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Ripping Off The Mask by Harper Jewel

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#M_M, #Contemporary, #Romance

Thirteen years after high schooler Cooper Brandt suffered a life-altering tragedy, Newark Police Sergeant Cooper Brandt suffers yet another earthshaking misfortune while on duty. As a result, he lets the mask he donned because of his first grief-filled setback slip. When overwhelming guilt consumes him for a second time, an unexpected, and oftentimes unwanted, helping hand tries to force him into making a choice: face his demons and rip the mask off, or continue living a lie while his facade stays put.

Upon his move to New Jersey, aqua therapist Dr. Westley James meets his toughest patient yet when a snarly police sergeant accuses him of duplicity at the start of their first session. When he discovers the reason for Cooper’s ornery attitude, an odd, empty feeling he’s lived with for as long as he can remember begins to fill in like missing pieces of a puzzle.

As a fragile relationship between Cooper and Westley grows, an unhinged sociopath threatens to ruin everything. Will fate force the emotionally bruised sergeant to fasten his mask on even more tightly or will the couple’s blooming love and partnership be strong enough to help Cooper rip his mask off for good?

Universal Link | The Romance Reviews

3 out of 5 (good)

Ripping Off The Mask starts with action. Coop is with his (work) partner, Silvio, when they are called to a bank robbery. Others are on their way, or already there, chasing the suspects. Silvio goes off by himself as he is faster than Coop. That leads to them both being shot, only Silvio doesn't make it. What he does do is to open up a hornet's nest within Coop, as he tries to come to terms with everything that has happened, and what he did.

I liked Coop and Wes when they weren't talking. In fact, I liked ALL the characters when they weren't talking. The minute they opened their mouths, I lost interest. The conversations and comments made came across as very stilted and forced, with lots of repetition between what they thought and what they said.

Some of the situations in the book just didn't seem realistic - and yes, I know this is fiction, but I still like to be able to pretend it's real! There is a paranormal element to this book that you will either like or loathe. Personally, I liked it, but that's just me. The premise of this book is a good one, and has all the elements there that I normally like. However, although I still liked the book, it didn't really get to me. There are plenty of themes in this book, from the twins separated at birth, to ghosts/angels, to the big bad with a rough childhood. This is a long book, so there is plenty of time for everything to play out.

I think if you can get to grips with the pacing and style of writing, then you will probably enjoy this book.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Harper Jewel lives in northeast New Jersey with her husband and college-age daughter. She has two cats, enjoys reading, and taking trips to Walt Disney World. With her outgoing personality and vivid imagination, she can create characters and plots that are believable as well as memorable. Although she began writing male/female romance/erotica, she has finally found her niche in Gay Romance. She thoroughly enjoys her male characters as they speak to her quite loudly while proving love is love. She is proud to have the honor of being the first M/M author accepted at the now-closed Lush Publishing. In addition to her writing, she’s expanded her skills to include formatting for Smashwords Premium Catalog, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, & Amazon. In September 2015, she created Slippery Fingers Press & Publishing Services. She uses the company name for self-publishing as well as her formatting jobs and occasional editing jobs.

To find out more about Harper Jewel, visit her website at

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#MM #Contemporary #Romance #3Stars

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