Series: Games #3
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Pages: 320 (Kindle)
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Source: For Review
A biker. A tattoo artist. A love to last a lifetime.
Maddox Cross has always had to be tough. When his father went to jail for murder, the teenager took care of his sister and mother. Now on his own and working security at a night club, Maddox wants to become a tattoo artist-a dream that comes closer to reality when he falls for the hottest, most tatted woman he's ever seen. She's wild and beautiful, and Maddox will do anything to be with her.
Bee Malone came to town to open up her new tattoo parlor, Masquerade. Since being kidnapped as a young girl, Bee has had trouble getting close to anyone. But when she meets Maddox, she sees that under his hard biker's body is the sensitive soul of an artist. What starts out as a sizzling one-night stand soon becomes so much more.
Bee wants Maddox to join her tattoo business, but letting him into her life means revealing all her most intimate secrets. And as the past begins to intertwine with her present, Bee fears their love may not be as permanent as their ink . . .
This series is all about people putting up a front. We’ve already seen characters who try to appear perfect and those who pretend to be okay when they’re not. Now, in Masquerade Bee puts on the tough girl act, and Maddox pretends to be detached. Bee is living her dream; she’s just opened up her own tattoo parlor. Maddox wants to start on his dream, and walks into her shop in hopes of getting an apprenticeship. Too bad Bee’s not looking for help, and that they just had a one night stand, making things a tad awkward. Of course, she eventually takes him in, and their one night together turns into two, then three, then they can’t stay away from each other.
I did like Masquerade better than Facade, but it still didn’t blow me away. I enjoyed the interactions between Bee and Maddox, but there was a lot of repetition when it came to other aspects of the story. Bee mentions a million times how she doesn’t fit into her family, and that she doesn’t understand love. She also reminds us in each chapter that she was kidnapped but loved her kidnappers for the nine year she was with them. Maddox is wallowing in guilt over how he never spoke out against his father, and repeatedly says how he never hooks up with someone more than once. All of these needless reminders caused the story to drag in places, and made it quite a bit longer than it needed to be.
There was also way too much of Laney, Maddox’s sister. We already got her story in the previous book, so I really didn’t want to read it again. I know they’re siblings and share some of the same loss and grief, but Masquerade seemed to focus on her feelings more than his. She also popped into every other scene, along with Adrian, who would then start yelling at Maddox. I needed less brother-boyfriend drama, and more Bee-Maddox drama!
My favorite part of Masquerade was Bee’s past. She was kidnapped when she was four, but her captors never hurt her. They cared for her as if she was their own. Then when she was returned to her own family at thirteen, she just didn’t know who she was anymore. It was kind of like Stockholm syndrome–which I find fascinating–but not.
I liked Masquerade, but I wish there had been more of a focus on Maddox and Bee as a couple. They do have some great scenes where you can tell that they just get each other, but the repetitiveness of their issues and the intrusions by Laney were distracting.