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9 hrs 15 mins

Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

10 pages, Audible Audio

First published December 4, 2012

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About the author

Jordan L. Hawk

82 books2,443 followers
Jordan L. Hawk is a trans author from North Carolina. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave him a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When he isn’t writing, he brews his own beer and tries to keep the cats from destroying the house. His best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook.

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5 stars
3,468 (38%)
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3 stars
1,628 (17%)
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110 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,513 reviews
Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books2,012 followers
December 6, 2014
it's not you, book. it's me.

actually, that's not true at all. it's totally you.

i'm just trying not to offend all your fans, bcuz coward.

i think you were good in conception, and poor in execution. i think continuity errors—objects dropped in a panic in one scene, and reappearing like nothing in another—really went a ways toward damaging our budding rapport.

i think entire phrases being repeated in two different scenes was pretty much as bad as calling a dick a "length" six times in the same scene.

i think a character who gets lost and can't make his way back out of a forest in the daytime despite being the only one to leave tracks in the pristine snow is really, really annoying.


i think you should probably not have been published without another edit or two, because anachronistic terms make me go completely crazypants.

...okay, fine, it 's totally me. i am terminally irritable.

i think i need to lie down.

please don't steal my madonna records on your way out.
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,883 reviews5,799 followers
September 1, 2016

A gay virgin, a paranormal, a horror, and a historical walk into a bar... wait what?


This book was kind of amazing... and odd... and then amazing again. I loved Whyborne and Griffin and I loved them as a couple. All sorts of deliciousness. I even liked the historical setting, something that is hit or miss for me. And of course, my love for virgins made this read simply scrumptious- I adored each blush and hesitancy from Whyborne.

I listened to the audiobook, which was both good and bad. I always like hearing the story come to life but this wasn't my favorite narration. First of all, the quality of the audiobook wasn't as great as others. It sounded faintly crackly and slightly echoey at times, as if the equipment wasn't top notch quality. Also, the narrator didn't have enough differentiation between his voices. I like when I can tell exactly who is speaking and here it wasn't always clear. However, when the narrator did Whyborne's voice, he was spot on and an excellent reader.

I will most definitely be continuing on in the series. Jordan L. Hawk, bring it on!
Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
December 9, 2018
”I hesitated, but it was night, and words spoken in the dark can always be forgotten come the dawn.”

So this was the first book I pulled from my newly invented "Bookie Jar" and since I didn’t even know this was on my e-reader I was really surprised that I’m already in the possession of such a nice gem! *lol* I guess it was a really good idea to make my “Bookie Jar” because otherwise this might have stayed on my e-reader for eternity without me ever knowing that it even exists. XD

Anyway, let’s move on! This book was a fun adventure and I really enjoyed every aspect of it. There were so many things that hooked me and made this a pleasant read and once I started reading I just couldn’t put it down anymore. =)))

So what are you going to find in this book?

- Christine!!! Mrs. ”I will not surrender my profession simply because men throughout history have been unduly enarmored of their penises!” Gosh, she’s so kick-asss!!! Haha! I love that woman and I adored her for staying by Whyborne’s side after she found out that he’s gay! She took it all in stride and the world definitely needs more amazing women like that! <3

- Two main characters which are so adorable that you can’t help but say “Awww” whenever they do something really cute.

”Just a moment, just this one kiss, surely that would be enough…
Then he kissed me back, and it would never be enough, a thousand years of this would not be enough.”

- Lots of funny thoughts from our shy and innocent protagonist, who never was in a relationship before and is completely oblivious to the many flirty remarks Griffin is feeding him throughout the course of the entire book. *lol*

”Not without your consent, at least,” he said with a little smile.
Damn the man; I could think of far too many things I’d happily consent to.

- Creepy monsters, a charismatic but blood-curdling villain, abandoned houses, mystery, magic and appalling experiments.

- Passionate moments between our two heroes that caused me to smirk and laugh out loud. Especially a certain name mentioned “in the throes of passion”. *lol* So damn cute! <333

”Tell me what you ache for. Tell me what has kept you awake at night, alone and yearning in your bed. Show me the secret fire in your heart.”
“Let me touch you,” I panted. “Please.”
He rolled onto his back, his eyes smoldering along with his smile. “Have your way with me, then.”

- Complex and multi-layered main characters that both have an intriguing and painful past but somehow found each other despite all their troubles and go through thick and thin.

"Perhaps he simply couldn’t imagine anyone would stay with a man who wasn’t entirely whole. Who had been broken, and hadn’t managed to put all the pieces back together."

- An amazing historical setting that handled the important aspects of that period really well. ;-)

All told, this was a fast fun read and I can really recommend it to everyone who doesn’t only like the m/m genre but is also looking for a little more depth and a great storyline. ;-) “Widdershins” has a lot to offer and I’m sure if you decide to read it you won’t be disappointed! XD
Profile Image for Shile (Hazard's Version) on-hiatus.
1,106 reviews838 followers
August 5, 2019
4.5 stars

I was late for my appointment with a dead man.

So good! SOOOOOOO GOOOOOOD! Finally i read it!

This is one of the best paranormal book i have ever read. What a surprise! I passed on this one, because i only tried the audio book the first time.


But... but... my wonderful buddy readers made me realize the errors of my ways.


MC 1: Dr. Whyborne - Quirky, adorable, awkward, somewhat of a genius and one of the most relatable MCs ever. I fell in love with him from page one. He is our main narrator since the story is told in his POV and damn! the guy is fun and i love him.

“Excuse me,” I said, rising to my feet and clutching at my overcoat, as if it could shield me from embarrassment. “I-I have to go.”
For the second time in one day, I fled an office in abject humiliation.

MC2: Griffin Flaherty - Charming, calm, witty and all that jazz. Even though we don't get his POV, i got to know him through Whyborne's eyes and i freaking love him too.

Whyborne and Griffin start out as working partners and from there their relationship starts to grow. These two make a very beautiful couple. The chemistry is there from the beginning and as the story continues, it grows.

The sex scenes were freaking hot. JLH did not hold back. The sexual chemistry was panty scorching hot.

The writing is so good, the story flows from page to page, the world building pulls you into the story. I was transported to another world, a world that i loved, reminded me of supernatural. A very entertaining movie was playing in my head while reading this.

The humor was on point, without being corny, there are some laugh out moments in this book.

The side characters were well balanced and fit into the story. Christine is an amazing female character. I want to be her.

Overall, this was an amazing start to what i hope will be an equally amazing series.

Thanks to my fellow buddy readers Ele, Linda, Moony, Rosa, Teal and Xia for this amazing read. I look forward to the next ones.
Profile Image for Nataliya.
784 reviews12.5k followers
December 12, 2020
K.J. Charles ruined me for books like these, setting a standard that may be too high.

This is a story of a Lovecraftian cult in a 19th century New England town of Widdershins, in the slippery affairs of which stumbles one Percival Whyborne, a painfully repressed, self-loathing, socially inept, prissy and gawky scholar, resigned to being the punching bag of bullying coworkers and perpetual disappointment to his uptight father.
“Before Griffin had come along, I’d been living inside a photograph: just a facsimile of life, without either color or depth.”
Weird tentacled monster stuff happens, and Percival (don’t call him Percy!) comes across one Griffin Flaherty, a dashing PI investigating creepy paranormal cultish occurrences and prone to liking awkward gawky men. Romantic and sexy times ensue (spoiled by me giggling over all the repetition of words “member” and “length”; they are just *so awkward*), interrupted by a few misunderstandings, a touch of lethal danger, family secrets unearthed, a few magical spells learned, a horde of Lovecraftian monsters and an Egyptian gala gone terribly wrong.
A second to rant, yeah? Seriously, what kind of a nickname is “Ival”? Going from “Percival” to “Ival” only works on paper. Even “Val” would have been better.

Anyway, it way okay-ish, I guess, which from my brief glance-through the reviews, seems to be an unpopular opinion. The execution was not very good. The main problem was the dialogue - it was just too clanky and wooden. It did not flow. I honestly think every writer should have someone read their newly written creation out loud and pay attention to how the dialogue sounds. I can forgive the far-fetched plot, but at times this was painful to read.

Percival was just too whiny for me to enjoy his first-person narration, and I honestly could not see anything that would help develop his and Griffin’s relationship besides the sexy times — and those sexy times did not fit well into the story. Too much awkwardness, really. And the setting - it should be the strong point, given how strange Widdershins should be — but it felt flat and generic.
“I grabbed Griffin’s arm. “Dear heavens, man! You’ve brought me to a house of ill-repute!”

Anyway, 2 stars it is. I don’t care to continue the series.

863 reviews231 followers
August 5, 2016

HOLY COW! Well, I had heard some really great things about this book and it comes recommended by some amazing readers and writers so…duh…I had a feeling it was going to be GOOD.

I just had NO IDEA (my own fault…I should be paying closer attention) how action-packed, SCARY, skin-crawl-inducing, heart-pounding it would be! This is not some sweet, quiet, historical romance. Not even close. This has death, and afterlife, and grave sites, and occult practices, and SCARY CHARACTERS and at numerous times, I found myself turning on all the lights in my apartment before turning the next page.

Ok, but to be fair, that’s not ALL it has. This also has a really GORGEOUS slow build relationship between Whyborne & Griffin and…I LOVE THEM. I love each of them separately. I love them both together. And I can’t wait to know more about them. It breaks my heart when Whyborne sees himself as drab, awkward, unattractive, undesirable. And then I get all giddy when Griffin, the gorgeous & charming one, falls for him. Their professional partnership, their growing friendship, and their budding relationship are lovely and adoring, and I’m a sucker for it all.

What I love most about this book is that Jordan L. Hawk gives us SO MUCH story…we get pasts from both characters, we get family struggles, work situations, historical context, emotion, conflict, misunderstanding, professions of love….the book is SO FREAKING FULL…and that’s exactly how I felt by the end. Full.

My only complaint would be that it’s not the kind of book I could just get lost in. I had to put it aside a few times, step away, and come back to it. Maybe it’s the intensity. Maybe it’s that I had trouble stomaching some of the sensory descriptions. I’m not exactly certain. But, as much as I really enjoyed it, I had some trouble getting through it. (and I see how that makes no sense at all). And as excited as I am that there are 2 more books already out with W&G, I’m not quite ready to jump in right away.

But maybe it’s just that way…a series to be savored…in my own timing. And I already can’t get Whyborne & Griffin out of my mind so I know I’ll be craving more from them soon enough…

*PS – here’s a warning for those who get easily aggravated or sensitive to certain words: Whyborne refers to his “member” or Griffin’s “member” tons of times…I thought it was charming, but some may find it annoying. Head’s up…

 photo 78a31e15-a8d3-46a9-9088-cbb9656dff10_zpsd43ac4b1.jpg
Profile Image for Noah.
213 reviews81 followers
October 21, 2022
So, I went into this book thinking it would be a spooky ghostly tale, but what I got instead was something more akin to The Mummy series, and honestly, that’s like being wrong in the best way possible! I especially liked how both Whyborne and Griffin get their time to shine. Usually in these "wallflower rescue romance" types of books, the wallflower (Whyborne) isn’t very helpful to the plot. It was cool to see that they both needed each other. And sure, the grand swashbuckling adventure makes this a fun read, but it’s the fact that this is also a book about two people who find a home in each other that makes this a beautiful read.

“I had dedicated my life to words. But sometimes, words are not needed. We sat together quietly in the warmth of the fire, and watched snow drift past the window, for as long as we were able.”

And and and there’s eleven books in this series!? Yesssss.
Profile Image for Ami.
5,865 reviews496 followers
December 9, 2012
3.65 stars rounded up

This book is a historical (Victorian era) paranormal adventure romance.

What I like:

+ Despite it being historical (a genre I usually stay away from), the plot is quite adventure heavy as Percival and Griffin try to uncover mysterious cultists and evil sorcerers and terrifying monsters. It also involves museum setting -- which is something I truly like (Night at the Museum, people? Love that movie *lol*)

+ There is character development too -- which I always fully appreciate. In the beginning, Percival prefers to keep his head down, being alone with his books and translations. But as the story moves along, as he is getting more and more involved with the mystery, Percival shows he is more worthy than just a scholar. He shows bravery and inner strength. I love that.

+ A kick-ass and brassy female character, in form of Dr. Christine Putnam. Women leading Egyptian's excavation is unheard of, so Christine must fight for her position in the Museum from males who look down on her and think that females should stay at home. She ends up being a good friend, even if Percival doesn't think of that way in the beginning.

+ Enough balance of adventure and the 'mushy' stuffs ^^

+ There is a twist in the end regarding who are involved with the cultist. I like it.

Slight dislike

Just a personal taste, all right? This might not annoy anyone else. I'm not liking the numerous uses of the words "my member/his member" very much. It's weird. Like I'm back to my teenager years and reading the relatively tame Harlequin stories *hahaha*. Again, just a personal taste.

So yeah, I really enjoy it -- more so than my first experience with Ms. Hawk.
Profile Image for Martin.
754 reviews431 followers
May 2, 2015
This novel was like a rare perfect moment in m/m romance. And here's why:

I LOVE H.P. Lovecraft's work. His take on horror goes beyond anything I have ever read before and to me he will always be THE master of the horror genre.


And here I found a m/m novel that not only lovingly refers to Lovecraft's ideas and concepts, but actually takes place in the Lovecraft universe!!

How awesome is that?!

Just a few hints of what immediately capured my interest:

Dr. Whyborne refuses to follow in his father's footsteps, becoming a businessman and attends the Miskatonic University in Arkham instead. How many awesome Lovecraft stories revolve around and refer to this dark institute where also the more sinister arts are taught behind its thick walls?

The Arcanorum, the grimoire that Dr Whyborne is translating, is a reference to one of Lovecraft's most famous creations, the Necronomicon.


Whyborne's book contains spells and rites to get in contact with age old Gods that mankind has long forgotten, like Nyarlathotep, one of Lovecraft's Old Ones that inhabited the Earth long before mankind existed. Upon their return, our species would most likely be erased from the planet, as mentioned in Lovecraft's most widely known story The Call of Cthulhu


And there's one quote in this book which completely sums up everything that Lovecraft's work stands for and which makes me adore Ms Hawk's work even more:

The world was hideously fragile, everyday life nothing more than a thin film laid over infinite depths of chaos and terror.

I bow to her writing and to her obvious love of Lovecraft's work! And as many of Lovecraft's stories, this novel is written in the first person POV.

But what is THIS book about? Widdershins is a town in Massachusetts, where Dr. Percival Whyborne works as a linguist in the local museum. He's a shy guy, suffering from social phobia and a dark past that is slowly revealed in the course of the story. A private detective, Griffin Flaherty, trying to solve the murder of the son of one of the curators is asking Whyborne for help translating a strange little book that the murdered man had sent to his father prior to his death. The book is written in an unknown language and possibly even coded.

Whyborne is rather unhappy to obey the director's instruction to assist Flaherty because of a huge Egyptian exhibition coming up that he needs to translate lots of scrolls for.
But the charming Griffin makes sure that the translation is worth his while, LOL.

I usually don't read horror novels, since they often say farewell to reality pretty quickly and present a never ending sequence of unlikely events and magical interventions that are simply intended to shock the reader. I always prefer the subtle terror that Lovecraft has established so perfectly in the literary world and even though Ms Hawk did chose a pretty direct approach (yes, there are monsters, people resurrected from the dead, spells that actually work) I totally enjoyed this story and its powerful visuals.

My favorite moment is the scene when Whyborne and Griffin fall out of a window as the result of a gas explosion and lie on top of each other in the snow with the burning building in the background. Griffin looks into Whyborne's eyes, realizing the quiet scholar has just saved both their lives.

'Whatever am I to do with you?' he murmured.

The warmth of his breath feathered over my skin. Heat collected in my groin, my lips. My mouth was dry, my voice hoarse, and perhaps he was right and it was madness when I whispered, 'Whatever you want.'

I admit there were times in between when I felt that Whyborne and Griffin were just too perfect with each other, but this was remedied toward the end - when lots of tension and excitement turns their sweet love story into a cold blooded adventure with the entire world at stake!

Making a long story short: A dark cult - the Brotherhood - is resurrecting an evil sorcerer who died centuries ago, hoping he is able to contact the old Gods and bring immortality to them. As usual when people desire such things, they are too blind to see the consequences of their deeds.

I loved this novel so much. I am really wondering if the subsequent books are also sharing this amazing concept. I would love to read the whole series, especially if it gives me lots and lots of Lovecraftian goodies to enjoy!

5 stars and on my list of favorites!
Profile Image for Amy Lane.
Author 202 books3,380 followers
January 28, 2013
Solidly characterized, wistfully written, this book gives you a playful view to the Edwardian era in which Egyptology and obscure science held a mystical appeal, men were men and woman had all sorts of strange notions about equality. It's a classic resurrection story, in which the thing you're bringing back is way worse than the loss itself, and Percival Whyborne is an engaging, prickly hero. His painful isolation is rudely interrupted by one Griffin Flaherty, haunted ex-Pinkerton agent who has no respect for boundaries, but plenty of respect for Percival. The love scenes are sweet and passionate, and the word precision is a thing of beauty. Gorgeous book. I downloaded Hainted before I was even done with this one, because I knew I'd want to read more.
Profile Image for Nemo ☠️ (pagesandprozac).
879 reviews411 followers
March 14, 2021
"The world was hideously fragile, everyday life nothing more than a thin film laid over infinite depths of chaos and terror. But it was still my life, and I'd be damned if I let it be torn away without a fight."

if i don't get a TV show of this series at ONCE with ben whishaw as whyborne and alex vlahos as griffin, i am fucking rioting.


- magic
- steamy, sometimes a lil' angsty m/m romance
- protagonist is a nerdy classicist who is #RELATABLE (“I seldom ate out, both for reasons of economy and because I feared someone might try to speak to me.”)
- strong female archaeologist character
- M A G I C
- tentacled monsters (disclaimer: no tentaporn tho)
- eldritch beings from another dimension
- it's cheap
- The Librarian Death Squad
- did i mention the magic????
- f/f side romance between a human and an Eldritch Being later on. (disclaimer: still no tentaporn)
- just do it you won't regret it

- the protag is called percival but he doesn't like being called percy which is objectively the cutest name ever
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,978 reviews1,988 followers
March 17, 2020
Rating: 3.5* of five

MARCH 2020 UPDATE Author Hawk, a truly fine individual, has made this title free ONLY AT THIS LINK : https://BookHip.com/MCBLVG

The Publisher Says: Some things should stay buried.

Repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne has two skills: reading dead languages and hiding in his office at the Ladysmith Museum. After the tragic death of the friend he secretly loved, he’s ruthlessly suppressed any desire for another man.

So when handsome ex-Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty approaches him to translate a mysterious book, Whyborne wants to finish the job and get rid of the detective as quickly as possible. Griffin left the Pinkertons following the death of his partner, hoping to start a new life. But the powerful cult which murdered Glenn has taken root in Widdershins, and only the spells in the book can stop them. Spells the intellectual Whyborne doesn’t believe are real.

As the investigation draws the two men closer, Griffin’s rakish charm threatens to shatter Whyborne’s iron control. When the cult resurrects an evil sorcerer who commands terrifying monsters, can Whyborne overcome his fear and learn to trust? Will Griffin let go of his past and risk falling in love? Or will Griffin’s secrets cost Whyborne both his heart and his life?

My Review: I finally bought this bagatelle for myself, after literally years sitting on my wishlist, this past birthday. I figure at *mumbletymumble* years old I can finally let go of the fear that They Will Not Approve and read whatever the heck I darned well please. Including paranormal romps with scads of gay sex and significantly smaller helpings of logic.

Uh huh. Like I can publicly admit how old I am in the context of reading *blush*shame* a, um, y'know, a book like this one is.


Fine. No really. FINE.

It's *deep breath* a smexy silly romance with True Luuuv and Evil Monsters and Supernatural Creatures! It has No Redeeming Social Value! I read it because it was A Good Story!

There, are y'all happy now? Whatever tiny scrap of credibility I ever had as a book reviewer is gone.

And that, my chick-a-biddies, is how romantic fiction readers of every stripe are made to feel. It's complete crap and it's indicative of a nasty, judgmental streak in the culture of literacy. *What* are you reading, philistine, tut the superiority addicts, don't call that literature, don't sully our ever-so-pure air blathering about your, your, lesser, baser, frankly uninteresting...books (so called) that do nothing but entertain those of, frankly, limited intellectual capacity. I wonder what these reviewers, these Guardians of the Gates, would do if their precious darlings of Literature were subjected to the eighteenth century's test of worthiness in reading matter: "Novels?! Men do not read novels. The weaker sex read novels because they are not capable of processing True and Fine Thinking such as scholars read! Men who write entertainments such as novels are merely pandering to the feeble and inferior baser instincts of the ladies. Shame! Shame on you, sir, for hastening the decline of Our Noble Culture!"

This is how it always goes through the generations. So let's stop judging what each other read and be happy that some people enjoy reading more than staring at screens. Although to be fair, I did read this on Kindle, so....

Having had my rant about the foolishness of judging others, I continue to the book at hand, first of a series of paranormals set in fictional Widdershins, Massachusetts. This town was settled after its founding father escaped from Salem during the Witch Hunt. He was, unlike the other poor sods tried and judicially murdered for witchcraft, guilty as original sin of the crime. Theron Blackbyrne was a beautiful, hunky blond Sodomite as well as a witch. His reach, sadly, exceeded his grasp, as certain essentials needed for the grand spell he wanted to cast, the one that would buy him immortality, eternal youth, and all the boy booty he could dream of, were simply unavailable in the New World. So he left some explicit instructions with his acolytes on what they needed to procure and when they needed to use it to resurrect him in order that he be able to complete his spell.

Several centuries elapse. The acolytes, surprise!, weren't at all eager to resurrect the master in whose service they'd become rich...poor followers are useless, ask any politician...in order to hand over all their worldly acquisitions. Um, no thanks, I'm good. He molders in the grave, they use the bits and bobs they got from Blackbyrne to acquire more bits and bobs, time passes and the town of Widdershins grows in prosperity as a port city, the local worthies open themselves a museum with an Egyptian antiquities focus...the items needed for Blackbyrne's resurrection accumulate, almost in spite of the great and good...and then a tragedy occurs that properly starts our story.

Percival Endicott Whyborne, wimpy bookish kid turned scholarly shirt-lifting introvert, introduces himself to us as the second son of an overbearing Widdershins magnate. He is also, in his own mind at least, the murderer of his childhood crush object who also happens to be his father's best friend's son. His unnatural lust for this friend is bound up in his survivor's guilt based on his inability to rescue the boy who drowned in a lake.

It is Whyborne's fate to act as the catalyst for Blackbyrne's resurrection. It is his good fortune to have the esoteric knowledge, the robust support systems, and the steely moral center to offer resistance to the terrible forces Blackbyrne would like to harness in his quest for immortality...including Yog-Sothoth, mentioned by name! Luck is on Earth's side, since Whyborne went to Miskatonic University in Arkham and learned all sorts of useful philological tricks.

H.P. Lovecraft's Mythos has long, long, long tentacles.

Whyborne, who detests being called Percy, has the excellent fortune to meet and fall in lust, in love, then into the arms of, strong, capable, experienced Griffin Flaherty. Another lad of the time whose Sodomitical tendencies were the catalyst for his exile from his only home and then his worst nightmare coming true, Griffin likes cats (an entire star off my rating of the book for that horrible lapse in authorial judgment) and goofy, gawky men, which makes him the best possible partner for Whyborne. The worst nightmare part is the bit that's most important. Griffin, you see, has experienced the dark and terrifying reach of the Mythos into ordinary life first hand. Its indelible mark on his soul means he will go to any length to combat the entry of those from Outside into our safe little home. Whyborne is embroiled with the Blackbyrne followers by virtue of birth and constitutionally unable to tolerate their wickedness by nature. He and Griffin must combat the actual demons and face their personal ones simultaneously and together.

The remaining half-star was lost to this book by the sheer improbability of a multi-century evil cabal surviving in Puritanical Massachusetts, the improbably used facets of Lovecraft's Mythos with Egyptian mythology, and assorted anachronistic speech patterns. My standards for entertaining fiction aren't all that high, but Griffin's invented nickname for Whyborne (since he understandably dislikes Percy) flew straight into my craw and stuck there."Ival"? How is that even pronounced?!

The next entry in the series is a short work called Eidolon. I'll be reviewing it soon..
Profile Image for Mandy*reads obsessively* .
2,203 reviews329 followers
March 11, 2014

I am not a fan of historical stories, mostly because I get grumpy at the treatment of woman, who are very little more than adornments and possessions and daughters are a burden.
But also because of the even more prominent social inequality, financial inequality and of course in m/m the very real threat of prison or worse as punishment for being gay.
This book covers all of those points, portrait them, but also thumbed its nose at them.

We have clumsy, brilliant, repressed, wonderful and brave Dr. Percival Endicott Whyborne, a comparative philologist. He has a deeply ingrained picture of himself, bullied into him from an early age by his father and brother and continually put down by an asshat coworker.
Here I have to give a shout-out to Christine, I love her. Woman are often not portrait positively in m/m books and she not only bucks that trend but is a true pioneer of her time and an awesome friend.

Whyborne berates himself constantly, he is so accomplished and smart, but he just can't see it, he believes all those jealous and petty people instead.
“I was too gawky, too shy, too strange.”
“I didn’t want to be looked at. I wanted to be left alone, in my little apartment and my lonely bed, which remained cold even after I’d crawled beneath the covers.”

But he isn't like they tell him he is, it just takes him a long time to see that.
He's also still mourning his best friend, feels survivors guilt and guilt for not being able to save him, the boy he loved. He is ashamed and afraid of being gay. Always worried that he will end up in prison for his sexuality and constantly thinking he doesn't measure up despite all his brilliance and accomplishments he feels inferior.

“The full weight of his scrutiny fell upon me: judging, considering. I looked down and away, because any such judgment would inevitably find me lacking.”

But then private detective Mr. Griffin Flaherty comes into his life, or rather forces himself with gentle persistence into Whyborne's life.
He has his own demons and fears, although I wish I could have had a peek in his head too. But this story is told only from Whyborne's POV.
I could see that Griffin is smitten with Whyborne but of course the poor man can't believe it, he doesn't think he's worthy.

“I barely swallowed back a bitter laugh. Deserve me? Of course he didn’t—he deserved someone a thousand times better. Someone who wasn’t gawky and awkward and strange. Who could hold a normal conversation without stuttering, who didn’t constantly weigh every action, paralyzed by fear until it was too late to do anything.”

And as if the poor man's non-existent self worth wasn't enough there is a pretty interesting, creative , creepy and actually also very sad mystery they need to solve.

So I have to say, despite my reluctance to read an historical horror story, I am so glad I did and I am definitely getting the other books in this series.
I loved watching these two men compliment and complete each other. They are exactly what the other needs and deserves.
So if anyone is reluctant to read this because of the same issues I had, I say go ahead and give this book a chance, I am very glad I did.

Profile Image for Simone - on indefinite hiatus  -.
689 reviews43 followers
March 10, 2019
***4 solid stars***
Bildergebnis für eyes growing bigger gif

Great, that's what it is! 

Loved the story (although my vivid imagination went into overdrive and I could have done without some gory visuals, but still...), loved the characters and I loved the audiobook even more. WHY THE HELL DID I WAIT SO LONG TO READ THIS????

'Nuff said, on to the next! ;-)
Profile Image for XiaXia.
Author 6 books175 followers
May 2, 2021
4.5 stars because:
1. This is the first mystery I didn't DNF in my life, ever.
2. Magic and Alchemy
3. Percival Endicott "I speak 13 languages but I can read more" Whyborne
4. Whyborne and Griffin <3
5. Christine and her mummy
6. The villain
7. Chapter 14 and 15 which I read 5 times like an absolute addict

Highly recommended.

Thank you very much to my awesome BR friends: Ele, Linda, Moony, Rosa, Shile and Teal for the fun!
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,373 reviews153 followers
January 8, 2021
I could say that I’m late to the party, but I don’t think one can ever truly miss a single thing with any of Hawk’s adventures. And what an adventure this was! Perhaps I was content to keep Whyborne and Griffin tucked away on my ‘someday list’ due to the time period. I had a tendency to avoid anything that could be even vaguely considered historical. Luckily, I have seen the error of my ways and no longer dismiss books with a vintage hue. Hawk takes us back to the turn of the century with this series and I found myself slipping into the pages with ease. I was instantly smitten with Whyborne and it’s no grand surprise that Griffin was as well. We are introduced to Dr. Percival Endicott Whyborne and he appears to be a simple man, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Whyborne is utterly charming and somewhat of a mess. An endearing mess. The man frequently has butterfingers but by no means is an oaf. He is smart as a whip and kind through and through, despite the many horrors life has dealt him thus far. Born into a prestigious family with old money and lofty ambition, he discovered at a young age that fortune and happiness are not mutually dependant on one another. Tragedy struck when he was a young man and altered his course. He’s been content with his books, merrily submerging himself in his duties at the museum…until, until a dashing detective slips into his life and under his defenses. Griffin Flaherty comes into the picture and again, Whyborne’s life changes course, this time…forevermore.

What's to like: I am a huge SPECTR fan, therefore I didn’t find the creep factor to be startling. However, if you’re not familiar with some of Hawks’ other freaky-deeky monsters, prepare for some eerie and hair-raising encounters. I really enjoyed how every thread was woven together. Somehow Hawk twists paranormal mystery with an unlikely romance during a forbidden time. Smooth writing transported me to the carriage filled cobblestone roads and the fun and engaging pace kept me cruising along with wide eyes. I didn’t want to miss a thing! Well, I did close my lids once or twice during the scary parts, but don’t tell!

What's to love: Whyborne. Griffin. Whyborne AND Griffin together. Gahhh! I loved their tentative glances and hidden desires. The build-up was something fierce and I could hardly wait for their first kiss. I probably shouldn’t complain because I know both men wanted it just as much as I did. Okay, okay, probably more. Their pull simply cannot be denied and I adored how Griffin taught Whyborne to embrace his carnal needs. He was like an exquisite bottle of champagne that had been shaken and shaken but never uncorked. Griffin found the corkscrew and let that baby go…and ahem, it was a fizzy, glorious release. Toss in an ancient book of spells and a cult with ill intentions and the danger rises immensely. But between a storm of betrayal and serious bloodshed, I held fast to the wit and wonder of their love. As you can see, there’s a lot to love with the brilliant Whyborne and his brave Griffin. I hope you enjoy this introduction to their extraordinary world just as much as I did. Now if you would please excuse me, I have a hot date at Threshold Mountain.

Beware of: Family drama is always so…dramatic.
First love…laden with obstacles.
Fantastic far-out adventures with monsters and their makers.

This book is for: If you’re looking for a passionate paranormal romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat and eager for more, welcome to Widdershins!

Book UNfunk
Profile Image for Macky.
1,865 reviews232 followers
June 28, 2013
What an absolute cracker! If I could up the rating on this I would. I bought it because I saw the great reviews the second book was having and wanting to read that thought it only right to start with book one to get used to the characters. One of the best decision and purchases I've made and now I'm chomping at the bit to get to Threshold Whyborne Griffin 2 which is sitting waiting not so patiently on my Kindle.

This had everything you could ask for from a m/m paranormal romance. I'm not going to go into the plot in an in-depth way because I think everyone should discover its delights on their own but heres a few things that made it such a great read for me:

Two endearing, superb Mc's who from the word go generated great chemistry and sexual tension, a feisty female colleague with loads of attitude and a strong starring role worthy of her characterisation, a complex, sinister and intriguing plot that never waned and kept the tension flowing right until its fantastic conclusion, creatures straight of a H P Lovecraft novel that had me shivering in revulsion quite a few times, creepy dark magic cults and of course a slow burning erotically charged love story full of some of the most delicious love scenes that whilst still being uber sexy were perfectly in tune with the atmosphere and setting of the story. No jumping into bed in the first couple of pages for these two. The attraction is there but we're made to wait a while before they get to together so the ST is palpable. Thats what I like because when the inevitable happens its electric. Great stuff.

I love it when I find new authors and get really excited by them and Jordan L Hawk is now my favourite brand new author of the moment and repressed scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne and ex- Pinkerton Griffin Flaherty are now in my top best ever m/m couples list!

Another ' pushing all MY buttons ' read that manages to be quirky, fresh and exciting and one of the most enjoyable books Ive picked up lately. I've been very lucky recently with my choices and Widdershins Whyborne Griffin 1 is definitely one of my luckiest. Can't recommend this highly enough. Just brilliant! Did I say I loved it?
Profile Image for Lois Bujold.
Author 167 books37.8k followers
August 13, 2015
More in the string of paranormal m/m quasi-historical romances I have wandered into -- Amazon is a dangerous place late at night -- set around the turn of the last century, this time in an American setting -- a Massachusetts town straight out of H.P Lovecraft crossed with The Mummy. Quite well written, and I very much liked voice of the the narrator/protagonist, a painfully shy philologist and linguistic genius working at the local museum, who meets the man of his dreams in the form of an ex-Pinkerton's agent from Chicago with a complicated and suitably angsty backstory. Together, they fight supernatural crime, etc. (Quite a lot of etc.) The plot wanders into the routine for this sort of thing at the climax -- defeating an evil conspiracy of rich men attempting regrettable magic deeds -- but the characterization and evocative detail does not.

I am entirely unhorrified by Lovecraftian horror -- if I wanted something to keep me awake nights tossing in frantic dismay (which I don't, as I already have insomnia), I'd read cnn.com. So the level of unrealism in the threats here suited me fine. I'm curious enough about the characters, however, to perhaps follow them up sometime.

Ta, L.
Profile Image for Erth.
3,623 reviews
August 28, 2019
The story isn't bad and the characters seem likable. The writing is a bit clumsy at points and the romantic parts are not really connected to the story and characters. Two dudes going at it is great and all but in this context it should be better immersed in the story. Also, the vivid and graphic depictions didn't always work. I'm not saying that women shouldn't or couldn't do certain things it's just some of the details were specific enough to conclusively realize that the author was not speaking from personal experience. Debating on reading the next one in the series but I might try and see if the author has worked out the kinks.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
879 reviews7 followers
July 28, 2019
Reread - July 2019 - so good, seriously there is a reason this series is my favourite. The writing is superb, the characters both good and bad guys, the build up,the magic and mystery. I honestly can't believe this series doesn't get worse and only gets better.

Also reading the first book again and knowing where all these characters end up is quite the mind fuck. Love it!


I am soooooo glad there are more books in this series because I may have died if I couldn't read more about these two.

I am in love with this story!!!! Just look at my updates!

If you like paranormal mysteries and shy, vulnerable, possessive, awkward, sweet men. If you like great world building and strong side characters. If you like friends to lovers and super HOT sex. If you like beautiful descriptive writing and humour, you'll LOVE this book!

I could go on, but I've just finished night shift and refused to sleep so I could finish this, so words are not looking right now :-P

Just read the book please :-D
Profile Image for Barbara➰.
1,592 reviews392 followers
July 16, 2018
Tons of reviews out there for this but I will say I really enjoyed this book! I LOVE Whyborne...nerdy, awkward and shy..right up my alley. I so wanted him to get everything he deserved and to be loved and accepted for who he was.

Only two reasons why I'm not giving this 5 stars: I did feel like all the paranormal stuff and mystery overshadowed the romance a bit. I wanted more of them together and to see the emotional part a bit more. What I did get I absolutely loved. I love the two of them together. Also, I wish we had Griffin's POV. I wanted to be in his mind and see how he felt about Whyborne. I wanted to get a better sense of who he was and it was difficult without his POV.

The mystery/paranormal aspect was awesome! All of it right up my alley. I was biting my nails there at the end.

But overall, great start to what I'm sure is an amazing series. I will definitely be reading more.
Profile Image for Alex ✰ Comets and Comments ✰.
173 reviews2,748 followers
July 14, 2017
"I craved him, like an opium addict craved the pipe: the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand, his mere presence in the same room."


Recommended to me by Jade : my fizzy confidant and expert advise giver with all that makes you feel things™

How a private detective, an archaeologist, and a comparative philologist were to thwart the plans of a powerful secret society, I had no idea.

Widdershins made me feel allll the things™ and I couldn't help but feel the different shades of self satisfaction as I read (and re-read ;)) the adventures that Griffin Flaherty and Percival Whyborne experienced. (and re-experienced ;) )

This review is flagged NSFW (Note-worthy Sexual innuendoes Following Widdershins)

The Mystery
This novel is first and foremost a mystery. The romance bit is secondary to the plot line, however the mystery is what the story fell back on for me. Call me out for being a daft idiot, but I only started getting into the grooves of the mystery taking place after about 70% of the book. There was a lot that went on and sub characters that weren't explained so it was hard for me to flesh out the story.

Especially because it does have a paranormal aspect to it - I wanted to magic and darkness to come alive before my eyes. (I am not blaming my kindle. Papaya is my one true love and she knows more about me than I do. Papaya is the name of my kindle.) However, from my perspective it didn't happen.
This was one of the major drawbacks that caused my rating to be average.

The Men
Let me just...
Let me just give you a couple of my reactions with some gifs.

1."Perhaps he simply couldn’t imagine anyone would stay with a man who wasn’t entirely whole.
Who had been broken, and hadn’t managed to put all the pieces back together."


2."Then he kissed me back, and it would never be enough, a thousand years of this would not be enough."

3."Surely he had to know. I was on my knees in front of—oh. He knew exactly what I intended. He just wanted to hear me say it."

4."I need you.” The skin of his neck was warm, just above the collar, and he shivered when my breath touched it. “You make me feel alive. Everything else is just a role, but this is real."

The Mating (Apologies, I honestly just needed a synonym for sex that started with 'm'...)
"You are as much a cipher to me as that book.”

Griffin was everything. Damaged and Dirty.
But then, so was Whyborne. Shy and Strong.

"God, I wanted more time. A fortnight hadn’t been enough. A lifetime wouldn’t have been enough"
(Yeah, you and I both bud...)

The romance in this book killed it. It deserved everything and more and these characters - holy hell. They could make your eyes roll back. With uhh happiness. Yeah, with happiness.

In all seriousness, both of them had something that just filled you with a bitter sweet feeling and the love, albeit not centre focused was why I adored this story.

I had dedicated my life to words. But sometimes, words are not needed. We sat together quietly in the warmth of the fire, and watched snow drift past the window, for as long as we were able."
Profile Image for Ingie.
1,358 reviews168 followers
October 13, 2014
Written February 18, 2014

4 Stars - an amazing adventure with a new couple of male lovers who reached the heights

I bought Widdershins months ago but I never found the right time to read it. At last, I did it together with my very best Brittish Buddy, Bev (her review). ~ We started on Valentine's Day and I was so excited. I have heard so many good opinions regarding this Whyborne & Griffin series.

~ Rightly so, this was a great exciting and well-written historical romance with both paranormal and crime elements. I will gladly continue to read more adventures with these two wonderful gentlemen.


Here in the Widdershins novel, you get both thrilling suspense, great dialogue and a lot of funny second characters (like the tough Egyptologist, Dr. Christine Putnam). It was also served with a well thought out (slightly complicated and sometimes scary) crime plot, and, best of all, an old-fashioned sense and feeling of the old times in both the language and the events.
 photo image_zpsbcfb4391.jpg

...Certainly not to forget are these amazing heartbreaking romantic parts with two lovely and very memorable MC's. And of course, you don't have to worry, this is a way a very modern "romance" with some very hot encounters. ~ There were plenty of yummy - nice delicious moments even in that old time.


Percival Endicott Whyborne is a 27 years old, the youngest child ot the town Widdershins' (in U.S.) rich railroad tycoon Niles Whyborne . A young man who didn't follow his father's and brother's footprints in "the family business". Our main hero is a scholar at heart and instead of joining his family, Whyborne has devoting himself to study ancient languages.

When this tale start works Dr P.E. Whyborne as an comparativephilologist at, the town's pride, The Ladysmith Museum. Mainly he spend his days to deciphering ancient Egyptians hieroglyphics and translating papyrus fragments and canopics jars. But he know a lot of more languages... And have a "willowy frame" look.
“...tall, handsome, and speak precisely thirteen languages. But read more. ...”

The year is 1897, and this reclusive, shy, slightly stammering "youth" is prompted by the museum director to help an private detective in an urgent murder case. Whyborne'll try to decipher an encrypted very old book (the Liber Acanorum) which previously belonged to a murdered young man.
 photo image_zps16f1e78e.jpg

“I craved him, like an opium addict craved the pipe: the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand, his mere presence in the same room.”

Our second hero is a former Pinkerton Detective, Mr Griffin Flaherty, a newcomer in Widdershins. He is a very nifty and neat, a few years older gentleman. A man you'll love from the very first meeting, because Griffin treats our shy Whyborne in a way that's never been done before. Right from the beggining is it with courtesy, dignity, and maybe even with some light flirting.


Whyborne and Griffin's new acquaintance soon leads to a lot of thrilling exciting, and also terrifying, adventures. These two hearts are also beginning to throb for what at that time was forbidden in law. There are cautious glances, a friendly touch, male attraction and emotions, smells of s tempting body and big admiration. "Would I dare too..", etc, and some involuntary banned steamy dreams.

Well, pretty soon explodes "everything", and it takes off with full force, on all fronts...
 photo image_zps5117bb96.jpg


I will not make a slightest attempt to explain this mysterious and complex drama these men are investigates together. Every now and then I read actually with squinting eyes, because it was nasty with these dark basements and mysterious sound. There was everything from ancient Egyptian mythology, ancient Egyptian tomb discoveries, strange beings and beasts. Perhaps, however, is the most frightening of the dangerously old, newly awakened, Brotherhood. ~ Read for yourself and be amazed and appalled.

‘I collapsed facedown into the bedding, my arms limp as cooked noodles.’

I will not deny that I was a bit restless in the beginning. I want to have romance immediately and all at once (maybe not really but...). Anyway, I had to patiently wait for a while. When it finally came, that first wonderful kiss, it was so worth the wait.
‘The icy air outside quelled my unruly member quickly enough.’

Something as enhances this story is of course the use of some expressions and words like: "member", "Oh dear lord", "indeed", "Buck up, old fellow" etc. So funny and sweet oldish.
 photo image_zpsb0a59ec6.jpg

I could ramble on about these wonderful men, the writing style, the adventure, a female role model and colleague (Christine), a nasty father, fear to show your feelings (love to another man), ridiculous colleagues, horrible homophobes and laws, freezing cold bedrooms (brrr), a cute cat, the winter chill, steaming hot sex, dirty talks , etc, etc ...but I will stop here.

Recommended! ~ My hopes for the next book (Threshold), and the continuation of this series, is soaring and a magnet for further reading about Ival & Griff.

I LIKE - amazingly well done with lovebirds I need to "see" more of


# Some nice old images that might show there have always been lovely love between "men who loves men":


# Hugs and big thanks to my reading buddy Bev - and especially to Andrea who cheered and inspired us all the way through this adventure.

# The 'Whyborne & Griffin' series by Jordan L. Hawk:
Widdershins (Whyborne & Griffin, #1) by Jordan L. Hawk Eidolon A Whyborne & Griffin Short Story by Jordan L. Hawk Threshold (Whyborne & Griffin, #2) by Jordan L. Hawk Stormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin, #3) by Jordan L. Hawk
Profile Image for Brian.
107 reviews64 followers
November 26, 2019
H. P. Lovecraft meets Supernatural fanfic meets the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, but in a rollicking good way, and I’m here for it. Widdershins is the first in a series of m/m romance/adventure novels set in a universe directly modelled on Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos. The main business of this first instalment is to establish the turn-of-the-century Lovecraftian setting of Widdershins and to get the two MCs together as a couple.

With regard to the former, we get Lovecraftian elements aplenty: there is a labyrinthine library, a Necronomicon-like grimoire, suggestive archaeological finds, a mummy, a bevy of hybrid grotesques, secret cults, and dark gods. Series author Jordan L. Hawk is clearly a well-read Lovecraft fan, and the novel contains allusions to many of HPL’s stories, making for some fun allusion-hunting. “The Outsider,” “The Rats in the Walls” and “Cool Air” came up quite a few times in this one, as did the various stories dealing with Yog-Sothoth.

Where Hawk’s series departs from its Lovecraftian sources is in its tone--a shift that is probably inevitable given its blending of Lovecraftian cosmic horror with romance, a genre in which suffering is temporary and in which all can be redeemed and healed by love, ideas that Lovecraft (as an author, at least) would have found preposterous. So, whereas contemporary writers of Lovecraftian horror like Laird Barron aim to reproduce the sense of abyssal terror spawned by recognition of an indifferent, perhaps even malign cosmos, Hawk’s aim in this series is quite different, and the result is closer in tone to the campy delights of Scooby Doo, which is a queer touchstone for good reason. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but to a Shaggy and Fred shipper, it’s candy.

At the center of the novel’s romance is the narrator, effete, closeted philologist, Percival Whyborne. Whyborne is superficially reminiscent of the standard Lovecraft protagonist: bookish to fault (if such a thing is possible). But unlike Lovecraft’s impressionistically drawn narrators, whose main role is simply to witness the horrors and go mad, Whyborne is a true protagonist, so he gets a deeper backstory, bushels more personality, and relatable angst. The gay child of a patriarchal family who also feels responsible for the death of his childhood crush, Whyborne slowly comes out of his shell when he meets foxy private detective, Griffin Flaherty. Their romance is charming and, before long, pretty steamy, though Whyborne worries that it might be too good to be true. How could a hunky swashbucking P.I. like Griffin be into him? Meanwhile, the couple find themselves crossing swords (and pistols) with monstrous beast-men and the hooded denizens of a dangerous local cult. The latter's thefts of occult objects point to a sinister plot in the hatching having something to do with dead town founder (and witch), Theron Blackbyrne, whose body, too, has gone missing from the tomb... Fellow scholar and Egyptologist, Dr. Christine Putnam rounds out the cast as Whyborne’s best friend and confidante in a role that recalls Rachel Weisz’s Evelyn Carnahan from The Mummy.

It's not to hard to see where all this is going, but the story is well-plotted and a lot of fun. If it sometimes feels a bit “by the numbers,” I suspect (and have it on good authority) that this is a series in which the adventures become more complex and satisfying as its own history accretes. For now, Whyborne and Griffin emerge as a really delightful pairing...one whose stories have only just begun to be told.
Profile Image for Heather C.
1,477 reviews215 followers
February 16, 2013
What did I love about this book?

The Characters: They were so sweet! I love the socially impaired book nerd (Whyborne) secretly lusting after the handsome PI (Griffin). I think these two will defiantly be one of my favorite couples.

The Setting: It was dark and spooky and kind of alternate historical. It was unique with these horrible, disgusting monsters and sorcery and...just different. Hard to explain.

The Mystery: I couldn't figure it out and was shocked quite a few times. Although now that I think about it...I should have been able to figure it out.

The Sexual Tension: Whoa, man these guys were delicious. I was NOT expecting this book to be so hot!! Plus, the relationship went much farther than I expected.

The Ending: It was all kinds of crazy.

My only complaint: I got lost in some of the verbiage at times and the story breaks were located in some odd places.

4.5 Stars

Profile Image for Steelwhisper.
Author 5 books403 followers
July 17, 2014
4.5* Some mild spoilers below!

This was a fresh, very enjoyable read, which except for one or two niggles really warmed my heart.

I absolutely adored the balance of plot and character development, it was perfect. I sat on the edge of my chair even though I'm not (anymore) into paranormal or horror tales, still I was quite invested in the PNR plot of this and wanted things to be unravelled and come to closure. It wasn't that dime a dozen a plot either, there were several twists the results of which I never saw coming.

All three main characters, shy Percival, broken Griffin and beard Christine, were absolutely completely delicious. I loved and love them and this is a book I definitely will reread. I adored that on the romantic side of the plot there was like 80% less sex than your average m/m.

Not just that, this time the author fairly managed to keep in character and have the sexual experience build comparatively slowly,

I adored how the author played for once really and truly with UST and allowed the intimacy to unfold slowly.

By the way: nice cover! Fitting that there are no headless chunks of meat on a slab.

While I'd say that some of the language and locations and a few expressions were slightly wrong or anachronistic for the era, it was never truly taking me out of the story. I loved reading an author who acknowledged that "cock" was considered an unspeakable word at the time, at least by a well-mannered person and who used "member" instead in most of Percival's inner dialogue. Not just that it was fully in character, it is also delightful to be spared the usually hopelessly vulgar prose of many m/m stories for once. The spare uses of "cock" when they happened were perfectly picked to show how Percy was approaching sexuality at last.

The niggles. There were few: I would like for the author to take greater care to eradicate any anachronisms. I disliked the old hairy trope of the big misunderstanding when it came. I'd have wished for something else to be used in the climax. The slight touch of Mary-Sueishness to Percival in the brothel scene and later during the showdown. A bit less on both these occasions I'd have just as believed and found enough of a character development.

All of this is not enough to detract more than half a star here. Let me be blunt, of course this book doesn't really compare with some of the masterpieces I gave 5* to. But that's not how I grade. I look at "what the plan is", meaning at what a book wants to be, and I grade within that scope. I do not really compare a book like this with Shakespeare or Mary Renault. So yes, I can and do give it 5* and hope the author keeps writing such fresh stories!
Profile Image for LenaRibka.
1,436 reviews418 followers
May 29, 2014
A very good written adventure historical romance. You'll find all elements providing an entertaining thrilling read - a creepy resurrection Brotherhood mystery, intriguing action-packed plot, a well created Victorian time period's atmosphere, two fantastic MCs with a nice slow developed romance between them and nice sex scenes.

I can't really explain why I didn't enjoy it more. Well, I liked Widdershines more than The Magpie Lord. But I had a feeling during reading that I knew the story, a strange deja-vu feeling. Because I know for sure, I have not read something similar before and I can't remember to watch recently a film with a closely related plot! It is a mystery! ;)

Somewhere in the middle of the book I began to feel a slight disconnection to the MCs and the plot. This feeling enhanced toward the end. The sexual tension faded away and I noticed that I started to loose interest in the story. Maybe because I found it also a bit lengthy, but it is my subjective feeling.

If you enjoy adventure historical romance you'll like it.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,178 reviews415 followers
February 9, 2018
4 Stars

Jolly good fun!

Widdershins is one hell of an engaging story, full of mystery, intrigue, horror and humour, and featuring a romance that will leave you smiling for days.

Here, Hawk has crafted an astoundingly impressive historically set story, starring two extremely adorable male leads, one feisty female sidekick, and a bunch of ghoulish foes just begging to be thwarted!
Profile Image for Elena.
848 reviews92 followers
August 12, 2019
Reread in 2019
4.5 stars, again

Just as good the second time around. Not least because I got to reread with my fellow buddy readers, Linda, Moony, Rosa, Shile, Teal, and Xia.

I really enjoyed seeing how everything started, now that I know so much more about the characters and what's to come. So many details I overlooked the first time, little things I didn't know how to interpret, now take a new meaning. And I'd forgotten just enough non-essential details that some twists surprised me as if I was reading for the first time.
Original review in 2016:
4.5 stars

I’m not usually a fan of historical, so I was pleasantly surprised by this book, especially when I realized that I really liked the setting and overall atmosphere.

The story is interesting and well-written, though I’ve to admit I wasn’t expecting the “horror” aspect of it. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense, but the strongest feature of this book is in its main characters.
Whyborne is so much more than meets the eye, using Griffin’s words. I’m very much looking forward to seeing him come out of his shell more in the next books.
Griffin himself wasn’t at all as I expected, so vulnerable and tender, and Christine was fantastic. A smart, formidable woman and a great friend, I really liked the dynamic between her and Whyborne.

Judging from the first book, this series seems very promising.
Profile Image for Ms. Smartarse.
604 reviews260 followers
June 1, 2020
I got into the M/M romance genre relatively late, and mostly because I needed some respite from the overly flowery and cliche-filled vocabulary of the historical romance genre. I wanted to get that awesome feeling of reading "guilty pleasure" again, without getting hung up on language subtleties. As such, Josh Lanyon's no-nonsense approach was a welcome change, which ultimately proved to be seriously addictive.

Sort of addictive

So when my best friend called Jordan L. Hawk better than Lanyon, the comparison sounded almost blasphemous to my fangirl ears. I felt oddly honor-bound to refute it. Never mind that I had been the one to recommend the book(s) in the first place... based on Roxana's review.

... and that's how I met your mo-- er found a new book series to obsess about. I got a Victorian era (well, the American equivalent of it) fantasy slash mystery slash fluff slash er slaaaaaaaaaash, featuring two rather likable and highly flawed main characters, and for bonus points there's an interesting mystery to flavor their illicit rendezvous.


To be fair, the mystery aspect of the story reminded me a bit too much of Full Metal Alchemist, although I imagine it's not the first book/manga that ever dealt with the (un)ethical side of alchemy... even if it was the only one I've read. Additionally, the more controversial aspects of it ended up being rushed through, in favor of devoting more time to the more salacious aspect of Whyborne and Griffin's relationship.

Oh who am I kidding?! Those were my favorite parts of the book, and I've reread the relevant passages several times over, before finally pushing the "next page" button on my Kindle. Heck, I even documented these moments with a most appropriate gif (crazy giggling and pillow hugging included) here on GR:

Giggling and hugging a pillow

Score: 3.2/5 stars

I wouldn't say that Jordan L. Hawk's writing is necessarily better than Josh Lanyon's, but I very much like it. So much so, that I devoured the following 3 books in the series in quick succession, and happily maxed-out my e-book budget on Amazon to get all the published books in the series.

OK, that's an exaggeration: the 3-book collections have a very good price - but you get my meaning.
New obsession!

Review of book 1.5: Eidolon
Review of book 2: Threshold
Review of book 3: Stormhaven
Review of book 3.5: Remnant: A Caldwell & Feximal/Whyborne & Griffin Mystery
Review of book 4: Necropolis
Review of book 5: Bloodline
Review of book 6: Hoarfrost
Review of book 7: Maelstrom
Review of book 8: Fallow
Review of book 8.5: Undertow
Review of book 9: Draakenwood
Review of book 10: Balefire
Review of book 11: Deosil
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