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Beneath This Mask

Enhanced World, Book 3
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Enhanced, Book 3
Length: 7 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (146 ratings)

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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

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, nonspeaking, enhanced 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.

©2018 Victoria Sue (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome book!

I love this series and the latest book was well worth the wait. Nick Russo is an extremely talented narrator who adds another layer of awesomeness to thus story. Victoria Sue’s characters always feel real with talents and flaws.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 Stars

The Enhanced series keeps kicking it up a notch and is definitely getting better with each installment and what makes them even better, for me, is how much I love Nick J. Russo's narration of the characters. I love how well Nick J. Russo brings the story and characters to life. His character voices are great and consistent, his tone and pitch are good, and his pacing is terrific.

Told from a dual POV, Beneath This Mask has a fantastic plot, a lot of action, some of which is pretty intense, and some sexy times interspersed between crises.

What Gael goes through in this story...*shudders* Victoria Sue put him through the ringer and not just in the will-they-won't-they-get-their-stuff-together relationship with Jake. There's a lot of information that comes out in this installment, and you should make sure to read the first two books before starting Beneath This Mask, because even though this has a different character set's POV, it is not (in my opinion) a standalone.

This series is sexy as hell, super entertaining, and a great listen with awesome narration.

Recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Heartwarming!!

This is the third installment of the Enhanced series and this one almost did me in. We once again are submerged into a world where bigotry takes on a whole new meaning. Our FBI team of H.E.R.O.’s continue to grow and another enhanced member Gael, gets assigned his regular human partner Jake. This pairing was especially important because Gael was the only member of the team that had both internal and external scars as a result of his transformation when he was a kid. And up till now we have seen Gael as Talon’s, the teams leader, second in command and best friend. We learn that behind all that confidence Gael is hiding secrets and years of pain.

Jake comes to the team as a former member of SWAT and the dreaded ENu team. He is excited to be a part of the team but knows he will have to earn their trust especially Gael’s. This book was a more difficult read than the others. The hate towards the enhanced whether they were young kids or adults was hard to read. They were treated like untrustworthy freaks. But overall it was Gaels pain that left me feeling raw. I love every minute of it though. And Nic Russo’s portrayals of the characters was seriously good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the feels just keep on coming

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!

#LGBTQ #hurtcomfort #paranormal #romanticsuspense

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Jake, Gael, Derrick .. family

Damn, I’m definitely on a roll with this series because guess what? I freaking loved this book! 😍 Now now, hear me out. 😁 Yes, I loved Finn and Talon and they are still my favorite couple but since from the beginning, I just have that soft spot for our Gael, giant, gentle, kind and vulnerable. Gael is the epitome of the children surviving domestic abuse and still turn out to be a good person. And every time I listened about him in the previous books, my heart just breaks for him 😢 and I knew his story was going to be good. And my expectations were definitely met and more. 🥰👏

Despite being a H.E.R.O agent and an enhanced human, Gael genuinely believes that people aren’t capable of loving him and looking past his scars. Growing up with an abusive alcoholic father, Gael was abused and tortured and ultimately got his face burned because of his dad. And he believes he’s not beautiful. So to say that he has trust issues and insecurities would definitely be an understatement. When his Boss assigned him with a human partner who used to be an Enu agent, Gael was definitely unhappy and bitter. It’s bad to work together with a normal human but one who used to be an Enu agent who are the arch rival of H.E.R.O? That’s a big No-No. 😁 Meanwhile, a psychotic serial killer is on rampage killing enhanced humans using their own abilities. 😳 And there’s an enhanced special need child who no one gives a care but Gael. But working with Jake doesn’t turn out to be so bad. Jake is kind, understanding and very sexy (Gael admits begrudgingly 😂). Meanwhile, Jake is also on the run from his ugly past but skeletons in the closet has a way of catching up with the present whether you like it or not. They are learning that being in a relationship with your fellow agent and balancing your love-work life isn’t that easy to juggle. And Gael has to learn and learn fast that to have a life he always wanted and to not become the victim of a serial killer himself, he has to overcome his insecurities and trust and rely on Jake’s love.

Wow, I know Victoria Sue can write. 😁 I mean she’s one of my very favorite authors for a reason. ❤️ But boy, can she write suspense and thrillers! 😱 I really had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed. Who knew what evil lurks behind the masks of the people you know. And Gael and Jake were so sweet together!!! 😍 So many “awwwwww-worthy” moments. 🥰 I love that Gael wanted to let go of the reins and submits to Jake when it comes to lovemaking. 😉 The smut was as always ... smoking hot! 🔥🔥 And I also loved the relationship dynamics and the relationship development between Gael and Jake. Insta-lust to soul-deep, true love transformation was beautiful to witness. 💜 The epilogue was everything I could ask for, a beautiful, heartwarming and heartfelt love declaration with a HEA plus a child? It was EVERYTHING!!! 😍❤️ and as always, Nick J. Russo deserves a shout out for such an amazing performance. 👏 Plus, Miss Sue is such a tease because I’m already dying for the next book, Angel and Vance. 😁 I mean sassy twinks and gentle big guys? Definitely my cuppa! 😉 I highly recommend this whole series to anyone who love urban fantasy and sci-fi. 👍



5 Jake, Gael, Derrick .. family stars
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Audio rating

Story - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Narration - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Performance - 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Overall- 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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    3 out of 5 stars
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third books a miss

so I'm really disappointed in this one. the weird out of nowhere turn of face on characters, the changes to the world's lore, the characters have always been sort of unhealthy (a bit rapie) but, I don't know. this one was just unrealistic, more so than usual. I have been really enjoying the series (some what)until now, but I don't think I'll be continuing. idk I'll keep my eye out for the next, but yeah. I'm not sure if I want to continue.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great book

Loved this, better than the first even. Narration was on point, loved it alao, Nick!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful story

The story is interesting, the mystery is thrilling, the suspense lasts until the very end. Well worth the read. The narrator does a very nice job. I really enjoyed everything.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Russo's narration broke me!

Independent reviewer for Divine Magazine, I was gifted my AUDIO copy of this book.

This is book three in the Enhanced Series. I wouldn't say it was necessary for you to have read books one and two, but it might give you a better reading experience. It would also give you a a better experience of these men, and just what being Enhanced means.

Gael doesn't want a regular human partner, especially not one from the task force they have all come to hate. But Jake is different, he's not got that inbuilt hatred the others seem to have. When Jake and Gael come across a non-verbal Enhanced child, who later becomes a murder suspect, Gael has to put his feelings aside, even if they threaten to be his very undoing.

Oh Gael, Gael, Gael! My heart bled for this man, it really did! He's in a whole lotta pain, and he hides it from the others in his team, who are his family too. But Jake?? Jake sees, really SEES Gael, and Gael isn't entirely sure he wants to be seen.

While there is the murders of the Enhanced as the back story, what I particularly loved about this one, was the emotions involved between Gael and Jake. With the emotions involved with turning, and the aftemath of that. Gael's history wasn't the best before that point, but it became a whole lot worse after. Jake has his own demons, and when Gael finds out what that is, he lashes out, quite LITERALLY. But he does come around, once the awful truth becomes clear.

It's not as explicit as books one and two, but it doesn't need to be. I did find it a little more graphic, though, but I think that really IS needed.

When Gael is caught by the one doing the murders ( I knew! I knew when that person first showed up, I KNEW they were no good, that something bad would happen!) his feeling for Jake, his own abilities are used against him, and Gael has to trust the guys find him in time. And after that, when Gael pulls away from Jake?? That boy pulls out all the stops to make Gael SEE Jake, he really does. That Jake wants a family with Gael, and all who come along too. And I cried then, great heart wrecking sobs, because it's such a beautiful scene!

We are introduced to Sam, AKA Angel, who pushes ALL of Vance's buttons and then some! Can't wait for their story, really can't. But I'll wait for the audio, don't wanna flip between reading and listening.

Again, Nick J Russo narrates. This above mentioned scene? When Jake makes Gael SEE Jake?? I have no doubts, none at all, that it's the way that scene was deliver by Russo, his NARRATION, that wrecked me! Reading would not have had the same impact, not for me, anyway. Russo KILLS it, he absolutely does.

His voices are clear and consistent across all three books, he has a way of getting so much emotions across, that really is beyond compare. I love his narration, so please keep them coming!

5 stars for the book
5 stars for the narration
5 stars overall

**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Very Good - Worth My Credit!

This series keeps getting better. The author's writing was tight, the mystery/action plot was tense and the romance was well done. The Big Bad in this one... shudder! Gael just about broke my heart and I was glad he got his HEA. More than the earlier entries (which I also really enjoyed)... Oh the feels! As always, Nick Russo does a really good job bringing this ensemble cast to life. And he really excelled this time, in ramping up the suspense as well as bringing the tender moments to life.

Definitely worth a credit! And I'm looking forward to the next book in the series - hoping it is snarky Sawyer! Or guarded Eli! Or cuddly Vance! LOL, ok, any of the fellas!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Noxifer
  • 05-23-19

Okay, but...

Okay story, though there's some really weird pacing in the beginning when it comes to the romantic development. It's not so much that they're hot-and-cold but more that their interactions seem disjointed from what's happened between them just a couple of hours or a day earlier. "Stay the f*** away from me" doesn't normally mean "Please do spontaneously kiss me in the kitchen" just because the guy seems to make an effort to be polite the next day.

The narrator has his usual habit of making those pauses between dialogue and speech tag that makes it difficult at times to figure out just who is saying what. It's annoying, but other than that he's pretty okay.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • OCorkyO
  • 03-08-19

absolutely fabulous

please can we have more ? ... lots more ! ... each story so for has been perfect and the narator is amazing... thank you for them!