Beneath This Mask by Meghan March

Beneath This Mask - Meghan March

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Beneath This Mask was a pleasant surprise! Despite some common tropes, it's a big step above the general New Adult story.

We're introduced to Charlie who's put a great distance between her past and present. When her father was put in jail for fraud it was in front of the whole world, and some people believed Charlie is an associate. Now the FBI is looking for her, but she's doing her best to stay under the radar. Today though, she's got a thicker skin. When she meets councilman Simon, life becomes complicated. At first she doesn't anything to do with him, but he gets under her skin and soon she must face both her past and her present.

I liked Charlie. She was independent and strong. Even if I didn't agree with all her choices, they were understandable. The way the author handled her character was great, and this might be one of the few heroines of New Adult that had a real personality that felt real. (Or maybe I'm just done with broken heroines after reading about them all the time.) She's far from perfect and the troubles she goes through were portrayed with care (mostly). There's an attempted rape/sexual harassment issue that I disliked strongly how it was handled (read: one paragraph) as it didn't really add anything to the story. But other than that, everything about Charlie was well done!

Simon on the other hand... he's better than the usual New Adult hero, I guess. A little bit, at least. At the same time, his personality wasn't that fleshed out and I had a difficult time understanding his reasoning and why he resonated as he did in certain scenes. To put it simply: not as well characterized. But yes, he was an okay character despite that.

The best part thought: This story isn't about their lust for each other. The author has an actual plot in her story. Charlie decides to tackle her past. She wants to make rights, so there's a little mystery about that. And the story is partly also about Charlie's personal growth (which should be a recurring theme in New Adult as this is what being a new adult is about.)

To sum up: A well written New Adult story with a wonderful heroine and a strong plot, but it could've been better without some common tropes and a little more personality in other characters. Definitely worth a read, though!