Masks & Mayhem – Lauren Ellis

I’m not a good girl, not really. 

I mean, I get good grades, and I’ve never been arrested, but it’s not for lack of a little law-breaking. I don’t have the time or luxury of a moral compass–not when I have someone counting on me. 

So, I’ve been keeping my head down, getting everything ready for us to flee this place as soon as I turn eighteen. But the past has a way of catching up to us. And mine drags me kicking and screaming into the dark world of the Hannover Heathens, the gang that rules this city and everyone in it. While they debate whether to use me or kill me, I’m assigned some semi-psychotic, heavily tattooed babysitters to watch my every move. 

They think they’ve got my secrets all figured out, that I’m just some innocent, naïve girl who stumbled into the underbelly of this city.

But I’m familiar with their dark world, and it’s not a scary place for the reasons they think. 

It’s scary because this kind of darkness fits me all-too-well. But if it’s one thing I’m counting on, it’s being the kind of girl they underestimate. 

So, go ahead, boys–wear your masks. 

You haven’t realized just yet, but I’m wearing one too. 

I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Let me start by saying that I am absolutely OBSESSED with the FMC in this book. She’s curvy, independent, and sassy as all hell. She kept me so entertained and the book was full of clever one liners that had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion. I also just loved her undying devotion to her sister – the glimpses we got of their bond were so so cute.

This was a slow burn reverse harem romance, and I enjoyed seeing the relationships that Mari was developing with each of the guys. Kane was probably my favorite Heathen – I’m a total sucker for gang members with golden retriever energy, what can I say?

I will say that I felt that she trusted and got comfortable with them a little bit more quickly than I was expecting. She was kidnapped but only tried to escape one time and spent a lot of time getting along with the guys. She was sassy, sure, but it never really read like a kidnapping situation to me. Not until Silas’s dad was introduced at least. I’m curious to learn more about both The Collective and it’s leader as I would like a clearer picture of what they do and why they’re so terrifying. We did get a brief glimpse at it, but I definitely look forward to book two, where I hope to get a clearer picture.

There were glimpses of another character, Dante, that I have SO many questions about. He only made two appearances but he was easily the most interesting potential love interest to me. The book did end in a cliffhanger and I’m absolutely intrigued and curious about the direction of the series. Overall, this was great for a debut novel.

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