4 out of 5 Stars
*I was provided an ARC of Lord and Master in exchange for an honest review.*
Aside from spending time with her three best friends, Luna Gregory mostly just does her job. As the personal assistant to the Marchioness of Arborage Estate, she has plenty to keep her busy. When sexy Swedish Stefan Lundgren, third in line to inherit the estate, arrives at Arborage as a consultant, Luna has to work closely with him and try to deny her attraction. She doesn’t want him to know they’ve met in the past, and she also doesn’t want to open up to him about her family.
Stefan is not about to make things easy for her. His pursuit leads to a romantic and sexually-charged relationship. Stefan wants Luna to open up to him, but he’s keeping his own secrets—secrets that could damage everything they’ve built together. When Arborage is in danger of falling into the hands of the Marquess’ corrupt brother, it’s every man for himself to try to save the estate.
Lord and Master is definitely a page-turner that had me sucked in right from the beginning. I loved this book … until the end. Although it does not end on a cliffhanger, it is NOT a happily ever after or even a happily for now. It’s part one of a trilogy—something I wish I’d known prior to reading it. If you don’t mind having to read another book (or two) until things wrap up, then I’d highly recommend this book. Personally, I prefer everything to be wrapped up in one book. That’s really the only reason I rated this at four stars instead of five. That said, I think the ending fit the plot and showed Luna’s strength of character.
Despite the obvious attraction, I enjoyed that this wasn’t an instant romance. Both main characters had to work at it, and there were plenty of things that got in the way. There was lots of tension between Stefan and Luna, and not just UST. There was also plenty of regular everyday tension from what was going on in their world.
The secondary characters were well described and fit right into the scenes without feeling forced or out of place.
One item of note: the summary, cover, and title were slightly misleading. I expected BDSM to be a theme in this story. There was a hint of domination within Stefan and Luna’s relationship, but it wasn’t explored very much and took a backseat to the main plot. This was perfectly fine by me. I prefer for the plot to stand on its own and the author did a good job of incorporating just the right amount of control into the intimate encounters. But readers should be aware that it was not a main point of the story. The title itself has more to do with the owner of the estate than anything sexual.
Lord and Master was written in British style. As an American grammar nerd, it was difficult for me to get used to reading dialogue in single quotation marks. If you can get beyond that, it’s fun to read all of the British phrases (I’ll admit I had to look some up to understand what they meant!), and I really liked Stefan’s occasional Swedish phrases.
I highly recommend Lord and Master as long as you don’t mind that the story hasn’t ended.