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Bookish Ames

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.
~~Louisa May Alcott

Masquerade - Sheri Whitefeather I read Sheri's The Art of Desire last year and enjoyed it enough that I thought I'd give Masquerade a go as well. It features three characters that were introduced in the Art of Desire but can be read as a stand-alone title.

Amber, Luke and Jay met at a masquerade ball and had a scorching ménage à trois experience. And that's how Amber likes it. With two men in her bed, she can't let intimacy (emotional intimacy) sneak up on her and make her fall in love. With four step-fathers in her past, she knows not to believe in marriage and love. And the guys have invited her back to California to repeat the experience. Luke is doing it as a way to bring Amber back into his life (he's an idealist) and Jay does it because Amber is smoking hot and he needs to get over his ex-wife. Amber does it because she had a great time with the guys and she wouldn't mind a month long sex-fest.

But as soon as she arrives in Cali, Luke's jealousy makes itself known and he demands some one-on-one time sometime over the next month. Amber gives in, but she's very leery of being alone with Luke. Because he pulls at her emotions. Jay not so much. She cares about him, but there's an extra pull with Luke. Can Luke make Amber fall in love with him in one month?

Also running current to Amber's story is the story of her ancestor, Curtis Wells, an american gun maker from the 1800s. The story is actually told from Curtis's lover's point of view. This method of having two stories being told simultaneously also occurred in the Art of Desire.

I was not invested in Curtis and Ellen's story. Come to think of it, I was not really invested in Amber, Luke and Jay's story either. And that's a shame. I thought Amber's fear of commitment was immature. I can't explain why I thought that, but I did. And her coming around at the end was too simple. Since Masquerade is from the Heat line of Berkley, you know there's going to be some hot loving and maybe there was too much sex and not enough emotion. Maybe that's why Amber's turnaround didn't work for me.

All in all, Masquerade was just an ok read for me. It wasn't bad, but I just could not connect to the characters. Someone else may have better luck than I.