Author: Avril Ashton
Publisher: Sinner’s Haven Publishing
Pages/Word Count: 254 Pages
At a Glance: An emotional and consuming read, and another win for the author and this series and, as a result, its readers.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: With one tug the thread unravels, and a world built on lies will come tumbling down
Too many bodies. Rivers of blood. Elias Kote sees them all in his sleep. Only the love of his husband and daughter keeps him alive and fighting. This contract killer is exhausted and weighed down with all the lies he tells every day. Who he is. What he does. How he came to have all he has. Elias can attest to nothing remaining hidden forever, but his secrets, when they do drop, shatters everything. Everyone. And leaves him scrambling to make his family whole again.
Ten years together. Three legally wed. One with their daughter. And in one night Lucky Mousasi’s world just…stops. What he thought was a random home invasion turns into way more. Masked men not only brutalize him, but they come armed with knowledge about Lucky, his husband, and the life he thought he knew. It seems nothing is coincidental, certainly not meeting and falling in love with Elias. Bruised, battered, heart ripped open, Lucky walks away.
An intimate rival will stop at nothing to neutralize the threat Elias poses, and the life he built out of guilt and desperation becomes collateral damage. When Lucky takes their daughter and disappears, Elias goes on a rampage. He will get his family back, but first he’s on an elimination mission. One bullet at a time.
Review: Avril Ashton captures the danger of loving someone in (Watch Me) Unmask You, laying oneself bare and opening up to someone else, willingly becoming vulnerable and trusting another person not to destroy that trust. There is a danger for the men in the Run This Town series to fall in love because their secrets can kill and the lives they live are filled with things they can’t tell, for to confess some of those secrets would mean to risk losing everything.
Unmask You is a deeply moving and sometimes torturous love story between two men whose pasts tie them together in a profoundly unexpected way, in a way that, once revealed, obliterates the life they’d built together. The heartbreak and tension in this book is a thing of beauty as the author crafts the relationship between Lucky Mousasi and Elias Kote from a point in time when Lucky was a mere boy and Elias was already the man who killed people for a living. Theirs is a May/December romance that began well before it was a romance—back when it was simply a matter of Elias watching over Lucky from a distance, only surfacing on the occasions that Lucky needed Elias’s strength. Until one day the two of them could no longer deny or resist the bond that had been forged between them over the years, and Lucky then demanded what Elias was no longer able or willing to resist giving. Everything.
I love the way Avril Ashton tells a story. She doesn’t pull any punches on either the sex or the violence in her novels. Lucky and Elias, like all the men in this and her Brooklyn Sinners series, have an undeniable chemistry that’s evident from the moment they meet. It’s not always a sexual chemistry, but it is always a visceral response to each other that leaps off the page and draws the reader in. These books are honest, sometimes brutally so, and her characters hold to their own set of ethics that may be outside the law but are nonetheless the foundation upon which they build loyalty and love.
There are surprise alliances that, as these stories unfold, reveal the true measure of these men who are criminals, yes, but criminals who will give their lives willingly for the sake of those they hold dear. There should be a contrast in the way they deal in both death and intimacy, but there isn’t because they are both approached with a passion born in protecting the part of their lives that make them whole and better men.
Unmask You is easily the most sentimental of the three books so far in the Run This Town series, simply because of what Lucky and Elias had built together–a marriage, a home, a family–before their house of cards came crashing down around them. Lucky and Elias’s relationship is poignant, their longing for each other palpable, their love for each other tangible, and the pain that comes from the revelation of Elias’s secrets is bitter. It all blends together to make for an emotional and consuming read, and another win for the author and this series and, as a result, its readers.
You can buy (Watch Me) Unmask You here: