Tuesday, January 7, 2014

MASQUERADE by Nyrae Dawn

(The Games Series #3)
by Nyrae Dawn
ARC Review
Published: January 7, 2014, Forever

My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️

Bee just opened her own tattoo studio, the realization of her dreams and the one place she feels is really her own. Disjointed by a traumatic childhood having been kidnapped at a young age and kept by a couple other than her parents for nine years before being returned, she has trouble finding her place in the world. Tattooing is her life, it's what she loves to do and what feels right. 

When she walks into a club for a celebratory drink and spots a lone man standing against a wall, she is intrigued by his demeanour, his ink and his good looks and doesn't hesitate to act on the hot surge of lust.

Holding tight to his tough exterior is the only way for Maddox to avoid getting drawn into any more emotional entanglements. He's had enough of those in his life. Looking after a suicidal mother and his sister after his bastard of a father went to jail for killing a child was enough to last him a life time. The only thing he had left was his art and his hopes of finally making his debut as a tattoo artist.

He is working his security job at the club when he sees her walk in and sit next to his station. Gorgeous and inked up beautifully. Never looking for more than instant gratification, he jumps on the opportunity to find short term relief in her delicious body.

The last person Bee expects to find as her new apprentice was the incredible one night stand, Maddox. But with the understanding that neither of them is looking for repeats, she can't resist the promise of his drawn art and takes him on. They are both liars. The chemistry between them is so thick, it is impossible to resist. And even though neither is capable of using words as a way to express themselves, their bodies don't seem to have any problems.

Over time, both Bee and. Maddox let their guards slip and the people behind the characters they portray are exposed more and more. Until they have to make the decision to be satisfied living behind their masks or whether they are going to have the courage to open up and rip them off completely.....


WOW!!! What a fantastic surprise!! 

I had not read the previous two books and honestly, it was not necessary to get the backstory for this book. It does very well as a standalone. The context needed came through quite clearly and concisely.

I'm not going to miss one of Nyrae Dawn's books again, I can tell you that!! A lovely writing style and a mesmerizing flow that had me pulled into the pages of this novel. 

The story is a tad dark and angsty at first glance, but there is a lightness there as well, a relief found in the art the protagonists practise, that brightens the entire feel of the book. Add to that the addition of the supporting cast of two couples who are blissfully in love and committed to each other, and you have a perfect contrast that stands out in balance. 

Both Maddox and Bee have come through a traumatic time in their life and are stuck in a coping mechanism, not able to move through and out of it, despite the fact that the trauma and the coping mechanism are no longer a necessity. Their way of standing in life has become such an instinctual thing, it requires a shake up of massive proportion to jar them out of position. They are each other's "shake up". 
Love sneaks up on them and by the time they realize it's there, it has its claws so deep, they are completely thrown off by it. Exactly what is needed to jump start their individual and joint development.

I loved this story. I loved the fact that it wasn't schmaltzy...but still it was sweet, it wasn't crass....but still it was direct, and it wasn't overly emotional.....but was very compelling. There was no over-doing anything in this book, everything was 'just right'. Kudos, Nyrae Dawn, my eyes are peeled for your name!!

A sharp, vivid and fierce fan-freakin-tastic read!! ✨

**ARC provided by NetGalley and Forever in return for an honest review.**

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