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Hainted - Jordan L. Hawk
4.5 stars

haint: southern colloquialism for a ghost, apparition or lost soul; in folklore and popular culture, the spirit of a deceased person unable to move on to final peace, and capable of appearing in visible form or otherwise manifesting itself to the living

Set in Appalachia country, the land of moonshine and hillbilly sensibility (ah, good memories of Lyn Gala’s [b:Mountain Prey|17936482|Mountain Prey|Lyn Gala|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1369049975s/17936482.jpg|25146450]), this paranormal romance takes a more serious route and centers around haint, or ghost, hunting. Our two studly heroes are very good at what they do, called Walkers, they help the hainted to move on or destroy those spirits bent on causing harm. I’m imagining a kind of Dean and Sam of Supernatural TV and fanfic fame.

Leif, a hot, eyeliner-wearing, pierced and studded sword-wielding Nordic-looking new-guy-in-town partners with Dan, the quiet and broody country-boy farmer of the tanned and well-muscled variety for some intense ghost bashing.
What is especially great about this read are the action scenes— the hunting down of a very bad, evil, rat bastard of a necromancer and his hainted minions. Necro-guy has it in for Leif… well, he wants his lover back. But Leif says nuh-uh, homey don’t play that way anymore, and besides he has his eye on sweet Danny boy.

While Leif and Dan quietly try to figure each other out, there’s lots of sexual tension build up and even better, there is falling in like, then lust. And while there’s no insta-anything— refreshing— the denial of attraction is ever-present as both dudes think they’re not good enough for the other. But we know they’re special— the frequent threading of mythology throughout the story illustrates these present-day hunters’ own hero-making deeds.

There are great fight scenes with sword swash-buckling and wand-wielding, haint decapitations, limb whackings and lots of oozing black puddles of ghost ectoplasma-y goop. But don’t let that stop you, this is also an entertaining, well-written and nicely paced romance.

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