Review: ☆Masquerade☆ by Nyrae Dawn

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 . . . 

4 Stars

You can pretend all you want that you’ve never been hurt before and that you’ve never lost anything, but I will continue to call bullshit. Loss is loss. It’s not a contest about who’s been hurt more. We all have our battles to fight.”

While I can’t say that this was my favorite book in the series, it was still a fantastic addition. Facadecontinues to hold the number one place in my heart so far.

I was so excited to get my hands on this book since meeting Maddox as Laney’s brooding older brother in book 2. I just knew that behind the mysterious broodiness lies the soul of a broken man, and I couldn’t wait to uncover all his secrets. Does that sound deep? Because what I meant to say is that the second I read tattoos and motorcycle my inner dirty girl was throwing her panties at my kindle. See? That doesn’t sound half as good as what I said before. What can I say? A girl’s got a type, and mine just happen to be tatted up, motorcycle riding bad boys.

The first half of the book got off to a rocky start for me. It took me a while to really get into the story and feel the connection between Bree and Maddox. I think in part that has to do with how quickly they got together. (And I do mean quickly, since clothes started flying in the first 5%) I simply couldn’t feel their connection. I read that they were drawn to one another…I just couldn’t connect to it, if that even makes sense. I was almost afraid that one of my favorite NA series may turn into a DNF. But then something changed right around the halfway point and I found myself getting more and more drawn into the story. I’d give the first half 3 stars and 5 stars for the second, rounding it to a solid 4 star read.

Both Bree and Maddox are closed off for their own reasons, and each of those reasons are absolutely heart breaking.

Maddox struggles with the guilt of the part that he played in his father’s affair and ultimate breakdown of everything that followed it. He doesn’t feel like he deserves anything, especially not love. After all, he was weak, not strong enough to do what needed to be done…or so he thinks.

The only thing that truly drives him is his desire to be a tattoo apprentice. Drawing and tattoos allow him an escape, if only for a little while, from his daily reality. Maddox gets the shock of a lifetime when he discovers the only tattoo shop in town is owned by the girl he spent one passionate night with…with no thoughts of later.

Bree is not looking for love either, she doesn’t even know what it is. She may appear whole on the outside, have parents that love and support her, and her own business, but inside she’s just a lost girl. Struggling with a past that has broken her and her belief in love, she merely takes life day to day.

As different as these two feel they may be from each other, they share a bond that neither of them want to face.

Brutal honesty is underrated and I can see he has it, like I do. If I were a different kind of girl- the kind who believed in love- Maddox would be the guy that I’d fall for. Though I guess if I really wasn’t me, he probably wouldn’t be what I’d want.

Although both of them fight the emotional connection between them as much as they can, the one thing that they can’t seem to fight is the sexual pull between them.

And they don’t exactly try to fight that all that much.

Stop making me want you.” The same heat from his eyes in now in his words.
“Stop letting me have you,” I reply, and it seems to inflame him more.

As much as I struggled with the first half of this book, I absolutely devoured the second half. That was when the emotional intensity that I’ve come to associate with this series and Nyrae’s writing really shined through. My heart broke for both Maddox and Bee with each new detail of their past coming to light. It was poignant and even gut wrenching at time. The part where Maddox finally talks with Adrian, I’m pretty sure it managed to bring a tear even to my cold and black little heart. It was that good.

Fans of the series will really enjoy this one, and if you’re like me and struggle in the beginning, I strongly recommend pushing through since it will be worth it in the end.

While you can easily read this book as a standalone, I’d highly recommend reading Facade first to get a better understanding of the story’s background and a better understanding of Maddox. But if you want to go ahead and just dive into this one without reading Facade, the author gives you plenty of background information that you wouldn’t be lost.

If you’re a fan of steamy NA with broken characters, a poignantly written story, and a hero who you will equal parts love and feel like your heart is breaking for, definitely give this one a try.

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