Masked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon (Book #1)
May 25, 2010
Paperback, 375 Pages
Reviewed by Tori
Charlotte (Cee Cee) Caissie is a homicide detective with the NOLA police department. An old hand at investigating grisly killings and the mob; she taken back by the viciousness of a killing she called to investigate.
When she confronts mob boss Jimmy Legere about the crime she is immediately drawn to his secretive second in command -Max Savoie. Dark and sensual, Max is a man who hides in the shadows. Charlotte feels a connection with him and soon finds herself falling in love with him. But Max has secrets. And as Charlotte and Max begin the intricate dance of seduction, Charlotte will find that the lines between right and wrong are blurred and betrayal can come at a high cost.
Charlotte is a die in the wool cop. With a highly decorated police officer father, her lines between right and wrong are set in concrete. As a young child she and a friend were kidnapped and assaulted. They are saved by an unknown benefactor and has always wondered who came to their rescue. After her father is gunned down she goes into law enforcement with the sole intention of bringing down her father’s killer.
As Charlotte begins looking at Jimmy Legere, trying to link him to the brutal killing she is investigating and her fathers death, she comes more and more into contact with Max Savoie. Nobody knows much about Legere’s second in command. He was found and taken in by Jimmy as a boy and has been with him ever since. Son, employee, slave, monster? Charlotte wants to know. As Charlotte divulges deeper and deeper into Max’s world she’ll soon wonder where she stands. Can she be with him and still be a detective? If Max is the monster she has been hunting…how far will she go to bring him and his world crashing down?
I read this book in one sitting. I did have to set it aside more than once though to calm down. An emotionally and mentally dark story with labyrinth of twists and turns. I admit, this was one of those books I had to force myself not to skip ahead to assure myself all would end well. It is a character driven story beret with anguish and betrayal. I found myself immersed into their lives as though I was there with them.
I absolutely adored our hero Max. I found myself falling in love with him & wanting to step into the story to protect him. Serious “mommy” instincts came out.He is an enigma. While he is very much the sexy hit man, he is also endearingly childlike in his emotions and thoughts. Max has always loved Charlotte and when she begins to reciprocate his feelings you see a change in him as he begins to question his past & future. He comes to her with a child like love and hope; not seeming to see the obsession and lengths she’ll go to in her job and in her life.
It was very hard to sympathize with Charlotte. She doesn’t invite it and you get the feeling she would despise you for feeling it towards her. I am not a big fan of betrayal and she excels at it. What leaves a bad taste in my mouth is it’s all done under the guise of work as a homicide detective. Charlotte has a very strong moral code, but it’s a code that is made up of her standards. She uses anything as a weapon-her mind, body, and soul. While she may cross the line; she shows no mercy for those who do the same. She will cross the line whenever she needs to; even at the expense of Max’s heart and life. I found her to be a bit self righteous and her trust issues got real old after a while.
The attraction between Max and Charlotte is intense and very sensual. The physical attraction isn’t a problem AT ALL. But emotionally they are both damaged and unstable. A small part of me was repulsed by Charlotte so it was hard for me to want for them to be together. But while I was repulsed by her-I accepted her for what she was. And her emotional make up really brings a dynamic edge to the story. I wouldn’t have her any other way.
The entire book is well written with smooth flowing story lines that intersected dramatically bringing past, present and future into a dramatic finish. The Characters are well developed and leap off the pages at you. The main protagonists are strong and hold their own. Different story lines and plenty of action kept the pages turning. Ms Gideon does have a habit of skipping back into the past to explain present situations which can be a little confusing. I felt at times that I was missing part of the story. I do hope that Ms Gideon will write a prequel or perhaps explain more about Charlotte’s past in future books.
I will definitely read the next in the series- Chased By Moonlight -as I am most interested in where Ms. Gideon takes Max and Charlotte.