Within the Skin


For years, street artist Alba Vargas has donned the name of a boy, El Toro. Now, she’s conquered the art scene by storm, but going back to living as a woman after having disguised herself as a boy for this long, is far from easy. Especially when tattoo artist Fernando Pharaoh—a man she has secretly loved for years—comes into the picture. She once saved his life, but now he will need her help again as he becomes ensnared in a criminal enterprise that could cost him his life. 

When Alba’s younger brother gets dragged into Pharaoh’s mess and is kidnapped, she will stop at nothing to save her brother, even if this could end up breaking Pharaoh’s heart.

This is an intriguing, twisted romantic suspense story with flawed characters that will have the reader rooting for them, and messed up storylines that will leave readers shaken. So much happens in the layers underneath the story that the story itself sometimes gets a little lost  in subplots and character-driven struggles that happen on the sidelines. Still, the book has some flaws: the suspense is too predictable, the villain is almost cartoonish and one-dimensional, and the writing, while okay, isn’t outstanding. Still, readers looking for an intriguing romantic suspense with flawed but relatable characters, should give this a shot. 

Majanka Verstraete