Lennon Perig has spent his life designing technology that saves people. His latest invention is a bullet that can paralyze someone without hurting them further. Lennon sees this invention as a way to help law enforcement and end mass casualties. It could change everything and it’s the culmination of Lennon’s life’s work in nanotechnology. And, apparently, it’s an invention that’s attracting the wrong kind of attention.
The U.S. government has been watching Lennon Perig for a long time. Initially, they put an agent undercover as Lennon’s boyfriend, but when Ben Kellogg actually fell in love Lennon, he was yanked out of the operation and other methods were used. That was years ago and Ben has never go forgotten his love for Lennon, no matter that it nearly cost him his career. When he’s reassigned to protect Lennon, years of anger and loss and heartbreak bubble between him and Lennon. Love is stronger than pain and as Ben struggles to keep Lennon safe, they rekindle their romance. But with danger around every corner, there’s no guarantee that they’ll be able to find a happy ever after.
Under His Skin was a sweet and angsty romance, with plenty of political and scientific overlay. It’s one of those books that’s going to appeal to a lot of readers. Ben and Lennon are equally compelling characters and each stands independently of the other as a creation. It’s easy to like Lennon, even when he’s being stubborn and short-sighted. He genuinely believes in what he’s trying to achieve and, as a reader, I loved his dedication and refusal to compromise his ideals. Ben reads as a little lost and a man who never quite recovered from his leaving Lennon. He’s a sweet without being saccharine and he serves as an equal foil for Lennon.
The story is generally fast paced, but Ben and his fellow agents are frankly terrible at their job. Lennon is required to save himself more than once and it got to the point I wondered why they were even necessary to the story. It was that ridiculous. It would have been nice to see them incorporated a bit more smoothly into the overall action, rather than standing out as little more than Keystone Cops the entire book. There’s also a rather excessive amount of posturing from another agent on the case and it get old quickly. It resulted in the character being reduced to a cartoonish imitation of a fully defined person. Had this been reined in a bit and the character allowed to evolve more believably, I think the interactions would have been better.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Under His Skin. The main characters are well matched and their romance has enough angst tinged with nostalgia to make it seem believable, while still having room to grow and mature naturally. The plot is fun, though the governmental aspects feel forced and don’t always seem well integrated into the wider story. But I think most readers are going to enjoy this one, especially if you’re a fan of lost love and undercover machinations.