puck was chewing a Rice Krispies Treat.
Kai raised his hand in greeting and then ducked into his office to grab the artwork. Marcus stood at the counter waiting.
"Here's the art." Kai slid the sheet in front of him.
"Looks great," Marcus said, nodding.
"Good. Pay Tommy here and I'll go set up." He handed Tommy the invoice and returned to his station. He made the thermal of the design — an eagle flying with the American flag — and set up his ink.
In here, with the buzz of the machine and the color of the art, he didn't have to think about anything else. He didn't have to worry about his mom or fighting with his sister. The art was everything.
* * *
Norah stared at her laundry basket full of clothes. She had no space to call her own. When she'd come home, she more or less commandeered Jimmy's room, which was almost a full apartment in the attic. Growing up, it had been the boys' bedrooms, but Jimmy remodeled so he could have a living room, bedroom, and bath. Little had he known that Tommy and Sean would both move back home. They lived in the basement. Kevin was the only one who left and stayed gone.
She'd been here for weeks, but it was still Jimmy's room and it wasn't fair for her to take it over.
Two quick knocks sounded at the door before Jimmy stuck his head in. "Hey."
"Hi. I was just thinking about you."
"Yeah?" He came into the room.
"I have no idea what Dad filled my old bedroom with downstairs. I tried looking through it, but he yelled that I need to keep my hands off his stuff."
Jimmy rubbed a hand over his head. "I don't really know what's in there either. I forget that room exists."
"I told you before that I'd move in there so you can have your room back. But you gotta do something about Dad."
"You can stay here. I don't think I'll be needing the space much longer."
Norah's eyes widened. "What do you mean?"
Where the hell was Jimmy going? She'd just come home. She wasn't ready for him to leave her life again. She'd been counting on him being there.
He sat on the edge of the bed. "I was planning on talking to all of you guys at once, but since you're the only one home, I'll start with you." He patted the spot beside him.
She sat and a sinking feeling gripped her. The last time Jimmy spoke with her like this, he'd told her he was joining the army and she was being shipped off to Aunt Bridget's.
"Moira and I are serious. I've asked her to buy a house with me and move in together."
"What? You like just started dating. Isn't that rushing it a bit?" He was leaving, just like she feared. The one guy she needed in her life to lean on and he was leaving.
Excerpted from Under Your Skin by SHANNYN SCHROEDER. Copyright © 2016 Shannyn Schroeder. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Under Your Skin was a very entertaining book. It’s a slight departure from the books that I usually read. The heroine is a 22-year-old named Norah O’Malley. She moves back home and surprises her family with the news that she is 6 months pregnant. She has 3 older brothers and a father who are all over protective and not happy about her situation. After her mother died when she was younger, Norah was sent away to live with her aunt so she wouldn’t be negatively influenced by her older brothers. That’s ironic to say the least. As Norah is trying to figure out her future, she ends up working for one of her brother’s bosses. His name is Kai Ellis and he owns the tattoo parlor where her brother works. Kai’s mom is recovering from surgery and Kai needs someone to look after her for a few months. Kai is a very complicated guy. He used to run with a gang and spent some time in jail. Now, he makes it a point to keep certain parts of his life separate from each other. Consequently, mixing business with pleasure is not his choice. He and Norah attempt to avoid their attraction for multiple reasons but eventually they give in to temptation. Norah’s pregnancy prompts Kai to pursue alternative ways to satisfy their sexual desires and that makes for some extremely hot interactions. Kai and Norah are good for each other. Unfortunately, Kai doesn’t think that he is worthy of someone like Norah. By the end of the book, they have both decided to make some drastic changes to their lives that you may not see coming. I couldn’t help but root for their happy ending. They both have gone through a lot and deserve to be happy and loved. The supporting cast played a huge role in how everything turns out. I especially liked Kai’s mother. I look forward to reading the next book in this series. **Received a copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed.**
Norah O'Malley was pregnant and had not told Avery. Her older brother Jimmy tried to get her to tell him Avery and she knew she had to. But Avery would want to take care of her. She had only been with Avery a short time but it had been magical. Norah hdn’t lived home in ten years. Jimmy had shipped her to her aunt Bridget’s when she was twelve and he went into the army. Kai owned the tattoo parlor Tommy- Norah’s brother- worked at. He had been in a gang and had been to the hospital a lot visiting injured friends. He had horrible memories. But Kai came to see his mother at the hospital because Jaleesa insisted . Jaleesa- Kai’s sister - was the only person who had been on his side no matter what. She was the only person to visit Kai in jail. She had even pusher her husband to lend Kai the money to open Ink Envy. Kai ends up bringing his mother to his house to recover from her knee surgery and he hires Norah to help while Kai is working. Norah is studying to be a nurse so situation was perfect. Norah also has to decide what to do about the baby. Lani - Kai’s mother- become friends. There is also an attraction between Norah and Kai. Norah decided to pursue Kai and he wasn’t sure what to do about her. Norah makes a hard decision but decides the best thing she can do for her child is let her be adopted. I wasn’t too impressed with this story. Norah should be worried about her baby not another man. She hasn’t even told the baby’s father she is pregnant or he is going to be a dad. But she is into going after Kai and he didn’t really seem to want her. Almost forcing herself on him. Maybe Avery would want his child rather than see her adopted. I did like how Norah wanted to protect Avery from her brothers. But did either Avery or Norah worry about using protection hence pregnancy. She was old enough to know better. Norah was an immature and thoughtless young woman and I wasn’t crazy Norah was crazy about Kai yet he seemed cold and didn’t really want to deal with anyone or anything. Anyway I just didn’t really enjoy this story.
Just wish the story continued!
This book is the first in a spin-off series, although I have never read any of the books in the other series it did not have any impact that I am aware of for this story. We start off with Norah, a twenty-two year old who is seven months pregnant. This was not planned, and in fact, the father still knows nothing about it. Her family are giving her grief over her not telling them who the father is, but as he doesn't know yet, she doesn't want them to beat him up for something that took two to make! Kai is an ex-con who has managed to leave that life behind him and has opened up a tattoo shop. He has made himself quite a reputation and life is good. He is very strict about having boundaries, and does not like it when one part of his life crosses over to other parts. These two first meet when Norah visits Kai's shop, where her brother works. Then she gets hired by Kai to look after his mom whilst she recovers from a knee operation. There is lots that goes on in this book - you have Kai's past and present that he is dealing with, Norah has to deal with her pregnancy, the father, and then decides she wants Kai too. Although it was good to see a woman go after what she wants, it seemed a bit much and full of drama at parts. Well written, with no editing or grammatical errors that I saw, this is a contemporary romance that some people with thoroughly enjoy, whilst others don't. Perhaps it would be best to read the O'Leary series first, to get an idea of the author's style of writing. I don't know. I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to all fans of contemporary romance. Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Dark and edgy tones on the tale, with a silver lining of hope, as Norah and Kai are going through some growing pains, fumbling, yet never falling, until they are falling for each other. I liked how the story was spread over time. Norah's pregnancy put the brakes on the attraction Kai and Norah have for each other and gave them time to slowly, quietly, and deeply to get to know each other. They both are at the doorway to a new chapter in their lives and the unexpected source of support that they for each other is helping them stumble through it. The tale is told in 3rd person point of view, yet the author has captured the angst and blues of the New Adult genre well. The hope, humor, and sass Norah have is refreshing giving the story lighter moments of laughter and smiles. The development and growth of the characters are palpable. The passion and fervor between Kai and Norah high and hot, yet achingly beautiful and somehow fragile. The families Shannyn Schroeder creates in her series are always filled with energy, never perfect since no family is, they have their problems and issues, yet able to be the for each other, and support each when the time of need arise. The imperfection of the characters, the fails, and blunders make them easy to relate to, likable and charming, appealing and enjoyable. They are all strong characters, that carry the story well, they pull you into their world, and makes you part of it. This is the kind of story that you stay up all night reading because it is hard to put down, the kind of series that you long for the next installment as soon as you finish one. It breaks your heart a bit, it makes you smile, and at the end of the story, sigh. ~ Four Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
This is a stereotypical new adult novel that involves a pregnant heroine and the guy she pursues as she figures out her life. Norah moves back home and after the father of her child decides to not be involve, she decides to give the child up for adoption. While she waits for the baby to be born, Norah works with her brother at a tattoo shop as a receptionist. She immediately is drawn to Kai the reclusive owner, and she pursues him even though he is very resistant. Will Norah convince Kai to give her a chance? This was a hard book to finish. I applaud Ms. Schroeder for showing a main character considering all her options for her pregnancy, and choosing adoption. Unfortunately the rest of the book was more new adult angst than adult romance. It wasn't my cup of tea. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
Under Your Skin is an engaging love story by new to be author Shannyn Schroeder. This is the first book in her brand new series For Your Love, and it can be enjoyed as a standalone. The series is centered around the Chicago O'Malley's, a complicated family made up of four brothers, a sister, and a father that prefers to remain in the background. This book is about nursing student Norah O'Malley, and how she finds love. At the tender age of twelve, Norah was sent to live with her aunt in Boston after her mother passed away. She returns home ten years later, and seven months pregnant, determined to make a new life for herself. She has to get to know her brothers once again and decide upon the future of her unborn child. She meets tattoo artist and business owner Kai Ellis, through her brother Tommy, who works for Kai. They share an instant attraction, which slowly develops into much more. Kai hires Norah to help with his mother's recuperation from knee surgery, which results in them seeing each other almost every day. Kai's past has always been a thorn in his side, but due to his love for Norah, he is able to finally move forward and make a commitment to her. I liked this book. Norah and her brothers have an interesting dynamic, and I liked how Ms. Schroeder provided snippets of information about each one of them throughout the story. The brothers O'Malley are a protective group, and they will do whatever is necessary to keep Norah safe. I felt Norah's struggle and teared up as she meandered through the adoption process. Norah and Kai are an interesting twosome and their sexy times are quite hot. I liked them both as individuals and as a couple. The ending was a little abrupt, and I felt that there was much more to say about Norah and Kai's future. Overall a solid read. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
When Norah O'Malley finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she knows that there is no way she can stay in Boston and continue to go to school, so she reluctantly packs her belongings and heads home. Showing up in her current predicament and facing her family has her completely on edge, she knows her brothers are going to want answers...answers she's just not ready to give. The father of her child is not in the picture and she knows her brothers are not going to take the news well, but it is what it is, and they are just going to have to except that fact. Being back in her family home, after ten years away, is a little surreal, and extremely lonely, with no friends to speak of, and being trapped at home with a crabby ailing father, she is going stir crazy and in need of something to do. Luckily her brother's boss needs someone to help care for his mother, and he's willing to give Norah a shot at the job, and the minute she meets her new boss, she knows she'd like a shot at something else too... his heart! Kai Ellis has turned over a new leaf, and is trying to keep his life on the straight and narrow, and his soul focus is his new business. He doesn't have time for dating, or relationships, and when the mood strikes he prefers to keep his interactions with women on more of a no strings attached nightly basis... but that all changes when he meets Norah! He hires to to help care for his mother, and the more time she spends in his home, the more he looks forward to her being there... and the more he doesn't want her to leave. He knows he is no good for her, he has a checkered past, and a girl like her deserves far more than he can offer her, but for some reason she doesn't seem to care, nor does she take a hint when he tries to push her away... she wants him and she just isn't willing to take "no" for an answer! This was my first experience with this authors work and I have to say I was truly impressed with what I found! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kai and Norah's story, it captivated my attention right from the start and had me flying through the pages as fast as I could swipe them. I was really impressed with the writing style, and how easy it was for me to just fall right into the story. and I could tell that Ms. Schroeder put a lot of time and care into developing these characters. My only complaint would be that they didn't act on their undeniable chemistry as soon as I would have liked them too... none the less I really enjoyed this first read, and look forward to reading more from this author very soon! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Kensington Books in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
Blood Is Thicker Than Ink. . . Norah O'Malley has been alone for a long time. It's been ten years since her father and four brothers shipped her off to be raised by her aunt. Seven months since she's seen the guy who got her pregnant--who still doesn't know. And it's two weeks since she came home to Chicago and discovered none of her family wants to talk--or listen. She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop seven months pregnant and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. She can't even see her socks. But Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and if he has a past, well, so does she. Even more, Kai knows how to listen so that Norah feels just a little less alone . . . All the chemistry in the world can't help Norah make her decisions. And no sizzle of desire will make Kai believe in happy endings. But a little time with someone who understands might just change everything . . . Review: I am having a hard time writing a review for this one. I liked parts and did not like others. I do have to say have tissues ready! I was a blubbering mess when it came to the baby and what her ultimate choice for what to do with it. The emotional quality is one of things I liked best about it. The Author made me really feel for what was happening with these characters. What I did not like is that they are ultimately young and like a lot of young people, it is about me and they don't always make the best impression or smart choices. I think in Norah's case she was sent away to her aunt, but she really was not a mother figure. So those things that mothers help with and guide with did not happen in Norah's case and so she comes off young and at times selfish. I think she does the hard and right thing by the baby though. Like Norah, Kai is missing a parent (his father) during his formative years, though it sounds as if he was a little better off without the dad. But he too suffers from being young, selfish and very protective of his heart. Overall, I liked the story and thought the Author did a great job with her writing and trying to show layers to these characters. 3.5Stars *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Under Your Skin by Shannyn Schroeder is the 1st book in her new For Your Love series. I loved the O’Leary series by Schroeder, and I am happy to say that Under Your Skin is a wonderful start to a new series. We even get a member of the O’Leary family in this book; Moira O’Leary is dating Jimmy O’Malley, who is the brother of our heroine. Norah O’Malley is our heroine, who has returned home after 10 years. Norah had been sent at the age of 12 to live with her aunt, since her father and 4 brothers could not take care of her. Now she is pregnant, and comes home to be with her family, as she decides what to do about her pregnancy. We meet Norah and her family from the start, giving us a chance to learn about the O’Malley’s. Norah was a great heroine; sweet, fun, beautiful, independent and determined to live her life the way she wants to. She decides she needs to get a job, as she is bored with being home. Visiting her brother Tommy, at his job in a tattoo parlor, Norah meets the boss, Kai, our hero. Kai has had a rough childhood, spending much time in gangs, and eventually going to jail. But he has learned from his past mistakes, and now runs a good business, and determined to keep himself clean. Norah begins to crush on Kai, but he wants nothing to do with her, as he feels he is unworthy. With his mother coming home from the hospital, Kai needed someone to take care of her during the day. When he is desperate, he hires Norah, which will turn into a mistake…..a good mistake. A major part of this story was Norah making difficult decisions on what to do about her baby. The father of her child makes an appearance, and they remain as friends only. Norah will stand firm that she will do what is best for the baby. Very nicely written. This was a very slow build romance, which was also fun watching Norah do all she can to seduce Kai. It was nice to see Norah become friends with Moira, her first friend since she came home. I enjoyed meeting all her brothers, with Jimmy and Tommy my favorites. I look forward to future stories on them all, though there will be no story on Jimmy, since he and Moira had theirs in the O’Leary series (you do need to read that series). Kai’s mom was also a great character, as she was fun at times. . I loved Norah, and did like Kai, but his constant refusal to open himself to love was annoying at times. He had to let go of his past to move forward with Norah. Under Your Skin was an enjoyable read, great characters and very well written by Shannyn Schroeder. I suggest you read this book and join the fun when we get more stories on the O’Malleys.
I thoroughly enjoyed this one. This is the first book in a new series from this author. It's a spinoff of the O'Learys series and I'm looking forward to reading more about the O'Malleys!! In this one, Norah O'Malley returns to Chicago after being sent to live with her aunt at the age of 12. Coming from a family with 4 older brothers and a father who took the loss of his wife hard, everyone but Norah thought it was for the best. Now she's back. Grown, single, and pregnant. With the baby's father no where in sight, Norah has a difficult decision to make. Keep and raise the baby herself or give the baby up for adoption. While weighing her options, Norah takes a job as a care provider for an elderly woman, working for the very gruff yet incredibly sexy Kai Ellis. Kai is a loner. Never looking for a relationship but he can't deny the attraction that is pulling him to Norah. I definitely recommend this one!
I liked this story. I am sure some will hate it and others will love it. What I liked was Norah’s ability to know what she wanted and her ability to pursue what she thought would be best for herself and her unborn child. I liked the fact that Kai had the tenacity to remake his life after spending time in jail. He did compartmentalize his life without overlapping various aspects but it worked for him and he had reasons for living as he did. Norah is a minx. When she meets Kai she is 7 months pregnant, has just returned home and is lonely. When she sees Kai she likes what she sees and, I think, feels safe flirting with him because she is pregnant. It takes her some time to break through his barriers but eventually they do set up a rapport that leads to friendship and more. Was it realistic? Yes. At least it seemed so to me. The two brought something to one another that was missing and grew as people as a result of their relationship. This is the first in a new series by this author and stands alone. I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington Books for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.