Group Review Headmaster (Lessons from the Rack) by Tara Sue Me

Posted January 16, 2018 by Debbie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Group Review Headmaster (Lessons from the Rack) by Tara Sue MeHeadmaster by Tara Sue Me
Published by Penguin on January 16th 2018
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General, Contemporary Women
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780399584510

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The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive novels delivers a scintillating new erotic romance, where two instructors redefine the phrase “teacher’s pet” . . . .

Lennox MacLure, owner of the RACK Academy, has sworn off the Dominant/submissive lifestyle. Years ago, his submissive, Winnie, died in a car accident following a heated argument for which he blames himself. Guilt-ridden and emotionally closed off, Lennox sees the academy as both his punishment and penance for her death.   Mariela, a dance instructor and a natural submissive, was Winnie’s best friend and longs to help Lennox move past his grief. She’s accepted that he will never see her as anything more than a friend, but she still wants to help him acknowledge what he needs. Mariela comes up with a plan of seduction, guaranteed to unleash the Dominant he’s willfully buried—but the passion they unleash could prove to be stronger than they are ready to handle.

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Debbie’s Thoughts

If you enjoy other books by this author, you will definitely enjoy The Headmaster.

Creating a perfect blend of emotion, love, loss, grief, self-blame, rediscovery sprinkled with a bit of BDSM the headmaster leads us through the journey of Lennox, Marie, Fulton, Andie, Terrance and Winnie.  In a creative twist the author sets this story in a school that teaches D/S.  Adding a unique twist into the story the author incorporates the world of dance.  An interesting way to see how this is brought full circle.

The story relies heavily on the emotions of the characters.  Layers of their pain, loss and confusion are peeled away slowly, creating a slow burn of anticipation.  The story also relies heavily on the personality traits of each of the main characters.  All find a way into your heart and make you want to know everything about them.

The male character is this book …. the Dom’s each hold that one character trait that buries itself deep within your mind.  I found myself under their spells and can easily see how the author can continue the story giving Terrance and Fulton stories of their own.

Marie and Andie are as different as night and day but both characters are appealing and easy to relate to.  It was Winnie who held the most intrigue.  With a creative twist the author brings this character to life in the most haunting way.  I truly enjoyed that aspect of the story.

An emotional story of friendship, letting go of the past and looking towards the future.  The story is rich with emotion. It is the perfect example of the old saying, you never know what goes on behind closed doors.  It exposes secrets from the past and exposes the truths of the present.


Robbie’s Random Thoughts

  1. Headmaster is a quick and easy read. I consider it a solid 3 star book – no real “Wow” factor, but not a waste of time either.
  2. I didn’t read the first book in the series, but this book is a standalone, so readers won’t feel they’ve been parachuted into the middle of a story.
  3. I really wanted to love this book, but I didn’t. The author didn’t offer me anything that hasn’t already been done.
  4. All the characters had a lot going on in their lives. Love, hate, grief, angst, passion, lust, kink – sounds like the perfect recipe for a story, right? Despite the fact that they have all this going on, I didn’t truly connect with any of them.
  5. The author wrote Mariela as the perfect sub because she is definitely a mouse. There were times when I wanted to slap her.
  6. There were times when I wanted to slap Lennox more than Mariela. That storyline where two characters have no real reason why they can’t be together yet they keep fighting their attraction has been way overdone.
  7. I don’t think I imagined the gaps in continuity and there were some issues that needed to be resolved which were left dangling. If a character is not OK, then becomes OK, inquiring minds want to hear about the process.
  8. Those who’ve read my reviews are familiar with my plausibility litmus test. Headmaster didn’t pass the test. Ms. Me failed to show me why a grief-stricken Lennox would continue to run a business which promotes a lifestyle he feels contributed to his late girlfriend’s death.

Sally’s Thoughts:

Headmaster had the potential to be a cute love story, but fell short.  Too many questions unanswered, too many visits from secondary characters from the first book, some character development was missing and felt like some parts of the story were left hanging and unfinished.  The two main characters made each other suffer for reasons I didn’t think were good enough.  I didn’t read the first book so maybe that’s why I felt no attachment to the secondary characters, but they were too involved, felt like fillers.

Lennox owned a school that taught individuals or couples how to be in a Dom/Sub relationship.  Lenox hired Marie to work at his school as a dance teacher.  Andie and Fulton also worked at the school as a chef and teacher, respectively.  Andie and Fulton were a couple from the first book, and as I already mentioned, I had not read their book, and this may be why I felt like they were around too much in Lennox and Marie’s story.

Lennox and Marie were feeling things and then they weren’t, plans were made that disappeared, there was too much predictability and Lennox’s repentance for something that was not his fault was undeserved and a little extreme.  Marie’s character was inconsistent:  she’s a pushover, then she’s not.  I couldn’t keep up.

Headmaster will attract readers with its potential and I hope it does well.



Maria’s Thoughts:

The Headmaster is a quick read. I liked the characters and I liked that the story is a second chance for true love, but, I must admit, it was missing something for me. I didn’t feel the connection to the characters I usually do. I wanted Lennox and Marie to have a HEA because I read the book more than because I was invested in the characters. In fairness to the author, I think part of the issue I had is that I prefer a darker, more alpha Dom and Lennox isn’t like that. I did feel empathy for Lennox and what he was going through because of Winnie. 

I did like The Headmaster. It is a actually sweet BDSM romance with some drama, angst and erotica. Fans of this author will enjoy it. It was a 3.5 for me. 



Karen’s Thoughts

This was my first BDSM book in a long time, and it fell short of the other books in the genre that I have read.  I think the author should explore contemporary romances and the BDSM in the book seemed very play acted.  I think the author does have talent in setting the scenes in her book but the characters were ones I did not connect with.  It was a forgettable book for me, as the passion was missing from the relationships.

Random Group Thoughts

The other night we gals, Sally, Debbie, Robbie and I sat around our virtual library book chatting about the Headmaster. Maria was absent, but had a great excuse she was on a plane to Vegas.  So while Maria, jetted off to experience a little sin in real life we gals chatted about the new release by ?????.

We all agreed as we noshed on virtual cheese and wine that this was a light beach read.  We read an advanced copy which we mailed to each other.

First question that we pondered was the character of Winnie. Who liked Winnie?

Sally: I didn’t either.

Robbie: I didn’t.

Karen: I thought she was a selfish character.

We chatted about the authors writing style and  plot points.

Debbie: In a way the way she writes reminds me of Danielle Steel.

Sally: Lots of sex after they got going.

Karen The BDSM was more like let’s play pretend.

Robbie Interesting! I think she has great potential…not sure if she’s edgy enough for BDSM.

Debbie: While her story telling is nice she lacks the edginess I look for in BDSM books. I agree Robbie. Though I do think her fan base will really enjoy this book.

Robbie There was a lot of skipping around and things that just happened without explanation. A good editor would have caught some of this.

Karen: There was no time when I felt that spark between the characters. She had them on the page with no fire or passion.

We all agreed that this book would only be a 3 to 3.5 star read for us as a group, as the author left too many threads dangling with unresolved conclusions.



About Tara Sue Me

Tara Sue Me wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. It would be twenty years before she picked up her pen to write the second.

After completing several clean romances, she decided to try her hand at something spicier and started The Submissive. What began as a writing exercise quickly took on a life of its own. An avid reader of all types of fiction, she soon discovered she enjoyed writing a variety as well.

Tara lives in the Southeastern United States with her family, two dogs, and a cat.

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