*I received an eARC in exchange for my honest review
I loved the first two books in the series. So when I saw the opportunity to read and review Masquerade, I took it.
This time around it's Bee's and Maddox's story. I met Maddox briefly in book 2, Facade, so I knew a little about him before starting Masquerade, and I couldn't wait to read his story. He's been guilt for what his father did and it's been eating him inside, but doesn't want anyone to know. His dream is to become a tattoo artist. So he goes to Masquerade, hoping to become an apprentice there. And that's when he meets Bee. She's tough, isn't afraid to speak her mind, and is a heck of tattoo artist; I really liked her. After being led down in the past by the people she loved the most, it's hard for her to love and trust.
I loved seeing the chemistry with Bee and Maddox. They were definitely perfect for each other. I also loved how they opened up and let each other in. Maddox is super over-protective of his sister,so it was great seeing him realize that he can't protect her from everything.
I loved seeing the couples from the first two books: Adrian and Laney, Cheyenne and Colt.
Overall, I loved this book and I loved Nyrae's writing. I definitely recommend this book, and series, to everyone. You'll laugh, cry, swoon., and relate to the characters.
“Did you bring any drawings?” Bee sits at the chair behind a desk.
I hand her a book, but the second I do, I want to snatch it back. It’s always like that showing someone my work, even though I know it’s good. “That’s just one I had with me. I have more at home.”
She doesn’t answer as she starts flipping through the pages. After a couple minutes of watching her study each page, I start to get jittery. Feel like she’s looking inside me instead of at some pages, so to distract myself, I move around the room, taking in pictures of her work and other tattoos on the walls.
She looks at the book for what seems like an hour before speaking. “These are good. They’re different. Your artwork has a unique style that I haven’t seen before.”
“Why do you want to be a tattoo artist?” she asks. The question shows me how serious she is about what she does because no one has brought it up before.
The urge to tell her it’s none of her business surges through me, but I want this badly enough to answer. “Because when I’m around it, I feel more like myself than I probably ever have.”
A brief flash of shock shows on her face, but she covers it quickly. “Good. I won’t screw around with someone who’s playing a game. This isn’t something you do to make a quick buck. Not if you’re working with me, at least. Did you get a chance to actually give anyone ink?”
“No. The apprenticeship only lasted three months before he bailed.”
Bee nods. “That’s good. I actually rather you have hardly any experience—that way I don’t have to train bad habits out of you.”
“I’m not a dog.”
“No one said you were. Chill out, Scratch.”
I tense at the name, but before I can really say anything, she starts asking questions again. “Do you lean toward liking only black work or are you into color too?”
Everything I have so far is only black, but as I look at her again, I see a variety of black and colorful work. “Depends. I don’t want to do only one or the other. I love work with shading too. I’ve seen some pieces that are really incredible just because of the shading.”
She nods and I wonder if that was the right answer.
“I’m not saying you don’t, but this is something you have to take seriously. There are a lot of dumb-asses out there who think it’s all fun, but it’s not. Stuff like being clean and safe is even more important than the picture you put into someone’s skin.”
“That’s a given, isn’t it?”
She grins. “You’d think, but it’s not always like that.”
We’re both quiet after that. Bee glances down at my artwork again. “I’m surprised I even let you in here tonight. It’s important that you know that. I don’t take shit from people.”
One look at her and that’s obvious. Part of me didn’t expect her to open the door for me either. “I’m surprised I came, so that makes two of us.” When she looks up at me, I’m not sure how I feel about the way her eyes take me in. Don’t know what I think about the fact that we have shit in common or that her look is familiar to me. I give it myself.
Bee stands, walks around to the front of the desk, and then leans on it. “If we do this, can we keep things from getting awkward?”
My answer comes automatically. “I can if you can. It was one night. We don’t know each other and I’m never with someone more than once anyway.” I’ve shared this strange sort of honesty with her tonight that makes my body overheat. I want all the words back because they’re a part of me and I don’t want anyone to see who I am, but this is it. Saying these things to her is the only way to get what I want.
“Now that you’ve asked your questions and realize this isn’t a game to me, I need to know if we’re doing this or not.”
Silently she walks toward the door and opens it. I hold in the groan, pissed at myself for fucking this up again and even more pissed that she’s in control.
Bee turns toward me, her blond hair messy from sleep, but it’s another thing she doesn’t care about. It doesn’t take away from how sexy she is either.
“We’re doing this. Don’t make me regret it. Now I need to get some sleep and then we’ll talk tomorrow about a schedule.”
I let out the breath trapped in my lungs. Thanks, echoes through my mind, but all that comes out is, “Cool. We’ll talk later.” Then I walk out the door.
Instead of going home, I head to the high school. It’s such a dumb fucking thing to do, but like I’ve done other nights, I jump the fence and head to the football field. Sitting in the middle of it, I let my eyes trace over the whole thing, trying to remember the time this used to be important to me. And trying not to concentrate on the fact that even though I got something I want, something I need, I still want to take out the fucking world because of everything I’ve lost.
Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. Even when she was too busy chasing kids or working, writing stories was never far from her mind.
She feels a special pull to characters in their teens. There’s something so fresh and fun about the age that she adores exploring. Her husband says it’s because she doesn’t want to grow up. She doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing. Luckily for her, he doesn’t either.
Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. Whether reading or writing, she loves emotional journeys. It’s icing on the cake when she really feelssomething, but is able to laugh, too. She’s also a proud romantic at heart who has a soft spot for flawed characters. She loves people who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes but also have a big heart.
Nyrae resides in sunny Southern California with her husband (who still makes her swoon) and her two awesome kids.
When she’s not with her family, you can be pretty sure you’ll find her with a book in her hand or her laptop and an open document in front of her.
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