Author ~ Jordan L. Hawk
Published ~ 14th October 2016
Genre ~ AU, Historical Paranormal M/M Romance
A straight-laced policeman. A lighthearted thief. A murdered millionaire.
Fox shifter Malachi steals for one of the biggest crime rings in New York City. But when he witnesses the murder of a millionaire, the only person who can keep him safe is Dr. Owen Yates, forensic hexman for the Metropolitan Witch Police—and Malachi’s witch.
Owen is horrified to discover his familiar is an uneducated thief. Even worse, Malachi threatens to unleash Owen’s deepest desires…desires Owen can’t act upon, as he’s destined for an arranged marriage to secure the Yates family fortune
Their agreement: Malachi will be Owen’s lover as well as his partner, until the day of the wedding. But as their hunt for the murderer carries them from teeming slums to Fifth Avenue mansions, Owens begins to realize Malachi commands his heart as well as his body.
With dark forces drawing ever closer around them, Owen must decide whether to bow to the demands of duty, or to risk everything for the man he loves.
Hexmaker is the second book in Jordan L. Hawk’s Hexworld series, following the adventures of witch policemen and the familiars they bond with. Download today to enter a world of magic, romance, and intrigue.
The first book I read of this writer was Hainted, and to say I loved it would be an understatement. I mean, hot goth, what more need I say? I then read the first of the SPECTRE series and it was no less well written, but didn’t really grab me the way Hainted had. I didn’t even start to read the Whyborne and Griffin series because I don’t like historical novels. I especially don’t like Victorian novels. So why the hex did I snatch this one out of the list?
Well, it all started with a fangirl moment at the UK Meet when I met Ms. Hawk, and desperate for an autograph, I snatched up her free short story (what can I say, I should be living in a garret). The short turned out to be The Thirteenth Hex and introduced me to the world of the Hexmen (I didn’t get the joke until a couple of hours ago).
Having read that, I couldn’t not read this. There is another book, Hexbreaker, in between. Although previous events are referred to briefly, it in no way detracts from or interrupts the story so there is no need to read Hexbreaker first. That being said, I will definitely be starting on that one as soon as I can.
This isn’t the first story I’ve read about witches and their familiars, it isn’t the first where there is a separate, paranormal police force, and it isn’t the first set in an alternate history. However, it is the first that’s done all that with such flair.
To get the technicalities out of the way, the editing is almost perfect (although there was one point where Mal took off his robe twice), the story arcs are graceful and seamless, and the pacing flawless. Dammit, can’t I find anything worse than a twice-donned robe to complain about? Not really.
From the very first moments the book drops you in the middle of a mystery. Murder, mayhem and misunderstandings abound when a poor, thief familiar stumbles on a murder, then is almost immediately presented with his witch who happens to be not only a police officer but a ridiculously rich and about-to-be-married one.
The world-building is exemplary with the world of the witches, familiars and everyday hexes woven seamless into our known history. The author skilfully draws us in with fascinating characters, intriguing situations and imagery that evokes all the senses it a wonderful blend of enchantment that’s all her own.
There are so many things I loved about this book, it’s difficult to know where to start. The magic starts on the first page. We’re immediately introduced to Mal, the foxy thief who we learn so much about, so quickly without being directly told very much at all. Within the first few pages we’re nicely set up with a clear picture of place, action and characters, with hardly any direct explanation of anything. This was masterful storytelling.
The two main characters are very different in class, background, education and just about everything else. This is very clear and very consistent throughout, from the way they talk, the language they use – I adored Mal’s curse of fur and feathers – to their understanding of the world and their place in it. There was no time when I said “He shouldn’t have said/done/known that”.
The story has more twists than a Welsh mountain road and each one drags the reader further into the story and into the mystery.
There is some interesting social commentary and anecdotal retellings of real(ish) events. Appalling snobbery from the “Four Hundred” richest families, is delicately and deliciously unfurled alongside inverted snobbery from the other side of the fence. Neither “world” is happy with its member becoming involved with the other side. Mal isn’t good enough for them, while Owen is too good for us. I loved the description of Mal’s world of shady apartments and dodgy hat makers as much as Owen’s lavish homes and balls.
The story builds in a gradual but steady crescendo with plenty to keep the reader interested at every turn, to an explosive conclusion that left me more than satisfied. No anti-climax in this book. All the climaxes were riveting.
There was a fair smattering of sex and I won’t say too much about that or I’ll have Owen blushing until his cheeks burst into flames. Enough to say it was as riveting as the rest of the story. I recommend you look up Dr. Young’s Rectal Dilators which I am sure brought much… relief to our Victorian ancestors, as well as inspiration to later generations.
My favourite scene in the entire book is the fiddling in the park. I won’t go into any more detail. You’ll have to read the book to find out why it’s so special. In fact, read the book to find out why it’s all so special.
If you heartily dislike anything paranormal or historical you might decide not to read this book. Your loss. It’s the perfect blend of mystery, magic and mayhem, with settings that are so close you can almost touch, see and smell them, characters you feel you might know and situations that made so much sense you can sometimes realize what’s happening just a fraction before everyone else does and feel just a little superior because of it. Thank you for that Ms. Hawk, I needed it.
The Hexworld Books
The 13th Hex: A Hexworld Short Story
Hexbreaker (Hexworld #1)
Connect with Jordan L. Hawk