draakenwoodRating: 4.75 stars
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Length: Novel

Things are quiet for now in Widdershins, but Whyborne and Griffin know that is unlikely to last long. It is clear from what they learned from the Fidelis cult that the masters are returning, and with them will come untold destruction. But what exactly the masters are and when they might appear is still a mystery, and everyone is on edge wondering when trouble will start. But problems come from an unexpected place when someone, or something, begins murdering members of the old families. Whatever is killing them is draining their blood, and Whyborne and Griffin step in to investigate. But before long, Whyborne finds himself in the crosshairs as a new police chief looks to boost his reputation by bringing Whyborne down and pinning the crimes on him.

Things become even more complicated when more Endicott cousins appear in town. After what happened the last time his estranged, magical relatives visited, Whyborne is understandably wary. It doesn’t help that Hattie and Rupert make it clear they see Whyborne as an abomination due to his ketoi blood. Whyborne has no doubt they would happily see him dead, especially if they learned the truth about his connection to the maelstrom, but for now at least, they are all of like mind. They need to stop the killer and figure out what the motives are behind the deaths. Not to mention Whyborne and Griffin still need to learn more about the upcoming threat from the masters. Now they just must manage to stay alive and out of jail, which may be harder than it seems, especially when the killer turns its sights on the couple and everyone they hold dear.

Ok, so you all know this already because I say it every time I review a book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, but this is one of my all time favorite series and one I think you all need to be reading. Seriously, I realize that not every book is for every person, but truly this is one of the most amazing series in the romance genre and I can not say enough good things about it. The way Hawk manages to balance the romance, the friendships, the suspense, the supernatural, and the historical elements and make them all work seamlessly together is just genius. And Draakenwood is another wonderful installment.

This story picks up on the continuing overarching series thread with the threats from Fidelis and the impending arrival of the masters. I love the way Hawk manages to carry the big picture storyline across the books, and still make the individual mysteries and suspense plots work so well in each installment. They are both linked, but at the same time we get an exciting plot in each book that drives the series forward. In this case, we have the murders of the old families, which tie in to the deeper lore of Widdershins itself and the way the town was founded, and the way people continue to defer to these founding families. I loved the little reminders of what an strange place this town is, the way that people just accept the oddities and the way things work. It is part of what makes this series so much fun. I also loved the suspense side of things. It was exciting and the ending in particular is action packed and intense.

One of the things this series does so well is show the larger sense of community and family beyond Whyborne and Griffin’s relationship. I mean, I adore these guys and once again they show us what a wonderful couple they are. They support one another, love each other fiercely, and would do anything to protect one another. But one of the things I particularly enjoy is the way the friendships and connections with the rest of the town really provide strength to these men as well. Of course, as always Christine is a stalwart, strong and steady by Whyborne’s side. I am totally obsessed with Christine, I’ll be honest. She is my total literary girl crush and every book reminds me how much I adore her. Here is my favorite quote from Christine from Draakenwood. It comes when Whyborne FINALLY figures out what is up between Persephone and Miss Parkhurst and kind of flips out and Christine responds:

“No, this is none of your concern,” she shot back. Before I could argue, she said, “First of all, you’re a man. Second of all, you’re literally the only person in this room who hasn’t slept with a woman. I assure you, no one here is interested in your opinion.”

I love that she is fierce and fearless, but even as she chastises Whyborne, we also knows that she would do anything for him and that they are the best of friends.

Beyond Christine and Iskander, who are Whyborne and Griffin’s usual comrades, we spend some more time this story with Whyborne’s father Niles, Persephone, and Miss Parkhurst. We also see the town coming together, including some of the old families, the police, and — be still my heart — the librarians! Seriously, why does that make me so happy? But when crisis is at hand and we hear “Here come the librarians!” (brandishing huge dictionaries and book binding tools as weapons no less), my heart leapt with joy. So I liked the sense of community here and the way all these groups are joining together to fight for a common purpose. The only slight hitch for me were the Endicott cousins. It felt the teeniest bit repetitive from Bloodline, with the dodgy Endicott cousins and no one quite knowing their motives. But I do like the way this part of the story comes together and leads us into the next book.

Seriously you guys, you need to be reading this series. If you are, I don’t need to tell you to read this book because you are probably dying for it as much as I was. It is an amazing romance, paranormal, historical adventure and one of my all time favorite series.

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