Monday, December 17, 2012

Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer

Unmaksing Maya is a fun read about a creative artist inventing her life again. It grabs the reader through a sense of longing for a fresh start; who hasn't wanted to begin anew?

Maya Kirkwood is a talented artist fresh on the San Francisco scene. Previously, her art was worn by some of the biggest names on the red carpet when she worked in New York, but through a series of life-challenging events, she found herself not only moving from the pulse of New York to the waves of the San Francisco Bay, but also recreating wearable art into wall art. Playing with fabrics puts her on the front page of the art scene in San Francisco, and into the eyes of Derek Whitely, a computer "geek" looking to spruce up his steel and glass building with a touch of design.

Their first meeting is awkward at best, buy Maya's charms and Derek's emotional range of rock make for interesting banter between the two. Things are never really as they seem...

Unmasking Maya is more than a love story though, it's a story about overcoming the past with the future in mind. It fits comfortably into the "chic-lit" category, but with a greater depth than just a fun, flirty romance. The intriguing characters tinged with a past bring alluring realness to the plot.

Mercer's characters are believable. I think this is one of the reasons I enjoyed the book so much. There was nothing that caused my attention to be drawn away, nothing too far fetched in reactions from either of the main characters in the novel.  Their conversations are comfortable, their emotions raw, and their reactions genuine. I don't enjoy books that feel contrived or forced, and Mercer did a wonderful job of avoiding both of these writing pitfalls.

The lifestyle was well drawn, too. I've read other novels that painted San Francisco in the same light, which tells me the right amount of research was done in order to give the book believability; the backdrop of the story is critical to its success.

Overall I'd rate this 4 out of 5 stars. There were a few typos here and there, but nothing that interferes with the readability.

Unmasking Maya is not Libby Mercer's first novel. He debut novel, Fashioning a Romance, was released by Musa Publishing in 2012. She has another novel contracted with Musa due out in 2013. Unmasking Maya was a self-published adventure. If you'd like to learn more about Libby Mercer, you can visit her blog/website at

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