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May 2nd, 2018

Book Critique - Masquerade

For reviews of other books in this anthology: Go here

Stars: 3 / 5

Recommendation: For those quick reads you are looking for in paranormal romance genre without any sequels or series to go through, this is a perfect book.

Masquerade is a 1994 novella by Amanda Ashley published as part of the anthology After Twilight along with novellas from two other authors - Christine Feehan and Ronda Thompson. This is the first of Amanda's novels with a vampire theme. It was originally published in the anthology The Topaz Man Presents Secrets of the Heart and later for After Twilight.

In the book credits on the first page, Amanda Ashley is credited as Madeline Baker. In fact Amanda Ashley is Madeline Baker's alter ego. While she wrote historical romances under Madeline Baker, she wrote books with vampire / paranormal theme under Amanda Ashley name. Quite a contrast in genre that she has for each of her names. 

This first book, Masquerade, is a mere 112 page novella yet it did bring out her love for Vampires and the epic musical The Phantom of the Opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The current plot revolves around a 300 year old Vampire, Jason Blackthorne and his love towards a mortal, Leanne, who played a chorus role in the theater presentation of the famous Phantom of the Opera. A love that would not give any solace to either one yet they don’t deter to act on it. However how will the same love change their loves is what the rest of the plot is about.

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Stars: 5 / 5

Recommendation: A movie about heist, seduction and eventual capture of the bad guy, albeit with finesse and form - 102 minutes of pure entertainment.

The Thomas Crown Affair is a 1968 American heist film starring Steve McQueen as Thomas Crown and Faye Dunaway as Vicki Anderson. It was awarded the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the Michel Legrand's song "Windmills of Your Mind".

A millionaire businessman-sportsman Thomas Crown brilliantly orchestrates a perfect crime of stealing over two millions dollars from a Boston bank. He doesn’t need it, but he does it for the heck of it as a game. Vicki Anderson, an insurance investigator, is given this heist to investigate. She zeroes in on Thomas Crown as the mastermind behind the heist, but she has to prove it as well. Thus begins the cat and mouse chase between Crown and Vicki in the manner of the heist investigation which takes on a more romantic turn for them. 

I had watched the 1999 remake of this film starring Pierce Brosnan as Thomas Crown and Rene Russo as the insurance investigator named Catherine Banning as opposed to Vicki Anderson in this original version. I was impressed by the 1999 remake although I had originally watched it for the sake of Pierce Brosnan, him being portrayed as James Bond and all. Very few remake movies are successful as the original, and The Thomas Crown Affair falls in such category - both versions were successful.

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