Restless Spirits (Book 1)
I’m diving into another series by Hawk, and I couldn’t be happier. He’s proven time and time again to be a storyteller I know I will enjoy, so I was excited to start fresh with a new batch of characters in another historical paranormal romance setting.
I enjoyed the early interactions and flirtations between Henry and Vincent, but the paranormal aspect of this story took center-stage for me. Technology and spiritualism collide in this haunted house mystery, but the book doesn’t fall into the steampunk genre. Henry’s tech is rooted in real science, and I had a great time following Hawk’s ideas about how physics might interact with actual spirits. As the haunting grew stronger and more dangerous, I also loved how neither aspect of dealing with the spirit came out on top. To say more would verge into spoiler territory, but the resolution was incredibly satisfying, especially since it corresponded with personal growth for the main heroes, as well.
As usual, Hawk also includes diversity in his fiction in important ways without ever making the story ABOUT diversity. In this case, ideas of racial and gender identity provide a solid set of underlying conflicts and themes to what would otherwise be a standard haunting story with some sexy bits thrown in. Hawk never takes the “easy” road in his paranormal romances, and it makes his writing all the stronger for it.
The next book in this series is already purchased. Obviously.
Dangerous Spirits (Book 2)
Hawk returns with his delightful mix of science and spiritualism in this queer paranormal romance series. Secrets and twists abound in the middle book of the Spirits trilogy. But there’s no sagging middle here, and just enough angst to keep me intrigued by the relationship between Henry and Vincent rather than irritated by them. Well, I was a bit irritated by Henry reticence to come clean about a particular issue. Still, the way he is continually backed into a corner so that it’s never quite the right time is a quandary that persists into the modern day.
Even though Henry and Vincent are the POV characters, I continue to enjoy Jo and Lizzie as their partners-in-crime. I find myself desperately wanting to read more about these women and their friendship without the boys around to be distractingly adorable.
I’m not a horror reader because I’m a complete wuss, but Hawk always takes me right to the edge with a delicious mix of eeriness and suspense. Even the ghost story within this book takes a unique turn, as multiple characters (including the ghost) end up not being quite what you expect. Overall, this was a satisfying tale that wraps up its individual plot while bringing the romantic pairing closer together.
Guardian Spirits (Book 3)
The conclusion to this fascinating trilogy once again revolves around a haunted house. This time, both Henry and Vincent’s pasts have converged, and the race is on to find the secrets hidden by Vincent’s old mentor before they can fall into dangerous hands.
This book takes the “spiritualism steampunk” elements of this series to an entirely new level in this book, and I was fascinated by everything our heroes encountered. As always, Jordan shows off his world building chops in the best ways, especially when it comes to mixing paranormal romance with just the right amount of horror to keep things interesting. The climactic final encounters took multiple surprising twists.
The conclusion of this trilogy is not to be missed by those who have started on this adventure. One day, I hope to revisit these characters. Perhaps when a grown-up Jo visits a particular New England town later in life?