Reader reviews at

REVIEWER: Shonell Bacon for The Nubian Chronicles

This year, I came across a novel that was romantic, suspenseful and real, and had me crying at the end because it wrenched every emotion from you. That novel is Kathleen Cross’ “Skin Deep”

This novel is a definite must-read…For romance readers, the sensuous scenes will leave you wanting an AHMAD, STAT! For suspense readers, the secrets that spill from Nina’s past will definitely leave you spent!

REVIEWER: Emerge Magazine, Recommended Reading

Drawing on the issues surrounding skin tone and racial identity, the author serves up an insightful take on one woman’s struggle to find romance and come to terms with the light-dark thing in this powerful debut novel.

REVIEWER: Rita Ewing, Author of Homecourt Advantage

Kathleen Cross hits the scene hard with a story filled with the best ingredients: love, intrigue, conflict and hidden secrets.

REVIEWER: Colleen McMahon for

You know you have read a good book when, three days after finishing it, your head is still spinning with questions and ideas that the book has raised. In addition to making me really think about issues of color lines (both outside and within the African-American community), Skin Deep makes it pleasant to tackle these serious issues by wrapping them in a fast-paced, warm, suspenseful and romantic story…The real power of this book is that despite making you consider these issues, it is never a chore to read. Between the romance and the mystery of Nina’s true origins, I kept turning pages late into the night. Moreover, Cross resists the temptation to make the seeming “bad guys” into two-dimensional unsympathetic characters. Time and again I found myself reluctantly empathizing with characters I had initially been set up to despise. This gave the story a depth that too many books, even books tackling hard racial issues, seem to lack.

Moreover, Cross keeps a skillful rein on the various subplots, bringing them all to a satisfying conclusion. To do that and leave the reader hungry to share the book with others, to discuss the questions it asks, is a real accomplishment.

I would love to see Oprah Winfrey choose this as one of her book club books. Not just because I think that it deserves the sales boost that such a designation always gives a novel. But because Skin Deep raises issues that can and should be discussed by a large, multi-perspective audience. Failing that, this book would make an excellent selection for a local book group.  (This is an excerpt. Read the entire review here.)