Author: L.A. Witt
Publisher: Swerve/St. Martin’s Press
Summary: After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.
Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.
From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?
Third installment of L.A. Witt’s Skin Deep romance series, COVER UP is a story of passion, pleasure, and happily ever after.
Review: I always enjoy an L.A. Witt book and I’ve read quite a few recently, including all the Skin Deep, Inc., as well as the Anchor Point series, written to date. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this one just a little less; too many close together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always great writing and wonderfully complete characters and settings. I wouldn’t call it formulaic either, just a little too much repetition in the construct and pacing of the narrative. However, even though sex scenes never vary much in the mechanics, L.A. Witt’s are always hot and passionate, using emotionally evocative dialogue, sensuous descriptions and lots of sexy, sexy kissing. There are Naval officers and enlisted in this series, as in a number of the authors other works and I do love a military man! A favorite thing, for me, that Witt does, is to include bisexual men in many books, without stigmas or stereotypes, and never uses it as a point of contention for the characters.
Nate is in the midst of a divorce, after finding his husband cheating in the worst way, in their own bed. Still bitter and wanting to erase his memories, he’s attempting to rid himself of all reminders, including his tattoo. Meeting Lucas shakes him out of the numb state he’s been in, sparks his libido, and he immerses himself in sex and in their burgeoning relationship. Lucas has been through divorce twice, so he’s familiar with the mental processing that should happen with the end of a marriage. It makes him cautious with Nate, even as feelings deepen between them. Having Lucas around, Nate has ignored all his thoughts and emotions about the history of his marriage. That leads to my next favorite thing, when Witt has her characters act like real adults! Nate and Lucas’s crisis point is realistic and reasonable and not an overused cliché, like misunderstandings or lack of communication.
Unfortunately, I disagreed with the timeframe for the resolution. It happened way too fast for me, when I think at least a week or two would have made more sense. Nate would need time to face a few more hard truths, in my mind. I would still recommend this to readers of erotic romance who want a steamy read, without heavy themes or angst, with a promising HEA. It can be read easily as a standalone, although the first two books were very good too.