Title : Threshold
Author : Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin, Book 2
Publisher : Jordan L. Hawk (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Paranormal, Romance
Length : 67,513 words
Published : June 4, 2013
Rating : ★★★★★
Introverted scholar Percival Endicott Whyborne wants nothing more than to live quietly with his lover, ex-Pinkerton detective Griffin Flaherty. Unfortunately, Whyborne’s railroad tycoon father has other ideas, namely hiring Griffin to investigate mysterious events at a coal mine.
Whyborne, Griffin, and their friend Christine travel to Threshold Mountain, a place of dark legend even before the mine burrowed into its heart. A contingent of Pinkertons—including Griffin’s ex-lover Elliot—already guard the mine. But Griffin knows better than anyone just how unprepared the detectives are to face the otherworldly forces threatening them.
Soon, Whyborne and Griffin are on the trail of mysterious disappearances, deadly accidents, and whispered secrets. Is Elliot an ally, or does he only want to rekindle his relationship with Griffin? And if so, how can Whyborne possibly hope to compete with the stunningly handsome Pinkerton—especially when Griffin is hiding secrets about his past?
For in a town where friends become enemies and horror lurks behind a human mask, Whyborne can’t afford to trust anything—including his own heart.
This is the sequel to the wonderfully captivating Widdershins, which if you have not read yet, what in the world are you waiting for?!
Jordan L. Hawk has delivered another gem. I adored this book and characters enormously. 🙂 Every element of this story pushes my “yes!” buttons. Threshold contains compelling, intelligent – yet conflicted – protags, heart wrenching surprises, a vivid atmosphere, wicked awesome “what the hell?” creatures, and jaw dropping action. Combine all that with excellent character growth, perfectly delivered humor (I lost count of my laugh out loud moments), interesting social commentary, a disconcerted hero, a passionate love affair, and it adds up to: I’m freaking in love with Whyborne & Griffin and their adventurous tale. ♥
As the story begins we find Whyborne & Griffin happily cohabitating in Griffin’s cozy Widdershins abode, with the official story being they are roommates. When Whyborne’s railroad magnate father sends a message summoning the two to appear at Whyborne House, the men wonder if he is going to threaten them with exposure of their romantic relationship. Thus starts the thread of addressing the societal issues faced by homosexuals in late nineteenth century America – more on that later. It turns out that the elder Whyborne actually wants to hire Griffin to look into some bizarre happenings -steeped in legendary tales of otherworldly creatures- stemming from a West Virginia coal mine that he holds shares in. The very nature of the piece of evidence that Whyborne’s father presents to them necessitates the inclusion of Whyborne himself, as well as that of his archeologist colleague, Christine, in the ensuing investigation. The trio embark for Threshold Mountain, where they are about to come face to face with unimaginable atrocities. Oh, and an ex-lover of Griffin’s, in the form of Pinkerton agent, Elliot Manning. (I do believe Whyborne would include Elliot in the atrocity category!).
The author does such a remarkable job of vividly unfolding her story. The town of Threshold absolutely came alive to me, I felt that I could see the bleak, dilapidated buildings, the smoke and grime clinging to everything, the dark ominous mine tunnels, the mountains rising like a fortress on all sides. The general air of despondency and fear among the town people was palpable. Being as this story is told from Whyborne’s POV, I felt as if I was experiencing everything as if I were in his skin (hah- this will actually be an amusing line once you read the book). His variant feelings of wonderment, fear, insecurity, horror, doubt, and elation, all came leaping to life. Whyborne’s realizations of what was lurking in the mines, along with his confrontations with it, allowed for that tough inner resolve of his to really shine. Bonus – he gets to legitimately utilize and hone his magickal skills once more. 🙂
With the presence of Elliot in the mix, Griffin’s past is brought inescapably to the present. Hmm, seems he has been a bit sketchy in how he has relayed some of his life to Whyborne. When circumstances – along with some manipulating by Elliot – demand Griffin answer some incongruities in his history, it prompts discussion of he and Whyborne’s social disparities, as well as some of Whyborne’s naiveties. Herein again we see some powerful examples unfold that showcase exactly what societal norms gay men were up against in the time period, and how Griffin in particular, coped with the realities of it. There is wonderful dialogue between the two men, which ultimately leads them to a deeper and truly solid understanding of themselves, and of just exactly what they mean to each other. But, where does that leave Elliot, and just how far can he be trusted?
Christine, as always, is a stoic rock. She is one kick ass woman that Whyborne, Griffin, and the town of Threshold, are fortunate to have on their side. She is such a breath of fresh air compared to so many female characters in M/M romance. She definitely wins top prize in the best friend category. 🙂
The sexual chemistry between Whyborne and Griffin is hot, fun, and deliciously naughty, especially considering Whyborne’s buttoned up public demeanor. Their on page sex scenes work so well in providing more insight into their character’s individual development, as well as that of their evolving relationship. ♥ As much as I appreciate a good sex scene, I really enjoy them most when they integrate what is going on in the minds of the characters involved, as is the case here.
As you can tell, there is a lot going on in this book, and I’ve purposely left out much detail about the “creatures” that our guys (and gal) come up against so that you can be as flabbergasted as I was. I want to mind meld with Jordan – her imagination is seriously sick (in the best way!). Suffice to say that while keeping the reader guessing at many turns, the plot points are woven together magnetically to lead up to a wild peak and gratifying conclusion. Now that I think about it, that pretty well sums up the guy’s last lovemaking scene as well…. 🙂
I must mention…The cover of this book and that of it’s predecessor are seriously two of the most gorgeous I have ever laid eyes on.
Note: Jordan has stated that as with Widdershins, Threshold will have an audio version. The next book in the series is due out in December – six months? Yeah, I can handle waiting….can’t I?!! 🙂
Rated 5 stars by Dianne