Audiobook Review: Beneath This Mask (Enhanced, #3) by Victoria Sue

Gael Peterson has spent years hiding behind the enhanced abilities he wears like a mask, even though he is an important, confident member of the FBI’s exclusive H.E.R.O. team. The hurt and betrayal of his mom’s abandonment and his father’s fists are secrets buried deep beneath the ugly scars on his face, and he doesn’t trust Jake, his new regular human partner, with any of them. In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back, especially when the abilities of a vulnerable, enhanced, nonspeaking child make that child a murder suspect.

Tempers rise and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.

Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Listening Length: 7 Hours and 16 Minutes

I skipped the second in this series. I can't remember why but now I feel like I missed something. I remembered Gael as being sort of happy go lucky and outgoing but in this book he comes across more reserved, introverted, shy even. I still heart him but I'm thinking a backtrack is in order.

He's partnered with Jake because there is a killer on the loose who is targeting the enhanced. The whole team is put on the case but Jake and Gael don't exactly hit it off right away. Expect a dibble of enemies to lovers and a dabble of hurt comfort. Let's just say the scar on Gael's face runs deeper than his face and he needs someone to really see him, to love him.

The thriller aspects are fairly evenly matched with the romantic elements making this a true romantic suspense. Through a series of events a little autistic boy, Derrick, who was born with FAS is blamed for a death. He's also enhanced and Gael connects with him immediately. Pretty much all the events surrounding Derrick and his detention hit WAY TOO close to home and the recent immigration issue/separation of families/stripping of rights which had a me more than a little verklempt. Often. Thankfully, he has some people on his side who are vocal and the way this storyline evolved gave me a serious case of the warm fuzzies.

Gael and Jake's relationship evolved quickly and I kind of wish it was given more time to breathe, but I do understand how relationships can evolve quickly in intense situations. However, by the end of the story I was on board with Jake and Gael being truly committed to each other as partners in work and life.

There isn't an abundance of sex but there is a big guy bottoming! 🙌

There are also some torture scenes that could potentially be triggering for some, so exercise caution. However, this segued into an awesome finish. Beneath This Mask finished strong! Country strong!

Nick J. Russo did a terrific job with the voices. He differentiated them well so I never had to really pay attention to who was talking because all the voices were distinct and he emoted well.

Recommend to fans of paranormal, sci-fi and action adventure stories.

p.s. ZOMG!!!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT WAIT FOR VANCE'S BOOK!!!!!!!!!  Eli is going to climb him like a tree. And it is going to epic. EPIC!

Audiobook was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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