Author: Nyrae Dawn
Series: Games #3
Publication date: January 7th, 2014
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
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 started 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 received an e-copy of this book from the publishers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
So, this book has been sitting on my TBR list for a long time. I figured after reading the first two books, what better way to finish off a series AND get one of my review books reviewed than to continue on with my Nyrae Dawn marathon. I didn't see much of Maddox in the first two books so... interest was peaked.
Maddox has demons of his own from his father ruining Adrian's life much the same as his baby sister Delaney does. The difference is that Maddox feels what happened was his fault. The brooding man of few words felt that he should have spoke up and that possibly if he did the entire situation with his family and Adrian's could have been fixed. He takes the burden upon his own shoulders for what happened and with that he doesn't allow himself to dream of much anymore. He turns to tattooing and bed hopping as a way of coping. Little did he know that one of his conquests would be the tattoo shop owner he hopes to apprentice for.
Bee also has a way of keeping people away. She never allows herself to feel any sort of closeness with anyone ever again. She felt close to her birth parents and they were taken away when she was kidnapped, then she allowed herself to care about her kidnappers and they, too, were taken away. There is no stability for Bee aside from her new tattoo shop, Masquerade. When Maddox enters her life she is set to keep him away. She doesn't ever see her bedmates again after that one night. But Maddox has talent. He could be good for business and she can see he desperately needs the chance. Reluctantly she takes him on but the more time they spend together the deeper their emotions become.
Two people who are not looking for any sort of commitment may not have any other choice.
Finally, a female protagonist I loved. I liked her even more than Maddox. She was quick witted and sassy. I love sassy female leads. She gives Maddox a challenge which is clearly what the boy needs to get his head out of his butt. The only problem was that the emotional turmoil they both had seemed a little diluted. Maddox feels guilty for not speaking up when something was wrong in his family and Bee, while loved by her kidnappers and birth family alike, can't seem to trust anyone? Eh, not really strong enough reasons to be as closed off as they both are... at least to me. If Bee's kidnappers had mistreated her or Maddox had had a bigger role in what his father did then maybe all their issues would have made a little more sense. This book was a case of the characters being flawless but the storyline being lackluster. It was unfortunate.
However, Masquerade was translucent in its depth of love between Maddox and Bee. I found myself wanting to read more about their present and less about their pasts.