Spooky! Drakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin #9) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Draakenwood-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-9-ebook/dp/B071F2SZXL/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509307515&sr=8-1&keywords=draakenwood

Blurb

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.

 

Review

One could argue that you already know what this review is going to say, because I basically just repeat myself in every review I do for this series: I LOVED IT! I have no idea how Ms. Hawk manages to be 9 books in to a series and still continues to keep everything fresh, interesting and never ever tiresome or repetetive. I realise that not everyone loves the same kind of books, but truly, regardless of what kind of stories notmally does it for you, this series WILL do it for you. Ms. Hawk is a master! A true storyteller. She blends romance, friendship, family, suspense, the supernatural and historical fiction seamlessly and she never ever drops the ball! Really – we are 9 books in, and every thread that she has ever dangled has been neatly tied or woven deeper into the fabric of the main story arc. How she manages this while still somehow keeping each installment of the series self contained is a complete mystery to me – but she does!

This story picks up after Fallow ended. So many things are up in the air. The Fidelis is still an obvious threat but most of all there’s the impending arrival of the unknown masters, and with them, the end of the world, to worry about. This is a threat so much bigger than Whyborne, even bigger than the maelstroem and Whyborne ends up allying with old enemies to try and find out more, things are getting even more complicated by the arrival of a new police chief in town, who is out to make a name for himself. Widdershins knows it’s own, and this man is not one of them! This story is creepy and intense and it leaves you desperately needing the next book in the series.

I would say: go read it! But you really shouldn’t start here. Go back to the beginning. Start with Widdershins and be happy because you’ll know going in, that you will have 9 brilliant books ahead of you, with more to come!

Number of stars 6 out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Spooky! Fallow (Whyborne & Griffin #8) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Fallow-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-8-ebook/dp/B01I2DQORO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1507825149&sr=8-1

Blurb

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.

Review

The fist time I read this, this was my initial reaction:

“I really need to create a new shelf that is just called AWESOME! And every book in this series will be on it! Write quicker Ms. Hawke, I need the next installment yesterday!”

I still feel this way, about the entire series. That being said, this one is not my favourite book, but it still holds all the ingredients for a great Whyborne and Griffin story and we get a lot of interesting back story on Griffin and his family as we once again uproot the both couples and re-plant them in Griffin’s home town of Fallow.

It is not any authors that can manage to be on book 8 of a series and still be going so incredibly strong as Ms. Hawk is. There has not been a single dud between the 8 books and every story leaves you wanting the next book. Quite a feat!

Warmly recommended, just as any other book in the series, but read them in order! You need the whole thing to get the big picture!

Number of stars 6 out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Spooky! Maelstrom (Whyborne & Griffin #7) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G Simmons

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017TJE00U/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Blurb
Between his father’s sudden—and rather suspicious—generosity, and his own rash promise to help Christine plan her wedding, Percival Endicott Whyborne has quite enough to worry about. But when the donation of a mysterious codex to the Ladysmith Museum draws the attention of a murderous cult, Whyborne finds himself in a race against time to unlock its secrets first.

Griffin has a case of his own: the disappearance of an historic map, which quickly escalates to murder. Someone is sacrificing men in dark rituals—and all the clues lead back to the museum.

With their friends Christine and Iskander, Whyborne and Griffin must discover the cult’s true goal before it’s too late. For dark forces are afoot at the very heart of the museum, and they want more than Whyborne’s codex.

They want his life.

Review
This one is my favourite! I know I feel this way about every book in this series, but that is only because they keep getting better! Even if you wouldn’t think it possible!

I am in awe of Ms. Hawke and in desperate love with Julian G. Simmons narration of her work. I cannot read these books. I need Julian to read them to me. And he will, over and over and over again. This series is a keeper and one for the ‘Continuos re-reads’ shelf!

Maelstrom draws on every other book in the series and neatly ties up ends you didn’t even realise were lose! Whilst still leaving enough room for desperate fangirls like me to hope and wish for more. It was awesome – and as always Mr. Simmons was amazing. He IS Whyborne.

This book was so intense that you just could not stop reading. And that ending! Oh lordy! Talk about a cliffhanger in the overall story arc! Cannot wait for the continuation of this plot!

If you haven’t already read this amazing series, you have to drop everything and go get it. And get the audio too while you are at it, it adds magnificently to the experience, so please, let Mr. Simmons read it to you.

Go get it! Now! You will not be sorry.

Number of stars 6 out of 5
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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Spooky! Hoarfrost (Whyborne & Griffin #6) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G Simmons

Amazon Link
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V3OKHZ0/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

Blurb
Sorcerer Percival Endicott Whyborne and his husband Griffin Flaherty have enjoyed an unprecedented stretch of peace and quiet. Unfortunately, the calm is shattered by the arrival of a package from Griffin’s brother Jack, who has uncovered a strange artifact while digging for gold in Alaska. The discovery of a previously unknown civilization could revive the career of their friend Dr. Christine Putnam—or it might kill them all, if the hints of dark sorcery surrounding the find are true.

With Christine and her fiancé Iskander, Whyborne and Griffin must journey to the farthest reaches of the arctic to stop an ancient evil from claiming the life of Griffin’s brother. But in the rough mining camp of Hoarfrost, secrets fly as thickly as the snow, and Whyborne isn’t the only sorcerer drawn by the rumors of magic. Amidst a wilderness of ice and stone, Griffin must either face his greatest fear—or lose everyone he loves.

Review
Hoarfrost once again moves Whyborne out of Widdershins, as he and Griffin – along with Christine and Iskander – goes on a rescue mission for Griffins long lost older brother in Alaska. In this book we also gets Griffin’s point of view, which is a very nice touch. In fact Griffin is the main focal point in the plot line of this book. Almost all of the books in the series revolve around the family you love, siblings and parents, the family you are born with and the one you choose and this one certainly does too.

As always Jordan L. Hawk manages to tie bows on strings from ealier books, strings you didn’t even knew were lose, she manages to tie up nicely. I am in awe of this woman! Six books into the series and it is not only keeping up the awesomeness, she has also managed to not drop a single ball or leave a single plot hole on her way.

Great book, great series!

Number of stars 5 out of 5

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Purchased for review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Spooky! Bloodline (Whyborne & Griffin #5) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G Simmons

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Bloodline-Audiobook/B00R1ON8TI/ref=a_search_c4_1_12_srTtl?qid=1507835358&sr=1-12

Blurb
Between his bullying father and dissolute brother, Percival Endicott Whyborne has quite enough problematic family members to deal with. So when his sister returns to Widdershins asking for help solving the mystery of a derelict ship, Whyborne is reluctant to get involved. Until, that is, a brutal murderer strikes, leaving Whyborne and his lover Griffin no choice but to take the case.

The investigation leads them deep into a conspiracy of blackmail, murder, and darkest sorcery. But worst of all are the secrets held within the family itself, one of which will destroy everything Whyborne believed to be true, not only about his family, but about himself

Review
I think this one is my absolute favourite of the series! It’s just so intense! We had had a lot of hint’s about what was coming, but it’s still breath stopping nail bitingly intense to get through this story! I need to throw every star there is after this book!
It’s just sooo good! And Whyborne and Griffin are just heart wrenchingly wonderful together.

He met my gaze, and I read there all the love he had for me. “But you are magic.”
If you haven’t read this series yet… why not?

Number of stars 6 out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Spooky! Necropolis (Whyborne & Griffin #4) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G Simmons

Audible Link
https://www.amazon.com/Necropolis-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-4-ebook/dp/B00K4OFYZ8/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1506630496&sr=1-2&keywords=necropolis

Blurb
Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has spent the last few months watching his lover, Griffin Flaherty, come to terms with the rejection of his adoptive family. So when an urgent telegram from Christine summons them to Egypt, Whyborne is reluctant to risk the fragile peace they’ve established. Until, that is, a man who seems as much animal as human tries to murder Whyborne in the museum.

Amidst the ancient ruins of the pharaohs, they must join Christine and face betrayal, murder, and a legendary sorceress risen from the dead. In the forge of the desert heat, the trio will either face their fears and stand together—or shatter the bonds between them forever.

Review
Whyborne in Egypt? Sleeping in a tent? What’s not to love? Although I love Whyborne best when he is in Widdershins, where he belongs, seeing him outside his natural habitat is always a lot of fun. And this book brings us great new tid bits about Christine and Griffin as well as seeing Whyborne grow and develop his magic. Certainly not a book to miss. In fact, even if every single book is a contained mystery, you really shouldn’t skip one, as every book gives you just a little bit more of the big picture Jordan L. Hawk is slowly painting with each book. You may not know it, but every detail is a detail in a much larger story arc which is revealed piece by piece as the series continues.

This series is just fantastic. Every single book. Why are you reading this, you should be reading the book instead. Or listening to the audio!
Number of stars 5 out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Spooky! Stormhaven (Book #3 in Whyborne & Griffin series ) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

Audible Link
https://www.amazon.com/Stormhaven-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00H216WHU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1506537837&sr=1-15

Blurb
Mysterious happenings are nothing new to reclusive scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne, but finding one of his colleagues screaming for help in the street is rather unusual. Allan Tambling claims he can’t remember any of the last hour – but someone murdered his uncle, and Allan is covered in blood.

Whyborne’s lover, dashing ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty, agrees to prove Allan’s innocence. But when Allan is deemed insane and locked away in the Stormhaven Lunatic Asylum, Griffin finds himself reliving the horrifying memories of his own ordeal inside a madhouse.

Along with their friend Christine, the two men become drawn deeper and deeper into a dark web of conspiracy, magic, and murder. Their only clue: a missing artifact depicting an unknown god. Who stole the artifact, and why can’t Allan remember what happened? And what is the truth behind the terrible experiments conducted on Stormhaven’s forbidden fourth floor?

It will take all of Whyborne’s sorcery and Griffin’s derring-do to stop the murderers and save Allan. But first, they must survive an even greater challenge: a visit from Griffin’s family.

Review
Loved this addition to the series. Back to the creepiness of the first book. Delicious! Ms. Hawk paints such a creepy atmosphere with her words, that I could see the electric lights flicker, crackle and go out… Uuuuhhhh… And really, a lunatic asylum at the turn of the century, does it get any creepier? Nope!

Many new hints are given in this book as to what the future brings, and a re-read always makes you notice new details which you missed the first time round, because you did not yet know they were important!

A note must go to the narrator, who by now IS Whyborne to me. And I cannot imagine reading this series. I want to listen to it!

5 out of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Spooky Review: Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin #2) Audiobook by Jordan L. Hawk Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Threshold-Audiobook/B00GWTNVDG/ref=a_search_c4_1_3_srTtl?qid=1506560115&sr=1-3

Blurb

Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne wants nothing more than to live quietly with his lover, ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty. Unfortunately, Whyborne’s railroad tycoon father has other ideas, namely hiring Griffin to investigate mysterious events at a coal mine.

Whyborne, Griffin, and their friend Christine travel to Threshold Mountain, a place of dark legend even before the mine burrowed into its heart. A contingent of Pinkertons—including Griffin’s ex-lover Elliot—already guard the mine. But Griffin knows better than anyone just how unprepared the detectives are to face the otherworldly forces threatening them.

Soon, Whyborne and Griffin are on the trail of mysterious disappearances, deadly accidents, and whispered secrets. Is Elliot an ally, or does he only want to rekindle his relationship with Griffin? And if so, how can Whyborne possibly hope to compete with the stunningly handsome Pinkerton—especially when Griffin is hiding secrets about his past?

For in a town where friends become enemies and horror lurks behind a human mask, Whyborne can’t afford to trust anything—including his own heart.

Review

 Although this one is, in my opinion, the weakest of the series, it is still a delightful addition to the series. Whyborne outside of Widdershins and his comfort zone is always fun. He is such a fussy person, so to plop him down in a Wild West setting where the roads are not paved and the wilderness is right on the town border is obviously going to cause friction.
Threshold does not have quite the same creepy feeling as the first book, but it is still a thoroughly enjoyable read and it does hold keys to understanding Whyborne and the development of his powers, as well as giving us glimpses into Griffin’s past, so it really shouldn’t be left out when reading the series. The narrator of the audiojob does an incredible job once again and I cannot imagine Whyborne sounding in any other way. Will aboslutely get the next of the series.

4 out of 5 stars

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(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Spooky Review: Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin #1) Audiobook by Jordan L. Hawk Narrated by Julian G. Simmons

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Widdershins-Audiobook/B00CYRDVS0/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_srTtl?qid=1506537687&sr=1-2

Blurb

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 that 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?

Review

Trying to review a book 2 years after you read it the first time, might seem kind of strange and also like an impossible task. Fortunately, I have re-read this book, and the entire series in fact, several times over by now, which might show you the level of enthusiasm I have with regards to this series.

On my very first listen of book one, I wasn’t too sure about the narrator, Julian G. Simmons to start with. But he grew on me and it didn’t take long before he was completely under my skin. Three re-listen’s later he IS Whyborne and noone else will do.

The first time I listened I was literally exhausted when I finished. It was such an exiting story and my comments made whilst reading probably sums the experience up quite well:
• 20%: This is gonna be bloody brilliant! I want to know about the sands, tell me! Now!
• 25%: “And then the candle burst into flame.” Argh! I resent my own rules forbidding me to continue this until tomorrow in the car!
• 50%: Was I the only one, who actually shouted out loud: “It’s a trap! Get out!”
• 65%: I really do not have the time to go to work right now! People have risen from the grave and are stealing papyrus for goodness sake!
• 80%: No, Whyborne, no! No, no, no!
• 90%: I cannot believe I have to abandon them right now and go to work! Surely there must be some kind of leave that covers: “I cannot possible concentrate on work as Griffin is being held captive by the Brotherhood and Whyborne is deep undercover in very dangerous company!”
This is a historical paranormal mystery at it’s finest with a romance thrown in, and it is delicious. Ms. Hawk is a true storyteller and the narration of this book is so well done that you are completely immersed into the story. Even when listening for the third time I still get caught in the action, even if I know exactly what will happen next.

Read it! Or even better, listen to it! Greatly recommended. I was so thoroughly entertained all the way through, that this deserves all the stars I can give it.

6 out of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased For Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Family Man by Heidi Cullinan & Marie Sexton

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/family-man-by-heidi-cullinan-and-marie-sexton-8839-b

Blurb

Sometimes family chooses you.

At forty, Vincent “Vinnie” Fierro is still afraid to admit he might be gay—even to himself. It’ll be a problem for his big, fat Italian family. Still, after three failed marriages, it’s getting harder to ignore what he really wants.

Vinnie attempts some self-exploration in Chicago’s Boystown bars, far from anyone who knows him. Naturally, he runs smack into someone from the neighborhood.

Between working two jobs, going to school, taking care of his grandmother, and dealing with his mother’s ongoing substance abuse, Trey Giles has little time for fun, let alone dating someone who swears he’s straight. Yet after one night of dancing cheek-to-cheek, Trey agrees to let Vinnie court him and see if he truly belongs on this side of the fence—though Trey intends to keep his virginity intact.

It seems like a solid plan, but nothing is simple when family is involved. When Vinnie’s family finds out about their relationship, the situation is sticky enough, but when Trey’s mother goes critical, Vinnie and Trey must decide whose happiness is most important—their families’ or their own.

Review

I love this book. Have re-read several times. I don’t know if it resonates with me especially, if, like Vinnie, I too was late to the party of realizing who I really am or if it just such a great story by such talented writers that it would resonate with anyone.

At almost 40, with 3 ex-wives, a huge catholic Italian family and countless jobs behind him, plumber Vinnie Fierro suddenly realises that he might be gay. This assumption is not as outlandish as that sentence may look, there are reasons, believe me…
Testing the theory by going to a gay bar leads to a meeting with a local from his neighborhood, Trey Giles, a 25 year old college student, with so much on his plate that he has no time for dating and no desire to sleep around, until he finds ‘someone special’. With sex off the table, the two are free to explore being in a relationship and being intimate with out any pressure from either side.

There a truckload of angsty issues, this book could easily have veered off into very heavy territory, but despite the Vinnies fear of coming out and being abandoned by his family, and poor Trey’s mess of a life with two jobs, college and looking after an aging grandmother and a raging alcoholic for a mother, it somehow manages to stay pretty light and feel good.

I have re-read it several times, still love it and I’ll be the first in line when it’s released in audiobook format. I only have very minor niggles about it and one of them is the request for Hank’s story from the authors. There must be a story to tell there!
4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review