Wednesday, August 3, 2016

House of Glass by Jen Christie

The glass chalet has enchanted Reyna since childhood. Built upon the cliff face at Devlin Manor, the luminous curiosity dangles over the Caribbean like a diamond pendant. Wondrous to behold from the water, the house is even more astonishing up close, as Reyna quickly learns when she comes into service at the estate.


Left untouched as a shrine to the beautiful and tempestuous Celeste St. Claire, the glass house beckons to Reyna. It exerts the same sensual pull upon Lucas St. Claire, the mercurial master of the manor. Both are powerless to resist. When the two meet within, their need is as transparent as the walls surrounding them.


But that passion may be indulged at dear cost. Seduced by the shimmering cottage—and the tortured man who built it—Reyna risks joining its former mistress in oblivion.


Publisher: Harlequin Shivers | Genre: Gothic Romance  | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4.5 Cups

Challenges Read For: Blogger Shame

There’s something about the employee/employer relationship that makes a gothic romance even more appealing—call it the Jane Eyre effect, if you will—and it hooks me every time.
Here’s what’s going on. Lucas St. Claire saved Reyna from falling into the sea when she was child and randomly gave her shell as a gift. Wanting to discover more about Lucas, she convinces her father to show her Devlin Manor, St. Claire’s estate, and from that point on, she’s obsessed with the glass house hanging from the cliff that Lucas built for his wife.
Ten years later, after her father disappears at sea, Reyna finds herself employed as a maid at Devlin Manor. Although the kind and caring man she once met is gone. In his place is a broody man who has been living with a cloud of suspicion hanging over him since his wife disappeared.
Both Reyna and Lucas find themselves caught in the hold of glass house. There Reyna can be the person she has always wanted to, passionate, forward, and unafraid of the consequences. The house seems to have the same effect on Lucas. As the two start a passionate affair, Reyna grows closer to succumbing to the same fate as Lucas’s wife. Will his love be enough to save her?
I’m a massive fan of gothic romances when they are done right and House of Glass was definitely done right. There’s danger, suspense, obsession, atmosphere, and isolation and I could not put this down.
Fans of Jane Eyre will really enjoy this one. The relationship between Lucas and Reyna mirrors that of Rochester and Jane in the sense that it’s an employee/employer relationship and Lucas is wealthy and Reyna must rely on him for a job and a home.
I liked both Reyna and Lucas. She’s a very mild until the house takes hold of her then she slowly starts spiraling out of control. Lucas is everything that I want in t gothic hero. He’s broody, slightly controlling, feels guilty, there’s suspicion surrounding him yet he’s very easy to like. He also has no problem letting Reyna in.
I really enjoyed the concept of the glass house changing a person. This house has the ability to make a person do an entire personality flip. They become obsessed with it and slowly the house starts to consume them. It was very interesting watching the characters change and discovering the reason behind the house’s ability to control people.
The romance in this was slow in one aspect but very intense in another. When Lucas and Reyna were in the glass house, their passion was front and center. It was impossible for them not touch each other. Although when they were away from the house, they were able to discover each other secrets and learn who they were. It was nice to see both sides.
So, while this was a short story, the pacing was brilliant. Nothing felt rushed or left out. The plot was fully developed as were the characters.
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I also enjoyed that this was set in the early 1900’s.

Are you a fan of gothic fiction?
Do you like the employee/employer trope?

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