Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne and Griffin #1
Genre: M/M Historical Fantasy
Length: Short novel
Some things should stay buried.
Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.
So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.
As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?
Source: Bought it
This year, my Christmas gift to myself – since these last few weeks have been unexpectedly difficult – is the Whyborne and Griffin series (and the time to read them). It’s one that’s been floating around on the edge of my awareness for a while, but having thoroughly enjoyed the Hexworld series, I thought it was time to see what all the fuss was about.
Why did I wait so long?! This book captivated me from the first page and I’ve fallen gleefully down the rabbit hole of this series and have no intention of coming out until I’ve finished it. (When I will then whine because I have finished it and there’s no more to enjoy.)
Whyborne on first glance is not the most compelling of heroes. He’s quiet, repressed, incredibly intelligent and determined to keep to himself. He can speak thirteen languages (most of them dead) and read even more. He’s curious and a natural puzzle solver and has an extremely poor opinion of himself. He may have been born rich, but he exists solely on his museum wages and doesn’t intend to ever draw any attention to himself.
How could I not love him? He’s shy, prone to stammering, a target for bullies, yet also has an iron will at his heart that means he will not be cowed or browbeaten into doing anything he doesn’t want to. I think he’s marvellous and an excellent narrator to follow through this book as he discovers there’s far more to himself and the world than even he dared to imagine.
Griffin seems to be the complete opposite of Whyborne. He’s confident, charming, flirtatious, friendly, outgoing and a newcomer to the strange city of Widdershins. But there’s a lot more to this private detective than his surface reveals. For one thing, he sees Whyborne in a completely different way to how the scholar views himself, and they bring out the best of each other – both smart, both brave and both daring to certain degrees. He has secrets, though, and a deep vulnerability that hints at darker stories in his past.
The mystery is intriguing. It starts relatively small, but deepens and darkens as the book goes on. There were times when I thought they both missed obvious clues, and some twists weren’t too surprising, but that didn’t stop me from devouring every page.
The romance is wonderful. Even though it’s all told from Whyborne’s first person perspective, there are enough clues that hint at what Griffin’s feeling – even if Whyborne misses them himself. There’s sweetness and heat and passion as well as tenderness. They make a great team, in all ways, and I loved seeing them find each other.
Oh, and Christine! My word, I am in love. She’s amazing.
In short, I’m hooked. This book was a joy to read and I have every intention of reading the rest of the series very soon.
Widdershins is Out Now.
Visit Jordan L. Hawk for more details.