Under His Skin Book Review *Adriana Anders*
Her Body is His Canvas
A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret—proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she’s survived.
Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma’s reluctant to bare herself to anyone…much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma’s broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.
Everything about Under Her Skin (Blank Canvas #1) by Adriana Anders made me want to throw it against the wall. Writing a romance with a hero or heroine who has been through unspeakable abuse at the hands of someone they loved takes extreme care. In this case, Under Her Skin fails in so many ways, especially to those readers who have been in the heroine’s shoes in some way or another. As soon as the first chapter ended, I had a bad feeling Under Her Skin was going to make me rage because of the actions of the heroine, and the over the top cruelty from other characters, including the eye rolling romance between the heroine and the hero that happens so fast, which doesn’t make any sense, especially since the heroine was abused, raped and tortured by her former boyfriend. Why doesn’t this make sense? Because less than 2 weeks after the extremely tortured and scarred heroine leaves her psychotic abusive boyfriend, she lands into bed with the hero and wants him to get her pregnant. WHAT??
Uma is on the run from Joey, her boyfriend who has horribly abused her. She was once a professional photographer who met him at a wedding. Because of his blue eyes, and Frank Sinatra looks, she fell for him. He then took over her entire world, going as far to put her name on his back, and visa versa with his name on hers. But then her fairy tale went down hill fast. Joey became controlling, so much so that Uma was smothered and decided to leave him. Joey, who is a big district attorney with the law on his side, ends up raping Uma, and then torturing her with a tattoo gun and tattooing her all over her body. Uma runs away after he finds her at a women’s home, not even asking her mother in India for help because her mother wouldn’t understand because Joey is handsome and well respected; he could never be an abuser.
Uma answers a sketchy ad in the paper to take care of an old lady, who’s a hermit in her home. The old woman is just as cruel and mean as Joey, but uses words instead of fists. But Uma doesn’t have much of a choice. She also meets Ivan, a not so handsome, bearded lumberjack type man who is a neighbor of the hermit old lady. He appears kind and gentle. He treats Uma with care. Soon she is meeting him at his house, and in less than 2 weeks they’re making out and having foreplay, which leads to hot and heavy sex. After a few rounds of sex, Uma wonders if Ivan will make her pregnant, even though she has suffered a horrible rape and abuse at the hands of another man she had loved. She is suffering PTSD from her horror, but doesn’t mind the intimacy or the possibility of getting pregnant with Ivan.
As Uma and Ivan fall in love, Joey is waiting for revenge for Uma leaving him.
Under Her Skin is a hair pulling read because it takes the abuse of a woman and writes it in a very unbelievable and ridiculous way. I’ve read many romances before with a heroine who has suffered mental and physical abuse from a husband or a lover, including rape, but usually the heroine takes much longer than 2 weeks to recover and jump into a bed with a man she knows nothing about, and who she can’t trust fully. Also the woman Uma cares for is ridiculous in her portrayal, even when it’s explained why she is such a wicked witch. Joey is laughable and one-dimensional because we’re told, rather than shown why he’s so evil and abusive to Uma.
Under Her Skin was insulting to me as a reader because of the portrayal of abuse Uma suffers, including her eye rolling actions with Ivan, which doesn’t make any sense.
BIG PASS ON THIS ONE! (Sourcebooks)