Hiding behind the safe mask of Obsidian, his online persona, Kain Mitchell woos Nick Anders, an untouched artist. Nick tells himself that Obsidian is merely his erotic muse, but when Kain drags him down into his dark world, echoing the myth of Hades and Persephone, Nick discovers he wants to see him, touch him, and move beyond the limitations of masks. Because as seductive as Obsidian is, Nick senses Kain’s real isolation.
Implicated for the murders of young men matching Nick’s description, Kain lives under a shadow, and troubled by the mystery, Nick pushes to get closer. Driven to prove Kain’s innocence, Nick pursues the killer with Kain’s reluctant help—and strives to become the human submissive and tender lover needed by the lonely and otherworldly warrior.
Ms. Irving has created a Gothic style contemporary paranormal romance with many interesting twists that keep the reader spellbound until the very end. 5/5 stars Teresa @ Rainbow Reviews
Obsidian: Let me guess, you got your nickname from a woman?
Moonbeam: How did you...?
Obsidian: I know a lot about you, Moonbeam. You should be more careful what you share about yourself on the ‘Net. You’re quite naive. But it’s a useful quality to someone like me.
Moonbeam: Am not.
Obsidian: Are too.
Moonbeam: Prove it?
Obsidian: My favorite words. :smirk: You’re nineteen—I saw you tell Steve a week ago when he wanted to know if you’re going to dress up and cavort on Halloween—and you nicely avoided his fishing for a hook up, by the way. Very kind, aren’t you? An interesting weakness. You said you were too old and he suggested certain venues where it’s fun to wear a mask—year round. You are an art student. You enjoy working with oils, but you dislike water colors because they are… watery. So less control. And you like that, ingénue. You like control.
Moonbeam: So do you...
Obsidian: Of course. So you have to be a blond with your nickname...
Moonbeam: Yes, all right, I am blond.
Obsidian: A cute blond.
The curser blinked and Nick felt perspiration prickle his hairline. It was always like this in the chat room since the aloof and mysterious Obsidian had taken an interest in him, cutting him from the herd of other users.
He didn’t know why he had let it happen, because Obsidian was… threatening.
Moonbeam: You said I reveal too much about myself, so maybe I’ll leave that one.
Obsidian: Don’t be fucking coy. I know you are cute.
Moonbeam: :sigh: I am cute.
Obsidian: I knew it. Your eyes are blue to go with that “moonbeam” hair?
Moonbeam: :squirms: Why this focus on what I look like?
Obsidian: Appearances are extremely important. Don’t tell me you slob around in wrinkled cotton. :pained:
Moonbeam: I suppose you’re some high-powered businessman who wears designer labels. I am just an ordinary guy. A poor, starving artist.
Obsidian: Still here, Moonbeam. Tsk. We were talking about YOU. You also have a boyfriend. I’m not sure if he can’t satisfy you sexually or you just haven’t let him fuck you yet because I get a strong vibe that you are a virgin, aren’t you?
Moonbeam: What? What the fuc-? You DON’T know me. YOU DO NOT.
Obsidian: Stop shouting! Excitable, aren’t you? It’s 2:22 A.M. If you were MINE, you wouldn’t be in some fucking chat room; you’d be lying on a bed, coated with sweat, worn out with my arm lying over your body, pressing you to the bed. MY bed.
Nick heard the key in the lock.
Moonbeam: Right, because you’re some kind of legendary lover. You’re so infuriating sometimes! I have to go.
Moonbeam: Good night.
Moonbeam: Has left the room.
Obsidian: Has left the room.
Kain reached for a pack of cigarettes, lit one. At least he could still do this, and it wasn’t like he could kill himself by smoking anymore. He got up and paced the halls of the big pile of a house he’d purchased on impulse. Mostly dust and wood floors, not decorated as his downtown penthouse had been. Maybe he should get that designer out here.
He shook his head, taking in faded wallpaper and the water stains on the ceiling. She’d probably run from this job.
His house was hopeless and he knew it, but it suited him now.
He picked up his Blackberry and hit a familiar number.
“Blond tonight. Not too tall. Blue eyes. And no talking. You know the drill,” he directed his connection.
“We have someone new, Mr. Mitchell,” Ernie’s voice purred. “Young and he loves to be of service.”
“Just be sure to tell him to follow instructions.” Kain ended the call.
The room for his “date” was set up. A bed, lube, condoms… and handcuffs.
“Put them on and face the wall,” Kain ordered from the shadows.
“I can barely see anything. It’s fucking dark in here!” Weak laughter. The young man looked over one bare shoulder, obviously trying to make out his client.
Kain ignored the curiosity. He needed this, a body under his control, purchased for his very specific needs.
Still burning with mingled resentment and stimulation, Kain sheathed himself and mounted his date from behind as soon as the trick was on the mattress. The metal of the handcuffs gleamed softly in the light from the hallway, clinking gently. Only stars lit the room.
His hired date let out a groan as he was penetrated by Kain’s thick cock.
Kain wrapped a hand around his throat, feeling the pulse, the frailty of life.
He let out a long growl of relief. Against blond hair he whispered, “Moonbeam.”
Mask by Jan Irving is an amazing book. I was captivated by the spell-bounding storyline and the fascinating cast of characters that Ms. Irving has created. Mask is everything I look for when it comes to reading a homoerotic romance. There is a little suspense, sexy heroes, fast-paced storyline and some paranormal elements to the book that kept me reading Mask without interruption from start to finish. I loved this book, and I truly hated for it to come to an end.
A Night Owl Reviews Top Pick!
Read the full review at http://www.nightowlreviews.com
This book was very well written, had a strong storyline and I loved the characters. Unfortunately, I didn't exactly know that until right before it ended. The blurb for this story does it a great disservice. This is a dark story about fae, werewolves, other non-humans and humans. There is a little BDSM but it's not the focus of the story. Frankly, had I known all of that, I would have enjoyed it as I read instead of continuously thinking about how odd everyone was. Also, the ending just - happened. I was merrily reading along, having finally determined what was going on and all of a sudden I was reading the author's page.
If this review has you confused, that's very understandable. However, I do recommend it and will definitely enjoy it more on the second read.
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