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Three and a Half Book Rating

Final Masquerade by Cindy Davis
The Wild Rose Press, Crimson Rose
Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Full Length, Sweet
Review by Magnolia

When Paige Carmichael witnesses her fiancé murder his best friend, she had no choice but to run…but not before ensuring her future by taking a priceless coin and three quarters of a million dollars in dirty mob money.

Paige creates a new identity and disguise in each city, but her fiancé is quick to locate her again and again.

Paige meets an unlikely a hero in Christian Charles Beauchamps, a landscape architect who drives a big rig. He helps her get out of California, but Paige finds it hard to trust him. So used to running, she runs from Chris as well. Only when she stops running can Paige find true happiness. But will that ever be possible?

♥ ♥ ♥

The Final Masquerade is more a story of a woman's journey to self discovery than a romance. And the road Paige Carmichael takes is a rough one. Ms. Davis definitely chose the long road to have Paige travel. Not one of your average up and downs but littered with loop-d-loops and hairpin curves. The reader will be wondering just what is hiding behind the next curve to threaten Paige.

I gave Final Masquerade a three and half book rating not because of it's lack of romance (this being a romance review site) but because of Paige's character. As the heroine in a book about self discovery Paige had large shoes to fill and failed most times. I felt that most of Paige's issues were due to her unwillingness to be realistic. However, the character of Paige does experience excellent growth. At the climax she thinks "well, running and hiding were not her traits any more. She'd suffered and endured and almost been killed. Fighting was what got her through it all…" Paige does finally come to except reality in all it's coldness and ugliness. At the end, I was really glad that things had worked out for her.

Paige is aided on her journey by a wonderful secondary cast. Harry's dedication to Paige is incredible. I kept telling myself there has to be something about this girl for him to be willing to go to these lengths. Eva and Alf supply the humor and gentle guiding. And of course, the ex-boyfriend, Stefano who is responsible for starting Paige on her journey.

Final Masquerade is a story that will give the reader a look at what life is like when 'you close your eyes to reality.' I was amazed how Paige had created a world so removed from where she was actually at with Stefano. Final Masquerade made be wondered how much in my life is a true reality or my rose color glasses version.


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