About the Book:
Horse shifter Nick has one rule: never trust a witch.
Nick has devoted his life to making his saloon a safe haven for the feral familiars of New York. So when a brutal killer slaughters a feral under his protection, Nick has no choice but to try and catch the murderer. Even if that means bonding with a handsome Irish witch.
Officer Jamie MacDougal came back from the war in Cuba missing part of a leg and most of his heart. After his former lover becomes one of the killer’s victims, Jamie will do anything to solve the case.
Nick comes to Jamie with a proposal: after making a temporary bond, they will work together to stop the murders. Once the killer is caught, they walk away and never see one another again.
It sounds simple enough. But the passion that flares between the two men won’t be so easily extinguished. And if Nick can’t learn to trust his witch, he stands to lose everything—including his life.
The Finer Details
Narrative Arc: Series
Series Detail: Hexworld, book 3
Series Arc: new relationship
Publication Date: October 6, 2017
Editor: Annetta Ribken Graney
Cover Artist: Jordan L Hawk
Length: Novel, 344 e-book pages
POV: 3rd person
Genre(s): Historical, Mystery, Paranormal
Historical Era: Early US (late 1800s)
Supernatural Elements: Shifters, Witches/Wizards/Warlocks
Tropes and Tags: opposites attract, disability, law enforcement
Settings & Locales: New York City
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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author.
Back Porch Thoughts
I have had THE BEST time rollicking around in this Hexworld series, y’all. The magic, the mystery, the history has been such an incredible delight.
This third book sorta took me by surprise. I was…not expecting Nick. We’ve crossed his path a few times in previous books, and I somehow got it in my head that he merely served the purpose of grumpy older barkeep/sometimes informant/possible criminal whose days of love and light were well behind him. Never did I ever expect him to get a book. But I’m perfectly okay admitting that I was well off the mark where he was concerned and far more absorbed in the mystery and romance in the stories that came before to pay him much heed.
So I might not’ve been clamoring for his story, exactly. BECAUSE I DIDN’T KNOW I NEEDED TO.
But imagine my glee when I first saw this cover? I’m still drooling over it. It’s partly because of the horse on the cover (I’m a HUGE horse lover). And it’s partly because of all the hotness of Nick, that wild, sable mane and the downcast gaze that says so many things from Just Try Me to Don’t Hurt Me. And Jamie behind him saying I’d Kinda Like A Ride On The Wild Side.
I’ve mentioned before in previous Hexworld reviews that I am in awe of the characterizations of the familiars from Rook the crow, Cicero the cat, to Mal the fox. And I am still standing on that hill because now we can add Nick the horse — or more aptly, the Midnight Stallion to this list.
The puns and zoomorphic wordplay that Jordan works in are all out giggle-inducing when it comes to the familiars in these books as their human traits and mannerisms so perfectly mirror their animal nature.
Nick is a moody, broody, foot stomping snorting, distrustful, nickering grump on an average day. That’s just the crusty outside though. Chip away that layer that manages its own brand of sexy and you’ll find a gooey center of all kinds of goodness — protective, thoughtful, and strong in his convictions. He’s freaking magnificent in all his glory.
Jamie was perfect for him. He’s a war hero and amputee who’s determined to keep his autonomy and independence. He’s mourning a lost love, forging a career in the Witch Police — attempting to do all this on his own merit. And until he makes detective, he’s content to spend his time in the mews of the Witch Police HQ in the company of the horses and drive the buggy around to pick up criminals and dead bodies.
Until shit starts getting weird.
And then Nick makes a Suggestion.
And an unlikely partnership forms.
These guys, y’all. I wouldn’t necessarily call this enemies to lovers because that would imply they’d had a prior rivalrous contempt toward each other, which isn’t exactly the case. But Nick pretty much hates and distrust everyone — most especially the Witch Police. So instead, this is probably better tagged as Super Reluctant Lovers who go as far as they can to deny their draw toward one another, despite Nick getting zinged by the knowledge that Jamie is his one-n-only familiar. Their efforts to deny their attraction to focus on all the murderous business keeps this at a steady simmer that serves to strengthen their bond when it all boils over.
Hexslayer trots along at an even pace with bursts of action and breath-holding suspense that twist and turn until it breaks out into an all-out galloping race against time to stop evil in its tracks. It’s a perfect balance of an emotional journey to everlasting love and suspenseful mystery that is vivid and blazing hot and an excellent addition to the series.