Title: Skin Deep
Author: Pamela Sparkman
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 20, 2015
Cover Designer: Sarah Hansen with Okay Creations
She hates me.
I’m in love with her.
Her life is a masquerade.
Mine is cloaked in secrets.
She thinks I can’t see her.
But she’s the only thing I can see.
he thinks we have nothing in common.
We have everything in common.
And I’m done being patient.
You think you know us.
The things you know about us are only Skin Deep.
*Warning – This book contains instances of self harm in the form of an eating disorder and may be a trigger to some readers.*
Beth had been good at pretending to be this happy carefree girl – bubbly and energetic. Looking at her now, I saw a girl who was anything but carefree. She obviously had demons that haunted her, and I knew from experience that fighting certain demons can be almost impossible.
I listened through the door, making sure Lily had gone. “This isn’t over. Me keeping your secret from Lily is not a sign I’m letting this go. It’s a sign that I’m going to be a thorn in your side until you let me help you.”
Beth prickled at my comment and unfurled herself from the protective ball she had curled into. “I don’t need your help!”
“Yes, you do.” I took another step towards her. Beth took a step back. “And the way I see it, you don’t have much of a choice.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Do you want Lily to know what you’ve been doing?”
Beth’s eyes pooled with unshed tears. She looked hurt by my words. “Please don’t tell Lily,” she pleaded in a whisper.
“I’ll tell her everything unless you let me help you.” The look of fear and disbelief on Beth’s face made me feel like a total jackass.
Her expression changed again. She glowered at me like she wanted to set me on fire. “I hate you so much right now.”
Her words, she meant them. And hearing her tell me she hated me… it hurt, because somewhere along the way I had fallen in love with her.
“I know you do. But I’d rather you hate me for the right reasons, than like me for the wrong ones. I guess we’ll both have to figure out how to fucking live with that.”
First of all, let me tell you that I enjoyed every single page of this book. The characters and the story are just something you can relate to, even if you haven’t gone through the same things they have. Skin Deep is the third book in the Stolen Breaths series by Pamela Sparkman. Even though it can be read as a standalone, I would recommend to read the first two books in the series before jumping into this one.
“Sometimes being destroyed gives you the opportunity to create something even better than what was.”
In this book, we have two characters we’ve met before. Hayden and Beth are part of the group of friends we’ve been introduced in the previous books, each of them has their own story, their own way of seeing life. In Skin Deep, we have two characters that have always been kind of closed, when it came to showing their true self to everyone. It wasn’t that they were someone different around their friends, it was just that they have a lot to hide. Or that’s what they believed. In some amazing way, they find their way to each other, even if it wasn’t an easy road at first. People have wronged both Hayden and Beth in the past, both were hurt by someone they trusted. Hayden decided to do something good about it, which ended up giving him a new family. Beth decided to take matters into her own hands, which led her to find her old family. I believe, the moment we decide we can trust someone, we put ourselves in risk at being hurt, but we also give ourselves the opportunity to find some unexpected happiness. It’s pretty much a 50/50 chance. We’ve met an amazing group of characters so far, but in this particular book, we’re introduced to something more. Something I wasn’t expecting at all, but it sure was a beautiful surprise. I believe the characters grow a lot more in this book.
Since I first started reading this series I noticed that the relationship between all the characters was something truly special. Each character has their own personality and their own way of thinking, but when they come together, they’re like this one amazing family, an entity. But while I was reading the previous books, I felt a particular interest in Hayden and Beth’s story. There’s always been this connection between them that was completely intriguing, and completely different from the rest of the characters’ relationships. For a while there, they were too careful around each other, as if they were scared of the other, but at at the same time, I felt their mutual attraction, even when I was reading from other points of view, and obviously it was easier to spot that attraction in this one. They’re relationship wasn’t an easy one. While at first it was all smiles, it got harder the moment one of their secrets got out. We have to know when we need help, even though it’s not an easy thing to do. But that’s part of the beauty of the book, when the characters realize that they need help and not only that, but that there’s someone offering it to you freely, just because they care. I really enjoyed reading about Hayden and Beth’s relationship, how it developed from a shallow friendship, to a meaningful and passionate love.
“Forever was too long to be without her and not long enough to be with her.”
Hayden and Beth have a lot to teach each other and us, for that matter. The need to help others, and become their friend and their support, is something we should always have present. Sometimes, accepting help is as difficult as asking for help is, but there really is no need to face the world alone when there’s someone beside you that’s willing to do that and a lot more for you. And you know what? This book shows you that sometimes, you can pick your family.
If you’re looking for a book that’s full of wonderful characters, smiles and lots of feelings, this series might give you just that.