Ian Dennison loves his job, but when he's invited to the Mardi Gras ball thrown by his law firm, it's not for company loyalty that he goes. It's for Stephen Caulfield, his boss and the man for whom he's been longing since his first day. Amidst the costumed revelry and fine champagne, the sparks fly between the men. Ian begins to think perhaps there is hope for them, despitIan Dennison loves his job, but when he's invited to the Mardi Gras ball thrown by his law firm, it's not for company loyalty that he goes. It's for Stephen Caulfield, his boss and the man for whom he's been longing since his first day. Amidst the costumed revelry and fine champagne, the sparks fly between the men. Ian begins to think perhaps there is hope for them, despite the rules against company fraternization. That is, until a drunken senior partner lets slip the secret Ian never knew Stephen was keeping...his wife. Is there more to the story than Ian suspects, or is the mask Stephen wears really who he is? Genres: Gay / Contemporary...
|Title||:||The Mask He Wears|
|Number of Pages||:||60 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Mask He Wears Reviews
Ok m/m romance about a lawyer, who has a marriage of convenience, confessing his feelings for his male secretary and really making a mess of it.
The Mask He Wears by Fae Sutherland and Marguerite Labbe. Another book where there was so much I disliked about it, I barely know where to start. So let's start with the premise: Ian is the secretary to lawyer Stephen. Ian has a crush on Stephen, Stephen has a crush on Ian. There are two basic problems that I have with this:First of all, we're told that Ian is head over heels in love with Stephen and vice versa, but we never really get to see what it is about Stephen or Ian that's so worth turning their personal and professional lives upside-down for. It's all tell, no show and it's much harder for me, as a reader to be invested in a relationship that I never get to see.Secondly, there's a huge power disparity between lawyer Stephen and Ian the secretary that never gets addressed. And it's not just that Stephen is a lawyer and Ian is the admin (I'm sorry, secretary belongs back in the 50's, yo), Stephen is also Ian's boss. While I'm willing to let the author take me on a trip to either explore the unequal power dynamics or create a way to make the relationship work despite the wild inequality of power, the power disparity has to be acknowledged. I need to know that the author knows it's there, the elephant in the room. The fact that Stephen felt that a work event was the right place to make his move on Ian is, in and of itself, a demonstration of his power. Power that he has and Ian doesn't. The consequences of someone as important as Stephen making a pass at an admin are (generally) far less and (potentially) far less career-endangering than the consequences of Ian rebuffing those same advances from his boss. And though Ian holds supreme confidence that Stephen would simply go back to business as usual if Ian were to reject him, it comes across more as naïveté than "Stephen is just that awesome". Truth be told, the actions and thoughts of both men come across as incredibly naïve, throughout the book. TMHW is another example of hyper-romanticism, where communication between the parties is open, free and without reservation from the opening scenes, where both parties are confident in the other's interest and that the interest and commitment level is mutual and equal. Without having ever discussed it, even once.Though they don't seem to have any relationship outside the workplace, both Ian and Stephen are confident that they are in love with each other and that their love is life-long and committed. By the time they've had their first kiss, they're talking love-of-my-life permanency and Ian, at least, is horrified and outraged by the suggestion that they date and get to know each other better before taking their (potential, not-yet-existing) relationship to the next level. Only pages later, Stephen is ready to throw away his marriage (of convenience) and his career at the law firm for Ian…with whom he's never even had a single date.Now personally—and as someone who has had a gentleman or two, in her time, confess that he's her soulmate within a very short period of time (and yet, still after some dating!)—I find that all creepy and weird, not romantic. I know that's probably blasphemy, given that it's such a staple trope of the romance genre, but there it is: creepy and weird. Unless we're talking soul-bonds, but this is not that kind of story. I'm not saying you have to sample the milk before you buy the cow, but my goodness, at least go and look at it. Don't buy it sight unseen off of craigslist, to stretch a metaphor to breaking.Pulling back to the nuts and bolts, for a 45 page story, it reads fairly slowly, bogged down in pages and pages of exposition and rumination with very little dialogue or action. More, a lot of the exposition is repetitive, stating the same information in slightly different ways within sentences of each other. Though the middle of the story was moderately stable, the beginning and end of the book have POV changes within the same scene and without any real transition, creating irritation and confusion. There's also a lack of consistency in POV; I'd say a good 80-90% of the story was from Stephen's POV, leaving only about 10-20% for Ian to get his say in. Though I don't think a story has to be 50/50 equal, I do feel that if you're going to split the POV between your two protagonists, there should be a better representation and a better reason to have the other person's POV than to just fill in the cracks. I also felt that, at least in the beginning, the authors didn't have a good grasp of Stephen, in particular, writing his personality with explicit inconsistencies that took me out of the story. If you tell me that your MC is in a marriage of convenience, because it fits with his career and then tell me that he doesn't care what people think and never has, if you tell me he was isolated in high school and only becoming BFF with his future beard-wife gave him the security to 'put himself out there', but you tell me that he doesn't care what people think and never has, if the whole freaking premise of your story is the masks that people wear and you tell me that your MC doesn't care what people think and never has, I call bullshit. Similarly, if you have your other MC just about having the vapors in outrage at the thought of being someone's piece on the side, I don't buy it if—before anything's been said or done but a declaration of love—the first thing he does is show up at his wanna-be lover's office, strips off his clothes and demands some sexing on the desk. Just…think it through, okay? No, people are not one hundred percent consistent; in fact, they are often downright contradictory, but come on. There's a difference between in-character, psychologically grounded inconsistency and plain ol' sloppy writing. Overall, it just felt like a lot of sloppy writing.
This story begins with a masked ball which sets the scene for the theme of the book: How easy it is to hide ourselves behind a mask. Ian is in love with his boss, Stephen, and has been for a while. The pair get on very well and have a good friendship at work. When Stephen makes sure that Ian gets invited to the exclusive company masked ball, Ian hopes that this means that Stephen may be gay and have feelings for him too. It is therefore crushing for Ian when he discovers that Stephen is married and all his ideals about Stephen come crashing down around Ian's ears.Out of the two characters I liked the flawed Stephen the best. He has made a few decisions in his life to take the easy option, to hide his sexuality and create a false front. All this is exposed when he realises that he has fallen for Ian. Despite these perhaps unwise and easy decisions that Stephen has made, they were also entirely understandable which made Stephen a sympathetic character. It was also a mix of amusing and heartbreaking that Stephen has so much trouble articulating his feelings towards Ian and explaining why he has acted as he has in the past.Ian came over as being a little too self-righteous and also quite priggish. He is hurt when he realises that Stephen hasn't told him of his marriage and this manifests itself in recriminations towards Stephen. However, it isn't Stephen's fault that Ian had held him up as a paragon of virtue. As far as I could work out, Stephen has made no moves on Ian until that evening and then, when he does kiss him, he then tries to explain all the issues surrounding his marriage. By then though Ian is embittered at what he sees as a betrayal by Stephen and refuses to even hear him out. Once Stephen has had the opportunity to explain, Ian still isn't satisfied and wants Stephen to expose himself fully by coming out at work and divorcing his wife before he will even begin to start a relationship with Stephen. I felt that this was actually asking quite a lot of Stephen to do all in one go and Ian's 'holier than thou' approach was irritating to say the least. He does marginally redeem himself by the end but still I didn't like how he made Stephen feel bad about a situation where he had attempted to help his best friend.Despite my dislike of Ian, this is a well written book. The fact that I did have strong opinions on the characters is a reflection of the skill of the authors at painting two well rounded and believable characters. The story is quite short with most of the scenes being centred around the two heroes talking to one another and trying to work out their problems. Although this meant that the book was quite static, I didn't ever feel that I was bored as the emotional intensity of the piece kept my interested throughout the book.Overall, I would recommend The Mask He Wears to those of you who like short angsty stories about two men working through their problems on the way to love.
This is a short story that manages to be unexpected and surprising despite being short. Apparently the plot is simple, Ian has a secret crush on his boss, lawyer Stephen; being Ian his secretary and having the firm a strict no fraternization policy, Ian has never made any move on Stephen if not being always available for him and always with an eager to please smile on his face. Then at a office party, Ian eavesdrops another colleague asking Stephen about his wife, and Ian's world crashes around him.Here is the unexpected element of the story. Usually the office affairs relationships among men are hot and dirty, little or not so little secret affairs almost always based more on sex than love. But Ian is a romantic soul, he believes in love at first sight and forever love. He wants Stephen, but he doesn't want him only for a passing affair, he wants him as his long term relationship partner, he wants him in full daylight.On the other hand Stephen has always preferred to maintain his private life exactly like that, private. On the outside Stephen appears to be an independent and strong willed man, but in private he is insecure and not so strong. He always related to his friends advice and he was always willing to help them to resolve their romantic trouble but was never ready to resolve his own. Delay was the key, not facing the issue was the best strategy. Stephen's character is the other surprising element of the story, above all how different he is from what he appears; it's a nice surprise since he gives originality to the story.If Stephen was one another alpha male boss, who is a boss both in office than in bedroom, this one would have been one another office affair story, nice maybe, but nothing more. Instead both Stephen than Ian are different from who you were expecting, they are both very emotional men, men that probably are not imposing and domineering, but that are lucky enough to find each other and to discover that, despite the difference in social status and career level, they have more in common than they thought.http://www.amazon.com/dp/1602728461/?...
❤❤❤♡♡It was an ok book, a pleasant read. But, the book was too short : it didn't allow the reader to be invested in the characters' story. In my opinion, the authors made a mistake in choosing what part of Ian and Stephen's story they related. As a reader, it was difficult to feel anything for the characters when I was only told part of story, and the hard part as it was. The authors didn't show the good, fluffy part of the MCs falling in love or flirting or getting to know each other. They just told us there was affinities, love, friendship and chemistry without ever displaying it. We were only privy to the problems that came with revealing the characters' feelings for each other.
This would have been better without the sex at the end. I know, sacrilege! By the time that I got to the sex, the whole story had me twisted up. Boy, to be a lawyer, he couldn't put two words together without being a jerk. So by the time the actual sex came about I was so turned off that I tuned out the rest of the story and didn't finish.
Couldn't finish this. It just totally didn't hold my interest. Got about 1/3 of the way through the book and stopped reading. My complete lack of interest was surprising since these authors produced two books that I absolutely loved.
Stephen married but not as it seems. Since he meet Ian he wants a chance with him. Both working in the same firm But will Ian give him a chance.
Short but sweet. A simple read, with emotion
I don't know, maarte si Ian, pa hard to get! haha :P