Author: Debra Doxer
Thanks to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for letting me receive a digital copy of this book before its official release date.
Dancing is like magic. It makes me disappear.
When I dance I’m not a sister or a daughter, not a lover or a friend. I exist in the moment, onstage, where I turn pain into art and pretend the illusion is real. My past is an abomination and my future is unwritten, but my present is pure, fluid, and focused. I’m content, or at least I think I am, until the night I meet a man who makes me want more.
He’s broken, just like me, but in different ways. He’s older and nothing like the men I’m used to. Compared to him, they’re all boys, immature and insipid, while he’s a force of nature, confident and virile. Virile is a word I’ve never used before, and I only use it now because he embodies it so completely.
At first, he fights the attraction between us almost as hard as I do. But when words like destiny and soulmate whisper through my thoughts, how can I ignore them? He can have any girl he wants, but he looks at me as if I’m the girl he’s waited for his whole life. How can I tell him I’m not that girl?
I wish I were enough for him, wish I were whole. But beneath my facade, I’ve been falling to pieces for a long time, and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to resist the downward momentum.
In the beginning, I almost wanted to quit reading the book. I couldn't stand the prologue at all. I didn't like the writing and I didn't feel good about the story. There was a dark vibe to it, like the main character Nikki was some kind of hooker. Did I really just say that? I am sorry if it sounds offensive, I don't mean it like that. She just appeared to be something like that, a stripper maybe or perhaps I got that impression because of the location. Anyway, I didn't delete the book from my app and I am glad I didn't. It turned out to be a really great one.
How come a show about ballet is one of my favourites of all time, but I don't like any dance movies or books about dancing?! I have no idea. Being a dancer myself, I guess I get offended easily, because dancing is so much more than what these movies and books tell you. However, Debra Doxer didn't focus on the ballet topic. Well, she kind of did, making Nikki be a ballerina, but you won't be reading a story about a girl who spends twenty-four hours practicing in a studio. I'm glad for that. Her profession is an important part for the story and her doubts about a solo are real, but there's no nerve-racking competiton with another ballerina going on. Those are the worst.
Honestly, Breaking Skin is about love and trust and dealing with the past. It's about putting yourself first when necessary and counting on others when you're ready.
The writing and the character's voices improved with each chapter. I liked reading about the progress Nikki went through from page to page. Her life was never easy, but when she's with her niece, you read about a lighter version of that same Nikki. And I think the speed of Nikki's and Cole's relationship was just simply perfect. Often, I think everything happens a little too fast, and the period of time wasn't exactly a large one either, but it felt like it.
Judged on Nikki's sister's story, this book has got a mystery to it too. But it didn't overshadow the story, it just added some chills, some adventure to it.
I loved what Debra Doxer made Cole deal with. I have never read about that before and I think more novels, especially novels about sports, should pick this up. There's danger in everything, but these days, everyone is only after fame, being the best, never admitting when something feels wrong. And that can lead to horrible things, as read in Breaking Skin. And Cole's pretty lucky, considering the other guy we read about at the end. Sports people should take better care of themselves and their coaches should have the best intentions for their health, not for the winning.
One more thing I would like to speak about... Debra Doxer doesn't seem to care about the length of chapters. Luckily. There seem to be a lot of authors who write chapters that contain 7k words and end up having fifteen chapters in total. I don't know why it's become such a trend to write long chapters and have less chapters in total, but I don't like it. I like an organized book, chapters that make sense to me. Scenes and actions are great, but does a chapter really need twenty of them? I don't get it. Write fifty chapters if it makes you happy. I like that much better.
So, although my review doesn't really tell you anything about the plot, I highly recommend Breaking Skin. It's a refreshing story that will make you become Nikki, you will feel whatever she is feeling. Her character's voice is a really strong one and if you happen to like male point of views, I can tell you that Cole gets to tell his point of view a couple of times too. And gah, I loved those parts!