The first in the Blank Canvas series from debut author Adriana Anders is on the blog today, perfect for readers who like some healing and self-discovery in their reads. Please read on for my review of
Under Her Skin
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.
Title: Under Her Skin
Author: Adriana Anders
Series: Blank Canvas #1
Also in this series: By Her Touch, In His Hands
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published on: 7 February 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
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.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: