Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk
Publisher: M & E Publishing
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance
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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.
Overall: Hainted made me a fan of erotica – I actually enjoyed reading the sex scenes between Dan and Leif, since they felt so organic and realistic. I liked the small details that were used to emphasis the need for safe sex. I don’t think I’ve ever read a romance where the characters religiously used condoms – well, people do in real life so I don’t get why they wouldn’t in fiction (I’m looking at you, Fabio…you should of had 26 kids by now!). Also, it pleased me that despite the m/m tag, these men acted like men. They talked like men and thought like men. I actually thought this book was written by a guy while I was reading. Surprise, surprise, when I saw a chick pictured in the author’s profile. My only gripe about this book was the use of dual POV. It emphasized the chemistry between Dan and Leif, but it killed the suspense when it came to the story. As a reader, I knew how things would unfold before they unfolded because I knew the backstory of both guys. Leif discovered Dan’s secrets – but we already knew them. Dan discovered Leif’s secrets – but we already learned that from the narrative too. It made the story very predictable in certain sections and I know that told in a single POV, this story would have SHONE. Damn.
Will I read the next book this author writes? Definitely. Hainted isn’t perfect but its pretty awesome for a debut novel.
Characters: Can I please give this couple an award? They were so cute together and I felt like it was so easy to connect to both Dan and Leif. I like how Dan pretends to be straight for the sake of his siblings. He really felt like an average guy – and someone easy to relate to. He was poor, pretends to be what he’s not, and has guilt over things he cant’ control. Leif on the other hand dresses goth and frequents the bar to pick up guys. He’s more exotic and loaded with money and yet he has a personality. Him and Dan might like each other from first meeting, but they definitely take their time getting to know each other.
Runar doesn’t have near enough screen time to show the full scope of his personality. Most of what we know about him is from Leif’s past experiences and Runar remains a one-dimensional villain. Bea and Virgil (Dan’s siblings) were okay but Taryn deserved more loving. I wish I discovered more about her backstory because she definitely knew how to steal the limelight with her attitude.
Plot: As I said before, the plot suffered from the dual POVs. The action scenes were pretty badass and I was happy that this novel had a high body count. BUT, I wish that less was discovered from the narrative and more discovered when the actual characters found out. It felt like deja vu with the double dose of information.
Also, it drove me absolutely nuts that both Dan and Leif kept leaving their magical slaying weapons in random places when these undead haints show up. If I killed haints for a living, I’d keep my magic wand in my pants at all times (haha, pun intended). If you like a little bit of gore in your paranormal, this book is great for that. It doesn’t quite cross into the horror genre with the descriptions but it comes very close. As a lover of horror, I relished in this.
Ending: Three words that made me happy: NOT A CLIFFHANGER. Thank God. I wish there had been more twists near the end, but the action was good and the ending bloody, so I enjoyed it.
This is a great book for those who love paranormal romance.
Grade: C+ or B-, a definite 3 1/2 star book.
He’d laid out a circle of salt near sundown, complete except for a gap just wide enough for a single person to pass. Stepping through, he took a handful of salt from the tool belt slung around his hips and used it to close the circle behind him.
“Let nothing cross this line; let the spirits within be contained. So mote it be.” The words—and, more importantly, the will behind them—completed the circle. At least if I fail, Dad—
No. The haint. If he failed, the haint would be confined to the tree for as long as the circle lasted. It would give Bea and Virgil time to get to the neighbors, before the haint could get loose and come looking for them.
About the Author:
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.
Check out the other hosts on the tour!
- September10 – TE Garden of Books
- September 11 – The Jeep Diva
- September 12 – Absorbed in a Book
- September 13 – Musings of a Bookworm
- September 14 – Reading on the Wild Side
- September 15 – Between the Bind –
- September 16 – The Adventures Within
- September 19 – Waiting on Sunday to Drown
- September 20 – The Bookshelf
- September 21 – Lizzy’s Dark Fiction
- September 22 – Booklovin Mama’s
- September 23 – M/M Romance Reviews
- September 24 – The Steamy Side
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*