Summary

Mel can sense the blood beating through her companions' veins. She can count the moments between heartbeats to tell who is sincere and who is lying. She can make herself stronger for short periods of time, heal small wounds on her body, and manipulate light to change her appearance subtly. These abilities are useful skills for a Mask - a preternaturally sensitive, cloaked and imposing, impartial arbitrator, both revered and feared by everyone.
Mattieus Ottick, or just Ott to his friends, comes from the frozen north to hunt the strange ogre-like creatures, or trogs, that threaten the northern mines. Magical beasties? Nightmares come to life? The world as Ott knows it is about to change. Blessed by easy charm and good looks, Ott is used to the attention of females, but, gods above, he is knocked flat by the kiss of the ethereal woman he rescues.
©2014 EM Kaplan (P)2017 EM Kaplan
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Eddie Mittelstedt on 06-02-18

Masks aren't supposed to feel!

Mel is a Mask - someone who wears a mask that completely hides their face so their expressions can’t be betrayed. Masks are unbiased arbiters whose opinion is the law of the land. Their judgment in matters of arbitration is final and respected.

in the opening scene Mel is kidnapped by a vicious troll… and then is subsequently rescued by a masculine stranger. Nothing wrong with that, you might say. In fact, sounds a bit like a romance should! But as a Mask, Mel is not supposed to have feelings as this is part and parcel to being a Mask. The first thing that Mel notices about her rescuer hero is that he smells… well, wonderful - to the point where it lights a fire between her loins. Literally. No, not literally, but to the point where she immediately attacks her rescuer with kisses. Hot steamy kisses.

The seed is planted there between them and they can’t forget each other, no matter what happens to them in the book. Disasters, trolls, kidnapping, murder, heartbreak, and intrusive parents. Mix in a little inter-species breeding and you have a very interesting story.

It’s a good book. At its heart this is a book about a girl wanting her life to go in a different direction than her parents planned. Layered over top is an epic adventure. I liked the concept of the Masks, how they are the judicial system in Ms. Kaplan’s world she created. I think a lot more could be done with their backstory in future books.

TJ Richie’s performance was very good. She did a great job with the male voices, and was fantastic with the dialog.

This audiobook was gifted to me by the author in exchange for an unbiased review.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 22-01-18

Must pay attention!

Mel is a young woman from a society called the Masks, a group of people who are hypersensitive to their surroundings and the feelings and motivations of those around them. Masks are to be neutral, unfeeling and dispassionate, it is what makes them the arbitrators of their world. Mel is different, she feels, she hopes, and eventually, she loves.

The premise of this story was very good. The twists and turns that commenced during the listening held my attention throughout the entirety of the book. There was a lot of information given, and many subplots happening along with the main storyline. This was a book that I had to pay attention to or I would lose my way. There were a few plot holes that I hope are rectified in the next book in the series.

The narrator did a great job and I enjoyed listening to her voice cadence.

I provided this review in exchange for a complimentary copy of the audiobook from the author, narrator, or publisher.

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