on February 7th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Her Body is His Canvas
A darkly possessive relationship has left Uma alone and on the run. Beneath her drab clothing, she hides a terrible secret-proof of her abuse, tattooed onto her skin in a lurid reminder of everything she's survived.
Caught between a brutal past and an uncertain future, Uma's reluctant to bare herself to anyone, much less a rough ex-con whose rage drives him in ways she will never understand. But beneath his frightening exterior, Ivan is gentle. Warm. Compassionate. And just as determined to heal Uma's broken heart as he is to destroy the monster who left his mark scrawled across the delicate tapestry of her skin.
Praise for Under Her Skin:"A dark and emotional tale that will make your spine tingle as well as your heart." -Sarina Bowen, USA Today bestselling author of Bittersweet"The perfect romance...a hint of danger, a whole lot of spice, and an HEA you believe in." -Anne Calhoun, award-winning author of Under the Surface
Blank Canvas:Under Her Skin (Book 1)By Her Touch (Book 2)In His Hands (Book 3)
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
In her debut novel, Adriana Anders shows what a real love story might look like for a survivor of abuse. And what a great forum to deal with such a prevalent issue. Romance deals with love, trust, and intimacy- the parts most affected by abuse. Ms. Anders writes a beautiful story of a woman reclaiming the life that was stolen from her.
Uma had come to Blackwood, Virginia with nothing. Beaten, raped, and branded by her ex, Uma couldn’t stand to even look at her own body. Every time she did, she relived that punishing time. Uma’s skin held her history and was a constant reminder of how messed up her life was. She’d spent months running, always on the lookout, constantly worried, and completely exhausted. She’d come to Blackwood for the hope its free clinic offered. She didn’t know she’d find so much more.
Needing money and a place to stay, Uma takes a job as a housekeeper for a cantankerous agoraphobic woman. A woman with whom Uma had much in common. Both seemed to be prisoners of their own making. Uma meets Ivan, her employer’s neighbor. At first, Ivan seemed huge and intimidating, but his eyes and smile revealed something softer. Despite the warrior image his size conjured, he was a shy man. Ivan was a blacksmith. He spent his time working his craft, fixing up his old farmhouse, and caring for a menagerie of stray animals. Ivan thought Uma was very much like the strays he’d saved. She seemed defeated, tired, and scared. Just like a new injured stray. He didn’t want her to shy away from him. She needed help and he wanted to protect her. It didn’t hurt that he was attracted to her too.
Uma had never had a friend. Her ex had made sure of that, isolating her so she had no one to turn to but him. She enjoyed being with Ivan but didn’t want to get involved with another man. But a small part of her was curious. As Uma and Ivan spent more time together, that curiosity grew. Even holding his hand was intimate. He touched her more gently than she’d ever been touched. And their simple kisses were the best she’d ever had. When their lovemaking progressed, it was like a fuse igniting. Ivan was gentle with her, seeming to know what she needed, and letting her take charge. He was becoming the antidote to all memories of her ex. But Uma planned on running again once her time at the clinic was done. The last thing she needed was something to keep her here.
What a beautifully written story! I liked that it wasn’t a story about Ivan saving Uma, but that with the help of Ivan and her friends, people with scars of their own, Uma was able to heal. I loved her growth throughout the story and that Uma was able to overcome the trauma and fear that stood between her and the life she deserved. That she could replace the bad memories with good ones. Ivan’s patience and willingness to tamp down his natural instincts gave her the courage she needed. “Just like he hammered order into iron, he helped shape and mold her into something strong and lasting.” This looks to be a promising new series. I can’t wait to read more. I hope we get more glimpses of Uma and Ivan in future stories. I’d also love to see more of Cookie and see her begin to enjoy life. And I’m really hoping we’ll find out the story behind Rory and Jessie. The possible stories are endless and I’m anxious to see what’s next.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.