Release Day Review by Kristie: Pounding Skin, by L.A. Witt

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Pounding Ink, by L.A. Witt
Series: Skin Deep Inc., Book #2
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press/Swerve
Release Date: July 11, 2017

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Fighter pilot Jon Russell never sleeps with the same man twice. Known for his lack of shame when it comes to hooking up, Jon has no interest in commitment—even friends with benefits sounds like too much work.

Matt Huffman has slept with lots of women. He’s had loads of girlfriends. So why does the hot as hell pilot getting a tattoo as the result of a lost bet stop his breath? And how come he can’t stop thinking about him, even after he’s gone?

When Jon returns to Skin Deep the second time, he doesn’t want another tattoo. He wants to hook up with the gorgeous artist he spent hours agonizingly close to, and Matt wants to explore some curiosity about men. Fulfill the desire he can’t stop fantasizing over. And he wants to do it with Jon.

As their casual hook up becomes more than just skin deep, both Matt and Jon are faced with questions they don’t want to answer. Matt understands he’s bi—but are these feelings he has typical of hooking up with a man? Or is it only Jon that can make his heart pound? If Jon wanted nothing more than a fling, why does he find himself needing not just Matt’s body, but all of him? And can their relationship withstand the hardships that makes Jon avoid them in the first place?

The Skin Deep, Inc books can be read in any order—come enter a world where gorgeous tattoo artists and hot Navy men find passion, pleasure, and a happily ever after together.


M/M Pairing
Gay Character
Bisexual Character
Tattoo Artist
Navy Pilot
Sexuality Discovery

Pounding Skin is proving to be harder for me to review than I thought possible. Why? Because I really did like it a lot, but I don’t know… So, what did I like?

I enjoyed Jon and Matt. Both characters are unique and have their own personalities that single them out from one another. Jon, with his carefree attitude about sex, his promiscuity, his seemingly very deep rooted reasons for not wanting a relationship… he is who he is and he doesn’t apologize for it. I love that in a person. He’s a really good guy, caring and honest. I also liked Matt and all his vulnerabilities, the way he has this quiet confidence that shines when things are going well for him. He’s got a lot to figure out, ideas to come to terms with, and while he’s doing that with Jon, they made quite a pair.

The sort of dating that they do, because neither man want’s a “relationship”, is free, open, and really steamy.  There is a lot of sex. Like, really a lot. Actually, it’s a little bit much for my tastes, but it’s all still very hot. But better were the moments when they each let their guards down, were themselves, and just enjoyed each others company. Because no, it was not all just about the sex. As Jon and Matt get to know each other more, spend more time together, they find that that both like each other very much, and really do enjoy each others company. These moments of fun, laughter, tenderness and caring are what stand out for me the most.

I also really loved Matt’s realization that he’s bisexual, why he’s always denied it, the sort of epiphany that toxic masculinity has been dong him in his whole life, and how it’s not a simple thing for him to overcome and accept. He struggles with it and that struggle felt very real and honest in it’s portrayal.

So I really liked the story. I liked it a lot. But as I mentioned, there is more sex than I felt was necessary.  The relationship they have and the feelings that develop hold the story together, but not a much as I’d hoped. This is partially due to what I felt was a hasty ending. I think I wanted more of fight, more desperate need, and to see more… something. I don’t even know what I wanted. I just wanted more.

But there was one thing that set me off on the wrong foot from the first pages of the story, and that’s the reason for Jon going to Skin Deep for a tattoo in the first place. I really took issue with Jon loosing a bet and having to get a tattoo that his buddies decide on. I get it, I do. But I also don’t like it. People get tattoos for various reasons, but I find that I have a hard time separating my feelings for getting them, with Jon’s experience, so it rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, it’s permanent!

What does all of these equal for me? A good book with really good characters, and I very much enjoyed, and the tease of where the next book in the series will go… Nate. Ugh. I need Nate’s story next like I need to breathe. So read this, because you’ll for sure want this book as background for the one to come. I’m sure of it.


L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies.

You can find out more at her

You can purchase Pounding Skin from:
Google Play
Barnes & Noble

Or add it to Goodreads

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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

2 thoughts on “Release Day Review by Kristie: Pounding Skin, by L.A. Witt

  1. Thanks for the review. I had a similar reaction to the excerpt because of the whole “getting a tattoo because of a lost bet” thing.


  2. Pingback: Advance Review by Rafa: Cover Up, by L.A. Witt | Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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