If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Unmasking Love by Peggy Bird / @TastyBookTours @peggybirdwrites

Title: Unmasking Love
Author: Peggy Bird
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From: Tasty Book Tours

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.

Julie and Trace left their lives in Portland for different reasons. A lapse in judgement left Julie feeling like the odd-man out at the prosecutor's office despite her ten years of service there. Being cleared of all charges didn't ease the discomfort her coworkers felt around her, so she did what she felt was best at the time: she left. Heading south to California to start a new life was the perfect plan, until her transmission conked out and left her stranded in Ashland, OR. Small town life had its appeal and it wasn't long before California was a memory and Ashland was her home.

Trace came to Ashland for two reasons: he was tired of Portland, and he'd gotten a new job as bank manager in Ashland. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones were benefits of moving to the small town. What he hadn't counted on was finding a woman his body craved, his heart needed, and his soul wanted. It didn't matter that he met her at a Halloween party or that she wore a mask so he couldn't see her features. He knew her scent, her voice, and the little tattoo on her shoulder he'd spent time kissing. Imagine his surprise when he discovered his mystery woman was the same woman suing his bank for a security breach.

Trace and Julie's story was made a hundred times more interesting when they discovered they knew each other because of their Halloween night hookup. As they spend time together, as they revealed themselves to each other, it became more and more apparent their hookup was meant to be so much more. The way their lust and like grew into love was beautifully written. The obstacles they faced had me crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. The sweetness of Trace and Julie's time together blended wonderfully into the sensual moments they shared at night.

The story isn't long, but it wasn't rushed. Ms. Bird took her time pacing Trace and Julie's relationship, letting them sort through their pasts and presents and futures so the end was believable. Beautifully written and wonderfully engaging, I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more by this author.

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.