ARC Review: Masks by Karen Chance

Posted April 7, 2014 by Suzanne in Reviews / 6 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Masks by Karen Chance
by Karen Chance

5 Stars


Released: 18 March 2014
Published by Penguin
Pages: 406
Format: eARC


“…once again Karen Chance has written a book that I had difficulty putting down.” ~Under the Covers

Set in fifteenth century Venice, Masks brings us the tale of how Mircea Basarab, a familiar character from Karen Chance’s Cassandra Palmer series, began his life as a vampire. Venice is a haven for masterless vampires and as a Mircea was cursed rather than made into a vampire, he is as masterless as he can get. But Venice isn’t quite the beacon of safety he thought it would be, captured by slavers and bought by a brothel mistress Mircea has gone from Prince to whore. But the senate is coming to Venice, giving Mircea an opportunity to become more, but with the senate comes an assassin with centuries worth of hatred and a plot to take down an ancient queen.

I am a huge fan of Karen Chance, I have yet to read a book by her that I didn’t love and Masks isn’t breaking that winning streak. Mircea is already a character I know and adore from her Cassandra Palmer and Dorina Basarab series, so having a book showing how he started vampire life is a real treat. However, although I do keep mentioning him in association with other series don’t be afraid to pick this up if you are new to Karen Chance, no prior knowledge of her other series are required for this book.

What I liked most about this book, was finally seeing inside Mircea’s head, he is normally so inscrutable and self possessed, seeing him so young (in a vampire sense), confused and struggling endeared him to me so much more than seeing any display of power. He is a classic hero, noble even whilst in the gutter, a natural leader doing his best to help those weaker than himself *cue heartfelt sighs* not to mention wickedly hot.

Masks was also more introspective than I was expecting, normally with a Karen Chance novel I expect to be dizzy afterwards from all the near misses with the grim reaper, from crazy flying car rides to battles with an impossible foe, and although there is a good amount of action in this book it also gave you room to breath. This allows you to soak in the atmosphere of Venice, the gaiety and decadence as well as the sensuality.

This was a fantastic read, once again Karen Chance has written a book that I had difficulty putting down, it had an interesting story with some great characters, both familiar and new leaving more excited to read whatever she has in store for us next

* ARC provided by publisher

What did you think of our review? Let us know in the comment box below!

About Karen Chance

Karen Chance is the author of two New York Times bestselling series, plus a number of novellas and short stories, all set in the Cassandra Palmer universe. A full-time writer since 2008, she was previously a university history teacher, which comes in handy when writing the time-travel aspect of Cassie’s crazy adventures. She loves Las Vegas, the main setting for her novels, but currently lives in Florida near her family home.

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Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
Gosh, we all seem to be admitting our ages…and I hate that I am at the point in life when admitting my age is a “thing”…whodda thunk it? I was kind of hoping I would remain 21 forever. However, I have moved out of that New Adult stage of my life and am now strictly in the Contemporary Romance age zone of 28. I would prefer to be in an Urban Fantasy arena, but I don’t think I own enough black leather. However, I could probably squeeze into some PNR, I am fully prepared to give a horn job to my favourite demon, or suck on my sexy vamps…fangs and I am definitely up for some heavy petting with some fine looking shifters. Than again their’s always Sci Fi…I am fully prepared to do the right thing and help some poor alien race with more 6 packs than a supermarket repopulate their planet. Not that I am loose woman or anything.

Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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Sophia Rose
Sophia Rose

I had been waiting for this story a long time and then I went and missed the release date. 😉 I’m glad its so good. I love Karen Chance’s books. I look forward to getting inside Mircea’s head a bit.


Thanks for the review Suzanne


Ooooooo mircea!


I’m so excited to read this. I’ve kind of stopped reading the Cassie Palmer books because they are just too frenetic for me and I really don’t like the time jumping, however, I adore Mircea and would love to read a story from his POV. Thanks for the review.

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