Book Review:Unmasking Zach (Ellery College #2) by Edie Danford

Unmasking Zach (Ellery College, #2)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: ARC Provided by Netgalley
Publication Date:December 1, 2015
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Point of View: First Person ( Zach and Kirby)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, Contemporary,  LGBTQ, New Adult


The missing piece of the puzzle might be the one piece he can’t keep.

Before heading for grad school, Zach O’Malley needs downtime from his superhero-worthy schedule. Painting houses seems like the perfect summer gig for some mindless mellowing out.

There’s just one wrinkle in Zach’s Zen plan. Coworker Kirby Kurtcehajic, a hippie kid who starts hitting on him with happy and hardcore voracity three seconds after they meet. And has the ability to make his mind and body leap with a single smile.

Kirby would be the first to call himself a cockeyed optimist, but even he admits he’s had a tough year. After busting his knee, losing his cat, and accidentally demolishing his Vermont house, seducing way-too-serious Zach is the ideal distraction.

But when another spectacular mishap lands Kirby in crisis, Zach puts on his superhero cape to come to the rescue. And as boundaries dissolve, Kirby realizes he may be in too deep. Because the end of summer is coming, when Zach will be moving on, and Kirby will have to continue his quest for independence—alone.

Product Warnings: Contains an unlikely friendship, an unwanted attraction, undeniable emotions, and enough outdoor sexy times to make a full moon blush.



“He kissed me more. In all the ways I’d wanted to kiss him. His lips on my skin felt like medicine. Scary medicine. Healing, easing my pain, numbing the hurt. But scary as hell because my prescription was about to run out.”

Sometimes I’m not ready for a story, and I’ll put the book down and pick it up when it’s calling me. I started Unmasking Zach a few months back and I was eating up the pages, but at one point I set it down and didn’t pick it up again until this weekend. It wasn’t boring and it wasn’t flat, I just wasn’t in the right mind to read it.

I’m glad I didn’t force myself to read it, because as I read it this weekend I fell completely into my reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kirby Kurtcehajic likes Zach O’Malley and he isn’t shy in letting him know he does. He’s forward and confident in the way he tells Zach that they could be something for the summer. Zach, though, he’s not looking for a summer anything, not even a fling. They each have their demons and plans and they’re not about to start making exceptions, but life shows them that sometimes they don’t have a choice.

Unmasking Zach is as much about unmasking Zach as it is about leaving Kirby bare to Zach. I’m not sure it makes sense, but it does once you read it. Perhaps it was more about unmasking Kirby as he’s had not only a tough year, but a rough life. I didn’t see it that way, though. I think they both needed to break down their walls and their carefully set out plans and lists and just let others in.

It’s about letting people know what you want, and learning that there are people who love and care for you, that they’ll have your back because of said love and that growing up and healing doesn’t have a set date.

“I’d never really felt like I fit into the shapes available to me in the lives of the people I’d met.”

I’ve never understood why people hate when the plot is solely about romance, because even then there are other sub plots going on. I enjoyed every type of plot and Unmasking Zach was subtle, or maybe not, in that it wasn’t solely focused on the budding romance between Zach and Kirby. I saw beyond it, and I saw that Zach needed a major shake to his world and Kirby needed to see a different world to the one he had been living in.

It had so much going for it: interesting characters, beautiful crafted sentences (that I wanted to bookmark the hell out of), one amazing sounding Yurt, steamy scenes and the kind of friends that everyone needs. On top of that we slowly unmask Zach’s and Kirby’s past and how actions and events shape the future of someone else.

“You can change paths, change directions, change your mind any time you want to. Just takes motivation and action. It’s all gotta happen in here, though.” He tapped a thick finger to his temple. “It’s not something you find in a place or another person.”

There were something things left unresolved, but I felt like everything had its purpose. Every decision needed to be made, time away needed to happen. When I feel happiness, laughter, anger, disappointment, I know a book is a good one. Books need to make the reader feel something, anything and Unmasking Zach did that, exceedingly.

1_off grid couple living mountains of Montana

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