Duo Review | Widdershins & Threshold by Jordan L Hawk

WiddershinsWiddershins by Jordan L Hawk
Whyborne & Griffin #1
December 4, 2012

About the Book:  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?

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Widdershins is a true beat the backlist read.  It’s been on my to read list for years now.  It’s one of those books I stare at when I’m trying to decide what to read next.  I stare and stare, and then think about how I’m not ready for a Gothic horror series and then I choose something else.  I love Gothic horror.  It was the main reason why I loved Monstrumologist so much, but they do tend to be slightly slower reads and I really need to be in the right mood.

Thankfully I was finally ready for it this week!  And I liked it!

I adore a series with an awkward shy main character, and Whyborne was both awkward and shy.  I especially love when the charismatic character falls hard for said awkward one and Griffin is extremely charismatic!  Whyborne’s embarrassment and Griffin’s subsequent amusement made for some of the most adorable scenes and I know I’m not the only one who’s a sucker for those!

Also, while Widdershins wasn’t what I would call a slow burn romance, it did develop from a place that felt organic and natural.  Nobody jumped in bed together immediately, instead they started as friends and let it develop.  It made the story more believable, especially because of the era it’s set in.

While there was relationship drama, it wasn’t anything that went on for too long, leaving all the angst and excitement for the horror/mystery of the plot which ended up being pretty decent.  It wasn’t hard to figure out who the bad guy was, but I don’t judge a mystery by that.  There was plenty of other struggles which more than made up for it.  Of those, my favorite was Whyborne facing and overcoming his past.  It was bold, brave, and sorrowful.

Widdershins was a great start to a unique series, and I’m glad I am finally ready to devour them.

Rating:4-feathers


ThresholdThreshold by Jordan L Hawk
Whyborne & Griffin #2
June 2, 2013

About the Book: Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne wants nothing more than to live quietly with his lover, ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty. Unfortunately, Whyborne’s railroad tycoon father has other ideas, namely hiring Griffin to investigate mysterious events at a coal mine.

Whyborne, Griffin, and their friend Christine travel to Threshold Mountain, a place of dark legend even before the mine burrowed into its heart. A contingent of Pinkertons-including Griffin’s ex-lover Elliot-already guard the mine. But Griffin knows better than anyone just how unprepared the detectives are to face the otherworldly forces threatening them.

Soon, Whyborne and Griffin are on the trail of mysterious disappearances, deadly accidents, and whispered secrets. Is Elliot an ally, or does he only want to rekindle his relationship with Griffin? And if so, how can Whyborne possibly hope to compete with the stunningly handsome Pinkerton-especially when Griffin is hiding secrets about his past?

For in a town where friends become enemies and horror lurks behind a human mask, Whyborne can’t afford to trust anything-including his own heart.

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Upon completing Widdershins I attempted to move on and switch series.  I made it as far as opening the book, then immediately turned back to Whyborne and Griffin for more.  Next up was Threshold, in which our dear Whyborne and his lover take on a coal mining case together!  It was pretty scary too.

In Widdershins, Whyborne and Griffin were meeting for the first time, whereas in Threshold they’ve been together, under the guise of Whyborne renting a room out of Griffin’s house, for a few months.  Pulling off sequels, when the couple is together, isn’t easy.  The couple can lose their zing for the reader and almost start to feel humdrum, but that wasn’t how I felt reading Threshold at all.  In fact, Ms Hawk decided to give our beloved couple some drama by injecting Griffin’s ex into the story to cause conflict.  I actually wish the author had chosen to have Elliot’s advances more comical, by writing how neither Griffin nor Whyborne cared.  It’s okay to write a sequel, especially in this genre, and let your couple tackle the mystery as a solid duo.  (Jordan Castillo Price nails it with Vic and Jacob.)

However, where I had small a critique for their relationship, I have nothing to say about the mystery.  Reading a horror book doesn’t scare me, but they can make me shudder because I’m creeped out, and Threshold was creepy!  Even think about it makes my skin crawl.  That ick factor was enough to keep this sequel at a 4 star rating.

In conclusion, love it!  There’ll definitely be more coming!

Rating:4-feathers


EidolonAlso, before you go, I did read the quick 29 page short story Eidolon.  So far both Widdershins and Threshold were from Whyborne’s perspective, and Whyborne saw himself as ugly and worthless.  (So sad!)
I wanted to read something that showed me Whyborne through someone else’s eyes, for the truth, and even better because Eidolon was from Griffin’s perspective.  It was so worth it.  Griffin of course believed Whyborne to be ‘beautiful’, and saw him as perfect in his awkwardness.  I don’t care if the world sees Whyborne’s beauty, only that Griffin does.  I’m so glad I read it.


 

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About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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