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.
If you are unfamiliar with Jordan L Hawk, know that she has an amazing ability to interweave the fantastical with the historical, mix it up with a mystery and some romance and the output is an absolute gem of a story!
In this case we get some cops and robbers back in the day when gangs and mobs ran the streets of old New York but in this case they are witches and their familiars. The familiars are shifters so you get a human and an animal tied to you. (That was my favorite part of this story, the bond between witch and familiar- *sigh… so sweet and romantic in the case of Tom and Cicero).
A fair amount of the story is the mystery – to be sure – as with Widdershins, the other JLH series I’ve read – the mystery and action/adventure component of the story is the absolute center of focus, but the romance – at least to me – seemed to be more approachable and felt more important… maybe because there wasn’t the secrecy… I’m not sure, but that’s how it felt to me. Therefore it was nearer to my heart and I liked it more than that series.
I really liked the fact that when the characters re-connect after what could have been a potentially clichéd “Big Misunderstanding” the author gracefully avoided that pitfall and let them TALK IT OUT. Gah! I loved that. Instead of leading us down that ol’ trail, she let them use their words! Beautiful!
Add to it Tristan James and you have a blockbuster! Tristan’s voice is like honey, and he can do all those crazy accents so you really feel like each of the rich and well-developed characters are right there telling you their story. I especially loved Cicero’s voice (and Tom’s) but Cicero – he holds a special place in my heart and Tristan just GOT that… so awesome!
For fans of the author, this is a series you’ll adore, if you haven’t picked up one of her stories yet, you’re absolutely missing out on greatness.
I highly recommend this to fans of great narrations, paranormal romances, historical romances, mysteries and great writing.
5 of 5 stars