Tag Team Review: Skin After Skin (PsyCop #8) by Jordan Castillo Price

A Crash Prequel

Fierce. Audacious. Independent. Curtis Ash can’t be bothered to settle down. He’s too busy enjoying his cushy job as a high-paid stylist, caught in a whirlwind of hookups, parties, and obscenely priced cocktails.

The only snarl in an otherwise charmed life is the salon’s hotshot colorist, Red Turner. Not only does Red put the whammy on customers and rake in all the big tips, he’s oblivious to Crash’s flirtation. But there will be plenty of time to win him over…so Crash thinks.

Thanks to his refusal to trust his gut, Crash not only tanks his career—he allows the one man who truly holds his interest to slip away. While he insists he doesn’t need a relationship to complete him, would sharing his life with someone really be so bad?

Skin After Skin is a sweeping saga that begins two years before "Among the Living" and ends just after "Spook Squad". Experience PsyCop like you’ve never seen it before, through Crash’s eyes. Discover new facets of characters and events from the span of the entire series and beyond, all from the viewpoint of an extroverted empath.


R *A Reader Obsessed* - 3.5 Hearts! - Tag team review with Lori!

I really didn't know what to expect from an almost 400 page book about crazy Crash, because as a character who often stole the scenes throughout the Psycop series, I prepared myself for a bunch of excitement, and emotion, and him causing chaos and trouble with all his snark and psychic powers. Maybe a bit disappointingly, that didn’t really happen, but what was given made me appreciate him as a man who does have faults and feelings, and underneath his many layers there’s something more vulnerable and significant than what’s initially presented, and that’s something worth getting to know.

Without going into too much detail, this begins a few years before the Psycop series starts, and the reader’s first glimpse of Crash is him living the life as a stylist at a very high end salon. He’s got seniority, he’s got the boss’s eye, and he’s confidant that he can woo the mysterious new colorist, Red. He’s just a little bit too self involved, but suddenly, his axis is turned upside down one day in a sudden explosion of drama, and Crash finds himself jobless, pretty much broke, and without the intriguing Red.

Through a series of events, one gets to see how Crash goes from rock bottom to the ever brash store owner we know and love, selling psychic wares and offering empathic advice on all things mystical. I loved seeing how each of the original cast members make their entrance into his life. Witness how Crash and Caroline become besties, how he’s slowly made aware of the psychic world around him, how he and Jacob become involved and the whys of how their union fell apart (which I’m still confused about). Lisa also makes her appearance, and I was tickled by Con’s involvement too. Of course, there’s Vic, the titillating attraction between him and Crash, and the huge awkward when they and Jacob all converge.

As I might've mentioned already, this book is long and at times, also quite slow. However, there were some really lovely moments of self reflection and epiphanies and surviving when life shits on you and then shits on you some more and what you do with that shit and turn it around to something viable only to live another day to do it all over again. Crash’s life isn’t easy, but he is a warrior in his own right, and I enjoyed the complexity of his journey and the new insight to his background and motivation.

So, though this was not what I expected, this is still a necessary read for all fans of Psycop. It will definitely enrich your understanding and color your experience. Most importantly, witnessing Crash’s grudging acceptance of all these people in his life and how they’ve become important to him and to each other, forming their own special family of sorts. Surely, this will be significant as the portent of what’s to come is just now rearing it’s most likely ugly head. This was far from flash and bang, but I’m grateful, and I eagerly look forward to this gang’s future adventures.

Lorix - 3.5 Hearts

Before I write anything else I need to state for the record that I am a HUGE JCP fangirl. I adore her writing style, love her characters. I mean I LOVE her characters, no run-of-the-mill hot 'n heavy, muscled cowboys for this writer. Victor Bayne is in my top three book crushes, I adore him, and the Psycops series is one of my favourite series of all time.

Because of this, I feel almost guilty giving this book anything less than 5 hearts. It took me lot of pondering to work out why I didn't want to automatically 5 heart it. I mean, the flawlessly flawed great characters are still there, as is the wonderful Psycop world. Crash is one of my favourite characters in the series, second only to Vic really. The writing is  as good as ever, no over-used tropes to prop up a storyline. So why, why did I only give it 3.5 hearts?

Well I came to two conclusions. Firstly, the book isn't Vic-centric. Yeah, I know, kind of obvious seeing as the book is about Crash (who I love, I really do). What can I say, my crush on Vic knows no bounds and I found I wasn't liking not being in his head.There is truly not a lot anyone can do about that. I mean seriously, I fancy the fuck outta Vic and I missed him being front and centre.

The second conclusion I came to was that I wished it were longer. It felt like too much story for the length of the book. We go back to Crash before he met Jacob and followed him through to events in the other Psycop books - peripherally at least, as Crash isn't an MC in the other books. So I basically wanted, either a spin-off of books about Crash or one LOOOOOOONG tome. I'm rather partial to long books anyway (which is why I often binge read series, I love getting swallowed by an epic story). Again, this is perhaps a me thing. No, scrub that - it is a me thing; I'm greedy and wanted more.

I think basically others will love this addition to the series, but I wanted something more. I loved seeing Crash from the perspective of Crash. He felt different than from Vic's perspective. Funnily enough, I wasn't keen on Jacob through Crash's eyes. Why? Maybe it's my Vic prejudice coming into play. I did love the character of Red and would have happily devoured more about him and Crash.

My rating doesn't reflect JCP's awesomeness as an author but it does reflect my eccentricities as a reader. Readers are often selfish beasts, well this one is, and that is the fault of nobody at all. I say if you're a Psycop fan, go ahead and read this book, even just having that little more insight to the wonderful Crash is worth it.

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

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