Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5 Original Review Link
High school student Jack Newhouse has two dreams; going to culinary school and winning the heart of childhood friend Ashlynn Yuan. Fate seems to have a quirky sense of humor, for while studying Casanova, Jack is given an antique mask said to belong to the legendary lover. Suddenly Jack — who never seems to attract girls — has women falling all over him. Is it coincidence or does the mask have some sort of magical power? And if the mask is magic, does Jack really want to use a supernatural accessory to win Ashlynn?
Author J.J. Wynn starts off her VENICE FALLS series right with the charming story UNMASKED. Jack and Ashlynn are two bright teenagers with a shining future ahead of them…if they can get through to their parents that they need to leave their hometown for college. There’s a sweetness to both of them that makes it easy to be entertained by UNMASKED. It was lovely to watch Jack and Ashlynn work their way around teenage awkwardness and misunderstandings in order to build up the courage to reveal their feelings for one another. All they need is a little push, and they get that from the Casanova mask. Is the mask magical? Perhaps it is. Then again, perhaps it isn’t. Whether or not there’s magic at work doesn’t really matter; the important parts of UNMASKED are Jack and Ashlynn working for the future they want, both in terms of romance and schooling. Things do tend to fall into place a bit too easily in UNMASKED for the story to be realistic, so you do have to suspend disbelief with this story. Still, UNMASKED is a genuinely sweet read that’ll make you smile.
Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.