Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saturday's Series Spotlight: Hexworld by Jordan L Hawk Part 2

A Christmas Hex #2.5
Roland knows he will never find love. Everyone views wolf familiars like himself as dangerous beasts, unable to rein in their savage impulses. He’s resigned himself to his fate—or so he thinks, until he meets the dashing Augustus Cao. His witch. 

Gus is on the trail of a gang of thieves, and Roland holds an important clue. Even though they can never bond, Roland can’t pass up the opportunity to spend a night with his witch. 

Can Roland conceal his secret, while helping Gus catch the thieves? Or will the handsome detective be the one to steal his heart? 

Hexslayer #3
Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.

Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.

Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.

Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.

It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.

Wild Wild Hex #3.5
Can a lawman witch find love with an outlaw familiar?

After weeks spent tracking down the gentleman bandit Rafael, Hexas Ranger Enoch Bright finally has the outlaw in his sights. He doesn’t expect to find out Rafael is his familiar.

When Enoch runs afoul of the murderous Bone Gang, he and Rafael strike a deal to take down the gang together. As lawman and outlaw work together, Enoch soon realizes the next thing the gentleman bandit steals will be his heart.

A Christmas Hex #2.5
Original Review November 2016:
A great little Hexworld standalone novella to kick off my holiday reading season.  A Christmas Hex may not have the Metropolitan Witch Police but it's no less of a little mystery with private investigator Gus and his would-be wolf familiar Roland.  Not a lot I can say without spoilers but I will say I loved it and it's a great addition to the Hexworld universe.

Hexslayer #3
Original Review October 2017:
Nick has spent his life hating witches, or at the very least not trusting them, not even his brother's witch.  His life's mission is to protect familiars, specifically feral familiars.  Jamie McDougal, one of Roosevelt's Rough Riders, is a witch without a familiar and an uncle who's views on familiars are not the same as Jamie's.  When familiars are being viciously killed, Nick decides he has to work with Jamie to stop the murderer but what happens once the case is solved?  Will Nick be able to let Jamie go and return to his anti-witch stand?

I knew we would eventually get a book in this series about Nick and to be honest I wasn't really looking forward to it.  I liked his need for freedom but his anti-witch stance always grated on me a bit and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to like him as a main character.  Its not that I felt he was irredeemable, he hadn't gone that far whenever he appeared in previous installments but I just wasn't sure I'd be ready to cheer him on.  Well! I'm adult enough to admit when I'm wrong and was I ever wrong! Nick was fun, frustrating, enjoyable, irritating, and yes he still grated on my nerves at times but I most definitely wanted to see him happy.

As for Jamie, well what's not to like?  He is a man with a heart that is "Grinch after finding Christmas spirit" big who wants to find the killer and find happiness all at the same time.  It's easy to say that Nick doesn't deserve someone like Jamie but truth is, they are perfect for each other.  Now, that's not to say everything is smooth sailing for the pair just because I found them perfect for each other, quite the opposite really.  Ms. Hawk really puts her couples through the wringer and Nick and Jamie are no different, most of the time that wringer is Nick but who can blame him considering the feelings he's been holding on to for so many years.

As for the killings, well as usual I don't do spoilers so I won't touch on that aspect of the story too much other than to say I was completely hooked from beginning to end.  Even without Nick and Jamie, Hexslayer would have had me on the edge of my seat with just the mystery alone.  Thankfully, we do have Nick and Jamie so once again Jordan L Hawk has brought us into a world of magic, mystery, mayhem, and just the right amount of mushiness to make this a perfect paranormal package fitting for this time of year.  However, if you don't have the time or opportunity to dive in now, you will be enthralled whenever you do give it a go because even though October is my favorite month to read all things weird and out there, I'll be reading this series whenever the author decides to give us another entry.  Simply put, Hexslayer and the whole Hexworld universe, takes us on an amazing journey of the magic most of us loved as children and gives it an adult flair that lets us delve back into the "what ifs" and "could bes" that we tend to forget as we grow older.  Just brilliant fun from beginning to end.

Wild Wild Hex #3.5
Original Review November 2017:
The author has added the tagline on the front of the book "A Hexworld Short Story" but whether you label it short, novella, or novel is not the point.  To me Wild Wild Hex is a story, plain and simple, because when the words on the page fill the reader with so much, well "WOW" comes to mind, then the length(or lack thereof) doesn't matter.  Now I will say that Wild Wild Hex may not be a continuation of the main focus of the Hexworld Jordan L Hawk has created but it definitely fits the Hex universe and who knows, maybe we'll see Hexas Ranger Enoch Bright and his familiar Rafael again some day.

If you've never read any of the entries to the author's Hexworld, you can still read Wild Wild Hex and not really be lost but I think some of the witch/familiar bonding elements would be better understood if read in order but its certainly not necessary.  Personally, I can't imagine not having read the series so for me its a must but that's just me. 

Enoch and Rafael may fall into what some might call the cliché trope of lawman/outlaw as well as as Rafael being a Robin Hood type figure but in my opinion there is nothing cliché about this pairing.  Is the bond between these two a little rushed? Perhaps but remember it is a short story and you have to expect that but also when a witch and their familiar find each other, the bond is pretty instantaneous even when they fight it, that connection is still there from the getgo.

So, I'm just going to say that whether we see more of Enoch and Rafael in the future doesn't matter because they leave a lasting impression in their tale.  Their journey, though short in length, is packed to the brim and overflowing with passion, mystery, drama, and wrapped together with just the right amount of "out there" to make this a must read.  Simply put: Jordan L Hawk has done it again.  Seriously, how can one woman have so many creative universes floating around in her brain?  If you're a fan of paranormal, of mystery, well of a great story than Wild Wild Hex is a must.


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.


A Christmas Hex #2.5

Hexslayer #3

Wild Wild Hex #3.5

Audiobook Tour: Austin by Felice Stevens

Title: Austin
Author: Felice Stevens
Series: Man Up #1
Genre: M/M Romance
Narrator: Kale Williams
Audiobook Release Date: August 29, 2018
ebook Release Date: April 5, 2018
Cover Design: Reese Dante
I can make it by myself. The only rules I follow are my own. Love? I learned that lesson the hard and painful way—it wasn’t right for me. Sure, sometimes it gets lonely, and I wish I had a man to hold. Who’d love me. Want me. Treat me with respect. Yeah, I dance in a club, but that doesn’t mean I’m easy. Or a fool. So you, sitting in the back, watching me? I know what you want. You want me. In your bed. Under you. But I say no. It doesn’t matter how many presents you give me.

I’m not falling for you. I know who you are. But you don’t know me. You don’t know Austin.

“Stop mooning over him, Austin. He’s taken.”

I gave my boss Tyler one last look from beneath the dark curls hanging in my eyes and let out a sigh as melancholy as I felt. “Don’t I know it. Look at them. The perfect couple. And Marcus never takes his eyes off Ty. I wouldn’t either if he were my man.”

Frankie Marone, the other dance instructor and my best friend, poked me in the side. “And you know Marcus hates it when you drool over Ty. You told me that yourself. So let’s finish up here and get over to the club.” Frankie’s brown eyes sparkled. “It’s margarita night, and you know that means big tips for us. Especially you, when you’re Mr. Tall, Dark, and Doesn’t Ever Speak shows up.”

We gathered our bags and went to change in the locker room Tyler had built in the back of the dance studio. I ran a critical eye over myself in the mirror, poofed out my curls a bit, then slicked on a little lip gloss. “Do you think I need eyeliner?”

“Girl, you know that man likes you done up. Here, take mine.” Frankie handed me his eyeliner, and I used it around the corners of my eyes, giving them a cat’s-eye tilt at the edge. “Didn’t he send you some sexy things to wear after the last time you danced for him?”

Heat crept up my face at the memory of the silky jockstrap and scented oils the mysterious stranger had sent me backstage at Man Up, the club where Frankie and I usually danced most nights. It wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, but the money was great, and I did what I could to get by.

I gave Frankie back the eyeliner. “Here. And yeah, I dunno. He probably won’t show.”

“But you’re wearing it just in case he does, right?”

I bit my lip and nodded, then pulled down my leggings to reveal a peek of red silky material lined with crystals.

“Jesus, that’s hot. And expensive, I bet.”

“I know.” After the package had arrived, I looked up the jock online and found it at a boutique in Chelsea specializing in high-end menswear. “It’s a hundred bucks.”

“Holy shit.” Frankie’s jaw dropped. “He wants you.”

It had turned chilly outside, and I tugged on my fur-topped boots. “I don’t mind a little snuggle here and there, and I’m not against saying a special thank-you with a kiss, but there’s a limit. You know what I mean.”

Frankie zipped up his jacket and pulled his furry hood over his head. “If he wants to be your sugar daddy, you tell him yes. Get yourself set up good with a nice place and a bank account. I would. You don’t need to keep shaking your ass for those guys always grabbing your junk.”

“I’m not a whore, Frankie. I’m not selling myself. Right now, I love dancing and teaching the kids, but I have plans. And maybe someday, in the future, a real boyfriend.”

“And you’re a great dancer. The kids love you.” Frankie shrugged as we walked back into the studio in time to see Marcus kissing Tyler with a passion I’d never experienced. It made my heart and my dick throb. “And as for boyfriends, they’re nothing but trouble.”

Author Bio:
Felice Stevens has always been a romantic at heart. While life is tough, she believes there is a happy ending for everyone. She started reading traditional historical romances as a teenager, then life and law school got in the way. It wasn't until she picked up a copy of Bertrice Small and became swept away to Queen Elizabeth's court that her interest in romance novels was renewed.

But somewhere along the way, her reading shifted to stories of men falling in love. Once she picked up her first gay romance, she became so enamored of the character-driven stories and the overwhelming emotion there was no turning back.

Felice lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Her day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass or two of red wine. Although she practices law, she daydreams of a time when she can sit by a beach and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there is bound to be some angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.


Austin #1


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