By nttcPayday Loans

Skin Game by Cara McKenna – SHB Highly Recommends

in 4 Star Review, Erotic Romance 8 Comments

Kindle $9.29 (cheaper at Ellora’s Cave)

Genre: Exotica (Happy For Now)

Publisher Ellora’s Cave

Seven days, seven challenges. Twelve strangers. Eight thousand cameras. Only one winner.Welcome to The Ant Farm, a social study in the wilds of interior Alaska, documenting the dynamics between a dozen competitors as they take part in a series of physical and psychological face-offs. With five hundred grand up for grabs at the end of the battle royal, the stakes are high and the tension blazing.Could the seemingly mild-mannered nice guy win it all? The cutthroat alpha female? The strongest or the smartest, the idealist or the cynic? It’s anyone’s guess as teams are undercut by alliances, loyalties tendered and tested, and passions enflamed by both affection and animosity.In this contest where even knives and guns are fair game, sex may prove the most dangerous weapon of all.Reader Advisory: This book features the recreational use of illicit substances, and non-explicit references to childhood abuse and trauma. It also features an unlikely mix of romance, lust and hate-sex, plus a ton of way crazier crap that the author delights in not preparing you for


This author has been on my must buy list ever since Fiction  Vixen and Dear Author reviewed Willing Victim.  So, when I saw this mentioned on Smexybooks May Rec list I immediately pulled up Amazon on my work computer and hit my favorite button ‘But with 1 click’.

Skin Games is about 12 strangers that agree to a psychological experiment to win half a million dollars. Think Survivor but muy creepier.


Chole and Daisy – Cameras 3240,3249

Daisy looks up at her as Pike disappears. “Got anything else you need fillin’, Chole?

She rolls her eyes.” Not by you, redneck.”

“What if you had to bed me to win it?” He asks.

She stops and stares at him, a curious smile curling her wide lips. “I’d drink a handle of gin and f*ck that shit-eating grin right off your face. Then I’d take a decon shower and dance my ass all the way to the bank.”

Wow, I could not put this book down and I mean that literally – in the bathroom, at work sneaking reads on my Kindle app, and my mommy pump breaks. The way McKenna wove in each character point of view with the experiments/games really had me on the edge of my work chair.  The main characters out of the twelve are Daisy (southern bad boy, yes he is a dude), Mac (young girl with a huge crush on Daisy), Chole (the tough as nails photographer), Pike (half Korean military doctor), and Ian (Scottish bad boy aka chain smoker/master manipulator).  The story reveals, slowly, each person’s point of view so you ‘think’ you have a handle on each character.

If you are hoping for a romance you just aren’t going to get it here.  At times I thought I had figured out who would end up with who even until the end, which I was a wee disappointed, but hot damn if Cara Mckenna didn’t keep me on my reading toes.

My fav character was Ian. He was just so conniving but as each game commenced we learned more and more about whom each person was, especially the guess Who Did This Game.  I was extremely disappointed on some loose ends about him – I felt like we were left hanging on they why’s of some of his behaviors and I wanted some answers, damn it.


Although there isn’t as much sexy time as I would have expected in an Exotica book from Ellora’s Cave (wink wink), Skin Game even with some of my disappoints is by far one of my favorite reads this year – an intelligent psychological thriller-esk romance.



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  1. Sounds like a winner Kc

  2. @Tori steal it from Mandi!

  3. I have long loved Ms McKenna’s books having been exposed to and reviewed several for the Book Binge. She is an amazing author and her willingness to look at situations from a perspective that is definitely different was the quality that caught my interest and has sustained it through a number of novellas and writings. This looks absolutely fascinating and will most definitely be on my “to buy right away” list. Thanks for a very good review!

  4. Oh sounds interesting. It has to be good for sneak breaks!

    Plus she does have a nice ass on the cover. ;)

  5. …btw, explaining that last comment.. lol yes… I am jelly. :D

  6. I’m going to have to get this one ASAP. All my blogger friends have recommended it. LOVES.

  7. @Dr J Well put. I think that is what I love most about her writing.

    @Melissa I know! I’d love a booty like that.

    @Sophia my one ho-hum was how got together with whom, I was rooting for a different person :(

  8. How has this author escaped my attention? I must give her books a try!