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Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk

HaintedHainted by Jordan L. Hawk
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Self
Novel:  94,378 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  3
 

The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.

So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Rúnar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.

The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Rúnar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.

But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Rúnar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.

Excerpt

This was an interesting book.  I thought that the use of the word “hainted” was different.  I’ve never heard it used.  The author seems to lump a lot of supernatural phenomena into “hainted”.  I thought it was just ghosts but it is also anything to do with the dead except the living that deal with the dead.

Dan is stuck in time in my mind.  Because of his parents death he takes over the family farm and raising his two young siblings.  He knows he is gay and did have a little experience when he went to college for the short time he did.  Coming back he is forced back in the closet and so REALLY shuts himself in there.  He doesn’t seem to me to mature past that point.  Not that he is immature in raising his siblings but in dealing with a relationship he is still a newbie.  He is almost innocent.  Leif is anything but innocent.  His childhood was destroyed and he ran away to the streets when he was 14.  He hooked and did drugs.  When he left that life he traveled the world but did horrible things that he is trying to atone for.  Leif was a child still when he was taken in by Runar.  Runar was evil but all Leif saw was salvation.  Due to all of this Leif is not innocent.  Yet when it comes to good people and a healthy relationship Leif is lost as well.

I loved these two together.  They make sense.  Together they are a great team.  Now the action involved in the storyline was interesting if a little…flat.  I just didn’t get into the fight scenes.  I had a hard time with the whole antler and it hitting the right spot.  Just didn’t feel right.

The author makes an easy setting for the story, modern in the country, and uses the world building for the paranormal aspect.  This was a good story overall but felt a bit sappy toward the end.  I was expecting it to me more hard edged and instead the characters become a bit too gushy.  The bad guy was all bad.  (Yeah, he liked Leif but just wanted to have him.)  Yet I didn’t get that icy feel from him.  With this being the story it is you would expect a cold, icy edge to the bad guy but I just didn’t get that.

Overall an enjoyable read.  I wish the last half had been a little harder then I think I would have enjoyed it more.  Still a good story with all the stuff people love.

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Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk

WiddershinsWiddershins by Jordan L. Hawk
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Jordan L. Hawk
Novel:  85, 578 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  4
 

Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.
So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.
As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

Excerpt

Normally I don’t care for historical reads.  Knowing that a gay couple won’t be accepted so they have to sneak around just doesn’t appeal to me.  This book does refer to that fact.  Whyborne is afraid he will be arrested for sodomy if he goes through with his attraction to other men.   I don’t know why but for this book it didn’t bother me too much.

Whyborne has a hard time with people.  He grew up not accepted as he was and it affects him still.  Whyborne managed to stand up to his father and go on to a career he wanted instead of that picked for him.  Griffin is a detective.  He seems to be everything Whyborne isn’t.

The writing is creative and descriptive.  You get the spooky feel when they are in the woods or going into unknown situations.  The characters stand out.  The whole of the story is told from Whyborne’s perspective so you can only get the feel of other characters through him.  I really enjoyed his character.  He is introverted and scholarly but he loosens up around Griffin and starts to really find his feet during the case.  The mystery was interesting.  It wasn’t surprising to find out some of the “bad guys”.  I enjoyed the spooky feel to it and the eventual reveal.  The author actually did a wonderful job with the crisis of the book.  The drama of the moment is quite well written.

In the overall the story was enjoyable and fun.  The adventure in the story was quite well done and makes the book flow quickly.  I will definitely look into reading the next in the series.

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