March 21, 2023


The Gods and Goddesses hold a special MAQUERADE ball once a year when they invite mortals to explore their wildest fantasies.  See what transpires this year at Arcadia Island’s annual event when five talented authors put their own spin on things.

Kate Sterling starts off this anthology with Unmasked.  Morgan yearns for one more chance with her former lover, Derek. All she has to do according to Aphrodite is find him before midnight and convince him to fulfill her wishes.  Instead, she meets Brianna and her husband Marcos.  What sinfully delightful fantasies will this threesome uncover?

Unmasked is steaming hot!  The attraction sizzling on these pages is guaranteed to singe as Kate Sterling has crafted a very potent tale.  The attraction between Morgan, Brianna, and Marcos has sparks flying immediately.  The sex scenes with this charming threesome are some of the hottest this reviewer has ever read.  More importantly, Kate Sterling adds an emotional depth to the story which makes Unmasked a winner!

Underworld Connection by Yolanda Sfetsos is the heartbreakingly beautiful tale of Adora Marks and the God Hades.  Adora’s world has been left shattered with the loss of her family and death is reflected in all of her paintings and her Goth appearance.  Hades invites her to explore the Underworld with him but will Adora dare to live again?

Yolanda Sfetsos paints a stunning portrait of the Hades’ abode in Underworld Connection.  Her vivid images bring this often forbidding world to light.  Adora is the perfect lover for Hades, as she is a woman now obsessed with death.  What better choice for her than the God of Death himself?  Yolanda Sfetsos immerses readers into a darkly sensuous world as Underworld Connection reaches its dramatic conclusion.

In Desiree Lee’s Top This, Trina is determined that this year she will win the ongoing “Top This Competition” she has with her best friend, Lucy.  Forging an invitation to the Arcadia Island Masquerade Ball, she never expects to have her fantasies fulfilled.  Only a special God can satisfy a character such as Trina.

Desiree Lee provides readers with a great change of pace with her entertaining story.  Top This is both sexy and funny at the same time.  Trina’s down to earth attitude is delightful and the scene on the lanai is simply priceless.  This reviewer has to admit that she wondered how Ms. Lee would find the perfect God to complement Trina’ personality, but Ms. Lee more than exceeded expectations with her choice.  Top This is an exciting and clever new entry by a first time published author.  Readers will want to see more by Desiree Lee after reading this one!

Awakening Upon Arcadian Shores Between Full, Orange Moon and Shoreside Foam by Nikki Watson returns to see what happens to Aaron, first seen in Pomegranate (MASQUERADE VOLUME TWO).  Aaron doesn’t expect to find himself caught between two Goddesses but his invitation to Arcadia Island has unexpected consequences.  What choices will Aaron make this time with the Goddesses?

Nikki Watson delves deeply into mythology with her tales of the MASQUERADE.  Awakening Upon Arcadian Shores Between Full, Orange Moon and Shoreside Foam picks up where Pomegranate left off with Aaron but it is not necessary to read the first story to understand the events in this one.  This reviewer suspects, however, that readers will want more of Nikki Watson after reading Awakening Upon Arcadian Shores Between Full, Orange Moon and Shoreside Foam!

In Windswept by Katrina Strauss, science meets mythology when chemistry major and meteorology minor Tempest Rayne meets Aeolus, the Wind Keeper.  Aeolus is used to being alone but he can’t deny Tempest her wish to meet him, even though her invitation to the MASQUERADE ball was nothing more than a childish prank by others who sought to embarrass Tempest.  Neither Tempest nor Aeolus expects the attraction that flares up between them!

Wow, what a story!  Katrina Strauss has crafted a fantastic journey into the heart of mythology!  The details regarding the weather and Aeolus’ role are simply incredible.  Readers will quickly find themselves wrapped up in this sensuous tale of two individuals who’ve struggled to keep their goals and responsibilities ahead of all else.  Perhaps the most enjoyable part is watching Tempest blossom as she has pictured herself as awkward and unattractive but Aphrodite’s helpers and Aeolus’ desire help her recognize her own beauty.  Katrina Strauss has written a tale that showcases her superb talent!

MASQUERADE VOLUME THREE is yet another splendid addition to this impressive series.  One would expect that a series based on a yearly party by the Gods and Goddesses in which mortals experience their wildest fantasies would get old.  However, the sheer talent and ingenuity provided by each one of these exceptional authors continues to produce anthologies of great variety.  Once again, the unique twists will leave the reader anxiously hoping that this collection will continue!

Reviewed by Anne