Review: Under His Skin

cover-under his skinTitle: Under His Skin
Author: Stacey O’Neale
Series: Alien Encounters #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Short Novel
Available: September 21st


Earth girls are never easy. But they’re worth it.

Bakery owner Annabelle Sparks’ business is booming ever since she won reality TV’s Cupcake Wars. The one thing deflating her happy soufflé? The extremely sexy Kaden Chance only sees her as a best friend-and Annabelle wants so much more. After waiting a year for him recognize their chemistry, she’s giving up and dating other people.

What she doesn’t know is Kaden’s heart doesn’t actually beat. He’s not human. Heck, he’s not even from Earth. To retain his intergalactic immunity, no one can ever know he is an extraterrestrial. But when Annabelle starts dating, something strange happens to Kaden’s unmoved heart: it begins to beat. Now he faces an impossible choice-tell Annabelle the truth and be deported-or lose his last chance at love.

Source: ARC from Entangled Covet via NetGalley

This cute paranormal romance puts an alien spin on the old friends to lovers trope with some interesting results. Annabelle is a successful bakery owner who has been in love with her best friend, Kaden, ever since she met him a year ago. Kaden likes Annabelle a lot too, but since she doesn’t know he’s an alien, he dares not make a move. Not least because one of the conditions of remaining on Earth is no long term relationships with human women. If it was just him Kaden might risk it, but he has two younger brothers to think about, so he keeps his distance.

And that is the crux of this novel, the will-they-won’t-they push-pull with Annabelle trying to tempt Kaden closer, while he tries to resist even when it’s obvious he won’t win. Annabelle’s a good heroine – she has a few self-consciousness issues, but mostly she’s strong enough to take care of herself. I was slightly irritated by her reaction when she finds out the truth (yes, lies, but think of the trust!) but mostly I liked her and the way she stood up for herself.

As for Kaden, he’s a little trickier. He’s a bit grumpy and takes far too much weight on his shoulders, making his emotional back and forth a bit trying at times, especially when he changes his mind so swiftly without any real cause. However, his utter cluelessness about relationships and the date night were pretty adorable.

There is also more going on here than simply the romance, but I felt that side of the plot was almost forgotten at times before rushing into the big finish, which left me a little sad. I also want to know so much more about why the brothers left their home planet and how they ended up on Earth. Hopefully that will come out more in the other books – which I definitely want to read, because Kaden’s brothers are a curious pair – playboy Camden and super-smart Hayden.

If you’re looking for a quick paranormal read and fancy a bit of alien action, then this is a fun, sweet tale that isn’t as sexy as the cover implies. There is a bit of heat, but not as much as I expected – yet it works in the context of the story so I didn’t mind. The characters are likeable, even if the romance drags out a bit with the push-pull of their relationship. Still, it’s fun and undemanding and certainly left me wanting more.

Under His Skin is out September 21st!
Visit Stacey O’Neale for more details.


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