Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Spotlight on Back Piece by L.A. Witt (REVIEW)

Fans of the m/m genre will find themselves drawn to this tale of opposites attracting.  A shy virgin and a man who exudes confidence but who's riddled with shame make a compelling couple that readers will be rooting for.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Back Piece by L.A. Witt, along with my impressions of it, then add this first installment in the Skin Deep Inc series to your bookshelf!

Colin Spencer is a tattoo artist with a past he’d prefer to keep a secret. Actually, he has a few secrets that he’d rather people didn’t know about, which is why Colin doesn’t do commitment. But when a shy sailor approaches him at the gym, Colin finds this guy pushing all his buttons.
Growing up in a conservative family, then escaping with the Navy, Daniel Moore is an unsure virgin who feels like he can’t share his true self with anyone. Seeing Colin—and his tattoos—at the gym are the sign Daniel needs to finally get those tattoos he’s always wanted, and maybe try his hand at flirting.
As Colin and Daniel spend more time together, their awkward hesitations turn into a deep passion neither expected. But with both men harboring secrets, will their relationship be able to survive their insecurities and become something beautiful?
Back Piece by L.A. Witt is a sexy, emotional journey of two people learning to love and finding acceptance for who they really are.


Outside, some of the guys from the gym were milling around in the parking lot, so Colin took Daniel around the back of the building where they’d have some privacy. There he stopped and faced him, fighting the urge to fidget nervously. “So, how’s the tattoo healing?"
“Good. Good.” Daniel shifted his weight. “It’s still kinda itchy, but it’s getting better."
Colin grimaced sympathetically. “That’s the worst part. The pain I can deal with, but the itching sucks. You’re not scratching it, are you?"
“No, of course not."
Their eyes met, and they both smiled, but quickly looked away. Awkwardness didn’t even have to set in—it was already present and accounted for.
After a moment, Colin raked a hand through his hair. “Look, things went really fast the other night, and I’m sorry. I mean, maybe--"
“No. No.” Daniel shook his head. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I just kind of freaked out."
“But . . . why?” Colin struggled to hold his gaze. “Did I make you nervous?"
“No, you didn’t. But what we were doing . . . yeah. It did. Kinda.” He paused. “Okay, a lot."
“So, how is that not me making you nervous?"
Color bloomed in Daniel’s cheeks, but blushing wasn’t as cute this time. He seemed genuinely uncomfortable and embarrassed, and Colin’s stomach turned with guilt over putting him in this position.
Daniel took a breath and met his gaze again. “The thing is, that was . . .” He scratched the back of his neck and added a barely audible, “My first time."
“Your . . .” Colin blinked. “Are you serious?"
Daniel was bright red now, and nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I made out with a guy while I was on cruise, but otherwise . . .” He laughed uneasily. “I’m a virgin."
Colin stared at him. “Really?"
“Wasn’t it obvious?"
“Not from the way you kissed, no."
Daniel gave a soft, self-conscious laugh. “Beginner’s luck, I guess."
“Something like that."
Daniel moistened his lips. “So it wasn’t that I didn’t want to do anything the other night. I did. And it was . . .” He laughed again and looked at Colin. “It was amazing. I know I took off and all, but it was fucking . . .” He whistled, shaking his head.
Colin smiled. “Good. I was worried I’d maybe gone too fast. Pushed you too far."
“No. It wasn’t your fault. I mean, I liked it. A lot. And I definitely want it. More. More of it. I just . . . I . . .” He pinched the bridge of his nose, pausing as if trying to collect his thoughts. “Okay, the reason I freaked out is afterward, I thought you’d want me to reciprocate. And I . . .” He dropped his hand and stared at the ground between them. “Man, I don’t have a fucking clue what I’m doing. I guess I was scared you’d be disappointed."
“Disappointed?” Colin shook his head. “No, not at all."
“Yeah.” Daniel laughed humorlessly. “That’s because I left before I had a chance to make an ass of myself."
“My God. Did you think . . .” Colin cautiously stepped closer. “You wouldn’t have made an ass of yourself."
Daniel said nothing.
Colin advanced again, and now he had to be well within Daniel’s comfort zone. He halted, giving Daniel a chance to pull back if he wasn’t comfortable, and when Daniel didn’t move, Colin reached for him. He paused, glancing around to make absolutely sure they were still alone out here, and then slid a hand around Daniel’s waist, his own skin prickling with goose bumps even before Daniel’s breath hitched. “So you’re afraid you won’t be good at it, right?"
Daniel nodded, still avoiding Colin’s eyes.
“Is that the only thing stopping you?"
“Definitely.” Daniel hesitated, but finally made eye contact. “Because I really, really wanted to keep going last time."
Colin grinned. “Is that right?"
“Well, my house is just over there.” He nodded past Daniel. “Five minute walk, and my brother works nights, so we’ll have it to ourselves.” He lifted his eyebrows. “You want to?"
Daniel gulped. Then he whispered, Yes, please.



From the moment I saw the cover to this book I quickly found myself captivated and further drawn to the sweet and sexy connection between two imperfect people and their angsty journey to HEA.  The two main leads are carrying heavy burdens but they were still a breath of fresh air as they were charming and upbeat with interactions that put a smile on my face from the very start.

Colin is a tattoo artist who seems to have everything in his life under control. He comes from a good family and has a good support system.  He exudes confidence and strength yet underneath it all his past is a weighty one that rears its ugly head in times of stress.  His past is a colorful one with working in porn but it's not something he's ashamed of.  It's his past relationships that have been the most damaging to his psyche.  From boyfriends who couldn't accept his porn career to those who made him feel unworthy, he was left feeling distrustful of relationships along with an eating disorder.  These issues aren't ones he hides as he and Daniel work through them together and it helped build a solid foundation as their friends with benefits relationship became something more.  I liked Colin and ached for all he'd been through.  He was left bruised by his past but not broken.  He was his own worst enemy at times but with his past it was understandable.  He's a kind-hearted man though who's more than happy to help Daniel experience life and he was gentle and loving as they began to explore their relationship more fully.

Daniel grew up in a very religious family who were loving parents but deeply homophobic.  It was a difficult time for him having to hide himself behind the family's nasty religious condemnation, and I ached for the self-hatred that time could've caused him.  When he turned 18 he couldn't leave for the Navy fast enough, as there he found a group of supportive friends who became determined to help him experience life.  Though he's come out to his friends regarding his sexuality he hasn't admitted to being a virgin.  The moment he sees Colin though he feels that the time is finally right to get rid of his pesky V-card.  Their relationship starts off with tattoos but soon becomes more intense in scenes that grew progressively hotter.  They start off as friends, with Colin the teacher in their sexual schooling, and Daniel the eager student which slowly evolved as deeper talks ensued.  Daniel's an adorable young man with his blushes and uncertainties.  His boyishness is charming as is his wonder over the actual act of sex which made his first time with Colin even more sweet and sentimental.  His shipmates, and their playful banter with him, brought out an even more lovable side which endeared him to me and had me wanting only the best for him.

The premise of this story is an appealing one.  The relationship between Colin and Daniel pulled me in wholeheartedly as they were a good match despite their many differences.  They were a solid support for each other and I loved seeing their connection evolve from fun and flirty to something that both of them came to count on.  On a whole there was a lot to love about this book as the lead characters were immensely appealing with a connection that had me rooting for them every step of the way.  My only quibbles were that the story went on a bit too long and when it came to the sex, there was almost too much (which pains me to say as I like lots of bang for my buck).  I felt too that there was a bit too much self-destructiveness when it came to Colin.  His second-guessing led to a lot of unnecessary melodrama and gave him a frustrating air of martyrdom. The story also ended a bit abruptly.  It felt like there was a HEA, but it also could've been a HFN as there was no epilogue to wrap everything up with a definitive bow. Though this was a satisfying story it wasn't my favorite from this author, but the world created here has me looking forward to revisiting it in the future.

My rating for this is a B-

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


L.A. Witt is a M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies.


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