Before Christian can end his relationship with a closeted cheater, he needs to see the evidence firsthand. He disguises himself and attends a masquerade ball escorted by a friend, in search of the Stranger in Black. When he finds him, he gets something entirely different—and much more erotic—than he expected.
Wearing a black-and-gold mask, Jarrod is on the hunt for Chris, the “other woman” his best friend’s fiancé is having an affair with. But a sexy vision in a white gown captures his attention and takes his breath away, which is strange, since he’s gay.
One by one, the pieces fall away, exposing their dual deception. After the masks—and the pants—are off, Christian and Jarrod must work together to support a friend… and maybe become something more than strangers.
Christian has been burned before by Carl and believes once again Carl is simply using him for sex – refusing to come out of the closet or acknowledge their relationship. Determined to discover why Carl will not commit, Christian dresses up as a woman and attends a snazzy masquerade ball, needing answers. Jarrod also has his own agenda at the ball and when Christian and Jarrod meet, the sparks really fly.
I’m always a sucker for a Masquerade ball story and I was pleased that this one delivered in spades. There’s a delightful “comedy of errors” style of mix up, and while the meat of the plot is quite sad I feel like the author did an amazing job keeping everything around it – including the characters – lighthearted enough that this didn’t feel to me like a depressed or sad story at all. Christian dressed up as a woman was a real hoot – I laughed in quite a few places with that part – and despite his dejection at Carl’s duplicity I was pleased Christian’s happier nature won out fairly promptly. Jarrod was far more of a mystery until well into the story and this helped add a bit of a tingle for me with the story. He really was a “Stranger In Black” and I enjoyed getting to know him along with Christian.
The sex was deliciously hot and I think most M/M readers should be pleased by the intimacy shared between Jared and Christian. There is a secondary plot revolving around a M/F relationship that isn’t given any erotic details but is more of a sub-plot within the main storyline. I really enjoyed the characters – even Carl – and have to commend the author on making them all really shine.
A steamy, fun story that I found easy and interesting to read.