Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Restless Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #1
Heroes: Henry Strauss and Vincent Night
Genre: M/M Historical Romance
Length: 69,000 words
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Available at: Smashwords and Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: After losing the family fortune to a fraudulent psychic, inventor Henry Strauss is determined to bring the otherworld under control through the application of science. All he needs is a genuine haunting to prove his Electro-Séance will work. A letter from wealthy industrialist Dominic Gladfield seems the answer to his prayers. Gladfield’s proposition: a contest pitting science against spiritualism, with a hefty prize for the winner.
The contest takes Henry to Reyhome Castle, the site of a series of brutal murders decades earlier. There he meets his rival for the prize, the dangerously appealing Vincent Night. Vincent is handsome, charming…and determined to get Henry into bed.
Henry can’t afford to fall for a spirit medium, let alone the competition. But nothing in the haunted mansion is quite as it seems, and soon winning the contest is the least of Henry’s concerns.
For the evil stalking the halls of Reyhome Castle wants to claim not just Henry and Vincent’s lives, but their very souls.
Of course Jordan L. Hawk never fails to hook me!! She has created another world here that immediately sucked me in and creeped me the HELL out…while I fell in love with a whole new set of characters once again!
It’s late 1800s, in a time when electricity is quickly beginning to power the world, Henry Strauss is set on proving his electrical contraptions can take the place of psychic mediums and protect those grieving from fraud. Of course, making his name famous and securing the future for his young niece Jo would certainly be a plus! After spirit medium Vincent Night’s mentor was killed in séance a few months ago, he has let fear get in the way of his practice. Close to losing their shop, Vincent’s partner Lizzie has convinced him to enter a competition to exorcise a haunted mansion in upstate New York that will put the two mediums up against Henry…spiritualism against science. The mediums and the scientist will have to work together or they might all die before it’s over.
OhMyGod! So, this was amazing!
The Setting: Even though this is historical romance, it had a very modern feel to me. I mean, yes it had all the advancements and prejudices you would expect to see during the Gilded Age, but maybe the isolation of the haunted mansion setting helped to separate it from the outside world and I kept forgetting I wasn’t reading in a present time. Or maybe I’m just crazy and have read too many historicals??
The Romance: I love enemies to lovers and Henry and Vincent were pitted against each other from the very beginning. Henry, distrustful of all mediums, was an arrogant snit, but I still found myself rooting for him. Vincent’s flirtations and constant sexual innuendo and double entendres were possibly a front to mask many of his vulnerabilities, but it certainly helped to increase the sexual tension between them. But DAMN there was some GOOD sexual tension and even a bit of risqué behavior taking place! I totally felt the current flowing between Henry and Vincent! Yes, Henry could be an asshat, but he had a big heart. I’m just glad Vincent was able to forgive Henry of his massive blunder.
The Ghosts: I love ghost stories! And let me tell you this is one of the scariest hauntings I’ve read in years. Of course it didn’t help that I was reading alone in my house and all the creepy things happening in Reyhome Castle had me jumping at every sound. The entire idea of how Henry planned to use his devices was so well done and uniqueness of Vincent’s talent was very vividly described. I never could predict how they were going to exorcise those ghosts!
The Mystery: Along with the ghost story, there is another, more subtle mystery taking place…maybe even a few mini mysterious because there were surely some crazy revelations near the end. I was taken by surprise over and over!
The Female Sidekicks: Jo was freakin’ adorable and I loved how eager she was in her role as Henry’s “assistant”. I admit I wasn’t a big fan of Lizzie’s in the beginning and I didn’t trust her at all…but she has a reason for her secrets…
What’s next? Restless Spirits appears to be the start of an ongoing series and the HFN ending has the perfect set up for many more dangerous adventures to come for Henry and Vincent. I can’t wait!
Overall Impression: It Was Amazing
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*