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The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.
So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Runar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.
The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Runar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.
But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Runar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.
Hello brand new love-affair with Jordan L. Hawk’s brain, nice to meet you.
Who knew, besides, like, all the rest of you, that this gal writes a killer story? Somebody should warn me about these things, gah!
Okay, Hainted. First, I need to define a haint. Haints (I think) are ghost-like who-has, spirits. Beings that have passed on and need some help moving to the next dimension. Haint workers, then, are the folk to help with that task.
MC Dan is a reluctant haint worker, to say the least. After his folks died rather violently, he was left to take care of his younger siblings. He had to quit college, move home and play it straight. Er, meaning he denied himself ANY kind of love life, especially one involving a guy. He naturally swore off any association to haint work since haints factored into his parents’ deaths.
Enter sexy, smoldering, pierced-to-the gills Leif. Leif has come to Dan’s tiny town of Ransom Gap to track down an evil haint working sorcerer named Runar. Initially, Dan and Leif set out together to tackle a small haint, but they discover they make a great team, and from there it’s decided they’ll work together to bring Runar down.
What takes place over the next week is an action-packed adventure, with mystery, horror and some fantastic chemistry-building/angst between Dan and Leif. These two seriously couldn’t be more opposite, but they fit perfectly.
Both Dan and Leif had rough family issues to overcome. They had relationship-aversion coming from different ends of the spectrum, but stemming from their mutual inability to see their own self-worth. Naturally, it was both frustrating but also smexy to read about the development of their coupling. ;)
From Dan’s younger sister and brother to his friends, to Runar and beyond, the supporting characters were meaty without stealing the show. They added depth to the story and helped move things forward without slowing the novel down.
I positively LOVED the connection between Dan and Leif, especially as things progressed in the boudoir. They were smoking hot together but also sticky sweet. I’ll confess I’m not usually one for sappy endearments, but the babys and sweethearts and love-making just buttered. my. bread. Things get tied up mighty nicely with a short prologue/HEA that had me swooning outta my seat, bless.
What a fun, fun reading experience. So tell me: what Jordan L. Hawk should I read next?!?
Ami: 3 stars