L.A. Witt comes to the blog with the first in the Skin Deep series, this one narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo with
The second I’ve read from this author, although the first was a dual-author book far further into the series than this. The concept here is lovely: a closeted gay man, former military with a family that is virulently homophobic finds a tattoo artist who formerly worked in the adult film industry until a bad experience with a director triggered several issues, most he still struggles with today. In fact, as a pair, Daniel and Nick do work well together, once one passes the initial first half of the book which is less constructive dialogue and more action: all of it steamy.
But the book was uneven: Colin’s issues with his past, and his journey to have better for himself as he works with a therapist and gets support from a brother and his trainer made him the standout in terms of characterization and empathy here. Daniel was drawn less carefully and felt very immature and not like a man of 26, experienced in love or not. Dialogue here tried to dig in and get deep, but the awkwardness of ‘frank discussions’ from characters that were difficult to connect to emotionally, even though their issues were ‘presented’ in full, was problematic. It was not until the last third of the title that any sort of emotional connection between the characters was ‘felt’, and then it was a rush to the conclusion without any more information on next, further or where they were now.
Michael Ferraiuolo provides the narration for this story, and he was the highlight of this listen. His voice is smooth and draws you to listen, even as the story itself felt tiring and uninteresting, or more of the same. There was a clear disconnect here between the ‘intention’ and the ‘result’ of the author’s work, and the narration did bridge some, but not all, of that gap.
Overall: 3 Narration 4 Story 2
Title: Back Piece
Author: L.A. Witt
Series: Skin Deep Inc. #1
Genre: Contemporary LBGTQ Romance, Erotic Elements, Family Saga, Humor elements, LGBTQ, Male / Male, Mental Health, Romantic Elements, Second Chance
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Published by: Swerve, Tantor Audio
Published on: 25 April, 2017
Source: Tantor Audio
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 36 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Tantor Audio ♦Direct from Publisher
Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harbouring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?
A copy of this title was provided via Tantor Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.