Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hexbreaker by Jordan L Hawk

Will a dark history doom their future together?

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.

She has done it again!  Jordan L Hawk is a master storyteller, her attention to historical detail coupled with paranormal flare, has created another amazing world filled with magic, murder, mystery, and love that has strengthened my respect and overflowed the WOW-ness cup I like to think sits in my library.  Her Hex World universe may not have quite reached her world of Whyborne & Griffin yet but it is definitely well on it's way.  When a series centers on a different pairing for each book, it often takes a couple of chapters for me to get hooked, and Hexbreaker wasn't any different but before I was finished with chapter two, Cicero and Tom had me in a full on can't-put-this-down mode.  I am now sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next installment.


“That means I can—can do something to let you see through my eyes,” Cicero went on. “You wouldn’t be with me physically, but you’d know if I got into trouble and needed rescue. Would that be enough?”

“Some sort of hex?” Tom asked, confused.

“No. It doesn’t matter now—there’s no time.” Cicero tugged against his hold. “Decide.”

“Aye. What you suggested—let’s do it.”

Cicero took a deep breath. “Then go down on your knees and close your eyes.”

Tom obeyed. He heard Cicero’s slow exhale—then felt the softness of lips against the fragile skin of his right eyelid.

Cicero’s hand caressed the side of his face. “Let me in, Thomas,” he whispered, then kissed the other eyelid.

The fine hairs on Tom’s skin stood straight up, as if he’d been exposed to a lightning strike. Sparks flashed in the darkness behind his closed eyes. Strangely, the taste of blood filled his mouth, then was gone again.

Tom’s heart raced, and he felt Cicero, bending over him. Breath on Tom’s cheek. And he couldn’t keep himself from tipping his head back and finding Cicero’s lips with his own.

For a moment, Cicero didn’t respond, his mouth still against Tom’s. Then suddenly he was kissing back, tongue darting against Tom’s lips. Tom parted them tentatively, and Cicero slipped in, exploring his mouth, then daring Tom to do the same in return.

The 13th Hex #.5
Romance. Magic.

Dominic Kopecky dreamed of becoming a member of New York’s Metropolitan Witch Police—a dream dashed when he failed the test for magical aptitude. Now he spends his days drawing the hexes the MWP relies on for their investigations.

But when a murder by patent hex brings crow familiar Rook to his desk, Dominic can’t resist the chance to experience magic. And as the heat grows between Dominic and Rook, so does the danger. Because the case has been declared closed—and someone is willing to kill to keep it that way.

The 13th Hex is the prequel short story to the all-new Hexworld series. If you like shifters, magic, and romance, you’ll love Jordan L. Hawk’s world of witch policemen and the familiars they bond with.

NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed.

The 13th Hex was originally published as part of the Charmed & Dangerous anthology. Only minor details have been altered for this reissue.

I'll start off by saying that I did not read this in the original anthology Charmed & Dangerous.  The thought of a new series by the great Jordan L Hawk is a great way to start any day so when I woke and found The 13th Hex on my Kindle, I jumped at it.  I love paranormal, witchcraft, magic, mystery, historicals, and romance so when they are all wrapped in one, I am in reader heaven.  Normally, a novella would automatically be docked half a bookmark because of it's shortness but when the storytelling is this good, I just could not in good conscience not give it a full 5.  Dominic and Rook are the perfect witchcrafting detecting pair.  Unlike Miss Hawk's Whyborne & Griffin and Spirits series, it looks like Hexworld will feature a different witch/familiar pair with each story, which for me can some times make starting the next book a little more trying and takes a few chapters to "get into" the story but I still look forward to Cicero & Tom's story in the next Heworld on May 6, 2016.


Author Bio:
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.


Hexbreaker #1

The 13th Hex #.5

Charmed & Dangerous

Holding Fast by Jeanine Binder

Title: Holding Fast
Author: Jeanine Binder
Series: Love and Order
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 20, 2016
Cover Design: Phycel Designs
......Been there, done that – there wasn’t much that Eli Walker hadn’t experienced as a cop. Even working in one of the better precincts in New York City didn’t help dispel the depravity he saw on a daily basis. It was all part and parcel of his mantra of living life in the now, not worrying about the future.

And especially with women. No strings, no attachments, and he made that perfectly clear before he ever bedded them. Relationships were not on his agenda – not now, not anytime in the near future. Women flocked to him and he could take his pick; himself exiting the encounter with what he’d wanted and leaving them aching for more, left dreaming of his curly locks and bronze body.

A chance encounter pulling a mugger off of a woman changed his whole world. She was blonde and beautiful – Eli didn’t care about any of the interracial politics that would surround any serious relationship. He just knew he had to have Ainsley, like an alcoholic needs his next drink. This was all new territory for Eli and could he stay to the path, all the way to its end? Or would she be like all the others in his life ?…...

I felt her press into me for warmth. I wrap my legs around hers, pulling her body firmly against mine.  I knew I gave off a lot of heat – previous women in my bed had likened me to an oversized space heater. Am sure my size had a lot to do with it and it made being outside in the cold New York winters much more palatable. I was perfectly content to lay there and watch this gorgeous woman sleep. She’d slipped my shirt on after we finished and there was nothing sexier than seeing the tails fall just to the top of her thighs. My imagination did double time thinking how I would like it to be my hand there instead of my shirt, but I didn’t want to wake her up. Well, at least not for a few minutes anyway.  I was already up and ready so that wasn’t an issue – no Viagra or Cialis in my future – but I was treasuring this first for me. The first of waking up to a beautiful woman in my arms because, in my previous encounters, no one ever woke up in my bed with me. And I never stayed all night in theirs.

Relationships were something I ignored. I couldn’t remember what started me down that path –it probably had something to do with some weekend liberty when I was in the Army, as we would all go down to the local bar, get shit-faced drunk, and pick up women. Now I was having all sorts of thoughts. Before, getting married and having kids, like my partner, was far from my mind. That was, until I pulled some asshole off Ainsley and she came to the station to thank me. So … what did I want with her? Did I want something forever and go down the white picket fence lined road? I wasn’t sure, but what I did know was I didn’t want to ever see her with anyone else. I’d kill anyone who touched what was mine. And maybe it was a temporary thing and wouldn’t last. But I was certainly going to put forth some effort into exploring these feelings were which were causing my mouth to go dry and my heart to race whenever I saw her look at me with those crystal blue eyes. I wanted to keep her wrapped in my arms so I could protect her from everything evil. I never had those kinds of feelings before I met her.

Author Bio:
Jeanine Binder grew up in a small town in California on the outskirts of Palm Springs, where the Hollywood celebrities liked to vacation. After thirty years, she packed up, moved to Arkansas where she still lives today. Her hobbies include her writing, reading good books, and seeing exotic places (loves to go on cruises).

Writing has always been a passion and hoping the next twenty years will bring many enjoyable books for others to read.


Holding Fast

A Fine Line

Arresting Hearts

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The Tin of Honey by Holly Barbo

Title: The Tin of Honey
Author: Holly Barbo
Genre: Dystopian Novella
Release Date: May 12, 2016
Life is tough for Zoe in the new world. As a small child, her voice can never be heard and she may as well be invisible. Except as a slave.

“Come. What is your name?”

The child opened her mouth to answer. Nothing happened. She tried again but not even a squeak emerged. Looking around, Zoe picked up a stick from the pile near the tent and wrote in the dirt: ZOE.

“You can’t talk?”

The little girl shook her head.

“Well, no matter. Let’s get some food in your belly and perhaps we can get you cleaned up afterwards.”

Zoe was given a bowl with a ladle of stew. She was so hungry she forgot the manners her parents had instilled and brought the bowl to her lips, slurping the first food she’d had in days.

The woman called to her husband in the tent. “Better come eat. I found a starving waif and she could probably eat your portion, too.”

The man who came out of the tent was big and had a bandana on his head. Zoe immediately jumped to her feet and, dropping the empty bowl, began to back out of the firelight.

“Sit and eat, Cane. You are scaring the child.”

The man gave the ragged girl a dismissive look and filled his bowl.

Turning to Zoe, the kind woman motioned the youngster back to the fire and, picking up Zoe’s bowl, ladled more stew into it before she prepared a bowl for herself.

Zoe couldn’t be sure, but the man looked like one of the soldiers who’d killed her parents. Her eyes large with fear, she couldn’t keep from staring at him as she chewed the last of the offered stew.

The woman picked up the bowls and grabbed a bundle from the tent. She put her hand on the little girl’s shoulder but turned to her husband. “Go on to your meeting with the other officers. Zoe and I will be at the stream.”

“I may be late, Maude.” And with those words Zoe knew beyond any doubt he had been with the group who’d killed her parents, and had certainly slit her mother’s throat.

Maude led Zoe downstream from the camp, and in a secluded little cove she handed the girl a sliver of soap. “Go wash up. I brought an old camisole of mine and some twine. It will do until your clothes are dry tomorrow. My husband has just received a promotion because two officers in his group were killed in a rebel skirmish. We’ll be leaving for the front in the morning.”

She chattered on as Zoe took advantage of the soap and scrubbed off the grime and blood. Maude worked on cleaning the stains from the child’s clothing. She suspected some of the soiled areas were blood stains but a glance at Zoe’s body only showed superficial bruises and scrapes. She wasn’t going to question the frightened child. It wasn’t important.

As the child emerged from the water, Maude handed her a towel. “Where are your parents, child?”

Zoe looked down, not wanting to meet the kind woman’s eyes as fresh tears rolled down her face. How could she tell this woman that her husband had murdered her parents but had never seen the little girl hiding in the root cellar? Or that the elevation in his rank was due to her father killing two men. The woman was nice but it wasn’t safe for Zoe to be near her husband. The little girl was leaving as soon as she could.

Author Bio:
Holly's world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice. Holly's stories are mostly in non-urban settings and usually have some focus on nature, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

My motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.


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