Author: Jack Stevens
Publisher: NineStar Press
Publication Date: 31 May 2021
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: MM Paranormal
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Sean Sinclair is handsome, brilliant, and completely self-centered, so it is no surprise that his main ambition is to succeed as Master of one of England’s oldest and most prestigious universities—St. Thaddeus’s College. And while working his way up the academic ladder, he is more than happy to fill his days with as many sexual conquests the life of a successful gay university fellow can throw his way.
But when an embittered former lover goes missing under grisly circumstances, and suspicion falls on him, Sean is dragged into a world of ancient horror hidden behind the dreaming spires of St. Thaddeus’s, and into a centuries-old war between light and darkness.
Hounded by police and stalked by monsters, Sean must fight to find the truth of “The Shadow College”. What are its plans for humans? And for him?
In the shadows, it’s hard to tell friend from foe, lover from killer, and as the darkness deepens, Sean is forced to make choices that will cost him far more than just his life.
I've struggled for the last few minutes trying to decide what star rating to give Dark Master and how to talk about it. The problem I had with the book was that, from the blurb, I had anticipated an action-packed dark fantasy tale. However, this was one of those occasions where smut trumped plot. The sex scenes were well written, so I had zero issue with them in and of themselves, outside the context of the story, but they did account for a good two thirds of the book's content. The 'plot' didn't really start to appear at all until halfway through, and when it did it felt rushed, so by the end, I was left with many unanswered questions about the two organisations, Farjeon, what powers the 'vampires' actually had etc. The idea behind the story was good, and all the characters had potential, so, in my opinion, what this book needed was to be nearly twice the length. By all means keep the sex scenes, but develop the plot and the characters in greater depth. Then it would have made an excellent story. I am going to give this book 2.5 stars; however, I will round up to a 3, rather than down to a 2, because the potential was there, even if it wasn't fully realised, and if you are a reader who doesn't mind the occasional story where sex trumps plot, then you'll likely find something to enjoy here. As a final warning, though, some of the scenes in this book are rather dub-con, so keep that in mind if that's something that would affect you.
I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.