Widdershins, from Jordan L. Hawk (Whyborne & Griffin #1)

Hello, there! Despite the awful beginning of the day with the news about Alan Rickman’s death (Rest In Peace, dear Alan!), life must continue and I’m happy to say that I took refuge in a wonderful book to sooth my sorrow. My dearest chosen was the first book in the Whyborne & Griffin series from the awesome Jordan L. Hawk, Widdershins.

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from my Instagram 🙂

The Story

Percival Endicott Whyborne wanted nothing more of life in general. A quiet and awkward academic, his work at the Ladysmith Museum and his studies of several dead languages (13 spoken, but he could read more) were enough to occupy his thoughts and his empty existence.

That is, until nosy and charming detective Griffin Flaherty invaded his life and dragged him into a very obscure and dangerous mystery. Now both men have to work aside each other to prevent humanity of collapsing in the hands of a very old secret society with a very lively founder.

The thing is that both Whyborne and Griffin will have to decide whether their heated relationship have more to meet the eye or will be over as soon as they finish up the case.

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The Analysis

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

I have already read two books from Jordan, both in the Spirits series: Restless Spirits and Dangerous Spirits (review here!). So, I was prepared for a wonderful writing style and awesomely built characters.

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But nothing prepared me for Whyborne and Griffin.

It all started with the narrative style: first person thought the eyes of Whyborne. If you follow the blog for a while, you know that this is not my preferred narrative style. I often find it to be lacking in the story and limiting. Not the case at all! The fact that we could only live the drama through Whyborne’s eyes made it all more interesting. We second-guessed Griffin’s amour intentions, saw the double face of the truth and watched as Whyborne had to develop to solve the case. But I’ll get there, haha!

The plot was amazing. It was simply brilliant and completely connected. I didn’t find any loose ends on the mystery os even the characters, for that matter. And this is a freaking book series, where any loose ends were forgivable! =O

Seriously, this book!

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Ahem.

So, the characters. As I had stated previously on this post, I was sure I would love Whyborne and Griffin simply because I can’t imagine a world where I would not like a character built by Hawk. At first, I thought Whyborne too shy, to neurotic and afraid of breathing; don’t get me wrong, it’s an accurate description. I could never imagine his blossoming through the story, how his love for Griffin made him braver and confident. And the same goes to Griffin: he may have been at ease and chatty, but has his own ghosts, some of them far worse than Whyborne’s. He also faced many fears in behalf of his lover and, on this point, their kind of romance reminded me the ones that my goddess Ava March writes. The couple was lacking something before they found true love and their love makes them better people. Needless to say that, besides adding two more bookish boyfriends to that legendary list of mine, I also gave my heart to this series ❤

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I also thought that I would prefer Griffin over Whyborne and I’m astonished that Whyborne managed to steal Griffin’s spotlight with me, haha! Oh, and I also can’t go through this review without mentioning Whyborne’s bff, Christine! She is a blast ❤ I identified with her in so many levels, I wish she’d appeared more… For you guys to get her essence, I’ll leave the explaining task to Ariana Grande:

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This is Christine all over, haha!

And there is the ultimate villain. Jeez, I need to catch my breath, haha! How awesome is that his only flaws are being in a need of a fingernail cut and to want world domination? Honestly, I would have loved to see a sex scene between him and Whyborne, omg. Don’t get me wrong, I love Whyborne with Griffin and regret nothing that happened in this book, but a girl can dream, haha! I love sex scenes where desire and hate are mixed into pleasure (not rape, just the sheer need of having the body of a fellow that you could fire in the head to kill). I shan’t reveal the villain’s name for the sake of spoilers, but he is hot.

And, as I already hinted in the last paragraph, let’s now analyze sex scenes! The last books I had been reading lacked those, so I rather missed them, oops! Also, it has been a while since my last gay book, so I was double happy with Hawk’s work 😉 One thing I adored was that Whyborne and Griffin took it slow in bed. Whyborne was a virgin and remained that way even after their first sexual plays. It was lovely ❤ Griffin was the top in this book, but hinted that he’s the type that likes both ends of sex making, haha!

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Ahem. I seem to be a little carried away today, I apologize.

Overall, this is a very good mystery book. Yes, there is romance, but it’s not its solemnly focus. I’d say this is a story about friendship in the first place and how relationships change over time. Not just in a romantic way 🙂

5star

Well, that’s it! Thanks for reading ❤ Have you read Jordan L. Hawk’s books?

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PS: Rest in Peace, dear Alan Rickman.

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Always.

December’s new books!

Hi, there! Am I the only one that already is head over heels for Christmas?!! ❤ It’s my favorite time of the year, as I got to be with my family (we live very far from each other, unfortunately), the food is awesome, the weather is great (we are in the middle of summer in my country, haha!) and I’m on vacation ❤ Best time ever!

Anyway, the releases for December are truly hot, we readers will have to sell some organs to have them all this month, haha! (just kidding. Or maybe not ;D) I apologize in advance, as there are MANY mass-market historical romances in my list this month, but I regret nothing, haha!

Those are my highlights:

Day 1

The Captain’s Christmas Bride, by Annie Burrows

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A fast and funny read Christmas themed. Perfect for the month!

Death’s Leash (Hellhounds #1), by J.D. Stroube

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Heavily-photoshoped-cover aside, I found this book very interesting. Since I’ve read Meg Cabot series Abandon (if you haven’t, PLEASE READ, IT IS AWESOME!), I got more interested in this genre that explores Death’s servants and all. The cover could be better, but the book itself promises a lot!

Forgetting August (Lost & Found #1), by J.L. Berg

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I usually wouldn’t pick up this kind of contemporary romance, it’s not my favorite genre. But I don’t know, something in this book just calls my name, haha! Have to read it!

The Holiday Courtship (Texas Grooms #7), by Winnie Griggs

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Another Christmas themed mass-market romance that got me curious. I mean, the female character won’t accept a marriage proposal even loving the man? I need to find out why!

How to Seduce a Scot (Broadswords and Ballrooms #1), by Christy English

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If there is ever a Monthly Hot Releases list in my blog without a mass-market historical romance, call the police because I’m dead and someone replaced me, haha! This one had me with its ever so funny blurb, haha! I already love the idea of Alexander and Catherine together!

In Search of Scandal (London Explorers #1), by Susanne Lord

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I got highly interested on the personality of the main female character, Charlotte. It feels like she will run Will over, haha!

A Lady’s Guide to Ruin (Birch Hall Romance #1), by Kathleen Kimmel

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This historical romance seems slightly deeper than the others of this category that are present on this list, as the main female character is a runaway from a mental institution. All eyes on this one!

Médicis Daughter: A Novel of Marguerite de Valois, by Sophie Perinot

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Historical romance + Paris + The Médicis + Intrigue and Death = I need to read this!

One Rogue at a Time (Rakes and Rogues #2), by Jade Lee

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I liked that both main characters in this romance aren’t from London’s high society. I would love to see what they are going to do to go up on those stairs, haha!

The Painter’s Daughter, by Julie Klassen

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I love historical romances and this one, although having a dramatic tone, seems awesome!

The Rosemary Spell, by Virginia Zimmerman

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I saw that my dear friend Jacqueline E. Smith wanted to read this novel and I got curious, haha! The synopsis could be better, but left me wondering anyway.

Time of Departure: A Novel, by Douglas Schofield

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This sounds like a mystery thriller and I love those! I have to read this genre more in the future ❤

Your Beauty Mark: The Ultimate Guide to Eccentric Glamour, by Dita Von Teese and Rose Apodaca

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I LOVE DITA VON TEESE! She’s one of my personal idols and I’m totally partial to her: I think she is beautiful, talented, funny, stylish, an example. I need to read this book!

 

Day 8

Ashley Bell (Ashley Bell #1), by Dean Koontz

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I don’t know this writer or this series or anyone that has already heard of this. So, what got my attention? The fact that this cover uses the same picture as one of the Brazilian editions of Twilight, last book of the Mediator series, by Meg Cabot:

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I like this picture, so I had to know what this book was about and sounds nice! If you already heard anything of it, please tell me ❤

Inherit the Stars (Inherit the Stars #1), by Tessa Elwood

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This is a sci-fi dystopian book that I found on Goodreads and sounds different, haha! I’m not really a dystopian person (please don’t kill me) and I read less sci-fi than I wished, but this book, the first in a series, sounds like a good bet!

Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove #4.5), by Tessa Dare

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I’m sure this book will rock! A woman that writes an open letter to all women about the boy next door that has never even looked at her way? AWESOME! I need to read it ❤

Planetary Submissives series, by Amber Kell

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This series was previously released in 2012 and it has passed through re-editing, that’s why I added it to my list 🙂 I know Amber Kell from ads on the end of other m/m books that I already read, but never read anything by her. This series got me curious, so here I go! Nothing like a bit of dystopian BDSM to relax a person, haha!

Queen Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter: A Biography of Princess Louise, by Lucinda Hawksley

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I love to know more about royal families, I find them highly interesting. I didn’t knew of Princess Louise existence until I find this book and the synopsis had me in a cliff already, haha! It will be awesome to know more about her!

The Wilderness of Ruin: A Tale of Madness, Fire, and the Hunt for America’s Youngest Serial Killer, by Roseanne Montillo

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This is a non-fiction book that I stumbled on internet a while ago and knew that would be awesome, haha!

 

Day 11

Maelstrom (Whyborne & Griffin #7), by Jordan L. Hawk

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I’ve become a big hardcore fan of Jordan L. Hawk since her Restless series (you can see my review for book number #2 here), and I’m dying to start Whyborne & Griffin, I even bought the first book and it will be on my January TBR, so I’m celebrating ahead that there are seven books in the series, haha! (I don’t think I made much sense here, oops!)

 

Day 15

Changeling (The Faewyld #1), by Leigh Teale

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Since I’ve read Shattered Blue, from Lauren Bird Horowitz (review here!), I’ve got totally interested in the Fae’s world. When I found this book, I knew it would be perfect!

A Seditious Affair (Society of Gentlemen #2), by K.J. Charles

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I met K. J. Charles through Twitter and I just knew I had to read her work asap! I’m going to buy the first book in this series as a self xmas present and highly recommend this series for anyone that likes gay historical romances, like I do ❤

The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi, by Alyssa Palombo

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Hm, I guess it is pretty obvious by now that I really love historical romances, even when they are based on true stories, right? Haha! I love Vivaldi’s music and will love to dive deeper on his world ❤

Untamed (Splintered #3.5), by A.G. Howard

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So, I’m dying to start this series too (such beautiful covers!) and I couldn’t leave this book out, right? Haha!

 

Day 18

Scoundrel of Dunborough (The Knights’ Prizes #3), by Margaret Moore

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My history with Margaret Moore is old and special, haha! The first mass-market historical romance of my life was written by her (The Welshman’s Bride). Not my best read, but it was the one that made me read one after another and find my favorites (I did a post about that a while ago with my top 5 favorite ones). I don’t know this series that she is currently writing, but the theme is the same of the two books that I read from her and I can tell you this: Margaret is AWESOME at Medieval romances, okay? If that’s your genre, give her a go ❤

 

Day 20

Royal Savage, by Victoria Ashley

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At first, I was drawn by this amazing cover, but the synopsis did little to hold my interest. And then, I got curious: how a book with a kind of lame synopsis is rated on 4.94 stars* so far?! I have to see what those people loved about this story! #thespiritofajournalist

 

Day 29

Dukes Prefer Blondes (The Dressmakers #4), by Loretta Chase

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Another one of my historical romances set in 19th century London and I regret nothing! ❤

 

Feeew, that’s it! Thanks for reading! So many books, so little money, haha! Do you already know which books are you buying for Christmas??

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*data consulted on Nov. 29th

Dangerous Spirits, from Jordan L. Hawk (Spirits #2)

Hello! This week the blog is full of reviews because a great will power made me finish three books in a week (with college and dissertation to do). Now I’m trying to catch up with myself to review all those marvelous books, haha! Today I’ll talk about Dangerous Spirits, second volume of the Spirits series, by Jordan L. Hawk ❤ I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review and the book is out today! I’ll leave some links in the end of the review, where you can check out Dangerous Spirits 😀 I’ve read the first one earlier this year, before start blogging (I started on May, it’s been 5 months already?! =O), so I apologize for the lack of review. I’ll try to re-read the book in December, after my graduation, and then I’ll have a review, haha! Anyway, I had loved Restless Spirits and you can imagine my happiness when I learned that the book would have a sequel and when Jordan sent it to me ❤ Thank you from the bottom of my bookish heart! But let’s go to the story 😀

from my Instagram :)
from my Instagram 🙂

Story

 

Recently moved from New York to Baltimore, Vincent Night couldn’t be happier with his life beside his lover, Henry Strauss. After all the adventures on Reyhome Castle, the medium and the scientist united themselves on business as well and opened a little shop specialized on extinguishing ghosts and spirits, using both Vincent’s powers as a medium and Henry’s inventions as a scientist. Lizzie, an old friend and business partner of Vincent, also entered the partnership and helped them with her own gift and the three of them counted too with the inventions of Henry’s cousin, Jo. As in any business start, things were slowly and the money was scarce, but all four were very optimistic that a presentation that Henry would do at the Psychic Society would change things and bring in more clients.

Henry was the most anxious one in the party, as Vincent never hid how little he thought of the society and, besides making everyone’s lives more comfortable, Henry would be able to prove his lover wrong. Unfortunately, even after relating their findings and experiences at Reyhome Castle, the society discredits Henry’s work and bans him from their meetings. When Henry was going to deliver the bad news for Vincent, in an impulse, he lies and says that the presentation was a huge success, and knowing all the efforts that his lover and Lizzie had to move in to Baltimore, he loses courage to tell the truth and misses his opportunity.

Meanwhile, Vincent and Lizzie’s old master best friend, Sylvester Ortensi, summons them to help him in a complex case with a powerful ghost that is scaring a whole little town called Devil’s Walk (haha). Henry insists in accompanying them, together with his cousin Jo, but doesn’t feel confident anymore to use his inventions along with Vincent and Lizzie’s gifts to catch the said ghost; after all, if not even the Psych Society believed him, why would Vincent and Lizzie?

Between several twists and misunderstandings, Henry and Vincent will have to make a choice: will they allow white lies to drive them apart? Will their love be stronger than social intrigues and an angry ghost?

Dangerous Spirits picks up Henry and Vincent’s life after we last saw them on Restless Spirtis, so I highly recommend that you read the first book before giving this one a go 🙂

Analysis

 

Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂

 

I don’t even try to mask how much I love LGBT books, especially if it’s a male/male couple in the 19th century ❤ I’m not familiar with Hawk’s other works, but I love Spirits and I can’t promise an impartial review, haha! Sorry.

I loved this book. It’s a very short one (my pdf file had 171 pages) and you can read it on one day easily – more precisely, in 4 hours while doing your house work #truestory 😉 From beginning to end, I was stuck, needing to know what in hell was happening on that town, without knowing it I could trust Sylvester of it my sixth female sense was right, fangirling over Henry and Vincent… This book was a roller coaster for me because it left me breathless and with my heart on my mouth in every. Single. Page. That’s why 5 stars

The narrative was third person, but always following either Henry or Vincent’s perspective. At the same time that this technique gave an air of mystery and covered most of what was happening at the Devil’s Walk, it left some holes in the plot and simplified it in a bad way. I wish there was another book coming on the series (please, Jordan, please!) to fix these holes. I also think that it could have been super cool to have a prologue or epilogue showing a little how the life of the person that became the ghost was before her death, to bind things up and leave an air of romantic decadency.

But this is a particular of me, as since I was little, I always thought that the past was fascinating, especially if I could feel it on a place or object. ~pausing the review for major meditation~ I don’t know why, but I always felt attracted, mesmerized by the past. Imagining how people’s life used to be, how it went with their intimacy, their histories, their pains, their joys… There’s an unexplainable beauty on what used to be, in the old, in the decadent, in the forgotten. Of course I like to know more about famous incidents and people, but to find the history of a common person in their time it’s priceless for me. The majority of the best days of my life is related to this series of serendipity. I can remember to this day how much I enjoyed to go down on my grandma’s basement (in an early 20th century house with eight bedrooms) and go through her governess’ stuff, hear their stories, see the black and white pictures… Another very warm memory dates from my late childhood, when my mom took me to a resting house for elderly people that our church helps to maintain. Several women went and I tagged along for some reason. I stood hours there listening to old people telling their histories, about their own childhood and life In general, how they ended up there. I liked that place so much that I actually whined when my mom said it was time to go – and I was 10 or 12 already, lol. Abandoned places also drive me crazy and I love being able to walk inside them. I admit that my experiences are very restrict, but I enter them always that I can. I become fearless of rats, insects, dirty, everything. For that little stolen moment, I wish I was a part of that place, that I could blend in with its walls and unveil its mysteries, its magic. To find out about the background story of the woman that turned into ghost awoke this macabre side of me, haha! I wanted to understand better how her life was, who was she, why things happened in the way they did. I guess this little side story awoke the journalist in me as well and left her disappointed, haha!

Anyway, that’s a very personal point. I didn’t take any stars on my rating for this, but I missed this element on both narrative and plot. The describing was fantastic and I need to highlight Hawk’s sex scenes. Henry and Vincent are madly in love with each other and this is reflected on the small things, even in the bedroom. The sweetness of each touch, the longing in their stares, everything is filled with love. Really, is beautiful ❤

Talking about the plot itself, as I commented, there were some holes thanks to the narrative style, but nothing serious that interfered on the reading or on the end of the main problem. I liked the plot; it was decent enough and highly interesting for me as a fan of the series. The interesting thing about Hawk is that she presents us to very modern problems even with the scenario being a supernatural historical romance. Henry and Vincent need to be honest with each other to work things up in their relationship, Vincent and Lizzie have a bound with Sylvester forged in gratitude, that leads them to a crucial conscious conflict, especially with Henry and Vincent’s forbidden love.

We are introduced to most of the main characters in the previous book in the series, for obvious reasons. I have a special place in my heart for Henry and Vincent; it’s amazing how they complete each other as a couple. Despite his tastes, Henry is very conventional, tidy and even too common in his own opinion, whereas Vincent is a highly stylish medium and descent of the North American Indians – which means awkward social situations thanks to North Americans’ prejudice in the 19th century. Lizzie is actually a man dressed in woman’s clothes, as she never felt a man, with a golden attitude. Despite her problems with Henry, as she thinks he is a bit silly, I love her! Jo, Henry’s cousin, is another complicated character. Jo is a black girl and, when her parents died, Henry was the only one in the family that took her in with open arms and didn’t treat her like a slave (and he was shut off from the family for that). Sylvester is a new character and I hated him since the beginning – not because of any technical details, I just didn’t like his attitude, haha! And I loved Rosanna, it was an automatic empathy and I still want to know more about her.

Some of the strongest points in the book are the mystery and the romance around the supernatural. Jordan always created verisimilar situations even when her characters are face to face with a ghost and that’s super cool 🙂

Overall, I loved Dangerous Spirits and highly recommend it if you like a good historical LBGT romance (this is a very underrated genre, so let’s keep trying to take them out of their dark corner at book stores!), mystery, ghosts and some steampunk elements – thanks to Henry’s inventions to catch ghosts 😉

5star

That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading and sorry for another mega reflection, haha! Keep your eyes open to the blog, the review for The Heir, by Kiera Cass, shall be out before Friday!

And, as promised, here’s the list of places where you can find Dangerous Spirits! Both Restless Spirits and Dangerous Spirits are only available in digital formats, for US$4,99.

iBooks

Smashwords

All Romance

Amazon

Nook

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