ARC Edition (uncorrected)
Victoria MacDonald wants to die but finding a way to go beautifully is difficult. She’s tenacious, and vows to find a way to leave this world with the beauty she fought so hard to attain. Somehow, her search for the perfect suicide turns into murder…
Detective Amos Christianson answers a call about an intruder at Victoria’s house. It’s her second home invasion in less than a month, but this time she kills her attacker in “self-defense.” Something about Victoria’s story stinks, though, and Amos can’t let it go.
He can’t let Victoria go either.
As they spiral into separate obsessions, their paths twist until neither can untangle themselves from the other, and Victoria’s desperate search for a beautiful death forces Amos to make a drastic decision.
But is the price for freeing himself of her insanity too high?
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 30 members
Man... after seeing the fantastic cover art and reading the blurb I was *super* down for a violent horror themed around sex. However, I just did not vibe with this one, sadly, which is a real shame. I debated settling on two stars on account of the plot being underdeveloped, with everything moving so absurdly fast that you can barely even register what's going on; sometimes we skip days, weeks, or even months between sentences and chapters and it all feels so disjointed. Or, on account of the characters and plot being so underwritten, too, that you can't connect with any of it. The reason I'm giving it a single star is that it's just nasty, and doesn't really succeed as a horror story or a sexual one. There wasn't a single element I enjoyed, honestly, but if you're curious about it, know that it is a very quick read and you can then make up your own mind, I suppose. Just know that the book features quite a bit of sexual violence and other potentially triggering stuff.
I received a complimentary digital ARC of this title through NetGalley for review. Skin Deep by Renee Miller is a disappointing installment in the Rewind or Die series from Unnerving. The book is profoundly disturbing, lacks clarity, and ultimately fizzled out as both horror and erotica. The premise is this: Tori, a young woman, has decided she wants to die, but is so incredibly vain as to want to remain beautiful even in death. While hoping to die, she ends up killing someone else, the plot ensues (kind of). There’s some back story that I don’t want to spoil in the first chapter that is also critical to the plot, but overall the book just has a lot of problems. 1. It is paced strangely. Sometimes large amounts of time passes between chapters (chapter 11 to 12 was particularly jarring). 2. Some of the details don’t add up. At one point a character performs a ritual to summon a demon, but then calls upon the goddess Hecate. What? It seemed like there might be two different ideas here and this section would benefit from clarification. 3. The characters don’t behave in believable ways. Tori’s desire to die but unwillingness/inability to take her own life really strained my suspension of disbelief. Other characters, such as the police officer Amos, also made decisions along the way that I didn’t really understand or believe. 4. I also found the whole concept of a woman who was so vain about her looks trying to find an acceptable way to die to be a pretty disturbing concept for a book on the whole. On top of that the book features more than one instance of non-consensual sexual activity and rape. I was actually surprised the book was written by a woman because of how the female protagonist was described and behaved. I thought this text oozed male gaze. Maybe that’s the point? I don’t know, but it was unpleasant. Tori’s mother, featured in the first chapter, also made a racist/xenophobic remark on the very first page of the book. It was pretty clear she wasn’t supposed to be a good character, but I nevertheless questioned the author’s decision to include that content. 6. For a book that was marketed as “erotica” I felt like there wasn’t enough erotic content here. There was sex, but a lot of it wasn’t sexy so much as disturbing. (This book actually reminded me of another title in the Rewind or Due series called All You Need is Love and a Strong Electric Current by Mackenzie Kiera. Both books featured weird sex, but I enjoyed Kiera’s book more and felt it was overall a stronger book.) I suppose there was some erotic content, just not enough for a book actually listed as horror erotica. I want to remind everyone reading this review that I have read an uncorrected ARC. It is possible the author will make changes before the book is published. I hope so. As this book currently stands I would not recommend it. It’s weird, the pacing is off-putting, some of the details don’t add up, some of the characters don’t behave in believable ways, and it’s not very sexy. 1/5.
Well, that was different... The story is not bad - I read it in one sitting, and I had no trouble getting lost in the story. But it does feel a bit rushed. It has the length of a novella, and that is most likely why a lot of the scenes appear to be only superficially described. I would have liked more details and descriptions. But other than that it is an interesting and quite disturbing story.
Quick to read was OK not brilliant and wouldn't say it was erotica really. But passed a couple of hours by
I didn't get very far in this book. The pacing went too fast with the main actions beginning too quickly. There was no backstories on any of the characters, and I hated the main character immediately.. I can't begin to care about the book if I can't like the main character. I couldn't even hang in there long enough to get to the erotica.
You ever read a book so bad that you can't even understand how it made it so far in the process? This is a short erotic horror novella about a woman who wants to die but accidentally ends up killing someone and the detective who's investing her case. Now, the plot sounds really entertaining and when you add in the erotica part with horror? It sounds like a great time! Sadly, the story seemed like a mix of different ideas that were never actually thought through and it's not even entertaining because the author didn't bother to actually create a good story. So, she kills someone and finds that she get Sexual gratification from it so she decides to continue on with looking to kill people when they fail to give her a beautiful death. The problem with this is that everything happens so quickly with no build up that it makes you indifferent to the story. The sex scenes in this erotica were rushed and lacked proper description. On that note, for some reason there are absolutely no trigger warnings on this book which is definitely a choice. The whole plot with her mother selling her soul also was included only to... I don't even know, just to... Justify the things she did??? Add a little bit of spice??? It was a complete mess. I wasn't looking for perfection, just for some good smut or an entertaining story but oh well.