Review: Face Off by Mark del Franco

Face Off (Laura Blackstone, #2)Face Off by Mark Del Franco
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I went back and forth on the rating for this book but finally settled on a four. I honestly found all the conflict to be exhausting and unpleasant, but it was very realistically written and I certainly felt connected to Blackstone. I decided that if del Franco weren’t such a good writer, I wouldn’t be feeling everything so much.

I read Face Off right after finishing Skin Deep, which is how I recommend that you read them. That is, after all, how the plot works. There’s a lot more of Jono Sinclair in this volume than in the first, which will be popular with romance fans.

During the events of Skin Deep, Laura retired the Janice Crawford persona. Her life should be simpler now that she’s just herself and Mariel Tate, right?

Wrong, because she and Mariel Tate are being pulled in opposing directions by powerful forces, and she has two more-than-full-time-jobs. Toss in an order to impersonate an uncooperative prisoner in order to infiltrate a terrorist group, and her life is at risk every day too.
In the midst of all this, there’s a visit from royalty, and her boss assigns Mariel yet another top priority.

The only respite is her growing relationship with Jono Sinclair, who is also undercover with the terrorist group. He’s the only person in the world who always knows who she is, no matter what glamour she’s wearing.

Laura started wondering how much of herself was left behind all the personas in Skin Deep, realizing that “Laura Blackstone” was in danger of becoming just another persona. She’s even more concerned about that issue in Face Off, but thanks to Jono she’s getting back in touch with who she is behind the masks. Will she be able to hold on to her progress? Will she be able to simply survive the undercover assignment with almost no preparation? Or will it be the internal Guildhouse politics that do her in? These questions kept me reading and interested. I was thrilled with how del Franco answered them, and I’m intensely curious as to whether those answers leave any room for further adventures with Laura and Jono.

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Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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