Thursday, 16 October 2014

Blog Tour & Review: Unmasking Love by Peggy Bird

Unmasking Love
A Holiday Romance Novel
By: Peggy Bird
Released 29th September 2014
Crimson Romance

Getting a life do-over in the small theater town of Ashland, Oregon, has suited lawyer Julie Payne to a T. After ten years in the Portland prosecutor’s office, she’s enjoying her new, easy lifestyle, and she’s not looking for any complications.

Trace Watkins comes to town seeking the same refuge from life as a big city banker. A new job might make Ashland his permanent address, and he likes what he sees of the place, especially when he meets Julie one hot Halloween night.The sparks fly instantly between the costumed couple, and Julie and Trace waste no time connecting beneath the sheets while literally hiding behind their masks.

But when the holiday hook-up ends, their real identities present a serious snag: Trace manages the bank Julie happens to be suing. The only way they can turn this trick into a treat is if both of them are willing to face their pasts and finally bury the skeletons in their closets.

She should ask him to stop. But apparently the sensible part of her had been tapped out resisting her inclination to walk across the room to him when he’d smiled at her. All that was left was the other part of her, the one that wanted him to keep going. The smell of his aftershave, his soap, something, along with the soft whisper of his voice and the feel of his arms around her, filled her senses, made her forget where she was, who she was.
She had to take control of this. Somehow. Maybe if she knew who he was under that mask. She asked, “How do you know who I am when I don’t know who you are?”
I know you’re Juliet and I’m Romeo. What else matters tonight?”
Could he really not know her? Did he really think she was the Juliet of her costume, as he was the Romeo of his? He didn’t look or sound familiar, although she couldn’t really see much because of his mask. And he hadn’t done more than whisper. Should she really believe he was a stranger in town who had been as attracted to her as she was to him from only a look across her living room?
Quietly, for her ears only, he began to recite, “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief, that thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.”
She whispered back without thinking, “O, Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou, Romeo?”
I’m right here, beautiful.” After one final kiss on her neck, he slid his hand down her arm, laced his fingers through hers, and motioned her to follow him.
I picked this book purely on its cover, having no pre-conceived ideas about what to expect, as I barely skimmed the synopsis. So, I'm delighted that this is a complete departure from what I normally read and a welcome “feel good” change of pace.

Julie (Juliet/Greer) didn't intent to end up in Ashland, but fate stepped into her life in the form of transmission failure on her car. Stranded, she is forced to stay in this small town; tantalisingly close to the California state line. The state where she planned on making her new home. After overhearing a conversation in restaurant about a possible job, Julie abandons her plans and decides makes this friendly, theatrical town her new home.

When Trace ends up in Ashland, the last thing on his mind is finding a woman. Hell, he didn't even want to gatecrash the Halloween party everyone was talking about. After a fair bit of cajoling from his old fraternity brothers , wearing a “Romeo” costume; leaving nothing to the imagination, he ends up at the celebration. A meeting of eyes across a crowded room, leads him to his “Juliet.” A night of passion follows, but their masked faces which concealed their identities means neither knows who the other one is. Was this just a fantasy?

Intrigue follows as Trace takes up his new position as manager at Northwest Savings and Loan, where he meets “ice queen,” a woman who looks familiar. Have they met before?

I love the author's witty writing style which is present right from the opening lines of this book. Ms Bird, successfully builds deliciously, believable sexual tension between Julie and Trace; you can almost hear the cracks of electricity! Additionally, she paints a wonderful landscape with words to describe the setting for this light-hearted and sexy romance.

This was a fun and quick read, but one that also left a smile on my face.

5 *'s -arc received in exchange for an honest review.

Peggy Bird lives in the Pacific Northwest where she sets most of her novels. To stay out of trouble—and the rain—she writes stories about smart women and sexy men and creates the occasional piece of glass art.