Blank Canvas #1
Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: I received a complimentary copy from Tantor Audio. This did not affect my rating and my review is voluntarily provided.
Rating: 3.5-4 Bookworms
Ivan thought the world was through giving him second chances. Who'd want a rough ex-con with a savior complex and a bad habit of bringing home helpless strays? Everyone in Blackwood, Virginia, knew he wasn't good enough for the fine things in life; they knew he was too damaged to save. He just needed to keep his head down, work himself to the bone, and pretend he was content with the lot he was given. Until she came into his life. Until she changed everything. Until he realized he would do anything, fight anyone, tear the world apart if it meant saving her. Contains mature themes.
Under Her Skin was a moving story with many stories woven in. It had a nice cast of characters with the MCs, Uma and Ivan, being the center. The narration was okay but I'm not certain I wouldn't have enjoyed the story more having read it rather than listened.
The story revolves around Uma, who is on the run from an abusive ex, and Ivan, who can't seem to escape the perceptions his looks give people. The way Anders explored the perceptions and prejudices people have toward others - Uma and Ivan specifically - how Uma and Ivan perceive themselves and how they build trust between each other and are able to eventually look past their outward appearances was brilliant. The way she filled in their backstories allowing us to see the events that shaped who they are as well as meeting some of those who helped in that shaping - both good and bad - gave Uma and Ivan depth and complexity. The way in which they meet and seeing how they are in daily life - the kindness and compassion they show others despite how they've been treated and the things they've endured - only added to that depth and complexity. Anders also have us a strong supporting cast - particularly Ms. Lloyd. She provided some comic relief with her stubbornness and her crabbiness.
So the story was strong. I did feel the ending was a bit rushed and too tidy. There was quite a buildup to the "showdown" and it culminated in much less of an explosion than I'd been anticipating.
As for the narration, Tremont King did fine with the voices although her range for male voices was a little lacking. What bothered me was her delivery which was so very slow. It mt made the pacing slow and that made it more challenging to stay engaged. I have the next 2 in the series and I'm thinking I might listen at a faster speed to see if that makes a difference.