Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give up his calling in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.
So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.
But hiding from problems only makes them worse. When a friend dies at the hands of one of the necromancer’s haints, Dan realizes that only by helping Leif can he keep his family safe.
What Dan doesn’t know is that Leif has a terrible secret. And as the relationship between the two men heats up, it turns out that Leif’s past may cost Dan everything he’s fought so hard to save.
eBook, 233 pages
Published September 2nd 2012
Source: Author/Tour, for the purpose of an honest review
Genre: Paranormal M/M Romance
Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk is a wonderfully written novel filled with intrigue, suspense and romance. Dan assists the agitated dead in crossing over into the other world. Haint-work has been in his family for generations, but he gave it up after his parents died in order to raise his younger brother and sister. Dan also has given up being true to himself and who he is; a gay man living in rural North Carolina where homophobia tends to run rampant.
Leif, also a magical, seeks Simone Miller’s help in order to deal with an evil running through the towns and summoning the dead for its own selfish gain. What Leif encounters though is Dan, as his mother has since passed. When Dan and Leif first meet, the attraction is apparent, but Dan suppresses his feeling for fear of reprisals from the bigots in his rural town and for fear of losing custody of his brother and sister.
Ms. Hawk’s takes the reader on a wonderful journey of two very different young men each trying to find their way in the world and their talents. Both Dan and Leif must come to terms with their abilities; from whence they came from and how they plan to us them for the greater good. Both must battle their demons, physically and emotionally. Sacrifices must be made in order to save the townspeople from an evil so strong that allowing it to inhabit the town could destroy all.
As I read the novel I felt the angst and turmoil that Dan felt as he attempted to muddle through the dark waters of his feelings for Leif. His distress radiated off the pages and left me with a sense of sadness. I wanted him to be happy or better yet, I needed him to be happy. Additionally, Leif’s feelings were continuously bubbling on the surface adding to the melancholy and gloom both men felt.
Ms. Hawk kept me on the edge of my seat as I cheered for them to find happiness and security with Dan’s family and friends. Hainted is worth every page as it took me through an emotional upheaval and led me to happier times in the end, when I was finally able to feel safe and let out a *sigh*, as I could see the HEA on the horizon. Ms. Hawk is a new author to this reviewer and has been added to my list of favorites.
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to writing. Specifically, she writes hot m/m paranormal romance, where opposites attract and love conquers all—but only after battling the undead, evil sorcerers, and anything else she can think to throw at her heroes.
Leif snarled, his sword like a pure shaft of moonlight slicing the air. The haint ducked and wove, everywhere and nowhere all at once. It let out a sound half scream and half old man’s cackle, driving into Dan’s eardrums like knitting needles.
Dan darted in with the wand and was driven back again by the slashing claws. Leif took advantage of the distraction Dan provided, his sword a streak of light in the dark forest.
The haint was faster. It ducked under Leif’s guard and swung an arm into his chest with all the terrible strength of the dead. Leif went flying back into a tree, crumpled to the ground, and lay there limp.
Dan felt something snap deep inside. An inarticulate howl rose up from the bottom of his lungs, carrying on it all the fear and denial he could muster. Without conscious thought, he hurled himself at the haint, using all the force his coiled muscles could summon to swing the wand in a deadly arc.
The tip of antler smashed into the back of the haint’s head, the impact jarring Dan’s shoulder in the socket. A terrible shriek rose up from the haint, and the savage nails slashed impotently at the air even as they began to disintegrate into a thick, black tar.
“Hecate of the Keys, Open the Way!” Dan shouted, willing the haint to move on with all the force he could muster.
It shrieked again, even as hounds bayed somewhere on the edge of hearing. The world unfolded, as if a door swung open onto some vast space—then closed again, the dead man gone on to whatever awaited him.
“Leif!” The wand fell unheeded from his hand, and Dan stumbled through the swirl of disturbed leaves, reaching for the other man. No, no, goddesses of the Underworld, please let him be all right.
Leif struggled to his knees. “I’m fine,” he gasped. “It knocked the wind out of me, and I’ll have a pretty good bruise on my back tomorrow, but I’m fine.”
Relief shivered through Dan. Leif made it to his feet, leaning against the tree for support. “Thanks. I owe you one.”
Dan took a small sip of breath, meaning to say…he didn’t even know, exactly. The moonlight cut across Leif’s features, revealing every plane of his high cheekbones, the delicate sweep of his brow. His long, pale hair tumbled about his face, tousled and utterly mad, like some fey spirit from the very dawn of time.
Safe. Safe, and relatively unhurt, and yet Dan’s hands wouldn’t stop shaking. Heat and cold boiled in his chest, until he wasn’t even sure where fear ended and relief began. Gods, Leif could have died if he’d hit the tree wrong, and Dan needed to say how fucking glad he was Leif was okay, but he couldn’t get the words out past the storm of emotion in his chest. He took a step forward, and another, until he could practically feel the heat of Leif’s body. Leif’s eyes widened slightly, pupils dilating. The tip of his tongue licked his lower lip.
The unconscious gesture snapped the hair-fine thread of Dan’s control. He pressed Leif back against the tree, needing to taste those lips just once, to feel Leif’s heartbeat, to know they were both warm and alive.
Jordan is giving away an eCopy of Hainted. Comment below with email address for your chance to win. Be sure to check out the other blogs participating in this tour for more chances to win a copy of this awesome book!
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