Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Review: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo

unmaskedTitle ~ (Un)Masked

Author ~ Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo

Published ~ 30th October 2017

Genre ~ Paranormal M/M Romance





Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.

When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.

This book was previously published by Dreamspinner Press. This updated 2nd edition has some rewritten parts and has been line edited again.


Cheryl’s Review

I was first introduced to Anyta Sunday’s writing at Gay Authors and this story has shades of (In)Visible in the evocativeness of a character that very few people can see. In (Un)masked, Lethe is visible, but is he? Everyone can see him, but they don’t see him. This is very much a metaphor for many of us, I think.

We all wear masks in our everyday lives – a corporate mask, a parental mask, a mask that hides our depression, pain, anger even. All of our labels come with masks. Are masks a curse? Oh yes, they can be. It’s hard to take off the mask and let the world see who we really are. It makes us vulnerable in all kinds of ways.

Lethe has a mask. No one can see it, but it’s there and when he’s wearing it no one can see him. No one except Jay. For some reason Jay can look him in the eye and see who’s really there; the real person behind the mask. That leaves Lethe horribly vulnerable because through his entire life, Jay is the only person, except perhaps his mother, who has ever done that.

Jay is happy falling in love with his enigmatic lover, but he’s torn with guilt about deserting his best friend, Gristle who I am pretty sure is in love with him. Gristle has always been there, sheltering Jay, nurturing him, being there for him, but Gristle knows he can’t be there forever. Jay won’t listen until it’s too late.

There are so very many hidden metaphors and messages, I wouldn’t know where to start. Masks, kites, the sea, the theatre, music, paths and more. The reader can take them or leave them, allow them to enrich the story and make you think, or ignore them and simply enjoy a good story.

Even though I read an ARC, the editing was flawless, at least there wasn’t single thing that jumped out at me or pulled me out of the story. The characters are amazing. The characterization is masterful. Apart from one or two walk-ons, there are only three characters – Jay, Lethe and Gristle (Thoth makes and appearance but we don’t want to talk about him). The way they are introduced, interact and develop is wonderfully handled and it all unfolds exactly as it should.

I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book because once it got its hooks into me and especially when I fell in love with all three characters I really couldn’t see how the book could resolve with a happy ending. I was kind of right and very wrong.

This really is a must-read. It’s sweet and heart wrenching; sad, funny and wild. You will laugh, you will cry and you will thing about things.

Purchase Links



Connect with the Authors

Slow burn romance that quickens the heart.
Anyta is a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. She loves to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.
Some of her favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.
Anyta writes a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. Her books have been translated into German, Italian and French.
Member of Romance Writers of America.

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Andy Gallo’s stories capture how he wished he’d spent his formative years, instead of how it really happened. Unfortunately for his characters, they find themselves infused with some of Andy’s less noble qualities.

A hopeless romantic, Andy writes seated next to a hundred year old Smith Brothers typewriter he inherited from his grandfather. He also dreams of superheroes and wizards and sees no reason why two men with superpowers can’t fall in love just like everyone else. Although not all of his stories have a paranormal bent, a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good read in his mind.

Married and living his happy every after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty years spend their days rubbing elbows with other parents as they raise their daughter. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.


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