Hexmaker, by Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Hexworld, Book 2
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
A straight-laced policeman. A lighthearted thief. A murdered millionaire.
Fox shifter Malachi steals for one of the biggest crime rings in New York City. But when he witnesses the murder of a millionaire, the only person who can keep him safe is Dr. Owen Yates, forensic hexman for the Metropolitan Witch Police—and Malachi’s witch.
Owen is horrified to discover his familiar is an uneducated thief. Even worse, Malachi threatens to unleash Owen’s deepest desires…desires Owen can’t act upon, as he’s destined for an arranged marriage to secure the Yates family fortune
Their agreement: Malachi will be Owen’s lover as well as his partner, until the day of the wedding. But as their hunt for the murderer carries them from teeming slums to Fifth Avenue mansions, Owens begins to realize Malachi commands his heart as well as his body.
With dark forces drawing ever closer around them, Owen must decide whether to bow to the demands of duty, or to risk everything for the man he loves.
Historical (Late Victorian)
BDSM (Dom/sub, praise kink)
In an alternate New York City of the late 1890s, the Witch Police exist to help solve crimes of a magical nature, run by the witches who scribe written ‘hexes’ and assisted by shape-shifting familiars who imbue them with intrinsic magic to activate them. Hexmaker is the second book, although technically the third story, in the Hexworld series and while previous familiarity isn’t required to read this one there are a few references to key events in book 1 (Hexbreaker) that would increase an understanding of the plot, but otherwise I have no reservations recommending new readers begin here.
Like all of Jordan’s books I devoured this in one pleasurable, easy to read sitting, and was definitely my favourite of the Hexworld books so far. It’s like it was tailor-made for me to love it: Mischievous, clever ginger? Check. Who is an actual fox? Double check. Cute nebbish professor-type? Check. Playful banter? Check. Magic and soul bonding? Double check. D/s? Triple check. Praise kink? Holy hell yes all the checks 😀
Malachi is a red-headed thief, sly as his animal namesake and barely keeping himself off the streets by the grace of his wits. Owen is a ‘forensic hexman’, inventing new forms of magic to help the Witch Police detect and solve crimes, from a wealthy and socially important family where status and duty are everything and personal feelings irrelevant. Neither would believe they could be most magically compatible with the other, yet they complete each other beautifully, offering Malachi safety and control and Owen the freedom to embrace his own desires (sexual and otherwise) and autonomy from the demands of his family. Watching Malachi teach Owen how to have fun was a delight, I honestly wouldn’t have minded if half the book had just been vignettes of them playing and laughing and relaxing together, so sweetly and with such reverence. Their consensual D/s dynamic was a wickedly delicious treat, just what I like to read, and although sex is never a priority for me in romance I certainly wouldn’t have minded if even more of the book had been about that too, heh.
The central mystery is fairly straightforward, with a few unexpected twists that I happily did not see coming, and I’m eager to see where the overarching plot leads. I also hope in future books we see additional glimpses of Owen’s creative hexmaking and advancements in forensic magics, as the magic system in this verse is fascinating and would like more in-depth knowledge and examples of how it works. And just more Owen and Malachi would be great, please and thank you. 😉 Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Hexmaker and can’t wait for the next one!
Disclaimer: I am friends with the author and received a copy of the novel in exchange for a fair review
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.
Find her online at http://jordanlhawk.com/
You can purchase Hexmaker from:
All Romance eBooks
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.