Series: The Masquerade Trilogy 03
Reviewer’s Note: This is a stand-alone, that does not necessarily need to be read in order. I labeled them chronologically for clarity.
Author: Lisa Worrall
Heat Level: Moderate – Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: The Downe’s Valentine’s Day Masquerade Ball has been an annual event for over a hundred years and where, four years ago, Gabe met Mike.
It’s been over six months since Mike’s death and Mike thinks that Gabe is ready to move on. How does Gabe know this? He receives a letter and a ticket to the ball, from Mike. Gabe isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to move on, but in deference to Mike’s memory, he attends the ball.
What Gabe doesn’t know, is that his best friend, Tom, the one constant in his life since college, has also received a letter from Mike. Will Gabe be able to move forward and remember a long forgotten love, or will his world come crumbling down around his ears, again?
Review: Six months ago, Gabe lost this lover to cancer. Four years ago, they’d met at the Masquerade Ball. Several weeks before this year’s Ball, a letter arrives for Gabe from his dead lover, Mike, urging him to go to the Ball and hopefully find his new “Prince Charming.” In the letter, Mike assures Gabe that this is not going to be a P. S., I Love You kinda thing, but he neglects to mention that he’s working from the grave to give Gabe his forever love.
I am convinced Lisa Worrall is some kind of literary medium. That is the only explanation for her ability to write well across so many genres. In A Nanny for Nate, she showed her sweet side. In Thirst, she went to dark places. And now with Behind the Mask, she’s made angst sexy.
Gabe goes through many of the stages of grief on this journey. It’s not over the top, but definitely adds an air of realism. And when he finally makes it to acceptance, I loved it. He starts out content to wallow in his grief, but when he‘s ready to accept the love that had always been his, he’s willing to fight for his forever
And, even though, this is technically Gabe’s story, I loved Tom the best. He has been there for Gabe, through thick and thin, but he’s ready to take their relationship to another level. I really felt his pain. He loved Gabe enough to step aside once. I was on pins and needles to see if he would take the high road a second time.
There isn’t a lot of sex in this book, but what’s there is very sensuous and loving. The story unfolds in such a way that you have to turn the page. Very well plotted and paced.
I can honestly say, I’ve never read a Lisa Worrall book that I didn’t love. Highly recommend.