Series: Sinful Skin #1
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: College, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Tattoos
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After her parents pull the plug on her college fund to finance their nasty divorce, Hailey Jakes is desperate to pay her own way and finish her degree in graphic design. She can hardly believe her luck when the sexiest guy she’s ever seen hires her to be the receptionist at his tattoo shop. With sea-blue eyes, jet-black hair, and full sleeves of tattoos on his muscular arms, Neill Vanderhaven looks like the kind of guy who wouldn’t give her the time of day. In fact, he’s mesmerized by her—and it doesn’t hurt that she’s talented as hell.
But Hailey and Neill have more in common than instant chemistry: They’re both carrying serious baggage. Hailey’s parents split after years of blowout fights and sloppy affairs. Neill just got out of something serious with a woman who loved her bad habits more than she loved him. When they take the plunge on a new relationship, they’re both breaking their own rules.
But then a terrible misunderstanding brings Neil’s worst fears to life, and their connection threatens to come crashing down. What they have is more than skin-deep, but now Hailey and Neill need to decide whether the kind of love that lasts forever is worth such exquisite pain.
I like new adult books that take place on a college campus and I love romance books that take place in a tattoo shop, so needless to say this was the perfect combination of the two of them. I love tattoo shops and the people who work at them, they always seem to make sure good book characters. I was also pretty interested in Hailey’s story because while she is an adult away at college, her life back at home is clearly falling apart and without a doubt it is wrecking havoc on her life at college, and I know people who have been through similar stuff, so it was intriguing.
So Hailey was interesting to me, in some regards I thought she was strong, and then in other regards she kinds of shrinks into herself, second guessing her own feelings and reactions. I mean when she finds out her parents are getting divorced and he dad wants her to move back home and they aren’t going to be paying for her college anymore, she stands up to him and decided to find a way to make it work for herself to stay in college, including getting herself a part time job (enter the tattoo shop). So at first I thought to myself, she’s an independent girl, she has a bit of a strong personality, I liked her. But she also has this super weird kinda creepy academic advisor who makes her question herself so much. It actually drove me a little crazy how much she second guessed herself in her head. She also got so wrapped up in her infatuation with Neill that she is constantly forgetting to show up to class or do assignments, for someone who was so determined to go to college it was just a little odd for me.
And as for Neill, ah sweet Neill. I think Neill has the best of intentions, but oh how he has been screwed over by his ex. I mean she really did a number on his head. He’s like super untrusting and paranoid, there is this early scene where Hailey takes a tylenol and he actually empties the bottle and makes sure they are tylenol. I actually liked him for most of the book, his behavior was pretty understandable given his past. Towards the end I felt like he was getting irrational like Hailey needed to study and told him so and he took it like she didn’t want him, it was bit too needy for me in that moment. But other then that, I liked him.
I thought the pacing in the first three quarters of the book was kind of great, I loved how the characters got to know each other, and the vibe from the shop, the secondary characters were really funny and interesting. It was just really easy to get lost in the book, like I blinked and a lot of time had passed and I was pretty far in the book, I got sucked in. Towards the end though the pacing picked up big time and things started happening super fast, I wish it had been just a tad bit slower I think it would have really increased the suspense/drama as well as the payoff. In the end this was an enjoyable book for me for sure.