Book Reviews

Beneath This Mask (Enhanced 3) by Victoria Sue at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Urban Fantasy / Agents/Spies / Psychic Powers / Erotic Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 16-January-2018

Book Blurb

Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. The hurt and betrayal of his mom’s abandonment and his father’s fists are secrets buried deep beneath the ugly scars on his face, and he doesn’t trust Jake, his new regular human partner, with any of them. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable nonspeaking enhanced child make that child a murder suspect.


Tempers rise and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.


Book Review

I am completely besotted with this new series and its characters. Gael and Jake both have a lot of secrets and, even though Gael is enhanced while Jake is human, their horrible childhoods share some distinct similarities. Gael’s was filled with more physical abuse but I think it’s safe to say that abuse is abuse regardless of type, especially when dealing with a child. ‘Beneath the Mask’ gave me more worldbuilding, more background, an exciting story, and a hot romance. Pretty much what I’ve come to expect from this author.

Gael had a drunk, physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive father growing up, and when Gael was trying to cover his enhanced scar before going to school one day, his father took a butane lighter to it to burn it off his face, leaving him horribly scarred. This new serial killer case is throwing everyone for a loop and when a young enhanced boy, suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome and possibly autism, is accused of murder, Gael takes it very personally as he is the first person to effectively communicate with the boy. To say stressors are running high is an understatement.

Jake grew up in an emotionally cold home, at least from his father’s side, who was a cop and expected Jake to follow in his footsteps. Something happened that had Jake joining SWAT out in LA, and then there was an incident with an enhanced that led to Jake moving to Tampa. Jake was working with ENu - a Police Enhanced Unit - filled with SWAT guys who prefer to bully the enhanced, including shooting first and asking questions later. Jake was immediately interested in working with H.E.R.O. where he felt he could actually do some good.

“Whoever was doing this wasn’t just targeting enhanced. He was using their own abilities to torture and, eventually, murder them.”

I was a little disappointed at the obviousness of the killer, at least to me, although the sheer psychopathy portrayed was very diabolical. I was also somewhat disturbed by a number of inconsistencies as I am not used to seeing those in this authors and publishers works. However, they weren’t so glaringly obvious that I couldn’t still enjoy the story. This was certainly another exciting mystery along with all the crappy machinations and the sleazy guys with ENu - whom I would personally like to skin alive. The romance between Gael and Jake is not only sexy, but sweet as well, with both men sharing their vulnerabilities. Nothing is as lovely, in my eyes, as two strong men willing to let down their guards with each other.

I absolutely adored the ending and the author has done the ultimate teaser for the next couple. I can’t wait to see great, big Vance (who blushes beet red when Samuel looks at him) and tiny, vivacious Samuel together. I think it’ll be fantastic.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 206 pages/71222 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-January-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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