Under the Skin by Nicki Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was reviewed for NetGalley
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.
This was a fraught and a tightly written. I loved the frantic nature of the relationship and how the dynamic slowly changed from lust to love. Had the danger level not been kept so high I don't think it would have worked so well. As it is this novella was exciting and highly sexually charged and was a story I would recommend to anyone who likes hot man on man action and a straight up good story.
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