Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: PhD candidate William Yderis comes to Efeldon University to teach and finish his degree in charmcrafting. For methodical, sedate, and scholarly William, the school defies his expectations—and not in a good way. The biggest surprise comes when William meets his boss, absent-minded Archmage Taliesin Karsus, a man as infuriating as he is sexy.
As William struggles to carve out his place at the university, he is drawn in to Tal’s chaotic experiments… and drawn to Tal despite his logical mind’s protests. And if Tal’s wavering affection isn’t enough to complicate William’s studies, he uncovers a plot involving an ambitious staff member, brainwashed students, sexual assault, and a threat to the lives of everyone on campus. When it comes time to face the danger, William is on his own. For the first time in his life, he’ll have to trust in his heart instead of his head.
Review: I love all things magic so this and the gorgeous cover tempted me. For me this had a lot of elements I enjoy. The boss employee trope. Magic. Opposites attract. The promise of lots of sexual tension. Fantasy elements. Sadly it just never clicked for me. I feel like the story had a lot going for it but it just never pulled me in. There’s tons of secrecy that could have compelled me but in this novella it seemed to keep me from forming any attachment to the characters. In the beginning I never really knew what was going on. Then towards the end it was somewhat obvious.
Will is excited to start his new job as a professor at a college of magic. When he arrives he learns his real job will be the apprentice of Archmage Tal. Will bristles at this. He feels it’s below him but he needs the job. Tal is powerful and secretive. Will likes to be orderly and proper and Tal is anything but. Tal is kind of a prude. Tal’s “experiments” seem to be those of a dangerous crazy man to Will at first. Then he’s astounded by his master’s power. When Tal starts to flirt with Will and against his better judgment Will responds Then Will pushes him away. Then he gives in. Tal sees the want in Will though and their attraction seems to be too much to resist. Something sinister is going on in the college though that threatens their new found attraction.
Again I just never became invested in the couple. The baddie was very obvious and it’s frustrating when everyone is oblvious. I think despite the disconnection to the characters the thing I can’t help but wonder about is that all these things seem to be thrown into the story but I don’t really know why? Like the festivals and gods? I tried to take in all the details because these things usually come back later but they never really did. The ending is resolved fairly easily. I had hopes for this book but for me it just didn’t engage me.