Java Girl’s Review – Cover Up (Skin Deep Inc. #3) by L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt remains one of my favorite writers of m/m romance, however, Cover Up was a little disappointing, and my least favorite of the series. ~ Java Girl, Guilty Pleasures 

After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.

Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.

From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?

Third installment of L.A. Witt’s Skin Deep romance series, COVER UP is a story of passion, pleasure, and happily ever after.

The Skin Deep, Inc. series started out on a high note, but has been unable to sustain it over the last two books. In Cover Up (perfect title, btw), Nate meets tattoo artist Lucas when he goes for a consultation to cover up a tattoo he and his soon-to-be ex-husband got together. For the first time in a long time, he finds himself attracted to a man, and he and Lucas embark on a casual, no-strings sexual relationship. Except, Nate has never been a casual, no-strings kind of man. I liked Nate and Lucas a lot. They are both very appealing characters, however, Nate’s denial and steadfast refusal to talk about or deal with his emotions regarding the end of his ten-year relationship were frustrating (for me, and Lucas!), and obviously going to lead to trouble. Given the nature of their relationship, a multitude of sex scenes make perfect sense, but I honestly got tired of them after a while. I wanted the two men to spend more time talking and getting to know each other better, to build their relationship beyond sex. The few scenes where they did spend time outside the bedroom, were some of my favorites, but they were much too rare, for me. When the inevitable fallout from Nate’s refusal to deal with his life came to fruition, I totally felt the emotional pain he was going through, but I felt it was too rushed. The speed at which he suddenly recognized what he was burying instead of processing, and the manner in which it was resolved just didn’t work for me. I guess I wanted more from Nate, more of the hard work it takes to get over the end of a long term relationship. For me, Cover Up was a disappointment.

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