Spotlight & #Review: Skin Deep by L. R. Couch

Hello Dear Readers,
I recently read a contemporary romance by fellow Champagne Books author L. R. Couch. Check out my thoughts on the story, and enjoy an excerpt.
Happy reading!
xo,
Celia

skin deep by l r couch book cover

Title: Skin Deep
Author: L. R. Couch
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Release date: January, 2019
ASIN: B07M8355CW
# or Pages: 437

Hot, talent and a heart of gold… resistance is futile.

Keller Scott wants to embrace his inner Buscemi and channel his Dafoe, but damn, if his looks don’t keep getting in the way. He’s dying to be taken seriously as an actor and land some legit roles that don’t feature him shirtless, or worse. His playboy reputation precedes him, but that’s not who he is on the inside. Lately, he’s not even sure where Hollywood’s version ends and the real Keller Scott begins.

Enter Joey Mitchell. When she shows up at his office, vying to be his next Personal Assistant, Keller has no doubt that this Summa Cum Laude, USC grad is perfect for the position. She’s hot; petite and curvy in all the right places. But, a starry-eyed fan girl she’s not. Joey packs a mean left hook, along with some blistering hot pepper-spray. She kicks ass and takes names and doesn’t hesitate to put Keller in his place, a few times. On the outside, she’s all business and confidence for days, but on the inside, she’s broken and barely holding it together. Too many secrets and too much sorrow have taken their toll.

Keller and Joey’s lives collide on a more personal level when her best kept secret steals his heart. What begins as a PR goldmine in a pediatric cancer ward, becomes something else entirely. One amazing kid, with a spirit as big as the sky and eyes just as blue- has love enough to bring out the very best in Keller and help Joey heal.

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Celia’s Review: Skin Deep

Hot & Heartwarming

Contemporary romance fans, take note—Skin Deep by L. R. Couch may lure you in and steal your heart.

The story opens with the a cocky, rather unlikeable hero named Keller. I have no problem disliking one or both of the main characters when first introduced to them, as long as they grow and change during their hero’s journey. Keller does indeed become a decent human, so kudos to the author for this. The Meet Cute for our hero and heroine is an amusing misunderstanding and an enjoyable classic Rom-Com moment. Joey comes across as tough and smart—-a nice combo for a heroine—with some realistic and heart–wrenching ghosts in her mental closet.

In terms of characterization, both Keller and Joey are believable, flawed characters. At times they’re impulsive and irrational; they make mistakes, and this makes them interesting. The characterization for the rest of the cast is also spot on. I was particularly amused by Keller’s friends. The dialogue is both realistic and laugh-out-loud funny at times. The cast spends a fair amount of time at their favorite bar, so expect some goofy drunk-speak, too. And then there’s Charlie. Oh, my heart…this little boy drew me in and made me misty-eyed on more than one occasion. He provides a strong dramatic hook for the story, helping to move the at-times slow-paced plot along, and also serves as a focal point for our two lovebirds. No spoilers here, but know that thanks to this child, both Joey and Keller have a load of internal and external conflict to process.

The one con for me in this story is the pace. We’re in deep point-of-view (POV) with both Keller and Joey, and this is nice for a character-driven story. However, the pace was significantly slowed by the overlapping action in the majority of the chapters. Whatever plot point happened at the end of one POV chapter was repeated in the opening of the new chapter in the other character’s POV. This backtracking—instead of picking up where the moment left off—caused the pace to drag and sometimes pulled me out of the drama of the moment.

Leisurely pace aside, Skin Deep is a heart-wrenching and hot read. Joey and Keller sizzle during their intimate moments and that’s thanks to the author’s solid writing skills. Bottom line: it’s an entertaining contemporary romance and a good contribution to the genre.

* 4 Stars given on GoodReads. Complimentary copy received in exchange for a review.

Skin Deep Excerpt

Chapter 1 – Keller

Don’t hate me because I’m hot. It’s just who I am, who I’ve always been. Throw in the fact that I’m a Scott, and well, it just doesn’t get any better than that…at least not in Hollywood. My mother is Felicity Scott; Oscar award-winning actress…six times now, not to mention all the other awards she’s garnered over the years. She’s still America’s sweetheart for fuck’s sake. I got my good looks from her. My father? Not so much: gangly red hair and pale as a ghost. Thank God for my mother’s Guatemalan genes.

Chapter 2 – Joey

I seriously hope I don’t regret this. I mean, it’s not exactly what I dreamed I’d be doing when I graduated magna cum laude from USC. All the years I spent fighting and trying to make a name for myself finally paid off when I earned myself an all-expense paid, academic scholarship to the number one school on my very short list.

[…]

So, here I am, straightening my tie and practicing my most confident smile in the mirror before heading out the door. […] I grab my bag and head to the interview.

 

About L. R. Couch

Writing is her passion–romance, suspense, thrillers, and other things that go bump in the night… “I write Romance and I’m not ashamed to admit that I wear my heart on my sleeve. Yeah, I get stung a lot, but I’m also blessed on the regular, because of it.”

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