Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Jordan L. Hawk
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 09/15/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay, Gay Fiction, Historical, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Trans*
After the events of Reyhome Castle, Henry Strauss expected the Psychical Society to embrace his application of science to the study of hauntings. Instead, the society humiliates and blacklists him. His confidence shaken, he can’t bring himself to admit the truth to his lover, the handsome medium Vincent Night.
Vincent’s new life in Baltimore with Henry is disrupted when a friend from the past asks for help with a haunting. In the remote town of Devil’s Walk, old ties and new lies threaten to tear the lovers apart, if a fiery spirit bent on vengeance doesn’t put an end to them first.
This story begins with and maintains a steady climb towards the thrilling climactic third act. I won’t say it’s a slow climb, as the pacing and development are excellent, but it’s deceptive, never really letting on about what’s to come. I was roped in without even knowing. Yes! pumps fist
The gangs all here for a return engagement and continuation of their lives in this burgeoning group existence, maybe even as a family? Henry and Vincent are a few months into a new, joyful, and realistically tenuous partnership in all ways. Lizzie and Jo are the counterbalances and pretty much rock it no matter the situation. A constantly evolving dynamic makes for a wonderfully unpredictable set up for this adventure. Emotional, dangerous, heartbreaking, and hopeful.
At the base of it all is this “thing” between Henry and Vincent. It feels near unstoppable, the chemistry and need and bottomless desire to be there for each other. Of course, doubts worm their way in given the reality of the times, and that the fact that they’re still in the beginning stages of this relationship. Still…
Then Henry showed up at his doorstep, and Vincent’s heart took wing at the sight of him.
Hawk is having fun with word combinations in this book. More importantly, they result in a strong connection between reader and character. Well, at least they did for me. I went from swooning to saying “hell yeah!” to no way, no way is this happening, and back around to HEH. cue the Barry White
I might have said this somewhere before, but one of my favorite types of paranormal stories are those involving ghosts. It’s about how they have tangible effects on the living, how the living attempt to both control and learn from them, seeking answers maybe only ghosts can provide. Mixing the scientific with the psychic opens up so many doors to explore and that definitely happens here. The only thing missing from making it a grand slam homerun for me is that I think Vincent’s talents and powers have yet to be truly tapped. It would have been incredible to have more of him in the mix between Henry’s science and Lizzie’s clearly superior psychic abilities as defined in this universe.
I also love when a storyteller mixes genres. In this case we have that paranormal, as well as a mystery to be solved, the overall mystery of ghosts and what it all means, and a historical setting. I have no resistance when galvanometers, bottle green cutaways, and unanswered questions color my world.
What I also love is the diverse cast of characters. A native American psychic who sees the merits of it and the scientific working together, a young black teenage girl asserting her feelings and her intelligence, a trans* woman who can and does run circles around just about everyone in every department and yet doesn’t lord over any of them with it, and a poor white man who sees and lives what it means to love the family you make. Of course, all of these are the things one can see from the outside. Inside, they’re all the same: longing and working for that family, and all of the different kinds of love they’re free to express within it.
Physical description is a tricky, difficult thing, and yet it’s so important in being able to, not just set a scene but, open the door and allow a reader to feel temperature, hear the changes in terrain, and smell the charred remains of something left behind.
One of my favorite passages:
Leaves crunched beneath his feet. His breath scraped in his throat, too loud for him to hear whether anything gave pursuit. Any moment, he expected to feel a skeletal hand grab the back of his coat, or a blast of cold against his neck. His lungs burned and his sides ached, but he didn’t dare stop.
Physical description that works means you feel your heart pounding because you feel the fear and want him to make it.
All of the emotion, sexual energy, fear and deception, desperation and triumph, and the love are woven throughout this story. You might think you’ve come upon a point when, whew, you can catch your breath but nope! It doesn’t last long and everything comes roaring back again, all of it culminating in the final third of the book. Everything shifted. Everything changed.
I’m exhausted, and can’t wait for the next story!
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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