Review: “Draakenwood” (W&G 9) by Jordan L. Hawk

About:

Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America. Continue reading

Review: “Fallow” (Whyborne and Griffin #8) by Jordan L. Hawk

About:

When Griffin’s past collides with his present, will it cost the lives of everyone he loves?

Between the threat of a world-ending invasion from the Outside and unwelcome revelations about his own nature, Percival Endicott Whyborne is under a great deal of strain. His husband, Griffin Flaherty, wants to help—but how can he, when Whyborne won’t tell him what’s wrong?

When a man from Griffin’s past murders a sorcerer, the situation grows even more dire. Once a simple farmer from Griffin’s hometown of Fallow, the assassin now bears a terrifying magical corruption, one whose nature even Whyborne can’t explain.

To keep Griffin’s estranged mother safe, they must travel to a dying town in Kansas. But as drought withers the crops of Fallow, a sinister cult sinks its roots deep into the arid soil. And if the cult’s foul harvest isn’t stopped in time, Fallow will be only the first city to fall.

Fallow is the eighth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America. Continue reading

Review: “Hexbreaker” by Jordan L. Hawk

About:

Will a dark history doom their future together?

New York copper Tom Halloran is a man with a past. If anyone finds out he once ran with the notorious O’Connell tunnel gang, he’ll spend the rest of his life doing hard time behind bars. But Tom’s secret is threatened when a horrible murder on his beat seems to have been caused by the same ancient magic that killed his gang.

Cat shifter Cicero is determined to investigate the disappearance of one friend and the death of another, even though no one else believes the cases are connected. When the trail of his investigation crosses Tom’s, the very bohemian Cicero instinctively recognizes the uncultured Irish patrolman as his witch. Though they’re completely unsuited to one another, Cicero has no choice but to work alongside Tom…all the while fighting against the passion growing within.

Tom knows that taking Cicero as his familiar would only lead to discovery and disaster. Yet as the heat between them builds, Tom’s need for the other man threatens to overcome every rational argument against becoming involved.

But when their investigation uncovers a conspiracy that threatens all of New York, Tom must make the hardest decision of his life: to live a lie and gain his heart’s desire, or to confess the truth and sacrifice it all.
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Review: “Guardian” by Jordan Taylor

ABOUT:

On a blustery November day in London, Gavin catches a bus from Waterloo Station to his office. He makes this journey five days a week, year after year, alone. Or so he thinks.

He does not know that his guardian angel accompanies him each day of his life, watching over him—loving him as all guardians must. His guardian’s feelings, however, fall into baser depths. As all guardians know, it is taboo to feel carnal love for a human ward. Such a relationship would not be viable—or healthy. Gavin’s guardian knows this. Lives and breathes this. And yet, to lift Gavin from depression, he is willing to attempt the impossible: to manifest as a human for Gavin and finally meet the love of his immortal life face-to-face.

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Review: “Dancer Of Death” by Jordan L. Hawk

ABOUT: 

Revenge. Murder. Ballet?

Vampire spirit Gray wants to hunt demons. Unfortunately, the foolish mortals at SPECTR have put his host, Caleb, their lover John, and their partner Zahira on desk duty. Gray longs to leave Charleston with John, but if they flee, SPECTR will make them the hunted.

A series of paranormal murders returns the team to the field, at least temporarily. Ballerinas are being murdered by a vila, a demon that kills with dance. If they can’t stop the deadly attacks in time, one of Zahira’s friends may become the next victim.

And while they track the demon, an unknown entity has begun to track Gray…

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Review: Stygian by Santino Hassell

Stygian

STYGIAN by Santino Hassell

 

 

ABOUT:

Jeremy has been isolated and adrift since the death of his brother. Most people just see him as the skinny emo kid who wears eyeliner and plays drums. No one gets him. Nobody tries. He thought the indie rock band Stygian would become his anchor, but—lost in their own problems—they’re far from the family he sought.

Still, hoping to get close to Kennedy, the band’s enigmatic guitarist, he follows Stygian to northern Louisiana for a summer retreat. They had planned to spend six weeks focusing on new music but things go awry as soon as they arrive at the long-deserted Caroway mansion. Tempers flare, sexual tension boils over into frustration, and Jeremy turns away from the band to find a friend in his eerily beautiful landlord Hunter Caroway.

Kennedy suspects there’s something off about the creepy mansion and its mysterious owners, but Jeremy thinks he’s finally found somewhere he fits. It isn’t until Kennedy forces the Caroway’s secrets into the light that Jeremy realizes belonging sometimes comes with a price.

 


 

REVIEW:

4.5 Beautifully Creepy Stars

I have a friend. This friend and I used to have long talks about paranormal stuff and fantastic, creepy creatures. We used to discuss books, and movies based on books. At one point we got to Dracula and Interview With The Vampire. We were both fascinated by the mythical powers of those creatures, and by the sensuality that they exude. There is simply nothing that compares to a sensuous vampire. The look in their eyes when they go after their prey. The art of seduction that they work on the person they want to… Well… Eat. The brilliant, yet scary mind-fuck.

Then there’s the other element to this book… A rock band.

Ingrained in my heart and my mind there is this thing that I have for musicians. I instinctively look for books with bands (more than solo singers). The reason I do this, and why I feel so drawn to this is because I’ve always been endlessly fascinated by the dynamics of a band.. – Here lays the reason why I’ve read so many band/rock star bios. There is something beautifully complex about having four, five, or six people going on the road, on their way to a gig. The energy that they feel when they song write. The giving themselves to music in a rehearsal, and exposing themselves through something they love and live for. There is also something incredibly intimate about having to share a room, and even a fucking bathroom. There is something incredibly twisted, yet, fascinating about the way they usually live behind closed doors – Especially when they are together. Just imagine: they live each other, breathe each other, see each other, feel each other.. It’s intense.

Relationships are complex by default. Put four people together for a month – four people that have to eat, sleep, shit, and even fuck in the same space and you’ll see that complexity at its most. Notice I’m not saying at its best, but at its most. Send those four people to an old house in the middle of nowhere to live there for the whole summer, and get ready for a beautiful disaster.

This book is one of the very few that, in my humble opinion, captures the beautiful complexity of becoming a strange representation of a family -for lack of a better word- on the road. The co-dependence that is almost impossible to avoid when you live so close to each other.

The prose is beautiful, the characters are strong and well defined. The couples that we see here, either complement each other or serve as a shield for when the other is about to be hit. They are strong in a very unique way. The descriptions of places, people, and emotions, are nicely delivered, as well.

The romance of the story centers around Kennedy and Jeremy, but don’t be fooled… While this is the central romance, the book also focuses on all four band members, and that’s what makes this so fascinating. In the end they are all connected, because in the end they are four parts of the same whole. But let’s focus on Kennedy and Jeremy for a bit.

Jeremy is the newest guy to the band. He’s been living with a huge grief for a long time: the loss of his brother. He feels like he doesn’t belong there, and is still trying to find his place. He lives on edge, and more than once he thinks of walking out. On top of that he’s had this huge crush on one of his bandmates, Kennedy.

Kennedy is this bulky, super hot guy, covered in tattoos. He speaks his mind, and I think he’s very intuitive. In a way, Kennedy is the one who sort of holds the band together. His strong personality and character leaves no room for fuckery. For Kennedy, there is something about the new kid in the band… He’s been reluctant to act on it, but then, when a local guy from the town they are staying in awakens all kinds of jealousy and possessiveness in Kennedy, that reluctance kinda goes flushed into the toilet. See, I love a jealous guy. I love the possessive as long as it’s not… Bordering psycho. This is, for me, the perfect amount of jealousy.

The chemistry between Kennedy and Jeremy is pretty much undeniable. The sexual tension is palpable, and their dynamic is complex and fascinating. There’s a sensual element to their relationship even before they act on it. And once they act on it…. Boy, is it darn worth it. I mean, this is Hassell’s… Expect sexy. Expect short lines so charged with emotion that will make you shiver, and make your knees go weak.

The paranormal element is fantastic. Like I said before, I have a thing for vampires and their psyche. I loved how this side story merged with the primary one, which would be the band. The setting – the woods, the dark, the practically abandoned house, the secret passages, the odd neighbors, the lake… It was all wonderful. It was a special way of creepy. I don’t think this was scary. It was just creepy in a very intense way.

The focus on the other two band members gave me enough to make me more curious about them. While I adored Jeremy, Kennedy, and Quince, my favorite was Watts. There is something rather forbidden about him. Like a voice in my head that screams that he’s an asshole and I should run away to the speed of light, but my heart just bleeds for him. He’s so fucked up. So desperate to stop feeling, to stop remembering, to stop the pain, that he hurts himself, and in the way, he hurts the others. He’s not an easy person. He comes with too much and too heavy baggage, but he is too real. I truly hope he gets his own full length book someday. I’d totally read that.

I loved how the stories of the members were somewhat intertwined. It added an interesting twist to the narrative, and made me want to know more about them.

There was only one thing that didn’t bode well with me… The ending. By the ending I don’t mean the cut and run part, because that was actually spot on. What I mean is: what was left unsaid, and rather blurry. I have way too many questions about that and I can only hope that they’ll be answered at some point. As for the main couple of the story – we do get a nice, well rounded HFN.

Do I rec this? Hell yeah! I think this story proves that Hassell can write pretty much anything he wants and do it brilliantly, and leaving his very particular trademark In his books.

There are a few books that I would recommend for PNR newbies, and this one is one of them.

PS. I’m sorry if I’m too vague about some aspects of the book. I tried very hard not to spoil anyone.. Hence, the vagueness… Bwahahaha

 


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