06 September 2014

Skin by Lydia Michaels

When Finnegan McCullough gets a flat tire he bumps into a woman he’s never seen before. After a stern lecture on trespassing, he offers her a ride and a friendship takes shape. Mallory Fenton is unlike any girl he’s ever met. She’s funny, sexy as hell, and sweet as pie, but she doesn’t see herself that way.

After literally crashing into Finnegan McCullough, Mallory is a hot, tongue-tied,mess. A true lumberjack, he wears his flannel well and possesses the sexiest smile she’s ever had thrown her way. Unfortunately, men like that don’t look at girls like her. When Finn confesses his desire to be more than friends, Mallory is shocked. After years of being the ‘fat girl’ she knows better than to believe a man like Finn could ever find her attractive. But she’s gotten under his skin and Finn is determined to show Mallory how beautiful she truly is.

A realistic and heartwarming romance that proves love and beauty come in all shapes and sizes.

Having read book four and then book one of the series, I was expecting that Skin would begin during that same summer that Sacred Waters and Forsaking Truth overlapped. However, I was quite delighted that it didn’t and that it picks up after Sammy and Colin had gotten together. And because Mallory moved to Center County to take a teaching job, readers of the series get to catch-up with Sammy and Colin – although I can’t actually imagine not learning the latest as close as the McCulloughs are. Despite having read two books already, Finn is the McCullough I felt I knew the least about so I was interested to learn more about Luke’s twin.

I loved this story. Being a plus-sized gal myself, Skin affected me on a more personal level than a lot of the books I read. I’ve been in Mallory’s shoes, I know that inner turmoil one feels when you can’t bring yourself to look in the mirror because your body disgusts you. I also know what it feels like when you catch the attention of that cute guy and can’t imagine that he’s actually interested in you for more than just being friends. To say that I connected with her character would be an understatement. That she ultimately learned to love herself and trust that Finn’s motives were pure made this book that much more of a joy to read.

I appreciated that Ms. Michaels used Finn’s character to remind us that no matter how perfect we think someone is, they have their own insecurities to deal with. Finn is a sweetheart, he’s sexy, he’s loving, he’s family-oriented, but he too questions his worth, which is likely why he put up with Erin for so long. My heart broke for Finn when he wasn’t able to understand that Mallory pushing him away had nothing to do with him. Because he didn’t see her as she saw herself; Finn saw Mallory’s inner beauty. When he forced himself to accept her as a friend-only because he couldn’t imagine her not being in his life, it hurt to see his insecurities come into play. But thankfully, the McCulloughs are not a shy and quiet bunch and when Finn finally got Mallory to pay attention to him and hear what he wanted from her, well my heart was happy again.

Skin is an excellent addition to the McCullough Mountain series. The romance between Finn and Mallory was beautiful, eclipsed only by their own self-acceptance. While the books can be read as standalones, I do recommend reading them in order so that you can get the full experience of the McCulloughs. This is one of those families that you can’t help but hope the author based her characters on real people because they’re the kind of people you want to spend time with. I am in love with the McCulloughs and am excited that I get to read Kelly’s story in a couple of days.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you again! Skin is, by far, one of my favorites. I hope that it reaches many more readers who have a bit of beautiful Mallory inside of them. She's a part of me and I love knowing she has become a part of so many others as well. Thank you.