It's my pleasure to host Carolyn Crane's Behind the Mask book tour today. Carolyn Crane is a RITA-winning author of romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and other tales of love and adventure, including erotic and dark romance as New York Times bestselling author Annika Martin. (Carolyn's book, Off the Edge won the 2014 RITA for Best Romantic Suspense and Into the Shadows is a finalist for the 2015 RITA, also in the Romantic Suspense category). Her books have been published by Random House, Samhain, and independently. Crane is also a marketing writer who loves to read in bed and run and is passionate about helping animals. She makes her home in Minnesota with her husband and two cats.
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Behind the Mask
By Carolyn Crane
May 19, 2015
When her estranged sister is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group--and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.
Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…
Meanwhile, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years?
Behind the Mask is my first book by Carolyn Crane but, after reading it, it's easy to see why she won the 2014 RITA and is a finalist again this year. This book isn't my typical reading choice. The violence is graphic, the sex is scorching and occasionally rough, and f-bombs litter the pages like confetti, and yet it works. I was hooked within the first ten pages and am still thinking about the characters more than a week after reading their story. Why? Because the writing is exquisite, with multi-layered, complex, flawed characters within a world that is painted in such perfect detail that I felt as if I was right there with them every step of their non-stop, action-packed, emotional journey. The language and actions of the characters aren't gratuitous. They are part of the fiber of these people, a result of their experiences and influences, and intrinsic to who they are. And that's what makes it work.
I can't stop thinking about Hugo and Zelda and their story. I credit Crane for that. There's no black or white with her characters. Rather, they are imbued with many shades of gray, encouraging a range of emotions in this reader. There were times during this story when I was repelled by the actions of both Hugo and Zelda, times when they fascinated me, and times when I just wanted to gather them both in my arms and hug them. It's as if Crane's words reached into my chest, grabbed hold of my heart and said, "Fasten your seat belt. I'm about to take you on the ride of your life." And you know what? I can't wait to take that ride again.
I've downloaded Carolyn Crane's back list and am looking forward to more action-packed, emotionally turbulent journeys with this superbly skilled author. And I won't be one bit surprised to see her name on next year's list of RITA finalists because, yes, Behind the Mask really is that good.
While Behind the Mask is the fourth book in the Associates series, it is not necessary to have read the other books before you start this one. However, if you enjoy Behind the Mask as much as I did, I predict you'll be running to get the previous books, Against the Dark, Off the Edge, and Into the Shadows.
Readers, are you a fan of romantic suspense?
Have you read any of Carolyn Crane's books?
Have you taken a chance on a book outside your comfort zone and fallen in love with the story and characters?
Do you enjoy stories set in unusual or exotic locations?
(1) $75.00 gift card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice & open internationally)
(32) Digital Copies of either Against the Dark, Off the Edge or Into the Shadows (winner’s choice & open internationally)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Blog Tour Stops
Monday, May 18, 2015
Straight Shooting Book Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.straightshootinbookreviews.com
Romance Junkies (Excerpt): http://www.romancejunkies.com/rjblog
Ramblings From This Chick (Guest Post): http://ramblingsfromthischick.com
Under the Covers Book Blog (Guest Post): http://www.underthecoversbookblog.com
Lush Book Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.lushbookreviewss.blogspot.com
Badass Book Reviews (Review): http://www.badassbookreviews.com
Urban Girl Reader (Excerpt): http://www.urbangirlreader.com
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Happiness is a book (Review): https://happinessbook.wordpress.com
Reading by the Book (Excerpt): http://www.readingbythebook.com
That's What I'm Talking About (Review): http://twimom227.com
Cricket's Chirps (Review): http://www.cricketschirps.com/
The Romance Dish (Review): http://theromancedish.com
The Book Review (Review): http://www.cluereview.blogspot.com
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Em & M Books (Excerpt): http://www.emandmbooks.com
Ex Libris (Guest Post): http://www.stella.exlibris.com
Herding Cats & Burning Soup (Interview): http://www.herdingcats-burningsoup.com
The Book Nympho (Review): http://thebooknympho.com/
Long and Short Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.longandshortreviews.com
Love Affair with an E-Reader (Review): www.loveaffairwithanereader.blogspot.com
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Paranormal Haven (Interview): http://paranormalhaven.com/
Becky on Books (Review): http://beckymmoe.com
Amy's Blog (Excerpt): http://www.amymanemann.blogspot.com
So Many Reads (Excerpt): http://www.somanyreads.com
Angela Quarles Blog (Excerpt): http://www.angelaquarles.com/blog
Goldilox and the Three Weres (Review): http://goldiloxandthethreeweres.blogspot.com
Friday, May 22, 2015
Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell (Review): http://books-forlife.blogspot.com
Blogging by Liza (Excerpt): http://lizasblog-liza.blogspot.com/
Bring Your Own Book Club (BYOB) (Review): https://www.facebook.com/byobclub1.0
Peaces of Me (Interview): http://www.suespeaces.blogspot.ca/
Ariesgrl Book Reviews (Excerpt): http://www.ariesgrlreview.com
C. K. Crouch (Review): http://ckcrouch.com/