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.
How is it possible that after all their adventures, Whyborne & Griffin keep getting better? I guess Miss Hawk really knows how to bring the chemistry between, not only our favorite couple, but also Griffin and his newly found brother, Christine and Iskander, and even how Iskander is fitting in with our heroic trio, to life. In Hoarfrost, as it was in Necropolis, we get to see Whyborne away from his element and home of Widdershins, not always a good thing but he deals with it as only Whyborne can. A story filled with passion, intrigue, mystery, and of course all the good and bad that defines paranormal. Of course, not everything or everyone is as black and white as it seems, there's always layers to sift through to find the truth. I loved seeing Griffin finally able to deal with his past, although watching him have to face his parents rejection is heartbreaking, having Whyborne and the little family they have soothes not only Griffin's heartache but the reader's too.
“How many to a bed, did you say?” Whyborne asked, sounding a bit faint.
I put an expression of mild concern on my face, although in truth I wasn’t surprised in the slightest. Having been to many a frontier town—albeit never one so damnably cold—I’d guessed our accommodations would be a far cry from our hotel in Threshold, let alone Shepheard’s in Cairo. But, as with the scurvy, I’d neglected to mention the details when discussing it with Whyborne.
Not to suggest I’d truly wished to deceive him. Nor had I omitted things because I feared he would otherwise refuse to come. But Christine and I quietly agreed that this way, we would only have to listen to Whyborne’s complaints once we actually arrived, as opposed to the entire trip here.
“Four,” Iskander replied, rather apologetically. We stood in the cramped front room of the hotel, which doubled as a saloon and restaurant. Men sat at rough-hewn tables, and a few of the town’s women circulated among them. The air stank of wet wool, raw lumber, and unwashed bodies.
“Four,” Whyborne repeated.
“The beds aren’t narrow—they’re made extra wide,” Iskander offered. “They aren’t what one would call comfortable, and of course there’s the danger of lice, but they’re quite warm at least.”
Whyborne paled at the mention of lice. The color looked particularly bad when paired with the puce scarf.
“We’ve roughed it before,” I said, patting his arm. “Egypt was hardly a pleasure jaunt. And it is only for one night.”
My reminder didn’t serve to cheer him. “Not that I’ll sleep a moment of it. I don’t mind living rough, but…”
“Don’t you worry,” Jack said. He gave Whyborne a bright grin. “St. Michael might be rough, but it’s no Skagway. None of these fellows will try to rob you in your sleep, I promise.”
Ival’s look of alarm confirmed my guess he hadn’t even considered the possibility until now. “Oh, do stop complaining, Whyborne,” Christine said. “We’re all exhausted, and standing about isn’t going to change things.”
“Easy for you to say,” he muttered. Christine would of course be bunking with the two or three other respectable—or mostly respectable—ladies who had come on the steamer with us. I suspected their small room in the back of the hotel would be far more comfortable than ours, if only because it wouldn’t be packed to the rafters with snoring men.
“Perhaps we should turn in,” Iskander suggested. “An early start and all that.”
“Yes, quite.” Christine looked as if she wished to say something further to him, but felt constrained by our presence. It must have been difficult, having been separated for so long, but unable to touch or speak openly without inviting scandal. At least Whyborne and I could slip away alone without causing comment.
Of course, once they married, Christine and Iskander would be expected to sleep in the same bed, and do so openly. I pressed my thumb against the heavy band on my left hand, the gold warm from the heat of my body. There was no reason to resent Christine; it was hardly her fault, and she’d been nothing if not staunchly loyal.
Still, it meant this trip would probably include an extended interlude of celibacy, unless we were exceedingly quick and discreet about things. Another fact I hadn’t mentioned to Whyborne.
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 and single mother. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.
Whyborne & Griffin Series
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