Under the Skin

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Under the Skin

Patrick Flaherty is a cop who has worked undercover most of his career but at 30 isn't able to play the ingenue any longer. Establishing contacts is part of his job and when he encounters Alexei Boczar during a murder investigation he's interested in the Russian as more than just an informant. What starts out as a power play becomes much more than he could have ever imagined.

Alexei has kept secrets and lived a lie most of his life. He's not sure even he knows who he is. Numb by choice he can't quite figure out what keeps drawing him back to Patrick. The man makes him feel things he thought himself incapable of, and before long he's under his skin just as surely as the tattoos that cover his body. How can a cop and a Russian gangster be together? How can Patrick and Alexei not?

This was a powerful story that really blew me away. Emotional and angry are two words to describe it that come to mind, and those characteristics made it difficult to put it down. Maneuvering through their chosen careers Patrick and Alexei never counted on one another. While both were strong men, Patrick was the more emotional of the two on the surface, but Alexei's still waters ran deep. He had to keep his emotions under wraps or it could mean the end of him.

Both men had a lot to risk being together but Alexei risked the most and as a result had the most to change in order to keep his Patya. Trust and love are hard to find in the criminal underworld but Patrick and Alexei manage. The minefield that is their relationship was well written and very clear to me. The authors did an awesome job setting up the sordid world that Patrick and Alexei live in. One aspect that gave me great enjoyment while reading was Alexei's speech patterns. So authentic and so sexy. The use of Russian endearments was another addition I enjoyed, although it had me at the computer on several occasions looking up translations. The sex was hot and gritty but as their emotions grew so did the quality of their encounters. As it should be. An awesome read you don't want to miss.

Book Blurb for Under the Skin

Police detective Patrick Flaherty has no illusions about Russian mobster Alexei Boczar, but that doesn’t stop his fascination with the bodyguard to one of the most ruthless families in Chicago’s growing Eastern European crime community. From the moment Patrick meets Alexei’s eyes over the body of another Russian mobster, Alexei is a thorn in Patrick’s side, refusing to cooperate with the police and turning all of Patrick’s questions back on him. Alexei’s hard-as-nails persona whets Patrick’s professional determination to get the information he’s sure the gangster is hiding, while personally Patrick just wants to get his hands on Alexei’s hard body.

The tattoos marking Alexei’s skin tell the story of his criminal past, but the more Patrick learns about Alexei, the more he wants to know, until he finds himself over his head in a relationship that might cost him his job and could well cost Alexei his life. Alexei is equally fascinated by Patrick’s willingness to overlook his past and even his present associations, but he has secrets of his own that could drive a wedge between them forever.

Night Owl Reviews Oct, 2011 4.50