Title: Reaper of Souls (SPECTR #3)
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Cover Art: Author
Self Published: Buy Link
Amazon Buy Link: Reaper of Souls (SPECTR)
Genre: M/M Paranormal Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 rating stars
A Guest Review by Raine
Summary Review: Excellent third episode dealing with paranormal politics, prejudice and an interesting loss of certainties.
Blurb: When an incubus murders the powerful ally of an anti-paranormal senator, it’s up to hotshot Federal agent John Starkweather to catch the demon before it can kill again. Fortunately, he has backup, in the form of his boyfriend Caleb, a telekinetic possessed by the vampire spirit Gray.
As the political pressure mounts and bodies pile up, John discovers an old enemy protecting the incubus: the Fist of God, a group that believes all paranormals are evil. But why would the Fist work with a demon? And why would they let it kill one of their own allies?
John and Caleb need to find out fast. Because the incubus lurks at the intersection of love and longing, and it’s willing to turn their deepest desires against them.
I found this was a great rebound after a rather superficial second instalment though admittedly this was only in comparison to the enthralling opening book which introduced the guys and their imaginative unresolved three way interactions. The political case they work on is well set up with a set of descriptive and atmospheric scenes, finishing with an exciting dynamic flourish. Moreover the over riding series arc had some ingredients added in to nicely build up the long term suspense. I am finding the whole forty days thing very worrying.
Their investigations of a murder is set within a nasty mess of paranormal politics and minority prejudice which rather resonated back with the real world. It was a strong story line and the emotions it raised bled into both Caleb and John’s thoughts and changing ideas. All the main characters grow in nuance in this story.
Their relationships have become deeper and much more complicated which has amped up the heat between them emotionally and sexually. This intimacy was built up skilfully with domestic detail foreplay when Caleb moves in with John. I found the road kill sofa sex scene was a really good time…….
Drakul, Gray is still my true love. His closeness with Caleb is even more noticeable, I enjoyed the echoing of his thoughts of such things as, ‘mortal foolishness’ in Caleb’s speech. However it is the heightened play between Gray and John that has most emphasis this time. It provides a delicious and teasing tension. Not least because John’s dominant characteristic of moral certainty is challenged by his new found emotional questioning. John’s Captain America sensibilities grew some nice uncertainties here. Hopefully the next book, to be released September 3rd, ‘Eater of Lives’ will help him out with all of that.