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Skin Heat (Berkley Sensation) Mass Market Paperback – January 4, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Only readers of Skin Game and Skin Tight will be able to make sense of this sequel. A mad scientist has kidnapped people with special abilities to alter their DNA. Alabama dirt farmer Zeke Noble was one of them, and he returns home a changed man. No longer able to read, but with enhanced senses, increased stamina, and the ability to communicate with animals, he gets a job assisting riches-to-rags veterinarian Neva Harper, who has been improbably disowned for wanting to pursue a career. Their attraction blossoms, but suffers because he fears his animalistic qualities. Meanwhile, a serial killer is targeting women who look like her. This silly subplot pales in comparison to Zeke's tortuous journey, and while the romance is achingly beautiful, sweet, and sexy, it's difficult to believe that even a vet could really love someone more animal than man.
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From the Back Cover

More wild thing than man...
Zeke Noble has escaped from a secret facility; he has no idea why he was abducted, but the experiments were cruel, soul-killing, and they changed him forever. Now free, his natural affinity with animals has evolved into a dark and dangerous instinct, a curse that costs him too much of his humanity. But he has to rebuild his life, or his tormentors win. To that end, he goes looking for work and finds so much more.

Born to be wild...

Veterinarian Geneva Harper finds herself reluctantly drawn to the lean, mysterious young man to whom the wild is second nature, but she has troubles of her own. She's the black sheep in an old moneyed Southern family, and she never had any interest in learning the family business, or being the good debutante daughter.

Though Zeke's wanted Neva for as long as he can remember, their attraction can never go anywhere. They both know that for different reasons. But when a killer starts leaving a trail of victims, Zeke's need to protect her is as fierce as his desire to claim her as his mate. And love may be the only thing that can save them both...


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Product Details

  • Series: Berkley Sensation
  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425239209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425239209
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,627,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In her life, Ava has been a clown, a clerk, a savior of stray kittens, and a voice actress, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in a terracotta adobe house with her husband and two adorable children who generally do as they are told. In this guise, she writes high octane paranormal romances; she also writes romantic science fiction and urban fantasy as Ann Aguirre.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Schreiner on January 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After six months imprisoned at a secret facility where he is experimented on, Zeke Noble finally escapes. Having no idea why he was kidnapped, he is left bewildered and confused. Worse, he notices he has super hearing, speed and can read other people and animals. Coming home to his desolate farm, with only a nearby aunt, Zeke is at loss for what to do. His mother went insane and killed herself, and he fears he may be on the same path. He is angry at what happened to him and so scared at what he has become. He knows he can't do anything without money, so he immediately goes to look for a job.

Geneva Harper, or Neva is a veterinarian. Going against her wealthy family's wishes, she has gone off in her life to do her own thing, rather than marry who her parents picked out for her. When Zeke comes in looking for a job, she hires him to help do tasks around the office. She notices his quiet strength and his way with animals. When her apartment floods, and there is a break-in at the Vet, Neva decides to take a chance and stay with Zeke. At first they start out as roommates, but the more time they spend together, the more their romantic feelings grow. Zeke keeps his supernatural abilities a secret for as long as he can, but soon Neva starts to notice. There is also a serial killer on the loose, targeting women who closely resemble Neva. Scared she could be a target, her and Zeke lean towards one another to face a difficult future.

Skin Heat is book three in Ava Gray's (aka Ann Aguirre) very unique Skin series. This is a hard review to write because there are things I loved about this book but something that really bothers me too. Ava Gray takes a risk writing her heroes and this is what makes this series stand out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Pohren VINE VOICE on January 18, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Steamy sensuality meets diabolical deadliness in Ava Gray's newest release, Skin Heat.

Imagine being kidnapped, held hostage for months on end, being tortured and probed, the unthinkable done to you - experimented on like some kind of lab rat. Imagine escaping and returning to civilization, unable to read, write, do life's basic tasks. Imagine part of your humanity gone, replaced by animal instincts and abilities. Imagine the unimaginable.

Zeke Noble has never had an easy life. With a family history of mental instability and a mother who was deemed "nuts", no one held out much hope for him. Then when he disappeared for several months, townspeople just assumed that Zeke went off the deep end and simply left. This is the furthest from the truth, however, and when Zeke suddenly shows back up in his hometown, acting completely different, he is given a wide girth and thought of as crazy. For that matter, Zeke questions his own sanity when animal-like instincts take control of his body and his ability to simply read and write have disappeared. What had been done to him in that secret facility and why?

Geneva (Neva) Harper has a deep love of animals, her passion leading to becoming a veterinarian, much to her wealthy political family's dismay. Her inheritance has been frozen and she is completely on her own until she "comes to her senses". However Neva lets nothing stand in her way and her dream of caring for animals.

When fate crosses the paths of Neva and Zeke, the seductive chemistry between the two implodes. No matter how much they fight, the attraction becomes unbearable to deny. Neva senses something different in Zeke. His knack with animals is uncanny and his gentleness toward her is heart wrenching.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By melindeeloo on January 13, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First off from other reviews I've read, I am really glad that I read this third book in the series before reading the second - so I avoided the disappointment for what was apparently a deviation from the series arc. So, I was just expecting expecting a romance with one of the leads having a special talent. And my expectations actually weren't that high because 'The Veternarian hooking up with The Guy with animal magnetism' theme has been done a whole bunch of times in shapeshifter romances, but this was not that story and I was really happy with the different take on that theme here.

Unknown to our Vet heroine Neva, she is the target of a serial killer who is working on his technique, so that when her turn comes her death will be 'perfect'. I didn't remember Skin Game being paranormal/suspense/romance, so suspense element of the story caught me off guard and actually I am not a huge suspense fan - I am not overly fond of being 'in' the head of a serial murderer. I don't know how well that part of the story will work for real suspense fans, since I managed to figure out the killer's identity a heartbeat before the big reveal, and I didn't think that the twist held up after mulling over the story. That's okay though, because I wasn't reading Skin Heat for the suspense, I was reading it for the romance and I really enjoyed the romance.

For me Skin Heat was worth reading just for the hero Zeke alone. Zeke's a person who has self worth issues as a result growing up poor in a small town, and being the son of a crazy woman meant he already didn't fit well into society. But after escaping imprisonment by kidnappers who experimented on him, Zeke has gained new strange powers which make it hard now for Zeke to even fit into the human race.
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