Rating: 4 stars
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When tattoo artist Colin Spencer sees sexy sailor Daniel Moore at the gym, he can’t take his eyes off of him. So when Daniel approaches Colin about giving him his first tattoo, Colin is excited to get some more time with the man.
Daniel grew up in a super conservative family who would never accept him being gay. He got out of town and into the military as soon as possible and now finds himself a 26-year-old virgin. Daniel is quite eager to lose that label and when he finds himself attracted to Colin, he gets not only his first tattoo, but his first sexual experience as well. The guys aren’t expecting anything serious to grow out of it, but they are happy to engage in some hot sexual encounters together.
What starts as casual soon turns to more. But Colin has secrets about his past that he needs to share if there is any chance of things growing more serious with Daniel. And Daniel’s family still has no idea he is gay. Part of him wants to tell them and the other knows that will be the end of his relationship with his family. But being with Colin while hiding his sexuality is stressful for Daniel and not easy for Colin either. Now the men must figure out if they can make it through the tough times or if their baggage is going to get in the way of their growing romance.
Back Piece is the first book in L.A. Witt’s Skin Deep Inc series. I really enjoyed the set up here with the shy, virginal Daniel coming into his own with the help of the sweet, sexy Colin. Witt does a nice job here as Daniel experiences the joys of sex and a relationship for the first time. The scenes are sexy and progress nicely from Daniel as an insecure virgin to someone who is comfortable with himself and his sexuality. I like that Daniel’s anxieties about sex feel real and natural and we can see how supportive and caring Colin is.
So while I did enjoy the sexual component here, be aware this is a very sex heavy book and for most of the story, there isn’t a ton going on to flesh it out. Basically the guys meet and aside from the tattooing scenes, mostly what they do is have sex. Now Witt is a great writer for the steamy stuff, but I’ll admit there was a point where I felt like I was just waiting for something else to happen. As the book starts to wind up and things heat up with the coming out storyline, the plot picks up a lot more. But there is a long period (well over half the book) where mostly the storyline is about these guys in bed together.
I think what balances the book out is that Witt does a nice job really developing these characters. Colin, in particular, has a nice backstory and we can really see how it has affected him in general, as well as in a relationship. So I found these guys interesting and that helped keep me engaged. Witt also provides great detail on the Navy and life aboard an aircraft carrier, as well as lots of details into the world of tattooing, both of which really help to develop the story.
So I found this one enjoyable, if a bit slow early on as the focus is primarily on the sex. But I did like these characters and think the story picks up as it goes along. I am looking forward to continuing with this series and following along with more books set in this world.