Wednesday, January 1, 2014

REVIEW: MASQUERADE by NYRAE DAWN


Masquerade (Games, #3)Series: Games #3
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: 1/7/14
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From bestselling author, Nyrae Dawn, comes Book 3 in her New Adult, Games Series!

After his father is put in prison for murder leaving his mother suicidal, Maddox Cross has always put his sister, Laney, first. Now living in Brenton, Virginia, Maddox has no idea what to do with his life, especially since Laney no longer needs him. One thing he does know is for the first time since losing football, he's found something else that's just for him--tattooing. When he meets a feisty young woman in the club where he works security, he has no idea that she has the ability to change his life forever.  Bee Malone has just moved to Brenton to open up her first tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Despite her young success, nothing is ever as it seems. After being kidnapped at a young age, Bee has difficulty being the daughter her parents lost and letting go of the "parents" she was raised with. When she meets Maddox, she's immediately attracted to him and what starts out as a one night stand leaves Bee wanting to connect with him in more ways than one.
Once Maddox finds out about Masquerade, he wants nothing more than to join Bee. But letting him in means trying to figure out who she is and she's not ready for that. And yet, as the two get closer, they find themselves leaning on each other more than they are comfortable with. Will their stubborn nature tear them apart? Or push them closer together?

First Impression ... MADDOX(!) was so intriguing in Facade, and I can't wait to know him better. And Bee, a tattoo artist...badass.

The Story... Maddox is searching. His sister is happy now, and doesn't need him the way she used to. His mom is still a struggle. The guilt over a death his father caused still haunts him. His one passion is his art, and tattooing. The key to his future as a tattoo artist is Masquerade. 

Bee is starting a new phase in her life, opening her own tattoo shop. A complicated and traumatic past has led Bee to a life of solitude, and anonymity. She wants to be left alone, Maddox wants to be her apprentice. 

The closer they become, the harder they fight the friendship and love forming between them. 

The Characters ... Maddox and Bee were strong and powerful characters. Having read Facade, I already knew Maddox's story. Masquerade further examines the guilt he lives with in regards to his dad, and his relationship with his sister Laney and his mom. I loved discovering his passion for art and how unexpectedly, yet completely he falls in love. 

Bee is probably my favorite of all of Nyrae Dawn's female leads; she made Masquerade shine. I feel that Bee's history is a spoiler, so I won't get into the details, except to say, it is NOT sexual trauma. What her story is, though, is very sad and complicated, and its clear that Dawn truly dug deep in her characterization of Bee. 
 
Maddox and Bee together were amazing. They each had their own heavy issues, but weren't about "fixing" each other. Theirs was a reluctant relationship, built on acceptance. They were present for each other, and were all about the emotional support without judgment. 

The rest of the Games crew do show up several times, throughout the story. It was cool to revisit Laney and Adrian, Chey and Colt. Once again, Colt delivered one of my favorite lines from Masquerade.

The Writing .... Nyrae Dawn has an understated writing style, one I enjoy. The characters are full of emotion. The stories are full of passion and angst, romance and love. But it's never in your face. I'm not sure if this is the proper way to explain, but I feel as if the story and characters are there, allowing me to discover and understand them.

The Heat ... One of this series strong points, holding true in Masquerade, is that the characters are sexy, and they have such strong chemistry, and some very steamy moments. But, the story is never defined by the sex. And more importantly, sex isn't the answer to their problems.

Could I Put Masquerade Down? .... True to form for this series, this one snuck really snuck up on me in the last third of the story. I was moving along, enjoying, and suddenly, the emotional tension was upped. I was flying through the pages, searching for Maddox and Bee's happy ending. 

In the End... Masquerade was a great addition to the Games series. Bee and Maddox had a powerful story to tell and Nyrae Dawn did them justice. 
 

Favorite Quotes:
 
  "Bee? As in buzz, buzz?" His question jerks me out of my thoughts. "Did I tell you how much I like honey?"
  Yeah, because I haven't heard that one before. "No, as in the letter B. It's short for 'bitch'. Want me to demonstrate how accurate the name is?" I finish my tirade with the tiniest of wicked grins.
  At that, Trevor smiles and holds up his hands. "I was kidding. Kind of. But seriously, that was hot. I think I'm in love with you."
 
 
  "Stop making me want you." The same heat from his eyes is now in his words.
  "Stop letting me have you," I reply, and it seems to inflame him more.
  He pulls me closer again, right between his legs, as the other hand moves up it cup my cheek. His stare alone is burning me alive.
 


The Games Series
Charade (Games, #1)  Facade (Games, #2)  Masquerade (Games, #3)



Purchase Masquerade


Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About the author:I am a compulsive · and writer who loves YA fiction.

I love nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find me with a book in my hand or open document in front of me.


I live in Southern California with my husband and two children.


Connect with Nyrae:
Website  |  Facebook Twitter  |  GoodReads

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26 comments:

  1. wow
    well, this series is definitely familiar and i really wanna read it since it intrigues me a lot
    Your reader
    Soma
    http://insomnia-of-books.blogspot.com/

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  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this review, Andrea! It's gorgeous and you said just the right things that I'd describe every book in this series with. I still love Chey and Colt the most and I'm glad that all the rest of the gamers as you pointed out do make appearences. Also, I agree, Colt delivers the best lines and I'm curious as to what you thought was the best line of the book :D I wonder if we think the same. Also, Bee became your favorite girl in this series? Oh, wow. That's a lot to take on--Laney and Chey are tough competitors ;) So happy that you loved it and I can't wait to read it. It's out tomorrow already, whohoo!! It feels like forever since I started waiting for it, heh. Thanks so much for sharing:)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Charade and Colt are still my favorite, but I loved Bee so hard.

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  3. This is on my e-reader and I expect to be up until the wee hours of the morning reading this tonight. As I do with all of Nyrae's books :-)

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  4. Dang, I picked this up not realizing this was book three..guess I need to pick them up. Wonderful review!!

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  5. I love it when the relationship isn't a fix for the characters but something that is just part of their journey! This sounds like a really great read. Great review!

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  6. Nice review. I've been iffy about starting this series but your review has convinced me to pick it up. I love strong characters and emotional stories so this sounds right up my alley.

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  7. LOVE this series! I just started this one last night and I'm about 30% in. I'm liking it but it will be hard to top Charade. This is my favorite cover of the series :)
    Happy New Year!

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  8. I have these on my TBR. Looks like I will definitely have to get to these in 2014!

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  9. Awesome review! Reading this one really soon and I can't wait.

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  10. You put this series on my radar, Andrea. This review, though, really makes me want to jump into it. Bee and Maddox sound like incredible characters!! And I can't wait to read their story. :)

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  11. Wonderful review, Andrea! Bee and Maddox sound so intriguing -- I am definitely adding this series to my reading list! I hope you had a wonderful holiday and I wish you a fabulous 2014!

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  12. I have not read this series yet, want to thought. I think I own book 1. This one sounds absolutely amazing thought. Maddox and Bee are characters I'd love to meet!

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  13. I loved your review Andrea! You have me so excited to read Maddox and Bee's story! I love strong female characters, and appreciate the fact that even though there is a lot of steamy sexiness between the characters, their relationship is not defined by sex. I love the quotes you picked too :)

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  14. Andrea, I was already quite excited to read this book because I was so intrigued by Maddox in the previous book, but your review has got me even more excited. It sounds like Maddox and Bee make one hell of a couple and I especially can't wait to meet Bee. She sure does sound badass and those quotes? Plus, I really want Maddox to have his HEA. The poor guy has gone through too much.
    Great review, Andrea!

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    Replies
    1. Yay, Nick! I hope you enjoy Masquerade, and Bee and Maddox, as much as I did.

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  15. So excited about this one. Didn't get approved by the pub so I have to wait but I'm still gonna read it. MADDOX! Hot & can't put it down near the end? I'm in! Great review.

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    Replies
    1. You not being approved for this is baffling.

      I hope you enjoy!

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  16. I loved Charade and I'm looking forward to this one as well, but I still need to read Facade! I hope I can get to that soon, because it's been in my TBR forever! I do love Nyrae Dawn's writing. Wonderful review, Andrea! :)

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  17. No sexual trauma is great news to me anyways. Not that I shy away from it but this genre is riddled by backstories like that and it's nice that this offers something different.

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  18. Great review! I love this series too.

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  19. Sounds like such a great series, I must get to it soon. I really love the idea that their relationship is a simple fix to all their problems, I just don't find it realistic when that happens. Great review Andrea :)

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  20. I really do love these books. I felt like they were a bit whiny in this one though, but over all I'm a huge fan of this series. Do you know if she's writing any more?

    I remember when we all read What a boy Wants back in the day, and I like it but I wasn't really blown away. I feel like after reading all these books she has definitely improved with her writing, and that's awesome. :o)

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