Unlike some of the other books I receive for review, Colette Gale's are more toward the erotica end of the spectrum than the romance end. They're highly explicit, often with scenes of group sex, as well as elements of coercion. I'm making this clear because each reader tends to have very different ideas of the sort of sexual content that is acceptable, titillating, enjoyable, or offensive, and there's no point in your picking up a book you won't enjoy!
While I don't normally read much in the way of historical romances, Colette Gale's novels appeal because they use such familiar characters and milieus and give them fun new twists. If you're unfamiliar with the genre the prose is rather flowery, but once you get used to it, it sets the mood quite nicely.
The traditional roles of this tale are turned on their heads: the Sheriff of Nottingham is the tortured dark soul, while Robin is the arrogant hero. Alys plays the role that Marian more usually occupies of the headstrong young maiden, while Marian is an older and more experienced woman. Prince John, for his part, is a dangerous and devious lech. I enjoyed the new take on the tale, although the question of which of the two women would end up with which hero seemed somewhat drawn-out.
The debauchery of the Court of Pleasure is wild and a bit rough; the real problem I had with John is that while he's portrayed as having some attractiveness to him, I couldn't help picturing him from an old BBC series a couple of decades ago. And, well, that made any sexual content involving him a bit revolting!
Colette has a gift for both evocative narrative that draws the senses in, and wild and steamy sex. However, I occasionally found the characters a little frustratingly slow on the uptake regarding some details.
As an alternative, steamy version of the Robin Hood milieu, Bound by Honor is definitely an enjoyable book. It didn't bowl me over as much as Unmasqued did, but it's a gorgeous and evocative read!