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Venetian Masks

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  335 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Jeff Dawkins’s last partner left him with a mortgage he can’t afford and nonrefundable tickets for a month’s vacation in Europe. Despite a reluctance to travel, Jeff decides to go on the trip anyway. After all, he’s already paid for it. He packs a Kindle loaded with gay romance novels and arrives in Venice full of trepidation. There he meets the handsome and charming expat ...more
ebook, 216 pages
Published February 11th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  335 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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Jun 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I honestly don't know why I postponed reading this for months before I picked this up. Maybe because I got wrong impression from a couple of reviews I read. But, I am glad that I finally read this.

One thing that I loved the most was the sense of being away from your home. I loved how Jeff decided that he would take the vacation (despite being reluctant) and was able to absorb the beauty of Venice (though he also had help from Cleve). Traveling is one of my passion in life. I wish I could do it
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, m-m

I found Jeff completely charming but it took me a while to warm up to Cleve. This was a beautiful postcard of Venice but the romance was a bit shaky for me even though it did play out sweetly.
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
3.5 stars

Buddy read off the Old & Moldy shelf with my besties, Jen and Mish.

I'm a huge Fielding fan, so it feels like sacrilege to give one of her books fewer than 4 or 5 stars, but this one didn't fully work for me. It was more travelogue than M/M romance. The love was too instantaneous, and the relationship between Jeff and Cleve was based on deceit, nonstop excitement, and adventure vs. shared interests, tenderness, or anything else really.

Yeah, Cleve claimed to want to settle down, but
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
"...But I like the adventure of masks. You never know what is behind them."

I don't know what it is about Kim Fielding that makes me automatically click "buy" on ARe, thus saving me 2 minutes that could be spent reading her books. It's like a reflex: don't think, just do. And I think a huge reason why I like (all) her books is her writing style. I have a hard time expressing my thoughts, so the best way I can put it is that her writing is very practical. It is practical in the way that she always
Reading with my besties, Dani and Mish.

Hmmm...First, I love the cover, a lot. The writing was beautiful, I felt as if I had been transported to all the various locations. I also felt like I ate all the various foods. There was a ton of description done beautifully but unfortunately, it was almost too much. I know more about the places and the food than I do the two main characters. Or at least their relationship. The end left me with questions that never got resolved (view spoiler)
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Venetian Masks by Kim Fielding

First, here's the blurb:

Jeff Dawkins’s last partner left him with a mortgage he can’t afford and nonrefundable tickets for a month’s vacation in Europe. Despite a reluctance to travel, Jeff decides to go on the trip anyway. After all, he’s already paid for it. He packs a Kindle loaded with gay romance novels and arrives in Venice full of trepidation. There he meets the handsome and charming expat Cleve Prieto, who offers to serve as his tour guide. Jeff has serious
Heather C
Nov 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Heather C by: Nikyta *Miss Forgetful*
Nikyta totally tricked me into reading this!

I went into this book completely blind and had no idea what it was about, although I did gather from the title that it might be set in Venice...

Poor plain ol', boring Jeff. He's been cheated on and dumped by his boyfriend, forced to sell his house, and now he's on a plane traveling to Venice to begin his 4 week European vacation...alone. Shortly after arriving in Venice, he catches the eye of "Cleve", a gorgeous, tattooed, American drifter who offers t
Amarilli Settantatre
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gay-romance

Un libro piacevole con dei protagonisti finalmente umani e normali: Jeff è un nerd informatico, mollato dal compagno, che ha il “vizio” segreto di leggere di nascosto romanzi rosa (!).
Quando si ritrova solo e con il mutuo sul groppone segue il consiglio dei genitori e parte ugualmente per il viaggio in Europa che aveva già programmato.
Ora, magari visitare i luoghi che avrebbe dovuto visitare con l’ex potrebbe non essere una grande idea, se non fosse che Venezia res
4.5 Stars

Jeff Dawkins' (cheater) ex-boyfriend left him with a mortgage he can’t afford and nonrefundable tickets for a month’s vacation in Europe. While there, he meets Cleve Prieto in Venice. Cleve is handsome and charming but obviously hiding something. Jeff is wary but agrees to hire Cleve as a tour guide. Jeff falls in love with the Venice Cleve shows him. He also begins to heal the wounds inflicted by his loser ex; for the first time Jeff finds himself developing strong feelings for someone
Vanessa North
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first part of this book seemed really slow and overwrought with minutiae. I don't really care for minutiae, and I found that really, really hard to muscle through, but I'm glad I did because it got much more exciting later on.

I think this book is lighter-hearted than it intended to be, and also sweeter. I felt that it was trying to hold an edge that wasn't quite there for me. But that actually worked for me, because I needed some lighter reading and this was enjoyable. :)
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
Jan 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-cover
I like Kim Fielding’s books and this one isn’t an exception. Venetian Masks was truly a special read. It’s a weird mix between contemporary, angst, real life, adventure and a touch of fairy tale. I really don’t think this will be for everyone, especially if you have certain expectations. But if you go into it open minded, as I did, I think you’ll enjoy it a lot.

I really liked Jeff as a character. I warmed up to him immediately and I went along with him in his crazy journey. He’s a really lonely
Barb ~rede-2-read~
This was a fun story with lots of intrigue and adventure and a heap of tourist information about Venice and Croatia. I not only liked the story, but I’m now motivated to go to Italy.

Jeff Dawkins finds himself packing for a trip to Europe that was planned by his ex-boyfriend—the one who left him for another man after six years of living together. But the tickets are nonrefundable, and it’s bad enough that Jeff has to sell his home because he can no longer afford to keep it, but he’s not going to
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
As is usual lately, this is one of my stream of consciousness reviews with a bonus fan moment or two.

Oh this is so going to break my heart, isn't it?

Why do people toss perfectly good stuff? He should donate it.

I love his mom, she's real and this millennium and yet not a no-nonsense career-only woman. She's not a sexist 50s style housewife. I love that she's helping him and not his perfect alternative female best friend as all other gay boys in this situation in these books seem to have.

Wow, h
Anita Bianchi
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Questo romanzo si è rivelato una splendida sorpresa: la trama mi ispirava parecchio ma non avrei mai pensato che mi sarei innamorata a tal punto del libro e dei suoi protagonisti!

Cosa ho amato?

Venezia: è stato molto interessante e divertente vedere una delle città che amo di più (e che visito più spesso) attraverso gli occhi di uno straniero. Concordo con molte delle opinioni espresse dalla Fielding tramite i suoi personaggi ed ho trovato intelligente e s
Justin Nova
Jan 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Maybe not the most realistic book but I had fun reading it. I liked the setting details and would love to visit some day. Also liked the two main characters.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Delightful. A fun mix of sweet vacation romance and nail-biting, run-for-your-life danger. My favorite thing is how perfect Cleve and Jeff are for each other; how they make each other better by being in each others' lives. Perfectly romantic.

Favorite Quote:
Apparently, his copy of the Homosexual Manual was missing the chapter on Fabulous Home Decorating.
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I love this book. It’s fun, sexy, sweet and romantic. It has travel and adventure in foreign lands and a deliciously angsty love story between a sexy IT guy and a mysterious man of potentially dubious character.

Jeff is adorable; he’s that sexy kind of guy who is a little unsure of himself and more complex than he first appears. Most of his adventures occur in the stories he reads on his Kindle. A solitary trip to Europe pushes him way outside his comfort zone, since the furthest he’s been from S
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ok. I will admit it. I bought this book, in part, because of the amazing cover. Luckily, I have read other works by Kim Fielding and enjoyed them so I knew I wasn’t taking much of a risk at having the story fail to live up to the cover.

I enjoyed the adventure aspect of this story. The descriptions and details of Venice and other locations made you feel like you were there. The main characters were compelling, especially Cleve. We knew early on that he was a mystery. I liked how his past was reve
Amy C.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-published
I was surprised by how much I actually loved this! I only bought this because I was a fan of Kim Fielding's other book Brute, but I usually don't go for this kind of plot. I read a couple of other books where that main character travels to another country and meets a mysterious man that will turn their world upside down, but they weren't down very good, so I was a bit wary to start on another. My standards weren't set all that high, but I was blown away by how awesome this was! Kind of spoiler a ...more
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, physical-copy
It's safe to say that I'll be reading this book again, because to me, it definitely qualifies as a comfort read.

First of all, I loved the European setting. For some reason it always feels closer to home, and Ms. Fielding did an excellent job describing Venice, Zagreb, Ljubljana & Trieste. Unfortunately, I haven't been to Zagreb, but I had the best time revisiting the rest of the above mentioned cities with Jeff and Cleve. It's been more than 7 years since I moved to Italy, and Jeff's first
Ulysses Dietz
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by the subtlety, the cool, clear-headed writing, the beautiful sense of character and place that the author brings to the unusual story line.

Jeff Dawkins has cocooned himself in a world of predictable normality, while Cleve Prieto has never had a safe or secure moment in his life. They find each other in Venice, that magical and illusory city, as each of them - in very different ways - flees a horribly failed relationship. As divergent as their lives are, the experience of sudde
There is a lot to this book, and having only read it once, I have a feeling I missed some things.

A lot of this story is hidden at the beginning and we learn about Cleve slowly. He seems very mysterious at first. What I like about Jeff is that he is not stupid. He clearly realizes that Cleve is lying out his rear, but he makes the decision to just let it ride. So often in romances our hero is oblivious, and in this case Jeff has his eyes wide open.

I enjoyed the travel aspect of this novel, I real
Didn't connect with this one enough. I liked the MCs okay, but I don't buy into the love. I also didn't care for the mob/ex angst. Just the complication of traveling/fling vs real love would've been interesting enough without the added drama. It was cool to read about Venice and Zagreb. It's setting goes a long way in keep the book interesting. It's nice to read something not set in USA/ENG.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, calibre, mp3
I'm trying not to give everything I like five stars, but I really didn't find anything wrong with this book. I would classify it as a gay romance, and normally I find them somewhat boring. But this one had just the right balance of plot and sex; many times there's too much of one and not enough of the other. I'm always in awe of an author who can get it right.

Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Just Jeff and Cleve make a sweet couple, the plot is well-paced, interesting and original, loved the setting and secondary characters. So, why 3 stars? Because I liked it, but no more. I felt there was an important element left hanging, and the resolution was a bit too easy. It's not fluff, but it's close. I enjoyed it more for the virtual traveling I did reading it than anything else.
Karen Wellsbury
Started well, Jeff's character I felt I got to know well, Cleve less so. And as the book progressed Cleve seemed more and more 1 dimensional so that I never felt much of a connection with him.
Same with the plot, the first 50% was paced well for me, then it seemed to be a little rushed.
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Now I want a tour of Europe and my own romantic adventure. Maybe with a little less violence.
This book was a true original. It was like nothing like I've ever read before. Jeff and Cleve are two complex, engaging & impeccably flawed men who led me on an exquisitely detailed & picturesque tour of Italy and Croatia. The descriptions were executed in such a way that I feel like I have a realistic sense of each city featured in the story.

Jeff and Cleve are also unlike two MCs I've read before. Jeff is a self proclaimed plain & boring geek. The M/M Romances he reads on his Kindle
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, contemporary
I had a difficult time connecting with the characters and plot in this book. A lot of it felt fake to me, or like I was waiting for the real story to happen. Perhaps this was because one of the characters was/seemed so untrustworthy. However, I liked the descriptions of Venice and Zagreb, and I loved the cover.
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Kim Fielding lives in California and travels as often as she can manage. A professor by day, at night she rushes into a phone booth to change into her author costume (which involves comfy clothes instead of Spandex and is, sadly, lacking a cape). Her superpowers include the ability to write nearly anywhere, often while simultaneously doling out homework assistance to her children. Her favorite wor ...more
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