09 February, 2012

Bewitching Book Tour Review: The Mask by Anya Winter

Published: December 2011, LIQUID SILVER BOOKS

Series: Masquerade #2
The Master (Masquerade #1)
Source: Bewitching Book Tours, no other compensation given for an honest review

Eve Manor is a pastry chef with a passion for chocolate and romance. During the annual masked Black & Lace ball, Eve has a plan. She created a signature chocolate dish that was sure to knock the socks off every famous chef and food critic attending the ball. Everything hinges on the night’s success.

Christian Grier is a man with a secret. In the foodie world, he's known as the Editor-in-Chief of the famous magazine, Sizzle. When his old college roommate, Josh, asks him to attend the ball his company is catering, Christian intended to turn him down. But when Josh reveals Eve's secret plan, he knew he needed to do everything he could to help. Will hiding behind his mask help in his quest to seduce Eve or will she decide he’s not what she wants after all?

My Review:
When I first opened THE MASK on my e-reader, I was a little apprehensive about the page count. I enjoy reading novellas, but this seemed to qualify as a short story at less than 50 pages according to my Nook. I soon got over this concern. Though the page count is small, the story is not. Anya Winter employs a great economy of words here, doing little to set up the physical world, and instead focusing on the main characters, their relationship, and the lovely, lovely desserts that are featured in the story.

The reader knows that the setting is some type of tasting event and the dress code seems to be BDSM formal. (Though there is no heavy BDSM play, there is mention of a club that Eve works at, and Cristian is a member there.) Corsets and chocolate permeate the room and seduction is brought to the forefront when Eve decides to make her move on the man that she has wanted.

I adored the fact that Winter made Eve's seduction first involve her incredible desserts. It was like the reader was able to participate in unique foreplay between the two characters before the sexual contact. To be honest, the scenes between Eve and Christian were smoking hot, even when they weren't naked, but there was a sensuality to their encounter that wasn't just overt sexuality.

Like the desserts that take center stage in the beginning of this book, THE MASK is delicious and naughty; the kind of book brief enough to leave a reader wanting more, just as a small square of rich chocolate or slim slice of cheesecake is guaranteed to do. I enjoyed the time I spent in Eve and Christian's world.

Even though it was short, as a contemporary erotic romance, THE MASK hit all the spots I want from this type of book. Better than that, even with this being stand-alone enough to be read without having read the first in the series beforehand, it made me want to check out THE MASTER and see what else Winter has written.

3/5 for plot
3.5/5 for characters
4/5 for language

My Rating: 10.5/15 (3 stars) Recommend

Find the author at:
Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Purchase book at:
Liquid Silver Books | Amazon

Tour Participation:

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