January 6th, 2015
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Type: Novel, first in series
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.
Not certain whether he should feel foolish or alarmed, he slunk across the balcony to the door of his chamber. But before he could open it, Henry Strauss emerged from the next room. Catching sight of Vincent, his eyes narrowed sharply. “How dare you!”
Vincent glanced about automatically, but Henry was no fool, and no one else stirred on the third floor at the moment. Well, if nothing else, sparring with Henry might provide him with a diversion from his fears. He leaned his shoulder casually against the frame of Henry’s door, looking down at Henry with only inches separating them.
Henry retreated, but only a little. His blue eyes flashed fire from behind the protective shield of his spectacles. Vincent had the sudden urge to pull them off, lean down, and kiss the frown off of Henry’s mouth.
“How dare I?” he asked instead. “You’ll have to be far more specific, as I’ve done so many things to offend you.”
Rather to his surprise, Henry grasped his arm and pulled him inside the room, shutting the door behind them. “You know what I’m talking about,” he said in a voice no less angry for its low pitch. “At the séance. When you…”
Vincent grinned at Henry’s reticence to speak the words aloud. “When I what? Put my hand on your cock?”
Henry’s nostrils flared. “Y-yes. Are you insane? What did you think to gain from—from manhandling me?”
“I’m insulted.” Vincent folded his arms over his chest. “My technique was far better than ‘manhandling,’ don’t you think?”
“Devil take you, Night. What are you about?”
Vincent sighed and ran his hand tiredly back through his thick hair. It needed trimming again. “Spirits utilize the energy of the circle to manifest. Sexual energy works very well, and you seemed receptive. And I confess I found the possibility of touching you difficult to resist. Did I truly force something you didn’t want?”
Henry’s anger seemed to drain away. “No,” he muttered, eyes on Vincent’s shoes.
“As I thought.” Vincent caught his chin lightly, tipping his head back. Henry’s lips were slightly parted, his breath warm and smelling of mint dentifrice. “Do you want me to kiss you?”
“Why are you doing this?” Henry’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed convulsively. “What do you want?”
“I find you handsome. And I like you.”
Henry looked skeptical. “Why do I have trouble believing that?”
“You’re clever, and I admire that.” Vincent slowly traced the line of Henry’s jaw, feeling the lightest scratch of stubble. “You’ve a fascinating mind. You don’t think the way everyone else does, and I find you intriguing. More, it’s obvious you genuinely care for your cousin.” Vincent smiled wryly. “I think you truly do mean well, even if I can’t agree with your methods.” Then he let his hand fall. “But I’ll keep my distance if you wish.”
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in North Carolina and forgot to ever leave. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave her a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When she isn’t writing, she brews her own beer and tries to keep her cats from destroying the house. Her best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook at Amazon and other online retailers.
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