Today is our stop!!
Check out our top shelf review, excerpt, and giveaway!

Title: Masquerade
Author: Nyrae Dawn
Series: Games
Publisher: Grand Central (Hachette)
Published: January 7, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:
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 . . .

Check out our reviews for:
Charade (Games #1)
Facade (Games #2)
Interview with Adrian & Delaney

First Thoughts:
Celeste: 4.5 stars. *flails* I will tell you one thing, Ms. Dawn knows how to write a romance that sucks you in and won’t let you stop reading until the last page. She writes characters that are deep, yet so vibrant. I love, love, love “damaged goods” and Maddox this story was so delicious.

Ana: 4.5 stars.  What great characters! Maddox and Bee pulled me into their story right from the first page and didn’t let go until the very end.  There’s so much goodness here!

Plot, Pacing, and Style:
Ana: Ms. Dawn has this all figured out…at least as far as I’m concerned.  Her plots are deceptively simple, really.  Characters with heartbreak who find solace in each other.  But, the beauty is in her ability to weave complicated back stories with what’s happening in the moment.  The plots are never one dimensional, there’s always so much going on, there’s always tons of emotions to dig through…and this book is not any different.  I wanted…no, I needed…to keep reading to find out what would happen to these two next!

Celeste: This is the story of Bee and Maddox’s journey to finding their other half, they truly didn’t become whole until they they got together. Told in alternating POVs we got to see just how deep their scars on the inside were, and my heart broke over and over for them. However, every single time they interacted with the other, they each started to feel some hope, and I loved it. It was like the carrot on the stick that had me turning the pages into the middle of the night. Nyrae Dawn seems to only write stories that I have to finish in one sitting!

Main Characters:
Celeste: Here’s where I vary a little bit. Ok, a lot. You can call me out on it, but I can own it…I have double standards. I just realized this recently, but I’m so much more drawn to men with tattoos, and I find it harder to connect to women that have them. Yep, in my head only the men are hot with tatts. That being said, I still loved the story, but probably would have loved Bee so much more if she wasn’t inked up. Her story was tragic, and that in itself was so hard for me to wrap my head around. I wish she had talked about it more, but obviously that isn’t her personality. It wasn’t that I disliked her, but I never wanted to be her. Maddox Cross however…I am in love. He was so damaged, so strong, and my favorite thing of things when I read a book: so BROODING with a temper. He was delicious. He also sounds like he was very, very, very pretty to look at.

Ana: I love Maddox!  He’s broken, he’s damaged…he’s got a huge heart.  I love that under it all he just wants to move on and he’s courageous enough to try to get what he wants.  Unlike Celeste, I also loved Bee.  She’s deeply confused and almost irreparably broken. She’s lived through so much tragedy but, somehow, come out on the other side scarred and battered but still moving forward.  Both these characters are amazing.

Romance/Chemistry:
Ana: Yum!!  The chemistry is undeniable…it’s strong…it’s hot!!  These two are attracted to each other like magnets and no matter what’s going on the connection is there.  I loved the intensity of their romance and the beauty of how it morphed from pure physical need to a more emotional connection.

Celeste: HOT HOT HOT. These two have some serious sparks, and as much as they try to just remain professional, it was impossible since they were so attracted to each other. I love how it went from so hot to so meaningful. Also, Ms. Dawn uses the f-bomb all over the place, and frankly, I couldn’t get enough.

Title/Cover:
Celeste: I’m pretty sure every title in this series is ridiculously perfect. I love the cover too, I mean, who wouldn’t?!? That is Maddox. RAWR.

Ana: Great title…gorgeous cover.  Perfect.

Twists, Turns, and Secrets:
Ana: Lots of secrets here.  Lots of issues to be dealt with and lots of opportunity for discovery.  Slowly we see these two come to terms with their pasts and begin to help each other get stronger.  As a reader I wanted to know more about what had happened to each of them and the author willingly gave me the information I was looking for.

Celeste: There were no major balls dropping on the reader, but instead we got to see the secrets slowly revealed. It was about Bee and Maddox each gaining the strength to deal with the burdens that made them so sad. It was only because of the other one that they were able to begin to start healing.

Ending:
Celeste: Hold me. I loved it. I think I loved it so much because not only did Maddox and Bee get some closure, but so did Delaney. It was so raw, and yet so perfect. Gah, I LOVE THIS SERIES!
Ana: Yes…what Celeste said!  Perfect ending in more than one way.  Filled my heart and brought a smile to my face.  Couldn’t have asked for anything else.

Gripes/suggestions:
Ana: *blink, blink, blink* I’ve got nothing….

Celeste: I wish it was longer?? Also, I was TOTALLY spoiled with Charade and Facade and I’m glutton for pain…basically what I’m saying is that I was hoping to cry. While this story was deep and it touched my heart, I didn’t get choked up. Ms. Dawn has been known to really bring the waterworks (for me) with her books, which is one of the reasons I love her writing so much.

Final Thoughts/Rec it?
Celeste: Oh yes!! This book is fantastic, and if you love characters that are “damaged goods”, you know, the ones that find a way to get through all their heartache, this series is an absolute must for you TBR!

Ana: Duh…of course! I’ll rec it every chance I get.  If you haven’t read all of Ms. Dawn’s books yet…get going.  You need these books in your life!!

Excerpt

I’ve never been the type of person who sits around and dwells on life. Bad things happen all the time and overthinking them has never done shit to change anything. I remember when I went back home—or to the place I should consider home—I didn’t really understand what was going on. At thirteen I should have, but people who are kidnapped are supposed to have been hurt. They’re mistreated and locked away. They aren’t happy and loved the way I had been, so the whole thing was hard to wrap my head around.

For about a week after they sent me home, that’s all I thought about. The people who raised me and the people who lost me. How they both loved me even though I didn’t know quite how to feel about any of them. Didn’t know how I felt about that screwed up word love at all. Rex and Melody had always told me they’d loved me but now I knew they’d stolen me. My real parents said they loved me but they didn’t really know me. I wasn’t their little girl anymore. How can you love someone you don’t know?

It hurt and I cried, my chest feeling hollow and broken, knowing I should feel so many things I didn’t know how to.

Nothing changed.

I didn’t hurt any less. My real family was still broken-hearted and confused, and I’d lost who I considered my mom and dad.

That’s when I decided I wouldn’t lose myself in the past anymore. I wouldn’t stress and dwell on things I couldn’t change or even things I could, because if I made that decision the first time, there was a reason. I would stick with my choices, even when someone didn’t get them or I got shit for being closed off or hard. And I wouldn’t worry about love or try to figure it out.

Girls aren’t allowed to feel that way, I guess.

This is why I’m pissed that I haven’t stopped thinking about Maddox since he walked out of Masquerade.

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 Author Bio:Writing has always been Nyrae Dawn’s passion. Nyrae gravitates toward character-driven stories. She loves going on emotional journeys with characters whether it be reading or writing. And yes, she’s a total romantic at heart and proud.

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. Nyrae also writes adult romance under the name Kelley Vitollo.


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A big thank you to Grand Central and Ms. Dawn
for having us on the tour!

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