I liked it much better the second time around.
This old-fashioned gothic was so gothic it almost oozed gothic. Barbara Michaels does gothic stuff but rarely historical stuff like this. Not saying I prefer it over her normal books, but it was a groovy change I dug.
I totally hearted Gavin Hamilton. He was serious, scarred, flawed, tall, rich, oozed goth. Damaris was a good heroine who used her brain, stayed loyal, and - even if she peeked around the corners a little too hesitantly - decently fierce with a sassy tongue when it was warranted.
Besides gothic mystery of the main tale, the unwinding love tale captivated yours truly completely. Side characters like the vicious daughter, dingy maid, and funny suitor made it that more delightful.
The villain was someone I kind of guessed, although I wasn't sure until the end. Even so, it made a twisted, good story to read. There were whispers among the townsfolk about a missing wife, which all added to the charm. Twists and turns kept me on my toes for this one, not just in the story’s revelation, but also the heart pitter-patter of the mains.
The ending was a little too abrupt, but the story worked great overall. Exciting story with some mystery, a heroic love story that leaves a good feeling when the last page has been read. The Master of Blacktower is perfect when in the mood for a classic gothic accompanied with a crumbling castle isolated on a cliff in a foreign time that held as much mystery as it promised.