Jun 28, 2016

Under Your Skin by Shannyn Schroeder Review

Under Your Skin
For Your Love #1
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing June 28, 2016 
Zebra Shout

 Blood Is Thicker Than Ink. . .

Norah O'Malley has been alone for a long time. It's been ten years since her father and four brothers shipped her off to be raised by her aunt. Seven months since she's seen the guy who got her pregnant--who still doesn't know. And it's two weeks since she came home to Chicago and discovered none of her family wants to talk--or listen.

She never expected to walk into a tattoo shop seven months pregnant and get her socks knocked off by instant attraction. She can't even see her socks. But Kai Ellis is big and gruff and sexy as hell, and if he has a past, well, so does she. Even more, Kai knows how to listen so that Norah feels just a little less alone . . .

All the chemistry in the world can't help Norah make her decisions. And no sizzle of desire will make Kai believe in happy endings. But a little time with someone who understands might just change everything ...

Norah O'Malley has finally returned to Chicago, after being sent to live with her Aunt in Boston when she was 12. But Norah has not come alone; Norah is pregnant! And her brothers (Jimmy, Tommy, Sean and Kevin) all want the hit the guy that has gotten her pregnant. But Norah is not telling them who it is…until she tells the guy (Avery) that she is pregnant. But being home has brought up a lot of resentment for Norah and she couldn't stand to spend long period around her father; whom she feels abandoned her without a backwards though, so while looking for a job that will hire a nursing school dropout, pregnant girl! But Norah has a lot of decisions to make, to start with, telling her baby's father that she is pregnant, dealing with her family and deciding if its keeping the baby or giving it up for adoption is the best option? Needing a break from all of her thoughts, she decides to take lunch to her brother Tommy, she meets his ice-cold boss Kai Ellis and   boy! Does he not seem happy to see her or help her find a job!

Kai Ellis is an ex-con whom started his own tattoo shop and after a long road he has made it a success, but the only way he has managed to do that is by compartmentalizing his life, business, friends and family, and none of them may cross! It has been the only way he has been able to function; but that is all coming to an end, when his mother has to move in with him after her knee replacement surgery. Despite his best efforts to get her to go into rehab, now she is driving him crazy. But when Kai remembers that Tommy's pregnant sister is looking for a job, it seems like the perfect fit!

Slowly Kai and Norah's relationship turns from strictly business to more; Kai helps Norah talk through her problems, takes her to the hospital give birth and then their relationship truly turns on its head when they kiss. But when Kai freaks out and breaks up with Norah it seems to be the end for these two…or is it?!

I will be honest! This book will rip out your heart and you will never be the same again! I don't think I have ever fell more empathy for the female lead as I do in this book. First he mother dies, abandoned by her family (at least that’s how she feels) when she is 12, Then she is pregnant by a guy she is scared to tell. Her brothers and Father are less than supportive and now she has to decide what is best for her child. Add to that meeting a guy who lights her up and he has as much warmth as an iceberg! I mean come on! You have to love her. Now when it comes to the other characters, well you can't help but love them! But I have to admit that I'm struggling to like Norah's father and brother Kevin! But maybe in the next book.

On to the basics; the writing and the plot were smooth, brilliant and gripping and I honestly could not get enough of the story! The author has taken a story with such complexity and made it such a heartbreaking and heartwarming story all in one!

I give Under Your Skin 5 stars!

Amazon | B & N | Google| iTunes | Kobo

Kai Ellis came from the back room to the musical sound of female laughter. The girl sitting across from Tommy at the front counter had an awesome rack spilling out of her tank top and her tits jiggled as she laughed.
“Hey,” he called, “I told you no girls while you’re on the clock. Get busy on your own time.”
Tommy dropped the food in his hand. “Gross, man. This is my sister.”
She wiggled her fingers. Then she pointed. To Tommy, she said, “Let’s ask your friend here, I’m sure he’s made mistakes in his life.”
“Boss.” Kai crossed his arms. He had no intention of answering questions about his mistakes, but it annoyed him that she jumped to the conclusion that he’d made them. Part of the reason for opening his own business was so he would never have to answer to anyone about his past again.
“I’m his boss.”
She continued on as if he hadn’t spoken. “It’s normal for people to make mistakes, right? Even if they’re huge mistakes, you still learn from them. Life lessons and shit.”
He knew all about making life-altering mistakes, but he still wasn’t about to discuss them. Addressing Tommy, he said, “Girlfriend or not, she needs to go.”
Her eyes popped wide and she slid from the stool. Tommy laid a hand on her arm. “It’s fine.” He twisted on the stool. “Kai, this is my sister, Norah. She just moved back to town.”
Norah stepped around Tommy with her hand extended. Her belly stuck out full with a baby. He’d forgotten about Tommy bitching about his pregnant sister.
When he didn’t move, she dropped her hand. “Sorry. I thought I’d catch Tommy before his client came in. I brought him lunch and dessert.” She turned and picked up a plate from the counter. “Want a Rice Krispies Treat?”
Her smile was friendly as she spoke, but her light blue eyes filled with mischief. Like she was offering up more than marshmallows and cereal. It was a good thing that belly was between them. He stayed rooted to his spot. Then his phone rang. Again. He’d ignored Jaleesa all morning, but if he planned to get any work done, he’d have to deal with her.
With his phone in hand, he spun and walked back out the way he came. “Yeah.”
“It’s about time. I’ve been calling you all morning.”
“I’m aware.”
“Mom’s surgery went fine. She came through with flying colors.”
He’d figured as much. It was just her knee. “Good to know.”
“Are you coming to the hospital today?”
He walked until he hit the back door of the shop and stood in the alley. “I don’t know. Depends on how busy I get.”
“Kai, it’s not like this was some surprise. We scheduled it. You could make sure you’re free. You’re choosing not to.”
His sister’s sigh whistled in his ear. “We need to talk about where Mom will go when she’s released from the hospital. She’ll only be here a few days.”
“I thought you were looking into a rehab facility.”
“I tried, but it made her upset. She thinks we’re going to dump her off and leave her for good.”
“So explain to her that’s not the case. She knows she won’t be able to get around your house. It’s not like she lost her mind.”
“She’s feeling vulnerable and she’s worried about being alone.”
“I don’t know what you want from me, Jaleesa.”
“Maybe she could stay with you.”
“I have stairs in my house.”
“Five, Kai. Five measly steps to get up to your door. Everything else is on one floor. You have the space.”
What she really meant was that he could make the space for his mom to move in. He didn’t want to. His house was set up exactly as he wanted. He would have to move all of his workout equipment somewhere, probably to the basement or the garage. He had no furniture for her. No bed or anything. He didn’t have guests and he liked it that way.
“I can’t take care of Mom. I don’t know what to do with her.”
“And I do? You figure it out, Kai. That’s what you do for family.”
“I have a business to run and I keep long hours.”
“At least think about it. We can probably hire someone to fill in when you’re not around so she’s not alone, but she’ll feel secure in your house.”
“Why can’t we hire someone to help at your house?”
“Maybe we can convert some space to make it work.”
“My whole family isn’t losing our living room so you don’t have to man up.”
He shook his head, not wanting to lose this argument. “We’ll talk about this later. I have to go.”
“Try to stop by the hospital. It’ll make her happy.”
“Yeah.” He clicked off and stared at the brick building across from him. He was tempted to throw his phone to hear the satisfying crack of plastic against the wall. Instead, he inhaled deeply and closed his eyes. The air he sucked in was rank with the smell of rotting garbage. Tomorrow was pickup day and the heat did no favors for the Chinese restaurant on the corner.
The sun beat against his skin, searing it. Five minutes of quiet without thinking about his mom at the hospital. Anything was better than the damn hospital. Leaning against the back door, with his eyes closed, he allowed the sun to sink into him.
The door thumped against him and he stepped away. So much for his five minutes.

Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies. Find out more at:

Rafflecopter Giveaway ( (1) $10 Amazon or B&N gift card,  (1) print copy of Under Your Skin,     (2) digital copies of Hot & Nerdy 2 (anthology of 3 novellas – His Work of Art, His New Jam & His Dream Role))