Java Girl’s Review – Pounding Skin (Skin Deep Inc. #2) by L.A. Witt

I loved the story of Matt, a struggling young tattoo artist, exploring his bisexuality with Jon, an older experienced man. L.A. Witt is one of my favorite writers of gay romance, her handling of Matt exploring his sexuality is thoughtful, sensitive, funny, and emotional. ~ Java Girl, Guilty Pleasures 

Fighter pilot Jon Russell never sleeps with the same man twice. Known for his lack of shame when it comes to hooking up, Jon has no interest in commitment—even friends with benefits sounds like too much work.

Matt Huffman has slept with lots of women. He’s had loads of girlfriends. So why does the hot as hell pilot getting a tattoo as the result of a lost bet stop his breath? And how come he can’t stop thinking about him, even after he’s gone?

When Jon returns to Skin Deep the second time, he doesn’t want another tattoo. He wants to hook up with the gorgeous artist he spent hours agonizingly close to, and Matt wants to explore some curiosity about men. Fulfill the desire he can’t stop fantasizing over. And he wants to do it with Jon.

As their casual hook up becomes more than just skin deep, both Matt and Jon are faced with questions they don’t want to answer. Matt understands he’s bi—but are these feelings he has typical of hooking up with a man? Or is it only Jon that can make his heart pound? If Jon wanted nothing more than a fling, why does he find himself needing not just Matt’s body, but all of him? And can their relationship withstand the hardships that makes Jon avoid them in the first place?

The Skin Deep, Inc books can be read in any order—come enter a world where gorgeous tattoo artists and hot Navy men find passion, pleasure, and a happily ever after together.

I really enjoyed Pounding Skin, but I didn’t love it as much as I did Back Piece, the first book in this series. I loved Matt, a young tattoo artist, struggling with his career and his sexuality. I found him to be very authentic—plenty of people his age deal with the same issues, trying to establish themselves in their careers, struggling to make ends meet. He was very introspective and thoughtful about his newly discovered (accepted?) bisexuality. His reaction to Jon, a needle-phobic fighter pilot client, both confused and enlightened him. I loved that he questioned his past behavior and didn’t jump in without giving it a lot of thought. For me, he came across as a really nice, somewhat shy but friendly, young man exploring his sexuality. He was mature, and genuinely cared about the people in his life. Jon, an experienced, slightly older man was really what kept me from loving Pounding Skin. While I felt I really got to know Matt, Jon’s character wasn’t as well developed. This story felt more like Matt’s story, with Jon playing a large, important part, instead of their story. Jon, an unrepentant manwhore with a one and done philosophy, was adamantly opposed to relationships, but I never understood why he felt that way. I never got a satisfactory explanation. His epiphany about his relationship with Matt seemed to come out of nowhere—it didn’t take him long to do a complete about face. Other than his insistence of not being in a relationship, I liked Jon. I would have liked to know him better, but I liked most of what I saw from him. This series has an interesting cast of secondary characters, who fit well into the story. Their interactions are natural and flow seamlessly, not like they were thrown in as an awkward lead-in to the next book. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Lucas’ story, Cover Up.

Review copy provided for a voluntary review.

3.5 stars

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