Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Under His Skin by Stacey O’Neale

Bakery owner Annabelle Sparks’ business is booming ever since she won reality TV's Cupcake Wars. The one thing deflating her happy soufflé? The extremely sexy Kaden Chance only sees her as a best friend–and Annabelle wants so much more. After waiting a year for him to recognize their chemistry, she’s giving up and dating other people.
What she doesn't know is Kaden's heart doesn't actually beat. He's not human. Heck, he's not even from Earth. To retain his intergalactic immunity, no one can ever know he is an extraterrestrial. But when Annabelle starts dating, something strange happens to Kaden's unmoved heart: it begins to beat. Now he faces an impossible choice—tell Annabelle the truth and be deported–or lose his last chance at love.
Title: Under His Skin | Series: Alien Encounters #1 | Author: Stacey O'Neale| Publisher: Covet, an Entangled imprint | Release Date: September 21, 2015 | Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4

This is my first time reading a romance where the hero is an alien and I have to say it was definitely different and certainly interesting.
Since winning Cupcake Wars, Annabelle’s bakery, Yummy (love the name of the bakery, by the way), has really picked up business. Although her busy business still isn’t enough to distract her from the feelings she has for her best friend Kaden, so she decides to try her hand at dating, something she hasn’t done since Kaden walked into her bakery a year ago.
Kaden Chance feels the chemistry between him and Annabelle yet he has one tiny little problem. He’s an alien who has made a deal with the FBI. If he wishes to continue living life as a normal human being, he’s not to get involved in a relationship. Although when he starts acting on his feelings for Annabelle, he realizes that she can make his unbeating heart beat, meaning she’s his mate. Now he must choose his freedom or the woman that woke up his heart.
I love it when a book surprises me. And blimey did this book surprise me. I went into the book a bit worried it was going to be too SciFi-ish yet it wasn’t. There was enough world building that made me believe that Kaden and his brothers were aliens but it didn’t bog down the story or bore me to tears. In fact, I was intrigued.
Annabelle was an okay character. She was easy to like although other than her being head-over-heels for Kaden and owning a bakery I didn’t really know that much about her. She could have been flesh-out a bit more. I do have to say that I really liked her reaction when she discovered that Kaden was an alien. I felt like a true and real reaction. Yet she kind of annoyed me when she jumped to conclusions afterwards.
Poor Kaden. I felt kind of sorry for the bloke. He’s so in love with Annabelle that he’s practically drooling all over her bakery floor, yet he’s the eldest brother. It’s his job to protect his siblings and he feels like sticking to the rules is the best way to ensure everyone’s safety so for a time, Annabelle is off limits. The woman actually made his heart beat for the first time, so it made for some rather interesting tension watching him try to avoid admitting what they had. Although I will say, I really wanted to slap him when he decided to lie to Annabelle. The whole lying to protect the person you love just feels like a cop out to me. Eventually, he did manage to get back into my good graces.
Kaden and Annabelle had amazing chemistry, which when he kept refusing her advances, made the sexual tension so much stronger. The conflict was a little rocky in this one. Part of it could have been cleared up if they just sat down and had wee little chat. Why is it so hard for characters in a romances novels to talk to each other?
There’s a bit of suspense in this one. It starts off with Annabelle receiving prank calls, then people ringing her doorbell then disappearing, and it escalates to someone throwing a brick through the window of her bakery. Both Annabelle and Kaden thought she had a stalker— actually, I did too. While I had a feeling who was behind it, I was right but I was also wrong. You definitely should check out the book to see who the baddie was. While I liked the way it was handled and Annabelle wasn’t going to go down without a fight, the conclusion of the suspense felt a tad bit rushed. A few extra pages would have rounded it off nicely.
While I wouldn’t categorize this as a NA romance, Annabelle occasionally has undertones of a NA heroine and for some readers that could be off putting, but with Annabelle, it worked without becoming grating.
I did have a slight problem with the opening chapter. There was a bit of repetition as the scenes switch POVs but thankfully, that quickly cleared up and didn’t reoccur.
The secondary characters were interesting. Kaden’s two younger brothers are certainly a randy bunch of aliens living as human’s so I have a feeling that their books are going to be entertaining and I look forward to reading them.
Overall, I’m really glad that I gave this novel a go. It was fun watching Kaden get used to the human world and his formal date fiasco had me giggling.
If you’re a newbie to the alien world like I was, this is the perfect book to start with. Although I will say, it left me with a hankering to whip up a few batches of cupcakes. And, as much as I hate to admit it, the entire time I was reading it I couldn’t get Katy Perry’s song E.T. out of my head, so be warned. If you know the song, it will probably be bouncing around in your head while you read this brilliant little alien/human romance.

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