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 . . .
I was completely attracted to Maddox from the get go. Black hair with just enough curl “to make you want to run your fingers through it to see how it feels”. His eyes are grey. He’s got a bit of raspiness to his voice which I find immensely arousing by itself. He’s a straight talker and he doesn’t put up with or dish out BS. He works as a bouncer but he’s got mad drawing skills and he wants to become a tattoo artist. He’s not overly friendly but I sensed right away that his standoffishness and anger were defense mechanisms employed to keep people from getting too close. He has a sister named, Laney, he loves and who he’s protective of. This goes back to something devastating that happened in the past. Maddox is consumed by guilt for that devastation…
The Girl: Bee is independent and seems a bit of a free spirit. She owns her own tattoo shop called Masquerade. As it says in the synopsis she was kidnapped when she was young. Those responsible then raised her as their own for many years. Eventually she was returned to her family, but as you can imagine she has a whole lot of emotional baggage because of it. Her name isn’t really Bee either. It’s a name she chose because she didn’t feel she was the girl who was taken Leila, or the girl who was renamed, Coral. It was one way she could take back some control of herself. I can’t even imagine how a person would come to terms with that. She too suffers from a lot of guilt…
The Chemistry: It’s instantaneous and they act on it immediately. This is because they don’t expect to ever see each other again…when they do it’s because Maddox wants to get an apprenticeship at Masquerade not knowing who owns it. Bee doesn’t accept him immediately, but when she does they agree that they need rules…which includes no sex. Yeah…that doesn’t last too long. Though they both play it off… as neither is looking for any kind of long-term entanglement… I was hoping for more…for them. I wanted them to get past what I thought was their biggest obstruction…themselves.
The Heat Factor:
It may be cold outside but you’re going to be shivering for completely different reasons while reading the sexual adventures of these two. We’re talking red-hot and fiery my friends. It’s well written heat and I think that’s important for me to mention. It’s never awkward or gratuitous, and it’s what I’d expect from Maddox and Bee.
The Supporting Characters:
Nyrae Dawn does a great job in her use of the supporting characters. For me the most memorable and most important are his mom, his sister Laney, and her boyfriend Adrian. The back story on those 3 is hugely important to the story for many reasons, and they all play a crucial role in how things play out.
What I FLOVED:
I love how these two have a fearlessness about them even though they have both had some truly horrible things happen to them. Even though they’re both really good at trying to keep emotional distance between themselves they share respect and admiration. They may not be willing to admit deeper feelings but they’re at least honest when it comes to their sexuality. I loved the slow-growing relationship and when push came to shove they were finally ready to acknowledge what they were really feeling for each other. Nyrae Dawn is a gifted writer who tells a story so well that I found myself stopping every once in a while and thinking …THIS is what reading a great book should feel like.
One quick side note- This book is part of a series but can be read as a stand alone.
I’m giving this book a very high recommendation. It may be the first book I’ve read by this author but it won’t be the last…that’s for damn sure!
My rating for Masquerade by Nyrae Dawn:
A rock solid 5+
**I was provided an ARC in exchange for an honest review**