Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz
At the remote Marshall School, Gwen Ashby stumbles upon the job-and the man-of her dreams. Stern, enigmatic Edwin Yorke simmers with a heat Gwen longs to unleash. But Edwin knows all too well that forbidden love can end in tragedy….

What I thought about The Headmaster 

Some of the very first books I read in my younger day were the new gothic romance novels by authors like Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart. Gothic romance is all about atmosphere and twisty turn of events, so when I heard that Tifffany Reisz was writing a short story in gothic style, I was really excited to read The Headmaster.

On her way to Chicago to find a job, Gwen stops at a old-time diner.  While there, she hears of a nearby school that might be looking for teachers. Without anything to lose, she decides to stop and apply for a job. Distracted as she's driving to the remote boarding school, Gwen has a car accident at it's gates.

When she wakes, she meets Edwin the headmaster. He's not exactly nice or welcoming, but Gwen sees underneath that gruff exterior and sets out to seduce him.  I liked this update on the gothic theme with the heroine as the initiator of the relationship. 

The students are thrilled to have her there and want her to stay, but as the hours go by, there's that distinct feeling of something not being quite right. As that feeling grows and Gwen investigates, she also manages to hook up with Edwin. They do great banter together and it's perfect foreplay to their love scenes.

Tiffany Reisz does a good job of keeping the secrets until the very end of the story, dropping little distractions along the way and building a creepy yet romantic atmosphere.  Although you might figure out what's going on before the ending, there's still a great punch at the end when everything becomes clear and I loved it!

I'll buy this volume of short stories just for The Headmaster. Nicely done gothic romance in a more modern style.  Loved the atmosphere and the story here. I'll probably read the rest when I can find some time on my reading schedule.

ARC provided for review. 

The Headmaster is part of a the Harlequin E Shivers Box Set Volume 4 which also contains these stories.

Darkness Unchained by Jane Godman
Torn body and soul between mesmerizing nobleman Uther Jago and his brooding brother Nicco, headstrong Annie van der Merwe flees homeward. Only in sultry South Africa can she conquer an inner darkness borne in blood and bone that threatens to destroy them all.

Forget Me Not by Barbara J. Hancock
Maddy Clark refuses to leave the macabre town of Scarlet Falls after her sister is mysteriously killed. While searching for the truth, she becomes enthralled by handsome sheriff William Constantine-a man held hostage by a jealous ghost.

Queen of Stone by Jen Christie
Uprooted by the Depression, Zara Pendleton heads south. She's seduced by the steamy wilderness and by Navarre, magnetic leader of a reclusive cult. Theirs is a destiny shot through with feverish desire-and mortal danger.


Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany's books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as "literary friction," a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself.

She lives in Portland, Oregon. If she couldn't write, she would die.

Twitter: @TiffanyReisz

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