MASKED LONGING is a vampire adventure-romance executed with professional polish. The vampires are of the super-hero type with all the speed, strength, psychic ability and longevity advantages but really none of the disadvantages. Estelle is assuming the duties as the most important vampire queen’s head of military/security.
This story is clearly part of a series and the author does a pretty good job of getting the reader up to speed, except for taking a very long time to explain that the masquerada, our hero Stephen being one, are equally long lived human-to-human shapeshifters. Both heroine and hero have hundreds of years of baggage that is getting in the way of them getting together romantically, and there is also an inconvenient war going on.
Generally I am a huge fan of a romance where the female is more alpha than the male. However at about the half way point of the book Estelle makes a horrendous decision that involves deserting her duties and gets a bunch of people she is responsible for killed—an outcome she has a passing one sentence of regret about. Having no respect whatsoever for the heroine meant that the sudden resolution of the previously crippling emotional barriers to love, in the last few pages of the book, didn’t really have the impact it was probably meant to.
A review copy was provided courtesy of Netgalley, 2/5