Thursday, June 4, 2015

Nancy Gideon - Masked by Moonlight

New Orleans homicide detective Charlotte Caissie is dedicated to bringing down the crime boss responsible for her father’s murder. Using Jimmy Legere’s mysterious and irresistible right-hand man is a dangerous gamble, and not only due to his reputation as more monster than man. Because her feelings for Max Savoie are . . . complicated.
Rescued from the swamps as a child, Max exists silently in Legere’s shadow, heeding only his voice—until Charlotte Caissie awakens his emotions and tests his loyalties. Stepping outside his cautious rules threatens more than just his heart. He could expose his darkest secret.
Testing boundaries they weren’t meant to cross means facing the truth about who and what they are—and what they need from each other. If Max is the murderer she seeks, Charlotte could be his next victim. She can’t afford to trust any man. Good thing Max isn’t one.

Comment: This book is a new addition to my recent reads. It was suggested at one of my book clubs for its interesting take on shifters and the uniqueness of the romance. I wasn't totally sold on it but decided to give it a go anyway.

In this story we meet Charlotte Caissie, a young woman who works as a cop and who has a heritage to honor in the name of her late father who was also a fierce cop. Charlotte has lived through something horrible in her past due to her father's work but she and a friend were saved by a man she couldn't forget, Max.
Max is a strange man, he works as the enforcer of one of the crime leaders in New Orleans and takes care of his shady business dealings. But Max is fixed on Charlotte too and when something threatens her, he can't just let it go. 
In a fast pace towards happiness, Max and Charlotte get together and realize as an unit, they're stronger than any obstacle.

Well... I can't say I enjoyed this very much. In fact, I struggled a bit and had to push myself to keep reading even when all I wanted was to let it rest. I do have this personal rule to finish all books but with some books is harder to accomplish and this one, despite not being the worst case ever, wasn't as pleasant as that to go through.

The story follows Charlotte, a cop with a past she wants to keep away from her daily life but she couldn't ever let go of what happened and the guilty person of all that is Max's boss. Charlotte made it a promise to herself to put him in jail.
I understand her drive and her goals and why she is motivated to do something about what happened to her and her friend. I also understand why she seems to harsh and in control and not very gentle. Still, knowing why doesn't mean I have to like her but more than that, my problem with Charlotte is how I don't feel connected to her. Somehow I ended up not really caring whether she gained what she wanted or if she gets her HEA.

Max, on the other hand, is a much more intriguing character. He's a sort of shifter and has been manipulated and used since his childhood by Peter, the crime boss. His personality is one of obedience because he was told many things to remain almost blind to any other existence but the one he has.
Still, I found it hard to really like him  because of his indecisions. He was confused, made to realize all the wrong things in his growing up and I also get the sort of gritty, darker tone the author wanted to give to this world. But, again, I didn't feel much empathy towards the whole building up around these characters. I wanted Max to try to learn, to try to be different but the plot surprises weren't as positive as I might have hoped for. His reasons and behavior are the charming part of the novel and I felt both the need to protect him and to shake him up a bit.

So, the main characters weren't, individually, as interesting to know more about as I'd like them to be. Together they weren't consistent. I admit that in real life we can't control our reactions and choices as clean and smoothly as we might wish but to read about indecisions and going up then going down, then saying yes, than stepping back almost all the time and without any constructive conversations or rational thoughts - in my perspective I mean - on how to solve things, it just got too annoying to be savored.

The plot issues kept being dealt with, like a list we go through and items we cross to go on to the next one. Of course this wasn't quick or tidy, after all, something had to exist to carry on to the next books, but I didn't really like how the author did things about this subject. Also very annoying was how the characters were talking or doing something and the scene stops. Then the story would go on in a different day, for instance, and they were already talking or dealing with things that had happened in the meantime, which we don't see. I mean, I get the tactic as a plot move, but it's annoying.

Towards the end, things seem to look up to the main characters, although I don't find any interest in the way it was done, but I was a little curious on how the shifter angle would be approached. It was all so shady and mysterious, I guess to make readers eager to keep reading, but I think this was unfair to those who don't want to keep reading. The book doesn't end on a cliffhanger but it's clear it couldn't stop there. I feel the author wasn't true to me because I wasn't given a fully closured story. The book ended but something else is going on and as I don't want to read more, I'll have to stay unaware of what all this really means or where it' going.
Sure, it's not the author's choice I make my own choices, but I think the story couldn't have been dealt with differently in the end.

I think this is far as I go. I don't really care about what happens next, I never felt that need or will to know more. I might try other books in the series featuring different couples one day but that's unlikely in the near future. Still, this had its interests but nothing really grabbed me in this world to remain with it.
Grade: 5/10

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