Skin Heat (Berkley Sensation) - Ava Gray This book had its ups and downs, but ultimately I'd give it a 3+/3.5 stars.

The story, briefly.
Zeke isn't himself after he escapes six months of captivity and experimentation. He can hear things he shouldn't be hearing, and he smells in Technicolor. In his attempt to pull his life back together, he gets a job as a vet tech at Geneva Harper's veterinarian practice. Circumstances throw them (and their various body parts) together multiple times, but Zeke's struggles with his animalistic nature pulls them apart. A crazed psycho is on the loose, though, and when he sets his sights on Geneva, Zeke steps up to the plate and unleashes his wild side to save his woman.

The crazed psycho aspect.
This is the part of the story that fell flat for me. I can see why it was included. However, I didn't think it needed to be that big a part of the story. There was plenty of tension already with our witnessing Zeke's struggles to find his humanity and cope with what was done to him. I just didn't care about getting into the psycho's head, to be honest. Maybe this is just another book that adds to the mounting evidence that I don't like romantic suspense books.

I loved Zeke. He was raw, gritty, and sexay as all get out. The experiments left him...different...but he's back and trying to build a new life for himself. It's a constant struggle, and I really sympathized with him over his frustration with not being able to control his animal impulses or not being able to express himself to the woman who has been the object of his unrequited (and unexpressed) love since he was a teenager. The tenderness and devotion he shows towards her only serve as distinct (and favorable) contrasts to the raw animal possessiveness he expresses in his narrative.

Geneva ("Neva" in this book - a stupid nickname, in my opinion, and one that kind of throws some demerits her way, too) held her own in the character department, as well. She's a lady to the manor born, but she turned her back on that lifestyle to open up a veterinary clinic on her own dime. She wasn't annoyingly hoity toity or anything; in fact, her willingness to accept Zeke and all of his rough edges really won major points on my end. She was a pretty strong heroine, and I liked that she didn't devolve into martyrdom when the opportunity presented itself for her family to effect a reconciliation.

The romance & sexytimes.
Right off the bat, let me just say this book was recommended on the RFR's pervy thread. Heeeeeeeeeeeee! And, yes, it was pretty pervy! There were maybe 4-5 nice sexytimes scenes that were written in a pervy way. Zeke's rawness really spoke to me in these scenes.

I thought the romance worked out fairly well, too. I was a little surprised by how quickly the "L" bomb got dropped, but then of course other things (including Zeke's own animalistic nature) conspired to tear them apart. The unrequited love part on Zeke's side was really sweet. He met Neva once when he was 16 and mowed their lawns, and he's held her up as his ideal ever since. Say it with me: awwwwwwwwwwww. In terms of tropes, note that this book has the older woman (31)/younger man (27) theme, too.

Good story with great characters. Don't be put off by the fact that this is part of a series; I read it as a standalone, and it was fine. Also, the paranormal label is a little bit misleading - there are definitely paranormal elements, but it's basically an animal-attuned hero being dumped back into civilization. So, there's no fancy worldbuilding that you have to follow closely or anything. I'd say this is more like a romantic suspense with paranormal elements.