Skin and Bones (London Love Book 3) by Sophia Soames

Both Ben and Hugo have had some terribly hard things to overcome in their lives. But together they find a special kind of happiness that comes from unconditional caring that grows from friendship to love.

Not all relationships are the same. Sophia Soames shows us in Skin and Bones its okay to not be okay and still deserve to be loved and cherished in a way that works for that couple.

From the blurb:

Hugo Burrows has life under control. He has a decent job, a long-term relationship and a flat in Canary Wharf. It’s all under control. It’s just becoming a little problematic trying to hold everything together. Keeping the bruises on his skin hidden away. A smile plastered on his face. Controlling the calories he allows himself to consume. And now his boss is on his back with too many questions, and the grumpy French head chef keeps staring at him like he’s a freak or something.

Everything is under control. It has to be.

Benjamin Desjardins may be the head chef at the Clouds Hotel, but he definitely hasn’t got anything under control. His relationship with his best friend is crumbling, and simply turning up for work seems to automatically cause never-ending chaotic disasters. Yet there is something about the new concierge that has crawled straight under his prickly skin.

Ben doesn’t need more complications in his life. In fact, the last thing he needs is to inconveniently, and reluctantly…fall in love.

Skin and Bones can be read as a standalone but is best enjoyed if read after TASTE.

Reader Advisory. This book deals the following topics: eating disorders, OCD, domestic violence and sexual assault, characters falling somewhere on the ace/grey spectrum. Please look yourself and take care if these topics could upset you.
The book has high angst but low steam due to the above topics.

SNik's review:

Third in series (London Love), can be read as a standalone but might be more fun if read after Taste (London Love #1). Asexual representation. Age gap. Found family. Slow burn/no burn. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Hugo is the newest concierge at the Clouds Hotel in London, and he tells himself every day that he has everything under control, but really he doesn’t. Ben is the head chef at the hotel and totally entranced by Hugo, but there are so many obstacles in their way that Ben knows any happy future is just a dream. Both Ben and Hugo have such traumatic pasts, and live daily with the struggle of maintaining a public facade while privately barely managing.

When they come together as friends, they immediately support and work hard to accept themselves as well as accepting the help of others (which includes some amazingly supportive secondary characters). This story was heart wrenching, hopeful, realistic, and includes eventual honest communication, personal growth and two men that find sometimes loving someone else can help you appreciate all the bad and good parts of yourself.

Molly Otto's review:

First off, gonna say thank you, Sophia, for writing a true ace representation story. Hugo life is falling apart, and he feels he has nowhere to go to, how wrong he truly is. Ben had noticed this beautiful man from the beginning, yet was too afraid to say something or do something until it's necessary for his survival. This book touches so many tough topics, yet all are handled brilliantly that you keep going to see how it all plays out.

Each of these characters are broken in their own way, but guess what? That's okay. Each staff member is so close knit that they build each other up and help them be their true selves.

One of the main characters is on the ace scale, and because of that their is no sex, but their is deep love and feelings. Not all relationships are the same, and Sophia shows you can have a passionate relationship without the need for typical intimacy. Truly beautiful story that couldn't be put down from start to finish.

Skin and Bones is currently available as an e-book, hardback, paperback, and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription